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United Nations Daily Highlights, 06-03-30
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SPOKESMAN'S NOON BRIEFING
BY MARIE OKABE
SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Thursday, March 30, 2006
SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES SPIRIT OF CONSENSUS ON IRAN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan
welcomes the spirit of consensus that was demonstrated yesterday by the members of the Security Council in the Presidential Statement on non-proliferation.
He hopes that Iran will heed the international communitys concerns, as reflected in the Council statement, regarding Irans nuclear programme and that it will cooperate fully with its obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and successive International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolutions.
In that Statement read out late Wednesday afternoon, the Security Council requested, in 30 days, a report from International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei on the process of compliance by Iran with the steps required by the IAEA Board of Governors. That report would go to the IAEA Board and in parallel to the Security Council for its consideration.
SPECIAL COURT FOR SIERRA LEONE. REQUESTS
CHARLES TAYLOR BE TRIED IN THE HAGUE
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor spent the night in a detention facility in the custody of the
Special Court for Sierra Leone in Freetown.
The Court, meanwhile,
announced that the President of the Special Court made a request to the government of the Netherlands and the President of the
International Criminal Court to facilitate the holding of the trial of Charles Taylor by the Special Court in The Hague.
The Court presidents letter refers to concerns about the stability in the region should Taylor be tried in Freetown, according to the Court.
Asked when the Security Council would adopt a resolution to transfer Taylor to The Hague, the Spokeswoman said that was a matter for the Council to decide. She noted that the letter from the Special Court to the Dutch and ICC officials had only been sent recently. She noted, in response to another question, that the United Nations had offered its technical assistance for Taylors transfer to the Special Court.
QUARTET WELCOMES ABBAS CALL FOR PEACE PLATFORM
The principals of the
Middle East Quartet, which brings together the United Nations, European Union, Russian Federation and the United States, today agreed on a statement. In it, the Quartet welcomed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbass call for the new Palestinian government to commit to a platform of peace. It noted with grave concern that the new government has not committed to the principles spelled out on 30 January.
The Quartet recalled its view that future assistance to any new government would be reviewed by donors against that governments commitment to those principles and concurred that there inevitably will be an effect on direct assistance to that government and its ministries.
The Quartet encouraged continued humanitarian assistance to meet the basic needs of the Palestinian people, and it noted in that context the importance of improved movement and access.
U.N. ENVOY TELLS COUNCIL HAMASS POSITIONS EVOLVING
The main elements of the statement by the Quartet were read out in the
Security Council this morning by Tuliameni Kalomoh, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, in an open briefing on the latest developments in the Middle East.
Kalomoh said that, while the program of the new Palestinian government shows signs of evolution from Hamass deeply disturbing record and covenant, the government should, as President Abbas has urged, reassess its position on the Quartets principles and President Abbass platform of peace, if the aspirations of the Palestinian people for peace and statehood are to enjoy the strong international support that they deserve.
He added that, as we await the formation of a new Israeli government, the recently expressed interest of both Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Abbas in negotiations should be seriously explored.
Kalomoh also pointed to the beginning of the national dialogue in Lebanon as a historic and positive development.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONGRATULATES ISRAELI ELECTION VICTORS
Kofi Annan yesterday called Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
In a statement issued late yesterday, the Secretary-General
congratulated Olmert and the Kadima Party on winning the highest number of seats in yesterday's Israeli general election, and encouraged him, as soon as the Government is formed, to pursue actively the peace process and work for the establishment of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.
ANNAN TO PRESENT MANDATE REVIEW REPORT TODAY
At 3:00 this afternoon Secretary-General will present his report on mandate review to the General Assembly, for the consideration of Member States.
The report is an examination of existing UN mandates, in response to the request from the Member States to provide an update on those mandates. The report highlights areas for further examination and makes some suggestions for consolidating and streamlining some of the UNs work.
UNITED NATIONS INVITES SUDAN FOREIGN MINISTER TO TALKS ON DARFUR
Ibrahim Gambari, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, told reporters in Khartoum today that he had invited the Foreign Minister of Sudan, Lam Akol, to visit the United Nations to further discuss the African Union to UN transition from the African Union to a UN force in Darfur.
He praised the role of the AU in Darfur and stressed that the United Nations, if it were to deploy forces, would build on and complement the good work of the AU to achieve peace, security and stability all over the
UNITED NATIONS IS CONCERNED
OVER CRITICISM OF UNS HUMAN RIGHTS WORK IN CAMBODIA
High Commissioner for Human Rights
Louise Arbour today expressed concern over reports that Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen had denounced the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for human rights in
Cambodia, Yash Ghai, as well as the UNs human rights work in the country.
She said, The different Special Representatives over the years and the staff of my Office in Cambodia, established in 1993, have been mandated by the international community to monitor respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and to cooperate with the Government and civil society in order to ensure that the standards accepted by the Government are observed.
She added, I trust that they will continue to receive the full cooperation of the Government.
Asked whether the Secretary-General supports envoy Yash Ghais statement on Cambodia, the Spokeswoman reiterated the Secretary-General supports the work of his envoy and has repeatedly expressed the hope that Prime Minister Hun Sen will ensure freedom of expression and respect by Cambodia for its human rights obligations and the rule of law.
She later added that the Secretary-General stands by his envoy as he tries to carry out the mandate given to him by the international community, to promote and protect human rights in Cambodia. In addition, the Secretary-General believes his envoy is doing his job in good faith, with integrity, independence and expertise.
U.N. HUMANITARIAN CHIEF ARRIVES IN UGANDA
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs
Jan Egeland arrived in Uganda this morning on the first day of his nine-day mission to East Africa.
He is scheduled to meet with the UN country team, including representatives of the World Bank and non-governmental organizations, as well as with the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the country.
He is also planning to meet with Ugandan Government officials and to visit a camp for internally displaced persons in northern Uganda, before heading to Sudan, Chad and Kenya.
ANNAN MEETS NEWEST MEMBER OF THE GLOBAL COMPACT
Today, the Secretary-General is meeting with Mustafa V. Koç, Chairman of the Koç Holding Board of Directors, on the occasion of the company's joining the UN
Koç Holding is Turkey's largest industrial conglomerate, with more than 87,000 employees. It is expected that the group's participation in the Global Compact will foster further growth of the initiative in Turkey and the entire Eastern Mediterranean region.
Asked whether all business leaders whose companies join the Global Compact get to meet with the Secretary-General, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General had made it a point to meet with a wide range of people and groups, including from the private sector, whenever he has a chance. The correspondent was later informed that the Secretary-General met with Koç because of the significance of the company's commitment to the country as a whole and the broader region, and its partnership relations with UN agencies in the areas of health and education.
NO DEADLINE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL CANDIDATES: Asked if there was a deadline for the submission of candidates to the Human Rights Council, the Spokesperson later said that there was no such deadline.
U.N. HAS NO COMMENT ON CHOICE OF LEADERSHIP IN IRAQ: Asked whether Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari should be included in the process to head the next Iraqi Government, the Spokeswoman declined to comment, but noted that the United Nations and Special Representative for Iraq
Ashraf Qazi are working to advance the democratic process in that country.
HORN OF AFRICA APPEAL TO BE LAUNCHED NEXT WEEK: Asked about UN efforts to deal with drought and the threat of famine in East Africa, the Spokeswoman noted that the heads of three UN agencies recently were dispatched to the region to mobilize attention to those problems. She also later added that a regional appeal for the Horn of Africa drought would be launched on 7 April.
U.N. ENVIRONMENT AGENCY SAYS GAZA PULL OUT WAS CLEAN: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) today
says that an environmental impact study of the Israeli disengagement from Gaza last year showed that the operation warranted a clean bill of health. The study, which looked at water quality, land contamination, hazardous waste, asbestos and coastal zone issues, provides important lessons for possible further Israeli disengagements in the West Bank, the agency said.
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