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United Nations Daily Highlights, 06-03-08

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

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

NO POLICY MORE EFFECTIVE THAN EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN AND GIRLS

Secretary-General Kofi Annan spoke at what he called his last observance of International Womens Day as Secretary-General. He

said although much has been accomplished for women in the past quarter century, we have in his words -- far, far more to do, both in the United Nations and in the world as a whole.

He said the world is starting to grasp that there is no policy for progress more effective than the empowerment of women and girls.

In the UN, he said, we need to attract talented women to decision making posts. And for women who are already on board, we need to improve our internal procedures for career development.

He said that even when he leaves his job here, he and his wife, Nane, intend to devote quite a bit of time to the advancement of women and girls education.

SECURITY COUNCIL FOCUSES ON CÔTE DIVOIRE

The Security Council held consultations today on Cote dIvoire. Dmitry Titov, Director of the Africa Division of the

Department of Peacekeeping Operations, briefed Council members on the latest developments in that country.

He also discussed the redeployment of UN troops from the peacekeeping mission in

Liberia to the one in

Cote dIvoire. Following consultations, the Council President, Ambassador César Mayoral of Argentina, read out a press statement on International Womens Day, urging all states to fully implement Security Council

resolution 1325 on women and peace and security.

ANNAN URGES ERITREA AND ETHIOPIA TO COOPERATE ON BOUNDARY

The Secretary-Generals latest

report on Ethiopia and Eritrea is out as a document.

The Secretary-General says the proposed convening of the Boundary Commission of a meeting with the parties in early March comes at a crucial moment.

He urges both countries to seize the unique opportunity and extend the necessary cooperation to the Commission so that the expeditious demarcation of the common border can take place.

CONSULTATIONS WITH U.N. STAFF TO BEGIN ON PROPOSED REFORMS

Asked about estimates that the

management reforms proposed in the report issued on Tuesday by the Secretary-General would cost some $500 million up front, and where that money might come from, the Spokesman said that the money would have to come from the Member States, who are now reviewing the report.

He added, referring to the costs, that the amounts in the report were estimates, and that Member States will need to be provided with more details as their discussion continues.

Dujarric said that the report calls for an investment in the United Nations, and asserted that there has been an under-investment, notably in terms of staff.

Asked about the next steps, the Spokesman noted that the General Assembly President said he would begin consultations on how the report is taken up. Meanwhile, the

UN Secretariat would begin consultations among its own staff on how reform would be implemented.

Asked how the report could propose new responsibilities for the Deputy Secretary-General without General Assembly approval, the Spokesman said that what was being proposed was a delegation of authority to the Deputy Secretary-General, which in no way changes the Secretary-Generals responsibilities, as laid out in the UN Charter.

He said that everyone who has been in charge of a large organization needs to delegate authority. But, he added, the Secretary-General ultimately remains responsible for the United Nations and its administration.

U.N. ENVOY TO IRAQ MEETS WITH JORDANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER

Ashraf Qazi, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Iraq, met today in Amman with Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdul Ilah Khatib and thanked the Jordanian government for facilitating the

UN Iraq Missions work in Amman.

Qazi briefed the Foreign Minister on recent developments and discussed the role of Iraqs neighboring countries, as well as the upcoming Arab Summit in Khartoum and the League of Arab States (LAS) initiative for an Iraqi national accord conference. He noted the valuable role played by Jordan in these important initiatives.

ANNAN SAYS IRAQ STILL FACES FORMIDABLE CHALLENGES

The Secretary-General's latest report on

Iraq is now out.

In it, he says that, while Iraq has met all the key benchmarks of its transition timetable, it continues to face formidable political, security and economic challenges. Sectarian violence has emerged as a main threat to the security and stability of Iraq. The need for sustained inter-communal dialogue and confidence-building measures to promote national reconciliation is all the more urgent now. The United Nations will continue to do everything possible to support such efforts.

The report adds that the human rights situation in Iraq remains a cause of great concern. While the Government has taken initial steps to address the situation, there is a need for further measures to ensure that both past and present abuses are dealt with based on the rule of law and in accordance with international obligations.

TOP U.N. PEACEKEEPING OFFICIAL MEETS WITH PRESIDENT OF DR CONGO

Regarding military operations involving UN peacekeepers in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, the

UN Mission there says that Operation South Sentinel against armed militias in South Kivu has been completed successfully, with militia members pushed out of strongholds in the area of KahuziBiega Park and Hombo.

Meanwhile, with Operation Engraver, thereve been no new contacts between the opposing forces in the 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.

UN peacekeepers and national army soldiers have taken defensive positions in Kagaba, which is on the road between Bogoro and Aveba, and theyre carrying out patrols in the area.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says its received reports of some 1,900 internally displaced families being registered in and around Bunia since the end of last month, and the World Food Programme is helping with food needs.

Also in the DRC, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping,

Jean Marie Guehenno, met yesterday with President Joseph Kabila to discuss, among other things, the current electoral process and security issues. Guéhenno reaffirmed the commitment of the international community to support the electoral process in the DRC.

Guehenno said that "the elections must be carried out in a calm and peaceful environment, and added that thats why he plans to visit the countrys eastern to see how UN peacekeepers, supporting the DRCs national army, contribute to the stabilization of the country.

Guéhennos other meetings included the four vice-presidents of the DRC.

Today, he took part in activities to mark International Womens Day, met the head of the European Commission delegation in the DRC, and attended a press conference.

Also out on the racks today is a

letter from the Secretary-General to the President of the Security Council on his appointment of five people to the Group of Experts for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The appointments follow the Councils request that the Secretary-General re-establish the group.

ANNAN NAMES JUDICIAL CANDIDATES FOR KHMER TRIAL

The Secretary-General yesterday sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia, submitting his nominees for international judges and other senior officials of the Extraordinary Chambers to prosecute Khmer Rouge crimes in Cambodia.

The Secretary-General forwarded the following list of seven nominees for international judges: Silvia Cartwright (New Zealand), Claudia Fenz (Austria), Chandra Nihal Jayasinghe (Sri Lanka), Martin Karopkin (United States of America), Agnieszka Klonowiecka-Milart (Poland), Jean-Marc Lavergne (France) and Motoo Noguchi (Japan).

He also nominated Marcel Lemonde (France) for international co-investigating judge, and Paul Coffey (United States of America) and Robert Petit (Canada) for international co-prosecutor:

COCA COLA JOINS U.N. GLOBAL COMPACT

Today at 3:00, the Secretary-General will be meeting with E. Neville Isdell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company, on the occasion of the company's joining the U.N. Global Compact.

This latest development reflects the growing membership of the Global Compact around the world, with almost 3,000 participating organizations in 90 countries as of now.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

U.N. AGENCIES BEGIN MEASLES CAMPAIGN IN SOMALIA: The World Health Organizationtoday said it and the

UN Childrens Fund have begun a measles vaccination campaign targeting 2.5 million children in southern and central Somalia. Measles is one of the leading causes of childhood deaths in Somalia, the agency said. The two month campaign is aimed at inoculating at least 90 percent of the children in the two areas.

UNITED NATIONS URGES CODES OF CONDUCT IN FIGHT AGAINST SPAM: The growth of spam has created increasing threats to internet security, but efforts by governments to track down and prosecute spammers have had limited impact, according to a

report launched yesterday by the UNs

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on the occasion of the World Telecommunication Development Conference. The UN telecoms agency calls for a multi-pronged approach, including working with internet service providers (ISPs) to establish enforceable codes of conduct, in the fight against spam.

ANNAN BRIEFED ON RUSSIAS TALKS WITH IRAN: Asked whether the Secretary-General would meet with the five permanent members of the Security Council on Iran, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General had already met with the ambassadors of those five countries last Friday to discuss Iran. He was briefed by the Russian representative about Russias recent talks with Iran.

UNITED NATIONS HAS CONDEMNED ATTACK ON KENYA MEDIA: Asked why the Secretariat hadnt issued a statement concerning the recent crackdown in Kenya, the Spokesman said that, when the first actions against a Kenyan media outlet took place last week, Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme and the senior UN official in Nairobi, immediately came out with a statement criticizing those actions. The Secretary-General, he added, supports Toepfers statement

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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