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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-05-02

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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: unnews@un.org

ARCHIVES

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

BY MARIE

OKABE

DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

U.N.

HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

BAN KI-MOON IN EGYPT TO LAUNCH IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION INITIATIVE

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has arrived in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, today, where tomorrow he will launch, along with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, the

International Compact with Iraq.

The Secretary-General today met tête-à-tête with Condoleezza Rice. They discussed Darfur, the Iraq Compact, the work of the Middle East Quartet, the meeting on the Arab Peace Initiative that will take place later this week, Kosovo and Lebanon.

He also met with Prime Minister Maliki and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Amre Moussa.

ARREST WARRANTS ISSUED IN CONNECTION WITH DARFUR WAR CRIMES

The Judges of the International Criminal Court earlier today issued warrants for the arrest of Sudans Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Ahmed Muhammed Haroun, and Janjaweed militia leader, Ali Muhammad Al Abd-Al-Rahman, in connection with war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur.

In a public decision, the ICC judges ruled that there is sufficient evidence on the merits of the Prosecutors case and reasonable grounds to believe that the two individuals are responsible for murder, rape, torture, the forced displacement of entire villages, and other war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Prosecutors case not only highlights the connection between a senior minister in the Sudanese Government and a militia leader, it also shows the underlying operational system that enabled massive crimes against innocent civilians in Darfur.

DARFUR: EFFORTS TO RESUME HUMANITARIAN ACTIVITIES UNDERWAY

The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) reports that, despite recent numerous attacks against humanitarian workers in Darfur, the humanitarian community is still exploring how to increase its access and resume activities in hard-to-reach areas.

In West Darfur, for example, a key road has been re-opened for humanitarian traffic after being declared a no go zone in October 2006. Efforts are also underway for the resumption of humanitarian operations in the Abaata area after a series of road incidents over the past few months led to a significant reduction of humanitarian activities there.

U.N. LEGAL COUNSEL BRIEFS SECURITY COUNCIL ON LEBANON TRIBUNAL

The Security Council held its first consultations for the month of May, under the U.S. Presidency of the Council, and began this morning by adopting its programme of work for the coming month.

Council members then heard a briefing in closed consultations by Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Nicolas Michel on his recent trip to Lebanon.

Then, the Security Council held an open meeting to hear a briefing on Kosovo by Belgian Ambassador Johan Verbeke on the Council mission that he led last week to Pristina and Belgrade, among other stops.

U.N. BRINGS ISRAEL AND LEBANON TOGETHER

TO DISCUSS CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES AGREEMENT

The Force Commander for the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Major-General Claudio Graziano, and senior officials from the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Israeli Defense Forces today held a tripartite meeting to discuss the implementation of Security Council

Resolution 1701 (2006).

The focus was on the full respect of the Blue Line and the strict adherence to the cessation of hostilities agreement.

The meeting was a productive one and I am pleased with the progress made, Graziano said afterward, adding that the constructive attitude shown by the parties augurs well for the future.

BAN KI-MOON IS CONCERNED BY IMPASSE

IN ETHIOPIA-ERITREA PEACE PROCESS

Available today is the Secretary-Generals latest report on Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Noting a surge in the number of troops either side of the disputed border and within the Temporary Security Zone between the two countries, the Secretary-General describes how the prolonged restrictions by Eritrea on the movement of UN patrols and helicopter flights restrict and delay the full implementation of the UNs mandate.

The Secretary-General emphasizes that he is deeply concerned by the impasse in the Ethiopia-Eritrea peace process and by the growing tensions between the neighbors. He appeals to the parties to carry on with the implementation of the Algiers Agreements and the rulings of the Boundary Commission.

U.N. PENSION FUND IS REPORTED IN GOOD FINANCIAL HEALTH

Yesterday, the Investments Committee and the Committee of Actuaries, which are both expert advisory Committees working under the auspices of the UN Joint Staff Pension Board, completed joint meetings which had begun on Monday. The Secretary-General hosted a lunch for the members of these Committees and expressed his appreciation for the dedicated contribution made by the two Committees to the smooth running of the Pension Fund.

During the course of the meetings it was reported that the principal of the Fund now exceeded $38 billion and was in excellent financial health, earning good returns and enjoying a positive actuarial balance and a funding ratio close to 100%.

The Committees also reviewed a draft of the first ever Asset-Liability Management study to be conducted for the Fund.

The study, to be formally presented to the Board in July, reports that the Fund is in good financial health. It would recommend that the Pension Fund should handle risk issues in a formal manner when adopting Strategic Asset Allocations. It would also recommend consideration of the introduction of new asset classes in its portfolio.

The Investment Committee recommends that the Secretary-General study this possibility and report back in due course.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

HEALTH AGENCY LAUNCHES NEW PATIENT SAFETY INITIATIVE: The World Health Organization today

launched a new patient safety initiative, aimed at reducing health-care mistakes. An estimated one in 10 patients in developed countries is harmed while hospitalized, WHO says, and that figure is likely much higher in the developing world. The health agencys nine patient safety solutions are suggested guidelines that cover topics such as: medication names that sound alike, correctly identifying patients, performing medical procedures at the correct body locations, and improved hand hygiene.

POPULATION FUND ANNOUNCES ANNUAL AWARDS: The UN Population Fund has announced its annual awards for outstanding work in population and the health and welfare of individuals. This years individual recipients are Columbia University Professor Allan Rosenfield and Hossein Malek Afzali, the Deputy Minister for Research and Technology at Irans Ministry of Health and Medical Education. Awards were also given to Algerias National Population Committee and Malaysias National Population and Family Development Board. The awards are scheduled to be presented during a ceremony at UN Headquarters on June 7.

  • **The guest at the noon briefing was Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Nicolas Michel, who briefed on his recent trip to Lebanon.

    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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