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DH/2115

DAILY HIGHLIGHTS FOR: 3 April 1996

3 April 1996


Press Release
DH/2115


DAILY HIGHLIGHTS FOR: 3 April 1996

19960403 * Secretary-General calls for cooperation in search for survivors of U.S. aircraft crash near Adriatic Sea.

* Secretary-General in Japan discusses pitfalls of development process with Prime Minister.

* UN humanitarian work saved lives and offered human face to those who witnessed inhumanity and destruction, Italian President tells General Assembly.

* Financing of Mission in Haiti should be through additional assessments, European Union representative tells General Assembly.

* Implementation Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina to reach operational level in days, Special Representative says.

* UN public administration programme to assist developing economies in transition, Under-Secretary-General tells ECOSOC.

* Urban Specialists to debate cities and their future in UNDP and Habitat II round table.

* UNESCO launches projects to rebuild democratic and multinational institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

* * *

Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, now in Japan, has called on all nations in the area to cooperate in the search for survivors of the U.S. aircraft that crashed near the Adriatic Sea.

In a statement, the Secretary-General expressed shock and saddeness on learning about the aircraft on which U.S. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and several U.S. businessmen and officials were travelling from Tuzla, Bosnia- Herzegovina, to Dubrovnick, Croatia. UN Spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said Dr. Boutros-Ghali greatly admired Secretary Brown's work in the areas of commerce and trade. His current mission was particularly appreciated in view of the desperate need for international assistance for the peoples of the former Yugoslavia.

* * *

Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali met with Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto at a dinner meeting in Tokyo to discuss international issues, including the pitfalls that can stall the development process and the failure of some Member States to pay their assessed contributions. They also exchanged ideas on how the international community could respond more effectively to the needs of the African continent.

Earlier, the Secretary-General, on the third leg of a three-nation Asian mission, conferred with Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda. Dr. Boutros- Ghali expressed appreciation for Japan's multi-faceted support of the work of the United Nations - in peace-keeping, democratization, disarmament and humanitarian assistance. In addition, they agreed on the urgent need to conclude negotiations on a comprehensive test ban treaty.

The Secretary-General also ventured twice into the world of academia as he inaugurated the new Institute of Advanced Studies at the UN University, and addressed students at Aoyama Gakuin University on the "UN in its Second Half-Century".

In his address at the UN University, Dr. Boutros-Ghali said Japan's support for the United Nations was essential for the Organization's effectiveness. He said the Institute of Advanced Studies of the UN University, he inaugurated, will further cement the strong relationship between the United Nations and Japan.

At Aoyama Gakuin University, the Secretary-General said this was a time of new demands for the United Nations since the scope of its operations was unprecedented and the volume of its activities immense. He saluted Japan for fulfilling its responsibilities as the second largest contributor to the United Nations' regular budget and as a key contributor to the Organization's specialized agencies and peace-keeping operations.

Dr. Boutros-Ghali also had an free-wheeling exchange with students at the University, on peace-keeping, sustainable development, reform of the Security Council and career prospects in the UN System.

* * *

The humanitarian work of the United Nations has saved many suffering people, the President of Italy, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro told the General Assembly today. It has rekindled hope and offered a human face to those who had previously known only inhumanity and destruction. He said no one will ever be able to measure the evils that the UN has impeded through its foresight and deterrence.

Member States who did not fulfil their financial obligations were neglecting the commitments they had freely subscribed to such as peace, human rights, freedom and justice, President Scalfaro continued. Peace was a value that concerned everybody and thus, everybody needed to share the responsibility for it. He called on Member States to re-examine the errors made as well as inaction and delays.

In undertaking reforms at the UN, political will was essential, he emphasized. The 185 Member States needed to express a common will in their

quest for peace and human rights and they needed to have political responsibility to the Security Council and to the Secretariat.

President Scalfaro said his country has always demonstrated its strong belief in the indispensable role of the United Nations. He pointed out that Italy was the sixth-largest contributor to the regular budget of the United Nations. In addition, in 1995, it contributed over $150 million to the budget for peace-keeping forces alone.

* * *

The financing of the UN Civilian Mission in Haiti (MICIVIH) should be through additional assessments, the representative of the European Union told the General Assembly as it addressed the situation of human rights in Haiti. Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy, Lorenzo Ferrarin, also speaking on behalf of Hungary, Poland, Romania and Cyprus, said the additional assessments should only be for as long as MICIVIH was unable to absorb its expenditures through savings from the programme budget. To that extent, it might not be possible to carry out those activities within the existing resources, he pointed out.

Mr. Ferrarin said the European Union shared the view expressed by the Secretary-General that human rights missions have been established to help bring to an end longstanding conflicts and create conditions for a lasting peace in the countries concerned.

* * *

Most of the infrastructure, equipment and assets of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) had been transferred to the Implementation Force (IFOR), the Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iqbal Riza said at a briefing today at UN Headquarters. The purpose was to transfer the authority, in the area to IFOR, as quickly as possible. IFOR could be reaching an operational level in about 10 days, Mr. Riza added.

The United Nations mission in the area had very defined responsibilities such as the civilian police, civil affairs, and a mine action centre, Mr. Riza said. The civilian police - or international police task force was the major component of the mission. Its task was to monitor, advise and train local police officers. The civil affairs part of the mission dealt with political reporting from the ground, while the mine action centre planned, advised and coordinated de-mining operations.

* * *

The principal objective of the United Nations programme in public administration is to assist governments of developing countries with economies in transition by improving their public sector capabilities, Under-Secretary-General for Development Support and Management Services, Jin Yongjian has told the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Introducing the Secretary-General's report on Public Administration and Management, Mr. Jin said the current era was a critical time for the UN as a whole and for the programme in public administration and development. He said the report identifies several challenges now facing both the UN and its

Member States in the field of public administration and development. Those include ensuring that public administration activities gained greater visibility and enhancing the Organization's role as a clearing house for information and services.

* * *

Over one hundred urban specialists will engage in a debate, in Marmaris, Turkey, on cities and their future at a round table discussion sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Habitat II. The round table - to take place from 19 to 21 April - is called "the Next Millennium: Cities for People in a Globalizing World".

Political leaders, policy-makers, development practitioners, academics, business executives, community representatives and journalists will be among those debating policy options to address critical urban problems at the Round Table. It will offer substantive contribution to the Second UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II), to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, in June.

The emphasis of the Round Table will be on sharing experience and exploring the possibility of a new social contract and will include a panel of children entitled "Cities of Tomorrow": How We Wish to Live".

* * *

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has launched a series of projects aimed at rebuilding democratic and multicultural institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Federico Mayor, established two commissions that will oversee projects aimed at promoting and maintaining peace. He also announced the approval of eight projects valued at $275,000 to help reconstruct the National Museum and computerize establishments such as the Institute of Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage.

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