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United Nations Daily Highlights, 00-12-06

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 FRED ECKHARD

SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

CONTENTS

[01] ANNAN TO ATTEND ETHIOPIA-ERITREA PEACE ACCORD SIGNING
[02] KENZO OSHIMA OF JAPAN NAMED AS TOP UN HUMANITARIAN OFFICIAL
[03] SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES WAY TO COMBAT TERRORISM
[04] OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Wednesday, December 6, 2000

[01] ANNAN TO ATTEND ETHIOPIA-ERITREA PEACE ACCORD SIGNING

Secretary-General Kofi Annan, following a meeting this morning with Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zanawi, told reporters he was gratified that the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea had been resolved. "As far as I'm concerned," he said, "the war is over." The end of the conflict, he added, is "a positive story, a great story for Africa."

The peace agreement, brokered by the Organization for African Unity (OAU) supported by the United States, will be signed in Algiers on the 12th of December. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria, the current Chairman of the OAU, led the mediation. The Secretary-General will adjust his current travel schedule in order to attend the ceremony.

The Secretary-General arrived in Addis Ababa from Benin last night. Before seeing the Prime Minister this morning, he met with Legwaila Joseph Legwaila, his Special Representative for the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

After that he met with Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin. He and the Foreign Minister also addressed reporters following their meeting. Annan said the United Nations is determined to work with the two countries "to ensure that peace will be durable and long lasting." He went on to say, "We started deploying our peacekeepers and we will work with the parties to do the border demarcation. We do not intend to linger, and as soon as our work is done, we will withdraw."

This afternoon, local time, the Secretary-General visited the offices of the UN Mission and addressed the staff. He then met with OAU Secretary-General Salim A. Salim, with whom he reviewed a number of African issues.

This evening, he is scheduled to hold three bilateral meetings -- with President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, President Festus Mogae of Botswana and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

[02] KENZO OSHIMA OF JAPAN NAMED AS TOP UN HUMANITARIAN OFFICIAL

The Secretary-General has decided to appoint Kenzo Oshima of Japan as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, effective mid-January 2001. Oshima will succeed Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello, who will continue his assignment as Special Representative of the Secretary-General in East Timor.

Oshima is currently serving as Secretary-General of the Secretariat for International Peace Cooperation Headquarters, in the Office of the Prime Minister of Japan. In this position, he is responsible for Japan's humanitarian and peacekeeping assistance programs. He has had a long and distinguished career in international affairs, both in Japan and in postings in France, India, Australia and here in New York at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations.

Oshima, who was born in 1943, is a graduate in law from the University of Tokyo.

[03] SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES WAY TO COMBAT TERRORISM

This morning, the Council started with an open meeting on the implementation of resolution 1269 (1999) on international terrorism.

The Under-Secretary-General of Legal Affairs, Hans Corell, briefed the Council on actions taken by the Security Council, General Assembly and the UN Secretariat aimed at eliminating international terrorism. Corell noted progress made on a comprehensive convention on international terrorism by a working group of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly. The council issued a presidential statement afterwards.

That meeting was followed by another open meeting to adopt a Presidential Statement on the East Timor in relation to the recent visit by a council delegation.

In the afternoon, council members will go the consultation room for a closed consultation to discuss the draft resolution on a proposed UN Monitoring Force for the Occupied Territories

Last night, the Council unanimously approved Resolution 1130 (2000), which rolls over the Oil for Food Programme into Phase IX for a period of 180 days starting today. The resolution calls for, among other things, the Secretary-General to explore new routes for Iraq to export its oil. There are currently two outlets authorized by the Security Council, Mina Al-Bakr in the South and Ceyhan in Turkey. The resolution also calls on the Secretary-General to make the necessary arrangements to allow Iraq to spend up to 600 million locally for the benefit of its oil industry. This rollover resolution also finalizes the arrangement where by the percentage of oil money directed to the UN Compensation Commission is reduced from 30% to 25%.

[04] OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is urging the government of Tajikistan to admit up to 10,000 Afghans marooned on islands and peninsulas on the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The Afghans are drinking water from the river that marks the border and some are suffering from diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid and malaria.

UNHCR also reported its alarm over the fate of some 400,000 Liberians and Sierra Leoneans in Guinea amid renewed rebel attacks and growing local hostility toward the refugees. Several villages have come under attack ending a one-month lull in hostilities

Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), welcomed the informal talks on the stalled climate change negotiations, which are being held in Ottawa, Canada, through Thursday. These talks, organized by Canada, are being attended by the European Union, the US, New Zealand, Japan, Iceland, Norway and Russia. Toepfer said it was important and necessary that the developed countries reach an agreement on their outstanding differences remaining from last month's Conference in The Hague. He stressed that developing countries must be fully integrated in the discussions.

The International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia announced that public court sessions in its three courtrooms will be broadcast on the Tribunals website. Initially, the audio broadcasts will be available in English and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, with French being added in the future.

Human Rights Day 2000 will be commemorated in New York starting Thursday with a videoconference in Conference Room 1 at 10:30. Mary Robinson, the High Commissioner for Human Rights will address that videoconference which will link nine cities (Chicago, Geneva, Mexico City, New York, Rome, Santa Fé de Bogota, San Francisco, Santiago de Chile and Vienna) and will focus on the preparations for the upcoming Conference against racism which will take place in Durban South Africa next summer.

Finland became the 10th country to sign the Basel Protocol on Liability and Compensation for Damage Resulting from Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal.

Micronesia became the 138th Member State to pay its regular budget assessment for this year in full with a payment of over $10,000.

  • Todays guest at the noon briefing was Peter Hansen, Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
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