News & Events  

  Lakhdar Brahimi to visit Belgium on 23 December 2004
  International Migrants Day, 18 December 2004
  International Human Rights Day, 10 December 2004
Observances in Ireland and UK
  A more secure world: Our shared responsibility
Report of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change
(2 December 2004)
  World AIDS Day 1 December 2004
  Press conference: Monday, 29 November 2004,
UN to release the World Economic and Social Survey 2004: International Migration
  Press conference: Tuesday, 23 November 2004,
UNAIDS to release new Global AIDS Epidemic Update report for World AIDS Day
  United Nations Day, 24 October 2004
• Message of the Secretary-General • (Video) • Commemoration in Brussels
A symposium, organised in cooperation with the UN Association of Flanders, Belgium (PDF)
  Launch of WFP appeal for HIV/AIDS food insecure victims in Southern Africa
(Press Conference, Brussels, 21 Oct. 2004)
  Launch of the Myanmar Opium Survey 2004, Press Conference with A.M. Costa, Exec. Director of UNODC, Brussels, 11 October 2004 at 10.30 am
  EUROPEAN CELEBRATION of WORLD HABITAT DAY 2004, Brussels, 4 October 2004
  Launch of the report: “Economic Development in Africa: Debt Sustainability: Oasis or mirage?”, 27 September 2004
  PRESS CONFERENCE: New UNCTAD report (21 September 2004)
  The First Anniversary of the Attack on UN Headquarters in Baghdad, 19 August 2004
  The Olympic Games and the UN
  World Launch of the UNDP Human Development Report, Brussels, 15 July 2004
  World Population Day, 11 July 2004 - Message of the UN Secretary-General * UNFPA site
  International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, 26 June 2004
  Launch of the World Drug Report, 25 June 2004 and International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking, 26 July 2004
  World Refugee Day, 20 June 2004 (UNHCR)
  UNCTAD XI, São Paulo, Brazil, 13 - 18 June 2004
  World Environment Day, 5 June 2004
  London launch of the UNEP International Photographic Competition
  Health Policy and European Union Enlargement, launch of the report and press conference,
Brussels, 4 June 2004
  The UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ms. Louise Fréchette Address to the European Foundation
Centre's Annual General Assembly, Athens, 30 May 2004
  The Least Developed Countries Report 2004: Linking International Trade with Poverty Reduction
  International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers (29 May 2004)
  UNFPA Executive Director, Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, to visit Belgium, the EU and the ACP (22 – 23 April 2004)
  International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda (7 April 2004)
  RUNIC and the World Bank Media Seminar on Development • Brussels, 2 April 2004




UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette on European Tour - 29 March - 1 April 2004

Address by Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Parliament, in Strasbourg, 29 March 2004:

  Introduction of Hassen Fodha, Director of the Regional United Nations Information Center (RUNIC) to H.E Romano Prodi, President of the EC, 15 March 2004 (photo)
  Meeting of the heads of UN offices, agencies, funds and programmes in Brussels
  Launch of the Annual International Narcotics Control Board Report for 2003, 2 March 2004
  Launch of the new UNCTAD report: "Economic Development in Africa: Trade Performance and Commodity Dependence", 25 February 2004
  Opening of the Regional United Nations Information Centre in Brussels






On 23 December 2003, the General Assembly adopted a resolution, designating 7 April 2004 as the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda to commemorate –- on the tenth anniversary of those events -- the victims and promote a recommitment to the fight against genocide throughout the world. Noting that many of the perpetrators continued to elude justice, the Assembly expressed its conviction that exposing and holding them and their accomplices accountable, as well as restoring the dignity of the victims, would guide societies in the prevention of further such violations.

Commemorative events will be taking place in Kigali, New York, Geneva, and Brussels as well as other capitals around the globe.

In Kigali, Under-Secretary-General Ibrahim Gambari will represent the UN at the ceremonies.
In New York there will be a meeting of the General Assembly and a high-level panel discussion.
In Geneva, the Secretary-General will make an important speech to the Commission on Human Rights.
In Brussels there will be commemorations by both officials and NGOs.

The Secretary-General has also announced that on 7 April at 12 noon local time, the UN will observe one minute of silence in memory of the victims of the genocide and he has invited Member States and civil society to do the same.



Observance at RUNIC Brussels
7 April 2004, 12:00 noon

Deputy Director Andreas Nicklisch read the message of the Secretary-General.

A minute of silence was observed in memory of the victims of the genocide.




7 April 2004


The genocide in Rwanda should never have happened. But it did. Neither the UN Secretariat, nor the Security Council, nor Member States in general, nor the international media, paid enough attention to the gathering signs of disaster. Eight hundred thousand men, women and children were abandoned to the most brutal of deaths, as neighbour killed neighbour and sanctuaries such as churches and hospitals were turned into slaughterhouses. The international community failed Rwanda, and that must leave us always with a sense of bitter regret and abiding sorrow.

Ten years later, we are still trying to pick up the pieces. In Rwanda itself, the United Nations is doing its utmost to help people recover and reconcile. We are present throughout the country -- clearing mines, repatriating refugees, rehabilitating clinics and schools, building up the judicial system, and much else. In Tanzania, a United Nations criminal tribunal has handed down pioneering verdicts, including the first to find a former head of government, and journalists, guilty of genocide, and the first to determine that rape was used as an act of genocide. With these and other steps, the United Nations is doing what it can to help Rwandans, especially the young generation who are the future of the country, build a new society together.

But are we confident that, confronted by a new Rwanda today, we can respond effectively, in good time? We can by no means be certain we would. And the risk of genocide remains frighteningly real. That is why I have decided to use this anniversary to announce, before the UN Commission on Human Rights, an Action Plan to Prevent Genocide involving the entire UN system. We cannot afford to wait until the worst has happened, or is already happening, or end up with little more than futile hand-wringing or callous indifference. The world must be better equipped to prevent genocide, and act decisively to stop it when prevention fails.

The minute of silence being observed around the world at noon on 7 April, the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda, is an opportunity to be united in a way we were not ten years ago. I hope this minute will send a message that will resound for years to come – a message of remorse for the past, and of resolve to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again. May the victims of the Rwandan genocide rest in peace. May our waking hours be lastingly altered by their sacrifice. And may we all reach beyond this tragedy, and work together to recognize our common humanity.



Introduction of Hassen Fodha, Director of the Regional United Nations Information Center (RUNIC) to H.E Romano Prodi, President of the EC (15 March 2004).


Meeting of the heads of UN offices, agencies, funds and programmes in Brussels

The heads of UN offices, agencies, funds and programmes in Brussels held a two-day meeting on 11 and 12 March, to discuss joint areas of policy and advocacy where the UN presence can cooperate in activities for the overall benefit of the UN family in Brussels.

The first meeting of its kind of the UN system in Brussels, it aimed at strengthening UN efforts to work together and to build good and efficient cooperation with European partners, institutions and civil society. The meetings took place at the United Nations Office in Brussels (UNOB), Rue Montoyer, with the participation of 14 heads of the various UN offices in Brussels.


The Regional United Nations Information Centre (RUNIC) launched the INCB report on 2 March in five West European countries. In addition to its headquarters in Brussels, the report was also launched in Berlin, Lisbon, London and Paris and resulted in wide media coverage.


The report was launched at the International Press Centre in the Residence Palace. INCB Board member Robert Lousberg from the Netherlands presented the report and answered questions. Laura d'Arrigo from the Unit for Anti-Drugs Policy Coordination at the European Commission Directorate-General for Justice and Home Affairs was also present and responded to questions on EU drugs policy. The press conference was moderated by RUNIC Director Hassen Fodha.

Major stories on the launch were carried by: Le Soir, La Libre Belgique, Vers L’Avenir, le Bulletin quotidien Europe (in English, French, Italian and German) De Morgen, De Standaard, "Mo" and Belga. Foreign press agencies also covered the event. Interviews with the RUNIC Director were carried by RTBF radio news, RTBF radio Matin première and Global Finance.


The report was launched at the Berlin Federal Press Office by the INCB Secretary Herbert Schaepe. Desk Officer for Germany Arne Molfenter moderated the press conference.

The launch was covered by Berliner Zeitung, Der Tagesspiegel and Hamburger Abendblatt, as well as the wire agencies AP, Deutsche Presse Agentur (dpa) and Evangelischer Pressedienst (epd). Germany's national public TV station ARD
carried a large backgrounder on the INCB report and the press conference on its main website (


The report was launched at the Centre for Judicial Studies by Joaquim Rodrigues, a renowned drug expert and Portugal's Permanent Correspondent in the Pompidou Group, of the Council of Europe. Joana Marques Vidal, Deputy Director of the Centre welcomed the guests and Mafalda Tello, Desk Officer for Portugal made an introductory statement, explaining the functions of INCB.

The launch was covered by Público, Diário de Notícias, Jornal de Notícias, A Capital and Correio da Manhã. In addition, weekly magazines Tempo and Seminario carried articles on the report. The TV networks Radiotelevisão Portuguesa, TVI and SIC leading radio broadcasters RDP and Radio Renascença also covered the launch.


The launch was held on the premises of International Labour Organization (ILO). INCB Board member Professor Hamid Ghodse introduced the report and answered questions. Andreas Nicklisch, RUNIC Deputy Regional Director (with responsibility for the UK and Ireland) moderated the press launch.

Major stories on the launch were carried by: The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, The Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph. The launch was also covered by Reuters and the BBC News website. Interviews with Professor Ghodse were carried by British Satellite News, Sky News, BBC Home Affairs and Radio Scotland.


The report was launched at the Foreign Press Centre in “La Maison de la Radio”, with a general presentation by the RUNIC Desk Officer for France, Jean-Pierre Bugada.

The report was covered by Libération and Radio France Internationale.


Launch of the new UNCTAD report: "Economic Development in Africa: Trade Performance and Commodity Dependence 25-02-2004 10.00am

25 February 2004 - 10.00 am at the International Press Center (IPC),
Reading room (Ground floor) Résidence Palace, 155 rue de la Loi, Wetstraat, 155 1040 Brussels

Mr. Kamran KOUSARI, UNCTAD special coordinator for Africa, will present the new report and answer questions.
The report highlights that the majority of African countries are boxed into a trading structure that subjects them to secular terms-of-trade losses and volatile foreign exchange earnings. The report echoes French President Chirac's call for ending the "conspiracy of silence" on commodity issues.

EMBARGO: The contents of this report must not be quoted or summarized in the press, on radio, or on television, before 26 February 2004 17:00 hours GMT

For more information about the report please contact: UNCTAD Press Office, +41 22 917 5828, , ; or K. Kousari, Special Coordinator for Africa, +41 22 917 5800,;
or RUNIC Brussels or 32.2. 287.40. 02 Fax. 32.2.502.40.61

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