World Leaders Rub Elbows At U.N. Poverty Summit Vice President Gore Will Address Conference Today

Fidel Castro of Cuba was hugged by well-wishers, South Africa’s Nelson Mandela was given flowers and cheered, and a frail Francois Mitterrand of France was treated with deference due a hero.

A good chunk of world power has gathered this weekend in an ungainly, concrete convention center that rears up from the marshy fields on the outskirts of the Danish capital to talk about poverty.

Vice President Al Gore was to arrive this morning to address the U.N. poverty summit and meet with Croatian President Franjo Tudjman in an effort to head off war in former Yugoslavia.

Before his arrival, delegates and journalists at the 193-nation World Summit for Social Development were already trying to get a piece of the action.

Bodyguards brushed off reporters as Kuwaiti sheikhs raced down the main hall, robes flowing. Reporters guided in to a Vatican briefing turned a corner and found themselves face-to-face with Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitzky.

German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, arriving with a crutch because of a recent knee operation, appeared revived by the esteemed company. Under the glare of TV lights, he strode unaided to the podium at the Bella Center summit site.

Estonia’s President Lennart Meri bumped into his next-door neighbor, President Guntis Ulmanis of Latvia. They shook hands only inches away from a chipboard partition, behind which plainclothes police compared revolvers.


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