24 April 2001


NEW YORK, 23 April (UN Headquarters) -- The fifty-second volume of the Yearbook of the United Nations 1998 has been published by the Department of Public Information. This 1,500-page reference work covers all major activities of the United Nations system in 1998. 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 1998 edition provides an overview of the whole range of activities undertaken by the United Nations to address major global challenges. Its 52 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 developments covered are: the crisis surrounding Iraq's non-cooperation with the United Nations Special Commission for its disarmament, the security situation and causes of conflict in Africa; the escalating turmoil in the Kosovo province of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the testing of nuclear devices by India and Pakistan; and the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Also described is the implementation of the second phase of Secretary-General Kofi Annan's programme of managerial reform, the first phase of which was launched in 1997.

The Yearbook provides extensive coverage of complex political and military situations in which the United Nations was involved during 1998, including the implementation of the peace agreements in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, and its endeavours to find solutions to conflicts in Afghanistan, Cyprus, the Great Lakes region of Africa, Ethiopia and Eritrea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Georgia and Tajikistan, among others. It also describes the ongoing work of 18 United Nations peacekeeping operations deployed worldwide during 1998, the year in which the General Assembly commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the first United Nations peacekeeping operation and honoured the memory of the more than 1,500 men and women who had lost their lives in the service of peace.

The 1998 edition also covers the commemoration of another fiftieth anniversary -- that of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. United Nations efforts to actively promote human rights through various instruments and mechanisms are set out and alleged violations of human rights in countries throughout the world are chronicled.

With the number of refugees and displaced persons worldwide exceeding 21 million in 1998, 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 field receives comprehensive coverage in the 1998 Yearbook, including important issues related to globalization, development policy, international trade, natural resources and energy, statistics, population and human settlements, international crime and corruption, and food security.

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 ((UNICEF).

In the area of international law, the Yearbook covers the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, establishing the Court as a permanent institution with the power to investigate and bring to justice individuals accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, including genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. It also provides information on 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.

Overall, the coverage of United Nations activities and events as presented in the 1998 Yearbook provides 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 1998 will soon be available for $150 (Sales No. E.01.I.1, ISBN 92-1-100840-9) 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: publications@un.org; or Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland, Tel. 41-22-917-2614, Fax. 41-22-917-0027, E-mail: unpubli@unog.ch. Internet: http://www.un.org.publications

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