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United Nations Daily Highlights, 06-02-10

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

SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Friday, February 10, 2006

ANNAN TO MEET WITH U.S. PRESIDENT, SECRETARY OF STATE AND SENATORS

Asked about the Secretary-Generals visit to Washington, D.C., on Monday, the Spokesman said that Secretary-General Kofi Annan would meet U.S, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for lunch, and would then meet with President George W. Bush, at about 1:15 p.m.

The Secretary-General would also meet with some members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he did not get to see this week.

ANNAN URGES EARLY FORMATION OF INCLUSIVE IRAQI GOVERNMENT

Secretary-General Kofi Annan

welcomes the announcement by the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) of the final certified results of the 15 December national election.

He again pays tribute to the courageous commitment of the Iraqi people to the democratic process as demonstrated by the participation of millions of voters of all communities as well as hundreds of thousands of observers, agents and poll workers.

The Secretary-General is encouraged that the new Parliament will be broadly representative of Iraqs diverse communities and will include a substantial percentage of women.

At this historic moment, the Secretary-General calls on Iraqs political leaders to work with resolve towards the early formation of a fully inclusive Government which will strive to build a peaceful, prosperous, democratic and united Iraq.

The Secretary-General also congratulates the IECI for successfully conducting this election under very challenging circumstances.

The United Nations is pleased to have provided support to the process and remains fully committed to assisting the Iraqi people in the forthcoming electoral program in 2006.

ANNAN IS IN TOUCH WITH LEADERS TO CALM CARTOON CONTROVERSY

Asked about comments from the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) that took issue with a statement issued this week by the Secretary-General, the Secretary-General of the OIC and the High Commissioner of the European Union, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General very much hoped that the joint statement would help to calm the situation.

The Secretary-General continues to be in contact with Muslim and other leaders, to try to calm the situation over the caricatures and avoid enflaming matters.

VOTE COUNT CONTINUES PEACEFULLY IN HAITI

The UN

Mission in Haiti reports today that the counting of votes in the presidential and legislative elections continues.

Preliminary results were released yesterday, but they were from only five departments. More results are expected later today.

The Mission today reported that, according to its statistics, the numbers of violent incidents decreased markedly in the week up to, and including, election day.

The situation remains peaceful, the Mission said, but it is maintaining its patrols.

SECURITY COUNCIL FOCUSES ON AFGHANISTAN

The

Security Council began its work this morning with consultations, in which it received briefings from Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hédi Annabi on developments in Haiti and in Cote dIvoire.

Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations

Jean-Marie Guéhenno told the Security Council, in an open briefing today, that the London Conference on Afghanistan made numerous achievements for that country.

He said that the Afghanistan Compact launched at that conference set out an ambitious agenda which committed the participants to a sustained and prolonged engagement in Afghanistans future.

At the same time, Guéhenno warned that recent weeks have seen a rising level of insurgent attacks in the southeast and southwest and an escalation of factional tensions in the northwest. At least six Afghan soldiers were killed today in two attacks by suspected Islamic rebels in the eastern province of Nuristan.

The Security Council followed the open briefing on Afghanistan with a private meeting on the same matter.

ANNAN SAYS MAJORITY OF PALESTINIAN PEOPLE DO NOT WANT VIOLENCE

The Secretary-General today addressed the opening of this years session of the

Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and he called the outcome of the recent elections a watershed in Palestinian political history.

He

said he believes that the clear majority of the Palestinian people do not want to pursue violence or terrorism against Israeli civilians, and that they want the agreements and obligations that their elected representatives have already entered into including the Road Map to be carried forward and implemented, not abandoned. The international community, he said, will be watching very carefully to see how a new government rises to these challenges.

Asked about the Secretary-Generals comments on Thursday about Hamass victory in the Palestinian elections, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General was conveying his thoughts that the Palestinian people had wanted a government that could deliver the services that were needed.

Asked whether the Secretary-General would reconsider showing up at an event for the Palestinians in light of the victory of a group that has threatened the existence of Israel, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-Generals efforts to support the Palestinian people continue. At the same time, while a Palestinian government is being formed, he noted that the Quartet has made it clear that it wants to see any government uphold a commitment to the principles of nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Road Map.

Asked about the acting Israeli Prime Ministers recent comments on Israel unilaterally drawing its borders and whether that conformed with UN resolutions, the Spokesman noted the statements of the Quartet, which told the parties to avoid any unilateral actions that would prejudge final status.

Asked about disputes among Member States about whether certain mandates for UN work on the question of Palestine would be cut, the Spokesman noted that the Secretary-Generals work during mandate review would be to present to the General Assembly a list of current mandates. It is up to the Member States, he stressed, to review those mandates and decide what they want to do with them.

SECRETARY-GENERAL VOICES DISMAY ON COTE DIVOIRE DAMAGES

Asked whether the Secretary-General had submitted to the Ivorian Government a bill for damages that occurred during the mid-January disturbances, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General had written to Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo to express his dismay that the Ivorian authorities had not protected UN facilities during those disturbances. Such protection had been the responsibility of the authorities, Dujarric said.

The Secretary-General, in that letter, presented the Government with the expenses occurred.

Asked whether the Secretary-General would follow up on the letter to Gbagbo, the Spokesman said that the United Nations was already following up. Among other things, he said, the United Nations has already found some equipment that had been lost in the town of Guiglo.

HEAD OF HARIRI INVESTIGATION CONFERS WITH OFFICIALS IN NEW YORK

Asked about the UNs work in Lebanon, nearly a year since the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the Spokesman underscored that the United Nations has consistently provided assistance to the people of Lebanon and will continue to do so.

Since Hariris death, he noted the work done by several UN bodies, including the team led by Peter FitzGerald, and the subsequent establishment of the

International Independent Investigation Commission headed by Detlev Mehlis and now Serge Brammertz. The Secretary-General, Dujarric said, is doing all he can to ensure that there is no impunity for this crime.

Asked whether Serge Brammertz was in New York, the Spokesman said that Brammertz was in town for consultations with Secretariat staff, including the Secretary-General. His meetings included those with members of the Office of Legal Affairs and the Department of Political Affairs. He also is meeting with a number of Ambassadors, including those representing the Permanent Members of the Security Council.

The visit, the Spokesman said, is basically an opportunity for Brammertz to confer on administrative and organizational matters after he has had a few weeks on the ground, and while he is putting his team and budget together.

Asked about the numbers for Brammertzs staff, the Spokesman said those numbers are currently under discussion.

UNITED NATIONS SEEKS HELP FOR MOBILE FORCE IN DARFUR

Asked whether the recent comments by the Secretary-General indicated that he was pushing for more assistance for Sudan than had been offered in a letter from U.S. military planners, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-Generals comments shouldnt be seen as a response to that letter.

The Secretary-General, he said, was very clear about what he wanted for a UN force on the ground in Darfur, not just from the United States but from any country with the capacity to help to provide for an effective, mobile force. He was sharing his vision not just for the planning stage but for the operational stage.

The Spokesman said the United Nations welcomes help on planning from the United States. On the operational side, the United Nations is seeking more than that, from the United States and from all other countries that can help.

HUMANITARIAN AGENCIES REPORT WORSENING SITUATION IN DR CONGO

Several UN agencies today report a worsening humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The UN

High Commissioner for Refugees said tens of thousands of people were being forced to flee their homes in the southern and eastern parts because of continuing violence.

The UN

Childrens Fund said that yesterday a four truck UNICEF convoy had managed to get into a small village near Bunia in the east that had been cutoff and complete surrounded by both army and rebel combatants. Some 6,000 persons there were supplied with enough food to last a month.

The

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Some 1,200 people die daily from the armed conflict, malnutrition and disease in the Congo. In other words, every six months as many victims die there as died as a result of the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.

Jan Egeland, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, will co-host with the European Union, a ministerial level meeting on the DRC Monday in Brussels.

NIGERIA ASKED TO SHUT POULTRY MARKETS WHERE BIRD FLU CONFIRMED

The UN

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today called upon Nigeria to shut poultry markets in the states where bird flu has been confirmed, as well as in all neighboring states.

The FAO said that the virus often spreads through movement of the affected birds and therefore people in the affected and neighboring areas should not should not import or export poultry.

The agency welcomed the emergency measures already applied by the Nigerian authorities, and their quick investigations into the matter.

UNITED NATIONS AND CAMBODIA SET UP OFFICE FOR FUTURE COURT

The United Nations and the Cambodian government have set up an administrative office for the court that will try former leaders of the Khmer Rouge accused of killing hundreds of thousand of citizens during the 1970s.

A joint statement said the Cambodian government said the establishment of the office moves the effort from the planning phase to the actual establishment of what will be known as the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia for the Prosecution of Crimes Committed during the Period of Democratic Kampuchea.

The court will be made up of Cambodian and International judges who are in the process of being selected.

The statement calls on donor countries to make up a $9.6 million shortfall in the courts budget.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

U.N. ENVOY TO KOSOVO CONGRATULATES NEW PRESIDENT:

Soren Jessen-Petersen, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for

Kosovo, congratulated Fatmir Sejdiu on his election as President of Kosovo and on the strong support he received from the Assembly today. Jessen-Petersen promised the new President his support, and that of the UN Mission, and said that President Sejdiu takes Office at a decisive time for Kosovo, when it is crucial to maintain unity and stability in order to advance the process that will determine Kosovos status.

POOR HARVEST FORECAST FOR BURUNDI: In Burundi, the

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports today that the preliminary results of the crop and food assessment indicated a reduction by 12% in food production in comparison with the same season in 2005. That amount had already been low. The assessment, carried out by the Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN Childrens Fund, the

World Food Programme and local authorities, blamed the poor showing on bad weather and crop diseases. FAO said it will supply seeds to about a half million households for the coming planting season.

THE UNITED NATIONS HAS NO PLANS TO PRIVATIZE U.N. PENSION FUND Asked about concerns voiced by the UN Staff Union about privatization and the UN pension fund, the Spokesman said that the United Nations has made it clear that there will be no privatization of the pension fund. He added that the Secretary-General wants to work with Rosemary Waters, head of the Staff Union, to deal with staff concerns.

  • *The guest at the noon briefing was Dennis McNamara, Special Advisor to the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and Director, Inter-Agency Internal Displacement Division, who spoke about breaking the cycle of conflict and displacement.

    THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

    Monday, February 13

    The Secretary-General will travel to Washington, D.C., where he will meet with U.S. President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

    The Security Council has scheduled a daily briefing by the UN Secretariat.

    The UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), through its Executive Directorate (CTED), continues its on-site dialogue with Member States as it begins a five-day visit to Tanzania today. The 11-person counter-terrorism expert team is led by CTED Executive Director Javier Ruperez.

    Tuesday, February 14

    Soren Jessen Petersen, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Kosovo, will be the guest at the noon briefing. He will brief the Security Council in an open meeting on Kosovo.

    The Security Council has also scheduled a formal meeting on Haiti, as well as consultations for a daily briefing from the Secretariat.

    Wednesday, February 15

    The Security Council has scheduled consultations, for a daily briefing from the Secretariat, as well as on the panel on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    The Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) is heading to Georgetown, Guyana, on Wednesday for its first-ever visit with officials of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

    Thursday, February 16

    The Security Council has scheduled a daily briefing from the Secretariat, as well as its monthly luncheon with the Secretary-General.

    Friday, February 17

    The Security Council has scheduled a daily briefing from the Secretariat.

    Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General

    United Nations, S-378

    New York, NY 100178

    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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