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United Nations Daily Highlights, 05-01-19

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 MARIE OKABE

ASSOCIATE SPOKESWOMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

SPECIAL SESSION ON NAZI DEATH CAMPS

AN EXPRESSION OF U.N.S COMMITMENT TO FIGHT GENOCIDE

Secretary-General Kofi Annan, at a press conference today, said that the commemoration next Monday, January 24, of the

60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps will have profound significance.

The Secretary-General said it is essential to all of us to remember, reflect on and learn from what happened 60 years ago.

He warned, The evil that destroyed six million Jews, and others, in those camps is one that still threatens all of us today.

The Secretary-General added that the session should be seen as an expression of the commitment to build a United Nations that can respond quickly and effectively to genocide and other serious violations of human rights, work which, he said, is still far from complete.

The Secretary-General was joined by the President of the General Assembly and the permanent representatives of the countries which sponsored the resolution, namely Israel, Australia, Canada, Russia, New Zealand, the United States and Luxembourg, appearing on behalf of the European Union.

The Special Session will get underway at 10:00 a.m. on Monday.

In conjunction with the Special Session, there are two exhibits in the public entrance two the building. One is called Auschwitz the depth of the Abyss, which is a collection of photographs and paintings from the Auschwitz and Majdanek camps. The other is called Afterwards, its just a part of you and is an exhibit of photographs taken by youth groups who have visited what remains of the death camps. It also includes their written recollection of their visits and talks with survivors.

U.N. AGENCIES TACKLE LIVELIHOOD LOSS IN TSUNAMI-HIT AREAS

U.N. agencies are continuing their relief efforts in

tsunami-affected countries, with the loss of survivors livelihoods becoming an increasingly important issue.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), some 600,000 people in the hardest-hit regions of Indonesia may have lost their sole source of income. And Sri Lankas total number of unemployed may have temporarily risen by 55 percent or more.

The ILO has therefore

called for job creation strategies to be integrated into the humanitarian response. The strategies main elements would include: reconstruction of

employment-intensive infrastructure; social finance schemes and employment-friendly investments; and projects aimed at protecting vulnerable groups who have lost work, such as young people, women, and migrant workers.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

said today that rehabilitation of severely affected mangroves would help speed up the recovery process. Mangroves contribute directly to rural livelihoods by providing timber, poles, fuel and thatch, as well as spawning grounds and nutrients for fish and shellfish.

GLOBAL EARLY WARNING SYSTEM LAUNCHED AT KOBE CONFERENCE

UN experts

decided today to create a global early warning system to reduce the impact of natural hazards on vulnerable communities.

Launched on the second day of the

World Conference on Disaster Reduction, in Kobe, Japan, the new International Early Warning Programme will bring together a host of organizations, rely on a wide information flow, and emphasize the importance of community education about disaster preparedness.

Working with the International Early Warning Programme will be the UN Environment Programme, which is

calling for greater integration of environmental issues into disaster preparedness and response, and the World Food Programme, which says that one third of its beneficiaries are victims of natural disasters.

SECURITY COUNCIL URGES STATES TO REPORT ON EFFORTS TO DEFEAT TERRORISM

There are no meetings or consultations of

the Security Council scheduled for today.

Tuesday afternoon, the Security Council wrapped up an

open meeting on the work of the

Counter-Terrorism Committee by issuing an urgent call to States to report to the Committee on their national efforts to defeat terrorism.

The Council, in a

Presidential Statement, noted that 75 Member States had not yet reported to the Committee on those efforts.

U.N. ENVOY DISCUSSES FUTURE PEACE SUPPORT MISSION

The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for

Sudan, Jan Pronk, today completed a two-day trip to Rumbek, the provisional capital of southern Sudan.

Pronk met with senior staff of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement and Army (SPLM/A), to discuss the future peace support mission, and the continuing preparations for its deployment. He also discussed the same issues with the UN Country Team staff who are deployed in the South.

Pronk is planning to return to Rumbek at the end of this week to meet with John Garang, the Movements head.

The Special Representative has now proceeded to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he will discuss current and future cooperation between the UN and the African Union once the full peace support mission has been deployed.

The overall security situation in Darfur has been relatively calm over the past two weeks, reports the UN mission in Sudan. Cases of general lawlessness and banditry in the states, however, remain quite frequent.

COTE DIVOIRE: SITUATION REMAINS VERY TENSE

The Secretary-General said that West Africa continues to face daunting challenges, with the situation in

Cote dIvoire remaining very tense, as some actors there have been unwilling to make the necessary compromises for peace.

In

a message to the summit meeting of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which is taking place in Accra, Ghana today, the Secretary-General adds that the situations in

Liberia and Guinea-Bissau also warrant sustained attention, especially reform of the security sector and the reintegration of former combatants.

UNITED NATIONS PROVIDES AID TO CONGOLESE REFUGEES IN UGANDA

The

UN Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has

begun providing emergency aid to Congolese refugees fleeing to Uganda to escape fighting in the eastern

Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A UNHCR team has met with local authorities to set up a plan of action, and another team is preparing the logistics of transferring refugees away from the border to a settlement.

At the end of last week, there were about 20,000 new refugees in western Uganda.

UNITED NATIONS AWAITS VOLCKER COMMISSION FINDINGS

Asked whether U.S. businessman Samir Vincent had met with UN officials in 1996, the Spokeswoman said that Vincents activities are being examined by the Independent Inquiry Committee headed by Paul Volcker, and, as long as his case is being examined, the United Nations would be unable to comment on specific details of that case.

Asked who was in charge of matters relating to the oil-for-food process in 1996, she noted that Boutros Boutros-Ghali was Secretary-General at that time. Kofi Annan was Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping.

In response to a question about who was in charge of the Oil-for-food humanitarian programme in 1996, she later said that Gultiero Fulcheri of Italy succeeded Mohammed Zejjari of Algeria as the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, according to the timeline available on the Oil-for-Food website. And she noted that, at that time, the Oil-for-Food Programme was administered by the UNs Department of Political Affairs and the Department of Humanitarian Affairs (the predecessor of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs).

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

UNITED NATIONS. CONFIDENT IN TECHNICAL PREPARATIONS FOR IRAQI ELECTIONS: Asked whether the United Nations has confidence that the technical preparations for the Iraqi elections are sufficient, the Spokeswoman said that it did, and she noted that the Secretary-General had said so in comments he made to the press on Monday.

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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