UN Radio: World Economic Recovery Stalls
UN Radio: Economic Recovery Stalls – Iraq Fund-Raising Summit - Fighting Intensifies in Monrovia - Security Council Mission Leaves for West Africa
World Economic Recovery Stalled by Uncertainty over Iraq
The recovery in the world economy forecast for late last year was delayed primarily by geo-political developments. A new World Economic and Social Survey launched at UN headquarters in New York Wednesday, points to the long global debate over waging war on Iraq as the main factor in delaying the economic recovery. The director of UN development policy analysis is Ian Kinniburgh. "They were the uncertainties brought about by the pre-Iraq invasion situation - they generated a lot of uncertainty, discouraged consumers from spending, investors from investing and generally, it was the main factor, we believe, in derailing the recovery that we saw at that time." The new survey says that as a result, the global economy will grow only at an annual rate of just over 2 % this year. The UN predicts a growth of more than 3% in 2004.
Fund-raising summit for Iraq slated for October
A conference to raise money for Iraq's reconstruction is planned for October. UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq Ramiro Lopez da Silva says the October date is to allow for the establishment of an interim administration with whom the international community can engage in working the construction plan. "And for that to happen, we need to give time for the political process being developed by the Coalition Provisional Authority to mature and those organs representing the Iraqi interim administration established and functioning." The administrator of the UN Development Programme Mark Malloch Brown said the conference "won't be a permanent subsidy for the international community". Rather, he described it as "a strategic, upfront start-up to bridge a gap."
Fighting Intensifies in Monrovia
In Liberia, fighting within the city of Monrovia intensified Wednesday, shattering a ceasefire signed eight days ago. There are reports of shells exploding in crowded neighborhoods. Humanitarian officials report that thousands of displaced persons are moving from west of Monrovia to the centre of the city. Security conditions make humanitarian activities in Monrovia nearly impossible. Aid workers say the internally displaced continue to be harassed; they have been robbed, raped and their camps looted. Non-governmental organizations report that cases of cholera in Monrovia have increased. They say water and sanitation continue to be a major problem especially at the national stadium where more than 70,000 people are sheltered.
Annan concerned at renewed intensified fighting in Monrovia
Secretary-General Kofi Annan has reacted to the renewed and intensified fighting between Government troops and rebel forces in Monrovia. The Secretary-General said this development constitutes a flagrant violation of the recently-concluded ceasefire agreement and casts a shadow on the peace talks in Accra, Ghana that had raised high hopes for the peaceful settlement of the conflict. UN Spokesperson Hua Jiang says the Secretary-General once again condemns any attempt to resolve political differences through armed violence. "He calls on all the parties to cease hostilities immediately in order to give a chance to the peace negotiations and allow for the safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance to Liberia's traumatized population." The Secretary-General also called on the parties to refrain from any action that might further endanger the lives of the civilian population and to fully respect international humanitarian laws.
Security Council Mission Leaves for West Africa
Council mission to West Africa leaves New York tonight for
Guinea-Bissau. British Ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock says
the mission is necessary and shows the council is paying
close attention to Africa which, he adds, badly needs
attention. He says there are three principal issues that the
council would like to deal with on the mission but all of
them tend to affect the regional situation as well. "The
shape of the mission is to start off in Guinea-Bissau which
is more directly a question of peace building in an internal
situation, trying to get a sensitive and fragile internal
situation going better, leading up to we hope, rescheduled
elections." Besides Guinea-Bissau, the other countries of
particular concern to the mission are Cote d'Ivoire and
Liberia. The mission will also visit Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra
Leone and Guinea.