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United Nations Daily Highlights, 03-01-02

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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

UN

HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Thursday, January 2, 2003

FIVE NEW SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBERS BEGIN TWO-YEAR TERMS

As of Wednesday, five new non-permanent members joined the Security Council: Angola, Chile, Germany, Pakistan and Spain began two-year terms as Colombia, Ireland, Mauritius, Norway and Singapore ended their time on the Council.

January 1 also marked the changeover in the Presidency of the Council. Ambassador Jean Marc de la Sabliere of France will preside for the month of January.

There are no meetings scheduled for today, and Friday will be devoted to bilateral meetings between the Presidency and the other members.

The Security Council is scheduled to hold closed consultations on its program of work on Monday morning. Ambassador de la Sabliere will hold a press briefing on Monday following consultations.

UN WEAPONS INSPECTORS CONTINUE WORK ON NEW YEARS DAY

The UN weapons inspections are continuing in Baghdad. Today and yesterday, New Years Day, the inspectors worked as on any other day.

Visits were conducted to, among many sites, a chemical plant, a missile propellant factory and a brewery.

UN IN BOSNIA HANDS OVER POLICE MISSION TO EUROPEAN UNION

On Wednesday, the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina ended its work, having successfully completed the most extensive police reform and restructuring mandate ever undertaken by the United Nations.

It transferred its duties to a European Union Police Mission, but the UN will remain engaged in furthering the countrys post-war development and recovery through the work of its agencies.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Mission asserted, A platform now exists from which the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina, with continued help from the international community, can build a society based on the respect for rule of law and functioning democratic institutions.

UN CONCERNED OVER PLIGHT OF LIBERIAN REFUGEES IN COTE DIVOIRE

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) warned today that time is running out for thousands of terrified Liberian refugees, who are stranded in camps just 40 kilometers away from the line separating Government and rebel forces in Cote dIvoire.

The Nicla camp, located in volatile western Cote dIvoire, currently holds some 8,000 people. On Wednesday, a reported rebel attack south of the nearby town of Guiglo sparked fears among the camps population.

UNHCR has repeatedly urged the Ivoirian Government to identify a new site for the Liberian refugees that would be in the south of the country, which is relatively safe.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Tuesday was the last day on the job for Joseph E. Connor, who since May 1994 has been the UNs top manager. For eight years, as Under Secretary-General for Management, he built up the UNs reputation as a well-run organization by relentlessly pursuing the goals of the UN reform agenda, improving efficiency and maintaining no-growth budgets.

Ten nations paid their dues in full for 2003. They are Armenia (with a payment of some $27,000), Bangladesh ($135,000), Belarus ($256,000), Congo ($13,500), Honduras ($67,500), Latvia ($135,000), Mali ($11,800), Senegal ($67,500), Sierra Leone ($13,500) and Ukraine ($715,500). An eleventh Member State, Switzerland, made its full payment for its year of admission, of nearly $2.5 million.

Asked about the Secretary-Generals program, the Spokeswoman said that, although the Secretary-General was on leave, he continues to meet with aides on pressing issues. mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-ansi-language:EN-GB;mso-fareast-language: She added that, while there had not been a year-end press conference by the Secretary-General, he may hold one in January, possibly on the week beginning January 13.

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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