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United Nations Daily Highlights 96-10-16

United Nations Daily Highlights Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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


Wednesday, October 16, 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.


  • No one should have to face the evil of famine and starvation, UN Secretary-General says on occasion of World Food Day.
  • General Assembly grants observer status to International Criminal Police Organisation.
  • Ability of International Court of Justice to take actions suffers from certain limitations, President of the Court says.
  • Structure for assessment and decision-making in International Monetary Fund and other international financial institutions should be updated, Economic and Financial Committee is told.
  • There is need for additional resources and action-oriented programmes to ensure sustainable economic and social development, Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee hears.
  • Unfulfilled promises are tempering world's pride in recent disarmament successes, Committee on Disarmament and International Security is told.
  • Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions says UN Secretary-General should not carry out any involuntary separations solely to cut budget.

UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali says some 800 million people are chronically undernourished, adding that in a world of plenty, no-one should have to face the evil of famine and starvation.

In a message on the occasion of the World Food Day, the Secretary- General said the World Food Summit to be held in Rome next month provided an opportunity for decision-makers to reinvigorate and refocus their focus to end the global scourge of hunger. "The Summit gives the world community a platform for adopting new policies and pledging new resources. These are both urgently needed. It is now twenty-two years since the World Food Conference established the goal of eradicating hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition within a decade", he said.

Noting that without new initiatives and a redoubling of efforts, the global fight against hunger and malnutrition would never be won, the Secretary- General said the World Food Day would give the world community the chance to rededicate itself to the fight against the global scourge of hunger and malnutrition.

The General Assembly has decided to invite the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) to participate in its activities as an observer, by adopting, without a vote, a resolution introduced by Sweden on Tuesday.

Speaking following the granting of observer status, the President of Interpol, Bjorn Eriksson, said the move would extend the platform of cooperation between the United Nations and Interpol and further improve their years of collaboration.

The ability of the International Court of Justice to take actions in service of peace suffered from certain limitations, the President of the International Court, Judge Mohammed Bedjaoui said on Tuesday as he introduced the Court's annual report to the General Assembly.

Describing the structural limitations, Judge Bedjaoui said international law remained both heterogeneous and fragmentary, which was a further challenge for an international court, whose work in the service of peace was entirely dependent on the application of that law.

Since the subjects of international law were both creators and targets of the rules of that law, it often fell to them to interpret and apply those rules, he said. When the Court made a decision in such cases, it was all the actors on the international stage, not merely the parties to a dispute, who were affected by that decision, he noted.

Judge Bedjaoui pointed out that the Court was confronting circumstantial constraints due to grave material difficulties. Those constraints seriously imperiled the very discharge of the Court's duties at a time of greatly increased activity, Judge Badjaoui said.

The representative of Malaysia, along with many speakers echoed the President's concern about inadequate financial support for the Court. Noting that the situation was of particular concern at a time when States and international organisations were increasing their use of the World Court, he called upon the United Nations to ensure that the Court was given sufficient funds to continue to function as the premier judicial body of today.

Several speakers also called for efforts to strengthen the International Court of Justice, proposing, among others, that the Secretary-General be authorised to request advisory opinions from the Court. Representatives also called for expanded usage of the Court by the General Assembly, the Security Council and other UN bodies.

The structure for assessment and decision-making in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international financial institutions should be updated to better represent the state of the worlds economy, the representative of Mexico, Gerardo Lozano told the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) on Tuesday, as it continued its general debate on the world economic situation.

He said the so called "Mexico crisis" had highlighted the need for quick response by the international financial system to emergency financial situations, stressing that the growing globalisation demanded cooperation in meeting common challenges.

Emphasizing that the United Nations was needed to combat the economic and social causes of conflicts as part of a comprehensive strategy to prevent war, the representative of Sweden, Jan Eliasson said sound security policies must be based on the understanding that there would be no security in the north until the peoples of the south had a decent life.

The representative of Japan, Hisashi Owada said African development was one of the most pressing issues of the international agenda in the post-cold- war period. Stating that the integration of African economies into the international system would benefit the rest of the world, he said the upcoming Tokyo International Conference on African Development would be predicated on the belief that an economic take-off in Africa would enhance the well-being of its people.

New and additional resources and action-oriented commitments were needed nationally and internationally to ensure sustainable economic and social development, the representative of Ethiopia told the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) on Tuesday.

The United Nations agencies and international financial institutions must coordinate their efforts, the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh, Anwarul Karim Chowdhury said, adding that social disintegration, growing unemployment and unfavourable international economic environment continued to retard any meaningful progress towards social development and challenged efforts to achieve social justice.

A number of Speakers drew attention to the problems facing youth and the importance of giving them skills so they could play a fuller role in society.

The world's pride in recent disarmament successes was tempered by a lingering sense of promises unfulfilled, the representative of Canada, Mark Moher told the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) on Tuesday.

"We must not forget that a cult was able to use toxin weapons. And what a cult can do, nation States can easily exceed if not constrained by mutual commitments and assurances," he said, stressing the need to meet existing challenges in the realm of chemical and biological weapons.

Several speakers expressed concern over the delay in entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention. They called on the United States and the Russian Federation in particular, as the two Powers possessing the largest chemical arsenals, to ratify the Convention.

The Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions has told the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary Committee) that the Secretary-General should not carry out any involuntary separations solely to cut the budget, since the General Assembly had not decided to abolish posts or considered the Secretary-General's budget-cutting proposals.

The Advisory Committee also recommended that Staff Regulation 9.1 be clarified to ensure that "reduction of staff" was used only after a post had been abolished, with the understanding that any changes in the number of regular budget posts required the Assembly's specific approval.

For information purposes only - - not an official record

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

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