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United Nations Daily Highlights, 03-06-19
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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: firstname.lastname@example.orgHIGHLIGHTS
OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY FRED ECKHARD
SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Thursday, June 19, 2003
MIDDLE EAST: UN ENVOY CONDEMNS LATEST TERROR ATTACKS
Today in Jerusalem, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Terje Roed Larsen, issued a statement strongly condemning two recent attacks by Palestinian militants that claimed the lives of two Israelis.
The attacks include a suicide bombing in northern Israel this morning that killed a 63-year-old man and a shooting on a highway in central Israel Tuesday morning that killed a seven-year-old girl.
Roed-Larsen expressed his sincere condolences to the families of the victims. He also called on the Palestinian Authority to bring to justice the perpetrators of these murderous acts and strive to secure a cease-fire agreement from the militant groups who carried them out.
In his statement, he emphasized that all violence and terror must cease in order to give the Road Map a chance to finally bring a secure and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
ANNAN CALLS FOR EXTENSION OF UN GOLAN OBSERVER FORCE
Published today is the Secretary-General's latest report to the Security Council on the UN Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights. (UNDOF)
In it the Secretary-General recommends to the Council that the mandate of the force, whose presence he considers to be essential, be extended by a further six months until December 31st 2003.
The Secretary-General notes that in the past six months, the situation along the Israeli-Syrian sector has remained generally calm and the mission has continued to perform its functions effectively, with the cooperation of the parties.
The Secretary-General writes that, as in the past, both sides denied UN inspection teams access to some of their positions and imposed some restrictions on the UNs freedom of movement. In addition, Israel placed national customs officers at the Israeli Defense Forces post at the UNDOF crossing gate between Israeli-occupied Golan and Syria.
BOARD OF UN ATOMIC AGENCY CONCERNED ABOUT IRANIAN REPORTING FAILURES
Today in Vienna, the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in a statement summing up its discussions on Iran, shared the concern expressed by Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei about Irans past reporting failures and urged Iran promptly to rectify all the safeguards problems identified by the IAEA in a recent report.
The Board welcomed Irans reaffirmed commitment to full transparency and expected it to grant the Agency all the access deemed necessary. The Board also welcomed Irans readiness to look positively at signing and ratifying an additional protocol to enhance the IAEAs ability to provide credible assurances regarding the peaceful nature of Irans nuclear activities.
ElBaradei told reporters that he trusted Iran would allow the Agency to do the work it needs to do to provide such assurances, and said, The jury is still out. We still have a lot of work to do. He added that the IAEA was continuing its inspection work, including the collection of environmental samples, and would be in a better position to report back to the Board about Irans nuclear programme by September, although it could also report earlier if needed.
UN ENVOY DE MELLO VISITS NORTHERN IRAQ, MEETS LOCAL LEADERS
The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, just returned to Baghdad after spending the day in the northern Iraqi town of Erbil.
During a meeting there he told Massoud Barzani, the head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, that the UN was now entering a new phase in its relations with the Northern regions. The United Nations, he said, had developed a long and fruitful relationship with the Northern Governorates over the years, and the phase-out and handover of the Oil For Food Programme, as called for by resolution 1483, would require careful management and cooperation with the Iraqi people. Barzani said that he appreciated the valuable services that the UN agencies had provided in the region. He added that he thought the UN should stay and continue to play a role not only in the humanitarian field, but also in assisting in the establishment of democratic institutions.
During his daylong visit he also saw notable personalities in Iraqi Kurdistan and listened to their many grievances and aspirations.
In addition, he met with UN staff working in the north. They briefed him on the preparations of the transfer of Oil for Food projects to the Authority.
Yesterday afternoon, in Baghdad, de Mello received representatives of the Iraqi Bar Association who expressed their concern that resolution 1483 has now legitimized the occupation of Iraq. They also expressed their concerns about the breakdown of law and order as well as the lack of Iraqi participation in the Authoritys decisions concerning the state of the judiciary in Iraq.
UNICEF INCREASES WATER DELIVERIES IN SOUTHERN IRAQ
During the weekly humanitarian briefing in Baghdad, the UN Childrens Fund said that, to date, it has delivered 135 million liters of clean water to the people of southern Iraq. UNICEF is currently averaging between 2 and 2.5 million liters of water a day being brought into Iraq in water tankers from Kuwait.
The UN Mine Action Programme continues its activities in Iraq mine clearance, explosive ordnance disposal, permanent marking of minefields, surveys, mine risk education and victim support. In the north, in Dahuk, the UN demined an area of 15 thousand square meters and returned the land to the local population.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees says that for the time being the situation in refugee camps in Iraq is under control. Refugees were issued food rations already before the war. This should last until the end June. According to the normal food distribution schedule the next distribution should take place in the third week of June. Sufficient water is provided to the refugees.
UNHCR is also currently negotiating with the Coalition Provisional Authority to find housing for some of the 300 Palestinian families, who were forced out of their homes after the fall of the previous regime.
UN: GUINEA BISSAU LEADERS NEED TO ENSURE FREE ELECTIONS
The Security Council is holding a public meeting this morning on Guinea-Bissau.
David Stephen, the Secretary-Generals Representative in Guinea Bissau, briefed on the latest report which was issued last week. South African Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo also briefed in his capacity as Chair of the Advisory Group of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on Guinea Bissau.
Both painted a bleak picture of the country.
David Stephen reported that the opposition continued to accuse the Government of restrictions of civil liberties. Donors have conditioned financial support for the elections on the creation by the Government of propitious conditions for credible elections. The caretaker Government continues in office, while the National Assembly remains dissolved. Judicial institutions continue to be weak.
Stephen went on to say that to regain the confidence of the donor community, the leaders of Guinea Bissau have to take concrete measures to ensure the holding of credible legislative elections and to guarantee the respect of civil rights and liberties of citizens of Guinea-Bissau.
Both briefers said the Security Councils forthcoming mission to Guinea-Bissau, with the participation of ECOSOC representatives, is a timely initiative.
[The Security Council President, Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov, read a presidential statement in which the Security Council urged the countrys leaders and the international community to work more purposefully together to ensure that the development, humanitarian and peace-building agendas are quickly put back on track.]
British Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock, who is heading the upcoming Security Council mission to West Africa, will be briefing journalists on that trip next Wednesday. In addition to Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote DIvoire, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are on the draft itinerary of that mission scheduled from 25 June to 5 July.
This afternoon, the Council has scheduled consultations on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It will consider the Secretary-General's report of May 27th in which he recommends the mandate for the UN Mission in the DRC be extended for another year, until June 30, 2004, and that the authorized military strength of the Mission be increased to 10,800.
LIBERIAN PARTIES WORK TOWARDS COMPREHENSIVE PEACE AGREEMENT
Following the signing of the cease-fire agreement on Liberia, the Liberian Peace Talks are continuing in Accra, Ghana.
Discussions are underway with all the stakeholders on the procedure towards a comprehensive Peace Agreement. Abou Moussa, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Liberia is taking part in the dialogue.
Meanwhile, the assembling of the Joint Verification Team, which will be led by the Economic Community of West African States, is almost completed so that it can start its work this weekend. According to the cease-fire agreement, the team will verify the current position of the parties and plot unit locations on a map.
UNICEF OFFICIAL TO HEAD UN HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT
The Secretary-General is pleased today to announce his decision to appoint Rosemary McCreery of Ireland as Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management.
McCreery has been serving since 2000 as the UN Childrens Fund Representative in the Russian Federation and Belarus. She is also currently serving as Special Adviser to the Executive Director of UNICEF at the Director level.
McCreery, who had worked with the Irish Foreign Service from 1975, moved to UNICEF in 1979.
HUMAN RIGHTS : Legal and human rights experts meeting in Geneva presented acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Bertrand Ramcharan with groundbreaking draft legislation for use in post-conflict justice systems, including a penal code and criminal code designed to be used by peace support missions as they attempt to restore law and order. Model statutes dealing with police powers and detention also form part of the materials, which are the culmination of an 18-month effort.
UN VOLUNTEERS: Last year, a record 5,234 mid-career professionals from 158 nationalities have served with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to promote peace, relief and development initiatives in 139 nations through volunteer action. According to UNV's Annual Report for 2002, which was released today, key activities of the UN Volunteers entailed providing assistance to those living with HIV/AIDS and supporting electoral processes, humanitarian relief, peace-building and peace-keeping within UN missions worldwide.
UN BUDGET: A significant contribution to the UN peacekeeping budget was received today from France, which paid more than $12.6 million.
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