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UN Radio: UN Staff March For Slain Colleagues

UN Radio: UN Staff Mourn Slain Colleagues with Silent March

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  • UN Staff Mourn Slain Colleagues with Silent March

    United Nations staff around the world held a silent march today to honor the memory of their colleagues who perished in the August 19th bombing of the UN headquarters in Iraq. Carrying signs"We will never forget you" and "When will it end? It must!" staff members in New York marched in a circle in front of the UN Secretariat building. Michael Sarsar, presiding officer of the Staff Union, said the march was a tribute to those who were murdered in the terrorist attack in Baghdad and in support of colleagues in all the peace-keeping missions who are in harm's way:

    "We're also trying to urge the country members to contribute by ratifying the Convention on the Safety and Security of UN Staff."

    Less than one third of the 191 Member States are parties to the 1994 Convention.

    Bodies of Five Staff Members Killed in Iraq Flown to Jordan

    Meanwhile, in Baghdad, the bodies of five UN staff members killed in last weeks bombing were flown to Amman, Jordan. The Administrator of the UN Development Programme, Mark Malloch Brown, received the bodies. He said, in honour of the five fallen staff, that their lives changed the people they touched while their deaths have tragically changed the United Nations. Mr. Malloch Brown said they leave us now the even harder task of finishing what they began. He added that their sacrifice must be our commitment.
    Latest figures are that 23 people were killed in the bomb attack, including 19 UN staff.

    Security Council Authorizes International Force to Assist UN Force in Congo The Security Council voted unanimously Tuesday to allow the French-led multinational force sent to Bunia in northeastern Congo, to provide emergency support to the UN peacekeeping force during its period of withdrawal starting the first of September. Secretary-General Kofi Annan requested the Council action in the event of a volatile situation in Bunia during the transition in command from the European mission to the UN mission. The French-led force is scheduled to be replaced over a two-week period starting the first of September by the UN peacekeeping force which is expected to reach 3,000 peacekeepers by September 30.

    WHO Warns of Cholera Outbreak in Liberia

    The UN health agency (WHO) says that more than 2,000 thousand cases of cholera have been reported in Liberia since the beginning of June. It warns that the numbers are far from accurate. WHO says there's a very serious problem with cholera in the capital Monrovia and elsewhere in the country. Spokesman Iain Simpson says while it is becoming easier to get information, it is still difficult to assess the situation across the country:

    "The World Health Organization is working to basically improve the situation by providing chlorine, helping to at least sanitize some of the wells."

    Simpson says there are some 5,000 wells in Monrovia, many of which are not fit to drink from.

    Situation in Monrovia Relatively Calm: UN

    The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) reports that the Liberian capital Monrovia is still relatively calm, despite heavy looting of government buildings last week. OCHA says life is steadily returning to normal with some business opening in the city. Special Humanitarian Coordinator Ross Mountain is pursuing discussions with government and rebel forces to promote safe and unhindered access to areas outside Monrovia.

    UNHCR Concerned about Arrest of Asylum Seekers in Malaysia

    The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says it is extremely concerned by the continued arrests of Acehnese Indonesian asylum seekers in Malaysia. UNHCR says the arrests over the past week have effectively prevented Acehnese asylum seekers from exercising their right to seek asylum. Spokesman Kris Janowski says the refugee agency is concerned about what appears to be a practice that effectively blocks people's right to seek asylum.

    "We have since protested to the Malaysian Government expressing our concern about asylum seekers being effectively barred from being able to seek asylum."

    Janowski says despite UNHCR's protest, another 40 people were arrested by the Malaysian authorities on Tuesday.

    Negotiations To Ease Problems Of Landlocked Countries At Critical Stage

    In Almaty, Kazakhstan, negotiations on freedom of access to the seas for landlocked developing countries are reported to have reached a very critical stage. Secretary-General of the Conference, Anwarul Chowdhury of Bangladesh, says a compromise text was being presented to delegates. The Conference is aimed at easing the plight of landlocked developing countries that lack access to seaports.

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