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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-01-26

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 FARHAN HAQ

ASSOCIATE

SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Friday, January 26, 2007

BAN KI-MOON WELCOMES CONDEMNATION OF HOLOCAUST DENIAL

The Secretary-General welcomes the adoption by the General Assembly today of a resolution unequivocally condemning any denial of the Holocaust. This reflects the prevailing view of the international community.

The Secretary-General reiterates his conviction that the denial of historical facts such as the Holocaust is unacceptable.

He expresses his strong desire to see this fundamental principle respected both in rhetoric and in practice.

LEADING BY EXAMPLE, BAN PUBLICIZES HIS FINANCES

The Secretary-Generals financial disclosure statement for the period 1 January 31 December 2006 was submitted to Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), the external financial firm hired by the United Nations to confidentially review the financial disclosure statements submitted by staff.

PwC, in reviewing the Secretary-Generals financial disclosure form, has determined that no further action is required of him with respect to his compliance with the requirements of the financial disclosure programme.

Now that the review is complete, the disclosure form has been posted on the Secretary-Generals website, honouring his promise to make the statement public. Certain personal details have been removed for security purposes.

SECRETARY-GENERAL WRAPS UP FRANCE VISIT, HEADS TO AFRICA

In Paris this morning, the Secretary-General and French President Jacques Chirac held a meeting at which they discussed the situation in Lebanon, and the results of yesterdays reconstruction conference.

They also talked about the difficult political situation in that country.

In addition, they discussed an international conference on the environment which will be held next week in Paris.

Other topics included Cote dIvoire, Darfur, and the security situation on the border between Chad, the Central African Republic and Sudan.

The Secretary-General is now on his way to Africa, where he will visit the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia and Kenya in the coming days.

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS KILLING OF U.N. PEACEKEEPER

The Secretary-General condemns the killing earlier today of a UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) Indian peacekeeper, who was shot dead by unidentified attackers when the de-mining team he was escorting came under fire near Magwe in Southern Sudan.

Two other UNMIS Indian peacekeepers were injured in the incident.

The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the Government of India and to the family of the deceased soldier and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured. He demands a swift investigation into this incident and calls on all Sudanese parties to fully cooperate with the United Nations.

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL APPOINTS MEMBERS OF DARFUR MISSION

The President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, today announced that the Human Rights Councils High-Level Mission to Darfur will be led by Jody Williams, the recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. She will be joined by Sima Samar, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Sudan.

The President has also invited the participation of the following individuals in their personal capacities: Mart Nutt of the Council of Europes European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance; Bertrand Ramcharan, former Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Gabonese Ambassador Patrice Tonda; and Makarim Wibisono, President of the 61st session of the Commission on Human Rights.

The members of the Mission will arrive in Geneva within the following days to begin their preparatory work.

They will depart for Sudan in early February. The Human Rights Council

decided last month to send this Mission, which will assess the human rights situation in Darfur.

MILITARY TENSION STILL HIGH IN ETHIOPIA/ERITREA

The UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) reports that the military situation in the Temporary Security Zone and Adjacent Areas, which UNMEE continues to monitor from existing posts, remains volatile and tense.

Routine troop movements are still observed on both sides in Sector West, Sector Centre and Sub-Sector East, the Mission says.

CONFLICT CONTINUES IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), civilians in the northern and northeastern parts of the Central African Republic are getting displaced as a result of the ongoing conflict between Government Security Forces and the armed opposition.

Amid reports of villages being torched and summary executions, Margareta Wahlström, the UNs Acting Emergency Relief Coordinator, has said that the human suffering resulting from these egregious violations of human rights is appalling.

REVIEW OF KHMER ROUGE COURT CONCLUDES

The Review Committee for the Extraordinary Chambers to try Khmer Rouge crimes in Cambodia today concluded a two-week session in Phnom Penh on the draft Internal Rules for the court.

Solid progress was made during the two-week session of the Review Committee, significantly narrowing differences on a number of issues.

Nevertheless, there remain several major issues to be fully resolved. A further meeting of the Review Committee will be convened in March.

Asked about the purpose of the tribunal, the Spokesman said it was to try crimes that had occurred during the Khmer Rouges rule in Cambodia. The current discussion had to do with the courts rules of procedure.

Pressed for more information about the court, Haq said that it had been set up between the UN and the Cambodian Government and involved a mix of UN and Cambodian officials.

PASSING OF GUYANA-VENEZUELA MEDIATOR MOURNED

The Secretary-General mourns the passing of Oliver Jackman, the distinguished diplomat and jurist from Barbados, who has been serving the United Nations since 1999 in efforts to resolve the border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela.

The Secretary-General extends his sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Jackman and to the Government of Barbados.

Throughout his career, Mr. Jackman embodied the spirit of the international civil servant, working not only for the United Nations but also as a judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Prior to his role as Personal Representative of the Secretary-General on the Guyana-Venezuela issue, Mr. Jackman served the United Nations from 1961 to 1967 in the United Nations Operation in the Congo, and as Chief Information Officer at the Economic Commission for Africa.

His contributions to the United Nations will always be remembered.

BAN KI-MOON TO PROPOSE RESTRUCTURING PLAN TO GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Asked how long the Secretary-General needed to finish his plan for UN restructuring, the Spokesman said that the process was moving along and that soon we might see a letter from the Secretary-General to the President of the General Assembly concerning his restructuring proposals.

Asked about how Special Representatives of the Secretary-General (SRSGs) related to Under-Secretaries-General (USGs), the Spokesman said that, while most SRSGs held the rank of USG, that was not always the case. SRSGs could also hold the rank of Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) in certain cases.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

REFUGEE AGENCY TO CONTINUE REPATRIATIONS DESPITE GUINEAN STRIKE: The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that the general strike that has been paralyzing Guinea over the last two weeks has limited its access to camps hosting Liberian refugees. But despite that, UNHCR plans to go ahead with a voluntary repatriation convoy tomorrow. That will bring to 46,000 the number of refugees helped by UNHCR to return to Liberia from Guinea since the repatriation programme started in October 2004.

THREE-WAY FORUM ON TIMOR-LESTE SECURITY SET UP: Timor-Leste, Australia and the UN Mission in Timor-Leste have established a Trilateral Coordination Forum to discuss security concerns. Meanwhile, senior UN officials met yesterday with Timorese police and political officials to discuss ways of curbing the continued violence in Dili. Officials from the UN Mission have also met with martial arts gangs to stress that the cycle of violence and revenge must stop.

SPECIAL ENVOY FOR KOSOVO TO TURN IN PROPOSAL: Asked about the latest ideas by Martti Ahtisaari, the Secretary-Generals Special Envoy for the Future Status Process for Kosovo, the Spokesman said he would not comment on the proposal until it had gone to the parties involved, on 2 February. Haq clarified that today it had been shared with the Kosovo Contact Group. After informing the parties, Ahtisaari would eventually turn his proposal over to the Secretary-General, who would transmit it to the Security Council.

U.N. ENCOURAGES COUNTRIES TO CONTRIBUTE TROOPS TO SOMALIA FORCE: Asked about the status of an Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)/African Union force in Somalia, the Spokesman said that the UN had encouraged Governments to contribute troops for that force and that the Secretary-General would continue to do so while in Addis Ababa.

WHEREABOUTS OF BENON SEVAN NOT A U.N. MATTER: Asked about the whereabouts of Benon Sevan, the former head of the oil-for-food programme, the Spokesman said that, as Sevan did not work for the UN anymore, he did not have that information. Haq also reminded the journalist that the UN had waived Sevans legal immunity at the request of US legal authorities.

ILLICIT ARMS TRANSFERS IN LEBANON A CAUSE FOR CONCERN: Asked about the content of a future report by Terje Roed-Larsen, the UN Special Envoy for the Implementation of Security Council resolution 1559, especially with relation to arms transfers to Lebanese militias, the Spokesman said one would have to wait until that report was issued. Haq added that the issue of any arms going to forces except the official Lebanese armed forces was a matter of concern.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

27 January 2 February 2007

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

Saturday, January 27

Today is the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.

The Secretary-General today arrives in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Sunday, January 28

The Secretary-General will visit Kisangani, Democratic Republic of the Congo, before departing for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Monday, January 29

The Secretary-General will take part in the opening ceremony of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa.

There will be a private meeting this morning for troop-contributing countries of the UN Mission in Haiti. Following that, the Security Council will hold consultations on Haiti.

At 2:30 p.m., Edmond Mulet, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Haiti, will brief the press in Room 226.

The second annual observance of the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust will be marked with a ceremony in the General Assembly Hall, from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm.

There will be a press briefing on the exhibit The Holocaust of the Roma and Sinti and Present Day Racism in Europe in Room 226 at 1:30 p.m.

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations will this week finalize its consideration of applications for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council in Conference Room 1.

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women will this week finalize its examination of country reports in Conference Room 3.

At 3 p.m. in The Hague, the International Criminal Court will hold a public hearing to render its decision regarding Thomas Lubanga Dyilo of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A working group of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will gather in Paris, starting today, to start finalizing the Panels latest report.

The Human Rights Councils Working Group, on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the rights of peoples to self-determination, will conduct a fact-finding visit to Peru from 29 January to 2 February.

The UN Environment Programme and the World Glacier Monitoring Service will launch a report on the worlds glaciers today in Geneva.

Tuesday, January 30

The Security Council will meet this morning to vote on a resolution on the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Writers Zlata Filipovic and Melanie Challenger will sign copies of Stolen Voices: Young Peoples Diaries from World War I to Iraq, from 1 - 3 p.m. on the Concourse Level of the General Assembly Building. Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Shashi Tharoor will make introductory remarks.

The World Intellectual Property Organization will host the third global congress on counterfeiting and piracy, today and tomorrow in Geneva, in collaboration with INTERPOL.

The Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Stephen Rapp, will be the guest at the noon briefing. He will brief on the preparations for the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor.

Wednesday, January 31

The Secretary-General will be in Nairobi, Kenya.

Today is the last day of the Russian Federations Presidency of the Security Council.

The Security Council will hold an open debate this morning on the Peacebuilding Commission.

The World Health Organizations Director-General, Margaret Chan, will be in Thailand from 31 January to 2 February.

At 6:00 p.m. in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a screening of Volevo solo Vivere (I Only Wanted to Live), about nine Italian survivors of Auschwitz.

Thursday, February 1

The Secretary-General will be in The Hague, in the Netherlands, where he will visit the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Today Slovakia assumes the rotating Presidency of the Security Council.

Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UNs Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, and Rima Salah, UNICEFs Deputy Executive Director, today end their trip to Sudan, which started on 26 January.

At 6:00 p.m. in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a screening of Nazvy svoie im'ia (Spell Your Name), which recounts the story of people who escaped execution and others who rescued neighbours during the Holocaust in Ukraine.

Friday, February 2

The Secretary-General will attend the Middle East Quartet meeting in Washington, DC.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will today release in Paris the first of four parts of a major scientific assessment on climate change.

Ambassador Peter Burian of Slovakia, the Security Councils President for the month of February, will brief the press in Room 226 after Council consultations, on the programme of work for the month.

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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