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United Nations Daily Highlights, 01-09-19

United Nations Daily Highlights Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

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HIGHLIGHTS

OF THE NOON BRIEFING

BY FRED ECKHARD

SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

OF THE UNITED NATIONS

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

(Updated weekdays by 3 p.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time)

ANNAN MEETS WITH FRENCH PRESIDENT DAY AFTER TOURING GROUND ZERO

Secretary-General Kofi Annan hosted a working luncheon at his residence in honor of the visiting President of France, Jacques Chirac.

Following the luncheon, the two went to UN Headquarters, where they held a joint press briefing. The Secretary-General, in response to a question about how to maintain the unity among nations that had developed since the attack, said he thought it was important that a coalition to respond to the attacks be as broad as possible.

He added, What I have tried to warn against is the tendency that is emerging in some quarters, limited quarters, that would divide the international community finger-pointing Muslims, finger-pointing people from the Middle East or dark-skinned persons.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Secretary-General was escorted around the World Trade Center site "Ground Zero" by New York's Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and New York State Governor George Pataki.

The Secretary-General was awe-struck by the sight. "Television pictures can't give you an idea of the magnitude and the horror," he said.

Referring to the firefighters, police and health workers on the scene, the Secretary-General said, "Let's not forget, the UN is also a New York institution and all the Ambassadors and the staff there are rooting for you just as their governments around the world are."

TED TURNER HANDS OVER $31 MILLION TO US FOR UN DUES

Early this afternoon, the Secretary-General received the credentials of the new permanent representative of the United States to the United Nations, John Negroponte.

A short while afterwards the Secretary-General witnessed Ted Turner handing over to Negroponte a check for slightly over $31 million, of his own money, as part of the historic agreement reached last December in the General Assemblys Fifth Committee on the scale of assessment.

In response to a number of questions on the U.S. dues to the United Nations, the Spokesman later added that the $31 million dollars handed by Turner is separate from the $582 million dollars that the United States is expected to hand over to the United Nations in the coming days as partial payment for past dues. The U.S. House of Representatives, the Spokesman went on to add, is expected to vote on the mater in the coming days.

UNHCR ORGANIZING RELIEF EFFORT FOR AFGHAN REFUGEES

Up to 15,000 Afghans have now arrived in Quetta, Pakistan, according to the latest update from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which has sent additional staff and thousands of tents, blankets, kitchen sets and jerry cans to Quetta.

While no new arrivals have been reported in Iran, UNHCR and the Iranian government have pre-positioned relief supplies and are evaluating possible refugee sites along the Afghan border.

In Tajikistan, which borders Afghanistan in the north, UNHCR undertook a two-day mission to the Afghan border, and reported that some 10,000 Afghans remain camped on several islands in the Pyanj River, where they have been staying for almost a year. No new arrivals on the frontier islands have been recorded so far.

Inside Afghanistan, relief workers estimate that more than half of Kandahar's population, including many Taliban leaders, has left. Movements of people out of the western city of Herat, near the Iranian border, have also begun. and in Kabul movements out of the city reportedly continue. However, few are moving in the direction of the Pakistan border.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan says that all UN flights to all locations have been temporarily suspended due to the closure of the Afghan airspace, and warned that despite the efforts to provide assistance by national staff the reality is that the humanitarian aid program is at a dangerously low ebb.

SECURITY COUNCIL DEMANDS THAT TALIBAN IMPLEMENT RESOLUTIONS

Security Council President, Ambassador Jean-David Levitte of France, spoke to the press, on behalf of the Council late yesterday afternoon, demanding that the Taliban implement Security Council resolutions on Afghanistan immediately and unconditionally.

Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, in a letter issued as a General Assembly and Security Council document today, calling for a special Council meeting to address the presence of foreign forces in his country.

TALKS ON DISARMAMENT PROCESS IN SIERRA LEONE RESUMES

The UN Mission in Sierra Leone said that the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), the government and the mission met Tuesday as scheduled in Makeni. The meeting chaired by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General Oluyemi Adeniji examined ways to move ahead in the disarmament process, and issues related to national recovery and stabilization.

It also reviewed a range of political issues, including the transformation of the RUF into a political party, the question of political consultation among Sierra Leoneans, the extension of Government authority and freedom of movement of persons and goods throughout the country.

The next meeting of the three parties is scheduled for 11 October in Freetown.

Tuesday afternoon, the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution extending the mandate of the UN mission in Sierra Leone, the UN's biggest peacekeeping force with more than 16,000 troops, through March 2002

SECURITY COUNCIL TO TAKE UP BURUNDI, ANGOLA, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

The Security Council has no meetings scheduled for today, but Thursday it is expected to hold consultations on Burundi in the morning and a Private Meeting in the afternoon with the participation of the representatives of Nelson Mandela, the Facilitator of the Burundi Peace Process, Judge Mark Bomani and Professor Nicholas Haysom.

Also scheduled Thursday is a private meeting on Angola to be attended by Fernando dos Santos, the Angolan Minister of Interior.

The Council has planned a public meeting for Thursday morning on the Central African Republic during which members will be briefed by the Representative of the Secretary-General in that country, Lamin Cisse.

UN PREDICTS FOREIGN INVESTMENTS TO DECREASE THIS YEAR

Tuesday afternoon, the UN Conference on Trade and Development issued its World Investment Report for 2001, which projects that world flows of foreign direct investment are likely to decline by 40 percent this year, to some $760 billion.

That amount would be the largest drop in three decades, according to the report, and would result from a recent decline in cross-border mergers and acquisitions.

The report's estimates were made before last week's tragic events in the United States, and do not reflect the impact of those events on the world economy.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees today called for a transitional international security presence before the departure of NATO forces to allow the safe return of all refugees and displaced persons in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The UN mission in East Timor reports that more than 300 refugees returned today from camps in West Timor to Covalima, in East Timor, in an operation organized by the mission, the International Organization for Migration and the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

The Food and Agriculture Organization announced in Rome that it has started emergency projects to assist drought-stricken farmers in Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. The agency has started distributing seeds and fertilizers to about 61,000 farmers in the three countries to enable them to prepare for next season's crops.

Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General

United Nations, S-378

New York, NY 10017

Tel. 212-963-7162

Fax. 212-963-7055

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