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. 35, No. 3, Fall

A Conference in Kigali
To address the issue of women's land and property rights in situations of conflict and reconstruction, an interregional consultation was held in Kigali, Rwanda from 16 to 18 February 1998. It was jointly organized by the United Nations Centre for Human...
Addressing HIV: Do Conferences and Papers Help?
My initial reaction to the proposed title of the following article, "Addressing HIV: Do Conferences and Papers Help?," was strong and immediate. I also found myself sitting squarely on both sides of the fence: yes, of course, they help to expand people's...
A Perspective from Palau
(Excerpt from statement at the General Assembly Special Sessions) We are a small-island nation located just north of the equator in the western Pacific Ocean. We are an island paradise, the foremost scuba diving destination in the world. Our rock...
A Political, and a Moral, Responsibility
The United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court was held in Rome from 15 June to 17 July. The Conference set a goal that was both focussed and ambitious: to open for signature a...
Business and Belief in International Relations
If there is one lesson I have learned as a citizen of the twentieth century born in Eastern Europe, who has lived the largest part of his life in the western world, it is that the process of healing which follows wars, ethnic conflict or civil unrest...
But There'll Always Be rEal-Mail!
When 22 nations combined forces to create the Universal Postal Union (UPU) on 9 October 1874, they launched the world's largest physical distribution network. Despite the enormous technological progress since that time, the global postal service remains...
Central African Republic
Towards the end of July, some progress was made in the Central African Republic (CAR) towards establishing the infrastructure for holding national elections. The required legislation was adopted by the country's Parliament and signed by President Ange-Felix...
Communicating Compatibility
It's called UNL for short, and it is an electronic tool that enables communication between different native languages. UNL is a software system that will reside on the Internet and will be compatible with standard network browsers. Any person with...
Considering Cloning
Opposition to a ban on the reproductive cloning of human beings is based on two main types of argument: one defending individual "rights" to a done; the other, defending scientific freedom. The first approach has a fundamental flaw: it claims the right...
Democratic Republic of the Congo
On 13 July, the Security Council condemned the massacres, other atrocities and violations of international humanitarian law committed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and especially its eastern provinces, including crimes against humanity...
Despite Shortcomings, a Court Deserving Support
Fifty years of collective efforts by the United Nations have finally led to the establishment of the foundation of what may become an effective and independent international criminal jurisdiction. For the jurisdiction to become a reality, 60 ratifications...
Disarmament
The nuclear-weapon tests conducted by India on 11 and 13 May and by Pakistan on 28 and 30 May were described by the Security Council on 4 June as constituting a "serious threat to global efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament". It...
Dynamizing Dialogue
Perspective: The Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) becomes the focal point for coordinating activities in these sectors. As a result of the reform process of the United Nations, the Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)...
Fifty Unforseen Years
It's one of the most familiar expressions in UN speak today, but the Charter makes no mention of peacekeeping. The Security Council presumably paused for detailed deliberation when, in 1948, it established the first peacekeeping mission, which built...
Former Rwandan Premier Sentenced; Ex-Mayor Held Guilty
"Despite the indisputable atrociousness of the crimes and the emotions evoked in the international community, the judges have examined the facts adduced in a most dispassionate manner, bearing in mind that the accused is presumed innocent." With these...
Former Yugoslavia
The Security Council on 15 June extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) for one year, until 21 June 1999, and authorized Member States, acting through or in cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization...
From the Secretary-General
It has been 50 years since the United Nations first intervened in a situation of conflict and established the pattern and practice of peacekeeping. Today, the Organization steers its way to fresh, innovative and internationally acceptable definitions...
General Assembly Enhances Palestine Privileges: UNIFIL, UNDOF Extended
The General Assembly on 7 July voted, by 124 to 4, with 10 abstentions, to confer additional rights and privileges on Palestine, in its capacity as Observer, within the United Nations and the conferences it convenes. Under the enhanced arrangements,...
Green Light for Major Undersea Fibre-Optic Cable System for Africa
The Africa ONE project is a 35,000 km submarine fibre-optic ring, which will literally encircle the African continent, connecting its coastal and land-locked countries as well as its islands. At the third data-gathering meeting in June 1997, the cost...
Guinea-Bissau
On 7 June, fighting erupted between government forces and army rebels in the West African State of Guinea-Bissau, one of Africa's smallest countries. At the request of the Government and under their respective defence agreements with Guinea-Bissau,...
Hand in Hand without a Needle: Perspectives on the Drugs Session
In the light of the General Assembly's Special Session, the Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations, Patrick A. Lewis, and Palau's Ambassador to the United States, Hersey Kyota, speak on the crisis, particularly in the...
Healthwatch
Over 30 years have passed since the introduction of mass-produced video display units (VDUs) into the workplace. When first introduced, VDUs were suggested as the cause of many health complaints. Many scientific studies were conducted to determine...
Heartbeat
Mahbub ul Haq, who died on 16 July 1998, was a visionary economist and creator of UNDP's widely acclaimed Human Development Report. A tribute from Nitin Desal, Under-Secretary-General, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Mahbub ul Haq...
"In Their Greatest Hour of Need, the World Failed the People of Rwanda."
During an eight-nation tour of east and central Africa-Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and Eritrea - the Secretary-General in May frontally addressed the United Nations role during the 1994 Rwanda...
Let's Look at It through a Wider Prism, Says Second Committee Chairman
During the last regular session of the General Assembly, Member States decide to consider in 1999 the convening of an international intergovernmental forum on financing for development, not later than 2001. Since the adoption of that resolution...
On the Eve of the Year of Older Persons, a World Ministerial Conference on the Young ... and, Thanks to Portugal, at No Cost to the United Nations
The "World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth", held from 8 to 12 August in Lisbon, Portugal, produced an important document-the Lisbon Declaration-which commits its signatories to elevate youth policy on their national agendas and, in the...
Outwitting Outlaws
When Gloria Cuartas was elected Mayor of the Colombian town of Apartado in 1994, no one was quite sure if the 33-year-old former theology student and disaster relief worker would survive her term. Almost all the mayors in the region had either been...
Parliaments Need to Be Addressed
When I addressed the Conference to establish an International Criminal Court in Rome last June, I also pledged to recommend that the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)-the world organization of national parliaments-undertake a campaign among all its members...
Peacekeeping: We Need Serious Rethinking
Sir Brian, who joined the United Nations at the very inception of the Organization, retired 41 years later as Under-Secretary-General after a career which saw direct association with the formative and innovative years of international peacekeeping....
Permanent International Criminal Court Established
On 17 July, the United Nations Diplomatic Conference in Rome decided to establish a permanent International Criminal Court, with power to exercise its jurisdiction over persons for the most serious crimes of international concern. Those crimes are...
Reconciliation within Nations
On the 17th of May 1995, I called upon the then Secretary-General of the United Nations, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and told him that the time had come for the formation of a pro-active institute for the promotion of national reconciliation within nations....
Rescue from a Collision Course
In 1989, President Arthur N. R. Robinson of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, who was then Prime Minister, proposed the establishment of an International Criminal Court to deal with the growing problem of illicit drug trafficking and to facilitate...
Satellites (and Windmills) Propel UNHCR Effort to Get Food and Assistance Where It's Needed
Humanitarian tragedies such as that in the Great Lakes region of Africa are well-known to the general public who are informed of such disasters via images and footage from journalists and field workers on site, brought to the rest of the world over...
Sierra Leone
On 13 July, the Security Council established a new peacekeeping operation - the United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone (UNOMSIL) - to monitor the military and security situation in the country, as security conditions permit, for an initial...
Somalia
In a 17 June press briefing on recent developments regarding Somalia, the Head of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia, David Stephen, said there might eventually be a change in the approach of the international community towards the country....
Sudan
As negotiations began in Nairobi on 4 May, the Secretary-General, who was visiting Kenya at the time, reiterated his strong support for the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) - a seven nation group of countries from eastern Africa and...
Tajikistan
Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 9 June, in a meeting with President Emomali Rakhmonov of Tajikistan at Headquarters, expressed serious concern at the recent decision of the Tajik Parliament to adopt an act which would effectively prohibit the Islamic...
The Digital Advance
More than half the world's people have never made a phone call. Will ICTs assure us change? Digital Information-Communication Technologies (ICTs) promise the world a "new civilization", an "information revolution", or a "knowledge society". Once...
The Partnership Weave
In some ways, it could be argued that the turning point in United Nations perceptions and attitudes towards non-governmental organizations (NGOs) was the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and its preparatory process (1990-1992)....
The Responsibility of the Informed Citizen
I had a DREAM, which was not all a dream. The bright sun was EXTINGUISH'D, and the stars Did wander darkling in the eternal space, Rayless, and pathless, and the ICY EARTH Swung blind and blackening in the MOONLESS AIR; Morn came and went - and came,...
The Theft and Redemption of History
* Gold Mycenaean jewelry RESTORED to Greece * Pre-Columbian artifacts RETURN to Ecuador * Cambodia RECLAIMS two 'missing' objects A collection of over 12,000 pre-Columbian objects was returned in 1983 to Ecuador from Italy a litigation lasting...
The UNTSO Story
So began the first peacekeeping operation in the history of the United Nations, officially named the United Nations Trace Supervision Organization or UNTSO. The first group of UN military observers arrived between 11 and 14 June 1948, and were deployed...
The View from the International Computing Centre
Many information technology phenomena, such as the Internet and the Year 2000 problem, have become extremely well known. Other information technology activities are so well integrated into our daily activities that we even forget they are there. These...
Through Technology's Lens
Phenomenal progress in new communication techniques - the digitization of images, sound and data, the digital compression of data and the growing power of electronic components - is part of the technological upsurge that is set to overturn completely...
Weighing Warming
These are the facts: * The chemistry of the atmosphere is changing and a global warming is expected due to the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and altered amounts of clouds and particles in the atmosphere. * The stratospheric ozone...
Window of Hope
At a Special Session in June, the General Assembly decides to move from a drug-control strategy centred around substances to one focused on the people who fall victim to them. And the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) prepares...
Within Four Swift Years, ICTR Shows Results
The decisions of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (please see following pages) bring to practical life the lofty ideals of the Genocide Convention. Through the Tribunal, the Convention has been lifted from the statute books to become,...
Working Together in Peacekeeping: Cooperation between Central European Countries
Genuine commitments require practical implementation. Maintenance of international peace and security remains a paramount purpose of the United Nations. Therefore, the contribution to the United Nations activities in this area, notably peacekeeping,...