NEWS


| September 2003 | October 2003 | November 2003| December 2003 |
| January 2004 | February 2004 | March 2004 | April 2004 |
May 2004
| June 2004 | July 2004 | August 2004 | September 2004 |


 Daily Press Briefings
Daily Press Releases
Highlights of the Fifty-eighth General Assembly
Statements page
SEPTEMBER 2004

13 September 2004 - General Assembly ends 2004 session with more 'positive outlook' -
President Julian R. Hunte closes 58th session.
The United Nations General Assembly concluded the work of its fifty-eighth session today, with the outgoing President Julian R. Hunte praising the body's genuine drive to overcome the crisis of confidence that had gripped the United Nations in the wake of the war in Iraq.
FULL STORY>>

Read President Hunte's full statement >>
See press release >>


8 September 2004- 57th Annual DPI/NGO Conference begins today at UN Headquarters.. Julian Robert Hunte (Saint Lucia), President of the fifty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly, addressing today's Conference. Seated right is Shashi Tharoor, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. (UN/ DPI Photo N 33975)

Read GA President's full statement.


    (UN/DPI Photo N 33506 by Evan Schneider)
Professor Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University’s Initiative for Policy Dialogue with Mr. and Mrs Julian R. Hunte. On the left ECOSOC’s President, Ambassador Marjatta Rasi of Finland.

2 September 2004“Stiglitz Plan” presented at the United Nations. President Julian Hunte, wanting to underscore the importance of sustainable development issues invited Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz to speak to members of the General Assembly on the role of international trade in promoting development. Professor Stiglitz presented an alternative way forward for the Doha Round based on social justice and economic analysis. He suggested principles that should motivate the negotiations and identified priority initiatives which would deliver significant gains to developing countries and increase global efficiency. The Special presentation, chaired by President Hunte, was held in the ECOSOC chamber, as the 58th Session is rounding up its work.
Read President Hunte’s introductory remarks.
AUGUST 2004

19 August 2004 - On anniversary of tragedy in Baghdad, General Assembly President recalls "courage and conviction of staff”. “I commend the men and women of the United Nations who tirelessly continue the critical work of the organisation in this unstable and often perilous world “said President Julian Hunte in a statement from Johannesburg, South Africa where he is on an official visit.”I urge that we give full effect to the goals and objectives of the Charter so that the United Nations may continue to stand above the confusion that surrounds us and that its staff will no longer be in constant danger” added the President of the Fifty Eighth session.
Read Statement >>


GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT, JULIAN R. HUNTE RECEIVES AWARD FROM
POPE JOHN PAUL II

His Holiness the Pope, John Paul 11 has given a major recognition to Julian R. Hunte, Minister for External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation, and President of the Fifty-eighth Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Minister Hunte is to receive the Knight of the Grand Cross Pian Order, in recognition of his accomplishments at the United Nations, during his Presidency of the General Assembly.
Mr. Hunte is especially commended for the major role he played in the consensus adoption of the General Assembly resolution entitled "Participation of the Holy See in the work of the United Nation."
READ MORE>>


                   
9 August 2004
- The United Nations today marked the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People with calls to governments, intergovernmental organizations and the international 9 August 2004 : The United Nations today marked the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People with calls to governments, intergovernmental organizations and the international community at-large for urgent action to end the gross human rights abuses, discrimination and marginalization that all too often are still their lot in society.
In his statement on the Commemoration of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, President of the 58th General Assembly, Julian R. Hunte asked that we "remain mindful of the challenges indigenous peoples continue to face" and we must "do our part to ensure the preservation of their language, culture and religion. We can do so by pledging to uphold the values of tolerance, equality and individual freedoms for the benefit of all the world’s indigenous peoples, and for all humankind." Read More>>

   
   
One of the participants at the International Day of World's Indigenous People. The commemoration was observed with a one hour cultural event.
    NICA 31753 - UN Photo by E. Schneider

NICA 31756 - UN Photo by E. Schneider



Two of the participants at the International Day of World's Indigenous People. The commemoration was observed with a one hour cultural event.
NICA
31755 - UN Photo by E. Schneider



9 August 2004
- From left to right, Mrs. Elias, United Nations General Assembly President, Julian R. Hunte, Senator Elias (St. Lucia) and H.E. Mr. A. Severin, P.R. (St. Lucia).

(UN/DPI Photo N 31891
)


  

5 August 2004 - General Assembly President Appeals for Observance of Olympic Truce. The President of the General Assembly, Julian R. Hunte (Saint Lucia), solemnly appealed to all States to demonstrate their commitment to peace in the world by observing the Olympic

Truce during the XXVIII Olympic Games in Athens, saying, "While conflict in the world will not cease overnight, if we could have peace for sixteen days, then, maybe, just maybe, we could have it forever". Observing the Olympic Truce meant constructing bridges of communication between adversaries, allowing the youth of the world to peacefully participate in the Olympic Games and creating the necessary infrastructure for the continuation of dialogue and the renewal of hope for reconciliation, both during the Games and throughout the four-year period of Olympiads, he said.  He expressed confidence that the appropriate measures taken by Greece, in close cooperation with the international community, would ensure the staging of the Games in a safe and peaceful environment. President Julian Hunte has been invited to go to Athens for the Games.
(Click on upper left photo to enlarge)
Read full statement >>
[Webcast: Archived Video - 50 mins]


5 August 2004 - General Assembly condemns acts of terrorism. The General Assembly this afternoon adopted a resolution "reaffirming the central role of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security and the promotion of international cooperation". In a resolution adopted by a recorded vote of 93 Member States in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 47 abstentions, the Assembly condemned acts of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, wherever and by whomever committed, and reiterated its call on all States to adopt and implement further measures to prevent terrorism and to strengthen international cooperation in combating terrorism. It would also reaffirm that measures taken by States must be in accordance with the Charter and must comply with their obligations under international law and the relevant resolutions of the United Nations. Read Press release >> [Webcast: Archived Video - 50 mins]


JULY 2004

UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT, JULIAN R. HUNTE VISITS SURINAME

        

27 July 2004 - Amid concerns in the Caribbean over the United Nations' capacity to face the challenges of globalization, poverty, or the spread of pandemics, affecting the region today, the President of the 58th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Julian R. Hunte will address the role and relevance of the United Nations, during an official visit to Suriname this week.

Click here to read more >>

UN ASSEMBLY VOTES OVERWHELMINGLY TO DEMAND ISRAEL COMPLY WITH ICJ RULING

    
  
General Assembly votes on ICJ ruling

20 July 2004 -The United Nations General Assembly today voted overwhelmingly to demand that Israel comply with an advisory opinion issued earlier this month by the World Court, which declared the construction of a separation barrier in and around the West Bank to be illegal.
In adopting a resolution by a vote of 150 to 6, with 10 abstentions, the Assembly also called on all UN Member States to comply with its obligations as contained in the finding by International Court of Justice ICJ), (which include a duty "not to recognize the illegal situation resulting

from the construction of the wall in the occupied Palestinian territory, including in and around East Jerusalem" and "not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction."
>>Full story and press release.



19 July 2004
- Julian R. Hunte (right), President of the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly meets with Chrispin St. Hill, a representative of the St.Lucian Associations of the United Kingdom.

(UN/DPI Photo N 16828
)



 
  
A social worker counsels an HIV-positive person, China.

1 July 2004 - Reviewing progress on HIV/AIDS. General Assembly set 2 June 2005 as date for high-level meeting . That meeting would take place in New York and would contribute to the high-level five-year review of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, scheduled to open the Assembly’s sixtieth session The text, adopted by the Assembly today, without a vote, also set out the organizational arrangements for the high-level meeting, with opening and closing plenary sessions featuring top United Nations officials and the participation of representatives from international, national and community organizations, in round table discussions. These would include people living with the disease and pharmaceutical companies. Read more about HIV/AIDS
See press release >>

1 July 2004 -    General Assembly launches plan to sharpen focus, streamline agenda, revamp working methods. The 191-member General Assembly today launched the initial phase of a  multi–year plan to streamline and revamp its working methods, approving a measure that would pare down its agenda, sharpen the focus of its six Main Committees, and begin to reduce its massive paperwork.Unanimously adopting a resolution on further measures for revitalizing its work, the Assembly took what delegations hailed as a significant step in following up the adoption last December of a set of sweeping changes -- to take effect following broad consultations over the next two years -- that would increase the body’s effectiveness and better enable it to face twenty-first century challenges. See Press Release. Assembly President Julian Robert Hunte (Saint Lucia), who had challenged delegations last fall to move quickly to adopt a focused, long-term framework revitalization initiative, said that with the text approved today, beginning at the fifty-ninth session, the Assembly’s agenda would be organized under a number of headings, which would serve as a defining principle that would allow Member States and the general public, for the first time, to appreciate at a glance the issues it planned to consider. But noting that the text had deferred an issue of “critical importance” -- a proposal to reorder the Assembly’s work by scheduling it over two substantive periods -- he said the job was far from over.  Pointing out that during the four-months period last year, 276 items and sub-items had been considered, 347 reports totalling 5,500 pages had been submitted, and 287 resolutions had been adopted, he said, “it is not clear to me why we should continue to operate in this fashion.”  . Read President Hunte's statement.
See related documents: A/58/L.66 and A/RES/58/126

JUNE 2004


(Click on image to enlarge)

24 June 2004 - The Global Compact Leaders Summit at UN Headquarters. President Julian R. Hunte welcoming leaders to the Global Compact Leaders Summit. The Summit assembled hundreds of corporate executives, government officials and civil society leaders at UN headquarters on 24 June to take stock of the Global Compact, and chart its future course.
See press release >>


23 June 2004 - Celebration of the United Nations Public Service Day and Awards ceremony. The United Nations Public Service Day was marked at UN Headquarters with an Awards Ceremony 23 June 2004. UN Public Service Day is dedicated to enhancing the image of the public sector, to show recognition for the work of public servants, and to encourage young people to pursue careers in public administration. The UN gave 10 public service awards to government agencies or departments from around the world for excellence in public service. They were Austria, Australia, Brazil (two prizes), Cameroon, Canada, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines and South Africa.
In his opening remarks the President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Julian R. Hunte called upon "Member States, the United Nations system, other intergovernmental organizations and civil society, to provide the cooperation and support that would ensure that the service can deliver on national development goals and agreed international goals, including the MDGs."




 
       

19 June 2004 - Olympic torch passes through UN. According to ancient Greek tradition, countries observe an "Olympic Truce" while athletes are competing in the global competition. The UN General Assembly has revived this tradition by calling for an end to bloodshed now as well. As the Olympic torch came to the United Nations for the first time on Saturday, the world body sent it on its global journey with an appeal for a halt to all fighting during the summer games and a silent prayer for lasting peace. H.E. Mr. Julian Hunte, President of the 58th Session of the UN General Assembly, also called for "a time out from conflict, violence and war. …When we do so, we allow ourselves to stop and contemplate our world, not as it is, but as it ought to be -- the global village, fully in accord with the goals and objectives of the United Nations Charter," he said. Read full statement.
See press release >>


14 June 2004 - UNCTAD Opens Eleventh Session in Sao Paolo, highlighting importance of trade among developing countries. Welcomed by top officials from the city and State of Sao Paulo, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) this morning opened its eleventh session in Brazil's economic capital, with a focus on enhanced coherence that gave trade among developing countries its rightful place in international economic relations. In his statement at the opening ceremony President of the fifty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly, Julian R. Hunte (Saint Lucia), said that a significant task of UNCTAD XI, on which all agreed, was to review the critical issue of coherence – how to best enhance consistency between the development strategies planned at the international level, on the one hand, and global economic processes, on the other. That issue underpinned the more complex, multidimensional issue of how to further economic growth and development, particularly of developing countries, in the current global environment.
Read more about UNCTAD XI and related news >>



10 June 2004 -
General Assembly Elects Jean Ping of Gabon as
President of the Fifty-ninth session.
The General Assembly this morning elected Jean Ping, Minister of State, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and la Francophonie of Gabon, as the President of its fifty-ninth session. The new President will assume his role upon the opening of the new session in September. Congratulating Mr. Ping upon his election, the President of the Assembly's fifty-eighth session, Julian R. Hunte (Saint Lucia) said he hoped the progress being made during the current session would help make Mr. Ping's tenure both dynamic and far-reaching. The current session had to date been a demanding one, in which the Assembly had sought to advance the work of the Organization in critical areas, including economic and social development. He said that much effort had been dedicated to revitalizing the work of the Assembly, including forging a closer working relationship with the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council, refocusing some of the Assembly's priorities and strengthening the Office of the President. A pressing priority included preparations for the 2005 high-level plenary meeting of the Assembly, for review of the integrated follow-up and implementation of the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic and social fields, including the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals.

See press release>>


(UN/DPI Photo N 825
0)



(UN/DPI Photo N 825
1) J ean Ping (left), Foreign Minister of Gabon, is congratulated on his election as President of the 59th session of the General Assembly by Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette and Julian R. Hunte (second from left), President of the 58th session of the General Assembly. On the right is Under-Secretary-General Chen Jian, Dept. for General Assembly and Conference Management.

10 June 2004 - General Assembly decides on new dates for Mauritius International Meeting:
10-14 January 2005.
The United Nations General Assembly decided today to postpone until 10-14 January 2005 the international conference on small islands previously scheduled to be held from 30 August to 3 September in Mauritius. The host country required this postponement following delays in the construction of the conference centre due to unusually heavy rains during the first months of this year. "The Mauritius conference provides a critical window of opportunity for the future of small islands", commented the Secretary-General of the International Meeting, Anwarul K. Chowdhury. The purpose of the Mauritius International Meeting is to review the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States that was approved by the Barbados Conference, in 1994. This programme of action has been one important priority of the 58th Presidency.


        
     
President Julian Hunte at the United Nations Information Service in Vienna, during the briefing moderated by Mr. Christian Strohman, Officer-in-Charge of UNIS Vienna.


2 June 2004 -
President Hunte in Vienna : Reaffirming United Nations relevance:
During a Press Briefing in Vienna, President Julian Hunte reaffirmed the relevance of the United Nations as the sole global organization that can take decisions on all issues on the international agenda, including the maintenance of peace and security.
The President of the General Assembly, who is on a six-day visit to Austria, addressed the issue of revitalization and reform. He said (read full statement) that these reforms were necessary, making the United Nations a more credible, representative and effective organization. Mr. Hunte stated that progress had been made including the cooperation and coordination

between the General Assembly and the Security Council, and the role of the President of the General Assembly, which has been enhanced through increased resources and his ability to put forward relevant issues. Mr. Hunte then touched upon the reform of the Security Council, naming six critical issues of discussion: the size of the enlarged Security Council, the question of regional representation, the criteria for membership, the relationship between the General Assembly and the Security Council, the accountability, and the use of the veto. See UNIS Vienna


2 June 2004 - United Nations General Assembly President emphasises contribution of UN's outer space activities to sustainable development, in Vienna.
Opening the Session of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space COPUOS, Mr. Hunte emphasised the contribution of UN's outer space activities to sustainable development and underlined the importance of space-based solutions for disaster management. Noting the unique and vital responsibility of COPUOS in highlighting the role that space science and technology can play in assisting the United Nations in achieving its economic and social development goals, Mr. Hunte underlined that one of the most important achievements of COPUOS has been the establishment of regional centres for space science and technology education, affiliated with the United Nations. Mr. Hunte drew attention to the growing role that space-based solutions are playing in mitigating the catastrophic effects of natural disasters. Pointing out that natural disasters constitute one of the most critical challenges to sustainable development, Mr. Hunte noted that the reduction and mitigation of natural disasters is among the priorities of the United Nations, and a particular issue for the General Assembly. The key item on the agenda of the COPUOS meeting will be finalizing the preparations for the General Assembly's review of the implementation of the recommendations of the Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III) in October 2004.
See Press release UNIS Vienna

MAY 2004

GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT JULIAN R. HUNTE, ON AN OFFICIAL VISIT TO GERMANY
24-26 MAY 2004
 
     
Welcomed by Federal Chancellor Gerhardt Schroder.

 

Deputy Mayor of Munich, Mr. Monazeder looks on while General Assembly President Julian R. Hunte signs the Guest Book of the City of Munich



Press conference with Federal Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer

25 May 2004 - President of the General Assembly, Julian R. Hunte talks with the Masters Programme Students of Freie Universitat Berlin in Germany. In making his case for their support for the United Nations, and for the General Assembly President Julian R. Hunte urges the student body of Freie Universitat Berlin to commit themselves "to mobilize youth groups in support of the United Nations; and to give support to national and international initiatives to ensure that the United Nations remains relevant, is effective and is better able to fulfill the principles and purposes of the Charter."
Read President's Remarks>>


President Julian R. Hunte, Ambassador
Sherman-Peter with the National Model United Nations Group

21 May 2004 - UN forum on indigenous issues wraps up third annual session .Too many indigenous peoples face challenges over their land, cultures, languages and livelihood, but the declaration being drafted by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights would be a specific international instrument on their rights and fundamental freedoms, UN General Assembly President Julian Hunte said today. Addressing the two-week Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which wrapped up its third annual session at UN Headquarters in New York, Mr. Hunte, from St. Lucia, said too many indigenous people remain outside the national decision-making activities that affect their daily lives. The International Decade of Indigenous Peoples, ending this year, had established cooperation between many communities and the United Nations, he said. Indigenous peoples could rely on the General Assembly, called the "House of Mica" in an ancient Hopi prophecy, to welcome them in good faith, celebrate their civilizations and listen to them. Mr. Hunte said it was timely to have made indigenous women the focus of the Forum's third session because they have suffered special marginalization, extreme poverty, discrimination and violence. He called on all UN Member States to make critical decisions to ensure gender equality. READ STATEMENT >>
  
     
Juli
ian Robert Hunte
(centre), President of the 58th session of the General Assembly meets with Ambassador Crispin Gregoire (right), Permanent Representative of Dominica. On the left is Albert Deterville, St. Lucian Representative from a NGO concerned with Indigenous issues.
(UN/DPI Photo N1806)


Bottom centre - left to right at the podium: Marjatta Rasi, President of the Economic and Social Council, Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and Ole Henrik Magga (right), Chairperson of the Forum, speaking at today's meeting. Left is Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Bottom left and right - participants at the Forum today.



President Julian Hunte (centre) discusses the needs and aspirations of the World Indigenous Peoples with Dr. Erica Irene Daes, Founding Chairperson and Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations , Recipient of the UN Human Rights Award (1993). With them is Ambassador Tobing-Klein, adviser to the Presidency on Social and Humanitarian affairs.

(UN/DPI Photo N1670)
 

                                    
            (UN Photo #UNE7644)                                    (UN/DPI Photo UNE7641)                             (UN/DPI Photo UNE7650)
                                                                               
(Click here or on image to enlarge).



19 May 2004
- Julian Robert Hunte (right), President of the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly meets with
Ambassador Inocencio F. Arias, the Permanent Representative of Spain.


UN/DPI Photo N 2064 - Photo by E. Debebe.

19 May 2004 - Julian R. Hunte (fourth from left, front row), President of the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly meets with the Rio Group. The Permanent Mechanism of Political Consultation and Coordination - the Rio Group (GRIO) - was created in 1986 in Rio de Janeiro. The members of this group include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, Uruguay and a representative from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Read more on the Rio Group >>




(UN/DPI Photo N 2
174)

   (Click here or on image to enlarge).



18 May 2004
- Julian Robert Hunte (right), President of the 58th Session of the General Assembly meets with Permanent Representative Designate of Spain, H.E. Mr. Juan Antonio Yanez-Barnuevo.


(UN/DPI Photo N 1824)

6 May 2004 -A high-level plenary on the outcome of the Millennium Summit to be convened in 2005. The General Assembly adopted, without a vote, a draft resolution submitted by its President on the outcome of the Millennium Summit, by which it would convene at the start of its sixtieth session, a high-level plenary meeting. To Julian Robert Hunte, General Assembly President the text sets out a mandate for a comprehensive review of the progress made in fulfilling all the commitments contained in the Millennium Declaration. That included, he said, internationally agreed development goals and the global partnership required to achieve them. The mandate also incorporated a comprehensive review of progress made in the integrated and coordinated implementation of the outcomes and commitments of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields.

     
(UN/DPI Photo UNE6985)

6 May 2004 - General Assembly overwhelmingly affirms Palestinians right to sovereignty .The 191-member United Nations General Assembly today overwhelmingly affirmed the need to enable the Palestinian people "to exercise sovereignty and to achieve independence in their State, Palestine." By a vote of 140 in favour to 6 against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and the United States), with 11 abstentions, the Assembly adopted a resolution that also affirmed that "the status of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, remains one of military occupation." The text also affirmed, in accordance with the rules and principles of international law, and relevant resolutions of the Security Council, that "the Palestinian people have the right to self-determination and to sovereignty over this territory and that Israel, the occupying power, has only the duties and obligations of an occupying Power under the Fourth Geneva Convention and the IV Hague Convention of 1907."

SEE PRESS RELEASE >>

     
(UN/DPI Photo UNE4275)

APRIL 2004

29 April 2004 - The President of the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly, meets with Delegates of Finland.
Left to right: Riitta Resch, Director of General Global Affairs of Finland, Hannu Kyrolainen, Director-General of the Department for Global Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Marjatta Rasi, President of the Economic and Social Council and Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations, Julian Robert Hunte, President of the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly, A.Missouri Sherman-Peter, Chef de Cabinet to the President of the General Assembly, and Sonia Leonce-Carryl, Deputy Chef de Cabinet to the President of the General Assembly.



(UN/DPI Photo UNE 7547 -
Photo by E.Schneider.
)

     

29 April 2004- A luncheon was hosted today at UN Headquarters by the State of Qatar, representing the Chairmanship of the"Group of 77" developing countries and China. Left to right: Julian Robert Hunte (Saint Lucia), President of the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations, and Youssef Hussein Kamal, Minister for Finance of the State Of Qatar.
UN/DPI Photo UNE 7553 - Photo by S. Paris.



29 April 2004
-President of the General Assembly, Julian Robert Hunte (third from left) meets with Delegates of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).


(UN/DPI Photo UNE 7550 -

Photo by E. Schneider.
)

27 April 2004 - "A more effective response is needed, and urgently, to the problems of development".

     (UN/DPI Photo UNE 7520 -
Photo by E. Debebe.
)
  (Click here or on image to enlarge).

Julian Robert Hunte (second from right), President of the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly, hosted a one-day informal briefing on the status of preparations for United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) XI, to be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 13-18 June 2004. Also present is Rubens Ricupero (second from left),
Secretary-General of the UNCTAD. Stressing one of the priorities of his Presidency, Julian R. Hunte introduced an informal briefing on the preparation for UNCTAD XI. "There is also a sense of urgency , President Hunte said, that we must pick up the pace, if we are to meet the 2015 targets of the Millennium Development Goals.

"Why, when we have had so many important conferences and summits over the past decade, including a pivotal conference on financing for development, the follow-up has not yet ensured the development results expected? he asked." Is it possible to get this "implementation" side of our work right?"
Read the President's introductory remarks.


27 April 2004 - Celebrating ten years of Freedom in South Africa

The President of the General Assembly hosted a meeting this morning to commemorate that "momentous occasion on 27 April 1994, when a new South Africa emerged triumphantly from the dark past of apartheid into the light of democracy and freedom". Assembly President Julian Hunte (Saint Lucia) recalled the role played by the United Nations in advancing the end of apartheid in South Africa. "From the moment that the United Nations had received the danger signal that a founding Member had taken a retrograde step to institutionalize racism and racial discrimination, ending the abhorrent system of apartheid had become a priority. For more than four decades, the Organization had given international leadership and direction to the struggle against apartheid, sharing the vision of the majority of South Africans for a country free from racism, racial discrimination, violence, despair and violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms".

However, the tribute for shaking off apartheid belonged to the people of South Africa, he said. Notwithstanding decades of racism, racial discrimination and oppression, they had been uniquely successful in their national reconciliation and nation-building efforts and could be justifiably proud of their accomplishments. Read Statement. On a day when South Africans witnessed the swearing in of the country's third democratic government, the meeting heard a commemorative message from President Thabo Mbeki, as well as statements by the Presidents of the Assembly, Security Council and the Economic and Social Council, as well as the Secretary-General, among others.


PICTURE: Assembly President Julian R. Hunte and Secretary General Koffi Annan at the podium


     


27 April 2004
- Julian Robert Hunte (Saint Lucia) (right), President of the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly, meets with
Bertrand G. Ramcharran, Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights.

(UN/DPI Photo UNE 7521 -
Photo by S. Paris.)


8 April 2004 - General Assembly adopts 2 year budget

The General Assembly this morning adopted without a vote nine texts recommended by its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) and related to the programme budget for the biennium 2002-2003; the programme budget for the biennium 2004-2005; financing of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia; and review of the administrative and financial functioning of the United Nations. President Julian R. Hunte concludes voting procedure (top).

The Assembly observes a minute's silence in memory of Boris Trajkovski, the late President of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, who died in a plane crash in February (bottom).

UNE7388/UNE7387 UN Photo by E. Debebe.

See press release>>




     
(UN/DPI Photo UNE 7349 -

Photo by E. Debebe.
)


7 April 2004
- President of the General Assembly meets with Representatives of National Model United Nations.
Left to right: Adrés González, Assistant Secretary-General for External Affairs of the 2004 National Model United Nations (NMUM), Jennifer Franco of NMUM and Julian Robert Hunte (Saint Lucia), President of the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly.


7 April 2004 - "Never again". General Assembly marks 10 years since Rwanda genocide.

With a minute of mournful silence, the ringing of the Peace Bell, the testimony of a tearful young survivor and expressions of regret and resolve from senior officials, the United Nations today commemorated the deaths of at least 800,000 Rwandans 10 years ago in the world's biggest genocide since the Second World War. "While we may look backwards, we must move forward," the President of the General Assembly, Julian Hunte of Saint Lucia, told a commemorative meeting which included the participation of the Security Council.

A survivor of the tragedy, who had been only nine years old at the time, described before hushed delegations a nightmarish account of the 100-day slaughter in which neighbour had risen up to kill neighbour in the "most barbaric and merciless" ways. In the end, some 800,000 people were killed while the international community stood idle. Jacqueline Murekatete's story was the sombre highlight of the Assembly's commemoration of the International Day of Reflection on the genocide, which also included performances by Rwandan singer Cecile Kayirebwa and the Harlem Boys Choir.

The meeting was just one of many related events planned by the United Nations around the globe, including the observance of a minute of silence at noon throughout the world's time zones to honour the victims.











Genocide survivor Jacqueline Murekatete (top). President Paul Kagame addressing the Assembly via video from the Rwandan capital of Kigali (at right),. At the podium Julian Hunte (St Lucia), President of the General Assembly, Gunter Pleuger (Germany), President of the Security Council and Deputy Secretary General Louise Fréchette . At left, Staff members at a solemn march outside the UN building.



MARCH 2004

25 March 2004. Day of solidarity with detained and missing staff members .


   

President Julian R.Hunte with Tony Jenkins, President of United Nations Correspondents Association

"We can and must do better to ensure their safety and to bring to justice those who target them" said President Julian Hunte, during a brief ceremony intended to highlight the dangers faced daily by United Nations staff members as well as journalists around the world. The Day marks the abduction by armed men in 1985 near Beirut Airport of Alec Collett, on assignment for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The fate of Mr. Collett, a journalist and former Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Accra, has never been determined. In his statement, Julian R. Hunte reaffirmed his commitment as President of the General Assembly, to improving the security of UN staff and associated personnel. SEE STATEMENT>>


23 March 2004. Towards Security Council reform.



   

(UNE 6946 United Nations, New York, 19 February 2004, UN Photo by E. Debebe )

The General Assembly met in new informal Consultations on the questions of Equitable Representation and increase in the Membership of the Security Council, as the Assembly is assessing ten years of work on proposed reforms. Several issues are under discussion : the size of the enlarged Council, the question of regional representation, and the accountability of the Security Council to the General Assembly. The number of non permanent members of the Security Council was increased from 11 to 15 in 1963.

Left to right: David Biggs, Political Affairs Officer of Department of Political Affairs, Christian Wenaweser, Vice-Chairperson of the Working Group and Permanent Representative of the Principality of Liechtenstein to the United Nations, Luis Gallegos Chiriboga, Vice-Chairperson of the Working Group and Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the United Nations, Julian Robert Hunte, President of the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly, and Margaret Kelly, Director of General Assembly and ECOSOC Affairs Division of Department for General Assembly and Conference Management.


22 March 2004. UN General Assembly to decide on year round programme of work.

"Do delegations really have the time and the capacity, under the present arrangements, to absorb the materials before us in order to make fully considered decisions?" asked President Julian R. Hunte at an informal meeting of the General Committee. The President of the Fifty-eight session noted that the Assembly has, this session, 173 items before it for consideration and that the number of reports that have been submitted in connection with these items stand at 347. The total number of pages that these reports represent is approximately 14,000 pages.

President Julian Robert Hunte proposed that the Assembly meet in two substantive sessions, one from September to December and the second from February to April. The work of the Main Committees would be rescheduled during these two sessions. The Assembly has to take a decision by July 2004.

See Revitalization>>

A VIEW OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

A VIEW OF THE ASSEMBLY
(Top, a general view of the General Assembly hall, UN Photo #198456C, bottom, delegates before the start of the session UN Photo #198453C)

22 March 2004. Sixty thousand lives lost every year to natural disasters, as United Nations marks World Water day and World Meteorological Day.
In a statement marking World water Day, President Julian R. Hunte underlined the dangers posed by human activities on existing water resources. "Practices such as the indiscriminate use of mineral fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, and the dumping of sewage and industrial wastes which can pollute rivers and lakes, are harmful to the environment, he said. For many small island states, there is great concern about the effects of climate change and the threat to their very existence from rising sea levels, which could sink them beneath the sea". World Water Day focuses this year on Water and Disasters. " It also raises awareness, President Hunte said, about the devastating impact on human, social, economic and environmental welfare that can be caused by natural and human-made disasters. Many of these disasters can be averted through proper management of our water resources and water systems and through the key component of sustainable development" added President Hunte in his statement. Click here to visit WMO site>>

                      

21 March 2004. International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination focuses on migration and discrimination. In a statement, President Julian Hunte underlines new forms of racism at a time when the movement of people within countries and across borders is more commonplace than in any other period of human history. "Even as migration may make our societies more pluralistic, he said, it exposes individuals and groups to some of the worse forms of racism and racial discrimination, and challenges us to be tolerant of ethnic, religious, cultural and other differences." March 21 commemorates the Massacre of Sharpeville in South Africa, under the Apartheid regime. It has been observed every year since 1966 as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. See President Hunte's statement>>

11 March 2004. The President of ECOSOC, H.E. Ms. Marjatta Rasi (Finland) meets President Julian R. Hunte.


   Anwarul K. Chowdhury, High Representative of the Secretary-General for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, Marjatta Rasi, President of the Economic and Social Council and Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations, Rogatien Biaou, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Benin and Chairman of the Group of Least Developed Countries, and Thérèse Gastaut, Director of Strategic Communications Division of Department of Public Information, at today's press conference on the state of the world's least developed countries.

(UNE 7169 United Nations, New York, 18 March 2004, UN Photo by E. Schneider)

Increased cooperation between the Presidents of the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council is one of the provisions of the General Assembly revitalization plan, adopted by the Assembly last December . It's objective is to ensure coordination and complementarities of the work programmes of the three organs in accordance with their respective responsibilities.

Left to right: Anwarul K. Chowdhury, High Representative of the Secretary-General for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, Marjatta Rasi, President of the Economic and Social Council and Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations, Rogatien Biaou, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Benin and Chairman of the Group of Least Developed Countries, and Thérèse Gastaut, Director of Strategic Communications Division of Department of Public Information, at today's press conference on the state of the world's least developed countries.


9 March 2004. "There is, after all, but one world, and it stands to reason that there is but one global agenda". In London, England, the President of the United Nations General Assembly addressed the Model Youth Commonwealth Heads of Government. " We must resolve crisis before they engulf people in conflict and war, President Hunte said."We must develop policy options that respond to the needs and aspiration of people the world over for their human rights to be respected, and for freedom from poverty, ignorance, deadly pandemics including HIV/AIDS and for economic progress". More than 75 young people from 12 Commonwealth countries met at Marlborough House to debate some of the major challenges affecting member nations and the globe. READ GA PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT>>

8 March 2004. The President of the General Assembly participates in Commonwealth Day in London.



   Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II meets Archbishop Desmund Tutu of South Africa, President Julian R. Hunte and Mrs. Jennifer Hunte

President Julian R. Hunte was a guest at the multi-faith, multicultural observance held in London's Westminster Abbey and attended by the Head of the Commonwealth, HM Queen Elizabeth II. The ceremony was full of colour as well as solemnity, as young people carried flags of the Commonwealth countries and representatives of various religious denominations prayed for greater understanding between the people of the world. In the evening President Hunte also attended a reception hosted by the Commonwealth Secretary-General at Marlborough House, the headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. On the left, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II meets Archbishop Desmund Tutu of South Africa, President Julian R. Hunte and Mrs. Jennifer Hunte.


8 March 2004. "Strategies against HIV/AIDS must ensure the equal access of women to their full rights as citizens."
Celebrating International Women's Day, focused this year on Women and HIV/AIDS, President Julian Hunte in a statement issued in London, declared : "Women must have equal status under the law, must be educated, must be the beneficiary of poverty reduction strategies, and must be protected from all forms of violence.

Importantly, HIV/AIDS strategies must ensure women equal access to prevention, treatment and care services and must address the stigma and discrimination associated with the disease. I firmly believe that nowhere is equality more desperately needed as in the effort to protect women from HIV/AIDS."




A volunteer in Zambia assists a local woman who provides health information on AIDS. (UN Photo #UN205381)

1 March 2004. President of General Assembly meets with Special Adviser of Secretary General on Haiti.

   President Hunte meets with John Reginald Dumas, Special Adviser on Haiti
(UN Photo UNE 7022)

Julian Robert Hunte (Saint Lucia) President of the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly, meets with John Reginald Dumas, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Haiti. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed Trinidad and Tobago's John Reginald Dumas to help tackle Haiti's escalating political, economic and social turmoil. Mr. Dumas, 68, has a long record of diplomatic service for his country and has specialized in issues affecting the Caribbean region.


FEBRUARY 2004

25 February 2004. A delegation from St Lucia visits President Julian Hunte. President Julian R. Hunte welcomes a delegation from St Lucia : Left to right : Anthony B.Severin, Permanent Representative of St Lucia to the United Nations, writer Robert Lee, Father Patrick A.B. Anthony, President Julian Hunte, and Kendall Hippolyte, today at UN Headquarters

See Celebration of St Lucia's independence>>


(UN Photo UNE 6980)

24 February 2004. President of the General Assembly meets with permanent Representatives.
   President Hunte meets with Amb. Nabeela Abdula Al-Mulla, Permanent Representative of the State of Kuwait to the United Nations
(UNE 6970 Photo by S. Paris)
Julian Robert Hunte (Saint Lucia) meets with Nabeela Abdula Al-Mulla, Permanent Representative of the State of Kuwait to the United Nations (left) and with Lazanachantorn Laohaphan, Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations (right).

President Hunte meets with Amb. Lazanachantorn Laohaphan, Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations
(UNE 6969 Photo by S. Paris )


20 February 2004. President of General Assembly receives distinguished medal of service from the Caribbean-American Chamber of Commerce. "Experience has shown, that in a world that has become a global village, power, influence and prosperity is disturbingly unequal," said President Julian R. Hunte (Saint Lucia). Modernizing government, he added, speaking to a gathering of Caribbean government officials and business executives in New York, is a priority - making it easier and less costly to do business; enhancing the efficiency of the bureaucracy, and moving away from reliance on one major export to look for new niche markets. READ GA PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT>>


20 February 2004. "Alarming and dangerous situation in Haiti requires concerted international response by the international community," Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Kieran Prendergast, said this morning as he briefed the General Assembly. The briefing was hosted by Assembly President Julian R. Hunte and was organized in response to the concerns and queries by Member States on the United Nations role in responding to the violence that has gripped the country in recent weeks. In his opening remarks, Mr. Hunte said that the Assembly's approach to conflict prevention and resolution bore centrally on its revitalization initiatives. SEE THE PRESS RELEASE>>


      H.E. Mr. Jagdish Koonjul, Chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States addresses the SIDS Inter-regional meeting in Nassau, Bahamas last month

20 February 2004 The Permanent Representative of Mauritius, H.E. Mr. Jagdish Koonjul, Chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States (OASIS) called on President Julian Hunte to update him on developments since the SIDS Inter-regional meeting in Nassau last month and to seek his support on the way forward to the Small Island Developing States meeting in Mauritius. He informed the President of two particular areas of concern, energy and trade.


At right, H.E. Mr. Jagdish Koonjul, Chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States addresses the SIDS Inter-regional meeting in Nassau, Bahamas last month. (Photo courtesy of SIDSNet)


12 February 2004. Globalization must be harnessed to benefit rich and poor alike, according to President Tarja Halonen of Finland, co-chair of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization. President Halonen met with the President of the United Nations General Assembly; Julian R. Hunte to brief him on the findings of the Commission which calls for building an "inclusive" globalization. The two Presidents also discussed the role of the General Assembly in development, and the revitalization efforts undertaken under President Hunte's leadership.


President Hunte meets with President Tarja Halonen of Finland

7 February 2004: An audience with his Holiness the Pope.
Pope John Paul II expressed his concern and support for world peace. President Julian R. Hunte and the Holy Father discussed matters related to the United Nations and the maintenance of peace.

Photo gallery : The President of the General Assembly Julian Hunte greeted at Cortile San Damaso by a dignitary of the pontifical household and escorted in the Apostolic Palace by Swiss Guards in their Renaissance costumes ( photos 1 and 2)… His Holiness John Paul II with President Julian R. Hunte, Mrs. Jennifer Hunte, and Chef de Cabinet, Ambassador Missouri Sherman-Peter (photos 3 to 9)… The President of the General Assembly escorted to the Prima Logia where he met Secretary of State, Angelo Cardinal Sodano (photo 10-11).

View the Gallery>> (Photos courtesy of Servicio Fotografico de "L'Osservatore Romano")





View the Gallery

6 February 2004: Bilateral meetings. President Julian Hunte in Rome. Revitalization of the General Assembly and reform of the Security Council were at the center of discussions between the President of the General Assembly and high level Italian officials. Upcoming meetings of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and of Small Island Developing States were also discussed with Hon. Gianfranco Fini, Deputy Prime Minister, and with Deputy Foreign Minister, Margherita Boniver who stressed Italy's interest for development issues. The Italian officials expressed their concerns about the situation in Iraq and the Middle East. President Julian R. Hunte also met with members of the Italian Parliament: Senator Marcello Pera, Deputy Pier Ferdinando Casini, Chairman of the Chamber, and Deputy Gustavo Selva, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

4 February 2004: Council of General Assembly presidents meets in Valetta, Malta, discusses contribution to UN reform, Assembly revitalization.

The President of the Fifty Eighth session briefed his colleagues on the provisions of the December resolution on revitalization of the General Assembly. President Julian R. Hunte outlined to the Council the work of the session to date, including the successful outcome of the High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development and other important aspects of the work of the session. The Council gave its full support to the early and comprehensive implementation of the resolution on revitalization. The resolution would enhance the role and authority of the General Assembly and bring about significant improvements in its work methods. The Council also discussed the present and future role of the United Nations, in furthering the objectives of the Millennium Declaration.

At left( top), the Council of former General Assembly Presidents meets, and (below)
President Julian R. Hunte with former Presidents of the General Assembly, H.E. Dr. Han Seung-soo of the Republic of Korea, and H.E. Mr. Guido de Marco of Malta



Council of former General Assembly Presidents meets


President Julian R. Hunte with former Presidents of the General Assembly, H.E. Dr. Han Seung-soo of the Republic of Korea, and H.E. Mr. Guido de Marco of Malta

4 February 2004: "a very fruitful exchange", this is how President Julian Hunte describes his meeting today at the Palace in Valetta with the President of Malta, H.E. Mr. Guido de Marco, former President of the General Assembly and host of an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Presidents of the General Assembly. They discussed the challenges facing the United Nations in the current global environment. They also reflected briefly on how the Council of Presidents might more effectively support the goals and objectives of the Organization.

JANUARY 2004

30 January 2004 : Reform of the Security Council. The General Assembly holds consultations.
President Julian R. Hunte, Chairman of the "Open ended working Group on the question of equitable representation on, and increase in the Membership of the Security Council," opened the debate on an informal note that was circulated earlier this week on Security Council reforms. President Hunte noted that the outcome of the Working Group's deliberations, since its creation in 1993, has been somewhat of a disappointment. The President of the session appealed to influential Member States to give new impetus to Security Council reforms, noting that the provisions of the Charter give a very small number of Member States an important role to play in Security Council matters. He also underlined the desire of most member states to continue to be involved in the process.
READ GA PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT>>

26 January 2004 -"The focus must now change, to empowering Small Island Developing States to implement policies that put them on a straight path to sustainable development" : President Julian R. Hunte (St Lucia) addresses regional meeting in Bahamas

"Our small size and small populations force most of us into the role of importers, especially in the vital areas of food and energy; but we have little or no control over the prices of these imports" said President Julian Hunte, addressing some 300 representatives of small islands, including several ministers, many donor countries, UN officials, experts and non-governmental organizations (NGO).

The week-long meeting in Nassau is part of the preparatory process for a meeting slated for later this year in Mauritius to review progress since the adoption, in 1994, of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. "We live, stressed the President of the UN General Assembly , in a world where the rights of shareholders in a multinational corporation are judged to have priority over the rights of banana growers in the Eastern Caribbean, and entire economies are thrown into total collapse to protect these rights".

The Bahamas forum addresses pressing issues for small islands such as the rising level of seas due to global warming, vulnerability to cyclones, trade, tourism, freshwater, energy, transport and communications, good governance and HIV/AIDS.

SEE THE PRESS RELEASE>>

At left( top), Bahamas, Nassau - A one week meeting on Small Island States, and (below)
President Julian R. Hunte confers with
the Under-Secretary-General of the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States(OHRLLS), Mr. Anwarul K. Chowdhury



Bahamas, Nassau


President Julian R. Hunte confers with the Under-Secretary-General of the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States(OHRLLS), Mr. Anwarul K. Chowdhury

7 January 2004 - President of Fifty-eighth session expresses "deep sorrow" at passing of Prime Minister of Dominica. In a letter , President Julian Hunte stresses the contribution of Prime Minister Pierre Charles to regional cooperation." The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) have lost, he wrote, a staunch supporter of regional integration and co-operation in Prime Minister Charles. His contribution in these regional fora will be sorely missed". Prime Minister Charles died of heart complications on January 6th. See letter >>.

DECEMBER 2003

29 December 2003 - Iran: A devastating earthquake
In a letter to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, H.E. Seyed Mohammad Khatami, President Julian R. Hunte expresses his deep sadness after the earthquake that devastated south-eastern Iran resulting in the tragic loss of life of more than 25,000 people and grave damage to the ancient city of Bam. The President of the Fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly extends his condolences to the bereaved families and to the Government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In the meantime the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team in Bam is undertaking a joint aerial assessment of the damage caused by the 26 December earthquake Iran with a team from the United Kingdom.

    


23 December 2003
-"PEACE ON EARTH". On the last meeting of the Fifty-eighth session for 2003, the General Assembly salutes the New Year.

The Voting board spells out wishes for 2004
.
(UN Photo UNE 6383)
(Click here or on image to enlarge).


23 December 2003 - General Assembly concludes work for the first part of the Fifty-eighth Session.

"Given the challenges we faced at the beginning and throughout the session, what we have been able to achieve together, and the ambitious agenda we have set ourselves for the remainder of the session," President Julian Hunte said," it is safe to say that this session has thus far been nothing short of extraordinary". READ CLOSING STATEMENT>>


The gavel came down 281 times as resolutions were adopted throughout, on a number of critical and varied issues including HIV/AIDS, Financing for Development, traffic in small arms, human rights, terrorism, cloning, humanitarian assistance, or the revitalization of the General Assembly itself.

In an earlier address, President Hunte told delegates, "In these turbulent times, the world's peoples are looking to the United Nations to safeguard what is fundamental to them, from sustainable development to peace and security." Today, the United Nations found itself at a critical juncture, challenged by an extraordinary set of circumstances. What, then, should be done? he asked. While reform was imperative, "we must reaffirm the central role of the United Nations, the most important multilateral organization ever established and which has stood the test of time".

Highlights of the Fifty-eighth General Assembly>>


President Hunte and Under-Secretary-General Chen Jian

President Hunte and Under-Secretary-General Ibrahim Gambari

Two
views of the first part of the session
(UN/DPI Photo UNE 6140 /5607)

23 December 2003 - General Assembly adopts world body's 2004-2005 budget of some $3.16 billion.

Acting on the recommendations of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), the United Nations General Assembly capped a substantive session its President called "nothing short of extraordinary" with the adoption of the world body's 2004-2005 budget of some $3.16 billion. Presented in a shorter-than-usual results-oriented format, the budget envisions a range of measures to realize more efficient utilization of resources, including structural reorganization, redeployment of funds, and streamlining. The Assembly also acted on such important issues as the scale of assessments, financing peacekeeping missions, and financing the two International Tribunals. SEE PRESS RELEASE>>

22 December 2003 - Human Rights and terrorism, access to medication, rights to food and health among issues addressed.

Acting on the recommendations of the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, Cultural), the General Assembly today adopted 70 resolutions and a number of decisions, of which nearly half addressed human rights questions related to a host of issues ranging from terrorism and country-specific human rights conditions, to the impact of globalization and the rights to food, development and the highest standards of health. SEE PRESS RELEASE >>

Vice-Chairperson of the Third Committee

Mrs. Beatriz Londono(Colombia), Vice Chair of the Third Committee addresses the Assembly
(UN/DPI Photo UNE 6378 )

22 December 2003 - Facing the HIV/Aid's challenge.

Emphasizing the increasing challenges posed by HIV/AIDS, the Assembly adopted by a vote of 181 to 1 against (United States), a resolution on access to medication in the context of pandemics. The resolution calls on States to implement national strategies to realize access for all to prevention-related goods, services and information, as well as access to comprehensive treatment, care and support for all individuals infected and affected by pandemics such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.


19 December 2003 - Landmark revitalization programme adopted by consensus. The United Nations' 191-member governing General Assembly today approved a set of sweeping changes -- to take effect following broad consultations over the next two years - that ranged from sharpening the focus of its decisions, to paring down its workload, and deepening cooperation with the Presidents of the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council. Unanimously adopting a two-part resolution on revitalizing the work of the General Assembly, Member States reaffirmed the Assembly's vital and fundamental role in international affairs, deciding, among other things, to take steps to increase the body's efficiency and effectiveness and to raise the level of its visibility, so that its decisions might have greater impact. SEE PRESS RELEASE>> Welcoming the resolution's adoption, Assembly President Julian Robert Hunte (Saint Lucia) said that body could now move to set up a viable framework for long-term action and a continuing revitalization process as a means of ensuring that it met contemporary global challenges effectively. SEE STATEMENT>>



17 December 2003
-Secretary-General Koffi Annan hosts a "Coupe-de-Champagne" in honor of the President of the Fifty eighth Session of the General Assembly. The Secretary General presents President Julian R. Hunte with a bound set of notes of the first 10 meetings of the General Assembly.

President Hunte and Mr. Annan share a moment at a Coupe de Champagne
(UN/DPI Photo DSC 1377)

  President Hunte, Mr. Annan, and Amb. Sherman-Peter share a moment at a Coupe de Champagne 
(UN/DPI Photo UNE 6323)


The President of the Assembly also receives from Secretary General Annan a replica of the gavel used in the Assembly and engraved with the President's name. Next to President Hunte, his Chef de Cabinet, Ambassador A. Missouri Sherman-Peter.
(Click on photos to enlarge)


10 December 2003 : International Human Rights defenders honoured as General Assembly marks fifty-fifth anniversary of universal declaration.

"Those who violate such rights must know that they cannot expect to do so with impunity."

 

Assembly President Julian Robert Hunte (Saint Lucia) opened the ceremony, noting that even as civil liberties and fundamental freedoms were celebrated today, countless human rights abuses would occur around the world.
READ THE GA PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT>>

In observance of International Human Rights Day, the United Nations this morning honoured four tireless human rights supporters and two pioneering organizations, awarding its 2003 prizes in that field to an Argentine advocate for missing persons, a Chinese defender of the disabled, an American human rights educator, a taboo-breaking Jordanian family protection team, and an African women's peace-building network.

Awarded every five years for outstanding promotion and protection of civil liberties and fundamental freedoms, the United Nations Human Rights Prizes were presented today in commemoration of the fifty-fifth anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and the tenth anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, considered to be the foundations of the international regime created to safeguard and enhance human rights.

 


   Recipients of Human Rights Day Prize

(UN/DPI Photo UNE 6204)


The somber highlight of the ceremony was the General Assembly's special posthumous recognition of Sergio Vieira de Mello, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, who was killed with 22 other staff members in the 19 August terrorist bombing of the world body's headquarters in Baghdad. Mr. Vieira de Mello's widow, Annie, was on hand to accept the award from President Julian Hunte. Far left is Laurent Vieira de Mello, son of the late Sergio Vieira de Mello

 
   Recipients of Human Rights Day Prize

(UN/DPI Photo UNE 6199)
Recipients of Human Rights Day Prize

(UN/DPI Photo UNE 6203)

Recipients of Human Rights Day Prize

(UN/DPI Photo UNE 6201)

Enriqueta Estela Barnes de Carlotto, President of the Association of Plaza de Mayo Grandmothers, established in 1977 in the wake of the disappearance of hundreds of children following Argentina's military coup in 1976 (left), Deng Pufang of China, founder and now Director of the China Disabled Persons Federation (center) and Shulamith Koenig of the United States, Executive Director of the People's Movement for Human Rights, which she founded in 1988 with the goal of creating a global human rights culture (right) receive this year's United Nations Human Rights prizes from the President of the 58th Session of the General Assembly.

 

     Recipients of Human Rights Day Prize
     Recipients of Human Rights Day Prize
(UN/DPI Photo UNE 6202(top), & UNE 6200)


Also honoured were two community projects, the Mano River Women's Peace Network of West Africa, a collective of women's organizations from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, which was established three years ago in response to the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in that troubled region ; and The Family Protection Project Management Team of Jordan , a groundbreaking initiative that has helped to lift the taboo on the subject of domestic violence and promote open debate on human rights, equity and gender.

At left (top), members of the Mano River Women's Peace Network of West Africa, holding the commemorative plaque and (bottom) Mu'min of the Family Protection Project Management Team of Jordan, receiving this year's Human Rights prize.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE WINNERS>>

 

"Important progress has been made in the field of human rights," President Hunte said. "The inalienable right of all peoples and human beings to the full range of human rights, including freedom, equality, dignity, social justice, self-determination and the right to be democratically governed, is today unquestionable. Those who violate such rights must know that they cannot expect to do so with impunity."









     "NO TORTURE"

"NO TORTURE"

(UN/DPI Photo UNE 6222-Click to enlarge)
"HUMAN RIGHTS"

(UN/DPI Photo UNE 6224)









"NO SLAVERY"

"NO SLAVERY"

(UN/DPI Photo UNE 6223-Click to enlarge)

The UN Building in New York illuminated for Human Rights Day.

9 December 2003: Assembly decides to include item on reproductive cloning in 59th session agenda.

Following intensive negotiations among concerned delegations, the General Assembly this morning decided by consensus not to take action on two proposals before it on the question of an international convention on reproductive human cloning, and instead adopted a consensus agreement to include the item in the agenda of its fifty-ninth session in 2004.

The decision was read by its President Julian R. Hunte, (seen on the right with Mrs. Margaret Kelly, Director of General Assembly and ECOSOC Affairs division)

SEE THE PRESS RELEASE>>




President Hunte and Ms. Margaret Kelley, Director of General Assembly and ECOSOC Affairs Division

(UN/DPI Photo
UNE6173)


8 December 2003 - General Assembly adopts text requesting International Court of Justice to issue advisory opinion on West Bank separation wall.

The tenth emergency special session, chaired by General Assembly President, Julian R. Hunte, adopted a resolution asking the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to issue an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of Israel's construction of a separation barrier in the West Bank. Adopting the text by a vote of 90 in favour, to 8 against, with 74 abstentions, the Assembly also expressed grave concern at the commencement and ongoing construction of the wall in and around East Jerusalem -- a departure from the Armistice "Green Line", and a de facto annexation of large areas of territory.

This is the third time during its fifty-eighth session that the world body's Arab Member States have called for the resumption of the long-running emergency session.

SEE THE PRESS RELEASE>>


 President Hunte and Mr. Chen Jian preside over today's meeting            Amb. Dan Gillerman, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations         Amb. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations         A view of the Assembly
 
(UN/DPI Photo, from left to right, UNE 6140, 6144, 6142, 6147)


8 December 2003 - General Assembly concerned about proliferation risk of non-strategic nuclear weapons.

The General Assembly, acting on 52 resolutions and decisions on the recommendation by its First Committee (Disarmament and International Security), stressed the need for the nuclear -weapon States that possessed such weapons not to increase the number or types deployed and not to develop new types or rationalizations for their use.
(Click here or on image to enlarge)

A testament to disarmament - "Non-Violence"

(UN/DPI Photo
#182966C A testament to disarmament - "Non-Violence". This sculpture was a gift from the Government of Luxembourg presented to the United Nations in 1988 - Click to enlarge)

     President Hunte and Mr. Sergei A. Ordzhonikidze
(UN Photo courtesy of UNOG)

5 December 2003 - President Julian Hunte meets in Geneva, with Mr. Rudd Lubbers, the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees, with Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi, Director General of the World Trade Organization. He also met with Mr. Bertrand Ramcharan, the United Nations acting High Commissioner for refugees, and with the Director General of the United Nations Office at Geneva Mr. Sergei A. Ordzhonikidze (seen here with President Julian Hunte).


4 December 2003 - President Julian Hunte is the keynote speaker at the twenty second General Assembly
of the Conference of Non Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations, better known as (CONGO) in Geneva.

READ GA PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT>>


2 December 2003 - General Assembly President announces awardees of 2003 United Nations Human Rights prize: An Argentine advocate for the disappeared, a Jordanian taboo-lifting family protection team, the handicapped son of a former Chinese leader turned disability defender, a human rights educator in the United States and a West African women's peace-building network are the winners of this year's United Nations human rights awards. The UN Human Rights prizes awarded every five years for outstanding promotion and protection of civil liberties and fundamental freedoms will be presented to five winners on December 10, Human Rights Day, UN General Assembly President Julian Hunte said today.

      President Hunte at today's news conference
(UN /DPI Photo UNE 6025)


At a news conference, Mr. Hunte named the winners as Enriqueta Estela Barnes de Carlotto of Argentina; the Family Protection Project Management Team of Jordan; Pufang Deng of China; Shulamith Koenig of the United States and the Mano River Women's Peace Network in three West African countries. A special posthumous award would honour Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights who was killed in August in a bombing in Baghdad while serving as Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative for Iraq, he said.

READ GA PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT>>

"The Prize provides an opportunity for the United Nations to publicly commend the achievements and outstanding contributions of the awardees, says President Julian R. Hunte, Chairman of the Award's Through this public recognition of their valuable work, the United Nations also pays tribute to the thousands of anonymous human rights advocates and defenders involved daily in the difficult and often perilous work of promoting and protecting the rights of others.

Video of press briefing>>


2 December 2003 - International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.
The President of the Assembly deplores, in a statement to mark the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, the fact that today, 27 million people are enslaved or work as forced labour. "We must work steadfastly to eradicate slavery worldwide", says President Julian R. Hunte.

READ GA PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT>>


1 December 2003 - World Aids Day
"Staggering statistics continue to paint a very grim picture", deplores President Julian Hunte in a statement, issued today for World Aids Day. "The reality, he said, is that whatever progress has been made is simply not enough. We must strengthen our resolve, and our strategies must be proactive".

READ GA PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT>>

During a General Assembly's High-level plenary meeting on HIV/AIDS, held on 22 September 2003, General Assembly President had called on member states to reaffirm their pledge to halt and reverse the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Stressing that HIV/AIDS is much more than a public health problem and impacts virtually every aspect of human endeavour, Mr. Hunte had urged interventions that "go hand in hand with policies that address poverty, socio-economic development, human welfare and social cohesion."


1 December 2003 -
"As President of the General Assembly, I take the important opportunity offered by this solemn meeting to recognize and uphold the Assembly's responsibilities in respect of the question of Palestine,

Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

"History is a persistent reminder that problems between peoples and States cannot be solved by violence and conflict, said President Julian Hunte at a special meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This Day of Solidarity is an affirmation of the United Nations unflagging commitment to the resolution of the question of Palestine, and of its support for the Palestinian people in their aspiration to exercise their right to self-determination. There is broad international consensus, added President Hunte that the two-State solution is the only one that will bring this long-standing Middle East conflict to an end.



1 December 2003
- President Julian Robert Hunte meets with Palestinian journalists on internship with the United Nations Department of Public Information. On the right is Saleem Fahmawi, Chief of Palestine, Decolonization and Human Rights Section of Department of Public Information.

President Hunte with Palestinian journalists on internship with DPI
(UN/DPI Photo UNE 5996)

NOVEMBER 2003



26 November 2003
- President Hunte meets with the Chairmen of the Main Committees of the General Assembly. He is seen here with the Permanent Representative of the Philippines, H.E. Mr. Lauro Baja, Chairman of the Legal Committee (Sixth).

President Hunte meets with H.E. Mr. Lauro Baja, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Philippines

(UN/DPI Photo
UNE5511)



24 November 2003
- The President of the General Assembly meets with Judge Dolliver Nelson of Grenada, President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea as the General Assembly discusses issues related to the Oceans, the law of the sea and Sustainable fisheries.

President Hunte with Judge Dolliver Nelson of Grenada
(UN/DPI Photo
UNE 5927)

19 November 2003 : Julian R. Hunte, first President of the UN General Assembly to address the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States

"…In a world that increasingly confounds us with its complexity, and daunts us with its dangers, multilateralism is the key to our survival. Critical is the mutual understanding and strong links we develop between states and organizations, and between the United Nations and regional organizations". At a meeting of Experts on Democratic Governance in Washington, The President of the General Assembly Julian R. Hunte spoke to the OAS permanent Council on global issues of particular interest to both the UN and the OAS.

READ GA PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT>>

SEE THE OAS PRESS RELEASE>>


18 November 2003 -

The General Assembly meets on a second series of open ended informal consultations around the revitalization of the work of the General Assembly. A second discussion paper is now being circulated to member states. The issues are grouped in two clusters: enhancing the authority and role of the General Assembly and improving its working methods. The next step will be in the hands of the "facilitators" recently named by President Hunte.

READ THE DISCUSSION PAPER>>

   President Hunte addresses this year's Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award

   A view of the ECOSOC Chamber
President Hunte (top) addresses today's ceremony. A view of the ECOSOC Chamber (UN/DPI Photo UNE 5760 & UNE 5768)
Click here or on bottom photo to enlarge.


17 November 2003 - Italy receives seventh Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award.

In a keynote Speech, President Julian Hunte said "The stark reality is that some six hundred million people in the world are living with disabilities, eighty five percent of them in developing countries…Progress is, however, being made, he said, attitudes are changing, tolerance is taking root, and the space is increasingly being made, to the extent possible, for the disabled to articulate and realize their hopes and aspirations, including participating in nation building. President Hunte underlined Italy's particular contribution as the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and the World Committee on Disability honored Italy with the seventh annual Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award for its progress toward the goal of the U.N. World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons - the full and equal participation of people with disabilities in the life of their countries.


17 November 2003 - President Hunte meets with the President of Guinea-Bissau, H.E. Mr. Henrique Pereira Rosa as the Security Council extends for another year, the United Nations mission in Guinea-Bissau to give the transitional government the time to strengthen democratic institutions. The President of Guinea-Bissau, Henrique Perreira Rosa, had appealed to the United Nations to help his West African country pay its civil servants the salaries owed them and assist his transitional government in preparing peaceful elections.
President Hunte and President Henrique Pereira Rosa
President Hunte meets with President Henrique Pereira Rosa of Guinea Bissau today (UN/DPI Photo UNE 5787)

17 November 2003 - "an essential actor in international affairs"…H.E. Mr. Julian R. Hunte is the guest of honor at a reception at Metgar Evers College of the City University of New York. Addressing the Faculty and student body, the President of the General Assembly underlined the vital role of the United Nations. "The passage of time and events still unfolding, he said, have underscored that despite its shortcomings - and yes, these do exist - the United Nations is still an essential actor in international affairs. It is only the United Nations that can confer legitimacy on collective action in response to threats to international peace and security, whether taken by a group or by the international community as a whole. The United Nations also has unparalleled strengths and experience in the area of humanitarian relief, and more importantly, in the sensitive and complex area of nation-building in post conflict settings, where its neutrality and objectivity are critical advantages".

READ GA PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT>>



14 November 2003 -


President Julian Hunte meets with the Under-Secretary-General of UN Habitat, Mrs. Anna K. Tibaijuka.

President Hunte with Under-Secretary-General Anna K. Tibaijuka
President Hunte with Under-Secretary-General of UN-HABITAT, Mrs. Anna K. Tibaijuka (UN/DPI Photo UNE 5713)

10 -13 November 2003 - President Julian Hunte meets with twelve former Presidents of the General Assembly:
The President of Malta, H.E. Mr. Guido De Marco participated in the meeting of the Council of Presidents of the General Assembly, with President Julian Hunte. The former Presidents, meeting in New York, are H.E. Imre Hollai of Hungary, Lazar Mojsov of Yugoslavia, Jaime de Pinies of Spain, Samir Shihabi of Saudi Arabia, President Guido de Marco of Malta, Mr Hennady Oudovenko of Ukraine, Harri Holkeri of Finland, Stoyan Ganev of Bulgaria, Amara Essy of Cote d'Ivoire, Dr. Theo Ben Gurirab of Namibia, Dr. Han Seung Soo of the Republic of Korea and Jan Kavan of the Czech Republic. The Presidents had a chance to compare notes, and discuss revitalization of the General Assembly as they participated in a series of meetings, diners and working lunches in honour of President Julian Hunte and the twelve former Presidents of the General Assembly. The meetings were hosted by the Chairman of the Council of Presidents of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Samir S. Shihabi.


A view of today's meeting of the Council of Former Presidents of the General Assembly

A view of the meeting of the Council of former Presidents of the General Assembly
( UN/DPI Photo UNE
5683)
Click here or on bottom photo to enlarge.



OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY


58TH SESSION OF THE
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY


President Hunte shares a laugh with President Guido de Marco of Malta
President Hunte sharing a laugh with President Guido de Marco of Malta (right), and former President of the General Assembly, Hennadiy Udovenko of Ukraine (center)
( UN/DPI Photo UNE
5660)


12 November 2003 - For a fair and predictable multilateral trading system. The second Committee is working on the follow up to the High level dialogue on Financing for Development held two weeks ago and on ways to implement commitments made at the 2002 Monterrey International Conference on Financing for Development. After the Summary of the Dialogue presented by the President of the General Assembly, several speakers echoed the appeal for a fair and predictable multilateral trading system, calling on developed countries to open up their markets to exports from developing countries, eliminate customs tariffs and reduce agricultural subsidies.

President Hunte at today's meeting with the Committee on the Security of the ICS


11 November 2003 -
President Julian Hunte meets with the Committee on the Security and Independence of the International Civil Service, and expresses his deep concern for the security of UN staff working in the field.

President Hunte at today's meeting with the Committee on the Security of the ICS
(UN/DPI PHOTO UNE 5669
)



11 November 2003 - More required to implement the agreements and commitments made at Monterrey…

President Julian Hunte presented this morning a summary of the recent High Level Dialogue on Financing for Development to the second committee, a priority of his Presidency. Regarding implementation of the Consensus, it was recognized, he said that some progress had been made. It was pointed out, however that there had been slippage in some areas. Notably, there had been disappointing developments in international trade and financial transfers. It was emphasized that more was required to implement the agreements and commitments made at Monterrey. A comprehensive summary of the deliberations of the High level Dialogue was circulated in the Second Committee.


READ TEXT OF THE SUMMARY>>
READ GA PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT>>

President Hunte confers with Under-Secretary-General Anwarul Chowdhury
A view of today's meeting
Views from this morning's meeting of the Second Committee. Top, Under-Secretary-General of OHRLLS, Anwarul K. Chowdhury, confers with President Hunte(UN/DPI Photo from top to bottom UNE 5521, 5523)

8 November 2003 - In the Bahamas, President Julian Hunte is the guest speaker at an international Business Conference that included Prime Ministers and Ministers of governments of Caribbean countries, members of US Congress and a wide cross section of Business leaders from the US and the Caribbean. The Conference provided an opportunity for the President to appraise this diverse audience about some aspects of United Nations work in the area of development, in particular the recently concluded Financing for development dialogue.


President Museveni of the Republic of Uganda addresses the Assembly
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni addresses the Assembly (UN/DPI Photo UNE 5522)


President Hunte meets with President Yoweri  Kaguta Museveni of the Republic of Uganda

Julian R. Hunte meets with Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda (UN/DPI Photo UNE 5548 by Mark Garten)

3 November 2003 - Underdeveloped countries are job and money donors, Ugandan leader tells UN
Calling for a revised understanding of the term "donors", Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, in a special address to the General Assembly on "Commodities and Development", said that his country had been ignorantly and persistently "donating" to others - effectively giving money and jobs to other countries that processed their raw material exports.
That situation arose, he continued, from the fact that commodity-dependent countries received only one tenth the final value of the raw materials they exported. Thus, while he agreed that diversification had its place in addressing the problems of commodity-dependent economies, the real way to solve the problem was cutting out the middleman and linking commodity-dependent countries directly to consumers by adding value to raw materials before their export.
President Museveni was invited by the President of the Assembly, Julian R. Hunte to address the UN body in a special meeting on "Commodities and development, the experience of Uganda". To President Hunte, small countries must diversify with a view to transforming their economies.

SEE THE PRESS RELEASE>>


3 November 2003- Commodities: "A comprehensive programme of action by all relevant parties, including the private sector and NGOs, is critical".
In a presentation to the Economic Committee of the General Assembly, President Julian Hunte summarized the open ended panel on commodities held on October 27, as the Second Committee opened its debate on Commodities and raw materials. President Hunte noted that "Increased and sustained efforts to solve problems associated with commodity markets, including price declines and volatility, over dependence on a handful of commodities for export revenues and oversupply was regarded as critical action that had to be taken. In this context, improving competitiveness and ensuring better participation in global supply chains was considered to be key."
READ GA PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT>>



The economies of fifty Member States of the United Nations rely on commodities like bananas for fifty percent of their exports.
(UN/DPI Photo)

3 November 2003 - 2005: the International Year for Sport
The Assembly decided to proclaim the year 2005 as the International Year for Sport and Physical Education as a means to promote education, health, development and peace, and invited governments to organize events to underline their commitment and to seek the assistance of sport personalities in this regard. Tunisia's Minister of Sport, Abderrahim Zouari, observed during his visit to President Julian R. Hunte, that sport could be a "school of life".

SEE THE PRESS RELEASE>>

Find Out More about Saint Lucia - the country of the new 58th Presidency of the General Assembly, and the new President Hon. Senator Julian R. Hunte, Minister for External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation >>
Link to the Government Website of Saint Lucia

Visit the Permanent Mission of Saint Lucia to the United Nations >>



CARIBBEAT: OUR MAN IN THE UN
St. Lucian diplomat heads General Assembly

New York Daily News (Vol. 7, No. 5 November 2003) >>
Link to Daily News pages

 

Office of the President of the General Assembly
United Nations, New York, NY, 10017
tel: (212) 963 2486, fax (212) 963 3301