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UN Radio: A Chaotic Iraq not in Anyone's Interest

UN Radio: A Chaotic Iraq not in Anyone's Interest

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  • Special Report: Security Council Meets to Consider Progress on HIV/AIDS Prevention in Peacekeeping
  • Annan,Italian President Agree a Chaotic Iraq not in Anyone's Interest

    The United Nations has always indicated that it's prepared to play its role in Iraq. But Secretary-general Kofi Annan says the security situation has to be appropriate. Annan told reporters Monday that if the situation improves the UN is ready to go back. Those comments come a day after the secretary-general met with Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi for discussions on the situation in the Middle East.

    "We've talked about the complicated situation in Iraq, and the need for the international community to pool their efforts, working with the Iraqis and their neighbours in the region to stabilise Iraq. We are convinced that a chaotic Iraq, in the middle f the Middle East, is not in anyone's interest."

    On the Israeli-Palestinian situation, the Secretary-General maintained that the best solution is land for peace, and the implementation of UN resolutions.

    Annan Condemns Killing of UN Staff Member in Southern Afghanistan

    Secretary-general Kofi Annan has condemned the killing of a staff member of the UN High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR), in southern Afghanistan. A statement said the secretary-general was "distressed and angered to learn of the cold-blooded killing" of UNHCR international staff Bettina Goislard, and the wounding of a national staff member. On arrival at UN headquarters Monday, the secretary-general spoke to reporters about the incident

    "I think it was a vicious attack on our colleague and to kill deliberately someone who was in Afghanistan to assist the people is something that no one can excuse and whatever the cause cannot be justified."

    The Secretary-General said the UN is taking measures to protect the staff and continue its operations as best as it could.

    UN Works to Ensure Responses to AIDS are Included in Peacekeeping Operations

    The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), is implementing work plans addressing AIDS both within peacekeeping missions and in host countries. Executive Director Dr. Peter Piot told the Security Council that UNAIDS has also assisted the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in placing an AIDS policy adviser in major peacekeeping operations. He said UNAIDS has taken action in conjunction with the department in implementing aspects of the Security Council's resolution relating to peacekeeping forces.

    "Second we are spearheading a wider response to AIDS among uniformed services. And third, we are expanding the response to AIDS as a pre-eminent humanitarian and security challenge."

    The Security Council is holding an open meeting on HIV/AIDS.

    Progress Made in Fighting AIDS, But More Needs to be Done: Annan

    Meanwhile, the secretary-general says some progress has been made but there's still a lot to be done. He says one should not overlook the fact that HV/AIDS is a major global epidemic.

    "We need to see more leaders speak out against the stigma and discrimination. We need to see leadership at all levels from the president down to community leaders and we need to see a further decline in prices of medication but I think we are making progress but we have a long way to go."

    The Secretary-General says the Global Fund for AIDS itself is running out of money and needs a rapid injection of additional resources. He says by the year 2005, it would need about $10 billion a year.

    UNICEF Pleads for Help for Liberian Children

    The UN children's agency (UNICEF), has warned that plans to get Liberian children into school could fail without more international aid. Some 400-thousand children between five and 18 started classes in early November, but UNICEF said it urgently needs $ 3 million to keep the programme going and then bring the number up to the initial target of 750-thousand children. UNICEF first appealed for the funds at the end of October, but so far there has been no response from donors. The agency said that without this money, the Back To School Campaign will not be able to meet its promise to the children of Liberia to realise their right to education.

    World Food Programme Distributes Food to Displaced People in Monrovia

    The UN food agency (WFP), has started distributing food to thousands of displaced Liberians in camps in and around the capital Monrovia. Officials of the World Food Programme say distributions are taking place at a few camps at a time because of limited personnel and logistics. WFP provides food to more than 350-thousand people in Liberia, including special rations for 60-thousand malnourished children in Monrovia. The agency says food aid is vital to establishing stability in the country.

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