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UN Radio: Annan Calls for UN Force In Liberia

UN Radio: Annan Calls for Robust Mandate for UN Peacekeeping Force for Liberia

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  • Special Report: Economic Report on Africa 2003
  • Annan Calls for Agreement to Allow Developing Countries to Produce Cheap Generic Drugs for Export

    Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called for an agreement that allows developing countries that can produce cheap generic drugs to export them to other developing countries. The Secretary-General told reporters this is one of two crucial issues on which decisions should be taken during trade negotiations at a ministerial meeting at Cancun in September. He says decisions taken there would determine whether poor countries are given a real chance to trade their way out of poverty. The other issue, Mr. Annan says, is broad and potentially divisive for the economic prospects of developing countries - it's the issue of trade in agricultural products:

    "We must reach an agreement that allows farmers in poor countries a fair chance to compete, both in world markets and at home. They should no longer face exclusion from rich countries markets by protective tariffs and quotas."

    Mr. Annan says developing countries should not have to face unfair competition from heavily subsidised producers in rich countries.

    Food Situation Remains Critical in Monrovia: WFP

    In Liberia, the situation in the capital Monrovia remains calm but tense with fighting still raging around the port. The UN food agency (WFP)'s Gregory Blamoh says the current food situation remains critical:

    "This is primarily because WFP cannot access the stores and be able to help the tens of thousands of displaced people within Monrovia and in the suburbs. There is no commercial activity because of the fighting…"

    WFP says as a result, whatever commodity that is available is being sold at exorbitant prices that most of the people cannot afford.

    Annan Calls for Robust Mandate for UN Peacekeeping Force for Liberia

    Secretary-General Kofi Annan has asked the Security Council to "authorize a robust mandate for the United Nations peacekeeping force" in Liberia "in order to ensure that it has a credible deterrence capability." The Secretary-General said the "overall objective of the UN peacekeeping operation would be to support the implementation" of a "comprehensive peace agreement, culminating in the holding of free and fair elections." The deployment of the UN force would be the final in the three-phase effort to try to end the fighting in Liberia. The first phase would be a vanguard force from West African nations. The deployment of a full multination force would be the second phase.

    Africa's Economic Outlook Mixed: Report

    A new report says Africa's economic outlook for this year is mixed with growth expected to rebound modestly to just over 4 per cent. The report cites among other things, the failure of the Doha Development Round of multilateral trade negotiations to provide immediate duty-free and quota-free market access to the poorest countries, as hampering Africa's exports. But it says despite the weak performance, African countries continue to strengthen and intensify their focus on reducing poverty. It ranks Botswana, South Africa, Mauritius, Namibia and Tunisia as Africa's top performers, while the Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Chad, Guinea and Nigeria are at the bottom.

    UNHCR Mobilizes Aid For Internal Returnees In Northern Iraq

    The UN refugee agency (UNHCR), is mobilising assistance for internally displaced Iraqi Kurds who are returning to their homes in northern Iraq.
    The agency has dispatched tents, blankets and other relief supplies to ease the plight of the returnees. UNHCR Spokesman Peter Kessler says that in addition to the internally displaced persons, the agency is assisting others.

    "UNHCR is laying the groundwork for the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees who are currently outside the country. Our first convoy returned today and arrived in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. It's the first convoy of returning Iraqis back to the country since the fall of the Saddam Hussein government."

    UNHCR is working with other UN agencies and non-governmental organizations to clear landmines from around the communities and laying out plans to dig wells and bring in electricity.

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