Addressing the UN Millenium Summit in New York, Czech President Vaclav Havel unveiled his vision of a future United Nations. The organization, which would create and guarantee "world legislature", would be based on two pillars an assembly of national representatives and an assembly of representatives elected in a direct vote by the people. The UN's chief Executive Council would be the present Security Council or its successor. The future UN should likewise have a permanent military and police force. The Czech President noted that although he was aware how complicated such a process would be in practice, he belied that a common "world legislature" was possible on the grounds of a basic set of ethical values, which, he said, were to be found in all religions. The most important task we face in the globalization era is to accept global responsibility for the future for the future of Mankind and the future of Planet Earth, the Czech President concluded.
The launch of the Temelin nuclear power plant may be delayed for last minute repairs. According to a Czech Internet On-line magazine, which cites the Czech Nuclear Energy Agency as its source, the plant may not go into operation on September 20th as planned but some 10 days later. According to Karel Bohm of the Czech Nuclear Energy Agency the reason behind this delay is the need to repair and re-test two malfunctioning safety valves. Temelin's owner, the power utility CEZ, has not confirmed the report.
Meanwhile in an ongoing controversy over the plant, German environment minister Juergen Trittin said that the plant would not be allowed to operate in Germany. Speaking to newsmen in Berlin, Trittin said " Let there be no doubt that we oppose this plant. Our experts have not been able to guarantee its safety." The German study has allegedly revealed potential problems with the plant's safety mechanism in an emergency. The German environment minister said he would increase pressure on the Czech Republic to bring the plant up to international levels.
The Czech government, which has ignored the weekend border protests of Austrian and German anti-nuclear activists, says that Temelin will be put into operation as soon as the Czech Nuclear Energy Agency gives it the go-ahead and insists that the plant will fully adhere to strict international nuclear safety norms.
Preparations are in full swing for the upcoming IMF and WB session to be held from September 25th to September 29th here in Prague. Fearing a repeat of the street riots which accompanied the session in Seattle, the Czech authorities are taking sweeping measures to ensure a trouble-free summit in Prague. The Interior Ministry has announced that 11,000 police and 1,600 soldiers would be on-duty in Prague, hospitals have been warned to prepare for the possibility of having to take in extra patients, doctors and nurses are not being allowed to take time off during the crucial week. Schoolchildren are being given special holidays so that they do not to congest the public transportation system and pensioners living near the congress centre have been offered " favourable excursions" to get them out of the way. Prague citizens have even been warned to stock up on food and medicine, just in case of delivery problems. Speaking to journalists in New York President Havel said he hoped anti-globalization demonstrators would not turn the upcoming Prague meeting of the IMF and World Bank into a "street war" . Hoping to take the tension off the streets and focus on the important issues being discussed, President Havel has invited both IMF and World Bank representatives and anti-globalization protesters to a debate at Prague Castle.
Sunday should be a warm and sunny day with day temps between 21 and 25 degs C. Meteorologists are calling this the start of Indian summer and the warm spell is expected to last until Wednesday, if not longer.
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