UN Radio: UN Meets On Syria’s WMD-Free Middle East Proposal
Middle East as Zone Free of Weapons of Mass Destruction: UN Security Council looks into draft resolution
The United Nations Security Council is meeting to revisit a proposal by Syria to declare the Middle East a zone free of
weapons of mass destruction. The Arab-backed draft resolution was first put to the Security Council in April, but
Syria's UN Ambassador, Fayssal Mekdad, said he hopes it will receive a better reaction in view of recent developments in
"The issue of weapons of mass destruction is very important, is prominent on the agenda of the Security Council, and
this is a strategic policy on the part of Syria to call for a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction, mainly
nuclear weapons from the Middle East."
The proposed resolution calls on all countries in the Middle East to ratify the global treaties aimed at controlling the
spread of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, and is believed to be aimed at Israel, which is not party to these
UN Security Council Condemns Recent Attacks in Iraq
The UN Security Council has just condemned recent attacks in Iraq that have killed 19 people. The Security Council
President for December, Bulgaria's Ambassador, Stefan Tafrov, read out the statement:
"Members of the Security Council condemn in the strongest terms the repeated attacks in Iraq on foreign and Iraqi
nationals, international and coalition personnel, including those perpetrated on December 27th 2003 against Bulgarian,
Thai and other international personnel in which lives were claimed and people were injured."
Five more Iraqis and a Bulgarian soldier have died of their injuries following Saturday's attacks in Karbala, which
initially killed 13.
Abandoned Iran Weapons Programme Was in Early Stages: ElBaradei
The chief of the UN's atomic energy agency, Mohammad ElBaradei, has seen evidence of a dismantled nuclear weapons
programme in Libya. Dr. ElBaradei and his team of experts found equipment that had been taken apart and boxed up at
nuclear sites around Tripoli. He told the BBC that Libya's programme was years away from developing an actual nuclear
"So far what I have seen confirms what they have told me, that this is a programme at an early stage of development.
It's a programme designed to develop enrichment capability, but they have not enriched any uranium, to our knowledge,
they have not built any industrial-scale facility - it was all at the pilot, laboratory-scale at this stage. However, we
still have to do a lot of work, we still have to interview people, get access to information. And once we understand the
full nature of the programme, then we'll have to see how we render that programme harmless, or neutralize it."
The visit by Dr. ElBaradei took place just days after Libya declared it was abandoning its programme on weapons of mass
destruction. Libya has asked the International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure through verification that all of its
nuclear activities will henceforth be under safeguards and exclusively for peaceful purposes. Several members of the
IAEA team are to remain in Libya to develop a work plan for further inspections and monitoring.
UN Agencies Continue Emergency Aid to Iran Earthquake Victims
UN Agencies are continuing their emergency response to Friday's earthquake in the town of Bam, in Iran, where thousands
have been killed, injured and left homeless. The World Food Programme is sending Tuesday 40 tons of nutritional biscuits
for the quake victims from its humanitarian response depot in Brindisi, Italy. This follows a shipment on Monday of
blankets, emergency kits and water purification units. The high-energy biscuits are part of a larger consignment of 144
tons, which will cover part of the food requirements of 120,000 affected people in Bam and the surrounding area for 12
For its part, UNICEF has flown over 45 tons of relief supplies to help the tens of thousands of children affected by the
earthquake. The supplies include first aid and obstetric kits, tents and blankets, 16 community water tanks, and three
generators. The UN Children's Agency also said it would soon issue a flash appeal to help provide continuing emergency
relief to Bam's children.
On Saturday, a joint UN assessment team found that up to 90 per cent of all buildings in Bam were significantly or
UNMIL Moves into Rebel Area for the First Time
The UN Mission in Liberia has made its first military move into an area controlled by the rebel forces from Liberians
United for Reconciliation and Democracy - also known as LURD.