UN Radio: Reactions to Kofi Annan's Report On Iraq
UN Radio: Reactions to the UN Secretary-General's Report on Iraq
Iraq Foreign Minister Call for UN Help in Establishing Democratic Government
Iraq's foreign minister has appealed to the United Nations for help in establishing a democratic government. Hoshyar Zebari made the appeal in a closed-door session with members of the Security Council. Later he told reporters it was a very "good meeting" where he "answered questions on the political process and on the role of the United Nations":
"And we did emphasize that we as Iraqis, we are not sensitive at all to an enhanced expanded UN role in many of the stages of this process - an electoral process, a judicial process and constitutional process. But the UN has to be there inside the country."
Mr. Zebari said it would be difficult for the UN to control such a complicated process from a distance.
Report Says There's Evidence of Massacre of Kuwaitis
Fresh evidence suggests that most, if not all the Kuwaitis who disappeared after the country was invaded by Iraq in 1990 were killed. A new UN report says, "after many years of maneuvering and denial by the previous government of Iraq, a grim truth is unveiling itself. It says "the discovery of mass graves in Iraq containing the mortal remains of Kuwaitis is a gruesome and devastating development." The report said "the removal from Kuwait of civilians -men and women - their execution in cold blood in remote sites in Iraq, and a decade-long cover-up of the truth constitute a grave violation of human rights and international humanitarian law. The report called for justice for the victims.
Security Council Strongly Condemns Violence Against Civilians
The Security Council has strongly condemned all attacks and acts of violence directed against civilians or other persons in situation of armed conflict. The council reaffirmed its concern at the suffering inflicted upon, and hardships borne by civilians during armed conflict. It also reaffirmed the need for parties to armed conflict to take all possible measures to ensure the safety, security and freedom of movement of United Nations and associated personnel, in accordance with international law.
Zimbabwe Food Prices Spiked Nearly 50 Per Cent in the Last Month
In Zimbabwe, prices for many food staples such as maize, sugar and flour have spiked by more than 45 per cent in the last month, putting them out of the reach for the average family. The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs says this comes at a period between harvests when families are most in need of food aid. The Office says Zimbabweans have been dependent on aid due to a combination of drought, economic decline and the effects of HIV/AIDS. It says the spread of the virus has hit agricultural production hard as many farm workers die or are too sick to work.
Security Council Calls for Investigation of Violations of Somalia Arms Embargo
The Security Council has called for the creation of a monitoring group to investigate violations of the UN arms embargo against Somalia. A unanimous resolution by the council is requesting the Secretary-General to establish a 4-member group for six months to carry out investigations in Somalia and neighboring States and prepare a list of those who continue to violate the embargo. The council authorized the new monitoring group, which will be based in Nairobi, to focus on transfers of ammunition, single-use weapons and small arms. The United Nations imposed an arms embargo against Somalia in 1992.
New Initiative Launched to Give Momentum to Standards Before Status Policy in Kosovo
The past two months have been eventful in Kosovo, particularly with regard to political developments that chart the way forward. Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Jean-Marie Guehenno said an initiative was recently launched to give new momentum to what he termed "standards before status" policy and refocus the work of the Kosovo Provisional Institutions. He cited these standards as functioning democratic institutions; rule of law; freedom of movement; returns and reintegration; economy; property rights; dialogue with Belgrade; and the Kosovo Protection Corps:
"…the achievement of the eight standards remains a prerequisite for the start of the political process leading to a determination of Kosovo's future status. During the entire process, UNMIK will remain active and in the lead on the ground in order to continue the forward momentum."
Mr. Guehenno's comments were made in an open meeting of the Security Council.
Iran to Sign IAEA Nuclear Protocol
The UN nuclear agency (IAEA) has confirmed that Iran
will sign the additional protocol to the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty on Thursday.
However, the International Atomic Energy Agency said it was not yet clear who would represent Teheran to sign the protocol under which Iran's nuclear programme would be regulated with the IAEA.