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United Nations Daily Highlights, 04-10-18
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SPOKESMAN'S NOON BRIEFING
BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC
ASSOCIATE SPOKESMAN FOR THE
OF THE UNITED NATIONS
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Monday, October 18, 2004
ANNAN CONCERNED OVER FAILURE
TO MEET DEADLINES IN COTE DIVOIRE PEACE PROCESS
Secretary-General Kofi Annan
notes with concern that key deadlines of the Accra III Agreement, for the adoption of legislative reforms, the revision of Article 35 of the Constitution on eligibility to the Presidency and the commencement of the disarmament process, have not been met.
He has taken note of President Laurent Gbagbo's address to the nation on 12 October 2004, and shares his views that the political crisis should be resolved without further delay.
To this end, the Secretary-General urges the political forces in
Côte d'Ivoire to ensure the full and unconditional implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis and Accra III Agreements, including constitutional reform and disarmament.
The Secretary-General recalls that the Accra III Agreement envisaged the timely adoption of all legal reforms, including the revision of Article 35 of the Constitution on eligibility to the Presidency.
In this context, he urges adoption of all legislative reforms without delay, and also appeals to all armed elements, including militias, to commence disarmament at the earliest.
The Secretary-General welcomes the President's condemnation of all acts of violence against the UN Operation in Cote d'Ivoire (ONUCI) and the French forces, which should be unconditionally enforced by all authorities concerned
ANNAN TO DISCUSS REVIEW OF MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
WITH U.K. CHANCELLOR
The Secretary-General will meet with the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, this evening in London.
statement, the Secretary-General said he intends to discuss next years summit at the
General Assembly, which will review progress in achieving the
Millennium Development Goals. Many of these goals, including the one of halving poverty by 2015, are far from being met.
The Secretary-General will appeal to the Chancellor and the UK Government to use the upcoming UK presidencies of the G8 and the European Union to work for the necessary political breakthrough and the additional resources needed to achieve those goals.
In this context, the Secretary-General will be supporting the G7 donors considering seriously the Chancellors proposal for an International Finance Facility that would be capable of doubling aid flows to the developing world by up to $100 billion a year.
ANNAN: DIALOGUE NEEDED WITH THE MUSLIM WORLD
Before he left for London this afternoon, the
Secretary-General laid out nine lessons the United Nations has learned about peacekeeping, in a speech at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland.
Those nine lessons, he
said, were: we should say no when we need to; stay the course; know the context; never neglect security; manage expectations; stay the course; get the sequencing right; keep everyone on the same page; and make sure that local populations take responsibility.
He added that the most important lesson of all is that we must always be listening and looking out for new knowledge.
After his speech, he took some questions from the audience, including one about whether we are now seeing a clash of civilizations.
The Secretary-General said that there is a need for dialogue with the Muslim world, adding, We need to get across that Islam is not represented by the killers.
The Secretary-General met Saturday with the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Bertie Ahern. They talked of the situation between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the Afghanistan peace process, Irans nuclear program, the plans for
Iraqi elections, the crisis in Darfur,
Sudan, Northern Ireland and
HIV/AIDS, among other topics.
BOMBINGS IN BAGHDADS GREEN ZONE UNDERSCORE
U.N. CONCERN ABOUT SECURITY IN IRAQ
Asked about the recent bombings in the Green Zone in Baghdad, the Spokesman said that those bombings underscore the United Nations concern about the overall security situation in
Iraq. The Secretary-Generals Special Representative,
Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, arrived in Baghdad today, and will have a number of meetings with political leaders and multinational force leaders on the ground.
Asked about security assurances for UN personnel in Iraq, the Spokesman said the United Nations has not heard back formally from the multinational force concerning a dedicated unit of the multinational force that would deal with UN security. He said he hoped to have more information later about the force for the protection of UN facilities in Iraq.
Asked about media reports concerning Kojo Annan, the Spokesman said that the independent inquiry headed by Paul Volcker was looking into Kojo Annans employment with Cotecna.
The Secretary-General had said that was one of the issues the panel would look at.
Asked whether the United Nations was sharing documents on the oil-for-food program, the Spokesman said that Volcker has all the UN
oil-for-food documents, and he said the panel had indicated it was also working with other investigations.
Asked about the impact of the oil-for-food allegations on the United Nations, the Spokesman said it was something wed like to get behind us. He noted that, meanwhile, the United Nations continues to work closely with the Iraqi people, including work on holding elections in that country.
RISING TENSION REPORTED IN DARFUR, SUDAN,
THREE DAYS AFTER U.N. HEALTH AGENCY REPORTS DEATHTOLL OF 70,000
World Health Organization has reported that up to 70,000 of the displaced people in Darfur, Sudan, have died as a direct result of the conditions in which they are living since 1 March this year. Further work will be needed to estimate the proportions of these deaths that are due to different causes, but most are due to diarrhoeal diseases exacerbated by malnutrition, WHO said in a press briefing last Friday.
The UN Mission in Sudan, meanwhile, said a humanitarian team has met with representatives of the rebel Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) group and they finalized an agreement on ground rules for humanitarian operations in areas controlled by the rebel movement and contested areas in Darfur.
The UN mission also reports rising tension throughout the
Darfur states over the weekend including the two state capitals of North and West Darfur. In addition, it reported harassments of aid workers and hijacking of aid vehicles in the Darfurs.
It also reported that the
World Food Programme has completed food distribution in Zam Zam camp in North Darfur, and a polio vaccination campaign conducted in West Darfur has so far reached nearly 47,000 of the target 202,000 children.
SOME 100 COMPLAINTS RECEIVED ON AFGHAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said that the impartial panel of experts that is dealing with complaints about the October 9 elections had received about 100 complaints from the countrys presidential candidates. The panel is going through all the complaints now.
The UN Mission says that the counting of ballots, which began last Thursday, is being updated regularly on the Internet, at
Since Saturday morning, all eight counting centers in
Afghanistan began mixing, sorting and counting ballots.
U.N. ENVOY DISTURBED BY ATTEMPTS TO DISSUADE KOSOVO SERBS FROM VOTING
In a statement released today,
Soren Jessen-Petersen, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for
Kosovo, said he is deeply
disturbed by attempts to dissuade Kosovo Serbs from participating in upcoming elections for the Kosovo Assembly, scheduled for 23 October.
In the past days, we have seen statements and actions aimed at preventing Kosovo Serbs from casting their vote. This is unacceptable. The right to vote is essential in a democratic society. To actively discourage people from executing this basic right is anti-democratic, Jessen-Petersen said.
He added: Voting on Saturday means becoming an active part of the institutional life in Kosovo. It means standing up for your interests, rights and concerns. Those urging Kosovo Serbs not to vote simply do not have in mind the interest of their own people. Only those who take action to overcome isolation can change the present to a better future.
SECURITY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER DRAFT RESOLUTION ON MIDDLE EAST
Security Council is scheduled to hold consultations on the Middle East at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon.
Council members will consider a draft resolution on the follow-up to
Resolution 1559, which concerned foreign forces in Lebanon.
U.N. ENVOY TO APPEAL FOR SUPPORT FOR U.N. PROGRAMMES IN HORN OF AFRICA
Martti Ahtisaari, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa, wrapped up his mission to Ethiopia today.
While in Ethiopia, Ahtisaari met with senior government officials and representatives of UN agencies, NGOs and the donor community. The focus of his discussions was addressing the underlying causes of food insecurity.
Ahtisaari, who had also visited Eritrea last week, will now be visiting donor capitals to appeal for support for UN programs to lay the groundwork for transitioning from emergency relief to long-term recovery from food shortages.
U.N.D.P. EXPLORING LEGAL OPTIONS REGARDING FORMER EMPLOYEE
Asked about the case of former
UN Development Programme (UNDP) employee Callixte Mbarushimana, the Spokesman said that UNDP is exploring legal options regarding that case. In order not to prejudice the outcome of those efforts, he said, we will not comment in public about them.
Asked whether the United Nations would give Mbarushimana back pay, the Spokesman said that the United Nations is bound to comply with the Administrative Tribunals judgment.
He noted that the Tribunal had ruled that Mbarushimana was entitled to 12 months pay, and Tribunal officials said that the ruling was made strictly on the basis of how he was let go. The Tribunal never looked into the merits of the criminal allegations made regarding him.
UNAIDS CONGRATULATES VIETNAM ON HIV/AIDS STRATEGY: The
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids, (UNAIDS) has
commended the Government of Vietnam for adopting a progressive national strategy on the prevention of HIV/AIDS. According to the Deputy Executive Director of the programme, Dr. Kathleen Cravero, the Vietnamese strategy stands as a model for other countries in the region and the world.
LIBERIAN FACTIONS ASKED TO DISARM WITHOUT DELAY: Reiterating that the disarmament and demobilization of combatants of Liberias former warring factions would be completed as scheduled on 31 October, the International Monitoring Committee (IMC), responsible for monitoring the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, today called on all former fighters who have not yet handed over their weapons to disarm without delay. The IMC also urged the former warring factions to immediately bring to the attention of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) any information they may have on any remaining concentrations of combatants who are yet to disarm, so that necessary arrangements can be made for their disarmament and demobilization before the deadline.
GOOD GOVERNANCE NEEDED TO HELP PEOPLE OUT OF POVERTY: The problem of people living in poverty is not one of effort, rather, it is one of opportunity. And good governance is what is needed to provide that opportunity. That was the
message of Juan Somavia, the Director-General of the
International Labour Office, to mark the
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which was yesterday.
HAITI FORCE COMMANDERS COMMENTS BEING CHECKED: Asked about media reports of comments by the
UN Force Commander in
Haiti, the Spokesman said that the United Nations is checking the accuracy of the press reports. He added that the U.S. elections are an internal political matter upon which it would be inappropriate for the United Nations to comment.
SOCCER STARS IN TV AD CAMPAIGN TO PPOMOTE MILLENNIUM GOALS:World famous soccer stars
Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane
appeared yesterday in a thirty-second TV spot to promote the
Millennium Development Goals, on behalf of their role as UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors. The spot aired worldwide in conjunction with the
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
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