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UN Radio: De Mello's Work Should Be Completed

UN Radio: Annan Says De Mello's Work in Iraq Should Be Completed

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  • Annan Says De Mello's Work in Iraq Should Be Completed

    Secretary-General Kofi Annan paid tribute to his late envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello, Saturday, saying Mr. Vieira de Mello's work in Iraq should be completed. The Secretary-General said Mr. de Mello's dying wish was that the United Nations mission there should not be pulled out. Mr. Annan's comments were made at a memorial service in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, over the weekend. Mr. de Mello was killed last Tuesday in a bomb attack on UN headquarters in Baghdad.

    Further Measures to Be Taken to Strengthen Security in Iraq: Annan

    The Secretary-General said further measures would be taken to strengthen the security of UN personnel in Iraq. But he added that the option of withdrawing is not something we can consider. Annan told reporters in Brazil that the people of Iraq need the United Nations: "they want us to stay". Asked about the possibility of multilateral forces being sent to Iraq, Mr. Annan said this was an issue under discussion. He said that he's intimately involved in those discussions, adding that it would take some time to come to a conclusion. Meanwhile, over the weekend, UN humanitarian agencies operating in Iraq resumed some of their emergency humanitarian work in Baghdad for the first time since last week's bombing. Staff from both the UN children's agency (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization are back doing work in the hospitals. The World Food Programme has resumed its work with its public distribution system.

    UN Mid-East Envoy Condemns Israel's Extra-Judicial Assassinations

    The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Terje Roed Larsen, has condemned Israel's extra-judicial assassination Sunday, of four Palestinians. Israeli helicopter gun-ships fired missiles into a car in Gaza City reportedly killing a Hamas militant and three Islamic University students. More from UN Spokesperson Hua Jiang.

    "Roed Larsen reiterated the UN's consistent and vocal opposition to such assassinations. He said that Israel clearly has a right to live in peace and security. However, no country can resort to these extra-judicial measures."

    Roed-Larsen called on all parties to halt violent actions and immediately re-engage in the constructive process toward peace.

    Annan Condemns Terrorist Bomb Attack in Mombai

    Meanwhile, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has condemned the terrorist bomb attack today in Mombai, India, killing more than 40 innocent civilians and injuring many more. A UN spokesperson reiterated that the Secretary-General is adamantly opposed to all acts of terrorism, from whatever quarter.

    WFP Grants Kenya $2 Million for HIV/AIDS Project

    The UN food agency (WFP) has announced the start of a project to help thousands of Kenyans affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. WFP's Public Affairs Officer in Nairobi, Kenya, Laura Mello, says there are about 2 million Kenyans infected with HIV/AIDS, leading the Kenyan government to declare HIV/AIDS a "national disaster".

    "This is a pilot project for the time being and it's mainly to assist orphans and caregivers of orphans affected by HIV/AIDS. As you know the disease has a major impact on productive adults, those who normally are in charge --the breadwinners of a family."

    WFP is providing an initial $2 million worth of food assistance for the pilot project in the Busia district in southwest Kenya.

    UN to Convene Global Conference on Problems of Landlocked Countries

    The United Nations this week convenes the first global conference to address the specific needs and problems of landlocked countries. Secretary-General of the conference, Anwarul Chowdhury of Bangladesh, says he hopes the meeting, taking place in Kazakhstan, would be able to identify the problems and possible solutions.

    "Basically, the problem is lack of access to the sea and very high transit, transport costs, so all landlocked developing countries face the same problem."

    There have been a number of regional meetings in Africa, Asia and Latin America to adopt regional positions that would serve as inputs to the conference.

    Food Distribution Continues in Monrovia

    In Liberia, the UN food agency continued food distribution in Monrovia over the weekend. A WFP spokesman said the agency has now reached over 120,000 people in the capital. It has also succeeded in providing food to sites for internally displaced persons.

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