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United Nations Daily Highlights, 00-01-17

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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: unnews@un.org

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

BY FRED ECKHARD

SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Monday, January 17, 2000

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ANNAN NOMINATES HEAD OF NEW INSPECTION BODY FOR IRAQ

Secretary-General Kofi Annan's consultations concerning the nomination of an Executive Chairman for the Iraq Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission are exhausted.

The Secretary-General this morning conveyed to the President of the Security Council the name of his nominee for Executive Chairman, which is Rolf Ekeus, currently Sweden's Ambassador to Washington, D.C., and form 1991 to 1997 the Executive Chairman of UNSCOM, the first inspection commission for Iraq.

The Secretary-General now awaits the Council's response.

In response to questions regarding the nomination, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General over 30 days, had raised something like 25 names and he could not find one on which all could agree. "So he put forward the name of the person he thought would be best for the job," Eckhard said, adding that the letter containing the nomination was sent to the Security Council President mid to late morning. According to the resolution, "The Secretary-General nominates, but it doesnt become effective until the Council approves," he said.

UN PROSECUTOR: "ARKAN" SUPPORTERS WILL BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE

Carla del Ponte, the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia issued a statement today in the Hague following the death of Zeljko Raznatovic, also known as "Arkan," who was indicted by the Tribunal in 1997 for crimes committed during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.

"Other investigations involving persons who sponsored 'Arkan,' or who were otherwise linked to him are ongoing and accordingly, I have no intention to seek a lifting of the order of confidentiality of the indictment," del Ponte said in the statement.

"Although I am not prepared to disclose specific crimes or locations cited in the indictment, I am prepared to state that 'Arkan's' activities in the Eastern Slavonian part of Croatia and in eastern and northwestern Bosnia for the entire period between 1991 and 1995 have been thoroughly investigated and well-documented," she said.

Del Ponte said she remains confident "that other persons who shared responsibility with Arkan for his crimes will ultimately be brought to justice."

ANNAN TO SEND SPECIAL ENVOY TO COTE D'IVOIRE

The Secretary-General is sending Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Ibrahima Fall, as a special envoy to Cote d'Ivoire to encourage the transitional authorities to make an early return to constitutional rule.

Fall is leaving tonight and will be accompanied by a number of officials including from the United Nations electoral assistance division.

Gen. Robert Guei took power in a military coup on December 24. In sending a special envoy, the Secretary-General is supporting the efforts of the Organization of African Unity and the Economic Community of West African States which have also sent high level delegations to Abidjan.

ANNAN NAMES NEW HEAD OF MISSION TO AFGHANISTAN

The Secretary-General has appointed Francesc Vendrell, who is the Officer-in-Charge of the Office of the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, his Personal Representative and Head of the Special Mission to Afghanistan (UNSMA) at the rank of Assistant Secretary-General.

The appointment, which takes effect on February 1, has been communicated to the presidents of the Security Council and the General Assembly.

UN INVESTIGATING WEEKEND DISTURBANCES IN EAST TIMOR

The United Nations is investigating the causes of a disturbance in Dili on Saturday when violence broke out amongst 7,000 people waiting for job interviews with the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).

The United Nations had advertised that it would be employing some 1,900 local staff. In the violence, one international force soldier was hit in the office by a stone thrown from the crowd and a number of applicants were also hurt. Independence leader Ramos Horta arrived and helped calm the situation and the interviews were cancelled for the day.

Following Saturday's experience, the United Nations is now working with the National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT) and looking at ways of breaking the large number of applicants into smaller groups.

In other developments, a workshop is underway in Dili on the issue of the Timor Gap. This has been organized by the Australian government to introduce East Timorese to the history, geography and environmental issues involved in the Timor Gap Treaty -- which was an agreement between Australia and Indonesia on the exploitation of natural resources in the area between Australia and East Timor.

The first scheduled commercial flight is due to land in Dili Tuesday -- it will be an "Air North" flight from Darwin, Australia. There will be two flights a day, six days a week.

ANNAN NOTES "'EXTREMELY ALARMING" SITUATION IN ANGOLA

The Secretary-General, in his report to the Security Council on the UN Office in Angola issued today, noted the "extremely alarming" humanitarian situation in Angola where the war-affected civilian population is estimated at around 3.7 million of whom nearly 2 million are internally displaced. He urged the donor community to respond generously to this year's humanitarian appeal amounting to some $258 million.

He also expressed his earnest hope that the Status-of-Mission Agreement, which is a legal contract between the United Nations and the host country -- can be concluded without further delay so that the UN office in Angola can begin to assume its functions.

The Secretary-General voiced his hope that the evolving situation may offer new opportunities to initiate an inclusive dialogue, and that the United Nations would welcome such a development and would be ready -- if the parties so wished -- to play an active role in furthering this process.

The Security Council will hold an open briefing on Angola Tuesday. The Chairman of the Angola Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Robert Fowler of Canada to the United Nations, is scheduled to brief on his just concluded fact-finding mission to Angola.

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL BEGINS JAPAN TRIP

Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fr&eacute;chette arrived today in Tokyo, Japan, where she will deliver a keynote address at the Millenium Conference at the United Nations University on Wednesday.

She will also hold meetings with heads of the UN programs and agencies, members of the Parliamentary Association for the UN and members of the Parliamentary Group for Japan's Contribution to the UN.

She will depart for New York on January 22.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

The United Nations Mission for the referendum in Western Sahara today issued the second part of the list of potential voters. Out of 51,220 members of the last three tribal groupings who presented themselves last year, 2,130 were found eligible to vote. These names will be added to the 84,251 eligible voters identified from the initial 147,000 applicants. The Identification Commission today began hearing appeals at 14 appeals centers in Morocco, the territory of Western Sahara, Mauritania and the Tindouf camps in Algeria.

The UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) reported five murders on Sunday, two involving Kosovo Albanians and three involving Serb males returning from Serbia. UNMIK also reported that the province suffered a further setback in the power situation when Serbia cut off the power supply last night. With the restart of one of the two power plants of Kosovo now delayed until Tuesday, power availability has now been cut further to two hours on and six hours off.

The United Nations and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany have just agreed on the UN 's participation in Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany from June 1 to October 31, 2000. The Secretary-General has appointed Nadine B. Hack as Commissioner-General to coordinate the UN participation in the exposition which will the largest international exposition ever held. Hack was formerly New York City Commissioner for the United Nations.

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