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United Nations Daily Highlights, 03-12-22

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 FRED ECKHARD

SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS

UN

HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Monday, December 22, 2003

UN ATOMIC AGENCY CHIEF TO VISIT LIBYA;

ANNAN WELCOMES LIBYA'S ASSURANCES ON WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

In a statement issued on Saturday through his Spokesman, Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed

Libya

s announcement of its intention to fulfill all its obligations under the relevant regimes of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The Secretary-General sees this as a positive step towards the strengthening of global efforts to prevent the spread and use of those weapons.

He looks forward to

Libya

's cooperation with the relevant United Nations and other international bodies in this domain.

The Secretary-General seizes this occasion to underline the importance of full and complete implementation of all disarmament treaties by all States concerned and encourages them to intensify their efforts towards the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said today that he will visit the

Libya

in the immediate future. During the visit, ElBaradei and a UN team will initiate a process of verification of all of

Libya

s past and present nuclear activities.

Over the weekend, a Libyan delegation traveled to IAEA headquarters in

Vienna

to inform ElBaradei that the country had decided to eliminate materials, equipment and programmes relating to the production of internationally proscribed weapons.

ElBaradei welcomed

Libya

s decision as a positive development and a step in the right direction.

UN MISSION HOPES NEW REGISTRATION SITES TO DRAW AFGHAN WOMEN VOTERS

Seven new voter registration sites have been opened in

Kabul, Afghanistan

.

The opening of these sites follows a decision to open four new sites in Mazar-e-Sharif, in northern Afghanistan.

There are now 50 sites open to the general public in the country's eight regional centers.

Every Afghan who will be eighteen or older by 20 June 2004 is encouraged to register at one of these sites.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says it hopes these new centers will facilitate more Afghan women to register.

Last Thursday, the Secretary-General's Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi called for greater female participation in the country's electoral process and had asked Afghanistan's Chief Electoral Officer and the Gender Adviser of the UN Mission to examine what can be done to improve female participation rates.

Asked when Brahimi was going to leave his post permanently, the Spokesman said that he expected Brahimi to leave by the end of this month or as soon as possible once a replacement has been found. The Spokesman added that the search for a replacement is continuing intensively.

SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFED ON LIBERIA

The Security Council this morning heard a briefing on Liberia this morning by the Secretary-Generals Special Representative Jacques Klein.

The Secretary-General, in his report to the Council issued last week, highlighted the need to expedite the deployment of peacekeepers beyond

Monrovia. He also urged member states who have offered troops to expedite their deployment.

At 3 p.m., Council members will hear briefings by the chairs of the various Security Council committees and Working Groups.

They will then meet on a resolution and presidential statement on the extension of the mandate of the UN Observer Force in the Golan Heights.

That meeting will be followed by a vote on a resolution concerning the extension of the sanctions on Liberia.

There is also meeting scheduled to adopt a presidential statement on

Burundi

.

ANNAN SHOCKED BY ATTACK ON EGYPTIAN FOREIGN MINISTER

Asked for the Secretary-Generals reaction to the attack today in

Jerusalem

on

Egypts Foreign Minister Ahmad Maher, the Spokesman that the Secretary-General was shocked by the incident.

The Spokesman added that this kind of irrational violence is never an acceptable alternative to dialogue.

The Secretary-General, the Spokesman went on to say, wished the Foreign Minister a speedy recovery from whatever injuries he might have sustained.

UN FOOD AGENCY RELEASES HUNGER MAPS

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched its latest hunger maps.

The maps pinpoint places where the population is undernourished and impoverished and they identify the key factors that make each place particularly vulnerable.

One map shows the percentage of undernourished people based on the availability of food and the demographic profile of the population; the second shows the number of children under the age of five worldwide whose growth has been stunted by malnutrition.

According to FAO, many countries are now using hunger maps to target food aid and public works projects to areas where the poorest people live.

It is hoped that, together with other factors, they will help shape effective policies to wipe hunger off the map.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS:

UN POPULATION FUND RECEIVES RECORD CONTRIBUTIONS: The UN Population Fund has announced that during 2003 it received contributions from 142 of the 191 members of the United Nations the largest number of donors in the Funds history. Regular resources for population activities in 2003 were some two hundred and ninety-four million dollars. The new resources mean the Fund can more meet more of the demands in the 150 countries where it works.

ZIMBABWE FACES BLEAK CHRISTMAS: More than 2.6 million people in Zimbabwe face a bleak Christmas after having their food rations halved because of insufficient donations from the international community, according to the World Food Programme. It adds that prospects for next years first quarter look even worse, as this is when local granaries tend to be empty and people enduring food shortages are most reliant on food aid. The WFP says it needs new cash contributions now to avoid a further cut in rations.

WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME REACHES 77,000 IN

SOMALIA:

In northern Somalia, thousands of people in the Sool and Sanaag districts have received life-saving food rations over the past three weeks. The World Food Programme confirmed today that it managed to reach nearly 77,000 people affected by the regions most severe drought of the past two decades. The WFP adds that humanitarian access to the region has been guaranteed following extensive discussions with the administrations of Somaliland and Puntland.

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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