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UN Concerned About Breakdown Of Law In Iraq

UN Agencies Concerned About Breakdown Of Law In Iraq

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In Baghdad, numerous medical facilities have neither water nor electricity. And United Nations aid agencies are concerned about the breakdown of law and order, which has been accompanied by widespread looting, in the Iraqi capital. Spokesman for the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, David Wimhurst, says this breakdown of order has further exacerbated the very difficult conditions in which Baghdad hospitals are now operating.

"Preventing access to medical facilities by hospital staff and other essential service workers. Health workers, water treatment technicians and generator maintenance crews must be provided safe access to their places of work."

The spokesman said the United Nations is urging all parties to the conflict to guarantee access to medical facilities for all health and essential staff.

Annan Calls For Steps To Protect Civilian Population

Meanwhile, Secretary-General Kofi Annan, has called for steps to be taken to ensure that calm is restored and the civilian population protected:

"I have also been hearing about situations in hospitals, lack of medication and all that. We are trying to do whatever we can with the World Health Organization, Red Cross and our own humanitarian people to see how we can get medication in as soon as possible."

Human Rights Chief Concerned About Civilian Deaths In Iraqi War

High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello, is deeply disturbed by reports of the increasing number of deaths of civilians, as well as injuries in the conflict in Iraq. He said the impact on civilians must never be underestimated, noting that the innocent are invariably war's main victims. The high commissioner also expressed concern that the fighting has already claimed the lives of 12 journalists and injured several others.

Security Council Discusses North Korea Nuclear Issue

Members of the Security Council met behind closed doors Wednesday to discuss North Korea's nuclear issue.
Council president, Adolfo Zinser of Mexico, said members of the Council expressed their concern and will continue to follow-up the matter. Meanwhile, United States ambassador, John Negraponte, said diplomatic contacts were taking place between all the countries in the region of the Korean peninsula:

"We've stressed we seek a diplomatic solution to this question and I think the fact that we continue to seek such a solution means that we believe it's within the realm of possibility. But I think we'll have to see how things play out."

The UN nuclear agency (IAEA) decided in February to refer North Korea's case to the Security Council after it expelled UN inspectors and threatened to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Annan Deplores Israel's Excessive Use Of Force

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has expressed deep concern over Israel's air attack in Gaza City Tuesday night. The attack resulted in the deaths of seven Palestinians and the wounding of dozens more. United Nations Spokesman, Fred Eckhard, says while the Secretary-General recognizes Israel's right of self-defence, he calls on Israel to conduct itself in a manner consistent with international humanitarian law:

"He deplores the use of excessive force in a densely populated area and reiterates his opposition to extra-judicial killings."

The Secretary-General believes the best path to peace is through full implementation of the road map proposed by the Quartet, made up of the United Nations, the United States, Russia and the European Union.

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