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United Nations Daily Highlights, 01-09-27

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 27, 2001

ANNAN LAUNCHES $584 MILLION HUMANITARIAN APPEAL FOR AFGHANISTAN

[Secretary-General Kofi Annan launched early Thursday afternoon in New York a $584 million emergency humanitarian appeal for Afghanistan intended to cover the projected needs of up to 7.5 million Afghan civilians over the next six months both inside and outside the country.

[Innocent civilians should not be punished for the actions of their government, the Secretary-General said. The world is united against terrorism. Let it be equally united in protecting and assisting the victims of emergencies and disasters.

[The Secretary-General named Michael Sackett, the current UN humanitarian coordinator as the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan, and said he was asking the UNs top humanitarian official, Kenzo Oshima, to travel to Pakistan and Iran to review the state of preparedness of all the UN services and to consult with the governments of those countries.]

Meanwhile, the World Food Programme today said that it will start airlifting high-protein biscuits to the region in preparation for an expected influx of Afghan refugees.

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and actress Angelina Jolie said she would give $1 million for the refugee agencys assistance efforts in and around Afghanistan.

Asked about reported comments made by the style='mso-bidi-font-family:"Courier New";color:black;mso-bidi-font-weight: Secretary-General's Personal Representative Francesc Vendrell on the role of the Taliban in any future Afghan government, the Spokesman answered that Vendrells comments had been reportedly differently in various media outlets. The Spokesman said a transcript of Vendrells press conference in Islamabad was not yet available, but that Vendrell, in response to a question, had indicated that there may be a role for Taliban elements in the future who have broken away or shown dissatisfaction with the extremist elements in the Taliban.

SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES AFGHANISTAN

The Security Council met in closed consultations today to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

At the start of the consultations the Secretary-General briefly addressed the Council, underlining the work the United Nations has been doing in both the political and humanitarian front relating to Afghanistan.

Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Danilo Turk then briefed on the re cent developments on military, humanitarian and human rights aspects in that country, as well as the activities of the UN political mission led by the Secretary-General's Personal Representative.

Also attending the consultations is Carolyn McCaskie, the UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator.

[A draft Security Council resolution on terrorism was distributed to members after the noon briefing.]

INCREASED FIGHTING IN EASTERN DRC, REPORTS UN MISSION

The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) reporting intensified fighting in the eastern part of the country, particularly around Fizi, involving armed groups and Rwandan, Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) and Burundese troops.

During his recent visit to Kinshasa on September 2 of this year, the Secretary-General made a strong request to President Joseph Kabila to exert all his influence to stop the fighting in the east. At that time, the Secretary-General shared with the Government and the RCD rebel group his proposals for further UN deployments in the DRC in the context of the next phase of the peacekeeping operation. Those proposals have yet to be placed before the Security Council.

The UN mission says continued fighting would place the acceptance and implementation of those proposals at risk.

The next Secretary-Generals report to the Security Council on the DRC is expected in the middle of next month.

UN REPORT: REACHING POVERTY REDUCTION GOALS DIFFICULT

In a report published today, the Secretary-General says that it will not be easy to attain the target, reiterated at last year's Millennium Assembly, of cutting by half by the year 2015 the number of people who live on less than one dollar a day.

According to projections by the UN Development Programme ( UNDP), if the pace and pattern of future of economic growth follows the trends observed in the 1990s, only 11 countries -- including India and China, where more than 40 percent of the world's population live -- would meet the poverty reduction goal by 2015.

On the other hand, some 70 countries are either behind or slipping backwards in meeting their poverty-reduction targets by that date.

The prospect for meeting other goals set by the Millennium Assembly for 2015 also appears extremely bleak, the Secretary-General says, adding that, if sub-Saharan Africa is to make a serious dent in rising poverty levels, it must improve its growth performance over that recorded during the past decade.

The report includes several recommendations on meeting the poverty-reduction targets that the General Assembly may mish to take, including urging Governments to implement policies for pro-poor economic growth and social development and to support a global campaign for poverty eradication.

UN COMPENSATION COMMISSION APPROVES $365 MILLION IN PAYMENTS

In Geneva today, the Governing Council of UN Compensation Commission (UNCC) under the Presidency of Ambassador Sverre Bergh Johansen, concluded its 41st session.

The Council approved more than $365 million in compensation for losses resulting from Iraqs invasion of Kuwait.

Representatives of three member states, Kuwait, Iraq and Sri Lanka, addressed the commission, as did, for the first time, a representative of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine who spoke regarding the cases of approximately 1,200 Palestinians, mostly from the Gaza strip, who have been unable to file claims with the UNCC.

avoid;mso-list:l14 level1 lfo23;tab-stops:list .5in;mso-layout-grid-align: The next meeting of the UNCC is scheduled for December 11, 2001.

ELEVEN CHARGED WITH CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY IN EAST TIMOR

An indictment against 11 persons containing charges of Crimes Against Humanity for crimes allegedly committed in the Oecussi enclave in East Timor in 1999 was filed today by the Prosecutor General of the UN Transitional Administration (UNTAET).

Nine of the accused were members of the Sakunar (Scorpion) militia, a pro-autonomy militia group set up, trained, equipped and directed by the Indonesian Armed Forces , according to the indictment. The two other accused were non-commissioned officers in the Indonesian armed forces.

According to the indictment, the suspects are accused of extermination, murders, inhumane acts, persecution, imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty, and the deportation or forcible transfer of population between April and October of 1999. The indictment also states that all the alleged criminal acts took place as part of an orchestrated campaign of violence and crimes committed in East Timor in 1999.

All suspects, except one who is being detained in Dili, remain at large.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Four reports relating to human rights were released today to the General Assembly: The report of the Secretary-General on the role and achievements of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in assisting the Government and People of Cambodia in the promotion and protection of Human Rights; The report of the Special Representative of the UN Commission on Human Rights on the situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Maurice Copithorne; The Secretary-Generals report on Globalization and its impact on the full enjoyment of all human rights; and the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the UN Decade for Human Rights Education. 1995-2004.

More than 800 Nepalese Gurkhas are joining the UN Mission in Sierra Leone to complete the approved strength of 17,500, the mission announced today. The deployment is to start next month.

Nigeria today deposited its instruments of ratification for several treaties: Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants, and the London, Copenhagen and Montreal Amendments to the Montreal Protocol, which concerns substances that deplete the ozone layer and the Mine Ban Convention.

Belgium today signed the Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.

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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