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United Nations Daily Highlights 96-10-29

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

DAILY HIGHLIGHTS

Tuesday, October 29, 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

  • UN Secretary-General expresses concern at recent kidnapping incident in Guatemala City.
  • Attention should be given to needs of countries with economies in transition - Economic and Financial Committee hears.
  • Economic growth does not necessarily ensure gender equality - Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee is told.
  • International Narcotics Control Board to review role of criminal justice system in global fight against drug trafficking.
  • Special Political and Decolonisation Committee decides to ask General Assembly to encourage resumption of direct talks between Morocco and POLISARIO FRONT.
  • Granting Security Council power to invoke action by proposed International Criminal Court can undermine that court's judicial independence - Legal Committee is told.
  • International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General tells Assembly of ever-widening role of Agency in verifying nuclear arms control agreements.
  • UN Development Programme hosts signing ceremony at United Nations establishing International Vaccine Institute in Seoul.


UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali has said that he was‘ 19 October in which a senior member of the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca (URNG) was involved, the Spokesman to the Secretary-General Sylvana Foa said today. She said the Government of Guatemala had issued a statement on Monday about the incident.

"The Secretary-General deplores this incident and its damaging consequences for the peace negotiations, under the auspices of the United Nations, which are very close to a successful conclusion," the Spokesman said.

She said the Secretary-General had called upon the UNRG to take action necessary to restore conditions in which a final peace agreement could promptly be reached in Guatemala.


Attention should be given to the needs of countries with economies in transition, without affecting assistance to developing countries, the representative of Armenia, Haik Papian told the Second Committee (Economic and Financial). He said the integration of countries with economies in transition into the world economy and involvement in multilateral institutions would have a positive impact.

The representative of Poland stressed that countries with economies in transition still needed help from the international community in their efforts to achieve efficient open-market economies and balanced sustainable development.

Noting that improved access to European markets for Eastern and Central European countries provided by various association agreements with the European Union had expanded trade in those countries, the representative of Ireland, speaking on behalf of the European Union, acknowledged the useful cooperation in the harmonisation of standards and norms between the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) and the Union to ensure that the two Organisations did not become barriers to trade.


Economic growth did not necessarily ensure gender equality, but it could only be sustained if matched by advances in the status of women. The representative of Singapore, Yatiman Yusof told the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural), that economic globalization increased direct foreign investment and expanded job opportunities, thus allowing more women to join the workforce and reach decision-making positions.‘ be seized to promote sustainable development and gender equality.

Several other speakers stressed the importance of women's full participation in development. The representative of Sierra Leone said due to socio- cultural beliefs, religious practices and the gender-biased interpretation of laws, women in developing countries suffered unequal treatment, rights and opportunity.


The role of criminal justice systems in the global fight against drug trafficking is to be reviewed by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), during its 61st session beginning Thursday in Vienna.

Based on an examination of the strengths and weaknesses of the many national criminal justice systems around the world, the Board is expected to make recommendations to encourage progress in the work of national justice systems and in international judicial cooperation. That effort is required under the terms of the 1988 UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances.

The Board, an independent body whose 13 members serve in their individual capacities, is charged with monitoring State's compliance with international drug control treaties.


The General Assembly would be asked to encourage the resumption of direct talks between Morocco and the Frente Popular para la Liberacion de Saguia el-Hamra y de Rio de Oro (POLISARIO) to relaunch the peace process in Western Sahara.

By the terms of an orally-revised draft resolution approved without a vote by the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonisation), the Assembly would also be asked to express serious concern about obstacles to the settlement plan, and reaffirm the United Nations responsibility to the people of Western Sahara, as well as its commitment to a free, fair and impartial referendum for self-determination. The draft resolution stresses the importance of the cease-fire as an integral part of the settlement plan.


In the Assembly's Legal Committee (Sixth), speakers have warned that granting the Security Council power to invoke action by the proposed‘ independence.

As the Legal Committee began considering the report of the Preparatory Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, speakers said it would not be appropriate to confer new functions on the Security Council beyond what was provided for in the Charter.

South Africa stressed the importance of setting 1998 as the date for the convening of the diplomatic conference required to approve the draft statute and establish the court.

The Chairman of the Preparatory Committee, Adriaan Bos of the Netherlands also addressed the Committee and said the holding of the conference of plenipotentiaries by 1998 now seems feasible. He said 1998 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which has envisaged the establishment of the court.


The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had an ever-growing role in the prevention of the spread of nuclear weapons and in verifying nuclear arms control and disarmament agreements, the Director-General, Hans Blix, told the General Assembly in presenting the IAEA's report for 1995. He said the Agency had also taken new responsibilities in the safe development of nuclear energy worldwide, noting that the increasing number of regional nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties and the longstanding multilateral Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) all required and relied upon IAEA safeguards.

Meanwhile, Canada introduced a draft resolution by which the Assembly would reaffirm its confidence in the role of the Agency and urge all States to strive for effective and harmonious international cooperation in carrying out the work of the Agency. It would commend the Director-General and the Agency itself for the continuing, impartial efforts to implement the safeguards agreement still in force between the Agency and the Democratic Peopleņņs Republic of Korea, and for the strenuous efforts in the implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.


Twelve member States of the United Nations and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have come together to be the initial signatories of an agreement to establish the International Vaccine Institute, a new‘ of Korea. As many as fifteen other countries have indicated their desire to sign the agreement in the near future.

The Institute will fill a large gap in international vaccine work. It will be the only global research centre devoted to improving the production and use of vaccines in developing countries. The Institute will also provide facilities and training programmes aimed at strengthening expertise and capacity in developing countries for vaccine- related work.

Administrator of UN Development Programme (UNDP), James Gustave Speth, who hosted the ceremony said it will be the world's only international research centre devoted to vaccines for developing countries, adding that it "should serve as a catalyst to ensure that the benefits generated by the new technology will lead to healthier lives and livelihoods, especially for the poor."

In June 1994, an independent committee recommended Seoul as the best location for the Institute. The committee also recommended that the Institute seek to promote cooperation and collaboration among centres of excellence in the vaccine-related sciences, particularly those located in Asia. The UNDP's project management team has focused its initial efforts on institutional development and strategic planning, and on several priority activities, including the establishment of the Institute's Network Coordinating Group, linking centres of excellence in vaccine sciences and technologies and organising training workshops on vaccine production and technology.


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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