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UN Radio: Arab States Force Debate On Palestine

UN Radio: Arab States ask General Assembly to Discuss Palestine

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  • Arab States ask General Assembly to Discuss Palestine

    The group of Arab States at the United Nations has asked for a General Assembly debate on Palestine. Earlier this week, the United States vetoed a resolution demanding that Israel stop threatening to expel or eliminate Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The spokeswoman for the President of the General Assembly, Michele Montas, says the representative of Sudan to the UN has written a letter requesting the meeting.

    "And in fact one of the reasons they asked for the GA to meet for the 10th special session is, and I am quoting here the letter from the rep of Sudan who talked of the 'inability of the security council to fulfill its responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security to be exercised by one of its perm members of the veto'."

    Ms. Montas says that the majority of the 191-member General Assembly supports the request by the Arab states.

    UN Links Students Across the Globe via Internet

    The United Nations today launched the World Summit Event for Schools. The project, which will last for three months, will link, via the Internet, thousands of students from around the world. They will examine the impact of communication technologies on their right to information and education. Today's press conference launching the project connected four different regions around the world allowing participation of students in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, Kampala, Uganda and Geneva. The head of the UN Department of Public Information Shashi Tharoor says the outreach programme is aimed at involving students and teachers in issues that the UN was established to address.

    "It also fits with the UN's desire to see the benefits of the revolution in information technology spread as widely as possible, our efforts to bridge the digital divide. Schools, in particular are playing a critical role in equalizing access to new technologies across gender, race, socio-economic groupings and geographic locations."

    At the end of the three-month project educators responsible for computer networks that link thousands of students around the world will be invited to Geneva for a special gathering.

    Sierra Leone War Crimes Court Indicts Former Rebel Leader

    The UN-backed war crimes court for Sierra Leone has indicted a former junta commander Santigie Kanu for crimes against humanity. Mr. Kanu had been held on charges of treason by national courts. The Special Court, which has jurisdiction for crimes against humanity, has now taken over. Mr. Kanu was a member of the militia group known as the West Side Boys, which committed atrocities against civilians. David Hecht is the spokesman for the Special Court.

    "I know that there are 17 counts, probably similar to many of the other counts that are against other indictees. He is an alleged former AFRC leader and counts and charges that will be laid against him are likely to be similar."

    The AFRC was the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council that once took over power in Sierra Leone.

    UNICEF Says Over 3,000 Children Die from Abuse in Developed Countries

    The UN Children's Fund says that over 3,000 children below the age of 15 die each year in developed countries from abuse and maltreatment. In a report today, UNICEF says that countries with exceptionally low incidence of child maltreatment deaths are Spain, Greece, Italy, Ireland and Norway. The report identified the United States and Mexico as the countries with the worst record of child maltreatment. UNICEF cautions however that there were inconsistencies in clarifying and defining the term abuse.

    UN Humanitarian Agencies Step up Operations in Liberia

    A number of UN agencies are stepping up operations to address food shortages and their underlying causes in Zimbabwe. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that food needs are expected to increase sharply over the next seven months before the harvest in April next year. The special urban feeding programme of the World Food organization is currently feeding close to 30,000 malnourished children are currently receiving assistance through the WFP urban feeding programme in Harare and Bulawayo.

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