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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-01-10

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

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

BAN KI-MOON TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE AT 11 A.M. THURSDAY

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is holding a press conference tomorrow at 11 a.m. at UN Headquarters.

There will be no noon briefing tomorrow.

U.N. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR DARFUR MEETS WITH KEY SUDANESE OFFICIALS

Jan Eliasson, the Secretary-Generals Special Envoy for Darfur, who is visiting Sudan within the context of the revival of the political process with the different parties, met today with the Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Lam Akol and with Presidential Advisors Majzoub Al Khalifa and Mustafa Osman Ismail.

He also held a meeting with Minni Minawi, the Chairman of the SLM/A wing signatory to the Darfur Peace Agreement and Senior Assistant to the President. In these meetings, Eliasson discussed with his interlocutors ways to reenergize the political process.

Eliasson described his meeting with the Sudanese officials as fruitful and constructive.

He is scheduled to meet tomorrow with President Omar Al Bashir and other Sudanese high-ranking officials, before he proceeds on Friday to Al Fasher, the capital of North Darfur State.

Also on Darfur, out as a document today is the Secretary-Generals report on Darfur covering the period of 1 October to 10 December 2006.

Asked about comments by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir indicating his opposition to UN troops in Darfur, the Spokeswoman said that the United Nations has seen press reports on the Presidents comments. She stressed the Sudanese Presidents letter of last month, in which he responded positively to three-phase approach presented by the United Nations and the African Union as a package.

Montas noted that Jan Eliasson is today in Khartoum to follow up on the assurances expressed by Bashir.

BAN KI-MOON WARNS AGAINST AN ESCALATION OF THE CRISIS IN SOMALIA

Asked about statements from the United States that it had the right to intervene in Somalia, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General had taken note that the Transitional Federal Government has welcomed the involvement of both Ethiopia and the United States.

However, she said, the Secretary-General still believes that it is in the best interest of all to avoid escalation and go back to a politically negotiated process, in line with Security Council

Resolution 1725.

Montas added that the Secretary-General is following the situation closely and reiterated his appeal for all international actors to help Somalia reach stability and peace. In that regard, he is concerned with the civilian casualties resulting from recent developments.

The Secretary-General believes all foreign troops should withdraw and peace negotiations resume quickly.

Asked whether the Secretary-General wanted foreign troops to withdraw before African peacekeepers can come in, the Spokeswoman said that the deployment of troops from the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) has been approved by the Security Council.

Asked whether the Secretary-General would plan to travel to Somalia, the Spokeswoman said she did not believe such a trip was being considered.

Asked about the reaction to what one reporter called an extrajudicial killing in Somalia, the Spokeswoman noted that the United Nations would need to receive more information before it could characterize the recent events in Somalia.

SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF U.N. MISSION IN COTE DIVOIRE

The Security Council this morning heard from Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hédi Annabi about the recent report about the work of the UN team that examined the situation in the border area between Chad and Sudan.

After the consultations, the Security Council held a formal meeting and unanimously adopted a resolution extending the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in Cote dIvoire.

Later in the afternoon, Council members will hear an update on the situation in Somalia from Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari.

BAN KI-MOON URGES GROUP OF 77 TO STAY ENGAGED IN U.N. REFORM

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this morning urged the Group of 77 coalition of developing nations to remain a driving force as the High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development takes place this year. He warned that, despite some welcome advances on official development assistance and debt relief, the global economy remains an uneven playing field.

He also called on the Group to support him as he pushes for further reform of the UN system.

The Secretary-General welcomed Pakistans chairmanship of the Group of 77 in the coming year, and thanked South Africa for its sound stewardship of the coalition over the past year.

BAN KI-MOON RECOMMENDS PEACE MONITORING MISSION FOR NEPAL

In a report to the Security Council, the Secretary-General recommends that a UN Mission in Nepal should be established, to support the timely implementation of that countrys Comprehensive Peace Agreement, monitor the management of arms and armed forces and provide support for the conduct of free and fair Constituent Assembly elections, among other tasks.

The Secretary-General says that the UN Mission in Nepal is expected to be a focused mission of limited duration, which he recommends be set up for a period of 12 months.

It will include an arms monitoring component consisting of up to 186 active and former military officers, an electoral component including electoral advisers and a police advisory team, and units dealing with civil and political affairs.

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS CHIEF

LAUNCHES ANNUAL REPORT ON GLOBAL ECONOMY

The guest today at the noon briefing was Jose Antonio Ocampo, the Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, who will be here to launch the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2007, the UNs assessment of the state of the worlds economy.

Ocampo commented on the reports finding that the global economy will moderate this year, in part due to a slowdown in the US housing market, after three years of historically high growth.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

BAN KI-MOON TO MEET THE U.S. PRESIDENT NEXT WEEK: Asked whether the Secretary-General would visit US President George W. Bush in Washington, D.C., the Spokeswoman said he would pay a courtesy visit with the president of the host country next week.

BAN KI-MOON EXPECTED TO BE AT LEBANON DONORS CONFERENCE:: In response to a question, the Spokeswoman confirmed that the Secretary-General would attend a donors conference for Lebanon later this month.

BAN KI-MOON MAY ATTEND MIDDLE EAST QUARTET MEETING: Asked whether the Secretary-General would attend a meeting of the Middle East Quartet in the near future, the Spokeswoman said that the United Nations was awaiting an answer on whether such a meeting would take place.

BAN KI-MOON WILL NOT INTERFERE WITH WORK OF GLOBAL COURT: Asked about the Secretary-Generals views on whether the Lords Resistance Army suspects indicated by the International Criminal Court should be tried, the Spokeswoman said that the indictments were part of an ongoing judicial process and that the Secretary-General would not interfere in that process.

WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME CHIEF TO STEP DOWN ON 4 APRIL: Asked when James Morris will end his term as Executive Director of the World Food Programme, the Spokeswoman later said that Morris will step down on April 5, 2007, and on the next day Josette Sheeran will take over from him.

NUMBER OF U.N. OFFICIALS ARE EXPECTED TO RESIGN SOON: Asked which Under-Secretaries-General and Assistant Secretaries-General had not yet turned in their resignations as requested by the Secretary-General, the Spokeswoman noted that the officials had until 15 January to turn in their resignations.

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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