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United Nations Daily Highlights, 06-03-03

United Nations Daily Highlights Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: unnews@un.org

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SPOKESMAN'S NOON BRIEFING

BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC

SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Friday, March 3, 2006

SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS NEW DEPUTY AND CHIEF OF STAFF

In light of the recent decision by Deputy Secretary-General

Louise Fréchette to step down next month and to ensure that his Executive Office and the United Nations Secretariat is able to carry out the very full agenda remaining in his term, the

Secretary-General has decided to make the following senior appointments:

Mark Malloch Brown of the United Kingdom, the current Chef de Cabinet to the Secretary-General, will become Deputy Secretary-General upon Ms. Fréchettes departure.

Vijay Nambiar of India, currently Deputy National Security Advisor to the Government of India and Head of the National Security Council Secretariat, will take up the position of Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, at the level of Under-Secretary-General, based in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. Mr. Nambiar previously served as Indias Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Alicia Bárcena of Mexico, the Deputy Chef de Cabinet to the Secretary-General, will become Acting Chef de Cabinet.

They will join Carlos Lopes of Guinea-Bissau, who has been serving as the Political Director in the Secretary-Generals office since the fourth quarter of last year.

Asked whether the officials would leave once Kofi Annans term as Secretary-General ends, the Spokesman said this team is Kofi Annans team. The next Secretary-General would name advisers as he or she sees fit, and could keep some people on for a few weeks transition.

Asked about Malloch Browns new duties, the Spokesman said he would take on the Deputy Secretary-Generals current functions, including working with the Member States and the Secretariat on the follow-through to the reform report that will be presented next week.

He added, in response to further questions, that the reform proposals announced next week would have implications for the management of the United Nations.

Asked about Barcenas role as acting Chef de Cabinet, the Spokesman said she would be responsible for the management of the Secretary-Generals office. Asked why her role was described as acting, the Spokesman said her title may be reviewed over time. He noted that the new appointees are expected to be part of a team that will last through the rest of the Secretary-Generals term.

Asked about Nambiars responsibilities, the Spokesman said his role as Senior Adviser would be similar to that played earlier by Lakhdar Brahimi. The Secretary-General, he said, would use Nambiar as he sees fit, as a senior political adviser.

Asked about the process leading to Nambiars appointment, the Spokesman noted that he was chosen for his extensive diplomatic and security experience. The Secretary-General chose him from a number of people, Dujarric said, adding that the Secretary-General has the right to choose his own closest advisers.

He noted, in response to questions about Nambiars appointment, that the United Nations has a process of drawing up publicly-announced short lists of candidates for the heads of UN agencies, funds and programs, but not for the Secretary-Generals advisers.

Asked how long Nambiars appointment was in the works, the Spokesman said that he first was informed about it late Thursday.

In response to complaints that the Spokesmans Office had earlier indicated that Louise Fréchette would not be replaced, the Spokesman clarified that earlier announcements had said that her functions would be filled within existing resources; the naming of the new Deputy Secretary-General, he added, falls within those existing resources.

Asked about the Secretary-Generals availability to discuss these appointments, Dujarric said that the Secretary-General is regularly available to the press. Yesterday, the Secretary-General met with regional groups and consulted with them on the appointment of the new Deputy Secretary-General, as he was required to do under General Assembly resolutions.

The Spokesman, asked why the announcements were all made together, noted that there are times when, if one person changes position, other changes are made in turn.

Asked when the appointments would take effect, the Spokesman said that Fréchettes last day would be March 31. He later said that Nambiar would take up his position on April 1.

ANNAN REGRETS PEACEKEEPERS DEATH; ASKS END TO FLIGHT BAN

We issued a

statement late yesterday, expressing the Secretary-Generals deep sadness at the death earlier that day of a member of the Indian contingent of the

United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE).

The peacekeeper suffered a cardiac arrest in the Temporary Security Zone and was pronounced dead after having been evacuated to Addis Ababa. The Secretary-General is particularly troubled that, because of the inadmissible restrictions imposed by Eritrea, the medical evacuation of the sick peacekeeper to a hospital required the use of a longer route.

The Secretary-General urges, in the strongest terms, the Eritrean authorities to lift without delay the arbitrary restrictions which place at risk the lives of UN personnel.

The Security Council President for March, Ambassador Cesar Mayoral ( Argentina), was to read a Council press statement Friday afternoon on the same subject.

Asked if the peacekeepers life could have been saved if a helicopter had been used, the Spokesman said that one could not know for sure; what is certain, however, is that when someone suffers from a cardiac arrest, it is essential to move that person to a hospital as soon as possible.

ANNAN HIGHLIGHTS URGENT NEED TO PROTECT CIVILIANS IN DARFUR

The Secretary-General met today with international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to discuss the continuing violence in Darfur,

Sudan and the urgent need for stronger protection for civilians both in Darfur and across the border in Chad.

The Secretary-General expressed his concern about continuing insecurity and the increasing number of direct threats to relief workers, which has led to decreased access to vulnerable populations. He highlighted the need for continued funding to maintain essential humanitarian operations.

Of key concern to participants was the importance of strengthening peacekeeping operations in Darfur in light of a possible transition of the African Union's military presence to a new peacekeeping force. The meeting also touched upon ways to reinforce political dialogue between all parties on the ground in order to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

The Secretary-General thanked the NGOs for their courageous work in assisting those affected by the conflict and, as strategic allies, in working together to protect civilians and provide vitally-needed humanitarian assistance.

MORE THAN 100 REFUGEES ARRIVING DAILY IN CHAD FROM DARFUR

The

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

reports population movements in both directions along the insecure Chad/Sudan border are continuing, with some 100-125 Sudanese refugees now arriving at one camp in eastern Chad every day.

The new arrivals in Chad say they left Darfur or the troubled border area out of fear over attacks by armed militia Janjaweed or by various armed groups operating on both sides of the frontier. The refugees are arriving in Gaga on donkeys, on foot and in trucks from the border.

UNHCR is working with the government, the

World Food Programme and other partners to expand and improve the reception area, the medical screening process and shelter distribution.

Once registered, refugees get a tent and other items such as blankets, mosquito nets, mats, jerry cans and a cooking kit.

On Tuesday, the refugee agency reported that in a worrisome new development Chadians were also fleeing to Darfur because of insecurity in Chad.

U.N. ENVOY URGES SERBS TO PARTICIPATE IN KOSOVOS INSTITUTIONS

The

Special Envoy for the Kosovo future status process, Martti Ahtisaari, today

completed a five-day visit to Kosovo and Serbia, where he appealed to the Serbian leaders to encourage the Kosovo Serbs to participate in Kosovos institutions.

Regarding the recent changes in Kosovos leadership, he said he trusted that the changes would accelerate the status process.

Ahtisaari will be in New York next week, to report on the status talks to the Secretary-General and the Security Council. And he will speak to you at the Security Council stakeout on Tuesday.

OPERATION IN SOUTHEAST DR CONGO CALLED OFF

In the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo an operation aimed at removing militia members from the town of Tchei, some 60 kilometres south-east of the town of Bunia, in the Ituri district, has been called off so that the national army soldiers involved can receive better training and preparation.

This follows an incident yesterday which saw some newly integrated elements of the national army protest over their conditions of service.

UN peacekeepers had been supporting the national army soldiers, and both groups have now returned to Bunia.

Meanwhile, in the district of South Kivu, the

UN Mission says that an operation which again saw national army soldiers, backed by UN peacekeepers, has had success in dispersing foreign armed elements around the Auzi Biega Park area - despite stiff resistance.

The UN Mission says that besides the tactical success achieved, this operation has demonstrated that the national army soldiers can rise to the challenge of bringing peace and stability to the area.

The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations,

Jean Marie Guehenno, will leave this weekend for a week-long visit to the DRC where he will help assess preparations for the upcoming elections there.

Asked about a mutiny that had been reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Spokesman said that he understood that the situation was put under control with the help of UN peacekeepers.

TOP U.N. HUMANITARIAN ENVOY VISITS GUATEMALA

Emergency Relief Coordinator

Jan Egeland is in Guatemala today, where he is visiting people who were made homeless by Tropical Storm Stan and inspecting UN-developed emergency response projects.

Yesterday, Egeland pledged to work with two Central American organizations towards a regional cooperation agreement on preparedness and response to natural disasters.

U.N. BLUE HELMETS HELP SCHOOL CHILDREN IN COTE DIVOIRE

The

UN Mission in Côte dIvoire today reports that its operation to assist school children in the north to take their school examinations is going smoothly.

Some 500 blue helmets and more than 70 UN police officers are helping the government distribute and administer the examinations for children who had not been able to take the tests for more than three years because of civil unrest.

The exams are necessary to proceed to higher education.

KYOTO PROTOCOL COMPLIANCE BRANCH IS OPERATIONAL

The

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change today

announced that the Kyoto Protocols Compliance Committee, complete with an enforcement branch and facilitative branch, was operational.

The enforcement wing has the power to decide on the consequences for countries encountering difficulties in meeting their commitments by 2012.

The other branch is designed to promote compliance by offering countries advice and assistance.

The move has been

welcomed by the

UN Environment Programme.

AD HOC COMMITTEE WORKS ON TERRORISM CONVENTION

The

Ad Hoc Committee on terrorism wrapped up a week of consultations today. Its Chairman, Ambassador Rohan Pereira of Sri Lanka, said he was encouraged by the strong resolve shown by all delegations to continue the negotiating process, with a view to finalizing the text of a draft Convention on Terrorism.

Ambassador Pereira added that further consultations among delegations are necessary to determine the viability of certain innovative approaches that have been raised for dealing with the Convention.

TWO NEW PLEDGES MADE FOR EMERGENCY RESPONSE FUND

Egypt and the Republic of Korea have just made pledges to the new Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which will save lives by providing quick initial funding for sudden humanitarian crises and neglected emergencies.

Those new pledges have brought the number of countries currently supporting the Fund to 21.

The Fund, which the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) calls a milestone in the UN reform process, will be formally launched next Thursday.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

U.N. LAUDS PROGRAMME TO ASSIST PERUVIAN TRIBES: The UN Childrens Fund (UNICEF) today congratulated the Peruvian government for the successful completion of a program to vaccinate the babies of two tribes in the Amazon area a program which the agency said helped the tribes to survive. With UNICEF help government health workers have been vaccinating the newborn babies of the Candoshi and Shapra groups in the northeast of the country, against a Hepatitis B epidemic. The agency said program saved the indigenous groups from extinction.

LIBERIAN REFUGEES CONTINUE TO RETURN HOME: The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees today

reported that the number of people it has helped return to Liberia passed the 50,000 mark last month and is continuing to grow by about 250 a day. The agency said that some 350,000 Liberians, including internally displaced persons, have returned to their homes since the end of the 14-year-long civil war in 2003 and the launch of a campaign to assist refugees in 2004.

LEBANON BOMB PROBE BRIEFING SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 16: Asked when Serge Brammertz, who leads the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC), would report to the Security Council on the Rafik Hariri investigation, the Spokesman said that the Council had scheduled a briefing from Brammertz on March 16. He declined to comment on operational details of Brammertzs work.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

Sunday, March 5

A team from the UNs Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) will visit the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia from 5 to 10 March.

Monday, March 6

The Secretary-General will open the first meeting of the UN Democracy Funds Advisory Board. This meeting launches the Funds operational work.

There will be Security Council consultations this morning on the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC).

In Geneva, the Group of Governmental Experts of the States Parties to the Conventional Weapons Convention will meet from 6 to 10 March.

Also in Geneva, the World Health Organization will hold an international meeting, from 6 to 8 March, of public health experts, to discuss a rapid response strategy to an emerging influenza pandemic.

Tuesday, March 7

The Secretary-General will present his report on management reform to the General Assembly at 11:00 a.m. Following that, the Secretary-General will speak to UN staff and answer their questions about the report at a Town Hall meeting at 3:00 p.m. in Conference Room 4.

There will be Security Council consultations this morning on Kosovo. The Special Envoy for the Kosovo future status process, Martti Ahtisaari, is expected to speak to the press at the Security Council stakeout following those consultations.

At 10:30 a.m., Rachel Mayanja, Special Adviser on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women, and others will hold a press conference on International Womens Day Women in Decision-Making: from Politics to the Private Sector.

At a 3:00 press conference, Djibrill Diallo, Director of the UN-NY Office of Sport for Development and Peace, will introduce the "Dunk for Malaria" event taking place at the NY Knicks vs. Atlanta Hawks basketball game at Madison Square Garden on 15 March. He will be joined by Knicks player Allan Houston and Lance Laifer of Hedge Fund vs. Malaria.

In Geneva, the Governing Council of the UN Compensation Commission will meet from 7 to 9 March.

Wednesday, March 8

There will be Security Council consultations this morning on the UN Mission in Cote dIvoire and on Sudan.

Today is International Women's Day. Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Director of the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), will be the guest at the noon briefing, and

UNICEF head Ann Veneman will be speaking in Washington, DC, at an annual luncheon to mark the occasion.

Thursday, March 9

There will be Security Council consultations this morning on Somalia.

The Central Emergency Response Fund will be launched today at 10:00 a.m. in the Economic and Social Council Chamber. Jan Egeland, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and the UNs Emergency Relief Coordinator, will come to the noon briefing to brief on the Fund.

Friday, March 10

The guest at the noon briefing will be Stephen Lewis, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for HIV/AIDS in Africa, who will brief on his recent visit to Lesotho and Swaziland.

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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