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United Nations Daily Highlights, 01-09-20

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

Thursday, September 20, 2001

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

ANNAN CONTRIBUTES TO ATTACK VICTIM FUND; MEETS EUROPEAN LEADERS

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Secretary-General Kofi Annan held separate meetings at UN Headquarters with visiting German Foreign Minister Joshka Fischer and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov.

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In the early afternoon, he was to meet with British Prime Minister Tony Blair after attending a memorial service at the St.Thomas Episcopal Church in Manhattan for the British victims of last week's attacks.

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This morning, the Secretary-General presented a $25,000 to the UN Staff Relief Committee for the Victims of Terrorist Attacks on the City of New York, matching the contribution that the Staff Union made last week.The Staff Relief Committee has been collecting contributions from staff members, and to date has gathered more than $37,000 in smaller donations. The total amount collected exceeds $87,000.

lang=EN-GB style='font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman"; ROAD MAP TOWARD MILLENNIUM GOALS RELEASED TODAY

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The Secretary-General's report, "Road map towards the implementation of the United Nations Millennium Declaration" was issued as a General Assembly document today.

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The report looks at the goals and commitments of the Millennium Declaration and reviews the progress in implementing them Member States, United Nations bodies, international organizations and civil society. The plan calls on all Member States to commit themselves to ending poverty and inequality, improving education, increasing security, reducing HIV/AIDS, and protecting the environment.

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In the report, the Secretary-General says, "What is needed is not more technical or feasibility studies. Rather, States need to demonstrate the political will to carry out commitments already given and to implement strategies already worked out."

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The Secretary-General's Special Advisor, Michael Doyle was the guest at the noon briefing where he discussed the report.

lang=EN-GB style='font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman"; UN URGES AFGHAN NEIGHBORS TO KEEP BORDERS OPEN FOR REFUGEES

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UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers today urged states surrounding Afghanistan to keep their borders open so desperate people fleeing the strife-torn country can be protected. Lubbers also called for an international "humanitarian coalition" to help share the burden.

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UNHCR appealed for $6 million in initial emergency funds, saying it is preparing for the immediate relief of an initial influx of 100,000, some of whom are already in Pakistan.

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The World Food Program says that the working conditions for its staff inside Afghanistan are becoming more difficult with continued lack of local transporters especially in Kabul and Kandahar to move food out of the city. WFP said it has food stocks in Peshawar and Quetta and they can be brought into the country very fast once it has what it takes to ensure that people needing food aid receive it and that aid workers will be safe.

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At a news briefing in Islamabad, Pakistan, the UN Humanitarian Coordinators Office for Afghanistan described conditions inside the country.

lang=EN-GB style='font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman"; AFGHAN SANCTIONS MONITORING GROUP NAMED

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Issued today a letter from the Secretary-General to the President of the Security Council today in which he informs him of the appointment of a five-member group to be based in New York to monitor the implementation of sanctions on Afghanistan imposed by the Council. The measures include arms embargoes, counter-terrorism and related legislation, and in view of the link to the purchase of arms and financing of terrorism, money laundering, financial transactions and drug trafficking.

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The group of experts, according to Security Council Resolution 1363 , is to offer assistance to neighboring states bordering Afghanistan to increase their capacity to implement the measure, and to assess, verify when possible, report and make recommendations regarding violations.

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lang=EN-GB style='font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman"; SECURITY COUNCIL TAKES UP BURUNDI AND ANGOLA

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The Security Council met this morning on Burundi in what Council President, Ambassador Jean-David Levitte of France, called a brainstorming session on the situation in that country.

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Council members were briefed by three members of the UN Secretariat: Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Kieran Prendergast, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Great Lakes, Berhanu Dinka and Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guehenno.

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This afternoon, the Security Council members have scheduled a private meeting on Burundi in the afternoon with the participation of two representatives of Nelson Mandela, the Facilitator of the Burundi Peace Process: Judge Mark Bomani and Professor Nicholas Haysom.

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Also this afternoon, the Council will hold private meeting on Angola to hear a briefing by Fernando dos Santos, the Angolan Minister of Interior. The Council is then expected to adopt a presidential statement on Angola in an open meeting.

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The Council's meeting on the Central African Republic which was originally scheduled for this morning, will now happen Friday.

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Ask about the possibility of further meetings of the Security Council on the issue of terrorism, the Spokesman said that Council members are looking into advancing the legal framework against terrorism. The Spokesman added that he had no formal information to add at this point.

lang=EN-GB style='font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman"; FRECHETTE ADDRESSES COOPERATION FOR DEVELOPMENT FORUM

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In her address this morning to the General Assembly's High-Level Dialogue on Cooperation for Development, Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette said that extreme poverty was identified as one of the most urgent challenges facing the world today.

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Reducing poverty and alleviating the suffering of the world's poor, "will be rendered even more difficult by the current slowdown of economic growth," she added.

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The Deputy Secretary-General told delegates that "a primary objective of your dialogue must be to find ways of ensuring that this task is pursued with an even stronger sense of commitment."

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Earlier today, the Deputy Secretary-General addressed the Carnegie Council worldview breakfast. She spoke about the "UN and the Global Fight against HIV/AIDS: myth and reality."

lang=EN-GB style='font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman"; FIRST ALL-TIMORESE TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT SWORN IN

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The new all-East Timorese Council of Ministers of the Second Transitional Government was sworn-in before a large audience in Dili today.

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The new Government was appointed three weeks after East Timor's first democratic elections, in which the Fretilin Party won a majority of seats in the Constituent Assembly. Its Secretary-General, Mari Alkatiri, will lead the government as Chief Minister and Minister of Economy and Development.

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The Cabinet, which has 10 members from Fretilin, three members from the Democratic Party, and 11 independents, was formed after extensive consultations. Five of the 24 members of the Cabinet are women.

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At today's ceremony, Special Representative Sergio Vieira de Mello said that the members of the Cabinet were selected "not on the basis of party nomination, but on the basis of their individual competence."

lang=EN-GB style='font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman"; REPORT ON GUATEMALA: LITTLE PROGRESS MADE IN INDIGENOUS PEOPLE RIGHTS

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The UN Verification Mission in Guatemala launched today in Guatemala City a report on the situation of indigenous peoples in that country.

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In the report, titled "Overcoming discrimination in the framework of the peace agreements," the Mission says that there has been little progress since the Peace Agreement on Human Rights was signed over seven years ago. Indigenous peoples continue to be the victims of racial, ethnic and cultural discrimination.

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The UN Mission calls on the Guatemalan Congress to work on legislation that will adapt the laws of the country to respect for its multiethnic reality and also recommends the establishment in Guatemala of an office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights with a mandate, which should allow it to deal with issues related to the respect of indigenous rights.

lang=EN-GB style='font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman"; ANNAN CALLS FOR INCREASED SUPPORT TO CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

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The Secretary-General's report to the Security Council on the situation in the Central African Republic was issued today.

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In July of this year, the Council had requested that the Secretary-General make recommendations as to how the UN might contribute to the economic recovery of the country and to the strengthening of the UN Peace-building office there.

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In his report, the Secretary-General calls on the international community to show solidarity with a country which is still reeling from the effects of the mutinies of 1996-97 and the most recent coup attempt. This solidarity should take the form of diversified assistance, in the short and medium terms, in the areas of human resources, training, economic assistance, security and institutional strengthening.

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Concerning the Peace-building office, the Secretary-General suggests a strengthening of its mandate in order to enhance its activities and increase its visibility. In the report, the Secretary-General suggests that the Office focus its work on, among other issues, bringing about political dialogue, monitoring the security situation and ensuring the promotion and respect for human rights.

lang=EN-GB style='font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman"; NUCLEAR TEST BAN MEETING POSTPONED

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In light of the postponement of the General Assembly's General Debate, the majority of states that have ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty have sent a letter to the Secretary-General asking him to postpone the meeting.

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The Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT had been scheduled to take place from 25 to 27 September in New York.

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It is expected that the meeting will be held during the new dates set for the general debate.

lang=EN-GB style='font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman"; UN MINE ACTION SERVICE LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE

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The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), which is the response of the UN system to the global landmine and unexploded ordnance problem, has launched a new website.

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The United Nations has been involved in humanitarian mine action activities since 1989, when a mine action programme was initiated in Afghanistan.

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United Nations mine action includes five core components: Mine clearance; Mine awareness and risk reduction education; victim assistance; Advocacy in support of a total ban on antipersonnel landmines; and, Stockpile destruction

lang=EN-GB style='font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman"; OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

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The United Nations in Geneva issued a press release on the recent trip to the Sudan of the Representative of the Secretary-General for Internally Displaced Persons, Francis Deng.

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The report of the Secretary-General on the UN Voluntary Fund for the Victims of Torture was issued today in which he outlines the financial situation of the fund.

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A new updated background note on UN peacekeeping operations was released today by the Department of Public Information.

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Today, Gambia became the 117th Member State to pay its 2001 regular budget contribution in full with a payment of more than $10,000.

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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