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United Nations Daily Highlights, 03-12-03
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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: firstname.lastname@example.orgHIGHLIGHTS
OF THE NOON BRIEFING
SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Wednesday, December 3, 2003
ANNAN URGES UNITED STATES TO SUPPORT MULTILATERALISM
Tuesday evening, in his speech to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, Secretary-General Kofi Annan recalled the great achievements of multilateralism under U.S. leadership in the 20th century and urged Americans to help preserve and build on them for the 21st century.
He said that leadership will be more admired than resented, and more effective, if it is exercised through a multilateral framework and when it is based on strengthening the rule of law in international affairs.
Amid the acrimonious debate going on in the world today, the Secretary-General said, between the coalition that acted in Iraq and those who opposed it, the relevance and importance of the United Nations has, in some quarters, been called into question.
But he contended that recent events have only underlined the need for the United Nations. Collective action, he said, is needed to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and to rebuild shattered societies.
ANNAN THANKS LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCIL
FOR SUPPORTING MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
This morning, the Secretary-General attended a public session of the Los Angeles City Council. He welcomed the Councils adoption Tuesday of a resolution in support of the Millennium Development Goals. He told members of the Council that, as representatives of city dwellers, they have an important role to play, as more than half of human kind now lives in cities. Cities, like Los Angeles, he said, can be vehicles for peace in the broadest sense of the word.
Later in the afternoon, he will address a luncheon honoring the Roots of Peace organization, which is dedicated to fighting landmines. Since the anti-personnel landmine Ottawa Convention was opened for signature exactly six years ago today, the Secretary-General will say, millions of landmines have been destroyed.
Following the luncheon, the Secretary-General and Nane Annan will visit an AIDS clinic jointly run by the University of Southern California and Los Angeles County. The center is a family centered treatment facilities which also focuses on the prevention of mother-to-child HIV/AIDS transmission. In that regard, it has a 100 percent success rate for women who delivered under their care.
This evening, the Secretary-General will deliver remarks at the 50th Anniversary Gala of the UNICEF Good Will Ambassadors. The evening will benefit UNICEF with proceeds going to a fund dedicated the rehabilitation of school by the late Audrey Hepburn. The Secretary-General will honor 50 years of advocacy work by celebrities on behalf children worldwide.
Later today, Nane Annan is scheduled to visit a multi-cultural public school in Los Angeles where she will visit a kindergarten class and give a slide show on the United Nations and its work to about 100 elementary students aged eight to 10. The visit to Menlo Avenue School is organized by the American Forum for Global Education, publisher of Mrs. Annans two books for children, and the United Nations Foundation.
MONITORING BOARD FOR IRAQ DEVELOPMENT FUND TO MEET FRIDAY
The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, and the World Bank announced that the first organizational meeting of the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) of the Development Fund for Iraq will take place on Friday, December 5, 2003.
To this effect, the following Representatives of the Heads of the member institutions of the IAMB have been named:
The International Monetary Fund: Bert E. Keuppens, Senior Advisor, Finance Department;
The United Nations: Jean-Pierre Halbwachs, Assistant Secretary General and Controller;
The World Bank: Fayezul Choudhury, Vice-President and Controller.
The Representative of the Head of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development is to be named shortly.
Each representative to IAMB will have a designated alternate representative.
The IAMBs Terms of Reference were agreed upon on October 21, 2003 by the four institutions.
The purpose of the IAMB is to promote the objectives set forth in U.N. Security Council resolution 1483 (2003) of ensuring that the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) is used in a transparent manner for the purposes set out in operative paragraph 14 of the U.N. resolution, and that export sales of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas from Iraq are made consistent with prevailing international market best practices.
UN MONITORING COMMISSION CONTINUES ANALYSIS WORK ON IRAQ
Since its withdrawal from Iraq last March, the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) has continued with its work, including analyzing biological samples and doing technical evaluations of Iraqs Al-Samoud 2 missiles.
The Commission informs the Security Council, in its latest quarterly report on its work, that up through the end of November, it was not provided with the results of investigations by the U.S.-led Iraq Survey Group, other than a statement made to the public on its interim progress report. The Survey Group has not given the Commission that report.
The Commission continues to store equipment for its activities in Cyprus, as well as some in Baghdad, but its core professional staff by the end of this year has been reduced to 51, a 10 percent reduction since the last quarter.
The Security Council will discuss the UNMOVIC report in consultations scheduled for next Monday.
SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES SOMALIA;
HEARS BRIEFING ON RECENT MISSION TO THE REGION
The Security Council held consultations on Somalia and other matters.
Security Council President, Bulgarian Ambassador Stefan Tafrov, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Security Council Committee on Somalia, briefed on the mission to the region which he led last month, as well as on the report issued last month by the panel of experts on Somalia.
[In a press statement read by the Security Council President following consultations, members stressed the risks of the continued flow of weapons and ammunition supplies to and through Somalia for the stability and security in a wider region in Africa, and appealed for sustained regional efforts and cooperation to improve the monitoring and implementation of the arms embargo on Somalia.]
A press release related to the subject of the Council briefing said that the Sanctions Committee on Somalia has discussed its mission to the region and the members underlined the importance of enforcing the arms embargo in Somalia as an important means in support of the national reconciliation process
It goes on to say the Committee remains concerned over the continued flow of weapons and ammunition to and through Somalia and stresses the obligation of all States, in particular those in the region, to abide fully by their obligations.
The members of the Committee recognized the lack of technical capacity of the frontline and neighbouring States to monitor effectively their borders and called on the international donor community to provide technical and material assistance to States of the region.
They expressed their concern about the continuing lack of an effective central government in Somalia and the opportunities this provided for activities of international terrorist organizations within its territory.
The Committee also decided to propose to the Security Council to consider as early as possible the renewal of the mandate of the Panel of Experts on Somalia.
THREE MEDIA FIGURES CONVICTED FOR RWANDA GENOCIDE
Three prominent media figures were convicted today for genocide and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which deemed that they had used the media to incite Hutus to murder the Tutsi population.
The Court, in its judgment today, affirmed, The power of the media to create and destroy fundamental human values comes with great responsibility. Those who control such media are accountable for its consequences.
The convictions (of Ferdinand Nahimana, Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza and Hassan Ngeze) were the first to address the role of the media in international criminal justice since World War II.
UN PEACEKEEPERS FREE CIVILIANS HELD BY MILITIA IN DR OF CONGO
The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo conducted an operation Tuesday to free a number of people held by the local militias northwest of Bunia.
According to the UN Mission, the operation in the area of Djugu led to the liberation of three civilian prisoners who were languishing in an underground jail and of 34 women who were being held as sexual slaves in the camps of the militia group known as the Front des Nationalistes Intégrationnistes/Forces de Résistance Populaire de lIturi (Nationalist Integrationist Front / Ituri Popular Resistance Forces.)
The Mission arrested four militia leaders and seized a number of weapons and anti-personnel mines.
UN HEAD SUSPENDS 12 KOSOVO POLICE OFFICERS PENDING INQUIRY
Harri Holkeri, the head of the UN Mission in Kosovo, has decided to suspend 12 Kosovo police officers with pay for six months, while an investigation looks into their actions during an attack that took place on the Loziste Bridge this past April. The suspensions are without prejudice to the results of the investigations and do not presume the officers guilt.
The Mission made clear that it is important to ensure that the findings of the inquiry are followed up, to protect the good name of the Kosovo Protection Corps.
BOSNIAN SERB SENTENCED BY UN TRIBUNAL
Tuesday in The Hague, a Bosnian Serb was sentenced to 27 years in prison for his role in the murder, inhuman treatment and forcible transfer of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica and Potocari. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ruled that Momir Nikolic, who had pleaded guilty to persecution had been in a position of authority, and that the sentence given would be appropriate to the gravity of the crimes committed. It also took account of his guilty plea as a mitigating factor.
Today, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is meeting with health and welfare professionals from Bosnia and Herzegovina, to discuss the physical, emotional and psychological needs of the Tribunals witnesses. The talks will help to provide preparation and follow-up services to meet the witnesses needs.
SEVEN GLOBAL COMPANIES TO SUPPORT AIDS PREVENTION
Seven global companies with operations in developing countries announced today that they will use their facilities, employees and other infrastructure to expand workplace HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs into communities where they operate. The companies are AngloAmerican, Chevron Texaco, DaimlerChrysler, Eskom, Heineken, Lafarge and Tata Steel.
By using infrastructure that was created to serve their employees, this corporate contribution will reduce the start-up and running costs of public programs.
The Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria applaud the initiative and encourage concrete proposals with country partners by early 2004.
"Times New Roman";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-ansi-language: UNITED NATIONS CALLS FOR ACTION AGAINST ILLEGAL FISHING: The Food and Agriculture Organization is calling for greater efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. According to a FAO report released yesterday in Rome, illegal fishing is on the rise in many places as people seek to avoid stricter rules established in response to declining fish stocks. The situation is particularly grave given that 75 percent of the worlds fisheries are already being fully exploited, over-exploited or depleted, says the report.
DISABLED PERSONS NEED A VOICE OF THEIR OWN: Today is the International Day of Disabled Persons. In his message, the Secretary-General calls the media and NGOs key partners in the process of empowering the disabled and adds that we should listen to disabled persons not just on this day but every day. In another message, the Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights focuses on last weeks decision by the General Assembly to work towards an International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities.
U.N. BUDGET: Trinidad and Tobago today paid more than $36,000 to become the 124th nation to pay its regular budget dues to the United Nations in full for this year.
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