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Voice of America, 96-06-15

Voice of America Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] U-N WEEK-IN-REVIEW BY JOE CHAPMAN (UNITED NATIONS)
  • [02] HABITAT ENDS (S-O) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (ISTANBUL)
  • [03] ELECTIONS/ONITE/ALTERNATE BY ELIZABETH ARROTT (MOSCOW)

  • [01] U-N WEEK-IN-REVIEW BY JOE CHAPMAN (UNITED NATIONS)

    DATE=6/14/96
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-33575
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: DEVELOPMENTS IN IRAQ DOMINATED THE UNITED NATIONS DURING THE WEEK. IN INSTANBUL, THE HABITAT TWO CONFERENCE DREW UP LANGUAGE AIMED AT RESOLVING WIDE DIFFERENCES OF OPINION OVER SUCH ISSUES AS ABORTION. THERE WERE ALSO SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS INVOLVING HAITI, TAJIKISTAN, NORTH KOREA AND CYPRUS. V-O-A'S JOE CHAPMAN REVIEWS DEVELOPMENTS DURING THE PAST WEEK AT THE UNITED NATIONS.

    TEXT: THE TENSE SITUATION IN IRAQ DOMINATED THE UNITED NATIONS MOST OF THE WEEK, WITH IRAQI AUTHORITIES FLATLY REFUSING TO ALLOW U-N ARMS INSPECTORS INTO SOME SITES. UNDER UNITED NATIONS MANDATES, IRAQ IS SUPPOSED TO GIVE THE ARMS INSPECTORS FULL ACCESS, EVEN WITHOUT NOTICE, TO SUPECTED ARMS SITES.

    ROLFE EKEUS, THE U-N OFFICIAL WHO OVERSEES THE DISMANTLING OF IRAQ'S WEAPONS OF MASS WARFARE, IS CRITICAL OF THE PREVIOUS IRAQI OBSTACLES TO INSPECTION.

    A QUICK CONCLUSION TO THE INSPECTIONS WOULD SEEM TO BE VITAL TO IRAQ. UNTIL THE UNITED NATIONS IS CONVINCED THAT IRAQ HAS DESTROYED ITS WAR-MAKING CAPABILILITY, STRINGENT ECONOMIC SANTIONS WILL REMAIN IN PLACE.

    DESPITE THE CONTINUING OBSTACLES TO ARMS INSPECTIONS BY IRAQ, MR. EKEUS HEADED TO BAGHDAD SO HE COULD ASSESS THE SITUATION PERSONALLY -- AND REPORT BACK TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL. THE SECURITY COUNCIL HAS ADOPTED A STIFF RESOLUTION AIMED AT THE IRAQI RESISTANCE TO THE INSPECTORS. THE UNITED STATES AND BRITAIN ASKED FOR A DECLARATION THAT IRAQ IS IN VIOLATION OF THE CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT THAT ENDED THE KUWAIT WAR, BUT THAT WAS PUT ASIDE FOR THE TIME BEING.

    AS THE WEEK ENDED, THE SECURITY COUNCIL ISSUED A STRONGLY WORDED PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT CONDEMNING IRAQ FOR ITS INTERFERENCE WITH THE U-N INSPECTORS. THE SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT, NABIL ELARABY OF EGYPT, SAID U-N OFFICIALS HAD RECEIVED AN IRAQI LETTER SEEKING TO DEFUSE THE SITUATION. BUT SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBERS SAY THEIR ACTION CONSTITUTED A STIFF REJECTION.

    SOME DIPLOMATS SUGGEST THERE MAY BE MORE TALK, BUT NOT MUCH ELSE, UNTIL MR. EKEUS HAS A CHANCE TO MAKE AN ASSESSMENT OF THE SITUATION IN BAGHDAD. IN THE MEANTIME, THEY SUGGEST, A FEW DAYS MIGHT ALSO SERVE AS A COOLING OFF PERIOD.

    ONE WIDELY ASKED QUESTION WAS WHY IRAQ PROVOKED A CRISIS JUST AS IT WAS SUCCESSFULLY MOVING TOWARD OIL SALES THAT COULD BE USED TO PAY FOR HUMANITARIAN SUPPLIES.

    IRAQ CLAIMED THAT NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY WAS AT STAKE, BUT THAT POSITION WAS OPENLY MOCKED BY MANY DIPLOMATS -- WITH U-S AMBASSADOR MADELEINE ALBRIGHT TERMING IT "LAUGHABLE." THAT WAS JUST ONE OF THE COLORFUL TERMS USED BY MS. ALBRIGHT TO DESCRIBE IRAQI ACTIONS.

    THE IRAQI FUROR DREW CONSIDERABLE ATTENTION FROM THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE IN INSTANBUL KNOWN AS HABITAT TWO. THAT CONFERENCE WAS AIMED PRIMARILY AT THE GROWING PROBLEM OF THE SO-CALLED MEGA CITIES.

    MANY OF THESE GIGANTIC AND STILL GROWING CITIES ARE IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD. ALTHOUGH U-N OFFICIALS SAY LITTLE IMMEDIATE CONCRETE ACTION WILL RESULT --- IT IS ESSENTIAL TO START PLANNING NOW FOR BASICS LIKE HOUSE, WATER, AND TRANSPORTION.

    DESPITE THOSE IDEALS, PRACTICAL WRANGLING SOON BEGAN THAT CONTINUED UNTIL THE END. DELEGATES DEBATED WHETHER HOUSING IS A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT. AND, IF IT IS, COULD A U-N RESOLUTION ON HOUSING LEAD TO A FLOOD OF LAWSUITS IN THE UNITED STATES FROM PEOPLE CHALLENGING THEIR HOUSING CONDITIONS?

    BUT AN EVEN MORE CONTENTIOUS ISSUE AT THE MEETING WAS THE REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS QUESTION -- ABORTION. SOME REPRESENTATIVES TO HABITAT TWO CONSIDERED ANY FORM OF ABORTION UNACCEPTABLE. OTHERS CONSIDERED IT IMPOSSIBLE TO LOOK AT THE FUTURE OF URBAN AREAS WITHOUT NOT ONLY ABORTION, BUT AN EMPHASIS ON OTHER FORMS OF BIRTH CONTROL.

    IN THE END, U-N SPOKESMAN AHMED FAWZI SAYS, THE DELEGATES QUICKLY BEGAN WORKING THEIR WAY THROUGH COMPROMISE LANGUAGE THAT WAS AT LEAST PARTIALLY ACCEPTABLE TO ALMOST EVERYONE.

    SECRETARY GENERAL BOUTROS BOUTROS-GHALI SAYS THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY HAS REASON TO TAKE PRIDE IN ITS ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN HAITI. BUT, HE SAYS, THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MUST CONTINUE TO BE INVOLVED. HE CALLED FOR U-N FUNDING OF TWO REDUCED FORCE MILITARY BATALLIONS TO HELP STABLIZE THE ISLAND UNTIL THE NEW CIVILIAN POLICE FORCE IS TRAINED AND IN PLACE.

    MR. BOUTROS-GHALI SAYS THE MILITARY FORCE WOULD STAY IN THE HAITIAN CAPITAL OF PORT-AU-PRINCE -- PROVIDING BADLY NEEDED BACKUP TO THE 300 CIVILIAN U-N POLICE ON THE ISLAND.

    MR. BOUTROS GHALI SAYS TAJIKISTAN IS ANOTHER COUNTRY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY HAS HELPED -- THIS TIME BY SENDING AN OBSERVER FORCE OF FEWER THAN 100.

    JUNE WAS SCHEDULED AS THE DEPARTURE DATE FOR THE U-N OBSERVERS, BUT THE SECURITY COUNCIL AGREED WITH MR. BOUTROS-GHALI'S VIEW AND EXTENDED THE MANDATE FOR THE FORCE THROUGH DECEMBER 15TH.

    BUT THE EXTENSION FOR TAJIKISTAN WAS CONTROVERSIAL. MR. BOUTROS-GHALI SAYS HE IS UPSET BY THE RECENT WAVES OF VIOLENCE BETWEEN THE OPPOSING SIDES. HE ALSO REPORTED THREATS AGAINST MEMBERS OF THE OBSERVOR TEAM.

    U-S AMBASSADOR MADELEINE ALBRIGHT URGED THE TADJIK FACTIONS TO START TALKING AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO EACH OTHER IN GOOD FAITH, AND MOVE TOWARD A NATIONAL RECONCILIATION. SUCH AN ATMOSPHEE, SHE SAYS, IS ESSENTIAL IF DEMOCRACY IS TO FLOURISH.

    SHE ADDED IF TADJIKISTAN DOES NOT BEGIN MOVING TOWARD PEACE, THE UNITED STATES AND OTHER WILL WITHDRAW THEIR FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF THE MISSION.

    WHILE MR. BOUTROS-GHALI WAS ATTENDING HABITAT TWO, A CRISIS NOT FAR AWAY ON THE ISLAND OF CYPRUS, TOOK A CONSIDERABLE PART OF HIS ATTENTION.

    A GREEK CYPRIOT WAS KILLED BY TURKISH CYPRIOT NATIONAL GUARDSMEN IN THE NEUTRAL ZONE THAT HAS DIVIDED NICOSIA FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS. U-N PEACEKEEPERS WERE NOT ALLOWED NEAR THE BODY FOR MORE THAN 25 MINUTES.

    BUT MR. BOUTROS GHALI SEIZED THE CRISIS AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO TALK DIRECTLY WITH THE LEADERS OF BOTH TURKISH AND GREEK CYPRIOTS ON THE ISLAND.

    NORTH KOREA HAS LONG BEEN CONSIDERED SOMETHING OF A PARIAH AMONG NATIONS. THAT PROBABLY CONTRIBUTED TO A RELATIVELY POOR RESPONSE TO A PLEA FOR AID LAST YEAR AFTER A DEVASTATING FLOOD.

    THE RESPONSE TO A SECOND PLEA HAS BEEN MUCH STRONGER, WITH THE UNITED STATES CONTRIBUTING SIX MILLION DOLLARS JAPAN AND OTHER NATIONS ARE ALSO MAKING HEALTHY SIZED CONTRIBUTIONS.

    MOST OF THE MONEY WILL GO FOR FOOD, AND A LARGE PART TO RESTORE FARMLAND RUINED BY THE FLOODING. (SIGNED) NEB/NYC/JMC/LSF/PT
    14-Jun-96 8:43 PM EDT (0043 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] HABITAT ENDS (S-O) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (ISTANBUL)

    DATE=6/14/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-198767
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE U-N CITY CONFERENCE IN ISTANBUL ENDED IN THE EARLY HOURS OF SATURDAY MORNING, HOURS LATER THAN EXPECTED BECAUSE OF ARGUMENTS OVER LANGUAGE DEALING WITH HUMAN RIGHTS AND SETTLEMENTS IN OCCUPIED TERRITORIES. V-O-A'S CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN REPORTS THE WRANGLING OVER WORDS CLOUDED THE CONFERENCE FINALE BUT DELEGATES SAY THE WORK TOWARD BETTER LIVING CONDITIONS IN CITIES WON'T STOP.

    TEXT: THE DELEGATES ARGUED UNTIL THE LAST MINUTES OVER WORDS DEALING WITH WOMEN'S ISSUES BUT COMPROMISE LANGUAGE WAS FOUND TO RESOLVE THOSE DISPUTES. THEN, AS THE DELEGATES WERE ABOUT TO APPLAUD THE END OF THEIR WORK, THE CONFERENCE TEETERED AGAIN ON THE BRINK. THE UNITED STATES THREATENED TO VOTE DOWN THE FINAL DOCUMENT IF TWO PHRASES DEALING WITH SETTLEMENTS IN OCCUPIED TERRITORIES AND A VEILED REFERENCE TO THE STATUS OF JERUSALEM WERE NOT REMOVED.

    ARAB DELEGATES LED BY SYRIA INSISTED THE PHRASES SHOULD REMAIN. THE ISSUE TOOK ON MORE SIGNIFICANCE IN VIEW OF NEXT WEEK'S ARAB SUMMIT, WHICH WAS CALLED TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO DEAL WITH ISRAEL'S NEW GOVERNMENT AND ITS HARDLINE APPROACH TO THE PEACE PROCESS. FINALLY, A COMPROMISE WAS REACHED. THE CONTROVERSIAL PHRASES WERE REMOVED. THE HABITAT DOCUMENT WAS ADOPTED ALONG WITH ITS PLAN OF ACTION FOR IMPROVING LIFE IN CITIES AROUND THE WORLD.

    DELEGATES SAY A KEY ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THIS, THE LAST MAJOR U-N CONFERENCE OF THE CENTURY WAS THE NEW PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN GOVERNMENTS AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO GET THE WORK DONE. (SIGNED)
    NEB / LK / BD/PT
    14-Jun-96 7:37 PM EDT (2337 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] ELECTIONS/ONITE/ALTERNATE BY ELIZABETH ARROTT (MOSCOW)

    DATE=6/15/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-198787
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT: (EDS: POLLS IN THE FAR EAST OPEN AT 1900 UTC, PLEASE UPDATE INTRO -- I.E. INCLUDE MORE WESTERN VOTERS -- AS NEEDED. LAST POLL OPENS, IN KALININGRAD, AT 0500 UTC SUNDAY)

    INTRO: VOTERS IN THE RUSSIAN FAR EAST HAVE BEGUN CASTING THEIR BALLOTS IN AN ELECTION THAT COULD CHANGE THE FACE OF THE NATION. VOA'S ELIZABETH ARROTT IN MOSCOW HAS DETAILS.

    TEXT: WITH EACH BALLOT, RUSSIANS WILL BE DECIDING WHAT COUNTRY THEY WANT TO LIVE IN -- AN EMERGING PRO-MARKET DEMOCRACY, OR A MORE STABLE, STRONGER SOCIALIST STATE. AT LEAST, THOSE ARE THE CHOICES AS PRESENTED BY THE TWO FRONT-RUNNERS.

    BUT WHILE INCUMBENT BORIS YELTSIN AND HIS MAIN RIVAL COMMUNIST PARTY CHIEF GENNADI ZYUGANOV HAVE OCCASIONALLY STRESSED THE POSITIVE, BOTH HAVE PLAYED HEAVILY ON VOTER FEARS.

    MR. YELTSIN, WHO HAS LED RUSSIA ON THE OFTEN PAINFUL PATH OF REFORM, WARNS A VOTE FOR MR. ZYUGANOV WILL MEAN A RETURN TO THE OPPRESSION AND STAGNATION OF SOVIET TIMES.

    FOR HIS PART, MR. ZYUGANOV HAS SAID A SECOND YELTSIN TERM WOULD MEAN A FURTHER DROP IN LIVING STANDARDS AND EROSION OF MOSCOW'S LEADING INTERNATIONAL ROLE. HE HAS DISMISSED MR. YELTSIN'S ACCUSATIONS THAT A COMMUNIST KREMLIN WOULD ROLL BACK PROGRESS ON HUMAN RIGHTS.

    THERE ARE TEN CANDIDATES IN THE RACE AND NO ONE IS EXPECTED TO GAIN A MAJORITY IN SUNDAY'S VOTE. A RUN-OFF WOULD BE HELD NEXT MONTH.

    /// UNVOICED OPT ///

    THE CONTENDERS COVER NEARLY THE ENTIRE SPECTRUM OF MODERN POLITICAL AFFILIATIONS, FROM EXTREME NATIONALIST VLADIMIR ZHIRINOVSKY TO REFORM ECONOMIST GRIGORY YAVLINSKY. COMMENTATORS SAY THE RACE IS INDICATIVE OF THE POLARIZED DESIRES OF VOTERS EMERGING FROM DECADES OF SOVIET RULE.

    BECAUSE THE STAKES ARE SO HIGH, VIRTUALLY ALL CANDIDATES HAVE EXPRESSED FEARS RIVALS WILL TRY TO RIG THE RESULTS. ABOUT ONE THOUSAND INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS ARE IN RUSSIA TO MONITOR THE VOTE. BUT WITH SOME 93 THOUSAND POLLING STATIONS, THEIR JOB IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE.

    PRELIMINARY RESULTS FOR THE FIRST ROUND OF VOTING ARE EXPECTED MONDAY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SD
    15-Jun-96 6:21 PM EDT (2221 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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