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United Nations Daily Highlights, 00-06-26

United Nations Daily Highlights Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NOON BRIEFING

BY THE DEPUTY SPOKESMAN OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MANOEL DE ALMEIDA E SILVA

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Monday, June 26, 2000

ANNAN OPENS SPECIAL ASSEMBLY SESSION ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Today in Geneva, Secretary-General Kofi Annan formally opened the Special Session of the General Assembly on Social Development, which is intended to review progress on the agenda adopted five years ago at the Social Summit in Copenhagen.

He urged both rich and poor countries to do their parts: the rich by further opening their markers, providing deeper and faster debt relief and more focused development aid. He said that the developed countries cannot be "indifferent to the social conditions in which so many people in poor countries live."

He then held a series of bilateral meetings, including with the Deputy Prime Minister of China, Wen Jiabao, the Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, Saadoun Hammadia and the President of Zambia, Frederick Chiluba.

At midday, he co-hosted with the President of the Special Session, Theo-Ben Gurirab of Namibia, a luncheon for the leaders attending the Session, before he met with Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen of Denmark, with whom he discusses issues concerning the Social Summit, which Denmark had hosted.

The Secretary-General then participated in a press conference to launch a new report, "A Better World for All," which claims that world poverty can be significantly reduced by 2015 if countries make good on their commitments to attack the roots of poverty. The report was co-authored by the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

In his opening statement, the Secretary-General said the report produces a "scorecard and policy road map with which to measure progress in banishing extreme poverty from our world and in achieving the targets set by the world conferences of the past decade."

Over the weekend, the Secretary-General addressed the closing session of the Children's World Festival in Basel, Switzerland, where some 2000 children from 80 countries gathered. Annan urged the young people to take risks for peace.

He then flew to Geneva on Saturday, where he met with his Special Representative for East Timor, Sergio Vieira de Mello. On Sunday, he attended an inter-religious service at St. Peter's Cathedral and addressed the opening of the Geneva 2000 Forum, the gathering of non-governmental organizations that are attending the General Assembly Special Session.

ANNAN BRIEFS SECURITY COUNCIL ON MIDDLE EAST TRIP

The Security Council, meeting in informal consultations this morning, held for the first time a videoconference with the Secretary-General, during which he briefed Council members on the different stages of his recent trip to the Middle East and answered questions.

Following that briefing, the Council began its consultations on Angola, on which it was briefed by the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General for Special Assignments in Africa, Ibrahim Gambari. He reported on his recent visit to Angola at the end of May.

SIERRA LEONE REPRESENTATIVE TO VISIT NEW YORK

Oluyemi Adeniji, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sierra Leone, is leaving today from Conakry, Guinea, for New York, where he is expected to arrive on Tuesday. Adeniji will be holding meetings this week with senior UN officials at the Headquarters.

The situation in Sierra Leone remains calm but unpredictable, with troops from the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) reinforcing key positions, including the Mile 91 area, where an estimated 35,000 internally displaced persons have gathered. Humanitarian agencies are looking into the possibility of building camps for those displaced persons after UN peacekeepers have strengthened the security in the area.

On Sunday, an exhumation team arrived at Rogberi Junction to examine the remains of UN peacekeepers who had died and been buried there during fighting in May. Forensic teams visited two sides and did a considerable amount of work, but will need to return.

Over the weekend, the UN Mission was able to provide rations to the 222 Indian troops and 11 military observers surrounded by Revolutionary United Front at Kailahun and the 21 Indian peacekeepers detained at Pendembu. There has been no change in those two groups' condition since the 21 detainees were moved late last week to an abandoned International Committee of the Red Cross compound at Pendembu.

KOSOVO REPRESENTATIVE CONDEMNS VIOLENCE IN STRPCE

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner, today strongly condemned the violence which occurred on Friday night when a large crowd of Kosovo Serbs entered Strpce municipality building, which houses the offices of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and destroyed everything in sight. The Kosovo Force (KFOR) Information Center and the Registration Centers were also ransacked.

The acts of vandalism against UNMIK and KFOR property followed the demonstrations in the municipality over the disappearance of a Kosovo Serb shepherd from Susice village.

On Sunday, Dr. Kouchner welcomed the decision taken by the Serb National Council to rejoin Kosovos Interim Administrative Council (IAC) and Transitional Council (KTC) as observers after a temporary suspension began several weeks ago. He said the action would allow the Kosovo Serb representatives to once again play their rightful role in building a democratic, peaceful and tolerant Kosovo.

UN MISSION RECEIVES CRIMINAL FILES ON EAST TIMOR ATROCITIES

East Timor Prosecutors handed over the criminal files concerning investigations into what are called "serious crimes" to the UN Transitional Administration's Judicial Affairs Department.

They did this to respond to regulation 2000/15, which states that serious crimes - that is, genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity - will be prosecuted by a special panel within the Dili District Court. This panel is part of the East Timorese judiciary and comprises both East Timorese and international judges.

The local prosecutors and the civilian police have already carried out extensive work, and many of the cases are ready for indictment. Once the panel is established, indictments can be expected shortly.

FR&Eacute;CHETTE HIGHLIGHTS GLOBAL COMPACT AT OECD FORUM IN PARIS

This morning, Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fr&eacute;chette participated in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Forum 2000 in Paris, a meeting gathering ministers, business leaders and civil society on the broad theme of partnerships in the new economy.

In her remarks, the Deputy Secretary-General highlighted the Global Compact and the growing importance for the UN system of partnerships with non-state actors. "The United Nations cannot and does not want to usurp the role of other actors on the world stage, but to become a more effective catalyst for change and coordination among them," she said.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

In response to a question, the Spokesman noted that the United Nations last week expressed its concern at the closure by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) of the Kinshasa offices of the neutral facilitator of the inter-Congolese dialogue. That office has since been reported re-opened by the DRC Government.

This morning, the latest meeting of the Disarmament Commission, chaired by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, began in New York. The Commission heard a statement by Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs Jayantha Dhanapala, who noted one report citing evidence that global arms expenditures have once again started to rise, and may have increased by more than 2 percent in real terms last year.The Commission's meetings this year concern nuclear disarmament and practical confidence-building measures regarding conventional arms.

A new United Nations report estimates that over one-third of todays 15-year-olds will die of AIDS in the worst-affected countries. The latest Report on the Global HIV Epidemic, which includes a country-by-country update on the global epidemic, was prepared by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and will be released Tuesday prior to the 13th International AIDS Conference, to be held in Durban, South Africa, from July 9-14.

This afternoon, Kensaku Hogen, Under-Secretary-General for Communication and Public Information, will receive on the Secretary-General's behalf a copy of the Olympic Torch to be used to open the 2000 Olympic Games from Michael Knight, Minister of the State of New South Wales, Australia.

Croatia and Myanmar have become the 93rd and 94th Member States to make their full payment to this year's regular budget. Croatia contributed nearly $315,000 and Myanmar gave nearly $84,000.

On Tuesday at 11:15, Mongolian Ambassador Jargalsaikhany Enkhsaikhan will hold a press conference on the effects of the drought in Mongolia.

The Spokesman introduced a new member of the Spokesman's Office, Stephane Dujarric of France, who has worked for many years for ABC television.

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  • The guest at today's briefing was Ian McFarlane, Policy Specialist at the UN Development Programme, who discussed the report "A Better World for All," which was launched today in Geneva.

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