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United Nations Daily Highlights, 02-07-10

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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 10, 2002

ANNAN LANDS IN SUDAN, SAYS PEACE PROCESS IS RE-ENERGIZED

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today arrived in Sudan, departing from Durban, South Africa, where he had witnessed the birth of the African Union.

Shortly after he arrived in Khartoum, the Secretary-General spoke to the press, and said his visit comes at a time when the peace process in Sudan is being re-energized.

He said he hoped to hold talks about the humanitarian efforts, so that more assistance could be provided to those in need, and so that humanitarian activities would run more smoothly.

The Secretary-General then met with UN staff and the UN country team in Sudan, and then met afterward with the International Committee of the Red Cross and with non-governmental representatives in the country, including CARE, Oxfam, the Sudanese Red Crescent and Save the Children UK, who all deal with emergency relief, human rights promotion and community peace efforts.

Tonight, he will meet with First Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, who will also host a dinner in the Secretary-Generals honor afterward.

UN BOSNIA MISSION AND ICC DISCUSSED AT SECURITY COUNCIL DEBATE

The Security Council is holding an open meeting on the UN mission Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) with speakers also addressing the issue of the International Criminal Court.

This open meeting is being held at the request of Canada. In a letter to the President of the Security Council, Canadas Permanent Representative, Paul Heinbecker, said what is at issue is not only the extension of the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina but also a potentially irreversible decision negatively affecting the integrity of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and, more generally, the integrity of treaty negotiations.

This afternoon, Council members will hold a private meeting with troop contributing countries to the UN mission in Prevlaka.

COMMERCIAL TRAFFIC TO RESUME ON CONGO RIVER UNDER UN PROTECTION

The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced that two commercial barges would leave Kinshasa next week for towns in the northern part of country.

These are first commercial vessels to navigate the Congo River since the start of the war in 1998.

The barges will be escorted by riverine units from UN forces in the country.

AIDS IS INCREASING THE NUMBER OF ORPHANS WORLDWIDE

A new report released today finds the global orphan crisis is set to get worse due to the AIDS epidemic. Children on the Brink a joint report of UNAIDS, the United Nations Children's Fund and US Agency for International Development has the broadest and most comprehensive statistics on children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

It finds that more than 13 million children have already lost one or both parents to the disease in the regions studied. The number is expected to grow to 25 million by the year 2010.

The report calls for action to assist children, families and communities affected by HIV/AIDS and discusses five strategies to assist children.

In another press release, UNAIDS says countries should not use criminal law to deal with conduct that carries a risk of transmitting HIV.

A new report, also released today, says public health laws accompanied by appropriate safeguards for human and civil rights should be used instead.

The report says criminalization could have a negative impact on HIV/AIDS interventions and HIV-positive persons could be perceived as potential criminals and a threat to the general public.

ECOSOC COULD BE CATALYST FOR PARTNERSHIP, SAYS FRECHETTE

This morning, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) began a discussion on how to strengthen ECOSOC and follow up to recent UN conferences, and Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette said at that segment that a strong and effective ECOSOC was essential.

She noted that Councils efforts to strengthen itself, including the start of a regular dialogue with the Bretton Wood Institutions and new links with civil society and the private sector. One particular question it may want to address, she added, is to define the respective roles of the Council and the General Assembly in following up the economic and social agendas following the Millennium Declaration.

She said, In recent years, ECOSOC has taken on new life, and is being rediscovered for the potential it offers as a catalyst for enlightened policy and creative partnership. She hoped for a productive session in improving ECOSOCs work.

UN MISSION WORKS TOWARDS MULTI-ETHNIC JUDICIARY IN KOSOVO

The UN Mission in Kosovo is a step closer towards creating a multi-ethnic judiciary, after judicial officials in Serbia agreed to encourage Kosovos Serb judicial experts to apply for posts in the judiciary there.

So far, only three Kosovo Serb judges and one Serb prosecutor are working in the judicial system of Kosovo, out of 320 judges and prosecutors in that system as a whole.

The UN Mission has tried to encourage Serb participation, encouraging resolution of property claims by Serb judicial candidates and helping to place their family members in vacant civil service posts for which they are qualified.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Earlier today, a former member of a Serb elite paramilitary unit, Radovan Stankovic was transferred to The Hague, where he is to appear before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on Friday. Stankovic is accused of being in charge of a site in Bosnia where Muslim women were detained and raped.

This morning, Tunisia became the 34th country to sign the protocol on firearms supplementing the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime.

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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