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United Nations Daily Highlights, 03-01-24

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

FROM THE NOON BRIEFING

BY HUA

JIANG

DEPUTY SPOKESWOMAN

FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

UN

HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Friday, January 24, 2003

Because of the Security Council meeting on Iraq on Monday, January 27, there will be no noon briefing by the Spokesman's Office that day. However, the highlights of the day's events will be posted on this Internet page on Monday.

SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING ON IRAQ TO OPEN AT 10:30 ON MONDAY

Next Monday, the Security Council is set to start with an open meeting at 10:30 a.m. to hear, first from the Executive Chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), Hans Blix, and then the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei, who will provide the 60-day update on the inspection process so far.

The remarks of both Blix and ElBaradei will be made available to the press, but not on an embargoed basis.

No member state will take the floor during the open meeting. Following the two presentations, the Council will move into closed consultations on Iraq.

The Secretary-General will be present at the open meeting, but he is not expected to speak. He will also attend the closed consultations. Asked why the Secretary-General would not be speaking during the open meeting, the Spokeswoman said that the purpose of the meeting was to hear the reports from Blix and ElBaradei.

On the logistics side, the Media Liaison office issued a note to correspondents on the details of access to Security Council stakeout area, which will be limited to about 220 journalists, for safety reasons. An overflow room for visiting press will be set up in conference room 1, so they can view the proceedings on closed circuit TV.

There are also 100 seats reserved for press to gain access to the public gallery of the Security Council. Those tickets can be picked up from media liaison on Monday morning. In addition to the Security Council, another stakeout area will be set up in the Secretariat lobby.

UNTV will provide feeds of the Councils open meeting, as well as the Council and Secretariat lobby stakeouts.

ANNAN MEETS WITH FRENCH LEADERS BEFORE COTE DIVOIRE SUMMIT

At noon today in Paris, Secretary-General Kofi Annan conferred with his Special Representative for West Africa Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah.

After that, he travelled to the Elysee, where he met with French President Jacques Chirac who was accompanied by Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin. They reviewed the progress that had been made to date on the Cote dIvoire talks taking place in Paris under the auspices of the French Government and plans for the Summit Meeting on Cote dIvoire, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday.

The Secretary-General then met privately with President Chirac and Foreign Minister de Villepin.

UN ENVOY DISCUSSES COTE DIVOIRE CRISIS WITH ECOWAS OFFICIALS

Carolyn McAskie, the Secretary-Generals Humanitarian Envoy dealing with Cote dIvoire, met Thursday in that country with representatives of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to discuss the economic and humanitarian effects the crisis is having on their countries.

Some 140,000 nationals of those West African states have been forced to flee the country, and many have lost their jobs as the Ivoirian economy falters. McAskie noted, Even if a political agreement for Cote dIvoire is reached in the short run, the humanitarian crisis will require long-term attention.

She also met Thursday with humanitarian donors in Abidjan to underscore the importance of the situation, saying, With war looming in Iraq, the world may lose sight of the fact that this conflict could destabilize the whole of West Africa. She also met with first lady Simone Gbagbo to discuss the social pressure the crisis has placed on internally displaced persons and the families hosting them.

The Humanitarian Envoy said of her trip, Ive seen things on this mission that I never thought I would see in Cote dIvoire.

COUNCIL VOTES ON EXTENSION OF DR- CONGO EXPERT PANEL

The Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1457 (2003), requesting a new six-month mandate for the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

In that mandate, the Panel would, among other things, make recommendations on measures that could be taken to ensure that the DRCs resources are legally extracted, on a fair commercial basis to benefit the Congolese people.

At the start of the meeting, the President of the Security Council, Jean-Marc de la Sablière, expressed the Councils grief and condolences to the people of Mexico following the recent earthquake.

UN ENVOY WARNS OF FOOD SHORTAGE IN LESOTHO

James Morris, the Secretary-Generals Special Envoy for Humanitarian Needs in Southern Africa, left Lesotho on Thursday, ending the first leg of a five-nation, one-week tour. He warned that while international aid has helped to prevent tragedy in the country in the last six months, food shortages continue to affect a population already weakened by HIV/AIDS.

I have been moved by the struggle that the people of this country, especially women, face every day to survive and support their families, he said after meeting some of the hardest-hit families in highland villages. He added that there was a great battle ahead in the fight against food insecurity with the prospect of another poor harvest added to the high levels of HIV/AIDS.

Morris left Lesotho for Zimbabwe. He goes to Malawi on Saturday, Zambia on Sunday and South Africa on Tuesday.

ILO SAYS 180 MILLION PEOPLE UNEMPLOYED WORLDWIDE

The International Labour Organization (ILO), in a new report, argues that two years of economic slowdown have pushed the number of unemployed to new heights worldwide, with the number of unemployed around the world growing by 20 million, to a new total of 180 million, since the year 2000.

Women and youth have been particularly hard hit, while by the end of last year, the number of working poor workers living on less than one dollar a day rose to 550 million, the first time it had been that high since 1998.

Latin America and the Caribbean were hardest hit, with recorded joblessness rising nearly 10 percent.

ILO Director-General Juan Somavia warned, While tens of millions of people join the ranks of the unemployed or the working poor, uncertain prospects for a global economic recovery make a reversal of this trend unlikely in 2003.

UN CYPRUS ENVOY MEETS WITH GREEK PRIME MINISTER

This morning in Athens, the Secretary-General Special Advisor on Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto, met with the Greek Prime Minister, Costas Simitis.

He later met with the Russian Foreign Minister, Igor Ivanov, who was on a visit to the Greek capital.

De Soto returned to the island in the afternoon, where he hosted another meeting between the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, and the Greek Cypriot leader, Glafcos Clerides.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS BANGLADESH: Two special rapporteurs of the Commission on Human Rights Asma Jahangir, who deals with executions, and Theo Van Boven, who deals with torture expressed serious concern about a proposal in Bangladesh to have an ordinance that would exempt soldiers from investigation for actions committed during a crackdown on crime that took place in that country since last October. Several people are reported to have been tortured or killed during the crackdown, called Operation Clean Heart. The two UN experts called on Bangladeshs Government to ensure that all allegations of torture and death in custody are promptly, independently and thoroughly investigated.

RWANDA: Earlier this morning, Bishop Samuel Musabyimana died after a long illness in Moshi, Tanzania, becoming the first accused suspect to die while in the detention of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The Bishop had been charged with genocide and crimes against humanity by the Tribunal, and had pleaded not guilty to all charges in his initial appearance before the court in 2001. The Tribunal offered its condolences to his family. PANAMA: The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that nearly 500 indigenous people from Panama fled to that countrys Central Darian region this week after their villages were attacked by Colombian paramilitaries, following an attack last weekend in which four indigenous community leaders were reportedly killed. The attack signals the growing impact of the Colombian conflict on Panama and other neighboring countries. FIJI: The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that the Government of Fiji on Thursday appealed for international assistance in the wake of tropical Cyclone Ami, which hit the islands on January 14. Parts of the second-largest island, Vanua Levu, are still without electricity and much of the infrastructure has been damaged. The immediate assistance needed for affected communities includes shelter, water supply and food. Over the long term, the Government has identified the rehabilitation of rural housing, schools, health centers and infrastructures as a national priority.

BUDGET: Three more member states have paid their 2003 regular budget contributions in full. Cape Verde and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines made payments of more than $13,000 each, and Singapore more than $5 million. We now have 28 fully paid up Member States. THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS Saturday, January 25 The Secretary-General will attend the talks, hosted in Paris by the French Government, between the Government and rebel forces of Cote dIvoire.

Sunday, January 26 The Secretary-General is expected to return to New York from Paris.

Monday, January 27 The Security Council will hold an open meeting on Iraq, in which Hans Blix, Executive Chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) for Iraq, and Mohamed ElBaradei, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), will brief the Council on UN weapons inspections in Iraq. After the open meeting, the Council will hold closed consultations, also on Iraq.

The Committee on Sustainable Development will hold an organizational session in New York. Tuesday, January 28 The Security Council intends to hold consultations on Cote dIvoire.

The Economic and Social Council will hold an organizational session through Friday. Wednesday, January 29 The Security Council intends to hold consultations on UN weapons inspections in Iraq. The United Nations Environment Programme will launch its "Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment Report for Afghanistan" in Kabul. The report will be available on that date at http://postconflict.unep.ch/

Thursday, January 30 The Security Council intends to hold several formal meetings, dealing with the mandates of the UN peacekeeping missions in Western Sahara, Lebanon and Georgia.

At 11:15 a.m., Ambassador John Donaldson, Special Envoy of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, will brief the press on the situation in his country, in particular security, terrorism and related issues.

Friday, January 31 The Security Council intends to hold an open meeting, followed by consultations, on Afghanistan, on which it will be briefed by the Secretary-Generals Special Representative, Lakhdar Brahimi. Today is the last day of the French Presidency of the Security Council, after which Germany will take over the Council Presidency for February.

At 11:00 a.m., the Coalition for the International Criminal Court will hold a press briefing, with its Convener, William Pace, and other speakers.

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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