20 March 1998


-- Head of UN special group inspecting Iraqi presidential sites
announces names of participating diplomats.

Daily Highlights
Thursday, 19 March 1998

This daily news round-up is prepared by the Central News Section of
the Office of Communications and of Public Information at the United


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Jayantha Dhanapala, the head of a United Nations group designated to
inspect Iraqi presidential palaces, has announced the names of a
number of participating diplomats.

The group was set up under the Memorandum of Understanding concluded
between Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Iraq to inspect eight
presidential sites. Speaking to reporters in Geneva on Thursday, Mr.
Dhanapala said he had received assurances from the Iraqi authorities
that they would cooperate with inspectors and fully comply with the

In order to begin implementing the Memorandum, Mr. Dhanapala had
invited 60 countries to appoint two diplomats, preferably Arabic-
speaking, who were familiar with the region and could leave on short
notice. Twenty-eight countries submitted names, of which 20 diplomats
had been alerted that they should report to Baghdad by early next

The diplomats invited to participate in the initial round of visits to
presidential sites are Cui Tiankai of China; Marcel Laugel of France;
A. Kalugin of the Russian Federation; Simon Collis of the United
Kingdom; Ryan Crocker of the United States; Josep Papp of Hungary;
Gheoghe Tarlescu of Romania; Pietro Cordone of Italy; Saeed Saad of
Sudan; E. Portella of Brazil; Babou Ousman Jobe of the Gambia; Alfred
M. Moussotsi of Gabon; Roberto Garcia Moritan of Argentina; Michael
Bell of Canada; Horst Holthoff of Germany; Andrej Zlebnik of Slovenia;
Kim Woon-Nam of the Republic of Korea; Johan Nordenfelt of Sweden;
Antonio Monteiro of Portugal; and a diplomat from Japan.

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The World Food Programme (WFP) has conducted a survey to assess the
nutritional status of children and women in Iraq.

The Spokesman of the United Nations Office of Humanitarian
Coordination in Iraq, Eric Falt, said on Thursday that fifteen WFP
international observers participated in the survey from 14 to 16

The Nutrition Assessment Survey, which coincided with the national
polio vaccination campaign, was jointly organised by the United
Nations Children's Fund and the Ministry of Health.

Mr. Falt said that on average, the weight and height of 60 children
under five were taken everyday in 87 health centres. That meant that
the random sample of the survey was more than 15,000 children.

In addition, the mothers with children under two years of age were
also weighed to find out their own nutritional status. "It has long
been thought that a large proportion of nursing mothers are
under-nourished and/or anaemic" the Spokesman added.

The result of the survey, which is expected to be published in April,
will indicate the number and status of children suffering from
malnutrition. It will also provide information on the nutritional
status of nursing mothers, said Mr. Falt.

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