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United Nations Daily Highlights, 03-06-06

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 SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Friday, June 6, 2003

UN AND CAMBODIA AGREE ON KHMER ROUGE TRIAL STRUCTURE

Today in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, UN Legal Counsel Hans Corell and Cambodian Senior Minister Sok An signed an agreement on the prosecution, under Cambodian law, of crimes committed during the period of Democratic Kampuchea (1975-79). The agreement provides for the establishment of Extraordinary Chambers within the existing Cambodian court structure which will have the jurisdiction to try senior leaders of Democratic Kampuchea.

Corell, on signing the agreement, said, With this step, the quest of the Cambodian people for justice, national reconciliation, stability, peace and security is brought closer to realization.

He added that the agreement marks the beginning of a new phase, with much work to be done before trials can begin. On Cambodias side, the agreement will now be passed on to the Cambodian National Assembly for ratification.

On the UN side, the Secretary-General will have to secure voluntary contributions from States to fund the assistance that the United Nations is to provide, with the Chambers estimated to cost more than $19 million over a three-year period.

Corell said that the Secretary-General will send a planning mission to Phnom Penh in the near future, to discuss the requirements, in terms of personnel, equipment, supplies and other operating needs, of the Extraordinary Chambers.

UN ENVOY ARRIVES IN MYANMAR, EXPECTS RELEASE OF AUNG SAN SUU KYI

In a statement released through his Spokesman, the Secretary-General says his Special Envoy to Myanmar, Ambassador Razali Ismail, arrived in Yangon today, June 6.

His instructions from the Secretary-General are to meet with senior members of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as well as National League for Democracy (NLD) Central Executive Committee members.

The Secretary-General continues to be gravely concerned about the continued incommunicado detention of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other leaders of the NLD, and is particularly troubled by reports of injuries suffered by them. He fully expects that his Special Envoy will be allowed to meet all his interlocutors, and that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other NLD members will be released without further delay.

As of now the United Nations does not have confirmation that the government of Myanmar has agreed that the Special Envoy can meet with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

However, the Special Envoy met with the Foreign Minister today, where he registered an official request that he be allowed to see her.

He is scheduled to meet Gen. Khin Nyunt, Secretary-One of the SPDC, tomorrow, where he hopes to receive an official answer to his request. At these meetings, he is emphasizing the need to release immediately all those detained since May 30.

He will also convey the international communitys concern at the events of May 30, and will impress upon his interlocutors the need to start a substantive dialogue between the government and the NLD.

IAEA INSPECTORS ARRIVE IN IRAQ TO INVENTORY NUCLEAR SITE

A seven-member team of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors has arrived in Baghdad, where it will carry out a mandate under the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty to conduct an inventory of nuclear material at a storage site, known as Location C, near the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Centre.

That site had held about 1.8 tons of low-enriched uranium and some 500 tons of natural and depleted uranium, which had been under IAEA seal and regularly inspected since 1991. The inspection team was sent following reports of looting at the site, and the inspectors will determine how much, if any, of the material is missing, and to secure the facility, if necessary.

The inspection work is being facilitated by the U.S. military, which will provide logistics and security. The work is expected to last two weeks.

Published today is the 13th quarterly report from the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC). UNMOVIC, Executive Chairman, Hans Blix presented the report to the Council yesterday and highlighted in his public remarks its most relevant points. The report provides an overview of the Commissions activities to date as well current level of staffing

FIRST ELEMENTS OF MULTI-NATIONAL FORCE ARRIVE IN BUNIA, DR CONGO

The UN Mission in the Republic of the Congo (DRC) reports the first unit of French troops in the multi-national forces landed at Bunia early today. The exact number of troops was not released. More troops will be arriving in the following days with six to seven flights a day.

At least five British military personnel also arrived with the French troops, as an advanced unit to assess the practical participation of the British soldiers in the international forces.

The UN Childrens Fund (UNICEF) issued a statement today, deploring violence against children and women in the country and calling all actors political and military to put an end to such acts. UNICEF said that thousands of women and girls are being brutally raped, mutilated and killed in the Ituri province. An estimated 20,000 children and the same number of women were displaced by the recent outbreak in fighting. Thousands of children, some as younger than ten years old, were recently recruited and are being used as child soldiers by various armed groups. As many as a third of the 30,000 fighters are children.

SECURITY COUNCIL MISSION DEPARTS SATURDAY FOR CENTRAL AFRICA

The Security Council mission to Central Africa led by French Ambassador to the United Nations, Jean-Marc de la Sablière, is scheduled to leave tomorrow. On the missions itinerary are stops in Johannesburg, Luanda, Kinshasa and Bunia in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bujumbura, Kigali, Dar es Salaam, and Entebbe.

The mission is scheduled to return to New York on Monday, June 16. An open briefing on the mission is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, June 18.

In advance of the mission by Angela King, Special Advisor of the Secretary-General on Gender Issues, in a press release, reminded the Security Council of its commitment to put women and girls at the centre of peace efforts.

ANNAN TO DISPATCH ASSESSMENT MISSION TO CENTRAL AFRICA

In accordance with the Security Councils request, contained in its Presidential Statement of 31 October 2002, the Secretary-General has decided to dispatch a Multidisciplinary Assessment Mission to the Central Africa sub-region.

The mission will start on June 9, 2003, for approximately two weeks.It is entrusted with determining the measures to be taken for the implementation of a comprehensive, integrated, resolute and concerted approach to the issues of peace, security and development in the subregion.

Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Mr. Tuliameni Kalomoh, will lead the mission, which will comprise representatives of various departments and agencies of the UN system.

They will visit the 11 countries belonging to the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).

Since the role of the United Nations is to support the efforts of regional States and institutions, the Mission will be carried out in partnership with ECCAS. Two ECCAS senior officials will accompany the mission.

LIBERIA: TENS OF THOUSANDS DISPLACED BY FIGHTING NEAR MONROVIA

The continuing conflict in Liberia has displaced tens of thousands of refugees and locals near the capital Monrovia, and sent more than 23,000 Liberians fleeing into western Côte d'Ivoire in the last two weeks, says the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

On Thursday, UN refugee agency staff in Liberia reported that resurgent fighting between the government and rebels of LURD (Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy) near Monrovia had spread to camps, which hosted Sierra Leonean refugees.

Meanwhile, the World Food Programme said that the security conditions were deteriorating daily in Liberia.

WFP reports that without any peaceful solution, there would continue to be large numbers of people becoming displaced inside the country, and there would also be Liberians moving into neighbouring countries. Thousands had fled the fighting to the capital Monrovia, but it was not equipped to receive these displaced persons.

The fighting had stopped WFP from distributing food to the 115,000 displaced persons in camps around Monrovia.

To date, 70 percent of the country was inaccessible to humanitarian organizations because of the intense fighting.

SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES UN FORCE IN CYPRUS, CONDEMNS MURDER IN KOSOVO

During the Security Councils closed consultations this morning, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hedi Annabi, presented the Secretary-Generals latest report on the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus.

In the report, the Secretary-General recommends a six months extension of the forces mandate. In it, he also asks for additional civilian police officers to be assigned to the force to deal with high number of people crossing the buffer zone.

The Council also heard a briefing by Annabi on the recent murder of a Serb family in Kosovo. Security Council President, Russian Ambassador Sergei Lavrov, read a press statement

following the consultations in which members strongly condemned the murder.

UNRWA SAYS $103 MILLION NEEDED FOR EMERGENCY NEEDS OF PALESTINIANS

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) launched an urgent appeal for $103 million to the international community today for funds to support its emergency activities in the second half of 2003. These include food aid for the poor, shelter for the homeless, medical care for the injured and counseling for children who have been traumatised by violence.

Launching the appeal in Geneva, UNRWA's Commissioner-General, Peter Hansen, emphasized that even if the recently re-started peace negotiations are successful, the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian refugees will remain great for the foreseeable future.

ANNAN NAMES TOP UN HUMANITARIAN OFFICIAL, SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON DISABILITY

The Secretary-General has decided to appoint Jan Egeland of Norway as the new Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Humanitarian Relief Coordinator. Egeland, who is currently Secretary General of the Norwegian Red Cross, succeeds Kenzo Oshima of Japan.

The Secretary-General has also decided to appoint Sheikha Hessa bint Khalifa bin Ahmed al-Thani of Qatar as Special Rapporteur on Disability of the UN Commission for Social Development. The task of the Special Rapporteur is to monitor implementation of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, adopted by the General Assembly in 1993. Ms. Sheikha Hessa replaces Bengt Lindqvist of Sweden, who has held the post since 1994.

TIMOR LESTE BECOMES NEWEST MEMBER OF UNESCO

After signing the Constitution of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) yesterday in London, Timor-Leste became the Organizations 189th Member State. UNESCO has been active in Timor-Leste since the late 1990s, supporting media development and cultural preservation projects. UNESCO also helped in establishing the first two community radio stations in the country.

UNESCO also announced yesterday that President of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmão will be awarded this years Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize on the 10th of June. The Prize, which includes a check for 122,000, a diploma and a gold medal, is awarded annually to the person, institution or organization who contributes significantly to the promotion, research, preservation or maintenance of peace.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS:

[GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Richard Sydenham, Spokesman for the General Assembly, announced that the General Assembly had elected by acclamation, Julian Robert Hunte, Minister of External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation of St. Lucia, as President of the 58th session of the General Assembly.]

AIDS: The Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and malaria, in a press release, said its Board has called on public and private donors to contribute $3 billion by the end of 2004 so the anticipated country proposals will be fully financed.

VACCINATIONS IN LATIN AMERICA: The Pan American Health Organization, the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization, said that its first ever large-scale vaccination campaign, held last week in Latin America, was successful. Plans are already under way for an effort to include the whole of the Western Hemisphere in April 2004. The effort to reach 16 million children who have not been vaccinated in indigenous communities, marginal urban areas and remote areas was supported by ministers of health, first ladies and health workers of 19 countries in total.

ANTI-POVERTY PROPOSALS: Juan Somavia, Director-General of the International Labour Office, will present new anti-poverty proposals to the annual conference of the ILO, which were issued in a new ILO report entitled Working out of Poverty. Somavia is to launch a debate on ways out of global poverty when he formally presents the report to some 3,000 government, worker and employer representatives in Geneva on Monday, June 9. He will call for new global partnerships to support national efforts against poverty.

UN BUDGET: Two payments to the peacekeeping budget were made today. Germany made a payment of more than $21 million and Belgium a payment of more than $7 million.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS Sunday, June 8

Carolyn McAskie, UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, will be traveling to Eritrea and Ethiopia from June 8-13 on a mission to assess the effects of the drought and the overall humanitarian situation and lend support to mobilize urgently needed resources and support for relief operations.

Monday, June 9

In Vienna, the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Spaces will begin a two-week meeting.

Tuesday, June 10

The Security Council is expected to hold a public meeting on Kosovo.

Wednesday, June 11

The Security Council has scheduled a formal meeting to consider the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, which is set to expire on June 15, and has also scheduled consultations on Liberia.

Thursday, June 12 Friday, June 13

The Security Council has scheduled an open briefing, followed by consultations, on the Middle East, including the question of Palestine.

Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette will make brief remarks at the International Peace Academys Conference of the Conflict Prevention Project.

style="font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-weight: 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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