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United Nations Daily Highlights, 97-02-03

United Nations Daily Highlights Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The United Nations Home Page at <> - email:


Monday, 3 February 1997

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.


  • UN Secretary-General, in address to World Economic Forum, stresses strengthened partnership between United Nations and private sector.
  • Several United Nations peace-keepers killed in separate incidents involving vehicle accidents.
  • UNAIDS Director calls upon business leaders to initiate aggressive efforts against AIDS.
  • UN Population Fund to implement European Commission initiative to help bring reproductive health care to Asia.
  • Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women concludes three- week session in New York.
  • General Assembly appoints India and Japan to fill Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions vacancies.
  • Colima University Library, Mexico, designated United Nations Depository Library.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that the close link between the private sector and the work of the United Nations was a vitally important one.

Addressing the World Economic Forum, Saturday in Davos, Switzerland, Mr. Annan welcomed the explosion in trade and capital flows linking people and markets in a new global economy. He said the emergence of powerful new trading blocs had also served to add to the marginalisation of the world's poorest nations.

"It is vital, in my view, that decision-makers in the new global economy not forget the developing world, especially in forums in which developing countries were not represented," he said.

Mr. Annan said that in the post-cold-war era, peace and security could no longer be defined simply in terms of military might or the balance of terror, adding that the United Nations had established and was promoting a common platform for development action.

"Working together with Member States, the private sector, and other non- governmental organisations, our platform emphasises social responsibility, interdependence and, above all, the common pursuit of practical and achievable development goals," he said.

He told delegates that without greater cooperation, the benefits of foreign investment would not flow to those who need them most. "Without greater cooperation, the United Nations cannot learn from, nor utilise fully, the skills, capital, and management expertise of the private sector," Mr. Annan said.

During his first official visit to the UN Office in Geneva, Mr. Annan met with various world leaders, including President Nelson Mandela of South Africa, the President of the State Council of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu and the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Yasser Arafat.

Three Finnish peace-keepers and a Canadian civilian pilot were killed when a United Nations contracted helicopter crashed in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Saturday, Associate Spokesman for the Secretary- General, Juan Carlos Brandt said. He said the cause of the crash was being investigated.

In another incident an American police monitor in Bosnia and Herzegovina was seriously injured in a road accident on Saturday the Spokesman said. Earlier, a police monitor of the International Police Task Force (IPTF) was killed and another injured.

A Dutch civilian police observer attached to the UN Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) was attacked and killed by a crocodile while bathing in a river in Angola, the Spokesman said.

The Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Peter Piot has warned of the ruinous effect the worldwide AIDS epidemic could have on the global economy, and called upon the private sector to initiate aggressive efforts to fight AIDS.

In a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Executive Director said it was more than basic humanitarian concerns that should drive the private sector to get involved in the global fight against AIDS.

"Any company that operates in affected areas, sells its goods to overseas markets, or imports goods from those markets, must take action now to reduce the spread of HIV. Because today, with nearly 23 million people infected, AIDS is increasingly a threat to the global market economy," Dr. Piot said.

Dr. Piot reminded the audience that the AIDS epidemic continues to grow. According to UNAIDS estimates, 3.1 million people worldwide became infected with HIV in 1996, half of whom were women, and 1.5 million people died of AIDS related illness, nearly one quarter of the 6.4 million total HIV/AIDS- associated deaths since the start of the epidemic.

The European Commission has announced it would fund a $31 million population programme to bring improved reproductive health care to selected countries in Asia. The initiative will be implemented over the next four years by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and executed by a number of European non-governmental organisations.

The first phase of the programme is aimed at Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Nepal and Pakistan. The initiative is the result of ongoing discussions among European Union institutions over the past three years on follow-up to the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo in 1994.

For the UNFPA, the initiative represents one of the largest sums that the European Commission has committed to population programmes.

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women has concluded its sixteenth session, Friday, with the adoption of its final report, which contained concluding comments and recommendations on the reports presented by States parties.

It also adopted, in principle, the report of its working group II and acted on the recommendations of its other working group charged with examining Committee work methods. During the current session, the working group made a number of comments and recommendations on Article 7, which obligates States parties to eliminate discrimination against women in political and public life and on Article 8, which requires them to ensure women have an equal opportunity to represent their governments internationally.

The working group examined the reasons for women's low participation in political and public life, the role of different political systems and cultural and traditional factors.

The working group stated that women must be able to exercise political and economic power on an equal basis with men at both international and national levels to protect their interests and advance society as a whole.

The General Assembly Friday appointed candidates from India and Japan to the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), as it resumed its fifty-first session to consider two agenda items. The Assembly also paid tribute to the late President of the Marshall Islands, Amata Kahua.

Addressing the Assembly before it took action on the appointments, Pakistan's representative cautioned that the ACABQ could evolve into a "semi-exclusive and quasi-permanent club".

Members could serve for two decades and "acquire astronomical expertise and unchallengeable tribal memories", he said. He called for the adjusting of the elections to the ACABQ and the tradition of having unfinished terms filled by the nominees of incumbent States examined.

The Colima University Library, in Colima, Mexico, has been designated a United Nations depository library, making it part of an international network of 355 libraries in 142 countries that bring United Nations documents and publications to users around the world.

The Colima University Library becomes the third depository library in Mexico. In 1991, the World Bank identified the University of Colima as one of 10 universities in Mexico destined to become true centres of regional excellence by the turn of the century.

United Nations Member States, as well as non-members, are entitled to one "free depository", usually the national library in the capital city.

For information purposes only - - not an official record

From the United Nations home page at <> - email:

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