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United Nations Daily Highlights, 03-01-09

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 SPOKESWOMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS

UN

HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Thursday, January 9, 2003

SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFED BY UN OFFICIALS ON INSPECTIONS IN IRAQ

The Security Council met in closed consultations to hear briefings by the Executive Chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, Hans Blix, and the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammed ElBaradei. The two officials provided Council members with an update on the on-going weapons inspection process in Iraq.

style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language:EN-US; [Following consultations, Blix said to reporters that he told Council members that "we still get prompt access from the Iraqi side; that the inspections are covering ever-wider areas, and ever more sites in Iraq; that in the course of these inspections we have not found any smoking gun. However, we are getting more and more information, better knowledge about the situation, and that the Declaration regrettably has not helped very much to clarify any question marks of the past."

style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language:EN-US; In response to a question on interviewing Iraqi scientists, Blix said "we will already next week, for our part, we will ask for some interviews in Baghdad, I can tell you." Asked about the list of experts provided by Iraq, he said, "The list even failed to comprise a number of names that we have from the UNSCOM archives and which should have been there. So it was not an adequate list and we will bring it up in our talks in Baghdad" on January 19 and 20.

style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language:EN-US; On a question about how much time should be given to Iraq to comply, Blix said: "This is entirely in the hands of the Security Council. The history of inspections and disarmament in Iraq did not begin with Resolution 1441, nor does it necessarily end on the 27th of January. It is for the members of the Council to decide where they will go."

ElBaradei, in response to a question on the import of aluminium tubes, said: "We told the Council that we have been investigating Iraqi reports that they have imported aluminium tubes for rockets and not for centrifuge, not for uranium enrichment. We are investigating their efforts to procure aluminium tubes. We are in touch with some of their intended suppliers, and the question is still open, but we believe, at this stage, that these aluminium tubes were intended for the manufacturing of rockets."

In a statement to the press following consultations, the President of the Security Council, Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sablière of France, said members of the Council reiterated their full support for the work and action of Dr. Blix and Dr. El Baradei and to the continuation of inspection activities of UNMOVIC and IAEA pursuant to Resolution 1441 in order to achieve the disarmament of Iraq.]

In Iraq, meanwhile, inspection activities continued. An UNMOVIC multidisciplinary team took off on three Bell-212 helicopters from the Al Rasheed Air Base in Baghdad to inspect a site. Due to weather conditions in the inspection site area, the team returned without landing. Inspections were carried out by UNMOVIC missile, biological and chemical teams, by a Mosul-based multidisciplinary team and by the IAEA, according to today's press statement issued in Baghdad.

UN-CAMBODIA TALKS CONTINUE

The talks between Cambodia and the United Nations on the establishment of Extraordinary Chambers to deal with the prosecution of crimes committed during the period of Democratic Kampuchea resumed this morning. The two sides are scheduled to meet again at 11 a.m. Friday.

UN Legal Counsel Hans Corell led the UN delegation. The Cambodian delegation is led by Senior Minister Sok An, head of the country's Council of Ministers.

UN FORECASTS SLOW ECONOMIC REBOUND IN 2003

The United Nations economic forecast for 2003, The World Economic Situation and Prospects 2003 was launched today in New York.

UN economists expect a slow economic rebound this year and say that not enough is being done to assist poor countries in poverty alleviation. Even this slow rate of growth, they say, is subject to both political and macroeconomic risks and uncertainties.

UN TEAM INVESTIGATES REPORTS OF RAPES AND CANNIBALISM IN DRC

A UN team is on the ground in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo near Mambassa to investigate reports of rapes, mass graves and cannibalism.

The area has been the scene of clashes between the Congolese Rally for Democracy/Liberation Movement and the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo.

style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language:EN-US; The UN team has been speaking to local residents and the investigation will be finished in a few days. The report on the situation will handed over to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello when he visits the DRC next Monday and Tuesday. De Mellos other stops will include Angola and Burundi.

UN INVESTIGATES SHOOTING IN GOLAN HEIGHTS

According to preliminary information provided by UN Observer Force in the Golan Heights, there was firing Wednesday in the southernmost portion of the missions area of operation, just north of the intersection of the Jordanian, Israeli and Syrian borders.

Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) fire killed one Syrian, and a second was reportedly captured by the IDF.

It appears that the two Syrians were on foot, west of the line separating Israeli controlled Golan and Syria, but east of the technical fence which does follow the separation line in this particular spot.

The mission is investigating the incident and will provide further detail as they become available.

The mission is also is negotiating with the IDF to recover the body of the known casualty and to obtain the release of the apprehended Syrian.

style="line-height: 12.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none" OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso-layout-grid-align: The UN mission in Afghanistan in its press briefing in Kabul today noted with shock a robbery of more than $160,000, which had been intended to for use to assist thousands of people in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif. The robbery of an office of an Italian NGO took place a week ago and the money was to have been used for the purchase of relief aid for some 6,000 Afghans in urgent need as temperatures plummet amid an already dire situation.

In a letter to the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO), President Xanana Gusmao of Timor Leste announced his countrys intention to join the organization. The United States also recently announced its intention to rejoin the Organization and with the addition of these two, the number of Member states will rise to 190. In response to a question, the Deputy Spokesman later said that the new members of UNESCO had to complete the membership process which includes signing the Organizations Constitution, which is located in the archives of the British Foreign Office in London, and depositing a declaration of acceptance of the Constitution with the Organization.

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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