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United Nations
Rajmohan Gandhi looks at the challenges facing a world where sovereignty is no longer seen as an absolute.
Few issues have caused such division in recent times as Saddam Hussein's despotic regime. The Bush and Blair governments argue that such a regime must not be allowed to use weapons of mass destruction. Other governments - and millions of peace marchers - feel that war is too costly a solution. Both sides claim the moral high ground.
Educating women is the key to eradicating poverty and hunger, said Catherine Bertini, Executive Director of the UN's World Food Programme and Under-Secretary General of the UN. It would break the vicious circle of malnourished and mal-educated women giving birth to malnourished children.
'The liberal democracies of the industrialized countries cannot live in a fortress isolated from history,' said Ambassador Mohammed Sahnoun, Deputy Secretary General of the UN. Some spoke of the 'end of history', following the victory of liberal capitalism over communism.
Rubens Ricupero, the Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), called on governments to dialogue with anti-globalization demonstrators. 'Otherwise we are heading for an increasingly violent confrontation. These movements express an understandable fear and anguish.' He discerned 'a pervasive desire for something that goes beyond the economic'.
Dr Cornelio Sommaruga was President of the International Committee of the Red Cross from 1987 to 1999. He is now President of the Swiss Foundation for Moral Re-Armament. This article is extracted from a talk he gave during a visit to Britain last January.
Another major global UN conference - this time on cities - has taken place in Istanbul.
For once we have seen the United Nations act decisively in the way its founders meant it to. The five Permanent Members - USA, USSR, Britain, France and China - have been at one in their approach to a grave international problem.
As he nears the end of almost 40 years' service to the ILO, Blanchard looks back to a strange `chance' that has influenced his destiny.
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