- The Washington Times - Monday, May 6, 2002

Children's Summit set
NEW YORK More children are in school than ever before, polio has been nearly eradicated, and there are 3 million fewer child deaths per year since the first World Summit for Children was held in 1990.
Still, 10 million of the world's 2 billion children die each year from preventable causes, 5 percent are not in school and some 300,000 are fighting in wars.
On Wednesday, about 65 world leaders and delegates from more than 150 countries will sit down at the United Nations to review the successes and failures of the past decade and adopt a new plan for tackling tragedies such as AIDS orphans, child soldiers and trafficking in children.
The meeting had been scheduled for Sept. 18, but it was postponed after the terrorist attacks on the United States. This year, delegates will include more than 300 children the first time young people will attend a U.N. conference as full, participating delegates, making speeches and leading round-table discussions.

Iraq, U.N. hold talks
BAGHDAD Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri has described his talks with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on their dispute over arms inspectors as "frank and focused," his ministry said yesterday.
"The new round of talks were frank and focused to assert Iraq's rights according to the relevant Security Council resolutions, in the forefront of which [were] preserving our country's unity and sovereignty, stopping daily attacks on it and lifting sanctions," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Mr. Sabri met Mr. Annan last week at the U.N. headquarters in New York for three days of talks, but Baghdad gave no definitive reply on whether it would allow a U.N. weapons team back into the country. Mr. Annan, calling the talks positive, said Friday that he hoped Iraq would make a decision on the inspectors at the next round of meetings, expected within a month.

Kuwait backs 'quartet'
KUWAIT CITY Kuwait welcomed yesterday peace efforts by the so-called Middle East "quartet" made up of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia.
In a statement after its weekly session, the Cabinet said it "values current efforts" by the quartet toward achieving peace in the Middle East and called for "such efforts to be intensified."
It was apparently referring to a proposal by the quartet for an international peace conference on the region that would seek to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Details about the date, location and participants have not yet been finalized.
Meanwhile, Lebanon's Shi'ite Muslim Hezbollah group said its guerrillas fired anti-aircraft rounds yesterday at Israeli warplanes flying over southern Lebanon. Witnesses confirmed the planes flew over towns near the Israeli border and into the eastern Bekaa Valley. No planes were hit.
Despite U.N. criticism, Israeli planes regularly fly into Lebanese skies, sometimes drawing anti-aircraft fire from Syrian forces and Iran-backed Hezbollah.

Experts view graves
KABUL, Afghanistan Inspectors from the United Nations were to report back to Kabul yesterday after surveying a series of suspected mass graves at Mazar-e-Sharif, northern Afghanistan.
Their report would be made public this week, said U.N. spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva. The three-member forensic team has "finished their work in Mazar. They will be in Kabul today," he said.
Boston-based Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), which conducted a preliminary inquiry earlier this year, has written to Afghan interim leader Hamid Karzai calling for nine sites to be secured to stop anyone from tampering with evidence. His administration has so far failed to respond.
Jennifer Leaning, one of the PHR experts who visited the sites in January, said there was substantial evidence that two of the mass graves were just a few months old.
Betsy Pisik is on assignment. Her column will resume when she returns.

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