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United Nations Daily Highlights, 97-02-25

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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: unnews@un.org

DAILY HIGHLIGHTS

Tuesday, 25 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.

HEADLINES

  • Cooperation of States is vital for success and functioning of International Tribunal for Rwanda, United Nations Secretary-General tells Inter-Parliamentary Workshop.
  • United Nations Secretary-General reappoints Catherine Bertini as Executive Director of World Food Programme.
  • United Nations submits to Iraq its first weekly report on status of implementation of oil-for-food formula.
  • More reliable data is needed for effective policy formulation, representative of Netherlands tells Commission on Population and Development.
  • Do less wrangling and more negotiating, New Zealand Foreign Minister tells Conference on Disarmament.
  • System of stable democratic relations based on rule of law will help reduce political turmoil that leads to terrorism, Ad Hoc Committee on Terrorist Bombings hears.


UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says the cooperation of States is vital for the success, if not the very functioning, of the International Tribunal for Rwanda.

In a message to the Inter-Parliamentary Workshop on International Tribunal for Rwanda, held in Cape Town, South Africa, Mr. Annan told Parliamentarians that in the absence of an enforcement agency of its own, the International Tribunal, like its twin-Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, should rely heavily on the cooperation of States in all stages of the legal process, including the collecting of evidence, carrying out on-site investigations, the legal service of documents, and the arrest and surrender of accused individuals.

The Secretary-General said that implementing legislation was necessary to give effect, within national boundaries, to orders and requests of the Tribunal. "In the context of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, more than a dozen States have already enacted implementing legislation. But none of the States neighbouring Rwanda or in proximity to it has yet enacted enabling legislation. This state of affairs must change, " Mr. Annan said.

He explained that on various occasions, the Security Council, the prosecutor and Judges of the Rwanda Tribunal had impressed upon African governments the need to cooperate with the Tribunal.


United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has decided to reappoint Ms. Catherine Bertini, for a further period of five years, as Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), according to the Associate Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Juan Carlos Brandt. Ms. Bertini was appointed Executive Director of the World Food Programme in April 1992.
The United Nations has submitted to Iraq its first weekly report on the status of the implementation of Security Council resolution 986 regarding the oil-for-food formula, Associate Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Juan Carlos Brandt said. He said the report indicated that as of 21 February, thirty-one oil contracts were approved with a total volume of 38.4 million barrels.

Two additional oil contracts were approved Monday bringing the total of oil contracts approved to thirty-three and the total volume to approximately 41.2 million barrels, according to the Spokesman. The United Nations would provide the Government of Iraq with weekly updates of the implementation of the oil-for food formula, on the basis of an agreement reached between the Organisation and the Iraqi Government, the Spokesman said.


To formulate effective policies on international migration, the Commission on Population and Development needed more reliable data on migration, the direction of migrant flows and the characteristics of migrants, the representative of the Netherlands told the Commission.

As the Commission continued its session devoted to international migration with special emphasis on the linkages between migration and development and on gender issues and the family, the representative of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union and Associated States, said it was necessary to analyse such data at an early stage, so the international community could design effective migration policies.

In addition, the international community required research at the micro- level on migration flows within and between countries and regions, as well as on specific topics, such as employment and income, women and migration, the links between rural-urban and international migration and the function of financial remittances.

The representative of Peru said the distinction between different types of migrants should be recognised, as specific steps were needed to deal with issues involving divergent migrant groups. He also emphasised that migrants and refugees, those affected by migration policy, should be heard.


The Conference on Disarmament must put less effort into wrangling about process and more into negotiating measures, not only on nuclear weapons, but also to verify the ban on biological weapons and to support implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of New Zealand. New Zealand hoped the Convention would come into force in late April with the United States and the Russian Federation among its members, he added.

Don Mckinnon, the country's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and also its Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, told the weekly plenary meeting of the Conference in Geneva that a ban on production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons was "a step ripe for negotiation", but said it should be part of a broader approach aimed at overall nuclear disarmament.

An Ad Hoc Committee with an overarching mandate to contribute to complete disarmament could begin immediately alongside fissile-material "cut-off" negotiations, he added.

Also addressing the Conference was the Secretary of State and First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Poland, Eugeniusz Wyzner, who cautioned that the promise of early, tangible results from the Conference would be jeopardised or lost if efforts to agree on a work programme "were to be complicated by linkage of issues and belittling or total disregard of their intrinsic merit".

The Deputy Minister called for immediate re-establishment of an ad hoc committee to pursue "cut-off" negotiations and said the Conference also should take on responsibility for negotiating a global ban on anti- personnel land-mines.

The representative of Indonesia said the Conference's highest priority issue, nuclear disarmament, was not receiving sufficient attention. He called for an ad hoc committee to focus on that goal and added that his delegation "deeply regretted the recalcitrant attitude adopted by some nuclear-weapon States towards the need to immediately negotiate a treaty banning nuclear weapons".

Such countries had consistently denied their legal commitments to nuclear disarmament assumed under Article VI of the Treaty on the Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), he said.


A system of stable democratic relations based on the rule of law and sustainable social development would help reduce political turmoil that led to terrorism, the Ad Hoc Committee on the elaboration of a convention on the suppression of terrorist bombings was told, as it began its first session.

Expressing that view, the Observer for Switzerland, said that the United Nations was also correct in adopting measures to prevent and suppress terrorist acts, since some of them were motivated by criminal, rather than political reasons.

The statement was made after the representative of France introduced a draft international convention for the suppression of terrorist bombings on behalf of the "Group of Seven" major industrialised countries and the Russian Federation. The draft will be considered mostly in the Committee's working group of the whole, with plenary meetings held to hear general statements.

The representative of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia said the draft convention should give the Secretary-General a more central role than it currently proposed. Rather than merely transmitting the outcome of the prosecution of alleged offenders by states, he should be substantially involved in all efforts to combat terrorist activities, the representative said.


For information purposes only - - not an official record

From the United Nations home page at <http://www.un.org> - email: unnews@un.org


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