UN Radio: Iran's Nukes – Istanbul Bombing and more
UN Radio: Iran's Nukes – Istanbul Bombing and more…
IAEA Sees Good and Bad News In Iran's Nuclear Programme
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, reports that there is good and bad news about Iran's nuclear programme. Dr. Mohammed El Baradei told the meeting of the nuclear agency's board of Governors in Vienna that the bad news is Iran's failures and breaches of its safeguards agreement with the IAEA and the good news is increasing cooperation with the agency. IAEA spokesman Mark Gwozdecky says the situation on the ground is encouraging and Iran is acting as if the Additional Protocol is in force.
"That Protocol is the agreement that gives us the access to additional information and additional inspection sites that we need, and Iran has also decided to suspend all of its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities."
The Board of Governors is expected to adopt a resolution on Iran but there are still behind the scenes negotiations on its wording.
Kofi Annan Calls For Support For Conference on Great Lakes Region
The Security Council met today to discuss a proposed international conference on the Great Lakes region. The core countries for the conference are Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The conference is expected to discuss issues of peace and security, democracy and good governance, economic development and regional integration as well as humanitarian and social issues. In a report to the Council on preparations for the conference, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said there is a new dynamic in the region which must be capitalized on.
"People are becoming more aware of the need to address peace, security and development issues regionally to consolidate advances made in national peace processes. This has helped set the stage for the preparations of the conference to proceed as planned."
The Secretary-General told the Council that the core countries in the region have established national preparatory committees.
Iraqis Must Have a Big Say in their Country's Future - Annan
The UN Secretary-General said today that the Iraqis must have a big say in the future of their country. Asked whether a conference would be held to decide on the future of Iraq, the Secretary-General said whatever method the Iraqis opt for must be respected.
"My sense is that the current discussion is not for a conference of that sort but some sort of assembly hall meetings in the eighteen regions to elect people who will then form a group that would determine who will be in the next government and then prepare elections that would lead to the definition of the constitutional arrangements."
UN Oil-For-Food Programme Will Wrap Up On Friday
The UN oil-for-food programme which fed Iraqis for seven years will wrap up on Friday. Under the programme, the Iraqi government, which was under UN sanctions, was allowed to sell oil to buy food and humanitarian supplies. The head of the Programme, Benon Sevan says the programme operated under difficult circumstances caught up between different groups and shifting political and economic interests.
"Sixty five billion dollars billion worth of oil was exported during these past seven years and over $48 million of commercial contracts, I think is a very good job. I am very proud of all my colleagues and nobody has been able to point a finger about any corruption with all that money involved."
Mr. Sevan says despite all the shortcomings the programme made a difference in the daily lives of the Iraqi people.
Security Council Deplores Bomb Blasts in Istanbul
The Security Council today deplored the bomb attacks on the British consulate and the HSBC bank headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey. According to reports, the blasts left at least 25 people dead and more than 300 injured. The President of the Security Council Ambassador Gaspar Martins of Angola read a statement on behalf of Council members.
"I wish to express to the Government and people
of Turkey, as well as to the Government and people of the
United Kingdom, our heartfelt sympathy for the innocent
lives lost as a result of the terrorist acts in Istanbul
today and over the weekend, which the Council strongly