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United Nations Daily Highlights, 03-06-20

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

Friday, June 20, 2003

REVISED UN HUMANITARIAN APPEAL FOR IRAQ TO BE LAUNCHED MONDAY

On Monday, Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette will formally launch the Humanitarian Appeal for Iraq, and will call for an additional $259 million to support UN humanitarian operations in Iraq up to the end of this year. The Humanitarian Appeal is a revision of the flash appeal issued in March, which had asked for $2.2 billion to cover needs for six months.

The revised appeal is based on a range of humanitarian needs assessments on the ground and extensive consultations, and covers revised requirements for the period from April 1 to December 31.

The Deputy Secretary-General will launch the appeal in the Economic and Social Council Chamber, and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Kenzo Oshima and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq Ramiro Lopes da Silva will also speak, and will brief the press later that day. In the afternoon, there will be a closed session during which senior officials from UN agencies working in Iraq will brief on the current humanitarian situation in the country. Some 50 delegations are expected to attend.

Then, on Tuesday, there will be an informal information-sharing and planning meeting on Iraq, taking place in the Trusteeship Council Chamber, which will be opened by UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Mark Malloch Brown, which will include many of the same delegations attending the Monday meeting.

The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, is travelling to Amman, Jordan, Saturday to attend the World Economic Forum and to meet the Secretary-General to brief him on his thinking about the role of the UN in Iraq.

ANNAN DISTURBED BY REPORTED ABDUCTIONS IN DR CONGO

Secretary-General Kofi Annan is deeply disturbed by the news of the abduction of two UN military observers serving with the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) in the town of Beni, in the eastern part of the country.

The Secretary-General urges all warring parties in the area and beyond to cooperate unconditionally in the release of the missing military observers.

He also stresses the importance of complying with, and welcomes the Acte dEngagement for the Cessation of Hostilities in the eastern and northeastern DRC signed in Bujumbura on Thursday, under the mediation of his Special Representative, Amos Namanga Ngongi.

The UN Mission in the DRC, meanwhile, will continue to maintain a presence in Beni in order to bring about the release of the two military observers. The United Nations remains concern with the safety and security of all its personal those humanitarian agencies working in the area.

While this commitment by the warring parties to the Acte dEngagement is welcome, it is clear that fighting has continued. The UN Mission reports that the RCD-Goma, following its capture of Lubero, continues its move northward toward Beni and Butembo.

The continuing fighting is worsening an already grave humanitarian situation. Humanitarian agencies report that as many as 200,000 people are reported to have fled from Lubero and other towns in North Kivu, in advance of the RCD-Goma offensive.

UN agencies and non-governmental organizations have been evacuating staff from Beni and Butembo. The area around Beni is already home to almost 100,000 internally displaced people from Ituri district, and humanitarian organizations are barely able to meet their needs.If the current RCD-Goma offensive continues, the likely result will be massive population movements that will exceed capacities of the humanitarian organizations active in the area.

SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFED ON CIVILIANS AND ARMED CONFLICT

The

Security Council held an open meeting today in which it heard a briefing by the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Kenzo Oshima, on the protection of civilians in armed conflict.

With much of the worlds attention focused on Iraq and the hardships faced by the Iraqi population, Oshima drew attention to the plight of civilians in armed conflict in many other parts of the world.

For example, he said, immediate international intervention is required in Liberia to stabilize the security situation, allow humanitarian agencies to assist the vulnerable, and thus prevent a further deterioration in this most desperate humanitarian situation. Equally, the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory has further deteriorated over the past six months, with closures and curfews continuing to affect almost the entire civilian population harshly.

He concluded by drawing attention to the millions of voiceless people that require attention and commitment, from the mother who has no access to medical care to the teenage girl who has been brutally raped and may never fully recover from the internal injuries she has suffered.

Oshima told the Council, These are the people who are depending on us. They will judge our success; success that will be determined by the number of people we will be able to protect as a result of swift and decisive action. This is the ultimate purpose of our work; the humanitarian imperative.

WORLD REFUGEE DAY IS DEDICATED TO YOUNG PEOPLE

Today is World Refugee Day and it is dedicated to the millions of young people whose futures have been jeopardized by war, hatred and exile.

The Secretary-General, in a message marking the day, appealed to the international community to make serious and sustained efforts to solve the problems that cause displacement in the first place.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers honored the courage and perseverance of young refugees and pledges to help them make the most of their enormous potential. There is hope out there, he says.

UNHCR also drew attention today to an op-ed by Lubbers published over the past couple of days in a number of newspapers around Europe, which lays down UNHCR's current suggestions for ways to improve protection of refugees in their regions of origin, and also for possible actions in the context of the European Union and in individual domestic asylum systems.

UNHCR NOTES REFUGEE RETURNS TO ANGOLA, AFGHANISTAN

UNHCR announced the launch of a major repatriation of an estimated 150,000 Angolan refugees living mainly in camps in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The return will take place in several phases over the next two years, eventually bringing home one-third of Angolans driven from their country by nearly three decades of civil war.

The agency also reported that the number of Afghan refugees returning to their homeland from neighboring countries is poised to pass the quarter million mark this weekend, bringing the number of Afghans who have gone back since the fall of the Taliban regime to well over two million. UNHCR estimates four million Afghans still remain in Pakistan and Iran.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

ANNAN EN ROUTE TO JORDAN: The Secretary-General is today in Paris, en route to Jordan for the Quartet meeting in Amman, Jordan. He will then address the World Economic Forum on Monday.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR CENTRAL SUPPORT SERVICES NAMED: The Secretary-General has decided to appoint Andrew Toh of Singapore as Assistant Secretary-General for Central Support Services, replacing Toshiyuki Niwa, who was assigned earlier this year to direct the Capital Master Plan. Toh, who has extensive experience in planning and logistics, has worked with the UN system since 1980.

CONFERENCE ON RIGHT TO FOOD OPENS: The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization Jacques Diouf opened the two-day International Conference on the Right to Food and the Costs of Hunger in Rome. The conference will formulate recommendations on the right to adequate food in the context of national food security. The right to food is fundamental to human existence. It is the right of every fellow human being to live in dignity, Dr. Diouf said.

CENTRAL ASIAN DRUG CONTROL PROJECTS LAUNCHED: Five new major drug control projects worth more than $17 millions were launched this week, when the UN Office of Drugs and Crime signed project agreements dealing with Central Asia with the Governments of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. We have a press release with more details.

MOZAMBIQUE PLAGUED BY HIGH CHILD MORTALITY RATE: Unsafe water and poor sanitation is killing almost 55 children every day in Mozambique, a country plagued by one of the highest child mortality rates in the world, the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) said today

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

Sunday, June 22

In Amman, Jordan, the Secretary-General will attend a meeting of the Quartet on the Middle East on Sunday, involving United States, the European Union and Russia, at the ministerial level.

Monday, June 23

The Secretary-General will address the World Economic Forum in Amman, Jordan.

Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette will formally launch the Humanitarian Appeal for Iraq.

Guests at the noon briefing will be Kenzo Oshima, Emergency Relief Coordinator, and Ramiro Lopes da Silva, Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, who will discuss the Humanitarian Appeal for Iraq.

At 3:00 p.m. in S-226, the U.S. Mission will be sponsoring a press conference by Iraqi leaders included in the Coalition Provisional Authority, concerning reconstruction needs in Iraq.

UN Public Service Day will be marked for the first time next Monday. The Day is an effort to recognize that democracy and good governance are based on a competent civil service, and it will be inaugurated at 3:00 p.m. Monday in Conference Room One, when public service awards will be announced for 14 government agencies or departments from around the world.

Tuesday, June 24

The Secretary-General will travel to London.

An informal information-sharing and technical planning meeting on reconstruction needs for Iraq will take place at UN Headquarters.

At 10:30 in S-226, the US Mission will be sponsoring a press conference by Lex Frieden, Chairperson of the U.S. National Council on Disability, on the UN Convention on the Human Rights of People with Disabilities.

Wednesday, June 25

In London, the Secretary-General is scheduled to meet with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, among other senior officials.

The Security Council will hold consultations on the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) for the Golan Heights.

The World Economic and Social Survey will be launched at a press conference at 11:00 a.m. in S-226.

At 12:45 p.m. in S-226, British Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock will brief journalists on the Security Councils upcoming mission to West Africa.

Thursday, June 26

The Secretary-General is scheduled to travel to Geneva.

The Security Council has scheduled consultations on the humanitarian situation in Iraq and the oil-for-food program.

At 11:15 a.m. in S-226, Anwarul Chowdhury, High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, will hold a press conference to discuss the outcome of the preparatory meeting for the Ministerial-Level Conference on Land-locked Developing Countries.

Friday, June 27

The guest at the noon briefing will be Luis Gallegos of Ecuador, President of the General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities.

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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