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United Nations Daily Highlights, 02-07-24

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 FRED ECKHARD

SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

SECURITY COUNCIL TO HOLD OPEN DEBATE ON MIDDLE EAST

The Security Council has scheduled an open debate on the Middle East at 7 p.m. today, following a request for the meeting by the Arab Group of countries at the United Nations.

PROGRESS IN NEW DEMOCRACIES STALLED, WARNS HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT

The UN Development Programme (UNDP), in its Human Development Report for 2002, says that, although scores of countries took steps towards democracy during the past two decades, progress in many is stalled and some are slipping back to authoritarian rule putting human development at risk.

While 140 of the worlds countries hold multiparty elections, only 82 of them are fully democratic, boasting such institutions as a free press and independent judiciary, the report says. It calls for a new wave of democracy building to give ordinary people a greater say in policy-making.

The report was launched first today in the Philippines by UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown and Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

[The top three countries in terms of human development, according to the report, are Norway, Sweden and Canada; the bottom three are Burundi, Niger and Sierra Leone.]

SECURITY COUNCIL RECOMMENDS SWISS MEMBERSHIP TO UNITED NATIONS

The Security Council began its work this morning by referring the question of Switzerland's admission to the United Nations to its Committee on the Admission of New Members.

[The Security Council then met in a formal meeting to adopt a resolution (1426) in which it recommended to the General Assembly that Switzerland be admitted to membership in the United Nations. Security Council President, Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom, announced the decision and extended his congratulations on behalf of the Council in a statement he read out during the meeting.]

[The General Assembly is expected to vote on the Switzerland's membership during it's 57th session.}

SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES WESTERN SAHARA, WELCOMES SUDAN ACCORD

In consultations this morning, Security Council members discussed the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) and the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Previously scheduled consultations on the UN mission in Georgia have been moved until Monday. Mandates of those three missions expire at the end of the month.

[Security Council President Greenstock, in a press statement, said members of the Council welcomed the signing of the recent protocol between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, which he said "represents a significant breakthrough on major issues and a major step towards the realization of a just and lasting peace in Sudan." He added that Council members appeal to the parties to continue to work for a successful conclusion of a global and definitive agreement during the course of 2002.]

This afternoon, back-to-back meetings of the Security Council with troop contributing countries to the UN missions in Georgia and Western Sahara are scheduled to take place.

Issued today as official documents of the Security Council are the request from the Arab Group for the meeting on the Middle East and a letter from Algeria regarding a draft resolution on Western Sahara introduced earlier this week.

HUMAN RIGHTS FORUM TO EXAMINE GLOBALIZATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS

The first session of the Social Forum, which was established by the Commission on Human Rights to allow for a dialogue with non-governmental organizations and civil society, will take place tomorrow and Friday in Geneva.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinsons office wants the Forum, in its initial work, to hold a dialogue on the theme of globalization and human rights, followed by a focus on the relationship between the right to adequate food and poverty reduction, with special attention paid to the rural poor.

TOP EUROPEAN FOOTBALL CLUBS TO PLAY FOR FIGHT AGAINST AIDS

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has welcomed announcement by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority of a special match between Real Madrid and Roma dedicated to the global fight against HIV/AIDS.

The match -- an initiative of Real Madrid as part of its centennial celebration -- is scheduled to take place at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Thursday August 8 at 7:45 p.m.

A portion of the proceeds from the match will be divided between the United Nations and the independent Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The Secretary-General is expected to make brief remarks at the opening of the match, along with New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey.

Featured players will include some who played in the recent World Cup: Zinnadine Zidane of France, a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, Roberto Carlos and Marcos deMoraes Cafu of Brazil, Raul Gonzalez Blanco of Spain, Francesco Totti of Italy and Gabriel Batistuta of Argentina.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS:

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a new publication on the link between health and human rights. The booklet is designed to assist governments and those concerned with developing a human rights approach to public health work. It looks at subjects such as the implication of the restriction of certain human rights during a public health emergency and the effect of globalization on the promotion and protection of human rights.

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) announced a partnership with the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. Called Your Change for a Real Change, the initiative offers the Associations members a number of activities which can be carried out with UNICEF field offices to help make a change in the lives of children all over the world. The Association has 5,600 members in 100 countries serving some one billion visitors each year.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced that more than 4,000 refugees have returned to East Timor from Indonesia this month. This brings the number repatriated since late 1999 to 217,000.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines this morning became the 142nd country to sign the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime.

Algeria today became the 88th Member State to pay its 2002 regular budget contribution in full with a payment of more than $770,000.

  • The guests at the noon briefing were UNDP Assistant Administrator Jan Mattson and David Stewart, an economist for the Human Development Report office, to talk about the Human Development Report.

    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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