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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-01-19
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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: email@example.comARCHIVES
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MICHELE MONTAS
SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Friday, January 19, 2007
BAN KI-MOON WELCOMES PLANNED SIX-PARTY TALKS ON NORTH KOREA
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomes reports of active preparations for the next round of the six-party talks on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
He is encouraged in particular by the recent positive discussions in Berlin between the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) and United States negotiators.
As consultations continue with other countries participating in the six-party talks, the Secretary-General calls on all involved to redouble their efforts toward implementation of the Joint Statement of 19 September 2005.
BAN KI-MOON WELCOMES INTERNAL APPLICATIONS
TO POSTS IN HIS EXECUTIVE OFFICE
In a letter to the staff, published on I-seek, our internal web portal, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be circulating a number of positions in his own office to promote mobility in the UN system. Twelve positions are being circulated from the P-2 to the D-2 level, and UN staff members can, during a 10-day period, express their interest for any of these positions.
In his letter to the staff, the Secretary-General writes, As I undertake these efforts to lead by example, I look to all senior managers to follow suit and promote mobility among their staff, beyond the requirements of managed mobility."
Asked whether the letter on mobility is available to the public, the Spokeswoman said it will be available to UN staff on their internal web portal.
Asked whether it had been prepared in consultation with staff, Montas said that the Secretary-General has discretion over his own offices staff. She said that the process would be carried out with the help of the Office on Human Resources Management.
BAN KI-MOON CALLS FOR URGENT INQUIRY INTO THE WORK
OF U.N. FUNDS AND PROGRAMMES
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met today with Under-Secretary-General Ad Melkert, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Associate Administrator, on the issue of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.
The Secretary-General will call for an urgent, system wide and external inquiry into all activities done around the globe by the UN funds and programmes.
The Spokeswoman clarified, in response to questions, that the Secretary-General was calling for an external audit that would apply to all agencies, funds and programmes. She noted that such work would not take place overnight.
Asked about the guidelines by which UNDP shares audit information, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General has no opinion on different agencies operating procedures.
U.N. OFFICIAL AT KEY AFRICAN UNION MEETING
ON PROPOSED PEACEKEEPING FORCE FOR SOMALIA
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Francois Lonsény Fall, is today taking part in a meeting of the African Unions Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa.
The Council is expected to consider the situation in Somalia and discuss the implementation of UN Security Council
resolution 1725, which authorizes the creation of a protection force and training mission to help protect Somalias Transitional Federal Institutions.
The new force is to be set up by the African Union (AU) and the East African regional bloc IGAD.
U.N. CHIEF FOR WEST AFRICA AT REGIONAL SUMMIT ON COTE DIVOIRE
Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for West Africa, is today in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, to take part in a one-day summit on the crisis in Cote dIvoire.
The summit was called by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to study ways to move forward the peace process in Cote dIvoire and the implementation of Security Council resolutions concerning that country.
U.N. OFFICE IN BURUNDI WELCOMES THE RELEASE OF ACCUSED COUP PLOTTERS
The UN Integrated Office in Burundi today welcomed the recent Supreme Court ruling acquitting former president Domitien Ndayizeye and four other high-ranking officials of an attempted coup détat.
The Court ruling also requested the immediate release from prison of the five accused, some of whom have been held since August 2006.
SECURITY COUNCIL APPOINTS HEADS OF ITS SUBSIDIARY BODIES
The Security Council has agreed on which members will serve as the chairman and the vice chairmen of its subsidiary bodies, including its sanctions committees, for 2007.
he full list of the heads of Council subsidiary bodies is out on the racks today, as a note by the President of the Security Council.
UNITED NATIONS OPENS PROBE INTO
ALLEGED SEXUAL OFFENSES BY ITS LIBERIA STAFF
The UN Mission in Liberia has requested the Office of Internal Oversight Services to conduct an immediate investigation, following UNMILs receipt of information suggesting that some of its personnel have been involved in sexual exploitation and abuse.
The United Nations is deeply concerned by this development and wishes to reiterate its determination to take action against any of its personnel who is found to have committed any act of sexual exploitation and abuse.
HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF IN OFFICIAL VISIT TO SUPPORT NEPAL PEACE PROCESS
The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, today
arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal. This is her second visit to the country, and she is there to show support for the peace process. She affirmed that her office will continue to work with all the people of Nepal to ensure that the protection and promotion of human rights remains at the centre of that process.
Arbour will make two trips outside Kathmandu before 25 January, at which point she will head to Japan.
REFUGEE AGENCY CONCERNED ABOUT CIVILIANS
IN RESTIVE SRI LANKA REGION
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that several thousand Sri Lankans in Vaharai, a pocket of rebel-held land on Sri Lankas east coast, have started to move south towards government-controlled areas. They are reportedly fleeing intensified fighting as government forces advance on rebel positions.
UNHCR has expressed concerned about the safety of any civilians remaining in Vaharai, as well as those in other conflict-ridden areas. The agency calls on both sides to respect international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians and their freedom of movement.
The United Nations, meanwhile, is undertaking a number of initiatives to support the Government of Sri Lanka in response to recent flooding and landslides that have struck the southern and eastern slopes and central hills of the country.
UNICEF has handed over basic supplies worth more than $64,000 to the Government, and has sent relief items to 2,000 families hit by floods.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) donated 100 tents for flood assistance to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights.
FOOD AGENCY CONCERNED AT DWINDLING ASSISTANCE SUPPLY
TO CAMBODIAS POOR AND SICK
The World Food Programme (WFP) will begin distributing emergency aid this week to around 100,000 people in food-insecure and drought-hit parts of southern Madagascar, following a donation from the United States Government.
In Cambodia, however, WFP is warning that, beginning next month, more than 700,000 hungry Cambodians mostly young children and HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis patients will not receive essential food aid. And the situation is likely to worsen unless new donations are received soon.
Meanwhile, American football star Reggie Bush is helping WFP to raise Americas awareness about global hunger. In a new public service announcement and print advertisement, Bush proceeds to cook his perfect meal pigskin on a plate closing the spot with the statement: Unfortunately, not everyone can live off football -- help those who cant.
MEASLES DEATHS DOWN 60 PERCENT: CHILDRENS FUND
Measles deaths have
fallen by 60% worldwide since 1999 a major public health success. This exceeds the UNs goal of cutting measles-related deaths by half between 1999 and 2005, and is largely due to an unprecedented decline in measles deaths in Africa.
The progress was announced today by partners in the Measles Initiative, including UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the UN Foundation.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TAKES NOTE OF REPORTS OF CHINESE MISSILE SHOOTING: Asked about reports of the shooting of a Chinese missile into outer space, the Spokeswoman said that Secretary-General has taken note of news reports of this development. However, she said, although the United Nations supported the 1967 "Outer Space Treaty" (which is officially known as the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies) and although the United Nations was a forum of discussion leading to its adoption, the Secretary-General is not the depository of that treaty. As such, Montas said, this matter should be taken up by the depositories, which in this case are the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States.
UNDOF FORCE COMMANDER IS NEPALESE, NOT INDIAN: Contrary to what she had announced yesterday at noon, the outgoing Force Commander for the UN Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights (UNDOF), Major General Bala Nanda Sharma, came from India. He is from Nepal.
NO DECISIONS YET MADE ON RESTRUCTURING: Asked whether a merger of the Departments for Disarmament Affairs and for Political Affairs had been dropped, the Spokeswoman said that the initial restructuring project has not been abandoned. Consultations continue with the Non-Aligned Movement and other Member States on restructuring, which is still part of the agenda. No decisions have been taken yet, Montas said. Asked when new senior level appointments would be announced, the Spokeswoman said that restructuring would have to be settled first. She said that the announcements could take place sometime in February.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO DISCUSS LEBANESE POLITICS AND RECONSTRUCTION NEXT WEEK: Asked whether the Secretary-General will work to reconcile Lebanese political parties, the Spokeswoman said that he would discuss issues of Lebanese politics and reconstruction at the donors conference in Paris next week. She noted that his representative in Lebanon, Geir Pedersen, was holding consultations with the parties and would also be present in Paris.
UN ENVOY ON KOSOVO TO PRESENT PROPOSALS AFTER JANUARY 23: Asked when Martti Ahtissari would present the proposals on the status of Kosovo, the Spokeswoman reiterated that it would be after the 23 January Serbian elections. She noted that the Secretary-General would meet Ahtisaari in Paris.
DIALOGUE ON IRAN SHOULD CONTINUE: Asked about the Secretary-Generals views on Irans nuclear programme, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General believes that dialogue on that issue should continue. She added that the United Nations had not officially received any protest from Iran regarding the Secretary-Generals comments on the issue.
UNITED NATIONS BOOSTS BANGLADESH RESPONSE TO COLD WAVE: UN agencies are helping the Government of Bangladesh to respond to a recent cold wave that has hit that country. For its part, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has released a cash grant of $50,000, to provide warm clothes in the affected areas.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
Saturday, January 20
The Director-General of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Kandeh Yumkella, will visit Bahrain from 20 to 22 January.
Sunday, January 21
UNESCO and the Indonesian Government will bring together media, NGO and government representatives in Bali, from 21 to 23 January, to work on the Understanding World Network, which will promote dialogue and mutual understanding by linking traditional and electronic media.
Monday, January 22
This year's session of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organisations opens today in Conference Room 1. During this session, which lasts until 2 February, the Committee will consider applications for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council.
The 37th session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women will continue its examination of State party reports this week in Conference Room 3.
The World Health Organizations Executive Council will meet from 22 to 30 January at WHO headquarters in Geneva.
Yakin Ertürk, the UNs Special Rapporteur on violence against women, will conduct a fact-finding mission to Algeria from 22 January to 1 February.
Tuesday, January 23
The Security Council is scheduled to hold consultations this morning on the Peacebuilding Commission.
The Secretary-General will attend the monthly Security Council luncheon today.
Wednesday, January 24
The Secretary-Generals trip to Europe and Africa starts. This week he will be in: Brussels; Paris, for a conference on reconstruction in Lebanon; and Kinshasa and Kisangani, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Security Council is scheduled to hold consultations this morning on Georgia.
High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour leaves Nepal.
Thursday, January 25
The Security Council is scheduled to hold this morning a briefing followed by consultations on the Middle East.
High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour arrives in Japan.
Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
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