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United Nations Daily Highlights, 04-10-01

United Nations Daily Highlights Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: unnews@un.org

ARCHIVES

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

BY FRED ECKHARD

SPOKESMAN FOR THE

SECRETARY-GENERAL

OF THE UNITED NATIONS

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Friday, October 1, 2004

ANNAN CONDEMNS TERRORIST ATTACK ON MOSQUE IN PAKISTAN

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has

learned with dismay and abhorrence the reports of a terrorist attack on a mosque in the town of Sialkot in Pakistan during Friday prayers today, which has killed and injured a large number of worshipers.

No cause or motive can justify attacks on places of worship and innocent civilians.

The Secretary-General condemns this cowardly act in the strongest terms. He also calls for calm and restraint in the wake of the dastardly act.

ANNAN CONCERNED OVER CAR BOMBING IN BEIRUT

In another statement, the

Secretary-General expressed his serious concern over the car bombing in Beirut that wounded former Minister of Economy Marwan Hamadeh this morning.

He reiterates his abhorrence of such violent acts.

The Secretary-General expresses his condolences to the family of Ghazi Bou Karoum, who was killed in the attack, and wishes for the speedy recovery of those injured.

SECURITY COUNCIL TO MEET ON PROTECTION FOR U.N. STAFF IN IRAQ

AS UNITED KINGDOM ASSUMES PRESIDENCY FOR OCTOBER

Today is the first day of the U.K.

Presidency of the

Security Council for the month of October.

As is customary, the President, Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry of the United Kingdom, is holding bilateral meetings on the months programme.

Then, at 3:30 p.m., the Council will hold a meeting on its response to the

Secretary-Generals letter regarding close protection troops for UN staff in

Iraq.

It will be followed by a meeting to vote on a resolution on the

UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, whose mandate expires today.

Asked about the structure of the force to protect UN personnel in Iraq, the Spokesman said the structure would have three levels. There would be a close protection element for the leaders of the UN Mission when they travel outside of Headquarters; a larger group to provide security at UN premises and control access to the Headquarters; and a final level of protection to be provided by the multinational force throughout the country.

The first two levels, he added, would be recruited by the United Nations and the third by the multinational force. The exchange of letters between the Secretary-General and the Security Council, he said, was intended to provide a legal framework for this arrangement.

Asked about progress in obtaining troops, the Spokesman said there was nothing to announce yet. There were reports that one country would provide assistance, but until a final agreement with that country, including equipment, was reached, there was nothing to confirm.

Asked whether the letter indicates a change in approach by the Secretary-General, the Spokesman said it was no secret that the United Nations had approached a large number of potential troop contributors and had been largely unsuccessful. He hoped the current negotiations would provide the first two elements.

Asked about the Secretary-General's contacts during the preparation of his report on Lebanon, the Spokesman declined comment, noting that the report had only just been circulated unofficially to members of the Security Council.

UNICEF CHIEF CONDEMNS SLAUGHTER OF CHILDREN IN BAGHDAD

Carol Bellamy, the Executive Director of

UNICEF, the UN Childrens Fund, yesterday

said that the killing of dozens of children in Baghdad was an unconscionable slaughter of innocents.

Bellamy said that it was obvious that no regard was shown for the presence of children at the site of the bombing. She added, The killing of children is a crime and a moral outrage.

Iraq is one of the most dangerous places in the world for children, Bellamy said.

Asked about precise casualty figures in the attack, the Spokesman said that the United Nations did not have enough of a presence on the ground to provide authoritative figures.

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONER RECOMMENDS

INTERNATIONAL POLICE PRESENCE IN DARFUR, SUDAN

Following yesterdays

Security Council consultations on

Sudan, the

High Commissioner for Human Rights,

Louise Arbour, told reporters that the Council had received a briefing on the mission that she and Special Adviser for the Prevention for Genocide Juan Mendez had made to Darfur.

Most importantly, Arbour said, they had highlighted the recommendation that there should be an international police presence in Darfur, to monitor and assist Sudanese police in their tasks, particularly in and around camps for

internally displaced persons (IDPs).

She noted that, in some camps, the number of police is clearly insufficient, but, even when the police presence has substantially increased, people have no confidence in it. Some IDPs have claimed that they recognized some police officers as former Janjaweed elements, she said.

She added, in response to a question, that she did not see conditions that were conducive to safe and voluntary return. Arbour has said that the camp residents were trapped in prisons without walls.

Juan Mendez told reporters that we have not turned a corner in terms of preventing genocide from happening in the future, or even the near future. Genocide could still happen, he said, and therefore, we need to prevent it.

ANNAN: IGAD-LED PROCESS IS CENTRAL TO COMPREHENSIVE PEACE IN SUDAN

The

Secretary-Generals

report on the UN Mission in Sudan established under

Resolution 1547 has been posted on the internet. It is a progress report on the UN mission and also on the North-South peace process led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

The Secretary-General says that the IGAD-led peace process is central to comprehensive peace in the

Sudan. No other peace process has come so far or has addressed the fundamental roots of the conflict in southern Sudan.

While the process does not offer a comprehensive solution to the countrys problems, the breadth of the agreements reached so far offer a basis for answers to the wider issues of insecurity and conflict. He says that the current crisis in Darfur is emblematic of that problem.

The report also notes that since that resolution, the

Security Council has requested the Secretary-General to assist the African Union with planning and assessment for its mission in Darfur and to incorporate contingency planning for the Darfur region into the UN mission mandate. These additional requirements, he says, have made it necessary for the UN operation to broaden the scope of its activities beyond that described previously.

This report is not to be confused with the Secretary-Generals second 30-day report on progress, or lack thereof, by the Government of Sudan towards meeting the requirements to restore security in Darfur.

SECURITY EFFORTS STEPPED UP FOR SUDANESE REFUGEES IN EASTERN CHAD

The

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Chadian authorities are

stepping up efforts to improve security in and around refugee camps in eastern Chad in the wake of increasing violence against Sudanese refugees. Three refugees have been killed in recent days.

The 180 Chadian gendarmes, 20 of whom are women, deployed under an agreement between UNHCR and the Chadian government, have begun patrols in and around the refugee camps.

U.N. PEACEKEEPERS ESCORT AID CONVOYS TO HAITI STORM VICTIMS

The

UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti reports that the total number of peacekeepers in that country is 3,089.

In Gonaives, the Argentinean contingent is escorting two daily convoys of trucks carrying food and water to the warehouse of the non-governmental organization CARE. It is also providing medical assistance to some 1,900 injured Haitians per day at premises set up in the University of Haiti.

Additional support is being provided by 141 Uruguayan troops who arrived in Gonaives on September 26.

GRENADA: HURRICANE IVAN DESTROYED NINE OUT OF EVERY 10 HOMES

In connection with the launching today of a

UN Flash Appeal for

Grenada and

Haiti, the

UN Development Programme has issued a survey of the damage created by Hurricane Ivan in Grenada.

The survey shows that Ivan destroyed nine out of 10 homes on the island, leaving more than half the countrys 110,000 citizens homeless and in desperate need of basic supplies.

It also says that Grenadas biggest foreign exchange earner - its tourism industry has been shattered just before the crucial winter holiday season.

FOUR COUNTRIES JOIN GROUP BACKING CENTRAL AFRICAN CONFERENCE

Angola, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo and Sudan have been accepted as core members to the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region. The membership brings the total number of core countries to 11.

The request by these states to be full fledged members is based on the position that they are always directly affected by events within the Great Lakes region, especially in the

Democratic Republic of Congo.

The next meeting to prepare for the Conference will be held in Kinshasa from 19 to 23 October.

MORE THAN 300,000 LIBERIAN REFUGEES TO RETURN HOME

The

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

announced the start today of a massive, three-year voluntary repatriation programme to return home some 340,000 Liberian refugees scattered throughout West Africa during 14 years of civil war.

UNHCR said this is a real milestone in the recovery of a country that not so long ago seemed hopelessly mired in conflict, corruption and misery.

Meanwhile, with the deadline for the disarmament of Liberias warring factions set to expire in just one month, the

UN Mission in Liberia has launched the final round of its nation-wide disarmament program.

Approximately 1,000 combatants of the armed group Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL) in three southeastern counties re expected to turn in their weapons during this last round.

ANNAN: AGEING OF SOCIETIES SHOULD NOT BE A BURDEN

Populations in developing countries will age most rapidly in the coming century yet those countries have only limited economic resources with which to respond to the ageing of their societies.

That was part of

Secretary-Generals message to mark this years International Day of Older Persons, which is today.

He adds that the challenge will be to ensure that those countries do not experience the ageing of their societies as a burden but derive from it added value and opportunities for development through an actively engaged older population.

MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE TO ACHIEVE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

The international community has taken important steps to increase its official development assistance, but much more needs to be done, and it needs to be done more quickly in order to achieve the

Millennium Development Goals.

That was the message this morning of UN Under-Secretary-General for

Economic and Social Affairs,

Jose Antonio Ocampo, when he addressed the annual meeting of the Bretton Woods institutions, in Washington, D.C.

He also called for improvements in the way developing countries are represented in the governance structures of the multilateral financial institutions.

Tomorrow, hell address the Development Committee of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

WEST AFRICAN COUNTRIES STLL FACE SHORTAGES AMID LOCUST INVASION

The

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

says that

desert locust control operations have been expanded in West Africa, but countries are still facing serious shortages of pesticides and aircraft to spray them.

FAO now has $14.7 million on hand to increase pest control operations, with a further $40 million of pledged contributions around $12 million have been promised by donors but are awaiting confirmation. FAO is providing around $6 million from its own resources.

Around three to four million hectares of land are now estimated to be infested in West Africa; with Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Senegal currently the countries most severely affected.

  • ** Todays guest was Jan Egeland, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. He spoke about the UN Flash Appeals in response to the recent natural disasters in Haiti and Grenada.

    THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

    Saturday, October 2

    The 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from October 2 to 14. For more information, see

    www.cites.org

    Monday, October 4

    The Security Council is expected to hold consultations on the program of work for October. After those consultations, the Council President for October, British Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry, will brief the press at 12:30 p.m.

    The Secretary-General will have a message to mark UN Habitat Day.

    Tuesday, October 5

    The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Sudan, Jan Pronk, is expected to brief the Security Council on the implementation of Resolution 1556.

    At 11:15 a.m., there will be a press briefing by a coalition of non-government organizations concerning the worlds oceans, organized by the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition.

    At 1:30 p.m., Irene Khan, Secretary-General of Amnesty International, will deliver a lecture in Conference Room 5 on human rights. Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Shashi Tharoor will be the moderator.

    Wednesday, October 6

    Thursday, October 7

    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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