Natural disasters have increased in recent years and there were more wars in 1998 than before, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Thursday, urging the international community to shift from reaction to prevention.
Last year's increase in armed conflicts is particularly worrisome because the incidence of warfare had been on the decline since 1992, Annan added in a report released in New York on Thursday.
In a bid to draw attention to these issues, part of the report has been published as an essay titled 'Facing the Humanitarian Challenge - Towards a Culture of Prevention'.
In his report, Annan deplores the fact that "our political and
organizational cultures and practices remain oriented far more towards reaction than prevention".
[See separate item titled 'Secretary-General calls for shift to
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