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United Nations Daily Highlights 96-09-23
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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, September 23, 1996
This document is prepared by the Central News Section of the Department of Public Information and is updated every week-day at approximately 6:00 PM.
The General Assembly today began the general debate in its 51st session with Brazil reiterating its commitment to having the Southern Hemisphere free of nuclear weapons. The Minister of External Relations of Brazil, Ambassador Luiz Felipe Lampreia told the General Assembly that reform would ensure that the United Nations become a viable and logical alternative to unilateralism or power politics.
Brazil had made several commitments in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and was now committed to having the Southern Hemisphere recognised as an area free of nuclear weapons, Ambassador Luiz Felipe Lampreia told the General Assembly today at the start of the three-week debate.
Noting that Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and Sao Tome and Principe, for the first time, came to the General Assembly as members of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries, he said that they intended to consult and work closely together at the UN, with a view to promoting interests and fostering their linguistic, cultural and historical identity.
Governments must assume responsibilities and give priority to the policies that affect youth, especially those geared towards fighting the unemployment of the young, the President of Andorra, Marc Forne Molne today told the General Assembly.
He called on Governments to coordinate economic plans with formative policies so that students could learn professions that they would have a chance of exercising. Paying tribute to the young people of Bosnia and other parts of the former Yugoslavia, President Molne expressed solidarity with the Bosnian youth, noting that they had the responsibility of breaking up with the history of confrontation which afflicts the Balkans.
Calling on UN member States to give direct support to youth and to related programs, he stressed "what we shall do with the youth of today will define the 21st century".
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Irakli Menagarishvili told the General Assembly that under conditions of post-communist chaos, ongoing ethno-political conflicts and a precipitous drop in the economy, Georgia, with the help of the international community, had managed to stabilise the situation.
"In the course of the past two years, democratic institutions have been achieved, a national currency has been introduced, the process of privatisation is being completed...at the same time social peace has been preserved," he said.
On the issue of Georgia-Abkhaz negotiations, he said it was necessary and possible to settle the conflict through a peaceful process of negotiations. He highlighted the initiative of the President of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze for a peaceful Caucasus, noting that it could serve as the basis for the creation of a regional model.
The Caucasus principles, according to Mr. Menagarishvili, were directed not only at the peaceful settlement of conflicts currently beguiling the Caucasus, but also towards post-conflict settlement, ensuring security and multi-level development of the region.
The international community should continue exerting pressure to compel the leader of the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) to follow a reasonable course, renouncing war once and for all, the Minister of External Relations of Angola, Venancio De Moura told the General Assembly today.
He said UNITA had not only failed to honour its commitment and failed to comply with the pertinent UN Security Council resolutions but it failed to carry out fundamental commitments in the peace process. The conflict in Angola, he said, had created some two million displaced persons and some 500,000 refugees in the neighbouring countries, adding that more than 100, 000 people had been maimed.
Mr. de Moura called for the restructuring of the Security Council in order to strengthen its role and effectiveness and ensure greater transparency in the decision making process and in the implementation of its resolution. "Africa's claim to at least two seats of the Security Council is nothing but its proper and due right", he said.
Norway was ready to make an extra contribution to the UN by establishing a Fund for Preventive Action, the Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland told the General Assembly. She said Norway would contribute "some million dollars on an annual basis," and invited other governments to join. The fund would facilitate immediate deployment of first class expertise for pro-active diplomacy.
Underscoring that preventing conflict and human suffering must not be hampered by the traditional norm of what was essentially within states' domestic jurisdiction, she said killing people could not be protected by the Charter.
UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali told Heads of State and Government attending the fifty-first session of the General Assembly, at a luncheon today, that the new United Nations had begun to take shape, with changes taking place at all fronts.
He identified three main levels of institutional reform including managerial, organisational and intergovernmental reforms. Concrete progress in all three areas had generated a promising momentum, the Secretary- General said.
He stressed that the Organisation had adapted peace-keeping and humanitarian assistance to new circumstances and had brought greater coherence to development efforts, and new advances in international law. Dr. Boutros- Ghali said if international cooperation was to proceed, it could only do so successfully with, and through, the United Nations.
UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali met yesterday with former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere, who appraised the Secretary-General of his efforts as a facilitator to reach a peaceful settlement of the situation in Burundi, Spokesman for the Secretary-General Sylvana Foa said. He stated that he will continue to undertake all necessary contacts in order to bring all the parties to the negotiating table, the Spokesman indicated.
The Secretary-General expressed the United Nations appreciation of, and support for Mr. Nyerere's efforts, as well as the hope that all the parties concerned would demonstrate the political will necessary to bring those efforts to fruition, the Spokesman for the Secretary-General added.
The Security Council Committee has decided to issue an appeal to governments, national and international organisations and individuals, for any information they have or may come across relating to violations or alleged violations of the mandatory arms embargo established against Somalia. It also decided to send a note verbale to all States reminding them of their obligation to cooperate in ensuring the strict implementation of the embargo.
Rebel ambushes on food trucks have halted convoys travelling to eastern and southern Sierra Leone, where almost half a million people depended on World Food Programme (WFP) food. Officials of the WFP said they were concerned that if the ambushes continued many would go hungry.
In the latest incident, rebels attacked a WFP truck carrying 300 bags of wheat as it travelled from Freetown to the southern city of Bo on Wednesday. Rebel attacks had been increasing in the area since mid- August following a period of calm since election of a democratic Government in March 1996.
Certain measures by the Israeli Government have created new and significant obstacles for the peace process, undermining confidence and posing a genuine threat to a just and lasting peace, the Chairman of the Palestinian Rights Committee, Ibra Deguene Ka of Senegal, said as the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People met to consider political developments in the occupied territories.
The Chairman of the Palestinian Rights Committee also reported on the results of a recent non-governmental organization (NGO) Symposium on the question of Palestine. He said the NGOs denounced Israeli acts of intimidation, humiliation and punishment of Palestinians, including closures of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, as well as restrictions on travel, freedom of worship and the free movement of people and goods.
The Permanent Observer for Palestine, Nasser Al-Kidwa, said the Israeli Government persisted in violating agreements with the Palestinian people. He said he would seek action by the Security Council if the Israeli Government persisted with plans such as the decision to allow the building of new units in the existing settlements.
Two-hundred delegates from more than 50 countries will be discussing the status of cleaner production programmes around the world at the Fourth High- Level Seminar on Cleaner Production that will take place in Oxford, England during the next three days.
The seminar is the latest of a biennial series designed to track progress of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Cleaner Production Programme, developed by the UNEP Industry and Environment Office in Paris. The Programme, an overall approach to environmental management, aims to re- orient industrial processes, products and services as well as consumption patterns to favour eco-efficient strategies, encouraging innovative measures to tackle waste issues instead of fixing problems at the "end-of- pipe".
The Executive Director of UNEP, Elizabeth Dowdeswell stressed that converting business and Governments to cleaner production was pivotal to UNEP's future programme plan. "Cleaner Production is a matter of not only environmental sense, but also about business sense. Prevention is not only better than cure, but usually considerably cheaper," she said.
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