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United Nations Daily Highlights, 06-03-07
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SPOKESMAN'S NOON BRIEFING
BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC
SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Tuesday, March 7, 2006
ANNAN: MANAGEMENT REFORM NEEDED TO IMPROVE U.N.S SERVICES TO THE WORLD
Secretary-General Kofi Annan this morning
presented to the
General Assembly his report on management reform, Investing in the United Nations.
He told the Assembly that the United Nations is more efficient and effective than it was a decade ago, but more changes are needed to deal with a Secretariat that is engaged directly in many parts of the world.
Todays report, the Secretary-General says, proposes changes in the way staff are recruited and managed and in the structure of the top management of the Secretariat. It calls for a major investment in information and communication technology; identifies new ways to deliver services; proposes a drastic simplification of the budget and ways of making the management of the budget more accessible; and urges the creation of a small, dedicated office in the Secretariat to manage the process of change.
He asserted that the proposed reforms will help to give better value to the hundreds of millions of people around the world who need the UNs services.
Asked why the Secretary-General did not refer to the General Assembly his proposal to give more powers to the Deputy Secretary-General, the Spokesman said that the proposal was an effort by the Secretary-General to delegate authority to a senior adviser. It did not, he said, remove the Secretary-Generals responsibility for the Organization.
Dujarric added that the membership has just received the report, and the United Nations looks forward to an active debate on it.
NEW ASSISTANT SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR LEGAL AFFAIRS TO START IN MAY
Secretary-General today announced the appointment of Larry D. Johnson of the United States as Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, in succession to Ralph Zacklin. He will assume his new functions on 1 May 2006.
Mr. Johnson formerly served as the Legal Adviser of the International Atomic Energy Agency (1997-2001) and Chef de Cabinet, Office of the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (2003-2005). He joined the United Nations Secretariat in 1971 as an Assistant Legal Officer in the Codification Division of the Office of Legal Affairs and last served at Headquarters as Principal Legal Officer in the Office of the Legal Counsel of the Office of Legal Affairs (1989-1997).
Currently, Mr. Johnson is Professor of Global Affairs at New York Universitys Center for Global Affairs and Visiting Professor of International Law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. Previously, he was Visiting Professor of International Law at the University of California, Davis, School of Law and at the New England School of Law.
Mr. Johnson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Society of International Law and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, Mr. Johnson graduated from the University of Nebraska (Bachelor of Arts), Harvard Law School (Juris Doctor) and the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (Master in Public Administration).
He was born on 12 October 1945.
SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFED ON DEVELOPMENTS IN KOSOVO
Security Council held consultations today on
Kosovo. It received a briefing by
Martti Ahtisaari, the Secretary-Generals Special Envoy for the Future Status of Kosovo, on his recent talks with the parties.
Ahtisaari later talked to reporters, saying that the decentralization talks are concentrating on the main issue of how the lives of minorities can be improved. He said he wants to see improvements there before moving on to other issues.
ENVOY CALLS FOR END TO AIR VIOLATIONS OF LEBANONS BLUE LINE
Geir Pedersen, the Secretary-Generals Personal Representative for
Lebanon, today called once more on the Israeli authorities to cease its air violations of the Blue Line and Lebanese sovereignty.
He made that statement following four Israeli air violations yesterday, and one so far today, in Southern Lebanon. These air violations come at a delicate time during Lebanon's efforts to re-assert its sovereignty and independence, including, among other things, through the historic national dialogue currently underway.
Pedersen reminded all parties that one violation cannot justify another and calls on them to respect fully the Blue Line.
Asked whether the Secretary-General had any response to the interruption of Lebanons national dialogue, the Spokesman said that was an issue for the Lebanese leaders themselves to comment on, and added that the dialogue was a process that the Secretary-General has encouraged
U.N. PEACEKEEPING CHIEF COMMENDS CONGOLESE REFERENDUM
The Under-Secretary-General for
Jean-Marie Guéhenno, arrived in Kinshasa, in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he is on a 10-day visit.
Speaking soon after his arrival, Guéhenno commended the Congolese for their participation in the constitutional referendum last year. He also noted that the organization of the upcoming elections would be a big challenge for the Congolese as well as the
UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Guéhenno plans to meet with political leaders, including President Kabila, and he also intends to visit the eastern part of the country.
INAUGURATION OF COTE DIVOIRE COMMISSION WELCOMED
Antonio Monteiro, the UNs High Representative for Elections in
Côte dIvoire, today welcomed the inauguration of the Independent Electoral Commission in Abidjan.
Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny on Monday declared the commission operational and asked the members to produce an electoral roll for presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for October.
Monteiro congratulated the board members and urged them - and the country - to build on political gains already made towards the holding of the elections.
MORE PLEDGES MADE TO CENTRAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE FUND
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says it has received pledges from Iceland and India for the new
Central Emergency Response Fund, (CERF), bringing the number of pledges to 23.
The fund, which is to be formally
launched on Thursday, is designed to save lives by providing quick initial financing for rapid responses to emergencies.
The fund is an outcome of the Secretary-Generals
reform process and the
Secretary-General, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator
Jan Egeland, President of the
General Assembly Jan Eliasson and several international political leaders will officially launch the fund Thursday morning in the
ECOSOC chamber at UN Headquarters in New York. Egeland will speak to the press on Thursday afternoon.
Asked about the need for a humanitarian appeal for the Horn of Africa, the Spokesman noted that WFP Executive Director James Morris and Special Envoy Kjell Magne Bondevik have been calling for donor support to deal with that situation. Dujarric said that the need to provide food to the Horn of Africa was an example of the sort of circumstance for which the CERF would be useful.
WHO CHIEF VISITS MAURITIUS FOR OUTBREAK INSPECTION
The Director-General of the
World Health Organization,
Dr Lee Jong-wook, is in Mauritius today checking on an outbreak of the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus.
The latest figures indicated that there were more than 2,500 cases of chikungunya on the island.
WHO has deployed a team to the Indian Ocean region to evaluate the measures undertaken to fight the disease. Earlier in the week Dr. Lee was in Madagascar which also has reported fresh cases of the disease. Dr. Lee returns to Geneva Friday.
POP STARS TO GIVE PROCEEDS FROM NEW SONG TO UNICEF:
UN Childrens Fund Goodwill Ambassador for Japan, Agnes Chan, Monday evening launched her debut United States album, Forget Yourself, at a live performance hosted by UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman. Chan is dedicating the proceeds from the song Its a Wonder, recorded with another UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and film superstar Jackie Chan, to UNICEF in honour of the 60th anniversary of UNICEF. She is also dedicating a portion of the albums earnings toward UNICEFs work for children.
NOBEL LAUREATE TO SPEAK AT LAUNCH OF UNDP ANTI-POVERTY REPORT: The
UN Development Programme (UNDP) says that Nobel Laureate, Professor Amartya Sen, will deliver a keynote address at the Millennium Hotel on Wednesday afternoon, at the launch of a new report on infrastructure, which emphasizes that to target poverty, international actors must pursue small scale, community-led infrastructure projects. The report is a joint collaboration of UNDP and the Government of Japan.
ANNANS OPINION ON EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS WELL KNOWN: Asked about the Secretary-Generals response to comments by Israels Defence Minister threatening the lives of Hamas officials, including the Palestinian Prime Minister-designate, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-Generals views on extrajudicial killings are well known and have been conveyed in his past statements.
SECRETARY-GENERAL AGAINST UNILATERAL ACTION IN THE MIDDLE EAST: Asked about comments from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that he would not accept a provisional state with provisional borders or withdrawals without prior negotiations, as expressed by the Acting Prime Minister of Israel, the Spokesman declined to comment, noting the atmosphere of the coming elections in Israel. He added that the Secretary-General and the Quartet have the view that no one party should unilaterally take action that would prejudge final status.
U.N. TO SELECT NEW SPECIAL ADVISOR FOR AFRICA: Asked when the Secretary-General would appoint a new Under-Secretary-General to be Special Adviser for Africa, the Spokesman said that a search for that position was underway.
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