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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-01-05

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 NOON BRIEFING

BY MICHELE MONTAS

SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Friday, January 5, 2007

BAN KI-MOON APPOINTS TANZANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER AS HIS DEPUTY

The Secretary-General, in a statement, said he has "decided to appoint Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania, as Deputy Secretary-General.

Minister Migiro served previously as Minister for Community Development, Gender and Children of the United Republic of Tanzania for five years. In her academic career, she rose to the rank of a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the University of Dar-es-Salaam.

She is a highly respected leader who has championed the cause of developing countries over the years. Through her distinguished service in diverse areas, she has displayed outstanding management skills with wide experience and expertise in socio-economic affairs and development issues.

I have deep confidence in and respect for her, and intend to delegate much of the management and administrative work of the Secretariat, as well as socio-economic affairs and development issues, under a clear line of authority to ensure that the Secretariat will function in a more effective and efficient manner.

NEW DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL TO ARRIVE AT HEADQUARTERS SOON

The Secretary General spoke this morning to Dr Migiro and with President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete. Dr Migiro is presently in Lesotho where she is chairing a conference. She will try to be in New York in the next few days.

Asked about the new Deputy Secretary-Generals qualifications, the Spokeswoman noted the accomplishments listed on her curriculum vitae, including, most recently, her chairmanship of the Great Lakes Conference in Africa.

Montas said that the Secretary-General had underscored that he had chosen her because of her qualifications and her ability to do the job, and not because of her identity as an African or as a woman. He had spoken of his deep respect for Migiro, adding that he had known her for a long time.

The Secretary-General had met with Migiro several times at international conferences when they were both foreign ministers. Montas added that he had also recently been in contact with her by phone. He found Migiro to be the best-qualified of all the candidates.

Asked whether the Secretary-General would delegate all managerial tasks to her while performing essentially diplomatic ones, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General wants there to be clear lines of authority. The Secretary-General, she said, would have overall authority over his team.

Asked about her responsibilities, the Spokeswoman said that they would be clarified once the Secretary-General meets next with Migiro, which should happen within the next 10 days.

Asked whether the Group of 77 played a role in lobbying for her, the Spokeswoman said that she did not think it was important, since they were only recently informed about the matter.

Asked about an interview that the Spokeswoman had conducted with Migiro recently, Montas said that it was in her capacity as a UN radio reporter in the context of Migiros work as Chair of the Great Lakes Conference.

Asked when the Secretary-General had made his decision on the Deputy Secretary-General, the Spokeswoman said he had made it after 1 January. He had spent time in recent weeks having additional consultations to find the best candidate.

Asked about the candidates for the post, Montas said that they were not all Africans nor were they all women; they came from several countries.

BAN KI-MOON WORKS TOWARDS FORMING NEW TEAM OF SENIOR OFFICIALS

In continuing the process he began a few days ago regarding the formation of his new team of senior Secretariat officials, the Secretary-General yesterday requested all Assistant and Under-Secretaries-General, except those whose appointments are subject to action/consultation by or with the appropriate intergovernmental bodies, to voluntarily offer their resignation from the appointments they are holding.

This would allow the Secretary-General the flexibility he needs in forming his new team. He will review the offers of resignation and may decide to retain the experience of some senior officials to assist him in the discharge of his responsibilities.

Asked whether dollar-a-year envoys would keep their jobs, the Spokeswoman said that they would for the time being.

She noted that todays decision affects senior officials at headquarters, but not in the field; the missions in the field would continue to function regularly.

BAN KI-MOON SUBMITS FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE FORM TO ETHICS OFFICE

The Secretary-General voluntarily submitted his financial disclosure statement to the Ethics Office on his first day in office.

His statement will be reviewed, like those of all staff members required to file such statements, by the external financial firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Upon completion of the review, the Secretary-General has also decided to publicly disclose the statement.

Asked what holdings the Secretary-General intends to disclose in the financial disclosure form, the Spokeswoman said he intends to state everything, and to make his disclosure public. She underscored that he had voluntarily decided to do so.

Asked whether the Secretary-General would encourage all senior officials to make their disclosures public, she said that he encouraged them to be as transparent as possible. They could volunteer information, but are not compelled to do it.

She added that the General Assembly specifically decided that financial disclosures should remain confidential, and may only be used for the limited purpose of when the Secretary-General requires it in the interests of the Organization.

FIJI: BAN KI-MOON CALLS FOR RETURN TO DEMOCRACY

The Secretary-General has noted the recent changes in Fiji by which President Iloilo has been restored, and the leader of the military takeover, Commodore Bainimarama, has become Prime Minister.

The Secretary-General reiterates the previous call of the United Nations for the immediate reinstatement of the legitimate authority in Fiji and its return to constitutional rule and full democracy.

BAN KI-MOON'S ENVOY ON DARFUR TO TRAVEL TO THE REGION

As part of the Secretary-Generals focus on efforts to seek a peaceful solution in Darfur, he met today with his Special Envoy Jan Eliasson and Salim Ahmed Salim, the African Unions Mediator on Darfur.

According to a statement issued following the meeting, the Secretary-Generals Special Envoy for Darfur, Jan Eliasson, concluded initial consultations at United Nations Headquarters in New York today. In addition to meeting with the Secretary-General and United Nations officials, he also joined the Secretary-General for in-depth discussions with the African Union Special Envoy for Darfur, Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, and carried out separate consultations with the permanent members of the Security Council, representatives of other Member States, including Sudan, and a group of non-governmental organizations who are carrying out humanitarian work in Darfur.

Mr. Eliasson will proceed this evening to AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa for two days of meetings with the Chairperson of the African Union, other senior AU officials and senior members of the Ethiopian government, before traveling to Sudan for meetings with the Government of National Unity and all other relevant parties, to discuss steps required to arrive at a durable solution to the situation in Darfur on the basis of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA).

SECURITY COUNCIL TO MEET ON THREATS TO PEACE IN CENTRAL AFRICA

Available today is the report of the Secretary-General on the multidisciplinary technical assessment mission to Chad and the Central African Republic.

The technical mission team has a mandate from the Security Council to study the potential threat to regional peace and security posed by the situation in Darfur and its possible impact on the protection of refugees on the Chad-Sudan border.

Among the missions preliminary findings, the Secretary-General notes, is the confirmation of a clear threat to regional peace and security due to cross-border activities by rebel groups and a persisting humanitarian crisis affecting more than 2.3 million people.

The Security Council has scheduled consultations on 10 January to consider the recommendations of the report.

WORSENING SECURITY LEADS TO DISPLACEMENT IN CHAD

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said today that the deteriorating security situation in eastern Chad had resulted in the displacement of up to 20,000 Chadians over the past two weeks and was posing a direct threat to refugee camps housing thousands of Sudanese from neighbouring Darfur.

At least 100,000 Chadians are now displaced within their own country, which already hosts some 230,000 Darfur refugees, most of them in 12 UNHCR camps spread across the east of Chad.

SECURITY COUNCIL TO MEET WITH BAN KI-MOON NEXT WEEK

The Security Council will meet for the first time with Ban Ki-moon in his capacity as the new Secretary-General, in a formal meeting next Monday morning.

The meeting, on threats to international peace and security, offers Council members an opportunity to hear from the Secretary-General about his plans during his time in office.

This afternoon, at 4:00, the Security Council has scheduled consultations so that it can discuss arrangements for next Mondays meeting, as well as consider the text of a possible Presidential Statement that it could adopt on that day.

SOMALIA CONTACT GROUP CALLS FOR DIALOGUE & RECONCILIATION

The Secretary-General's Personal Representative for Somalia, Francois Lonseny Fall, took part in the meeting in Nairobi today of the International Contact Group for Somalia, which issued a communiqué calling the current moment a historic opportunity for Somalia.

The Contact Group, which includes the United Nations as a member, also welcomed a commitment made by President Abdullahi Yusuf to inclusive governance and to preventing a resurgence of warlordism in the country. It stressed the importance of launching without delay an inclusive process of political dialogue and reconciliation, while emphasizing the urgent need for the deployment of a stabilization force based on Security Council

resolution 1725.

UNITED NATIONS ENCOURAGES RESTRAINT,

DIALOGUE AFTER RAMALLAH VIOLENCE

Asked about the UNs reaction to the violence that took place in Ramallah on Thursday, the Spokeswoman noted that, recently there have been some positive developments, such as the long-awaited meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Israeli decision to release some Palestinian VAT funds, and the meeting yesterday in Sharm el-Sheikh, hosted by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

We would hope, she said, that all parties would act with restraint to encourage these small steps back towards dialogue and away from violence, such as the Israeli military incursion into Ramallah yesterday.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

U.N. ENVOY PLANS TO PRESENT KOSOVO PLAN AFTER SERBIAN ELECTIONS: Asked about the Serbian Presidents request that the United Nations not announce a policy on Kosovo, because it might impede the formation of a Serbian government, the Spokeswoman said that the intention of the UN envoy, Martti Ahtisaari, remains to present a proposal on Kosovo to the parties without delay after the Serbian Parliamentary elections.

U.N. MISSION IN HAITI MAKES KEY ARREST: On the 5th of January, MINUSTAH and the Haitian National Police (HNP) conducted a joint operation in the Drouillard quarter of Cité Soleil starting at dawn. This action led to the arrest of the presumed perpetrator of the assassination of two Jordanian peacekeepers from MINUSTAH in November 2006. The suspect, known as Zachari, is thought to be the chief of the cell responsible for kidnappings within the Belony gang. During the same mission, another presumed kidnapper was arrested.

CORRECTION: Yesterday it was announced that Under-Secretary-General for Management Alicia Bárcena had met with the Staff Council. In actuality, she met informally with the President of the Staff Union on Wednesday evening. The Staff Council is the Staff Unions legislative body.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

Monday, January 8

The Security Council is scheduled to hold an open debate on Threats to International Peace and Security. The Secretary-General will attend.

Tuesday, January 9

The Security Council, in an open meeting this morning, will be briefed on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which will be followed by closed consultations on the UN Operation in Cote dIvoire.

Wednesday, January 10

The Security Council is scheduled to hold consultations this morning on Chad-Sudan and Somalia. This will be followed by an open meeting to adopt a resolution on the UN Operation in Cote dIvoire.

The Secretary-General will hold a press conference today.

Thursday, January 11

The Security Council, this morning, will hold an open briefing on the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006) concerning the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK), which will be followed by closed consultations on Nepal.

At 10:30, Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development, and Jose Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, will hold a press conference to launch the World Economic Situation and Prospects.

Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General

United Nations, S-378

New York, NY 10017

Tel. 212-963-7162

Fax. 212-963-7055


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