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United Nations Daily Highlights, 04-10-13

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 SPOKESMAN'S NOON BRIEFING

BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC

ASSOCIATE

SPOKESMAN FOR THE

SECRETARY-GENERAL

OF THE UNITED NATIONS

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

ANNAN ARRIVES IN DUBLIN TODAY, TO MEET IRISH LEADERS IN COMING DAYS

Secretary-General Kofi Annan left Beijing earlier today, and is arriving in the afternoon in Dublin, Ireland, where he will meet with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and other senior officials in the coming days.

Tuesday afternoon, the Secretary-General met with the Chinese President, Hu Jintao, with whom he discussed efforts to stabilize Iraq and the lessons of that war.

The President said he felt the UNs role in the world had to be strengthened. They also discussed the

Millennium Development Goals,

UN reform, the worsening situation between the

Israelis and the Palestinians, the six-party talks on North Korea, Irans nuclear program and Taiwan.

The Secretary-General invited the President to attend the summit meeting at next years General Assembly, marking the 60th anniversary of the United Nations. The President accepted that invitation.

GIRL DIES OF WOUNDS SUFFERED AT U.N.-FLAGGED SCHOOL IN GAZA

The girl who was shot yesterday while in a UN-flagged school in the

Gaza Strip died of her injuries this morning, the

UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) reported.

She is the second young child in recent weeks to die after being shot while sitting at her desk in an UNRWA school.

UNRWA Commissioner-General,

Peter Hansen, said that the two killings are horrific by anyones standards. Schools should be havens of peace.

The Agency has repeatedly called on the Israeli military to stop firing at its schools. There have now been four such incidents in the past two years.

ANNAN EXPECTS ISRAELI GOVERNMENT TO SHARE INFORMATION

ON ILLEGAL USE OF U.N. VEHICLES

The Israeli government has acknowledged that the video of the

UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) ambulance does in fact show the driver handling a stretcher and not a rocket, according to a statement issued through his Spokesman.

The

Secretary-General is committed to preventing the illegal use of UN vehicles or facilities by armed militants.

Should any further issues arise, the Secretary-General

expects the Government of Israel to share with the United Nations, through normal diplomatic channels, any information it might have so that the matter may be properly investigated.

Asked whether the Secretary-General was expecting a fuller explanation or public apology from Israel, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General would wait to hear from the UN team that was in the region to investigate the allegations.

That team, he added, should be back in New York shortly.

ANNAN SETS FINANCING FOR OIL FOR FOOD INQUIRY

The Secretary-General today sent a letter to the President of the Security Council outlining the financing of the

Independent Inquiry into the Oil for Food Programme, led by Paul Volcker.

An extensive examination of the budgetary projections and requirements of the Volcker panel reached the conclusion that the Panel could be financed from funds left over in the so-called 2.2% account of the Oil for Food Programme. That account had been established by the Security Council to cover the operational costs of administering the Oil for Food Programme.

The Secretary-General is also informing the interim government of Iraq of his decision.

The Inquiry requires $30 million to cover its cost through the end of 2005.

"EVERYTHING MUST BE DONE" TO PAVE WAY FOR IRAQI ELECTIONS

Everything must be done between now and January to foster a political climate in

Iraq that is conducive to open, free and fair elections,

UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator

Mark Malloch Brown told donors to Iraq at a conference in Tokyo today.

But Malloch Brown added that we would be short-sighted to look only at a timetable that takes us to January.

He said we must also ensure that after the elections, the Iraqi people start to have choices about lifestyle, education and jobs.

He said that because UN staff are among those targeted in Iraq, the UN presence has not been in the numbers that it should be. It is not enough, and we know it, he said.

He told donors that UNDP has transferred some $400 million to UN implementing organizations for forty approved projects.

VOLATILE SECURITY HAS ADVERSE IMPACT ON FOOD DELIVERY IN DARFUR

The

World Food Programme says that the security situation in all three states of

Darfur is extremely volatile and is adversely affecting the delivery of food aid, especially in North Darfur.

The UN Mission in Sudan reports that the north-western area of North Darfur has been declared a no go area for UN agencies following the tragic incident over the weekend when two humanitarian staff were killed and one was injured after their vehicle hit a landmine.

In its weekly briefing in Khartoum, the mission reports that the polio National Immunization campaign is progressing well with high level participation in the launch in West Darfur.

On the political front, the next round of Abuja peace talks on Darfur is scheduled to start on 21 October.

In his discussions with the Government of Sudan and the rebel groups, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sudan,

Jan Pronk, recommended that they focus during this round of talks on the political issues and to tackle the root causes of the conflict. He also called on all parties to engage in the negotiations with good faith and with a firm commitment to achieve a sustainable peace settlement. The United Nations will participate in the Abuja meeting.

TWELVE CASES OF POLIO CONFIRMED IN COTE DIVOIRE

The 12 confirmed cases of polio in Côte dIvoire in less than a year marks a drastic increase in a country in which

polio was thought to have been eradicated, says the

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The

latest cases have all been confirmed in the northern zone of the country, where medical services have been largely cut off since the country plunged into conflict two years ago.

To date, humanitarian agencies have received just 6% of the $14.3 million they have requested to carry out emergency health programs in Cote dIvoire.

The

UN Humanitarian Appeal for Cote dIvoire has received less than any other UN appeal - only 16.7% of the $61 million required in 2004 has been received.

U.N. ENVOY TO REVIEW HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN ERITREA

The Secretary-Generals Special Envoy for the Humanitarian Crisis in the Horn of Africa,

Martti Ahtisaari, arrives today in Asmara, Eritrea, to review the humanitarian situation in the country.

High on his agenda will be the efforts to raise international awareness of the humanitarian crisis in Eritrea and ongoing measures to address the food security situation.

The

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that it has learned that inadequate rainfall in September could result in a "total failure" of long-cycle crops and a below-average harvest of short-cycle crops in Eritrea.

STRANDED U.N. TEAM IN AFGHANISTAN RESCUED BY HELICOPTER TODAY

Eight people who were stranded yesterday near the Afghanistan-China border were rescued this afternoon by a UN helicopter which took them to

Faizabad. The eight are all reported to be well and in good spirits.

The team had been sent to collect ballot boxes from Afghanistan's weekend elections, but became stranded when their UN helicopter was forced to land because of engine trouble.

The temperature overnight in the Badakhshan mountains was 10 degrees Fahrenheit, but all eight were kept warm and fed with the emergency supplies that had been air-dropped yesterday afternoon.

DEPUTY-SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR CLOSER COOPERATION

BETWEEN UNITED NATIONS AND BUSINESS

Last night, Deputy Secretary-General

Louise Fréchette addressed a meeting of the U..S. Council for International Business.

She noted that the UN has long worked with business but it is only in recent years that the UN has really opened up to business and tried to breathe life into the relationship.

According to Fréchette, many things have to be done to build a fairer and more sustainable globalization. But one of them is to work more closely with the key agents of globalization, including business, and to encourage them to assume their responsibilities.

The private sector is needed to create jobs and wealth, to promote trade, investment and stable markets, and to develop new technologies that benefit poor people, she said.

All of which, if done in the right way, will help achieve progress towards theMillennium Development Goals, agreed to four years ago by world leaders, she added.

UNITED NATIONS MARKS 25th ANNIVERSARY OF GENERAL ASSEMBLYS

ADOPTION OF DISCRIMINATION CONVENTION

Today is the 25th anniversary of the adoption by the

General Assembly of the

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, also known as the CEDAW Convention.

In a statement released today to mark the occasion, the

CEDAW Committee has said that even though much progress towards eliminating discrimination against

women has been made since the Convention was adopted, in no country in the world has womens full de jure and de facto equality been achieved, with discriminatory laws still on the statute books of many states.

MIGRATION MUST BE AT CENTER OF GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT AGENDA

Speaking at a round table in New York yesterday, as part of the

10th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo,

Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, head of the

UN Population Fund, noted that international migration is increasingly being perceived as a development tool and a main source of capital for developing countries, rather than a failure of development.

As such, she said, the world must put migration at the centre of the global development agenda and mainstream population policy.

Obaid also noted that women now constitute more than half of the migrant population worldwide, and between 70% and 80% of that population in some countries.

She said that they often work in gender-segregated and unregulated sectors of the economy, which exposes them to a much higher risk of gender discrimination, violence, human trafficking and sexual abuse.

Given this situation, Obaid called for greater attention for the gender dimensions of migration, such as providing migrant women with access to legal and health services.

CONCERN RAISED OVER EFFECT OF ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION ON WOMEN

In Nairobi, Kenya, wrapping up a landmark conference entitled

Women as the Voice for the Environment, delegates

expressed deep concern about the massive, continuing degradation of the environment, with its far-reaching effects on health and livelihoods of communities, particularly indigenous women.

They recommended a number of proposals to be put to governments, such as studying the impact of toxic chemicals on women and girls, pinpointing their role in the environmental recovery of war-torn zones, and calling for poor womens groups to be singled out for special funding for water, sanitation and poverty alleviation schemes.

Organized by the

UN Environment Programme, the conference brought together over 140 women from 60 countries.

MILLIONS OF CHILDREN IN EASTERN EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA

STILL LIVE IN POVERTY DESPITE ECONOMIC PROGRESS

A UNICEF report released today finds that millions of children in Eastern Europe and Central Asia still live in poverty despite economic progress in every country.

According to UNICEFs Innocenti Social Monitor 2004, of the 44 million children living in nine countries with available data 14 million were living in poverty in 2001 as measured by national standards.

UNICEF says the findings indicate that economic growth alone doesnt necessarily improve the lives of children as that growth is rarely accompanied by initiatives to tackle the social disparities affecting children.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

TOMORROW IS DAY FOR THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY: Success in combating poverty will be the focus of the

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, to be marked here tomorrow.

NO SECURITY COUNCIL MEETINGS TODAY: There are no meetings or consultations of the

Security Council scheduled for today.

LOCUSTS SWARM SITUATION ENTERING CRITICAL PHASE IN WEST AFRICA: The

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

reports that numerous

locust swarms are on the move across the Sahelian countries of West Africa, and the campaign to control them is entering a

critical phase. Six fixed-wing pest control aircraft are arriving this week to join the four FAO already has operating in the region, and they will be followed shortly by four helicopters. Significant damage to crops and pastures has been reported across the Sahel.

NEW RESTRICTIONS ON CAVIAR TRADE DECIDED UPON: Time limits are to be placed on the international trade in caviar. The decision was

taken by delegates at the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The policy should help reduce the opportunities for unscrupulous traders to smuggle caviar obtained from poached sturgeons into the international markets. Until now, traders in illegal caviar were able, through fraud and forgery, to declare that their product was caught during previous years and avoid the annual quota limits set by CITES.

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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