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UN Radio: $2.9 Billion Budget for Next Biennium

UN Radio: $2.9 Billion Budget for UN’s Next Biennium

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  • Annan Proposes $2.9 Billion Budget for Next Biennium

    Secretary-General Kofi Annan has proposed a budget of $2.9 billion to run the affairs of the United Nations for the next two years, a budget which he says better aligns the UN's activities with its priorities. The budget reflects a minimal growth of just $15 million over the previous biennium. It projects an increase of over a hundred new posts, particularly at the lower professional levels, which Mr. Annan says would allow the UN to undertake the crucial task of revitalization and rejuvenation of the UN Secretariat at the junior professional level.

    "The budget allocates additional resources for financing for development and the special needs of Africa. There are other modest yet necessary increases for drug control, crime prevention and human rights."

    The Secretary-General also proposed shifting $100 million between sub-programmes, and a redeployment of more than 800 posts. The budget also sets out what is needed to implement the information and communication technology strategy and other initiatives that would affect the entire organization.

    Washington DC Meeting Focuses on How to Protect African Economies From External Shock

    The UN Economic Commission for Africa is holding a major conference on Africa's economic future in Washington DC. The meeting, brings together several African finance ministers with their development counterparts from the developed world, and the heads of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Max Jarrett is Communications Officer with the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa.

    "Now the fourth big table meeting will focus on what more could be done to protect African economies from the adverse effects of external shocks, such as commodity price fluctuations or weather, and on how the approaches of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund can more effectively be aligned with African governments strategies to reduce poverty."

    Today's meeting is the fourth in a series launched by the Economic Commission for Africa as a forum for exchange about the major obstacles to Africa's sustainable economic development.

    UNCTAD Sees New FDI Pattern Emerging

    Foreign investment into service industries is rising, with new areas such as telecoms attracting interest from more traditional financial and trading services. The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), said the services sector attracts about 60 per cent of total foreign direct investment globally, up from less than 50 per cent a decade ago. Chief of UNCTAD's Investment Trends Section Masataka Fujita tells UN Radio that many services cannot be traded nor stored and as such must be produced where they are consumed.

    "That is why FDI's have become important. Therefore the ascendants of the service industry in the FDI's reflects globalisation and particularly signals the importance of the service economies in the world."

    UNCTAD says the growth of foreign direct investment in services reflects the rise of the services economy in developed countries where it now accounts for an average two-thirds of gross domestic product.

    Red Cross To Decide on Staying in Iraq

    The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said it will decide on its own whether it is too dangerous to stay in Iraq. Chief Spokeswoman Antonella Notari told a United Nations press briefing in Geneva that the ICRC would evaluate what consequences Monday's bomb attack has for the agency. She stressed that the ICRC would proceed independently of any of the actors in Iraq.

    "We will take our own decision based on our own thinking and on our own criteria and we are not asking anyone -- neither the coalition forces nor anyone else -- to assist us in either taking this decision or in any measures that we will have to implement in order to stay in Baghdad if we decided to stay there."

    The ICRC has about 30 foreign staff and around 600 Iraqi employees in Iraq.

    More Than 40,00 Angolans Repatriated Since June: UNHCR

    More than 40-thousand people have returned to Angola since the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), began organised repatriation efforts earlier this year. A spokesman for UNHCR says nearly half of those who have returned have come from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Spokesman Kris Janowski says despite the agency's efforts, as many as 300-thousand Angolan refugees remain in neighbouring countries.

    "But they are going back even though the movement over the past few days has slowed somewhat because of the onset of the rainy season but also some problems with food rations."

    More than 150-thousand Angolans have also returned on their own.

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