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United Nations Daily Highlights 96-10-11

United Nations Daily Highlights Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

DAILY HIGHLIGHTS

Friday, October 11, 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.

HEADLINES

  • Security Council extends mandate of UN Verification Mission to Angola; urges progress on peace process.
  • UN Secretary-General congratulates recipients of 1996 Nobel Peace Prize; expresses hope of continuing negotiations for solution of East Timor issue.
  • UN Secretary-General expresses concern at deteriorating situation in Eastern Zaire; urges all sides to show restraint.
  • Several Member States welcome the Secretary-General's report: most comprehensive and useful in analysing activities of United Nations.
  • Fifty-first session of UN General Assembly concludes general debate.
  • Disarmament and International Security Committee to begin general debate on Monday on several disarmament issues.
  • "Important progress" reported in drafting of proposed policy statement and plan of action for World Food Summit.
  • Economic viability must not be used to justify delay in self- determination, Fourth Committee is told.


The Security Council has decided to extend the mandate of the UN Verification Mission to Angola (UNAVEM III) until 11 December 1996. Unanimously adopting resolution 1075 (1996) on Friday, the Council expressed deep concern at the lack of significant progress in the Angolan peace process over the past three months, and urged the President of Angola, Jose Eduardo dos Santos and the leader of the Uniao para a Independencia Total de Angola (UNITA), Jonas Savimbi to meet at the earliest opportunity to resolve all outstanding issues.

The Council expressed the expectation that the government of Angola and UNITA would, without delay, and in a spirit of mutual cooperation, uphold their commitments and obligations under the Lusaka Protocol and the meeting of the two leaders in Libreville.

It underlined the importance it attached to UNITA following through on its commitments, reaffirmed at its Third Extraordinary Congress held at Bailundo from 20 to 27 August 1996, including the completion of its transformation from an armed opposition to a political party.

The Council set 20 November as the deadline for UNITA to make substantial and genuine progress in fulfilling its tasks in the Mediation Document and its commitment under the Lusaka Protocol, failing which it would consider the imposition of further measures under the Charter of the United Nations, including trade measures against UNITA and restriction on the travel of UNITA personnel.

It demanded that all parties and others concerned in Angola take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of United Nations and other international personnel and premises, and also asked the parties to guarantee the safety and freedom of movement of humanitarian supplies throughout the country.

The Council underlined the need for respect for human rights, stressing that the Angolan parties should give greater attention to preventing incidents of human rights abuse, and investigating alleged human rights violations.

Regretting the casualties caused to UNAVEM troops by landmines, the Council expressed serious concern about interference by UNITA with mine- clearing activities and called upon both parties to intensify their demining efforts.


UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali has welcomed the award of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize to Monsignor Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo and Mr. Jose Ramos-Horta, and congratulated the two recipients, the Spokesman for the Secretary-General Sylvana Foa announced today. Both Bishop Belo and Mr. Ramos-Horta have participated actively in the All-inclusive Intra-East Timorese Dialogue facilitated by the Secretary-General, Ms. Foa stated. She added that the Secretary-General has been exercising, since 1983, his good offices to find a just, comprehensive and internationally acceptable solution to the issue of East Timor.

The Spokesman said the Secretary-General expressed the hope that the award would positively affect the continuing negotiations in the search for a lasting settlement. In this capacity, Dr. Boutros-Ghali has had the opportunity to consult on various occasions with Bishop Belo whose wisdom and commitment to peace and human rights have won him the respect of his people and of the international community.


UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali has expressed concern that the situation in Eastern Zaire, especially in South Kivu, was deteriorating still further, with serious fighting having been reported between Zairian authorities and groups of Banyamulenge, the Spokesman for the Secretary- General Sylvana Foa said today. She said the Secretary- general urged all sides to show restraint and to exercise the utmost caution in protecting the civilian population of the affected areas.

He is also concerned that a senior Zairian military official, General Eluki Monga Aundu is reported in the press to have accused the UN High Commissioner (UNHCR) for Refugees of being actively involved in what he is said to have called "aggression against Zaire," the Spokesman stated. She recalled similar accusations in the second half of September that led the Secretary- General to despatch his Special Envoy, Mr. Ibrahima Fall to the region. Following Mr. Fall's mission, the Government of Zaire admitted that UNHCR had not been involved in any such activities.

Given the great threat to the security of the UN staff in the area that such accusations can pose, the Secretary-General has called on the Zairian authorities to withdraw unequivocally these baseless and outdated allegations, according to Ms. Foa. International staff in the area have said there have been threats and harassment against UN staff, she added.


UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali today presented his report on the work of the organisation. A number of Member States welcomed the Secretary-General's report saying it was most comprehensive and useful in analysing the activities of the United Nations, the Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Sylvana Foa said today.

Representatives of several member States said they agreed that the three pillars of our future work are peace, development and democratisation, noting that much has been accomplished in the past years in the area of reform, but there cannot be real reform without a sound financial basis, the Spokesman stated. They also welcomed the Secretary- General's emphasis on the importance of economic and social development in the work of the organisation, Ms. Foa added.

The representative of the Russian Federation, Mr. S.V. Lavrov said that "it is good that the Secretary-General puts an emphasis on the idea we have long since advocated: long term solution of the UN financing problem is in the development of a new scale of assessments to be trusted by all Member States. We intend to press for such a solution within the Working Group on the Financial Situation." The representative of Poland, Jan Woroniecki indicated that, although they would prefer further cost reduction through the redeployment of resources rather than staff cuts, restructuring did not exhaust the objectives of the reform of the United Nations as they saw them.


The fifty-first session of the UN General Assembly has concluded its general debate. During the three-week debate, member States reviewed issues of global concern. General Assembly President, Ambassador Razali Ismail of Malaysia said that the major themes addressed during the debate covered all the pressing issues that defined and challenged their role as countries with specific interests and our understanding of the multidimensional nature of global issues.

"Many statements were made that reaffirmed the need to reform the United Nations, restore its credibility and delivery to make the United Nations, enhance its relevance and applicability. The reform of the Security Council and the financial crisis besetting the United Nations were particularly stressed," the General Assembly President said.

Major themes during the debate included UN reform, development cooperation, elimination of nuclear weapons, regional conflicts, and transboundary threats of terrorism and drugs.


The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) will meet on Monday to begin its general debate on a wide range of disarmament items. During that session the Committee will address such issues as nuclear and conventional disarmament, control of fissile materials for weapons purposes, the problem of landmines and international traffic in small arms. The Committee's work began this year against the background of the General Assembly's adoption, on 10 September of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) aimed at ending more than five decades of nuclear test explosions.
A committee of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has reported important progress towards completion of a Rome Declaration and Plan of Action to be adopted by next month's World Food Summit. The FAO Council agreed unanimously to a proposal by the committee, designated as the preparatory body for the Summit, to meet again at FAO headquarters October 28-30 to complete work on the documents.

Ambassador Pedro A. Medrano Rojas of Chile, Chairman of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) told the Council that significant results had been achieved. "The atmosphere was positive, constructive, and I think we can say we have made important progress. We clarified our positions and are now in much better position to move forward swiftly toward the solution of pending problems," the Chairman of the Committee on CFS said. The World Food summit will be held from 13 - 17 November, in Rome.


Self-determination and independence were sacrosanct and could not be circumscribed by considerations of size or geography, several speakers told the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonisation) as it concluded its general debate on decolonisation matters. The argument of economic viability could not be used as justification to set aside the process of self-determination, the representative of Tanzania, Timothy Musinga Bandora told the meeting. The representative of Iran, Jalal Samadi said the lack of progress in the area of decolonisation was a direct result of the reluctance of Administering powers to fulfil their duties under the UN Charter.

The Committee heard five petitioners on western Sahara, including former members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro (POLISARIO). Moustapha Bouh Bazarani, petitioner on the issue of Western Sahara said the POLISARIO was a totalitarian organisation and its leadership did not want a referendum in which all Saharawis could participate. Another petitioner, a former POLISARIO member said humanitarian aid by the West was being used by the POLISARIO for its own purposes.


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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