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Yearbook of the United Nations, 2002. Part 1, Political and security questions. Chapter 4, Asia and the Pacific
In 2002, the United Nations continued to address major political and security challenges in the Asia and Pacific region, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also oversaw the successful transition of East Timor into the independent State of Timor-Leste. In Afghanistan, the United Nations provided assistance as the country moved from more than two decades of war to the beginnings of a post Taliban stability. The peace process progressed, despite insecurity in some areas of the country and continued terrorist acts by members of the Taliban and Al-Qa'idah. The power-sharing Afghan Interim Authority was replaced in June by an indirectly elected Transitional Authority, following the successful conclusion of a nationwide traditional assembly, or Loya Jirga. In March, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan was created to assist the Afghans in the implementation of the 2001 Bonn Agreement and to begin the task of reconstruction. The International Security Assistance Force continued to maintain security in Kabul and its surrounding areas and its mandate was twice extended by the Security Council, in May and November, each time for six months. The Secretary-General visited Afghanistan and neighbouring countries in January and also attended the International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan, which was held in Tokyo, Japan. The Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, continued to coordinate UN activities in the country. Throughout 2002, international pressure on Iraq to allow the return of UN inspectors to verify compliance with weapons-related obligations intensified. In a statement to the General Assembly on 12 September, the President of the United States, George W. Bush, demanded the disarmament of Iraq and said that the United States would work for the adoption of the necessary resolutions. On 16 September, Iraq informed the United Nations that it accepted the return of inspectors without conditions. Inspections resumed on 27 November, following the unanimous adoption of Council resolution 1441(2002), which strengthened the inspection regime and afforded Iraq a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations. The resumption of inspections brought to an end the stalemate between the United Nations and Iraq that had lasted since 1998, when Iraq's Government refused to cooperate in the implementation of Security Council resolutions concerning its weapons programmes. Iraq also began to show flexibility with regard to the repatriation or return of all Kuwaiti and third-country nationals from Iraq and on the return of all Kuwaiti property seized by Iraq during the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, though the return of Kuwaiti property remained incomplete by the end of the year. The oil-for-food programme, as modified by the goods review list, continued to address basic humanitarian needs. The Council made additional amendments to the existing list of items contained in the goods review list. The United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission continued to monitor the demilitarized zone between the two countries. On 20 May, the United Nations successfully concluded the transitional administration of East Timor. On that day, East Timor became an independent State and, four months later, it was admitted to the United Nations under the new official name of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. The Assembly removed East-Timor from the UN list of Non-Self-Governing Territories prior to its accession to independence. A constitution was adopted in March and presidential elections were held in April, which resulted in the election of Xanana Gusmão. The mandate of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor was extended until 20May in order to allow the mission to complete the handover of authority from the United Nations to Timor-Leste's governing institutions. A post-independence peacekeeping mission—the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor—was established in May to provide support to East Timor's fledgling democratic institutions. During the first half of 2002, an escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir brought the two countries to the brink of war and created great international anxiety. The United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan continued to monitor the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The activities of the United Nations Tajikistan Office of Peace building were extended for another year, until 1 June 2003, in order to continue to support Tajikistan in its post-conflict peace-building efforts. The Assembly requested the Secretary-General to resume negotiations to conclude an agreement with Cambodia on the establishment of a tribunal to try Khmer Rouge leaders for crimes against humanity. Among other concerns in the region that were brought to the attention of the United Nations were the situation in Bougainville, a province of Papua New Guinea; violations reported by Iran and Iraq of their 1988 ceasefire agreement and the 1991 agreements on the area of separation between them; the application of safeguards for nuclear material in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; and cooperation with the Association of South-East Asian Nations.
Yearbook of the United Nations, 2002. v. 56; Vol. 56
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