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Published 23rd September 2005

Vol 46 No 19

The good, the bad and the ugly rumours

An anti-genocide agreement, fine words on development and failure on human rights and disarmament mark the world's biggest summit

As delegations from 191 governments choked New York's narrow streets, diplomats and United Nations' bureaucrats tried to craft an accord that tackled critical security and development issues and set the UN on the path to reform. The accord was meant to synthesise the conclusions of a high-level panel which UN Secretary General Kofi Annan had set up in 2003 to examine threats to peace and security with a detailed report by economist Jeffrey Sachs on the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of reducing global poverty by half by 2015. The aim was a security consensus, a diplomatic trade-off mediated through the UN: rich countries would provide more aid, open markets and debt relief and poor countries would do more to counter terrorism, instability and proliferation of the deadliest weapons. For Africa, the timing was critical. It was a chance to build on the pledges made by the Group of Eight (G-8) countries at July's Gleneagles summit (AC Vol 46 Nos 10 & 14) and extract a clearer commitment from rich countries to end agricultural subsidies and widen market access in the run-up to December's World Trade Organisation talks in Hong Kong.

Insecurity council

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Africa's ambitions to get two permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council are suspended until the end of the year when the troubled issue of its expansion and reform wil...

The soccer vote

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After 14 years of war, Liberians mistake a footballer for a politician

The international football star George Manneh Opong Weah leads the pack of 22 presidential hopefuls, in the last weeks of campaigning for the national elections due on 11 October. ...

Welcome to the world

Liberia re-entered the international system on 16 September after two decades of lawlessness. At a grand signing ceremony in the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the Chairm...

A test for the peers

African states have their chance to judge th Kufuor government's record

A central principle of Africa's bargain with industrialised countries is that its own governments should assess each other's performance and publish the results. In return for fore...

All eyes on the islands

With the ruling party certain to win the mainland, Zanzibar will see a delicate balance

Although the United Republic of Tanzania has a population of 32 million people and the tiny islands of Zanzibar have only one million, the eyes and ears of most interested parties ...

Moving the Movement

The threat of a boycott may be the opposition's most powerful weapon in next year's elections

With the present rules and political climate opposition parties, even in an alliance, stand no chance of ousting President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his National Resistance Moveme...


Radical cheque

In expansive mood after his Caribbean sojourn, 81-year old President Robert Mugabe announced for the first time to journalists at the United Nations summit that he definitely inten...

Cross to bear

The arrest of a Belgian Roman Catholic priest has revived controversy over Rwanda's gacaca tribunals. With unprecedented speed, on 11 September the gacaca sent Guy Theunis, of the ...


The aid which keeps nearly three million displaced people in Darfur alive and which is critical to tens of thousands of returning Southerners is threatened by a new law allowing th...

Hamutenya returns

Ex-Foreign Affairs Minister Hidipo Hamutenya may soon return to frontline politics after the fall of his opponent Paulus Kapia, the former deputy Minister of Works involved in the ...