UN Radio: USA's Productivity Exceeds EU & Japan
UN Radio: ILO Report Shows USA Surpasses Europe and Japan in Productivity
ILO Report Shows United States Surpasses Europe and Japan in Productivity
According to a report by the International Labour Organization released today, productivity in the United States accelerated in 2002. It surpassed Europe and Japan in terms of annual output per worker. The report shows that this is because Americans work longer hours than their European counterparts. In addition, there is higher productivity in agriculture in developed countries - but that is attributed to better equipment and technology, as well as subsidies. However, workers in developing countries have to work harder. Lawrence Jeff Johnson, Chief of the ILO Employment Trends Team in Geneva, explains:
"In the developing world oftentimes people are compensating for productivity advances in terms of technology by time, meaning they have to put longer hours in trying to reach a given level."
UNMIK and NATO Launch Weapons Amnesty in Kosovo
The UN Mission in Kosovo and the NATO-led multinational force today launched a month-long amnesty programme to encourage people to hand in unregistered weapons. During the amnesty campaign people may hand in their weapons without fear of prosecution and without revealing their identity nor how they acquired the weapons. UNMIK spokesman for police and justice, Neeraj Singh, says civilians are still keeping weapons in their homes:
"We still have been, in fact, recovering from homes weapons, such as rocket launchers or grenades, which are not strictly speaking small that people would keep for self protection. I mean these are weapons which are destructive."
This is the third amnesty programme in the UN administered province.
FAO Warns of Future Outbreaks of SARS
The Food and Agriculture
Organization, FAO, today warned
of the threat of future outbreaks of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, SARS, because its origin is still
unknown. According to the UN agency, to date there is no evidence that farm animal species have been infected with the coronavirus that causes the disease. FAO and the World Health Organization have cooperated extensively with the Chinese Authorities to try to learn more about SARS. FAO expert, Dr. Peter Roeder, says this work has not answered the questions because there are no tools to carry out the necessary investigations:
"The most important one is to have serological test, a test for anti bodies in the blood so that we can definitely say that if we find anti-bodies from the SARS virus or closely related virus. At the moment we don't have tests which with certainty we can use in all animal species which will give us that information."
FAO and WHO recently sent a senior Australian animal doctor on a three-week mission to China to study the SARS problem.
WHO Encouraged By WTO Consensus On Access to Drugs for Developing Countries
The World Health Organization (WHO) has welcomed the consensus reached by members of the World Trade Organization to allow access to medicines by countries that are unable to produce drugs. The agreement covers all medicines, to tackle diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The health agency points out, however, that the full impact of the agreement would depend on its effective implementation. WHO spokesman, Ian Simpson, says it is a fairly complicated agreement. Some of the legal financial and administrative provisions behind it are quite complicated. And so until we see how countries are able to implement it we wont be able to say whether or not it has been a success. It's always a success to reach agreement and agreement is only useful as the difference it makes in a country:
"WHO will work with the countries that could make use of the new arrangements to help them achieve full health benefits from the low prices of medicines."
Welcomes Release of Prisoners by POLISARIO Front UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the release of
more than 240 prisoners of war by the POLISARIO Front. The
International Committee of the Red Cross has repatriated
them to the Kingdom of Morocco. The Secretary-General
expressed the hope that the POLISARIO Front would release
all remaining prisoners in compliance with the relevant
Security Council resolutions and international humanitarian
law. He urged all the parties to continue to cooperate with
the Red Cross to resolve the fate of all those unaccounted
for since the beginning of the conflict between Morocco and
the POLISARIO Front over the control of Western Sahara.