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United Nations Daily Highlights, 02-07-05

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From: The United Nations Home Page at <> - email:






Friday, July 5, 2002


Talks concluded today in Vienna between the United Nations and Iraq, as the two sides sought a formula for ending the stalemate between Iraq and the Security Council over the return of UN weapons inspectors to that country.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan told reporters, at the end of the talks, that the two-day meeting included "a constructive discussion at the technical level," which focused on the remaining disarmament issues and the practical arrangements, should UN inspections resume. The Iraqi delegation, he said, would now go back to report to its authorities, while contacts would continue on technical matters.

The Secretary-General said about the talks, "There has been some movement," but added, "I would have preferred to move further."

Expert level discussions took place this morning at the UN International Center, after which the Secretary-General was briefed on their outcome by two senior UN officials who had participated in those closed talks. They are Mohamed El-Baradei, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and Hans Blix, Executive Chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission for Iraq (UNMOVIC).

In the afternoon, the Secretary-General met one-on-one with the head of the Iraqi delegation, Foreign Minister Naji Sabri. The full delegations then sat down for a two-hour final plenary session.

In his opening comments to the Iraqis when the talks began on Thursday morning, the Secretary-General said that the Security Council took note of progress achieved in the first two rounds of talks and hoped that this third round would result in conclusive developments. The Iraqi Foreign Minister thanked the Secretary-General and outlined his delegations approach to the discussions.

The discussions on Thursday focused on disarmament, the questions Iraq had submitted during the first round of talks and the return of Kuwaiti property and other documents. Yuli Vorontsov, the High Level Coordinator for Iraq, outlined the mechanism for the return by Iraq of the Kuwaiti national archives, which was then discussed at the expert level Thursday afternoon.

Following the morning session on Thursday, the Secretary-General and the Foreign Minister briefly talked to the press. The Secretary-General said, We had a good round and a very good atmosphere. The Foreign Minister added, We exchanged views in a serious and earnest manner.


There are no Security Council meetings or consultations scheduled for today.

The Councils last meeting took place early Wednesday evening, when it decided unanimously to extend the mandate of the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which had been due to expire at the end of that day, until July 15.

That rollover provides more time for the Council members to discuss language to address US concerns about the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, whose Statute entered into force last Monday. In discussions on Wednesday afternoon, Council members did not come to any agreement on language for a resolution addressing the Criminal Court, but members have agreed to discuss the matter further in the coming days.


In Afghanistan, the emergency phase of the clearance operation in Spin Boldak has completed, following the June 27 explosion at the government ammunition dump there, which had left unexploded ordnance scattered in a wide area. The teams have removed all the hazardous materials in the community areas and from the compound. All dangerous ordnance have been neutralized and destroyed.

The Afghanistan Support Group (ASG) will meet in Geneva on Thursday, July 11, under the chairmanship of Norway, with representatives of the Afghan Transitional Authority, Afghanistan's neighboring and other interested states, the United Nations and other intergovernmental and private humanitarian organizations.

This meeting aims to highlight the urgent relief and recovery needs and recurrent budget requirements for the Transitional Administration.


Emergency Relief Coordinator Kenzo Oshima today completed a mission to Angola, accompanied by senior officials of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Food Programme (WFP), to assess the humanitarian situation on the ground in that country.

He said that he had a useful discussion yesterday with Angolan Government ministers on moving into a new partnership in humanitarian and development assistance. The United Nations, he said, will explore ways to make sure that all Angolans can benefit from a peace dividend at the end of their three-decade war.

Oshima also said he was deeply impressed by his visit earlier this week to Kuito, in Bie province, which he said was one of the hardest hit locations in the country. The scars of war are everywhere.

He urged assistance for Angolas people, saying that about a quarter of Angolas population some three million people will need some form of assistance in the months ahead.

UNHCR also reported that an estimated 10,000 Angolan refugees have spontaneously returned home from Zambia since the cease-fire this March.


The Secretary-Generals Special Representative in Sierra Leone, Oluyemi Adeniji met with members of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Freetown on Thursday. He said that it has become a challenge to establish transitional justice organs in the country and the both the UN Mission and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights had worked closely to ensure that experienced and capable persons were appointed as commissioners.

Adeniji informed the commissioners that fund raising for the Commission had not been as successful as it had been with the Special Court for Sierra Leone and said he hoped more donors would make generous contributions so the Commission could meet its mandate.

The seven-member Commission, composed of four national and three international commissioners, will be inaugurated today by President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.


The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is presenting details today to donors of a new $10.4 million appeal for emergency assistance to Liberian refugees who have fled following recent fighting in that country. The appeal calls for assistance for up to 100,000 Liberians now in Sierra Leone, Guineas and Cote dIvoire.

High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers has also issued an urgent plea for humanitarian access to tens of thousands of Liberian civilians and refugees displaced by the recent fighting, and for their safe passage. UNHCR is particularly concerned about those who fled the Sinje refugee camp following a rebel attack there on June 20.


UNHCR also says that nearly 5,000 refugees have returned from West to East Timor since the beginning of June, bringing the total number of returnees to more than 213,000.

UNHCR hopes that the dialogue it is scheduled to facilitate tomorrow in Batugade between representatives of East Timors government and a refugee delegation headed by former militia leader João Tavares will lead to further significant refugee returns. Tavares claims to have the following of several thousand refugees, and UNHCR believes that if he returns, he could bring a significant number of returnees with him.

Fewer than 50,000 refugees are believed to be living still in West Timor.


High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson wrapped up a three-day visit to Peru today. On Thursday, she met with President Alejandro Toledo and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. During her visit, Robinson signed an agreement on cooperation with the government. She reaffirmed her Offices pledge to support human rights reform in Peru and said her office would work with both the Government and civil society to support human rights reforms aimed for all Peruvians, particularly the most vulnerable.

The World Food Programme (WFP) applauded three donations this week towards its appeal for more than $500 million for Southern Africa. The United Kingdom had given more than $28 million, Canada $1 million and the Netherlands $500,000. The money will be used to purchase 50,000 metric tons of food for distribution in Southern Africa, where WFP hopes to feed more than 10 million people facing starvation.

WFP is calling on the humanitarian community to recognize the importance of food and good nutrition in combating HIV/AIDS. WFP says even though medicines and education are important in combating the disease, food is the first defence that keeps people healthier longer.

The General Assembly is expected on Monday to adopt a draft resolution on revitalizing the work of the Assembly, which will involve a change to some of the rules of procedure. The Assembly will also elected the President and Vice Presidents of its 57th session.

Germany today became the 84th Member State to pay its 2002 regular budget contribution in full, with a payment of more than $109 million. Germany also made a payment of more than $18 million to the peacekeeping budget.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS Saturday, July 6 The Secretary-General leaves Vienna for Durban, South Africa.

Today is the International Day of Cooperatives.

Sunday, July 7 In South Africa, the Secretary-General will meet with UN system heads attending the Organization of African Unity Summit.

The fourteenth International AIDS Conference opens in Barcelona, Spain.

Monday, July 8 The Secretary-General, in Durban, will address the opening ceremony of the Organization of African Unity Summit.

The Security Council has scheduled a private meeting on Guinea-Bissau and consultations on Iraq.

The President of the next session of the General Assembly will be elected.

Tuesday, July 9 The Security Council has scheduled consultations on Cyprus, to receive a briefing by the Secretary-Generals Special Adviser, Alvaro de Soto, and on Somalia.

In Durban, South Africa, the Secretary-General will hold bilateral talks with a number of world leaders attending the Organization of African Unity Summit.

Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette will address the Economic and Social Councils coordination segment on Strengthening ECOSOC.

Wednesday, July 10 The Secretary-General will leave South Africa to arrive in Khartoum, Sudan, where he will begin an official visit.

The Security Council will hold private meetings on Sierra Leone and the Central African Republic. It will also meet with troop contributing countries to the UN Mission in Prevlaka.

Thursday, July 11

At 11:15 a.m., Joseph Chamie, Director of Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, will meet the press to discuss the first meeting on the coordination of international migration issues within the UN System, which takes place on Thursday and Friday.

Today is World Population Day.

In Geneva, the Afghan Support Group will meet on Thursday and Friday, and the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, and Emergency Relief Coordinator Kenzo Oshima will attend.

Friday, July 12 The Secretary-General leaves Sudan for Abuja, Nigeria, where he will begin an official visit. During that visit, he will meet with President Olusegun Obasanjo and other senior officials.

The Security Council has scheduled consultations on Burundi, Prevlaka and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 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:

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