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United Nations Daily Highlights, 00-01-05
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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: email@example.comHIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY FRED ECKHARD
SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Wednesday, January 5, 2000
SECURITY COUNCIL TO DISCUSS JANUARY WORK PROGRAM
The Security Council is to meet in closed consultations this afternoon to discuss its program of work for January.
UN FORCE COMMANDER ARRANGES DEPLOYMENT OF BATTALION
Maj. Gen. Vijay Kumar Jetley, the Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), traveled today to Makeni to ensure that UNAMSIL's Kenya Battalion is deployed without restriction.
The battalion was blocked Tuesday by combatants loyal to Revolutionary United Front Party leader Foday Sankoh at a bridge approximately 18 km from Makeni.
After the briefing, the Spokesman announced that Jetley had returned to Freetown tonight, and that the problems over the deployment of the battalion had been resolved. The Kenya Battalion is on its way to Makeni.
SECRETARY-GENERAL'S REPORT ON PREVLAKA TO BE ISSUED
The report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on the United Nations Mission of Observers in Prevlaka is scheduled to be issued today.
In it, the Secretary-General covers developments in the bilateral negotiations between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to resolve the disputed issue of the Prevlaka peninsula since his last report, published last October.
Although progress has been made in stabilizing and demilitarizing the territory patrolled by the United Nations, he says, it is disappointing that there has not been concurrent progress at the political level. He also expresses his hope that the next round of bilateral negotiations be held as soon as the elections in Croatia are over.
The Secretary-General welcomes the withdrawal of Yugoslav military forces from the demilitarized zone, which was completed on December 11.
He recommends that the mandate of the mission be extended for a further six months, until July 15, 2000.
UPDATE ON "OIL-FOR-FOOD" PROGRAMME TO BE ISSUED
An update on the "oil-for-food" programme is expected from the Office of the Iraq Programme, showing that by December 31, 1999, there had been 82 contracts for the sale of oil submitted by the Government of Iraq, of which 55 had been approved so far. The total volume of oil approved is 184.7 million barrels.
During last week, Iraq exported 18.6 million barrels of oil with an estimated value of $419 million, bringing the revenue for Phase VII of the programme to $742 million.
Today, the Secretariat also received the full text of the Distribution Plan for Phase VII, including the annexes. The Distribution Plan is being studied carefully and must be approved by the Secretary-General before Iraq can begin purchasing humanitarian supplies with Phase VII funds.
DINKA NAMED SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR GREAT LAKES
In a letter made available Tuesday, the Secretary-General informed the President of the Security Council of the appointment of Berhanu Dinka as Special Representative for the Great Lakes region at the Assistant Secretary-General level.
"With respect to Burundi, the designation of former President Nelson Mandela as the new facilitator is expected to reinvigorate the peace process," the Secretary-General said. "In view of this, it is desirable to raise the profile of the United Nations within the overall efforts of the international community to address the current deteriorating political and humanitarian situation in Burundi."
Dinka had been serving as Representative and Regional Humanitarian Advisor for the Great Lakes region.
INTERIM COUNCIL HOLDS MEETING IN KOSOVO
The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) reported today that the recently created Interim Administrative Council met for the fourth time Tuesday and began discussing the allocations of the proposed 19 departments, which range from Budget and Finance to Justice and Trade and Industry.
After the meeting Bernard Kouchner, the Secretary-General's Special Representative, again urged the Serb community to take up its seat on the Council and to ensure Serb representation in the departments, to be co-chaired by a representative of UNMIK and Kosovo. Kouchner was to press the issue further in a meeting scheduled tonight with Bishop Artemije.
The Council was established following an agreement by three Kosovo Albanian political leaders on 15 December to share the provisional management of Kosovo with UNMIK until elections are held next year.
UNHCR STEPPING UP FOOD DELIVERY EFFORTS IN EAST TIMOR
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is stepping up efforts to improve food delivery to refugees in West Timor, after a first nutritional survey of the camps there showed that almost a quarter of the children under the age of five are malnourished.
The survey of 850 children in the Belu district was carried out in late December by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), with support from staff of the United States-based Center for Disease Control, who were hired by UNHCR.
UNHCR is now working with the authorities in West Timor to increase rations and improve refugees' access to water and health care.
UNHCR also wants to monitor all camps in West Timor regularly. In the past months, regular access to many sites was denied by militia.
KOFI ANNAN WELCOMES RELEASE OF AID WORKER
Secretary-General Kofi Annan, through a statement issued by his Spokesman, said he is pleased to learn of the release from prison on December 31 of Branko Jelen, the remaining CARE aid worker under custody by the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on charges of passing on secret information.
"His release is a welcome start to the new year and a sign of encouragement to the humanitarian community, whose aim is to assist all in need around the world," the statement said.
ANNAN APPOINTS JUDGE FOR YUGOSLAVIA TRIBUNAL
The Secretary-General has appointed Professor Fausto Pocar, an Italian national, as a Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, to succeed Professor Antonio Cassese, also from Italy, who has resigned from the Tribunal as of the end of this month. Pocar, who is currently a member of the Human Rights Committee, will serve the remainder of Cassese's term of office, which ends on November 16, 2001.
SPOKESMAN CORRECTS INFORMATION ON WESTERN SAHARA
The Spokesman corrected an error made at Tuesday's noon briefing, when he had said that the Identification Commission of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) had identified nearly 200,000 people as eligible to vote.
He said that, although the Identification Commission had identified nearly 200,000 people during the identification process, "identification" simply means that the people have been interviewed, and that their identity and status has been determined. It does not mean that they have all been deemed eligible to vote, he added.
By last July, approximately 84,000 people had been found eligible to vote. The total number of eligible voters will be released when a new provisional list of voters is issued on January 15, he said. "We apologize for the error," he added.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) issued a press release, embargoed until 2 a.m. Eastern Standard Time Thursday, on the launch that day of an effort to complete the worldwide campaign against polio. As part of that effort, WHO Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland and UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy issued a New Year's letter to 30 heads of state in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, urging them to support heightened immunization efforts and end polio once and for all.
Norway became the 10th Member State to pay its regular budget dues in full for the year 2000, paying more than $6.4 million.
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