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United Nations Daily Highlights, 06-02-14
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SPOKESMAN'S NOON BRIEFING
BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC
SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
SECURITY COUNCIL URGES CALM IN HAITI
UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) says the situation on the ground in
Port au Prince is calmer today, with fewer reports of demonstrations.
Around 92% of the tally sheets have been brought to the tabulation centre in the capital although the demonstrations have affected counting. The UN mission is calling on demonstrators to keep in mind that their activities are affecting the tabulation of the results, as tabulation centre employees have been reluctant to come to work given the protests.
Security Council, meanwhile, heard a briefing in its closed consultations on developments in
Haiti from Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hédi Annabi.
The Security Council later unanimously passed a resolution that extended the mandate of the UN
Mission in Haiti until August 15. It also supported, in its resolution, the Secretary-Generals recommendations in his recent
report on Haiti and requested that the Secretary-General report to the Council on whether to restructure the UN Missions mandate after the new government takes office.
Council President, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, read out a statement to the press on Haiti, in which Council members commended the Haitian people for their commitment to democracy and encouraged all parties to remain calm as the final results of the election are certified. They strongly urge all parties to respect the results of the elections and refrain from violence.
SECURITY COUNCIL MEETS ON KOSOVO, IRAQ
Security Council heard a briefing from
Soren Jessen-Petersen, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Kosovo, on recent developments there.
The Special Representative told the Council that the pace of implementation of standards, including those on minority rights, has slowed in recent months. He also urged all parties in Kosovo to work together on decentralization.
Earlier today, the Council heard a briefing in its closed consultations on Iraq from Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs
After that, the Council adopted a Presidential Statement welcoming the announcement of the certified election results for the Iraqi Council of Representatives. The Council stressed the importance of inclusiveness, national dialogue and unity as Iraqs political development moves forward.
ANNAN, BUSH, RICE DISCUSS MIDDLE EAST, IRAQ, SUDAN
The Secretary-General was in Washington yesterday. After a private lunch with the Secretary of State, the Secretary-General went to the White House for a meeting with President Bush.
During the meeting, which lasted close to an hour, the Secretary-General and the President discussed a wide range of issues, including
UN reform, the
Before returning to New York, the Secretary-General met with Senator Richard Lugar, the Chairman of the Senates Foreign Relations Committee.
Asked whether the recent report by UN human rights rapporteurs on Guantanamo came up during the discussion with Bush, the Spokesman said it did. The Secretary-General told the President, as he told reporters later, that he had not yet received the report, which is written by independent rapporteurs. The report is expected to be out later this week, the Spokesman added.
Asked if the report was brought up at the Secretary-Generals lunch with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and his meeting with Senator Richard Lugar, the Spokesman said he did not believe it was raised in the meeting with Lugar, and that the lunch with Rice was a private lunch.
Asked how independent the rapporteurs are, the Spokesman noted that they are appointed by the
Commission on Human Rights, not by the Secretary-General or the
High Commissioner for Human Rights, and report to neither of those two officials. He added, in response to a further question, that discussions are ongoing to replace the Commission on Human Rights with a more credible and effective Human Rights Council.
Asked if the new Human Rights Council would keep on the special rapporteurs in a similar capacity, the Spokesman said those are issues which are being looked at.
Asked if the recent hunting incident involving U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney was mentioned at the Secretary-Generals meeting with President Bush, the Spokesman said he was present, as were Rice and U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, but there was no mention of the incident. The Spokesman emphasized that this was not a matter for the United Nations and the he had no comment to make.
Asked whether the Secretary-General and the President discussed the anniversary of Rafik Hariris assassination, the Spokesman said that they discussed Lebanon, and President Bush thanked the Secretary-General for the work the United Nations is doing in Lebanon.
ANNAN, BUSH AGREE ON MOBILE FORCE FOR DARFUR
Regarding Darfur, the Secretary-General told reporters in Washington, D.C. on Monday afternoon that he and President Bush had agreed that the next force in the war-torn region needs to have mobility both in the air and on the ground.
He said, The President and I are agreed that we should work together with the international community to make sure this happens.
The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Sudan,
Jan Pronk, spent the day in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for consultations with the African Union on planning scenarios relating to the decision of the AU Peace and Security Council on the transition of the AU Mission in Sudan to a UN operation in Darfur.
Meanwhile, contingency planning for the possible AU-UN transition is also underway at UN headquarters. As the Secretary-General said, once we define the requirements, then we approach the governments to see specifically what each of them will do in terms of troops, equipment, communication material and other force multipliers.
UNITED NATIONS REMAINS COMMITTED TO JUSTICE IN LEBANON BOMB PROBE
Asked about the commemoration of the first anniversary of the murder of Rafik Hariri, the Spokesman said that, on the first anniversary since a terrorist attack took the lives of Rafik Hariri and 22 others, the United Nations reaffirms its commitment to help
Lebanon to uncover the truth and bring to justice the perpetrators of this despicable act. On this sad occasion, the Secretary-General reiterates his sympathies to the families of all the victims.
Mr. Hariris death was an immense loss for Lebanon, the region and the international community, the Spokesman said. He will always be remembered for his dedication to the people of Lebanon, for his success as a statesman, for his achievements in the reconstruction of Lebanon, and for his courage and directness in public and in private.
Since his death, the Lebanese people have shown determination to reaffirm national unity and sovereignty. The United Nations stands with them in this endeavor and in the search for justice for Mr. Hariris killers, a critical step in rebuilding a sovereign and democratic Lebanon, Dujarric said.
Asked about allegations of arms shipments from Syria to Lebanon, the Spokesman said that Lebanons sovereignty should be respected.
UNITED NATIONS PROTESTS DETENTION OF ERITREAN STAFF MEMBERS
Asked about the arrest of UN staff in Eritrea, the Spokesman said that 43 national staff of the UN
Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea had been affected, including 13 people arrested/detained and 30 in hiding for fear of being arrested by the local authorities.
He said that the United Nations had protested, but noted that the Government of Eritrea has still not given an official reason for its actions.
ANNAN TO SPEAK TO UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS
This afternoon and tomorrow, the Secretary-General will be at Princeton University, where he will participate in the Global Colloquium of University Presidents.
This will be the second time that the Secretary-General has met with university presidents from around the world, as part of his effort to increase the exchange of ideas between the United Nations and academia. He will tell the university leaders that one of his long-standing concerns has been to encourage the exchange of ideas between different parts of the world and to encourage institutions in the global south to play their part.
He will make remarks to the university presidents this evening about the reform process underway at the United Nations and efforts to achieve the
Millennium Development Goals.
The Secretary-General will also take part in panels about social benefits and global public goods tomorrow.
The keynote speaker at tomorrows events is
UN Development Programme Administrator
NEW GROUPS OF BURUNDIANS FLEEING TO TANZANIA
UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today
reports that a growing number of Burundians have been crossing the border into Tanzania in the past few weeks.
Some 3,500 Burundians have fled their country since the start of the year and the numbers keep growing at an average rate of 100 new arrivals a day, the agency said. The living conditions in some of the way stations are not good.
UNHCR said the Burundians are being driven out by a lack of food and growing insecurity in their home country. They are arriving showing signs of malnutrition. An infant died last week.
UNHCR is already assisting some 350,000 refugees in Tanzania, 195,000 of them from Burundi.
UNITED NATIONS URGES END TO CHILD RECRUITMENT
Childrens Fund (UNICEF) today appealed to Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to cease the recruitment of children and to release all children within its ranks.
UNICEF also called upon all parties to the conflict in Sri Lanka to reaffirm their commitment to the Cease-Fire Agreement, and to ensure that the protection of children affected by the conflict is at the centre of talks that are scheduled for later this month in Geneva.
U.N. DRUG AGENCY CONGRATULATES LAOS ON OPIUM ERADICATION
Office on Drugs and Crime today
called for sustained international support for former opium farmers in Laos to ensure that poverty does not force them to re-start cultivation of the drug.
The agency congratulated the Government of Laos for reducing opium production by 93 percent over the last seven years, but warned the challenge now was to ensure that Laos, one of the poorest countries in the world, stayed on the path of drug reduction.
UNITED NATIONS COOPERATING WITH U.N. AUTHORITIES: Asked whether some UN staff are seeking counsel regarding a request by the U.S. Attorneys office for interviews, the Spokesman said that the U.S. authorities dealing with the procurement issue wanted to ask questions of some UN officials, but that this only concerned inquiries at this stage, not any judicial proceedings. He said that the United Nations will cooperate with all national authorities, including those in the United States, and added that all staff are entitled to legal counsel.
RECENT IRAQ FOOTAGE DISTURBING SPOKESMAN SAYS: Asked about footage showing abuses by British personnel in Iraq, the Spokesman said all such footage is extremely disturbing, and said it was a positive thing that the British government was looking into this fully.
ALLIANCE OF CIVILIZATIONS LEADERS HAVE ADDRESSED CARTOON ISSUES: Asked if the Alliance of Civilizations contemplating a meeting on the issue of the caricatures mocking the Prophet Mohamed, the Spokesman said he was unaware of any plans for such a meeting, although he noted that the Alliances initiators, Spains Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero and Turkeys Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, have been speaking out on the issue.
U.N. REFORM PROPOSALS DUE IN FEBRUARY OR MARCH: Asked when proposals for UN management reform would be issued, the Spokesman said a date had yet to be finalized but the launch of those proposals is expected to take place in late February or early March.
Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General
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