UN Chronicle

A news reference publication published by the United Nations. Reports on UN actions and events as it addresses world issues.

Articles from Vol. 26, No. 2, June

Accelerated Negotiations on a Chemical Weapons Ban Asked
The 40-nation Conference on Disarmament heard a renewed appeal from Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar to 'quicken the pace' of its negotiations on a chemical weapons ban as it opened the first part of its 1989 session on 7 February in Geneva....
All the Books in the World
The revival of the Library of Alexandria, one of the glories of the ancient world, could well be one of the high points marking the beginning of the twenty-first century. It also illustrates what the World Decade for Cultural Development is all about....
'A Once-in-a-Lifetime Challenge.' (Diane and Jim Lubin, Assigned to United Nations Transition Assistance Group in Namibia)
This year, UN statters Diane and Jim Lubin will not hear the mating calls of frogs in the stream outside their log cabin overlooking New York State's Hudson Valley. Instead, they are in a remote corner of Namibia, helping in the birth of the new...
A Question of Hearts and Minds
How does one 90 about finfiding the cultural dimension of a development pro- ject? What is one supposed to be looking for? Is there a checklist anywhere? That there is a link between culture and development seems obvious. But how does this work...
As the Last Decade of the Twentieth Century Approaches
"The world social situation, as the last decade of the twentieth century approaches, is profoundly different from that of a few decades ago, let alone at the beginning of the century',' states the 1989 Report on the World Social Situation. Poverty...
'A Unique UN Experience.' (United Nations Transition Assistance Group)
UNTAG, the Secretary-General told the press on 16 February, "is a unique United Nations experience" -a peace-keeping operation with both a military and a civilian significance. Speaking just after the Security Council formally authorized the new...
Culture Is Also How We Live
In a market in Ambato, a town south of Quito, Ecuador, two Indian women haggle about the price of food. They engage in a subtle and complex dance of words, gestures and inflections from which only one will emerge as the winner. A generation or...
Draft Convention on Rights of Child Approved by Human Rights Commission; Report on Cuba Received, Special Rapporteur for Romania to Be Named
A 54-article draft convention on the rights of the child the result of more than a decade of negotiations -was approved in March by consensus by the Commission on Human Rights. The text calls for recognition of the inherent dignity and human rights...
Draft Outline of Overall Agreement on Cyprus to Be Prepared
he leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities have accepted a UN proposal to help prepare, "on a noncommittal basis", a draft outline of an overall agreement on the question of Cyprus by the end of May. Secretary-General...
Efforts Continue to Solve Western Sahara Problem
Work continued during early 1989 on the details of implementing a joint United Nations/Organization of African Unity (OAU) peace plan for Western Sahara. The plan-accepted in principle on 30 August 1988 by both Morocco and the Frente Popular para...
Ending the Traffic in Toxic Waste
After 18 months of arduous negotiations under UNEP auspices, more than 100 countries, meeting from 20 to 22 March in Basel, Switzerland: unanimously adopted a treaty restricting shipments and dumping of hazardous waste across borders. The Basel Convention...
Entire Cities Built of Mud
This inscription was found at the base of a raw earth pyramid near Cairo: "Do not disdain me when comparing me to pyramids of stone: I am as high above them as Jupiter is above the other gods, for I was built in bricks made from the silt at the bottom...
Environmental Health Could Become Global Concern of 1990s
The interaction between the environment and human health will become the global concern of the 1990s, predicted Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). Speaking to the organization's Executive Board in Geneva...
ILO Promotes Human Rights and Decent Working Conditions
Action to advance the cause of human rights and decent labour conditions in a difficult economic climate was endorsed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Governing Body in its recommendations to the International Labour Conference. The...
Kampuchean Peace Settlement 'On Horizon' Secretary-General Reports
He made his remarks on the eve of the second jakarta Informal Meeting (JIM), held in the Indonesian capital (19-21 February) and involving all major parties-the four Kampuchean parties, the ASEAN countries, Viet Nam, and the Lao People's Democratic...
Mandate of Lebanon Force Extended
The Security Council on 30 January extended the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for a period of six months-until 31 July 1989. The 5,889-strong Force, established in March 1978, is commanded by Lieutenant-General Lars-Eric...
Namibia Independence Back on Track; Cease-Fire Restored after Nine-Day Crisis
On 1 April 1989, the long-awaited transition period, leading to the independence of the south-west African Territory of Namibia, officially began. General Prem Chand, military commander of the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG),...
Narcotic Drugs Commission Wants Special Session to Help Fight Illicit Trafficking; Stronger Funding Needed
Amidst deep concern about lack of funds for United Nations bodies dealing with the drug threat, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs has called for a five-day special session to be held in 1990 to help widen the fight against illicit traffic in drugs....
Paris Conference Calls for Complete Ban on Chemical Weapons; Reaffirms Validity of 1925 Protocol
Representatives of 149 States, who met in Paris in January to discuss strengthening of the authority of the 1925 Geneva Protocol banning the use of chemical and biological weapons in war, declared their determination "to prevent any recourse to...
"Pioneer Investor" Duties; Rules for Sea-Bed Institutions Considered
How "pioneer investors" will carry out their obligations regarding seaOn bed exploration was the subject of intense discussions in the Preparatory Commission for the International Sea-Bed Authority and for the International Tribunal for the Law of...
Population Fund Launches Major Initiatives on Africa, Women
The UN Population Fund has launched major initiatives to aid sub-Saharan Africa and women, its Executive Director, Dr. Nafis Sadik, told the Population Commission on 21 February. In 1987, the Fund devised a Comprehensive aid strategy for subSaharan...
Preparing the Ground for Independence
A UN advance party arrived in Windhoek in the morning of 17 February, just a few hours after the Security Council adopted resolution 632, giving the go-ahead to the Namibia independence process. Throughout the next two weeks, while authorization of...
Saving the Ozone Layer
A Saving the Ozone Layer" conference was held in March in London, organized by the Government of the United Kingdom and UNEP. While there, 20 countries promised to sign the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The Protocol,...
Soviet Troop Withdrawal from Afghanistan Completed on Time on 15 February 1989; Violations of Accords Alleged by Both Sides
The total withdrawal of all Soviet troops from Afghanistan was completed on 15 February 1989, in compliance with the terms of the Geneva Accords signed 10 months earlier. The United Nations Good Offices Mission in Afghanistan and Pakistan (UNGOMAP)...
Special Session on International Economic Co-Operation Set for 1990
A special session of the General Assembly devoted to international economic co-operation, with particular emphasis on the economic growth and development of developing countries, will be held in New York from 23 to 27 April 1990. The world body,...
Statistical Commission Meets in New York
Recommendations on international classifications for economic activities and products, systems for measuring national economics, and technical co-operation were among the subjects discussed by the Statistical Commission in 1989. During its twenty-fifth...
Sunday Afternoon in Namibia
This is one of three hypothetical situations that UN staff leaving for Namibia were asked to solve at the intensive two-day briefing in March attended by staffers headed for Namibia. The briefing was organized by the Training Service of the UN...
Talks Aimed at Final Peace Settlement between Iran and Iraq Continue; UNIIMOG Mandate Renewed
Talks aimed at achieving a final peace settlement between Iran and Iraq through full implementation of Security Council resolution 598 (1987) were held in New York in February. The mandate of the United Nations IranIraq Military Observer Group (UNIIMOG),...
Text Deploring Downing of Libyan Planes Vetoed in Security Council; United States Calls It 'Self-Defense.' (Vetoed by United States, United Kingdom and France)
Three permanent members of the Security Council-the United States, the United Kingdom and France-on 11 January vetoed a draft resolution by which the Council would have deplored the downing on 4 January of two Libyan reconnaissance planes by the...
Text Deploring Israeli Policies in Occupied Territories Vetoed
The text (S/20463) was flawed" and "unbalanced", the United States said. It did not take into sufficient account either the context in which Israeli policies and practices occurred or the excesses of the other side". Palestinian acts of violence,...
The 38th Floor
The United Nations is experiencing a renaissance in the consciousness of the peoples and Governments of the world. There has been a relaxation of tension among the major Powers, and there is a growing awareness that issues, such as peace-making...
The Crisis Unfolds
1 APRIL: Reports of armed incursions and clashes between SWAPO and local police in northern Namibia are received. An investigative team is dispatched to the area. 2 APRIL: South Africa informs Secretary-General of SWAPO border crossings...
The Seeds of Development Aid
Under a deceptively bland name -Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance (EPTA)-the United Nations started planting worldwide, in 1949, the seeds for an aggressive development aid-without-strings effort. The first decade of what was then called...
Trusteeship Council Mission Observes Conditions in Palau
A two-member Visiting Mission has been called on to observe current conditions in Palau-one of four administrative entities of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, known as Micronesia. The Trusteeship Council took that decision on 17 March...
UN Committee Reports "Considerable Progress" on Anti-Mercenary Convention
Considerable progress has been reported by the Ad Hoc Committee on the Drafting of an International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries during its 1989 session (New York, 30 January-17 February). And, although...
UNDP Seeking Blueprint through the Year 2000
A high-powered group of Ministers, plenipotentiaries and top-level development policy and decision makers from all over the world will meet at UN Headquarters for three days in june, to debate and decide what role the United Nations Development Programme...
UNHCR to Assist in Repatriation of 58,000 Namibians, Other Aid Given
The organization is to provide basic health care for the refugees, rehabilitation, shelter, assistance in tracing relatives, departure and reception facilities and transport to areas of origin in Namibia. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF),...
UN Observers Asked to Verify Central American Peace Plan
As envisaged by the Central American Presidents in their joint Declaration issued in El Salvador on 14 February 1989, the United Nations may provide military observers for the region as a key element for verification of the security commitments of...
UN Space Committee Notes 1988 Achievements by Nations
These were among the most significant achievements in outer space in 1988 noted by John Carver of Australia, Chairman of the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, which met in New York from 21...
UNTAG: What It Will Do and How
The release of political prisoners and the repeal of discriminatory laws are the first two tasks UNTAG will monitor. Thousands of refugees are also expected to return to their homeland. A massive voter registration drive, and electoral campaign...
UN to Focus on Social Impact of Alcohol Abuse
Experts from all over the world may gather under UN auspices in Norway in 1990 to discuss the negative social and health aspects of alcohol abuse. Member States may also be asked to prepare national reports on the subject. This was among the 13...
When the Women Choose to Walk
A well is drilled in an African village. The first few days, women line up excitedly before the new well. There's a joyous atmosphere in the village. Photos of wet hands and happy faces are taken, images to be used for years to come in development...
World Heritage: From Da Vinci to the White Rhino
On the last days of the eighteenth century, a merchant in France bought Europe's largest Romanesque church for a ridiculously small amount of money. He then proceeded to tear it down and sell it, piece by piece. There was no public outcry. The...
World-Wide Population Meeting to Be Called in 1994; Consolidated Recommendations Sought
The United Nations is planning to convene a high-level international meeting in 1994 to assess the successes and failures of the 1984 World POpulation Plan of Action. The recommendation was made by the Population COmmission at an eight-day session...

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