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United Nations Daily Highlights, 02-07-31

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 31, 2002

ANNAN APPALLED BY BOMB ATTACK IN JERUSALEM

Secretary-General Kofi Annan is appalled by today's bomb attack at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in which seven people were killed and more than 80 wounded. He condemns utterly all such terrorist attacks against civilians.

He once again urges all concerned to end the cycle of violence, revenge and retaliation, and calls on the parties to return to the path of negotiations on a permanent settlement.

UN REPORT ON JENIN EXPECTED TO BE RELEASED THURSDAY

The Secretary-Generals report on recent events in Jenin and other Palestinian cities is expected to be released Thursday.

The report was requested by the General Assembly on May 7, after the disbandment of the team which the Secretary-General, supported by the Security Council, had proposed to send to Jenin to establish the facts on the ground.

The report should be available in all languages without any embargo at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, and electronic copies will also be available on the UN News Center web site.

Then, at 9:30 a.m., a senior UN official is scheduled to give a background briefing on the report.

CYPRIOT LEADERS ACCEPT ANNANS INVITATION TO MEET IN PARIS

Alvaro de Soto, the Secretary-Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus, called this morning on Glafcos Clerides, the Greek Cypriot leader, and Rauf Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader, to convey the Secretary-Generals invitation to meet him in Paris on September 6, to take stock and see if a course can be charted for the way ahead.

Both leaders accepted the Secretary-Generals invitation.

UN ENVOY TO TRAVEL TO MYANMAR ON FRIDAY

Razali Ismail, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Myanmar, will return to Yangon from August 2 to 6 to help facilitate the national reconciliation process in Myanmar.

During his visit, Razali will meet with leaders of the Government, senior members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and some ethnic nationalities leaders.

The Secretary-General hopes that Razali's mission, the first since political freedom was restored to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in May, will provide the process with an added momentum so that the two sides can start their substantive dialogue in the near future.

This will be Razalis eighth mission since he was appointed as the Special Envoy in April 2000.

SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES BURUNDI, CONFLICT PREVENTION IN AFRICA

The Security Council started consultations today with a discussion on Burundi, during which members heard a briefing by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tuliameni Kalomoh.

The Council President, British Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock, read a press statement on Burundi following consultations. He said the Council was disturbed to hear of reports of recent violence, including attacks on Bujumbura itself, which Council members condemned. He also noted the laying of mines in the countryside.

The Council also discussed a report by Ambassador Jagdish Koonjul of Mauritius, in his capacity as Chairman of the Ad-hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa. Greenstock said the Council broadly approved a number of recommendations, including enhancing the relationship between the Council and the African Union and the creation of "Group of Friends for African conflicts.

Also today, the Security Council Iraq Sanctions (661) Committee met, starting 10:30 a.m., on the situation between Iraq and Kuwait.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Security Council voted to extend the mandates by six months of the UN mission in Lebanon and the UN mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara.

Today is the last day of the British Council presidency. On Thursday, the United States takes over as the President of the Security Council for the month of August.

SECURITY COUNCIL WELCOMES DRC-RWANDA PEACE ACCORD

On Tuesday afternoon, in a statement to the press, Security Council President Jeremy Greenstock told journalists that the Security Council welcomed the peace accord signed by Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Ambassador said that members of the Security Council have called on the parties to the Lusaka peace agreement to hold talks with the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as soon as possible on the practical implementation of the accord.

There's a lot of work there for the UN to do but a lot of discussion is needed to find out exactly what that is," Greenstock added.

Council members also expressed their "warm appreciation" to the Government of South Africa for its role in facilitating the accord, Greenstock said.

UN DENIES PRESSURE TO SUPPRESS REPORT ON AFGHANISTAN

In further response to questions on Afghanistan, the Spokesman said he had asked the Secretary-Generals Special Representative, Lakhdar Brahimi, whether the United States exerted any pressure on the United Nations to revise the report on the July 1 incident or to suppress it.

Brahimi responded, "Absolutely not neither directly nor indirectly."

The Spokesman also repeated his denial from Tuesday that any such pressure had been put on the Secretary-General. He has not even discussed the report outside his own circle of advisers.

The decision on how to deal with the report was made by Brahimi, within his competence as head of the UN mission in Afghanistan. Any further questions, the Spokesman underscored, should be directed to him or his representatives in Kabul.

Asked whether there had been an initial decision to release the report, which was then reversed, the Spokesman said that a release of the report was just one of the options Brahimi considered. After he conferred with his senior advisers Tuesday, he took the decision he took [not to release the report, which was given to the Afghan and U.S. Governments].

UN HUMAN RIGHTS ADVISER CONCERNED BY AUSTRALIA DETENTIONS

The regional advisor for Asia and the Pacific of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, P.N. Bhagwati, today issued a report on the conditions under which illegal immigrants are detained in Australia, and said he finds that the situation for such detained persons is a matter of serious concern.

Bhagwati wrote that a more humane approach to illegal immigration in Australia would certainly be desirable, but also welcomed the positive efforts underway to improve detention conditions there. The concerns brought up in his report include the situation of detained children and concerns about family unity, the unduly long periods of detention spent by some individuals, the absence of proper judicial review, and the lack of adequate information to detainees about their rights.

High Commissioner Mary Robinson today endorsed the findings and urged the Australian Government to review the concerns expressed and seek appropriate ways to address them.

UN TRIBUNAL GRANTS EARLY RELEASE TO CONVICTED BOSNIAN

Today in The Hague, Milojica Kos, who had been a shift commander at the Omarska detention camp in Bosnia, was released by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, gaining early release after having served more than four years in detention for crimes against humanity, including murder and torture.

Tribunal President Judge Claude Jorda granted Koss early release on Tuesday, in an order that considered the gravity of his crimes, and also acknowledged his willingness to reintegrate into society, his exemplary behavior during detention and his determination not to commit any further offenses, among other factors.

Last November, Kos had been sentenced to six years in prison for his crimes while being credited with the time served since he was first imprisoned in The Hague in 1998. He is the second prisoner to be granted early release.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Asked whether the United Nations had taken any decision to change its suspension of humanitarian aid activities in Chechnya, the Spokesman said he was not aware of any change since the suspension was announced.

This morning, South Africa became the 77th country to ratify the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

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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