For information only - not an official document.
Press Release No: UNIS/PI/207
Release Date: 10 August 2000
Fifty-first Volume of United Nations Yearbook Published;
Text Covers Major Activities of Organization in 1997

NEW YORK, 9 August (UN Headquarters) -- The fifty-first volume of the Yearbook of the United Nations 1997 has been published by the Department of Public Information (DPI). This 1,652-page reference book covers all major activities of the United Nations system in 1997.  It is the primary comprehensive and authoritative reference work on the United Nations and is widely used by diplomats, government officials, scholars, journalists and others with a serious interest in international and United Nations affairs. 

The 1997 Yearbook provides an overview of the whole range of activities undertaken by the United Nations to address major global challenges.  Its 53 chapters are divided into six parts:  political and security questions; human rights; economic and social questions; legal questions; institutional, administrative and budgetary questions; and intergovernmental organizations related to the United Nations.  It is fully indexed and reproduces in their entirety the texts of and votes on all major General Assembly, Security Council and Economic and Social Council resolutions and decisions.

Among the major events and activities included are:  the adoption by the General Assembly of the Agenda for Development and the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 -- the plan of action for sustainable development adopted at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development; the tenth emergency special session of the Assembly, convened to consider illegal settlement activities by Israel in Jerusalem; the ongoing work of 20 United Nations peacekeeping operations deployed world wide during the year; the consequences of turmoil and civil strife in Africa; and the crisis surrounding Iraq’s non-cooperation with the United Nations Special Commission for its disarmament.

Also described is Kofi Annan’s plan, launched during his first year as Secretary-General, for managerial and institutional reform, “Renewing the United Nations:  a programme for reform”.  His proposals aimed to strengthen the leadership capacity of the Secretariat, improve administrative effectiveness and efficiency and reduce non-programme costs, the savings from which would be turned into a “dividend for development”. 

The Yearbook provides extensive coverage of complex political and military situations in which the United Nations was involved during 1997, including the implementation of the peace agreements in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia and endeavours to find a solution to conflicts in Afghanistan, Albania, Burundi, Cyprus, Georgia, Liberia, Rwanda and Tajikistan, among others.

United Nations efforts to actively promote human rights through various instruments and mechanisms are set out in the Yearbook, and alleged violations of human rights in a number of countries throughout the world are chronicled.
With the number of refugees and displaced persons world wide exceeding  21 million in 1997, the work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is highlighted, as are United Nations humanitarian assistance programmes. 

United Nations work in the economic and social fields receives comprehensive coverage in the 1997 Yearbook, including important issues related to development policy, international trade, natural resources and energy, population and human settlements, international crime and corruption, food and statistics, among others.
Information is also provided on the System-wide Special Initiative on Africa to address that continent’s critical needs and priorities; the Joint and Co-Sponsored United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS; continued efforts to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted at the 1995 World Conference on Women; and activities of the United Nations Children’s Fund.

As to international legal concerns, the proceedings of the International Court of Justice and of the two international tribunals created by the United Nations to prosecute war criminals -- one for the former Yugoslavia and the other for Rwanda -- are covered, as is the progressive codification of international law by the International Law Commission, which marked its fiftieth anniversary in 1997.  The preparations for the establishment of an International Criminal Court and the adoption of the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings are also described. 

Overall, the accounts of United Nations activities and events as presented in the 1997 Yearbook provide a comprehensive picture of how international cooperation is working to better the lives of the world’s nearly 6 billion inhabitants. 

The Yearbook of the United Nations 1997 will soon be available for $150.00 (Sales No. E.00.I.1, ISBN 92-1-100829-8) from United Nations Publications, Two United Nations Plaza, Room DC2-853, Dept. PRES, New York NY 10017 USA, Tel.800-253-9646 or 212-963-8302, Fax.212-963-3489, E-mail:;  or Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland, Tel.41-22-917-2614, Fax: 41-22-917-0027, E-mail:; Internet:

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