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United Nations Daily Highlights, 04-10-15

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

Friday, October 15, 2004

ANNAN EMPHASIZES NEED FOR SPECIALIZED TROOPS;

PRAISES IRELAND FOR U.N. PEACEKEEPING CONTRIBUTIONS

Secretary-General Kofi Annan, today met with Irish Defense Minister William ODea, as he continued his visit to Ireland. They discussed Irelands contributions to UN peacekeeping, particularly to the current mission in Liberia. The Secretary-General emphasized the need for highly trained and specialized troops, which, he said, make the best peacekeepers. Their talk also touched on

Sudan and

Iraq.

The Secretary-General then met with Lt. Gen. James Sreenan, the Chief of Staff of the Irish Army. The General briefed him on the activities in Liberia of the 600-soldier rapid reaction unit made up of Irish and Swedish troops.

The Secretary-General then

addressed the assembled troops saying, Ireland has been one of the few industrialized states to deploy formed military units to sub-Saharan Africa, providing niche capabilities that really hold a peacekeeping operation together. We need these specialist units very, very badly.

And you have played a key role, he went on, especially during your recent presidency of the European Union (EU), in promoting cooperation between the EU and the United Nations in crisis management, in particular the possible use of EU battle groups to support

UN peacekeeping operations.

Later in the day he is to go to Iveagh House to meet with Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern, after which a press encounter is scheduled, to be followed by a working dinner hosted by the Foreign Minister.

In a separate programme, Nane Annan visited The Computer Clubhouse," a voluntary learning centre for young people in a disadvantaged area of Dublin known as the Liberties. Mrs. Annan praised the young people, saying You are not only communicating knowledge of technology, you are also helping to build bridges between young people who perhaps may be separated by community, ethnicity, religion, age or just not really knowing one another.

She visited the centre with the creators of the Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative, a partnership launched jointly with the

United Nations ICT Task Force in December 2003. The Clubhouse is a model for similar activities they hope will be developed around the world, beginning with four pilot countries: Bolivia, Ghana, Namibia, and Andhra Pradesh in India.

REPORTS CONTINUE OF ATTACKS ON DISPLACED PERSONS IN SUDAN

The United Nations continues to receive reports from

internally displaced persons (IDPs) of attacks on villages in South Darfur,

Sudan.

Internally displaced persons from the village of Uma Kasara reported that their village was burnt down by unidentified gunmen on 2 October, displacing approximately 650 families from their village, and from two adjacent villages.

There have been reports of attacks and burnings of four other villages in South Darfur.

New IDPs continue to arrive at the already over-crowded Kalma camp near Nyala in South Darfur.

[In Geneva, the World Health Organization reported that some 70,000 people have died from diseases between March and October in camps for displaced persons in Darfur, Sudan.]

U.N. MISSION REPORTS CALM IN HAITIAN CAPITAL

The

UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti reports that the situation in

Port au Prince has been relatively calm in the past two days, with joint patrols by UN troops and the Haitian National Police continuing.

Peacekeepers also continue to provide escort to daily humanitarian convoys to the city of Gonaives and to secure distribution points there.

Additional forces, within the authorized ceiling approved by the

Security Council, are expected in the coming days. According to the UN Mission, a formed unit of 125 police from China is expected to arrive on Sunday. They are expected to be deployed in the Port au Prince area.

A further 622 Sri Lankan troops are expected from 25-29 October, and the troops making up a Spanish/Moroccan battalion are also expected at the end of October.

Yesterday, interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue announced the names of the three people who will comprise the Commission for Demobilized Military in Haiti. Based on an 18 September agreement between the interim Government and the former military, the Commission is tasked with implementing reintegration and compensation measures.

PLIGHT OF HUNGRY MILLIONS OVERSHADOWED

BY HIGH-PROFILE EMERGENCIES LIKE DARFUR CRISIS

The

World Food Programme (WFP) today

marked the occasion of

World Food Day

by highlighting the plight of hundreds of millions of hungry people around the world whose problems are overshadowed by high-profile emergencies such as the current crisis in Darfur.

In an article circulated to newspapers around the world, WFP Executive Director

James Morris emphasized his concern for the victims of

Darfur, but he also stressed that for every hungry child who made world news headlines, there were millions more who went unnoticed.

When was the last time we read about hungry children in Azerbaijan, Guinea, Sri Lanka or Tajikistan? Morris said, adding that occasions like World Food Day gave the 800 million chronically hungry people scattered around the globe a rare chance to be noticed, if only for a few brief moments.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the

Food and Agriculture Organization

highlighted today that biological diversity is one of the keys to ending world hunger. This year's World Food Day theme is: "Biodiversity for Food Security." In his address, Diouf stressed the need to maintain biodiversity in nature and on farms, to ensure that everyone has access to enough diversified and nutritious food.

ARGENTINA, DENMARK, GREECE, JAPAN AND TANZANIA

WIN SECURITY COUNCIL SEATS

The General Assembly this morning elected Argentina, Denmark, Greece, Japan and the United Republic of Tanzania to serve as non-permanent members of the Security Council for two-year terms beginning on 1 January 2005.

They will fill the seats vacated on 31 December by Angola, Chile, Germany, Pakistan and Spain.

SECURITY COUNCIL TO HOLD CONSULTATIONS ON MIDDLE EAST

At 3:00 p.m. today, the Security Council is scheduled to hold closed consultations on the situation in the

Middle East.

Having considered the nominations for permanent judges of the

International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the

Security Council yesterday afternoon voted unanimously to pass a draft

resolution that forwarded a list of 22 candidates to the

General Assembly.

UNICEF WELCOMES IRAQ SCHOOLS SURVEY AS A MILESTONE

UNICEF, the UN Childrens Fund, has welcomed an Iraq school survey, which was released earlier this week by the Iraqi Ministry of Education.

The survey

found that while total

enrolment rates in

Iraq were up, the countrys school infrastructure didnt come close to satisfying the demand, with many schools overcrowded and badly damaged.

Carol Bellamy, UNICEFs Executive Director, says the survey is a major milestone for Iraq since its the new Governments first comprehensive look at whats happened in a key social sector.

The Ministry conducted the survey, and UNICEF helped support it financially.

It took place during the first two months of this year, and covered virtually every learning facility in Iraq - some 20,000 institutions from kindergartens through teachers training institutes.

Asked whether the UN Security Coordinator had made any changes in the decision to limit the amount of UN international staff in Iraq to 35, the Spokesman said the Secretary-General was concerned about numbers of attacks taking place against the Green Zone. The latest bombings on Thursday which killed a number of civilians underlined the UNs concerns about the overall security situation in Iraq. The decision to change the ceiling of UN staff is being looked at comprehensively and reviewed daily taking into account numerous factors. As of today, the Security Coordinator had made no change in the authorized numbers.

W.H.O. WELCOMES BREAKTHROUGH IN MALARIA VACCINE RESEARCH

The

World Health Organization has

welcomed the results of a clinical trial demonstrating that a candidate malaria vaccine has conferred protection in young children in Africa, describing them as a breakthrough in

malaria vaccine research.

It says that while much more work is still required, the results indicate that an effective vaccine against

malaria that could potentially save the lives of millions of children is possible.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

ANNAN REGRETS LOSS OF LIFE IN RAID IN PAKISTAN: Asked about the death of a Chinese engineer who was held hostage in Pakistan and killed during a raid, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General deeply regretted the loss of life and he sent his condolences to the victims family and to the Government of China.

NO REQUEST FOR PEACEKEEPERS RECEIVED FROM SOMALIA: Asked about calls by the new Transitional President of Somalia, Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed for the United Nations to provide troops to disband militias in that country, the Spokesman later told the reporter who asked the question that no such request had been received by the United Nations.

U.N. TEAM PROBING ISRAELI CHARGES RETURNS TO NEW YORK: The Spokesman was asked when the members of the UN team that went to the Middle East to investigate Israeli allegations that a rocket was being carried inside an ambulance belonging to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA), would be returning, and to whom they would be reporting. The Spokesman said that the team was now back in New York and would be reporting to the Secretary-General.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

Monday, October 18

The Secretary-General is expected to travel to London, where over the coming days, he will pay an official visit to the United Kingdom.

At 11:30 a.m., the Chairman of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space will hold a press conference on space technologys contribution to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

The guest at the noon briefing will be the Secretary-Generals Special Adviser for Africa, Ibrahim Gambari, who will brief on progress in Africas efforts towards peace and development.

Tuesday, October 19

The Secretary-General is expected to meet with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The Security Council has scheduled an open debate on the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee.

At 11:15 a.m., Mervat Tallawy, the Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA), will brief the press.

Wednesday, October 20

At 3:00 p.m., musician and child advocate Ricky Martin will give a press briefing on human trafficking and the child sex tour industry.

Thursday, October 21

The Security Council has scheduled consultations on the humanitarian situation in Africa.

Friday, October 22

The Security Council has scheduled an open briefing and consultations on the Middle East.

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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