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UN Radio: Annan Condemns Attack on Red Cross HQ

UN Radio: Annan Condemns Attack on Red Cross HQ

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  • Annan Condemns Attack on Red Cross Headquarters in Baghdad

    Secretary-General Kofi Annan says today's attack on the Baghdad headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross is a crime against humanity. A UN spokesperson says the Secretary-General is also deeply dismayed at the latest series of terrorist attacks which took place in Baghdad resulting in numerous deaths and casualties.
    UN spokesperson Marie Okabe says the Secretary-General unequivocally condemns these attacks in the strongest possible terms:

    "The Secretary-General deplores the targeting of the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Baghdad. The ICRC is a universally respected humanitarian organization. Its neutrality and impartiality are the mainstays of its operation."

    The Secretary-General reiterated that all terrorist attacks from whatever quarter are morally repugnant and indefensible.

    Peoples of the World Want UN to be a Forum for Collective Responses: Annan

    The peoples of the world want the United Nations to be the forum for collective responses to common problems: Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the annual meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union that the people also wonder whether the United Nations is equal to the task. He said those who feel uniquely threatened by terrorism and weapons of mass destruction look to the United Nations and ask whether the UN is up to the job of protecting them and ensuring their security:

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    "Yet those, perhaps the majority of the world's people, whose lives and livelihoods are endangered on a daily basis by disease and poverty, or by environmental degradation, or by civil or inter-state conflict, look to the United Nations and ask: why aren't you doing more to protect me and ensure my security? " The Secretary-General warned that a world in which billions are suffering from poverty, hunger, illiteracy and disease, and not advancing down the road of development, would not be a world of peace.

    Change is an Integral Part of the Way the UN Does Business: Frechette

    The Deputy-Secretary-General of the United Nations says UN reform is not a single, specific destination. Rather, she adds, it's a wide-ranging, all encompassing journey. Deputy-Secretary-General Louise Frechette told the General Assembly all of the reforms that have been achieved so far show not only that the United Nations can change, but that change is an integral part of the way it does business:

    "Ultimately, it's a state of mind - an openness to new ideas and partners, a continuous search for better ways of doing our work, a commitment to excellence, a talent for focusing on what matters, an appetite for service."

    The General Assembly is discussing United Nations reform aimed at revitalizing the Organization in the economic, social and related fields.

    UN Suspends Operations in Four Afghan Provinces

    The United Nations has suspended operations in four southern Afghan provinces due to increasing violence and terrorist activities. The UN's top peacekeeping official, Jean-Marie Guehenno, told the UN Security Council that many of the fundamental, structural causes of insecurity in Afghanistan remain unresolved. He warned that aid workers could be seen by local militants as targets:

    "Attacks against humanitarian workers are seriously jeopardizing the safety of our personnel and also limit the ability to conduct reconstruction and to support political activities. The trend toward targeting civilians supportive of or participationg in the central government and peace process supports the view that the United Nations must also be seen as a target."

    Under-Secretary-General Guehenno said that the security precautions greatly restrict reconstruction and activities in support of political processes.

    UNICEF to Spend More Than $100 Million on Polio Eradication

    The UN children's agency (UNICEF), has warned that a fresh outbreak of polio in Nigeria poses a potential threat to the neighbouring West African countries, among them Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger and Togo. UNICEF said it plans to spend $130 million dollars in the area as part of its campaign to stamp out polio in the West African sub-region. The agency said thousands of volunteers in the neighbouring countries are working to ensure that all the children in the threatened countries are immunized within three days.

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