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UN Radio: World Economic Forum, HK Cleared of SARS

UN Radio: World Economic Forum – HK Cleared of SARS – New Appeal For Iraq – Liberian President’s Assets Frozen – Mid-East leaders Urged not to be deflected by violence – UN Observers Released in Congo

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  • UN Secretary-General offers a vision of a shared future at World Economic Forum

    The UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has called on world business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum in Jordan, to work towards a twenty-first century that's full of hope, and not fear. Mr. Annan referred to the two world wars in the first half of the last century and warned against the creation of a similar world of destruction, intolerance, and violence in this century. He called, among other things, for a world of truly free and fair markets where the poor can get the chance to improve their lot through the removal of trade barriers and the abolishing of subsidized competition. Mr. Annan was given a round of applause when he repeated the Security Council's resolution that "the day when Iraqis govern themselves must come quickly".

    WHO Gives Hong Kong the all-clear from SARS

    The World Health Organisation has declared Hong Kong free of SARS, the flu-like disease that has claimed the lives of nearly 300 hundred people in the city. The WHO's Head of Communicable Disease, Dr David Heymann - speaking to UN Radio from Hong Kong - says the health agency gave the all clear to Hong Kong because there have been no reported new cases of SARS in the city over the past 20 days. And he commends the authorities for dealing effectively with the outbreak.

    "Hong Kong has done a tremendous job in identifying the cases of SARS, in isolating those cases, and in preventing infections in the hospitals that occur from contact with those patients. And they've also done a very good job in identifying all the contacts of those patients so that they've been isolated also. They have done a temendous job with basic epidemiological tools."

    Dr. Heyman added that the WHO will be working with Beijing and other places in China, including Taiwan, as well as Toronto, to be sure that the SARS epidemic is stopped worldwide.

    UN Launches Fresh Appeal for Funds for Iraq

    The United Nations has launched a fresh appeal for $259 million dollars for humanitarian operations in Iraq. The UN Humanitarian chief Kenzo Oshima said the launch represented the second-largest inter-agency appeal after Afghanistan, and he called on donors to continue to allocate supplemental funds for Iraq. The UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette, in opening the appeal, stressed that, while the needs of Iraq were large, humanitarian needs elsewhere were also large. Ms Frechette also explained the need for this latest appeal for Iraq.

    "The conflict and its aftermath resulted in a wide range of urgent humanitarian needs. Many of these needs we had anticipated, including the need to support the Public Distribution System that provides food rations to the entire population. But many other requirements only emerged during and after the conflict."

    The Deputy Secretary General also stated the crucial role that UN agencies have been playing in Iraq, especially in the food sector, with food rations now being distributed throughout the country.

    Switzerland freezes Liberian Leader's Assets at Special Court's Request

    The Government of Switzerland has, at the request of the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone, blocked or frozen personal and business accounts related to the Liberian President, Charles Taylor. Mr. Taylor was indicted last month by the Special Court, for war crimes and crimes against humanity during the civil war in neighbouring Sierra Leone. UN spokeswoman Hua Jiang gave the Court's reaction to the developments in Switzerland saying that the court thanks the Swiss authorities for their rapid and decisive support of the Special Court.

    UN Secretary-General urges Israeli and Palestinian leaders not to be deflected by violence

    The UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appealed to the prime ministers of Israel and Palestine not to be deflected by the latest acts of violence. Mr. Annan called on the international community to help the two leaders to hold to their commitments.

    UN Mission in D R Congo probes abduction and release of two UN military observers

    The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MONUC, says it is investigating the abduction last Thursday of two of its military observers in the northeastern town of Beni. MONUC spokesman Toure Hamadoun says the two military observers, a Russian and a Tunisian were released unharmed on Saturday.

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