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United Nations Daily Highlights, 06-03-01

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

DEPUTY

SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

ARGENTINA ASSUMES SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY FOR MARCH

Argentina has assumed the rotating

Presidency of the

Security Council for the month of March, replacing the United States.

Ambassador Cesar Mayoral of Argentina is holding bilateral talks today with other Council members on the programme of work for this month, and the Council is expected to hold consultations tomorrow to discuss that programme of work.

After those consultations end, Ambassador Mayoral is expected to talk to the press tomorrow about the Councils programme during the month.

FIVE NAMES ON SHORT-LIST FOR TOP VACANCY AT U.N. ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME

The post of Executive Director of the

UN Environment Programme (UNEP) will become vacant on 1 April 2006 at the end of the tenure of

Klaus Töpfer. Under the new senior recruitment procedures, which were established at the beginning of 2005, the Secretary-General has decided on a short list of candidates for the post.

The

Secretary-General on 14 December 2005 solicited nominations from Member States which were considered together with other nominations. A thorough review of the nominations was undertaken by the Secretary-General and his senior advisers.

The following candidates have been invited for interview in the next few weeks: Mr. Børge Brende (Norway) Former Minister of Environment and former Minister of Trade and Industry; Mr. Carlos Manuel Rodríguez Echandi (Costa Rica) Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica; Mr. Shafqat Kakakhel (Pakistan) Deputy Executive Director, UNEP; Mr. Rajendra K. Pachauri (India ) Director-General, The Energy and Resource Institute; and Mr. Achim Steiner (Germany) Director-General of The World Conservation Union.

[In the interview and evaluation of the candidates, the Secretary-General and his senior advisers will be guided by the following criteria for the post: strong diplomatic, political and fund-raising skills; strategic vision and strong leadership; strong international profile in the environment field and thorough knowledge of environment and development issues; proven skills in the management of complex organizations; the flexibility and vision to participate in an evolving international environmental architecture; good knowledge of the UN system and a commitment to the pursuit of reform. Fluency in English is required. French is highly desirable. Knowledge of another official language of the United Nations is an asset.

The views of the environmental community on the candidates will be sought informally. The candidates will then be interviewed by a panel of senior UN officials, including an outside expert, who will refer the finalists to the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General for final interview.

The Secretary-General will then forward the name of his recommended candidate for appointment to the post of Executive Director of UNEP for a term of four years. ]

U.N. MISSION WELCOMES MEETING OF POLITICAL LEADERS IN COTE DIVOIRE

The

UN Operation in Côte dIvoire (UNOCI) today welcomed what it called a successful meeting yesterday of the main political and military leaders of that divided country.

UNOCI said the meeting -- the first on Ivorian soil since the 2002 civil war -- was an indication of the existence of the political will needed to advance the peace process, and a significant step on the road to national reconciliation.

U.N. PEACEKEEPERS SUPPORT TROOPS IN OPERATION IN DR CONGO

In the

Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1,000 Government troops, supported by 300 UN peacekeepers, have been involved in fighting in the countrys eastern district of Ituri.

The

UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) says the troops have been fighting for the past six days to dislodge militia members from the town of Tchei, some 60 kilometres south-east of the town of Bunia.

The militia members are said to have been looting and enslaving locals in the area.

The peacekeepers are from the Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Moroccan contingents, and they have been receiving air support from MONUCs gunships.

DONATION ENABLES CONTINUATION OF AID TO PALESTINE REFUGEES

The head of the

UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) welcomed a donation of $76 million to the Agencys annual budget that was announced yesterday by the European Commission.

Commissioner-General

Karen Abu Zayd said that the contribution will enable UNRWA to continue to deliver critically needed humanitarian services to Palestine refugees without interruption.

Asked about Israels halt to tax payments to the Palestinians, the Spokeswoman noted the recent

statements by the Quartet on funding the Palestinian Authority.

Asked about the reported killing of a Palestinian militant, the Spokeswoman recalled that the Secretary-General had made a

statement a month ago concerning targeted killings.

UNITED NATIONS TO LAUNCH CENTRAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE FUND

In one week, the United Nations will formally launch the

Central Emergency Response Fund, which will provide aid workers with sufficient funding to jump-start lifesaving relief operations.

So far, 18 Member States have pledged a total of $188 million to the Fund.

MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE TO SAFEGUARD RIGHTS OF TSUNAMI VICTIMS

In a statement, Deputy Tsunami Envoy Eric Schwartz says governments and people throughout the

tsunami-affected region have much to be proud of.

At the same time, however, while officials in the region have taken a number of actions to address the human rights of survivors, much more should be done to safeguard basic rights and meaningfully engage local communities in the decision-making process.

U.N. REFUGEE CHIEF IS CONCERNED ABOUT CHADIAN REFUGEES

Asked whether the United Nations has plans to protect people in Chad, the Spokeswoman said that the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees,

Antonio Guterres, has been vocal in expressing his concerns about the regionalization of the Darfur conflict, with reports now of refugees going from Chad to

Sudan for the first time.

She said that the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sudan, Jan Pronk, had also flagged his concerns about the regional dimension of the crisis on the border between Sudan and Chad.

Asked whether the Chadians should be protected, she said that they should, and that the responsibility to protect applies to all citizens in all parts of the world. She noted that, in the case of asylum seekers and refugees whom governments are unable to protect, the

Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has the mandate to do so.

U.N. LEGAL CHIEF ENDS THREE DAYS OF TALKS WITH LEBANESE JUDGES

Nicolas Michel, the Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and the Legal Counsel, has just conducted three days of discussions at UN Headquarters with a delegation sent by the Lebanese Government, composed of Judge Ralph Riachi and Judge Choukry Sader.

The meetings were substantive and detailed, and were conducted in a positive and open manner. They continued consultations begun in January in Beirut, pursuant to

Security Council

resolution 1644 (2005), regarding the nature and scope of the international assistance needed to bring those charged with the

assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri before a tribunal of an international character.

Both Michel and his Lebanese interlocutors believe that the discussions significantly advanced the mutual understanding of the international assistance needed to bring those responsible for Hariris assassination to justice before a tribunal of an international character.

Based on the consultations with the Lebanese authorities, the

Secretary-General will submit a report to the Security Council as requested in resolution 1644.

U.N. MANAGEMENT REFORM REPORT DELAYED UNTIL NEXT TUESDAY

The release of the UN management reform report has been postponed until Tuesday, 6 March. It had originally been expected to be released on Thursday, 2 March.

The Spokeswoman, in response to a question, declined to link the delay in the issuance of the management report to the discussions on creating a Human Rights Council.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

PANEL DISCUSSION ON OBSTETRIC FISTULA TO TAKE PLACE: The

UN Population Fund (UNFPA) says that there is a

panel discussion tomorrow on obstetric fistula the devastating childbearing injury that affects more than 2 million women in the developing world. The Fund and its partners launched the first-ever global

Campaign to End Fistula in 2003, with the overall goal of making the condition as rare in developing countries as it is in industrialized countries. Those on the panel include the First Lady of Burkina Faso, Madame Chantal Compaoré and Dr. Sayeba Akhter of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital in Bangladesh. The discussion will be held in Conference Room 4 in the UN Secretariat building, and runs from 1:15 p.m. until 2:45 p.m.

STUDENT CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY HALL: There will be a UN International School/UN student conference on Thursday and Friday in the General Assembly Hall. Entitled "The Role of the Corporation in Todays World," the objective of the conference is to present and assess various views on the issue in order to stimulate student interest and to enable them to better understand the issue. The conference runs from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. each

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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