From 01 to 05 January



Eduardo Duhalde takes office as president, having been chosen to serve the remainder of Fernando de la Rúa's term, which ends December 2003.

Profile : Born in Lomas de Zamora, Buenos Aires Province, on October 5 ,1941. In 1970 he graduated with a Law degree from the National University of Buenos Aires. On April 1º , 1985 he was appointed professor to the desk of Public Law Institiutions in the Faculty of Económic Science and of Introduction to Law in the Law Faculty, aboth from the National University of Lomas de Zamora. A honorary professor to the desk of drug-addiction of the University of Salvador. In 1973 he assumed his first públic charge being elected as a counselor of the Judicial Police in his district , at the age of 32. A year later, he served as a supervisor due to a vacancy at the head of the Executive Power. In 1976 the democratic government was overthrown and Duhalde was dismissed and persecuted by the military dictatorship. In 1987 he was elected as a National MP in Buenos Aires Province, and he served this very same year as vice- chairman of the House of Deputies of the Natión. In 1989 the Menem-Duhalde's grouping won with 49% of the votes and was due to assume the term beforehand because of a threat of a chaotic over-inflation on the country. During the next electoral run, Duhalde resigned from the vice-presidency of the Natión in order to run for teh government of Buenos Aires Province, a charge he held in 1991 with 51,37% of the votes. Presently, he chairs the Council of the Partido Justicialista in Buenos Aires Province and chairs the National Congress of the Partido Justicialista.



Kaspar Villiger becomes president for 2002.

Profile : Born on February 5, 1941, a native from Sins, Pfeffikon. Elected to the Federal Council as a représentative of the constituency of Lucerne on Feb. 1, 1989. A member of the Swiss Democratic Radical Party. President of the Confederation in 1995. Vice-president in 1994 and 2001. Other assignements : 1989-1995 Head of the Federal Military Department. 1996-2001 Head of the Federal Department of finance.


Bosnia and Hercegovina

Dr. Safet Halilovic takes over the rotating presidency of the Federation of Bosnia and Hercegovina.

Profile : Dr. Safet Halilovic, in the capacity of Chairman of the SDA Municipal Board in Sarajevo, in his statement for the "Ljiljan" of June 15, 1994, said : The SDA created the Patriotic League and other formations which served as the core of the future army of the state.


United States

Michael Bloomberg takes office as mayor of New York City.

Profile : Born on February 14, 1942 to middle class parents - his father was the bookkeeper at a local dairy - Michael R. Bloomberg's thirst for information and fascination with technology was evident at an early age. Mike would spend his weekends attending lectures at the local museum and his summers working for a small electronics company. His interest in science led him to Johns Hopkins University, where he parked cars and took out loans to finance his education. After his college graduation, he gained an MBA from Harvard and in the summer of 1966, he was hired by Salomon Brothers to work on Wall Street. At Salomon, Mike found he had the skills required to succeed as a trader on Wall Street and he advanced through the ranks, becoming a partner in 1972. Soon after, he was supervising all of Salomon's stock trading, sales and later, its information systems. But his relationship with Salomon ended abruptly when he was fired after the company was purchased by the Phibro Corporation 1981. In 1990, Mike entered the media business with the debut of Bloomberg News, the financial news service. Mike serves on the boards of 20 different civic, cultural, educational and medical institutions, including the High School for Economics and Finance, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Police & Fire Widows' & Children's Benefit Fund, S.L.E. (Lupus) Foundation and Prep for Prep. In addition, he serves as the Chairman of the Board Trustees of Johns Hopkins University.



Charles H. Brayshaw (U.S.), becomes acting administrator.



OSCE presidency changes hands.

Bucharest passes the one year presidency of the Organization for Security and cooperation in Europe to Portugal, handing over the Oganization's crisis management and conflict prevention mission at a momentous time. Portugal will have the main burden of implementing the action plan against terrorism that is likely to be passed by the final assembly of ministers of the 55 participating states during the Romanian presidency. It was proposed in September after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Other challenges include refining the Organization's monitoring and negotiating mission in Macedonia. In the last months of 2001, the OSCE boosted the Skopje mission to 210 representatives in an effort to buttress the NATO peacekeeping operation in Macedonia. Another challenge for Portugal is organizing the 2002 OSCE summit, which involves overcoming the new nervousness of heads of state to gather in one place and risk being the target of terrorist attack. Several summits and major international meetings have been cancelled because of security concerns since the Sep 11 attacks in the United States.



Spain takes helm of European Union

The first challenge for Spain during its 6-month presidency of the European Union is helping Euro notes and coins into the world in January and February with as little fuss as possible. The next challenge is keeping the Union marching in step on the Nice Treaty, which defines the ways and means of enlarging the 15-member club, during the two EU summits hosted by Spain. The third challenge for Spain, one of the EU's poorest members, is ensuring that its own quota of EU subsidies is not diminished once the Union's resources must be shared among 27 members.



Levy Patrick Mwanawasa takes office as president.

Profile : Born on Sept. 3, 1948 in Mufulira, Zambia. He was the 2nd born child in a family of 10. He holds a law degree from the University of Zambia. He worked in private law firms from 1974 until 1978 when he formed his own firm Mwanawasa & Company. In 1985, Mwanawasa served as Solicitor General of the Republic of Zambia but went back to private practice the following year. He worked as senior partner in this firm until March 1992 when he was named as Vice President of Zambia in December 1991. On Dec. 8, 1991, Mwanawasa while on duty was involved in a nasty road traffic accident in which his aide died on the spot. He suffered multiple body injuries and was flown to Johannesburg South Africa for medical treatment. He remained in hospital for 3 months. Mwanawasa served as Vice President of Zambia from 1991 until 1994 when he resigned citing gross abuse of office and corruption by some leaders and insubordination to him by some colleagues. In 1996, he contested presidency of MMD and lost. He retired from active politics again. In August this year, the National Executive Committee elected Mwanawasa as its presidential candidate for the 2001 elections. Mwanawasa is married to Maureen and they have four children &endash; Chipokota, Matolo, Lubona and Ntembe. He also has two other children Miriam and Patrick from his first marriage. His wife is a baptized member of the Jehovah's Witnesses.



Foreign minister resigned after a spat with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi over the government's lukewarm reception of the euro. Renato Ruggiero's resignation was likely to spark concerns among other European nations since he was seen as lending credibility to the billionaire media mogul's administration and as balancing some of its right-wing or anti-EU ministers.