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United Nations Daily Highlights, 04-10-08
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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: firstname.lastname@example.orgARCHIVES
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SPOKESMAN'S NOON BRIEFING
BY FRED ECKHARD
SPOKESMAN FOR THE
OF THE UNITED NATIONS
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Friday, October 8, 2004
ANNAN CONDEMNS BOMB ATTACKS IN TABA, EGYPT
Secretary-General Kofi Annan
condemns in the strongest terms yesterdays bomb attacks in Taba, Egypt, that claimed the lives of more than 30 people and injured more than 120. He extends his condolences to the families of the victims, as well as their Governments, and sends his best wishes for a speedy recovery to all those injured.
The Secretary-General wishes to emphasize yet again that no cause can justify acts of terror, perpetrated against civilians.
He denounces the attack against a site that has long been a tangible example of peaceful coexistence in the
Middle East. He hopes that the perpetrators will be speedily brought to justice.
SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS RECENT TERRORIST ATTACKS
FOLLOWING ADOPTION ON NEW COUNTER-TERRORISM RESOLUTION
Security Council, in a unanimous vote of 15-0, adopted
resolution 1566, which "reaffirmed the central role of the United Nations in the fight against terrorism and the determination of the Council to stand together in confronting the scourge of terrorism."
In a press statement read by Security Council President, U.K. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry, members of the Security Council also "strongly condemned recent terrorist attacks in which many lives were claimed and people injured, including the horrific attacks in Pakistan, yesterdays heinous attack in Taba, Egypt, and the murder of a British civilian in Baghdad.
By adopting resolution 1566 by consensus, the Council has reaffirmed the central role of the United Nations in the fight against terrorism and the determination of the Council to stand together in confronting the scourge of terrorism. The Council urges all States, in accordance with their obligations under resolution 1373 (2001) and other relevant Council resolutions, to cooperate actively in their efforts to find and bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers, and sponsors of terrorist acts.
Members of the Council reaffirmed their view that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, whenever and by whomsoever committed."
ANNAN DELIGHTED WITH NOBEL PEACE PRIZE AWARD TO WANGARI MAATHAI
delighted to learn of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2004 to Wangari Maathai, which shows that the Nobel Committee shares his view on the need for a broad vision of human security, in which the connections between peace, development and responsible stewardship of the environment are clearly understood.
Renowned and admired throughout her native Kenya and across Africa for her pioneering struggle against deforestation and for womens rights and democracy, Ms. Maathai has also played an important role at UN conferences such as the Earth Summit, making an imprint on the global quest for sustainable development.
She has had a long and fruitful relationship with the United Nations, including membership on various UN advisory boards and juries.
Selfless and steadfast, Ms. Maathai has been a champion of the environment, of women, of Africa, and of anyone concerned about our future security.
As a fellow African, as well as in his official capacity, the Secretary-General warmly congratulates Ms. Maathai on this richly earned recognition, and hopes this timely award will bring new urgency to the causes to which she has devoted her life.
Maathai is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at
UN Environment Programme's first ever Global Women's Assembly on the Environment in Nairobi on Monday morning shell be speaking on the subject of "A World in Need of Womens' Leadership."
AFGHANS TO VOTE FOR THEIR PRESIDENT TOMORROW
Tomorrow will be election day in
Afghanistan, allowing the people of that country to vote for their president for the first time.
UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan says that 4,900 polling stations will be open in the countrys 34 provinces. More than 122,000 election workers will be deployed in Afghanistan, supported by some 600 international staff.
In addition, the Mission says that there will be some 19,000 Afghan election workers helping to make sure that out-of-country voting takes place among Afghan refugees in Iran and Pakistan.
The Mission also noted today that some rockets were fired in eastern Kabulyesterday evening and early this morning, although no casualties were reported. Two children were wounded when rockets were fired early this morning in Jalalabad.
SANCTIONS ON LIBERIAS DIAMOND AND TIMBER TRADE TO REMAIN;
CONDEMNS USE OF FORCE, URGES SPEEDY AGREEMENT IN GUINEA BISSAU
Security Council, in a
press statement on
Liberia following consultations yesterday morning, concluded that the conditions for lifting sanctions on diamond and timber were not yet fully met. Council members noted progress towards meeting the conditions.
In the afternoon, in another
press statement on Guinea Bissau, Council members of the Council condemned the use of force to settle differences or address grievances regarding long-standing problems in the military sector.
They deplored the loss of life including, in particular, the killing of the Armed Forces Chief of Staff, and called on all concerned to come to a speedy agreement consistent with respect for constitutional authority and the rule of law.
SURGE IN VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS REPORTED IN COTE DIVOIRE
UN Operation in Côte dIvoire has
expressed its deep concern at the surge of violations of human rights in that country.
It is particularly disturbed by the incident that took place at the home of Alassane Ouattara, President of the Rally for Republicans, in Abidjan on 4 October 2004, during which one of his employees was murdered and three others were tortured.
The Mission appeals to the national authorities, primarily responsible for the security of all citizens, to conduct investigations in order to shed light on this matter.
HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN DARFUR COULD CONSTITUTE CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
The special rapporteur dealing with executions says in a report that she saw strong indications when she visited Darfur,
Sudan, in June that human rights violations there could constitute crimes against humanity.
In a report issued today, Asma Jahangir says that there is a compelling need to carry out a comprehensive documentation of extrajudicial and summary executions in Darfur, in order to bring the perpetrators to justice.
She also discusses reports of executions around the world, and emphasizes that the death penalty must be interpreted in the most restrictive manner possible.
[The Secretary-General yesterday announced the establishment of an international commission of inquiry, which would determine whether or not acts of genocide have occurred in Darfur,
Sudan. The commission is also to investigate reports of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law in Darfur.]
AFRICA'S LARGEST IMMUNIZATION CAMPAIGN UNDERWAY
Africas largest ever immunization campaign
began today. More than one million
polio vaccinators in 23 African countries are taking part in the campaign, which aims to immunize 80 million children across
sub-Saharan Africa against polio over just four days.
This effort is a direct response to an
ongoing polio epidemic in the region.
Those involved in the campaign are going from house-to-house and village-to-village, to hand-deliver the vaccine to every child under the age of five years and theyre doing it on foot, horseback, bicycle, boat, car or whatever means possible, often in extreme weather and amid civil unrest.
Health experts say that if the campaigns reach enough children in the region's hotspots, polio transmission can be expected to slow significantly by the end of this year, and even stop completely in some countries.
UNICEF: PACE OF PROGRESS ON REDUCING CHILD DEATHS IS TOO SLOW
data released by
UNICEF, the UN Childrens Fund,
reveals alarmingly slow progress on reducing child deaths despite the availability of proven, low-cost interventions.
UNICEF said that while 90 countries are on track to meet the target of reducing child deaths by two-thirds by 2015, 98 countries are considerably off track, and globally the pace of progress is far too slow.
Child mortality rates vary considerably among regions and countries, but the most disturbing findings are those countries with rising child mortality rates.
In several countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the Commonwealth of Independent States, children are less likely to make it to their fifth birthdays than they were in 1990.
According to UNICEFs Executive Director,
Carol Bellamy, it is incredible that in an age of technological and medical marvels, child survival is so tenuous in so many places, especially for the poor and marginalized. She added: We can do better than this.
MILLIONS OF AFRICANS SAVED THROUGH ADDITION OF VITAMINS: Africa is
fighting back against vitamin and mineral deficiencies saving millions of women and children from death and illness through simple, cost effective strategies such as fortifying staple foods. But millions of children can still be helped if current strategies and partnerships are extended to reach every country and every child. Thats one of the key findings of a new report released today, co-authored by the
World Health Organization and
UNICEF, the UN Childrens Fund, among others.
POLAND EMERGES AS A DONOR COUNTRY: The
UN Development Programme
reports that the Polish government has pledged to devote 0.1 percent of Polands gross domestic product to development assistance by 2006. In monetary terms, that means that from $27 million last year, Poland will now raise development assistance to $230 million within two years. Most of the money will go towards helping poor African and Asian countries achieve the
Millennium Development Goals. Polands emergence as a donor country is a turn-around given that for the past decade, it was a recipient of international economic assistance as it prepared for entry into the European Union.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
Saturday, October 9
The Secretary-General is travelling to Beijing, where he will make an official visit to China, including meetings over the coming days with President Hu Jintao and other senior officials.
The Presidential elections in Afghanistan will take place.
Sunday, October 10
Monday, October 11
The Security Council has scheduled consultations on Cyprus and Bougainville.
The guest at the noon briefing will be Vincent McClean of the Office on Drugs and Crime, who will present the Myanmar Opium Survey for this year.
From Monday through Wednesday, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) will host the first Global Womens Assembly on Environment: Women as the Voice for the Environment (WAVE) at its headquarters in Nairobi. Professor Wangari Maathai, the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and Assistant Minister of Environment for Kenya, is scheduled to speak at the opening session on the subject of "A World in Need of Womens Leadership."
Tuesday, October 12
The Security Council has scheduled an open meeting, followed by consultations, on Afghanistan.
The guest at the noon briefing will be Ambassador Wolfgang Petritsch of Austria, the President-designate of the First Review Conference for the 2004 Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World.
Wednesday, October 13
In the middle of the week, the Secretary-General will depart China for Ireland, where he will pay an official visit, including meetings over the coming days with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and other senior officials.
At 10:30 a.m., there will be a press briefing by Tim Wirth of the UN Foundation.
At 12:30 p.m., there will be a briefing by the Deputy Secretary-General, Louise Fréchette.
Thursday, October 14
At 11:15 a.m., there will be a press conference to mark the International Day of Poverty, featuring Ambassadors Michael Kafando of Burkina Faso, Jean-Marc de la Sabliere of France, and other speakers.
Friday, October 15
The General Assembly is expected to vote on the new Security Council members for the 2005-6 term.
At 3:00 p.m., the Anglican UN Office is organizing a press briefing on the Micah Challenge, to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General
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