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United Nations Daily Highlights, 02-07-19

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

Friday, July 19, 2002

UN ENVOY SAYS PEACE PROCESS ON TRACK IN AFGHANISTAN

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan Lakhdar Brahimi briefed the Security Council this morning in its open debate on that country, and he told the Council that the peace process was on track and there were a few critical factors that give cause for cautious optimism. The people of Afghanistan are truly tired of fighting, he said, adding, No one has, so far, opted out of the peace process.

However, he underscored that despite the achievement, there were still countless challenges and problems. In many regions of the country, the security situation remains precarious, he warned, saying that this was likely to discourage donors from investing in the region.

Brahimi emphasized that the real key to the restoration of security lies in the creation of a national army and a national police force. He also said that the United Nations continued to believe that the expansion of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) would have an enormous impact on security, and this could be achieved with relatively few troops, at relatively little cost and with little danger.

Brahimi also appealed for more funds to help the Afghan Government meet the humanitarian needs of its people and to support sustainable recovery and reconstruction efforts.

ANNAN NAMES NEW ENVOYS FOR AFRICA

Secretary-General Kofi Annan made three senior-level appointments regarding Africa in exchanges of letters with the Security Council issued today.

In a letter dated July 11, the Secretary-General announces the appointment of Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah of Mauritania as his Special Representative for West Africa. Ould Abdallah is currently the Executive Director of the Global Coalition for Africa, a Washington-based intergovernmental forum.

In another letter dated July 11, the Secretary-General informs the Council of his intention to appoint Ibrahima Fall, former Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, as his Special Representative for the Great Lakes region. In that letter, the Secretary-General also notes the reassignment of Berhanu Dinka as his Special Representative for Burundi, which was announced earlier this month.

There is also an exchange of letters on the extension of the mandate of the UN Office in Angola for a period of one month, until August 15.

UNDP TO SET UP 35 SUMMER CAMPS FOR PALESTINIAN YOUTH

The UN Development Programmes Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People signed agreements this week with Palestinian community organizations to set up 35 summer camps for youths across the West Bank and Gaza. An estimated 5,000 youth are to participate in the camps during July and August.

Timothy Rothermel, the UNDP Special Representative for the Programme of Assistance, said, Getting youth off the streets during these difficult times of military closures in the occupied Palestinian territory is consistent with UNDPs human development agenda.

OTUNNU TO ASSESS IMPACT OF AFGHAN CONFLICT ON CHILDREN

The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Olara Otunnu, will visit Afghanistan from July 22-28 to assess first-hand the impact of the years of war on children.

During his mission, Otunnu will travel to Kabul and other regions, including Kandahar and Mazar-e-Sharif, and will visit children in camps for internally displaced persons. He will meet with civil society groups, non-governmental organizations, national authorities and UN humanitarian and development personnel.

On July 28, he will address an international conference on Building a Peaceful Future for Afghanistan: A Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Mines. About 35,000 children have been victims of land mines in Afghanistan, the most mine-contaminated country in the world.

UN RIGHTS ENVOY CONCERNED ABOUT COLOMBIAN JUDICIARY

Dato Param Cumaraswamy, the Special Rapporteur dealing with the independence of judges and lawyers, today expressed grave concern over what he described as the undermining of the rule of law resulting from the escalation of the armed conflict in Colombia.

He said, Recent actions by armed groups are seriously undermining the ability of the judiciary to dispense justice. He said attacks on the judicial system are particularly shocking and have no legitimate military objective.

Colombias Supreme Court recently reported that 368 municipal courts in Colombia have come under threat during the recent escalation in violence, resulting in many court closures.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Next week, the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Judge Claude Jorda; its registrar, Hans Holthuis; and its prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, will visit New York, where on Tuesday, they will brief the Security Council on their plans for the completion of the Tribunals work. The Tribunal noted the results of the Tribunal Judges regular summer plenary session, which took place last week.

Five of the leading companies in Ghana, along with several other organizations, have signed on to the UN Global Compact, which challenges businesses to embrace nine principles upholding human rights, labor rights and environmental standards. Ghanas Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, said that the Governments concern for the common good makes the Global Compact an ally, and he urged businesses to pursue their enlightened self-interest by signing the Compact.

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) today announced plans to team up with the McDonalds fast food chain to raise money for children all over the world. The initiative will be part of McDonalds World Childrens Day which will be observed for the first time on November 20 this year, the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Secretary-General met with the Chief Executive Officer of McDonalds, Jack Greenberg, today to discuss the initiative.

The Pan American Health Organization, the arm of the World Health Organization operating in the Americas, said yesterday that a survey has revealed that the price of AIDS drugs has dropped 54 percent in the region. The survey compared the prices of drugs purchased between May of 2001 and May of 2002 by the ministries of health of 14 countries, for the two most common combinations of antiretroviral therapies.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS Monday, July 22 The Secretary-General will open the 55th session of the International Civil Service Commission.

The Security Council expects to hold consultations on the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, and also to hear a briefing on the work of the Boundary Commission dealing with Ethiopia an Eritrea.

In Geneva, High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson will launch a report, prepared under the auspices of her Office and of the UN Childrens Fund and the OSCEs Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, on trafficking in the Balkans.

Tuesday, July 23 The Security Council will hold a private meeting with the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Judge Claude Jorda, as well as with Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte and Registrar Hans Holthuis. The Council has scheduled consultations on Western Sahara. It has also scheduled its monthly luncheon with the Secretary-General.

The guest at the noon briefing will be World Food Programme Executive Director James Morris, the Special Humanitarian Representative for Southern Africa, who will discuss the humanitarian crisis in that region.

Ole Henrik Magga (Norway), Chairman of the newly established Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Willie Littlechild (Canada), the Forum Rapporteur, and Wayne Lord (Canada), an Expert Member, will give a briefing on the Forum from 1:15 to 2:45 p.m. in Conference Room 2.

Wednesday, July 24 The Security Council will hold consultations on the UN Observer Mission in Georgia.

The guests at the noon briefing will be Jan Mattson, officer-in-charge of the UN Development Programme, and David Stewart of the Human Development Report Office, who will launch this year's Human Development Report.

Thursday, July 25 The Security Council will hold an open meeting on conflict, peacekeeping and gender.

Friday, July 26 The Security Council has scheduled consultations on Western Sahara.

The Secretary-Generals report to the Security Council on the UN Mission in Kosovo is expected at the end of the week.

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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