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United Nations Daily Highlights, 02-07-03

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

OF THE NOON BRIEFING

BY HUA JIANG

DEPUTY SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Wednesday, July 3, 2002

ANNAN IN VIENNA PREPARES FOR THURSDAYS IRAQ TALKS

Secretary-General Kofi Annan arrived today in Vienna, and he immediately met with the key members of his delegation to discuss the next round of talks with the delegation headed by Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri, which begin Thursday at 10:00 a.m., local time.

They reviewed the principal items on their agenda for those talks: Iraqi concerns regarding implementation of Security Council resolutions on Iraq, the return of UN inspectors to Iraq and the return of the Kuwaiti national archives.

Those participating in the preparatory discussions were Hans Blix, the Executive Chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), Mohammed El Baradei, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); the UN Legal Counsel Hans Corell; and Yuli Vorontsov, the High Level Coordinator dealing with missing Kuwaiti and Third Country Nationals as well as Kuwaiti property.

The talks are expected to last two days, with a plenary session on Thursday morning, expert level talks on Thursday afternoon -- which will continue on Friday and a concluding plenary on Friday afternoon.

In addition to his discussions with the senior delegation members, the Secretary-General will also hold two other meetings this afternoon.

First, he will talk with his Special Advisor on Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto, for an assessment of the ongoing talks between the leaders of the islands two communities.

After that, he will meet with his former Special Representative for Kosovo, Hans Haekkerup.

He has also been in touch with New York concerning the Security Councils deliberations on Bosnia and Herzegovina.

When asked with whom the Secretary-General had been in contact in New York, the Deputy Spokesman said he had been in contact with members of the Security Council.

COUNCIL BRIEFED ON SOMALIA, RESUMES DISCUSSIONS ON UN BOSNIA MISSION

The Security Council began this morning by holding a private meeting to hear from the Secretary-Generals Representative and head of the UN Political Office for Somalia, Winston Tubman.

Tubman presented to the Council the Secretary-Generals latest report on Somalia and updated them on the latest developments in the country.

That presentation was followed by a question and answer period. Further consultations on Somalia are expected to take place next Tuesday, July 9.

At 11:30, Council members then adjourned to the Consultations room to resume their discussions on the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Council broke off discussions this morning without agreement, and it will resume its consultations on Bosnia at 4:00 this afternoon. The Bosnia Missions mandate is set to expire at midnight tonight.

ANNAN CONCERNED AT FATE OF CIVILIANS CAUGHT IN LIBERIAN FIGHTING

The Secretary-General, in a statement issued through his Spokesman today, remains profoundly concerned over the heavy toll the continuing fighting in Liberia is taking on civilians and the threat it poses to the stability of other countries in the region, particularly Sierra Leone.

Since fighting intensified last month, some 17,000 Liberians and 8,000 Sierra Leonean refugees have fled into Sierra Leone.

The exact number and conditions of tens of thousands of civilians displaced within Liberia remain unknown because humanitarian agencies do not have access to conflict zones where vulnerable populations are living in extremely precarious conditions.

The movement and effectiveness of humanitarian agencies are further disrupted by the harassment of humanitarian workers and looting of humanitarian organizations assets and supplies.

The Secretary-General urges the dissident forces and the Government of Liberia to allow humanitarian workers safe and unhindered access to affected populations. He calls upon the Governments of neighboring states to cooperate in this endeavor.

Further, the Secretary-General reiterates his call upon the international community to provide humanitarian agencies with the resources necessary to respond to the vital needs of the rising number of Liberians who have been displaced both within and outside their countrys borders.

Meanwhile, the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) issued a press release today on the just completed visit to Kailahun in the eastern part of the country by the head of the mission, Oluyemi Adeniji, and the Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Daniel Opande.

The Chief of Mission and the Force Commander were briefed by local UN peacekeepers on the arrival in the Kailahun district of large numbers of Sierra Leonean returnees and Liberian refugees and the effect on the areas already limited resources.

MIDDLE EAST QUARTET DISCUSSIONS FOCUS ON REFORM

Late Tuesday afternoon in London, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Terje Roed-Larsen attended a meeting of the Quartet of Middle East Envoys.

The Envoys are, in addition to Roed-Larsen, William Burns of the US, Andrei Vdovin of Russia and Miguel Moratinos of the European Union.

The four discussed security, the political horizon, and reform, focusing in particular on the last of those subjects.

SECRETARY-GENERAL ENCOURAGED BY PROGRESS ON PREVLAKA ISSUE

The Secretary-General, in his latest report on the UN Mission in Prevlaka (UNMOP), which was published today, says he is encouraged by the progress made by the parties toward resolving their dispute over Prevlaka, a peninsula located between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

He writes, I hope that the good progress achieved so far will continue and that the parties will be able to agree in the foreseeable future on a transitional border-crossing regime. Such an agreement, he adds, would allow the UN Mission to withdraw.

Until then, he says, he recommends that the Mission be continued for a further three months, until this October 15.

The Missions current mandate ends on July 15, and the Security Council is expected to discuss it towards the end of next week.

UN HUMAN RIGHTS EXPERT INVITED TO EXAMINE INDONESIAS LEGAL SYSTEM

The UN Special Rapporteur dealing with the independence of judges and lawyers, Dato Param Cumaraswamy, has been invited to conduct a fact-finding mission to Indonesia, which is to last from July 15 to 25.

He will examine all issues relating to the functioning of Indonesias legal system, and hopes that his mission will contribute to Indonesias efforts toward a greater realization of civil and political rights and the more effective functioning of its judicial and legal systems.

He will report back to the Commission on Human Rights on this matter next April.

UNDP AWARDS TO HONOR FOUNDER OF UN DEVELOPMENT REPORTS

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) today announced the launch of the 2002 UNDP Awards for Human Development, six separate awards designed to recognize advances in pushing forward the concept of human development.

Among the awards, which are to be conferred in December, will be the Mahbub ul Haq Award for Outstanding Contribution to Human Development, named after the founder of the global Human Development Report.

That award will be presented to a world leader who has most successfully put human development at the heart of the political agenda.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Steps towards improving inter-agency efforts at the United Nations and other organizations to battle corruption were discussed in a meeting that took place on Monday and Tuesday in Vienna. The participants from a variety of UN and other bodies concluded that the UN and its agencies must be at the forefront of the battle against fraud and corruption.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports on the coping mechanisms of underpaid health staff in developing countries. The report says public health doctors in some developing countries earn, at best, 20 percent of the earnings of their colleagues in private practice, and those in rural areas suffer additional hardships.

This morning, Panama deposited its instrument of ratification for the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, becoming the 40th party to the Convention.

Asked why the United Nations paid more attention to political issues and violence than to development issues in Africa, the Deputy Spokesman said that was not a fair statement. The United Nations, she added, focused not only on preventing conflicts but also on humanitarian and development problems. She went on to add that the Secretary-Generals efforts in terms of African development could be best exemplified by his presence, along with a number of African leaders, at the recent G8 Summit in Canada which focused on the New Economic Plan for Africa. (NEPAD).

Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General United Nations, S-378 New York, NY 10017 Tel. 212-963-7162 - press/media only Fax. 212-963-7055

All other inquiries to be addressed to (212) 963-4475 or by e-mail to: inquiries@un.org


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