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United Nations Daily Highlights, 04-10-14

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 DENISE COOK

ASSOCIATE SPOKESWOMAN FOR THE

SECRETARY-GENERAL

OF THE UNITED NATIONS

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Thursday, October 14, 2004

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES ELECTION OF KING IN CAMBODIA

Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomes the Royal Throne Councils unanimous election of His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni as the new King and Head of State of the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia. He wishes him every success in this important role.

The Secretary-General takes this opportunity to extend to His Majesty King Sihamoni his sincere congratulations and best wishes. He also wishes to pay tribute to His Majesty Samdech Norodom Sihanouk for the outstanding public service he has rendered to his country spanning half a century, and the indispensable role he played during the peace process that led to the first democratic elections in Cambodia in 1993.

IN IRELAND, ANNAN URGES EUROPEAN SUPPORT FOR UN, SUDAN

The Secretary-General, speaking in Dublin, Ireland, today called for Europe to do more in its support for the United Nations work, including UN peacekeeping.

Addressing the National Forum on Europe, the Secretary-General said the European Union is in a position to provide specialized skills that the UNs largest troop contributors may not have. Yet today, he said, less than one-tenth of all UN peacekeepers come from EU countries. Ireland, he said, was bucking that trend, adding, I hope that other European nations will follow your lead.

The Secretary-General also emphasized that much more help is needed for the people of Darfur, Sudan. Every country and organization that can help must do so, now, he said.

For the next 45 minutes, he took questions and comments from ministers, members of parliament and leaders of non-governmental organizations.

The Secretary-General and his wife, Nane, also had a private meeting in the afternoon with Irish President Mary McAleese and her husband, Martin.

On Friday, the Secretary-General will visit an Irish military base for a demonstration on peacekeeping, involving a live videolink with the Irish Force Commander of the UN Mission in Liberia.

MONITORING BOARD RECEIVES FINAL AUDIT REPORT ON IRAQ

The International Advisory and Monitoring Board received the final audit report of the Development Fund for Iraq during its recently concluded meeting in New York.

The audit, carried out by the firm KPMG, covers oil sales and operations of the fund from January 1, 2004 to June 28, 2004 and supplements earlier reports covering the period from May 23, 2003 to December 31, 2003.

The board is comprised of representatives of the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Arab Fund for Social Development. The audits were conducted under the authority of Security Council resolution 1483.

The Board will also issue a report summarizing its comments and conclusions after due consideration and review of these reports.

ANNAN WELCOMES INAUGURATION OF SOMALI PRESIDENT

The Secretary-General today gave his congratulations as Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed was inaugurated in Nairobi, Kenya, as the Transitional President of Somalia.

The Secretary-Generals Special Adviser, Mohamed Sahnoun, attended the inauguration and delivered a message on the Secretary-Generals behalf, calling todays ceremony a significant and hopeful development.

The Secretary-General says he looks forward to the formation, in the near future, of a Transitional National Government capable of beginning reconciliation and reconstruction in a spirit of consensus and dialogue.

VOTE COUNT STARTS IN AFGHANISTAN; COMPLAINTS REVIEWED

In Kabul, the Expert Panel that was set up to investigate complaints about the Afghan elections said that they had given the countrys presidential candidates until 6:00 p.m. local time today to lodge complaints.

The panel had received 43 complaints from candidates, and had reviewed 37 of them as a priority by yesterday. They then recommended the isolation of ballot boxes in ten centers and eleven polling stations, so that they can be investigated further.

The Joint Electoral Management Body that organized the elections today took action to isolate those ballot boxes, while allowing other ballots to be mixed, sorted and counted, starting this morning.

UN ENVOY URGES SUDAN PARTIES TO FINALIZE AGREEMENT

The Nairobi Talks on Sudan are continuing. Talks between Sudanese First Vice-President Ali Taha and the Chairman of the SPLM/A John Garang have not yet resulted in an agreement on the issue of financing the SPLM/A forces, the only pending issue to finalize permanent cease-fire arrangements.

The UNs Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs in Sudan, Taye Zerihoun, emphasized to the parties that they should make every effort to resolve pending issues to finalize the agreement on cease-fire arrangements, and to expedite the negotiations process in order to reach a comprehensive peace agreement as soon as possible.

The UN Development Programme, together with the International Rescue Committee and PLACE (a non-governmental organization), is carrying out a program on the rule of law in Darfur. Over the past week, the program has targeted 150 police, 50 civil society members and 25 lawyers of the judiciary, bar association and attorneys-general, as well as 50 sheiks in the Kalma camps.

UNDP reports that the program is increasingly opening up dialogue on the rights and protection of women and traditional conflict resolution mechanisms.

Jan Egeland, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, today welcomed a $3 million contribution by Saudi Arabia to the UN Humanitarian Appeal for the Darfur region of Sudan. Egeland said, The donation is a welcome indication that UN Humanitarian Appeals are attracting support from countries from outside the traditional group of donors.

SECURITY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER NOMINATIONS FOR TRIBUNAL

The Security Council has scheduled consultations at 3:00 this afternoon, to consider a draft resolution on nominations for permanent judges to serve on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

The Council is expected to forward nominations to the General Assembly, which would then vote to elect 14 judges for the Tribunal. The draft resolution forwards the names of 22 candidates. A vote is expected following todays consultations.

UN TEAM REVIEWING WORK OF UN MISSION IN DR CONGO

The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Marie Guehenno, is leading a UN headquarters team to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to review the tasks that can be performed by the UN Mission there.

This follows the Security Councils decision on October 1 to approve an additional 5,900 troops for the mission, a figure that fell far short of the increase recommended in the Secretary-Generals report.

The Department of Peacekeeping Operations is expected to brief the Council by November 1 on the changes deemed necessary in structure and deployment of the Mission.

UNRWA RECEIVES PLEDGES DURING AMMAN CONFERENCE

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) held a two-day meeting in Amman, Jordan, with 26 major donor countries. The meeting saw many of the donors pledge their support for the Agencys work and pay tribute to its employees in the face of considerable risk.

Donors were told that the Agency faces a deficit of $7.3 million on its regular budget for the end of 2004, and that its $209 million emergency appeal had so far received pledges of $89 million. Pledges announced today by the European Commission and the Netherlands amounted to another $27.6 million.

The Spokeswoman was asked about the work of the UN team investigating the allegations concerning UNRWA, and she said that the team would return shortly to New York and report to the Secretary-General.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY MARKS ANNIVERSARY OF POPULATION MEETING

The General Assembly is commemorating today the 10th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development.

The Conference, which was held in Cairo, saw 179 governments agree on a plan to fight poverty by balancing the worlds people with its resources, improving womens status, and ensuring universal access to reproductive health services.

In remarks made at todays commemoration, the Deputy Secretary-General, Louise Frechette, said much progress has been made in these areas, but there are parts of the world which arent sharing in this progress. New challenges have emerged, such as rapid urbanization and international migration.

She also called on governments to put aside their differences on sensitive issues and work together in these areas.

UNFPA WELCOMES SUPPORT FOR CAIRO ACTION PLAN

The UN Population Fund has welcomed a statement by world leaders re-affirming their support of the action plan agreed on at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo ten years ago.

The 20-year action plan deals with increasing access to reproductive health, alleviating poverty and securing gender equality.

The Fund says the statement will give an important boost to national implementation and overall development efforts.

FRECHETTE NOTES PROGRESS, TASKS AT CEDAW ANNIVERSARY

Wednesday was 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.

The Deputy Secretary-General, Louise Frechette, took part in a roundtable event at UN Headquarters to mark the event. In her remarks, she said that while much has been achieved, theres still a long way to go in achieving compliance with all the Conventions terms.

She added that she hoped the anniversary would give new impetus in achieving universal ratification of the Convention.

AIDS CAN DEVASTATE AFRICA, DEVELOPMENT FORUM TOLD

The former Prime Minister of Mozambique, Pascoal Mocumbi, has warned of devastating consequences for Africa if HIV-positive people arent given treatment.

Mocumbi made the statement in Ethiopia today, before delegates at the African Development Forum, which was hosted by the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

He was giving a preview of the likely findings of the Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa that is due to report to the Secretary General in June next year. Mocumbi is one of the Commissions patrons.

In his warning, Mocumbi said that the cost of writing off HIV-infected people is too high to contemplate, as there is no escaping the fact that the loss of teachers, health workers and civil servants at the rates witnessed today threatens deterioration and eventual collapse of Africa.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

CITES MEETING ENDS IN BANGKOK: A two-week meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora ended in Bangkok today after deciding to strengthen wildlife management, combat illegal trafficking and update the trade rules for a wide range of plant and animal species. Some of the animal species affected by the decisions include the great white shark and the humphead wrasse two fish species of great commercial value as well as the Irrawaddy dolphin and the African elephant.

UN STAMP ON DISARMAMENT TO BE LAUNCHED: The UN Postal Administration will launch tomorrow a new stamp on disarmament. The stamp is the result of a collaborative effort of the UNs Department of Disarmament Affairs and the UN Postal Administration. It was designed by the French artist, Michael Granger, and it focuses on the idea that children involved in conflicts with guns should be in school and not involved in war, conflicts and gun-related violence.

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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