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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-01-12

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 12, 2007

BAN KI-MOON TO MEET WITH U.S. PRESIDENT NEXT WEEK

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will make a courtesy visit to Washington, D.C., next week and meet with the President of the host country, George W. Bush.

The visit will take place next Tuesday, the 16th of January. In addition to meeting with the President, the Secretary-General will also meet with leaders of the US Congress.

Asked about the Secretary-Generals agenda, the Spokeswoman said that the specific plans are being worked out, and would be announced next Monday.

Asked whether the possibility of a new nuclear test in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea would come up, the Spokeswoman referred to the Secretary-Generals comments on that issue during his Thursday press conference.

Asked about President Bushs stance on additional troop deployments to Iraq, Montas said she was sure that would be one of the issues discussed during the meeting next week.

Asked about threats made to Syria and Iran by the President, the Spokeswoman said that the United Nations was awaiting further information, including on Irans reaction to the speech.

HUMANITARIAN SUPPLIES AIRLIFTED INTO SOMALIA

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that humanitarian access in Somalia remains limited, particularly in the south-central part of the country. OCHA warns that medical specialists are urgently needed in that area to perform diagnostic tests and surgeries.

Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) and one of its partners on the ground today started distributing food rations for one month to 6,000 people, who took refuge near the Somalia-Kenya border after fighting forced them from their homes. WFP is currently preparing on both sides of the border for an influx of Somalis into Kenya once the border is reopened.

For its part, the UN refugee agency is airlifting relief supplies into Somalia and has dispatched two emergency teams -- to Somalia and Ethiopia -- to verify reports of new displacement in northeast Somalia and to check reports of a possible influx of Somali refugees into eastern Ethiopia.

In related news, UNICEF today expressed concern over reports that some children in Somalia have been randomly shot in the streets, while others risk being recruited by re-emerging warlords.

Asked whether the United Nations is working to reopen the Somalia-Kenya border, the Spokeswoman said that the United Nations has expressed its concern to the Kenyan Government and is trying to convince it to reopen the border.

She later said, in response to questions, that only the Kenya-Somalia border was closed, and Somalias borders with its other neighbours remain open.

Asked about the number of displaced Somalis near the Kenyan border, she later added that at least 4,700 displaced persons remain in and around Dhobley at the Kenyan border.

U.N. CHIEF FOR SOMALIA WELCOMES RECONCILIATION DRIVE

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, François Lonseny Fall, yesterday welcomed the positive outcome of this weeks talks between Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf and his predecessors Abdikassim Salad Hassan and Ali Mahdi.

Reiterating the UNs support for the transitional authorities, Special Representative Fall said that the continuation of such meetings would send the message to the Somali people that reconciliation is indeed possible in their country and that differences can be resolved peacefully.

U.N. SPECIAL ENVOY ON KEY MISSION IN DARFUR

The Secretary-Generals Special Envoy for Darfur, Jan Eliasson, is traveling to Darfur today.

He is expected to meet with non-signatories and signatories of the Darfur Peace Agreement, as well as those parties outside of the country.

After meeting with the Sudanese President yesterday, he spoke to reporters in Khartoum and described his meetings as fruitful, substantive, saying that they were held in a positive spirit.

The Special Envoy said that the main task of his mission was to explore the road towards the political process. However in terms of peacekeeping, he said, his central point is that there must be a peace to keep.

He will try to encourage the political process and this would depend upon the political will of all the parties the Government of Sudan, the signatories of the Darfur Peace Agreement, the non-signatories, and ultimately the people of Sudan. He indicated that he will be working closely with his African Union counterpart, Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim.

He emphasized that there is no military solution for either side in the Darfur conflict.

SECURITY COUNCIL TO DISCUSS MYANMAR DRAFT RESOLUTION

The Security Council will hold consultations on Myanmar at 3:30 this afternoon.

The United States had circulated a revised draft resolution on Myanmar to other Council members last night, putting it in blue in advance of any vote. Council members will discuss that draft resolution during consultations.

FORCE COMMANDER REJECTS REPORTS OF LEBANON TRUCE VIOLATIONS

The Force Commander of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Maj. Gen. Alain Pellegrini, said in a statement today that the there had been no violation of the Blue Line between Lebanon and Israel, contrary to some media reports that had claimed there had been an Israeli incursion over the Blue Line.

Pellegrini said that members of the Israel Defense Forces were carrying out regular maintenance work on the technical fence near the village of Ayta Chaab. Throughout their maintenance work, he said, they remained south of the Blue Line.

Asked about Israeli overflights of Lebanon, the Spokeswoman later said that UNIFIL monitored the overflights and protested each one to the Israeli authorities.

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL-DESIGNATE IN NEW YORK NEXT WEEK

Asked when Asha-Rose Migiro, who has been named as the next Deputy Secretary-General, would come to New York, the Spokeswoman said that Migiro would be in New York next Monday, but in her capacity as Deputy-Secretary-General designate. She may then have to depart and return to take up her duties formally, most likely by the first week of February.

Montas said that Migiro would prefer to talk to reporters after she has formally taken up the post of Deputy Secretary-General in early February.

BAN KI-MOON IS CONSULTING MEMBER STATES ON PROPOSED RESTRUCTURING

Asked about the restructuring of UN departments, the Spokeswoman cautioned that nothing was set in stone, and the matter is being discussed with the 192 Member States, who ultimately must consider any changes.

Asked whether the Secretary-General would appoint someone to the Department for Political Affairs who might represent one nations interests over others, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General was aware of the impact of the choices he would make, and noted that no appointment has been made while the restructuring process continues.

SAFETY AND SECURITY PERSONNEL TO MEET TUESDAY

The Seventh Summit on the Safety and Security of UN Staff and Associated Personnel will take place this Tuesday, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., in the Trusteeship Council Chamber.

The Summit will address the continuing attacks against UN staff members and humanitarian workers worldwide.

MAJOR REPORT ON CHILDREN AND AIDS EXPECTED OUT TUESDAY

On Tuesday, UNICEF will be releasing a report on children and AIDS. Among the reports findings is that increasing numbers of children living with HIV are now receiving treatment, although the numbers are far too few.

In connection with that report, UNICEF will hold a teleconference on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SPOKESPERSON RESPONDS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT U.N. PRESS CONFERENCES: Asked how reporters were chosen at Thursdays press conference, the Spokeswoman said that the idea was to have a geographically diverse and inclusive representation of the press, and she promised that reporters who were not called on would get a chance next time. She added, in response to another question, that it was up to reporters themselves to decide on what to ask.

BAN KI-MOON UPHOLDS RIGHTS CHIEFS AUTONOMY: Asked whether the Secretary-General would allow his High Commissioner for Human Rights to act independently, the Spokeswoman said that he would respect the High Commissioners autonomy.

BAN KI-MOON MEETS WITH SYRIAN AMBASSADOR: Asked about the Secretary-Generals meeting today with Syrias UN Ambassador, the Spokeswoman said it was a courtesy call, which had been requested by the Ambassador.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

[This document is for planning purposes only and is subject to change.]

Monday, January 15

The Deputy Secretary-General designate, Asha-Rose Migiro, will arrive at UN Headquarters for general consultations.

The Security Council is scheduled to hold consultations this morning on the Central African Republic.

The 37th session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women will open today in Conference Room 3. It will last until 2 February.

The 44th session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child opens today in Geneva.

UN Development Programme Administrator Kemal Dervi&#351; will be in Guatemala from 15-18 January. This is the last leg of his Central American trip.

Tuesday, January 16

The Secretary-General will be in Washington, DC, to meet with United States President George W. Bush and representatives of the United States Congress.

The Security Council is scheduled to hold a private meeting this morning for troop-contributing countries of the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). That will be followed by consultations on UNMEE.

The Seventh Summit on the Safety and Security of UN Staff and Associated Personnel will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Trusteeship Council Chamber.

UNICEF is today releasing "Children and AIDS, A Stocktaking Report." It will hold a teleconference on the report at 11:00 a.m.

Wednesday, January 17

At 3:00, the first part of the organizational session for 2007 of the Economic and Social Council will be held in the Economic and Social Council Chamber. The Council will elect its President and members of the Bureau for 2007.

The African Summit of Civil Society Organizations will be held from 17-19 January at UN-HABITATs Headquarters in Nairobi.

Thursday, January 18

The guest at the noon briefing will be the President of the Economic and Social Council, who will outline the Councils goals for 2007.

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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