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United Nations Daily Highlights, 00-06-16
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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: email@example.comHIGHLIGHTS FROM A NEWS CONFERENCE
BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
OF THE UNITED NATIONS
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Friday, June 16, 2000
UN CONFIRMS WITHDRAWAL OF ISRAELI FORCES FROM LEBANON
Secretary-General Kofi Annan read the following statement on the confirmation by the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) of the full withdrawal of Israeli forces.
"Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am delighted to tell you that the United Nations Force in Lebanon has today reported to me that Israel has withdrawn from the country, in full compliance with Security Council Resolution 425. I have just conveyed this information to the Security Council.
The people of Lebanon have waited more than 22 years for this moment. We must all admire the fortitude with which they have borne this long ordeal.
This is a happy day for Lebanon, but also for Israel. It is a day of hope for the Middle East as a whole. And it is a day of pride for the United Nations. It shows that UN Resolutions, when fully implemented by all parties working together, can be the building blocks of peace.
Lebanon is now closer to peace than it has been in decades. The main task of UNIFIL will now be to help the Lebanese Government and armed forces assume their responsibilities along the border and throughout the area from which Israel has withdrawn. I trust the international community will also be quick to assist Lebanon with the task of reconstructing the economy in the south and rebuilding its links with the rest of the country. This will help move the whole country closer to peace and stability.
I also hope that the implementation of Security Council resolution 425 will be seen by all the peoples in the region - especially Syrians, Palestinians and Israelis, as well as Lebanese - as an encouragement to move ahead faster in negotiating peace treaties based on earlier Security Council resolutions: 242 and 338. Those resolutions, enshrining the formula of "land for peace", form the bedrock on which the 1991 Madrid formula for achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East was built.
I shall myself be leaving immediately after this press conference for the Middle East to meet with the leaders there and to see what the United Nations can do to consolidate and build on today's achievement.
Finally, let me thank the leaders of Lebanon, Israel and Syria - President Lahoud, Prime Minister Barak, and of course the late President Hafez Al-Assad - for the co-operation they extended to the United Nations over the last few weeks. I would also like to thank the Governments of Egypt, Iran, Jordan and Saudi Arabia for their support, as well as the members of the Security Council and - last but not least - my own Special Envoy, Terje Roed-Larsen, for all they have done to make this day possible.
This is not the end of the long road towards peace in the region, but I hope it will be seen as the beginning of the end."
UN FORCE TO IMMEDIATELY REDEPLOY IN SOUTH LEBANON
Following the Secretary-General's announcement, his Special Envoy, Terje Roed Larsen, noted that the confirmation today of Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon would be followed by the immediate redeployment of the UN Force in Southern Lebanon.
Larsen noted that the Force may need to be expanded soon to 8,000 military personnel.
The Security Council, which received the Secretary-General's confirmation in the morning, is expected this afternoon to discuss a draft Presidential Statement on Lebanon which may be adopted later today.
The following are highlights from the daily noon briefing, which was given today by Deputy Spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva.
ANNAN WELCOMES AGREEMENT BY ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA TO OAU PLAN
The Secretary-General, in a statement issued through his Spokesman, said he was gratified at the confirmation that Ethiopia and Eritrea have accepted the proposal of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on the cessation of hostilities between them.
He noted that the agreement calls for the United Nations to play an important role, involving the deployment of a peacekeeping mission to assist in its implementation. The statement said that "the United Nations will support all efforts towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea."
A three-man military planning team from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations is leaving later today for the Algerian capital, Algiers, where a peace plan for an end to the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict is being worked out. The United Nations stands ready to send experts to Ethiopia and Eritrea when the conditions are right.
The latest humanitarian update from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported on an increase in the number of Eritrean refugees and displaced persons, and a statement by the acting UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Carolyn McAskie, urged the international donor community to respond generously to appeals for assistance.
UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Carol Bellamy, in a statement, welcomed news of a cease-fire in the conflict, saying that it clears the way for a renewed emphasis on humanitarian relief to the drought-affected region.
SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
Consultations were held in the Security Council on the draft resolution on the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Council will resume consultations at 3 p.m. and hopes to adopt the resolution later today.
Prior to consultations, Council members expect to meet privately with Archibold Mogwe, the representative of the neutral facilitator of the Inter-Congolese dialogue.
The Security Council has also scheduled a working lunch with members of the Political Committee of the Lusaka Agreement on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Rwanda and Uganda have agreed to withdraw their forces from Kisangani in a week's time. The two forces should be more than 100 kilometers from the city by the completion of the process.
The Secretary-General's Special Representative to the DRC, Kamel Morjane, said Thursday that the removal of the Rwandan and Ugandan forces will result in the creation of a power vacuum, and he called for the immediate deployment of at least two companies to Kisangani.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Olara Otunnu, has welcomed, in a statement issued today, the new law in the Democratic Republic of the Congo banning recruitment and deployment of children under 18 into the armed forces.
Asked about a possible power vacuum in Kisangani, the Spokesman said that troops are definitely needed in the DRC. He added that countries have been briefed on the conditions necessary for additional UN deployment to the DRC. He added that the prospects for increased deployment will also have to take into account the situation on the ground.
ANNAN WELCOMES SECOND PHASE OF SOMALIA TALKS
The Secretary-General, in a statement read by the Spokesman, said he was encouraged to learn that the Somalia National Peace Conference has moved into its second phase.
He hoped that the start of the second phase paved the way for substantive talks among representatives of all sectors of Somali society and that it would lead to an agreement on formation of a transitional arrangement that would safeguard Somalia's sovereignty.
The Secretary-General urged all Somalis to join and support the Djibouti peace initiative and praised President Omar Guelleh of Djibouti for his efforts.
WEST AFRICAN GROUP URGES FREEING OF UN DETAINEES IN SIERRA LEONE
A delegation of representatives of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is in Freetown today, where they are urging as a priority the prompt release of the 21 Indian peacekeepers being held by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) at Pendembu.
The delegation arrived Thursday and met with the Secretary-General's Special Representative, Oluyemi Adeniji.
UN police in East Timor today seized a shipment of illegal ammunition in a cargo container in Dili. The police recovered 200 rounds of soft-nose bullets in a container which had been shipped from Australia, and they are continuing their investigation. The UN Transitional Administration also noted a planned visit by a team from the Indonesian Attorney General's office to Dili in early July. The team intends to question witnesses and collect material evidence relating to last year's massacres. The team is expected to comprise no more than 15 persons and to stay in Dili for about 10 days.
Andorra became the 92nd Member State to complete payment to the regular budget for this year, with a check for over $42,000.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
Monday, June 19, 2000
The Security Council will hold a formal meeting to consider extension of the mandate for the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is scheduled to expire on Wednesday. It has also scheduled consultations on Iraq and the question of missing Kuwaiti property.
The President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Judge Claude Jorda, begins a three-day visit to New York. On Monday, he will address the Preparatory Commission for the establishment of an International Criminal Court.
Carla del Ponte, Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, will begin a five-day visit to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Croatia and Montenegro.
A press conference on the report of an international panel of information technology experts to the United Nations will be held at 11 a.m.
Pino Arlacchi, head of the Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention, will be at UN Headquarters in New York through Thursday to meet with senior UN officials and ambassadors.
Jiri Dienstbier, the Special Rapporteur on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, will visit Yugoslavia -- particularly Belgrade -- from today until Wednesday.
Tuesday, June 20, 2000
The United Nations International School will hold its graduation at 2:30 p.m. in the General Assembly Hall.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) will release its World Labour Report 2000 in Geneva.
Wednesday, June 21, 2000
Claude Jorda, President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, will brief the Security Council, following which he is expected as the guest at the noon briefing.
In Geneva, the Commission on Human Right's Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery will meet through June 30.
Friday, June 23, 2000
The Security Council has scheduled an open meeting on the Balkans, on which it expects to be briefed by Carl Bildt, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Balkans.
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