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Lebanon Assassination Probe

From MSNBC: "A U.N. report into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri concluded that Lebanon's investigation into the killing wasn't satisfactory and a new international investigation is needed. The report, released Thursday, says there was a "distinct lack of commitment" by Lebanese authorities to investigate the crime, and the investigation was not carried out "in accordance with acceptable international standards."
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UNDP Breathes Life into Banda Aceh

"A major drive is under way to provide employment for an estimated 40,000 job seekers in the tsunami-hit Indonesian province of Aceh. International agencies have laid out plans to engage Acehnese in rebuilding their homeland in the next 3 to 5 years. Three months on, Banda Aceh's river mouth seems ready to breathe life again to a once bustling fish market. A project called Cash-for-Work under the United Nations Development Programme, was partly instrumental for this clean-up." Read More
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CNN Transcript: Sec. Albright Discusses UN Reform

[CNN'S JOHN] KING: United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is calling for a broad reform of the United Nations, including expanding the Security Council and increasing its emphasis on development, security and human rights. Joining me to discuss Annan's proposals and more is the former secretary of state and the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Madeleine Albright. She's now with the Albright Group. Madam Secretary, thank you for joining us. Let's start from one of the big issues, at least from the United States' perspective, or the Bush administration's perspective, in these U.N. reforms. Kofi Annan says he wants to find a more polite way, if you will, for the U.N. to debate and to have an actual mechanism, if there is a question, as there was in Iraq, of whether the United Nations should endorse military force. Can he make that work? MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I think it's difficult. I'm very much in favor of the things that the secretary- general has suggested and the fact that he really has come out with a full reform package. He did a lot of work in getting opinions from this high level panel, and he's talked to a lot of people. And so I think he's come forward with a full package. But the hardest issue is always about the use of force. And the Security Council is supposed to deal with issues that are threats to peace and security. And I think, for the most part, it would be good if we were able to come to some general agreement about it. But ultimately, the United States will act unilaterally if it has to. We used to say multilaterally if you can, unilaterally if you must. But I am all for having a discussion about this. I think it's a very... KING: Is it a waste of time, though, to try to create a mechanism, like a rules of Congress in which you debate force, or is it just as it's always going to be, if somebody disagrees, move on?
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Charity Rugby Nets $3.35 Million for Tsunami Relief

UN News Service: "The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has received its largest single donation ever from a sporting event - nearly $3.35 million from a fundraising rugby game between the northern and southern hemispheres held earlier this month at Twickenham, England, to help the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami."
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Annan: Syria Will Leave Lebanon

"Syria will completely withdraw its troops and intelligence agents from Lebanon, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Tuesday. In meeting with Annan on the sidelines of an Arab summit in Algiers, Syrian President Bashar Assad agreed to present a firm timetable by early April for a full withdrawal of his country's forces from Lebanon. Assad confirmed his commitment to U.N. Resolution 1559, which calls for a Syrian withdrawal." Read more...
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Defining Terrorism

From the Washington Post: "[State Department spokesman Adam] Ereli said, the United States appreciates Annan's effort to change the institution and to tackle a range of politically sensitive development and security issues. He said Annan also provided a "positive emphasis on the importance of promoting freedom and respect for human rights." Delegates from the developing world voiced concern that Annan's proposals -- particularly his call for an anti-terrorism convention before the end of next year -- go too far in accommodating the interests of the United States and other powerful countries. Annan will travel Monday night to Algiers to try to generate support for his ideas at an Arab League summit. But Arab leaders are expected to object to his proposal that the treaty define terrorism as any act that is "intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or noncombatants" to intimidate a community, government or international organization."
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1.1 Billion Lack Clean Water Worldwide

United Nations Marks World Water Day "The United Nations says more than 1.1 billion people around the world lack safe water and 2.4 billion have no access to sanitation, leading to over 3 million deaths every year. "People who can turn on a tap and have safe and clean water to drink, to cook with and to bathe in often take it for granted, and yet more than 1 billion of our fellow human beings have little choice but to use potentially harmful sources of water," said Dr. Lee Jong-Wook, head of the World Health Organization." Read More
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Sen. Wirth Statement on “In Larger Freedom” Report

Statement by Senator Timothy E. Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation, on the "In Larger Freedom" Report Issued by Secretary-General Kofi Annan WASHINGTON-Former Senator Timothy E. Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation, issued the following statement regarding the release of "In Larger Freedom: Towards Security, Development and Human Rights for All" - a report issued today by Secretary-General Kofi Annan: "Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called on global leaders to strengthen their collective ability to tackle the most critical security and social challenges. Annan's report provides a unique opportunity for the United States to work with the UN and play a leadership role in addressing issues of terrorism, poverty, human rights and the environment. At the same time, the report identifies steps that will help make the UN itself a more effective and efficient organization. The serious challenges addressed by the Secretary-General's report cannot be met by any one nation acting alone. As a global leader, the U.S. is well positioned to help the UN and the world community to address these fundamental challenges and make the world body a stronger organization." View the Full Report
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Kofi Annan Statement on UN Reform – 3/21/05

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL STATEMENT TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY New York, 21 March 2005 Mr. President, Excellencies, Thank you for allowing me to present to you, in person, the five-year progress report that you requested from me, on the implementation of the Millennium Declaration. The main message of that report is that the aims of the Declaration can be achieved, but only if you, the member states, are willing to adopt a package of specific, concrete decisions this year. Some of those decisions are so important that they need to be taken at the level of heads of state and government. It is therefore very fortunate that your heads of state and government have agreed to come here for a summit meeting in September. I am giving you my report six months ahead of that meeting, so that your governments have ample time to consider it. My hope is that world leaders, when they arrive here in September, will be ready to take the decisions that are needed.