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United Nations Daily Highlights 96-10-09

United Nations Daily Highlights Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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


Tuesday, October 9, 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.


  • General Assembly continues debate as Liberia appeals for deployment of additional troops to sustain new focus on disarmament and demobilisation.
  • UN Secretary-General urges Governments to vigorously pursue actions to prevent natural disasters.
  • Cash deficit of the UN has accumulated despite efforts by many member States to meet their obligations, Under-Secretary-General for Administration and Management says.
  • UN Children's Fund and International Labour Organisation announce plans to strengthen cooperation in global fight against child labour.
  • World Health Organisation says it has prepared a comprehensive five-year plan to control spread of yellow fever in Africa.
  • UNESCO deplores murder of high school student in Algeria.
  • Second International Conference on the Elimination of Leprosy to open in New Delhi on Friday.

The Chairman of the Council of State of the Liberia National Transitional Government, Ruth Sando Perry has appealed for assistance to enable the deployment of additional troops to sustain the new focus on disarmament and demobilisation as well as ensure the rehabilitation and reconstruction of that war torn country.

She told the General Assembly that all parties to the conflict had pledged their commitment to the implementation of the revised schedule, adding that despite some signs of retrogression, her country's timely intervention and appeals had been heeded, thus averting derailment of the process. "We are aware that our efforts to maintain the ceasefire must be sustained at every stage of the peace process by timely intervention and insistence that the terms and conditions of the peace agreement must be respected by the parties," Ms. Perry said.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malawi, George Nga Mtafu has called on the leadership of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) to adhere to the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and related agreements. He told the Assembly that Malawi had always maintained that peace in Angola would be beneficial not only to the people of Angola but also to Southern African sub-continent as a whole. Mr. Mtafu welcomed the steady progress which had been achieved in Angola and hailed the Angolan Government for honouring its commitment.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal, Prakash Chandra Lohani has expressed concern at the steep decline in the resources of the United Nations operational activities for development. He told the Assembly that least developed countries needed the enhanced support of those agencies more than ever as most of the LDCs have embarked on far-reaching reforms. "In the absence of the flow of direct foreign investment, now available to many developing countries, the LDCs lacking basic physical infrastructure and material resources have nowhere else to turn to", Mr. Lohani said.

UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali has urged Governments, local authorities and citizens to vigorously pursue actions and activities to enhance their ability to prevent and mitigate the consequences of natural disasters. In that way, he said, they could make a valuable contribution to the realisation of the common goal of safe, prosperous and healthy cities.

In a message on the occasion of the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction with the theme: Cities at Risk, Dr. Boutros-Ghali said with some 45 per cent of the world's population now living in cities, and the percentage increasing daily, an unprecedented number of people were at risk.

The cash deficit of the United Nations has accumulated despite a heartening effort by many member States to meet their obligations to the UN, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Administration and Management, Joseph E. Connor told UN correspondents today. He said outstanding regular budget assessments as of 30 September totalled $714 million of which $398 million was related to assessments during 1996 and $316 million for prior years. He said 74% of the unpaid assessments was owed by the United States.
The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) have announced plans to strengthen their cooperation in the global fight against child labour. In a Letter of Intent signed on Tuesday at ILO Headquarters in Geneva, the two Organisations agreed to take steps to ensure coherent positions on policy and practice in regard to child labour and to cooperate in all countries where field activities were undertaken.

The two organisations said they would continue to encourage member States to ratify and implement relevant international labour standards on child labour and to cooperate in identifying the obstacles, where they exist, to their ratification and effective implementation.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has prepared a comprehensive 5- year US$190 million initiative to control the accelerating spread of yellow fever in Africa, where prevalence of the deadly mosquito-borne disease was considered to be greater than at any time since systematic immunisation for yellow fever was introduced in the 1930s.

The initiative to be coordinated with Ministries of Health, would integrate the partnership efforts of bilateral agencies, other United Nations bodies and non-governmental organisations. In an article published in an American medical journal on Wednesday, a group of WHO experts pointed to a dramatic resurgence of the disease in Africa during the past decade.

Some 200,000 cases of yellow fever now occurred yearly in 33 endemic countries of the continent, the vast majority of them in sub- Saharan Africa, according to the WHO experts. A number of yellow fever epidemics have occurred during the 1990s, including in Kenya (1992), Ghana(1993), Gabon (1994), Liberia (1995) and currently in Benin. In Nigeria, the largest endemic country, there had been an estimated one million cases of the disease during the past decade.

UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation Director- General Federico Mayor has deplored the murder of a high school student in Algeria. A 16-year-old boy was killed after a grenade was thrown at students as they left their classes around noon Monday in Khazrouna in north central Algeria, according to a UNESCO press release quoting news reports published Tuesday.

"Schools should be havens where students can exercise their fundamental right to education," Mr. Mayor said. "It is outrageous to turn these bastions of learning into battlefields. We must not allow terror and intolerance to victimise students and teachers," he said.

The Second International Conference on the Elimination of Leprosy will open in New Delhi on Friday, 11 October, with the theme of "Reaching Every Patient in Every Village". National authorities from major leprosy endemic countries and selected experts in the disease will appraise the progress made towards the target of eliminating the disease as a public health problem by the year 2000.

At the same time they would seek further commitment towards the goal on the part of endemic countries and other interested agencies. A primary purpose of the three-day Conference, organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Government of India was to remind all concerned that political will at the highest levels was absolutely essential if elimination was to become a reality.

For information purposes only - - not an official record

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

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