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. 37, No. 1, Spring

A Chance to Reshape the United Nations
"Global affairs are no longer the exclusive province of foreign ministries, nor are States the sole source of solutions for our small planet's many problems. Many diverse and increasingly influential non-State actors have joined with national decision...
A Culture of Tolerance and Acceptance
When I was growing up in Flushing, New York in the 1950s at the height of the cold war, there was one figure who seemed to be able to transcend ideology. That person was Sol Hurok, who was often referred to as a global impressario, since he brought...
Allying for Health
"Diseases have shaped history for millennia, spread by traders, invaders and natural carriers. But the most recent upsurge in the global transmission of pathogens, above all HIV/AIDS, has hit with a velocity and scope made possible only by open borders...
Angola
During the Security Council's open briefing on Angola on 18 January, speakers blamed the protracted conflict in the country on the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). Sanctions against UNITA were beginning to have a real impact,...
Assessing the Environmental Impact of War
For the first time, the United Nations has undertaken to study the environmental situation after a war. The environmental evaluation of the Balkan region is a response to Under-Secretary-General Sergio Vieira de Mello's recommendation, following his...
Budgetary Discipline
Pressure for zero growth resulted in a contentious give and take this year as delegates struggled to reach agreement on the United Nations budget for the next two years. After a week of nearly round-the-clock negotiations, the Fifth Committee (Administrative...
Burundi
The Security Council on 19 January endorsed former South African President Nelson Mandela's designation as the new Facilitator of a peaceful solution to the conflict in Burundi by the Eighth Arusha Regional Summit. Unanimously adopting resolution 1286...
Clouds Darken Disarmament
The rejection of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) by the United States Senate in October 1999 helped, along with a fluid international climate, to cast a shadow over deliberations in the General Assembly's First Committee (Disarmament...
Confronting Debt. Including Africa
"In many African countries there are political obstacles to economic progress as well. ... They boil down to a 'winner-takes-all' attitude to political competition, the control of society's wealth and resources, and to the power of patronage and the...
Cooperation and Respect despite Political Differences: Adapting the United Nations to a Changing World
An atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect prevailed during the fifty fourth session of the General Assembly--the last before the new millennium--despite divergence of views on a wide variety of issues. Consensus on Security Council reform, implementation...
Counterpoint
In my premature tenure of the last century, I can find no other conglomerate which has had such an impact on my life, the highlight of which is the 14-year-old in me who was blessed by a light drizzle from the melancholy New York sky as he was wafted...
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Security Council held from 24 to 26 January a landmark meeting on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), chaired by United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Seven heads of State from the region--the Presidents...
Digital Divide to Digital Dividend
"Information has unique attributes, not shared by others. The steel used to construct a building, or the boots worn by workers when constructing it, cannot be consumed by anyone else. Information is different. Not only is it available/or multiple uses...
East Timor
Secretary-General Kofi Annan visited East Timor on 17 and 18 February. Saying that the devastation was "far worse" than he had imagined, Mr. Annan paid tribute to UN staff in East Timor who were helping to rebuild the ravaged territory. On 4 February,...
For Consideration by the Summit
Specific suggestions put forward by the Secretary-General in his report, detailed in earlier pages of this section, for the Millennium Assembly to consider when it meets in September this year. By 2015, halve the proportion of the world's people...
Freedom from Fear. Governing Better
"Certain practices clearly do not constitute good governance on any definition. If a succession of military dictators in a resource-rich country in a poor part of the world siphon off as much as $27 billion of the public's money, economic performance...
Freedom to Live
"Once synonynwus with the defence of territory from external attack, the requirements of security today have come to include protecting communities and individuals from internal violence. ... The need for a need for a more human-centred approach to...
From International to Global World
"The benefits of globalization are plain to see: faster economic growth, higher living standards, accelerated innovation and diffusion of technology and management skills, new economic opportunities for individuals and countries alike. Why, then, has...
Getting Growth to Work for the Poor
"History will judge political leaders in the developing countries by what they did to eradicate ... poverty of their people -- by whether they enabled their people to board the train of a transforming global economy, and made sure that everyone had...
Globalization Widens the Gap between Rich and Poor
The Second Committee (Economic and Financial), chaired by Roble Olhaye of Djibouti, addressed a large number of sensitive issues concerning globalization and development, such as the diminishing flow of official development assistance (ODA), trade...
Helping Create a 'Spiritual United Nations'
Although the small sun-filled penthouse, reached through a well-hidden set of stairs from above the 15th floor of a modest but chic building on Fifth Avenue in New York City; has its own special aura, it is not a Zen palace as one might imagine. The...
Kosovo
The United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) made gradual progress in restoring the rule of law, including the first appointments of judges and prosecutors. By 11 February, there were 2,052 UN police in Kosovo. However, the security...
Legacy and Lessons
The United Nations system embarks on its second half-century with a record of achievements unique among international institutions. Time and again in the past 50 years, it has upheld its primary goals of reducing conflict among States and promoting...
Mongolia's 'One World UN Conferences Series' Empowers Youth
In the 1990s, the United Nations held a number of world conferences to address urgent problems faced by all Member States. These high-profile meetings forged a global consensus for new development agendas and strategies in preparing for the new century....
Month of Africa
The Security Council dedicated the first month of the new year to a range of African issues. During the "Month of Africa", the Council held separate meetings on HIV/AIDS, the problem of refugees and internally displaced persons, as well as the conflicts...
Moral Imperative, Common Interest
"Creating an inclusive global market is one of humanity's central challenges in the twenty-first century. We are all impoverished if the poor are denied opportunities to make a living. And it is within our power to extend these opportunities to all....
More Crop per Drop
"Every step towards reducing poverty and achieving broad-based economic growth is a step toward conflict prevention. So too is promotion of human rights, minority rights and institution of inclusive political arrangements. Indeed, there are real risks...
'No Comprehensive Protection for IDPs'
Noting with concern the shortfall in funding for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Africa, the Security Council on 13 January called on the international community to provide the necessary financial resources, taking into account...
Of Institutions and Development
OF INFRASTRUCTURES, OF CORRUPTION, OF FOREIGN AID Until about 10 years ago, "governance", "institutions" and "corruption" had no place in the international development discourse. Today, there is hardly a development strategy paper that does not...
One Light Weapon for Every Twelfth Person
In East Timor, mobs of rogue militiamen recently killed hundreds of innocent people. In Kosovo, thousands of civilians were caught in the crossfire of combatants. And in Colombia, guerrillas armed to the teeth are threatening the safety of politicians...
Peacekeeping Resurgence
United Nations peacekeeping experienced a resurgence in 1999 with major new operations mounted in Kosovo, East Tumor, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone. "While only two years ago we heard arguments that UN peacekeeping had outlived...
Practical Disarmament Measures and the Group of Interested States
Exactly one year ago, I had the opportunity to present in Issue 1, 1999 of the UN Chronicle the first stocktaking of the German initiative on practical disarmament measures and the establishment of the Group of Interested States (GIS). Its resume after...
Promoting Good Governance: IFAD's Decentralized Approach
During the last decade, country performance criteria and conditions of good governance have increasingly gained importance in development cooperation. During the cold-war period, the flow of aid, in particular by major bilateral donors, was strongly...
Racism, Rights Violations, Crime Confront Century's Start
Organized crime, refugees, women's issues, racism and human rights are all taken up by the General Assembly's Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural), which has seen an enormous and growing workload. This year was no exception. At the Committee...
Real Reform at the UNITED NATIONS
The United States presidency of the Security Council in January 2000 was a good indication of what could be, with strong and consistent leadership from the world's remaining superpower. The Permanent Representative of the United States to the United...
Responding to the Orissa Cyclone
From the United Nations Disaster Management Team in India After a devastating "super cyclone" hit India's eastern coastal state of Orissa on 29 October 1999, the United Nations Disaster Management Team (UNDMT) convened in New Delhi to set up emergency...
Sierra Leone
At the beginning of May 2000, hostile action by the United Revolutionary Front (RUF) led to a rapid deterioration of the security situation in Sierra Leone, threatening to undermine the Lome Peace Agreement. Barely two months after the Security Council...
Sustaining Our Future
"The founders of the UN set ou4 in the words of the Charter; to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom--above all, freedom from want and freedom from fear. In 1945, they could not have anticipated, however, the urgent...
Terrorism Convention Adopted
The Sixth Committee (Legal), chaired by Phakiso Mochochoko of Lesotho, succesfully completed its work on 9 December 1999, when the General Assembly adopted 12 draft resolutions it had recommended. Chief among them was a global treaty designed to cut...
The Balkans: Building upon Peace
The problems of the post-war economic development of the Balkans and their integration into the European economy are issues of great importance to peace and security in Europe. Rebuilding Kosovo is just the first step towards restoring stability in...
The Chronicle INTERVIEW
The United Nations will join more than 200 countries and organizations at the largest international exposition ever held. Expo 2000 will take place in Hannover, Germany, from 1 June through 31 October. The Expo's theme will be "Humankind-Nature-Technology"...
The Millennium Forum: A Global Consultation by Civil Society
The Millennium Forum-scheduled from 22 to 26 May 2000 in New York as part of the preparations for the United Nations Millennium Assembly in September--will bring together representatives of civil society from all over the world to consult about humanity's...
The Right to Information India's Struggle against Grass-Roots Corruption
India is the largest democracy in the world. Despite a bewildering variety of religions, cultures, languages, food habits, customs and traditions, the ballot box keeps this country together. Immense problems such as extremes of wealth and poverty...
The Road from Seattle
Globalization is a hot topic, and the World Trade Organization (WTO) is feeling the heat. While the protests in Seattle did not cause the trade negotiations to collapse, they certainly did not help; neither did the unprecedented revolt by developing...
The United Nations and Cooperative Multilateralism
The international changes associated with the post-cold-war period demand a reinvention of the United Nations. This is a great opportunity for the Millennium Assembly. The structural reform of the United Nations is still unresolved after a decade since...
The United Nations and the Conceptual Challenges of a Globalizing Economy
The term globalization is widely used to describe an observable reality, as well as to justify a political programme. It refers, on the one hand, to the vanishing of many limits on international commercial and investment practices, because of a vastly...
The Vienna International Centre
Located on the north side of the Danube in the Austrian capital, the Vienna International Centre opened just over 20 years ago, on 23 August 1979. Vienna was, and is, a natural home for a United Nations headquarters. Located at the heart of Europe,...
UN Adopts Protocol to Permit Women to Report Discrimination Cases to the United Nations
In a landmark decision for women in October 1999, the General Assembly, acting without a vote, adopted a 21-article Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which will enable them to submit...
Yearnings of the Young
"Demography is not destiny, but this is a formidable challenge -- not so much because of the sheer number of people as because of the context of poverty and deprivation in which they will have to live unless we take decisive action now. If I had one...