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        General Assembly
A/54/1 (Supp)
31 August 1999

General Assembly
Official Records
Fifty-fourth Session
Supplement No. 1 (A/54/1)

Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization

General Assembly

Official Records
Fifty-fourth Session
Supplement No. 1 (A/54/1)

[31 August 1999]
    Facing the humanitarian challenge
1–61 1
I. Achieving peace and security 62–126 8
Introduction 62–67 8
Preventive diplomacy and peacemaking 68–88 8
Peacekeeping 89–100 11
Post-conflict peace-building 101–108 12
Electoral assistance 109–111 13
    The United Nations, regional organizations and security
112–116 13
Disarmament 117–123 14
Sanctions 124–126 15
II. Cooperating for development 127–189 16
127–141 16
Eradication of poverty 142–151 18
Social development 152–166 19
Sustainable development 167–171 20
Africa 172–187 21
United Nations Fund for International Partnerships 188–189 23
III. Meeting humanitarian commitments 190–219 24
Coordinating humanitarian action 192–199 24
    Delivering humanitarian services
200–210 25
Assisting refugees 211–219 26
IV.Engaging with globalization 220–255 28
Economic and social dimensions 221–238 28
Globalization and the environment 239–246 30
    “Uncivil society”
247–251 31
Implications of globalization for security 252–255 32
V. The international legal order and human rights 256–276 33
Introduction 256–260 33
The International Criminal Court 261–262 33
The International Tribunals 263–274 33
The way forward 275–276 35
VI. Managing change 277–344 36
Creating a culture of communication 277–285 36
Administration and management 286–299 37
Legal affairs 300–315 38
Project services 316–324 40
Accountability and oversight 325–344 41



Disaster prevention


38. In some trouble spots, the mere presence of a skilled and trusted Special Representative of the Secretary-General can prevent the escalation of tensions; in others more proactive engagement may be needed. In September and October 1998, interventions by my Special Envoy for Afghanistan prevented escalating tensions between Iran and Afghanistan from erupting into war. That vital mission received little publicity, yet its cost was minimal and it succeeded in averting what could have been a massive loss of life.

39. Preventive diplomacy is not restricted to officials. Private individuals as well as national and international civil society organizations have played an increasingly active role in conflict prevention, management and resolution. So-called “citizen diplomacy” sometimes paves the way for subsequent official agreements. For example, former United States President Jimmy Carter’s visit to Pyongyang in June 1994 helped to resolve a crisis over the nuclear weapons programme of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and set in motion a process that led directly to an agreement in October that year between that country and the United States of America. In the Middle East peace process, it was a small Norwegian research institute that played the critical initial role in paving the way for the 1993 Oslo Agreement.


Chapter I

Achieving peace and security

Preventive diplomacy and peacemaking

82. The overall situation in the Middle East remains troubling. The international community has expressed its strong support for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on relevant Security Council resolutions and the principle of land for peace. The recent resumption of the peace process and indications of a real commitment to achieving a settlement by the key protagonists are grounds for cautious optimism.


Chapter III

Meeting humanitarian commitments

Coordinating humanitarian action


203. The health assistance programmes of WHO focused on assessing the health needs of those affected by emergencies and disasters, providing health information, assisting in health sector coordination and planning and implementing priority programmes in areas such as mental health, control of epidemics, immunization, pharmaceuticals and nutrition. Priority was given to strengthening the coordination between national health authorities and the international community, as well as to bridging the gap between recovery, rehabilitation and health development activities. Special efforts were made to eradicate polio and to control malaria in countries affected by emergencies, to improve health systems in the Palestinian self-rule areas, and to observe the equitable distribution of commodities imported under Security Council resolution 986 (1995) and the rehabilitation of health services in Iraq.


210. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) combines humanitarian and development objectives in providing relief and social services to approximately 3.6 million Palestine refugees. A special feature of the Agency’s operations has been its ability to maintain essential services, often on an emergency basis, in war and conflict situations. However, the Agency’s continuing financial deficit, which reached $70 million against its 1999 budget of $322 million, has inevitably had a negative effect on the level and standard of services.



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