Press Releases

                                                                                                                            26 July 2004

    Latest UN Yearbook Provides Comprehensive Overview of United Nations’ Activities for Use by Diplomats, Government Officials, Scholars, Journalists

    NEW YORK, 23 July (UN Headquarters) -- The fifty-sixth volume of the Yearbook of the United Nations, covering the year 2002, has been published by the Department of Public Information (DPI). This 1,596-page publication, which covers all major activities undertaken in the United Nations system, is the primary comprehensive and authoritative reference work on the United Nations and is widely consulted by diplomats, government officials, scholars, journalists and others with a serious interest in international and United Nations affairs.

    The 2002 edition, which 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, comprises 52 chapters covering:  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.

    Highlights include the war on terrorism, the handing over of authority to East Timor’s first democratically elected President and the independent Timor-Leste and Switzerland becoming Members of the United Nations, as well as the transfer of some powers from the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo to a democratically elected assembly, elections in Sierra Leone and the resumption of arms inspections in Iraq after a four-year stalemate. Also covered is the entry into force of the Statute of the International Criminal Court, an unprecedented step forward for world order and justice.

    The ongoing work of some 40,000 military and civilian personnel deployed in 13 United Nations peacekeeping missions around the world is chronicled as is the General Assembly’s designation of 29 May as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, to be observed annually to honour all peacekeepers, especially those killed on active duty. The Organization’s increasing role in conflict prevention is also described, with the number of peace-building missions rising to 14 during the year.

    The 2002 Yearbook also provides full coverage of United Nations efforts to address the armed conflicts that continued to plague several African countries, including Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea and Ethiopia, and the Mano River Union countries (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone). In an effort to address the continent’s development needs in the face of unrelenting poverty and related social and economic woes, the Assembly endorsed the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, the region’s own initiative, adopted in 2001 by the Organization of African Unity (which became the African Union in 2002).

    Other important developments covered include: continued assistance to Afghanistan in its task of national reconstruction; the successful completion of two missions in the former Yugoslavia, the United Nations Mission in Prevlaka and the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was one of the Organization’s most complex peace-building missions; and the efforts of the Quartet (Russian Federation, United States, European Union, United Nations) and the Security Council to restore peace between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

    In the human rights field, the Yearbook reports on the entry into force of the two optional protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child: on the involvement of children in armed conflict; and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. The Assembly’s proclamation of 2004 as the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery is also covered.

    Yearbook coverage of United Nations work with regard to economic and social concerns focuses on efforts to realize the Millennium Development Goals, adopted by the Millennium Summit in 2000, and the international conferences that took action on financing for development, sustainable development and food security. It also covers the international community's attempts to address the needs of the most vulnerable at the World Assembly on Ageing and the General Assembly's special session on children.

    In general, the 2002 edition of the Yearbook of the United Nations provides a comprehensive account of United Nations efforts to address pressing global problems and strengthen international cooperation.

    Note:  The Yearbook of the United Nations 2002 will soon be available for $150 (Sales No. E.04.I.1, ISBN 92-1-100904-9) 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:; or from Section des Ventes et Commercialisation, Bureau E-4, 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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