On Saturday, 1 March, the Secretary-General met with Robert Hue, Secretary-General of the French Communist Party. They discussed United Nations reform, finances, Zaire, the Middle East and United Nations major conferences.
The Secretary-General then met with Mohamed Sahnoun, United Nations/Organization of African Unity (OAU) Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region, who was guardedly optimistic that negotiations for a cease-fire could succeed, but not right away, and made comments to the press along these lines.
In the Secretary-General's subsequent meeting with President Jacques Chirac, many issues were reviewed, including the situation in the Great Lakes region, Western Sahara, Sudan, Iraq ("oil-for-food" formula), Libya and the former Yugoslavia. They also discussed United Nations finances, Security Council enlargement, drugs, terrorism and human rights.
That day, the Secretary-General also met with Josť Ayala-Lasso, High Commissioner for Human Rights; Bernard Kouchner; and Federico Mayor, Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). He attended an official dinner at UNESCO.
On the afternoon of Sunday, 2 March, the Secretary-General departed Paris for The Hague. That evening, he attended a dinner hosted by President Stephen M. Schwebel of the International Court of Justice.
On Monday, 3 March, the Secretary-General began the day at the Preparatory Commission for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
He later met with Jan Pronk, Minister for Development Cooperation of the Netherlands. They discussed a wide range of issues, including how to integrate peace-keeping and peace-building, and the possibility of setting up trust funds for peace-keeping operations that could be drawn on to do peace- building type activities, from demobilization to good governance.
The Secretary-General then paid a courtesy call to Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and attended a lunch hosted by her. He then met with the Judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and with President Antonio Cassese and staff. They discussed the work of the Tribunal and its financial problems. The Secretary-General then met with the Prosecutor, Justice Louise Arbour, and members of her office.
The Secretary-General then gave a press conference.
In the evening, the Secretary-General attended an official dinner hosted by President Cassese and Judges of the Tribunal.
On Tuesday, 4 March, the Secretary-General met with the Speakers of the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament, H.P. Tjeenk Willink and P. Bukman, respectively. They talked about the importance of better coordination within the United Nations system. Then, he met with the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Lower House, Maarten van Traa, and 18 members of that Committee. The Secretary-General was asked about the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the issue of seconded personnel to the Tribunal, Zaire, the prospects for an international criminal court, financing of the United Nations, reform of the Organization, relations with the specialized agencies, and Srebrenica.
The Secretary-General then met with the Foreign Minister, Hans van Mierlo. Zaire was one of the main topics discussed. Then, the Secretary- General held a joint meeting with the Prime Minister, Wim Kok, and Mr. van Mierlo, which was followed by a luncheon in the Secretary-General's honour. At this meeting, United Nations reform was discussed, as well as Zaire. The Defence Minister, Joris Voorhoeve, who was also present, raised the issue of a multinational force for Zaire. They also talked about Cyprus, global conferences and the need for follow-up and the need for involvement of non- governmental organizations in such efforts. They talked in detail about Security Council reform and about Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the situation in Brcko. Addressing the United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES), they talked about a follow-on force.
At a press conference held after lunch, the Secretary-General said that he had spoken to the Foreign Minister and the Prime Minister about Zairian refugees, and that United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata had told him that she had never seen a crisis like that -- chasing refugees displaced by fighting. The Defence Minister, Joris Voorhoeve, who also attended, hoped the Netherlands could assist with humanitarian aid in eastern Zaire; that there needed to be a leading nation, a clearly defined mandate and heavy armour.
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The Secretary-General was asked about congressional benchmarks on United States payments. He said he was convinced that the United States Administration wanted to pay; that many members of Congress felt they should pay; that many members of Congress were not convinced, but that most Americans were uncomfortable with their "deadbeat" status. Would Canada again lead the multinational force in eastern Zaire? he was asked. "No -- that force was disbanded, we have to start from scratch", the Secretary-General replied. On the drug study which criticized the Netherlands, in particular, for illegal trade in chemical drugs, the Secretary-General said that he had not studied the report on what was a sensitive and contentious issue. He said that one country alone could not deal with the problem, that it had to be dealt with collectively.
He was asked about Albania, where he said he hoped that the Government would act with restraint. "The problem is financial, therefore, the solution must be financial", he said.
The Secretary-General's party then went to the Peace Palace, where they met with Carnegie Foundation executives. That Foundation has various programmes based in the Peace Palace, including seminars for law students from around the world. Before departing for the airport and New York, the Secretary-General also met with the Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, P.J.H. Jonkman.
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