UNITED NATIONS

"Learn a lesson from the past, and stop the bombings and the blastings..," said UN secretary-general Boutros Boutros Ghali in a message on Hiroshima peace day. "This is an anniversary to remind us what we can do and just how far it is possible for us to go," he declared. "It is a commemoration of the conciliation of capacity and conscience, of power and prudence." He cited the indefinite extension of the 25-year old nuclear non-proliferation treaty, and stressed that the progress towards a comprehensive test ban treaty must be enhanced and solidified, and that non-nuclear states must be provided legally binding international security assurances.

Rubens Ricupero, the former Brazilian finance minister who tried in vain last year to win the post of the chief of the WTO, is likely to be compensated. According to UN sources, Ricupero was chosen by none other than Boutros Boutros Ghali to fill the vacancy as the head of UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The performance of UNCTAD, which functions as the primary forum for discussion between developed and developing nations on issues like trade and economic development, has been on a downward spiral for some time now. Ghali believes that Ricupero, who has considerable clout in the international political scenario, will help the organisation regain its lost image.

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