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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-05-08
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
BAN KI-MOON MEETS WITH U.N. CLIMATE CHANGE ENVOYS
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moons three new climate change envoys are here at Headquarters today.
They are Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former Prime Minister of Norway; Mr. Han Seung-soo, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea and former President of the General Assembly; and Mr. Ricardo Lagos Escobar, former President of Chile.
The envoys are scheduled to have a working luncheon with the Secretary-General, who will deliver brief remarks welcoming them and discussing their mission.
The Secretary-General has defined Climate Change as one of the most serious challenges facing the planet in our lifetime. He says the three Special Envoys are to engage in high-level consultations with member States to galvanize action on the issue.
AFRICAN UNION, UNITED NATIONS NAME JOINT ENVOY
TO HEAD PEACEKEEPING MISSION IN DARFUR
The Secretary-General and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Alpha Oumar Konaré, have appointed Rodolphe Adada of the Congo as Joint AU-UN Special Representative for Darfur.
In accordance with the 16 November 2006 high-level meeting in Addis Ababa on the situation in Darfur, whose conclusions were subsequently endorsed by the 30 November 2006 summit-level meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council and the 19 December 2006 Statement of the President of the United Nations Security Council, the Joint AU-UN Special Representative for Darfur will head the African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur.
On behalf of the Secretary-General and the African Union Commission Chairperson, the Joint Special Representative will have overall authority over the peacekeeping mission in Darfur, oversee the implementation of its mandate, and be responsible for the missions management and functioning.
Adada has served since 1997 as Minister for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Relations with Francophone Countries of the Congo and has been adviser to President Denis Sassou-Nguesso. His service with the Government of the Congo included the posts of Minister of Education and Minister of Mining and Energy. He was also a Professor at Marien Ngouabi University. Mr. Adada is married with three children.
U.N. ENVOY FOR SUDAN ARRIVES IN KHARTOUM FOR TWO-DAY VISIT
The Special Envoys of the United Nations and the African Union for Darfur, Jan Eliasson and Salim Ahmed Salim, are arriving in Khartoum today for a two-day visit to Sudan.
This is the third visit to be jointly conducted by the two envoys to Sudan in order to assist in re-energizing the Darfur political process.
The envoys are scheduled to arrive to Khartoum from Cairo where they met with the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States and the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Meanwhile, the UN mission in Sudan reports that a formal ceremony was held today in Al Fasher, Darfur, the United Nations handed over to the AU mission in Darfur the medical support items stipulated in the Light Support Package. These items include pharmaceutical products, including drugs and vaccines, and a fully equipped Ambulance.
BAN KI-MOON WELCOMES NEW GOVERNMENT OF NORTHERN ISRELAND
The Secretary-General was pleased to hear of the formation of the new power-sharing government in Northern Ireland.
He joins others in applauding this development as a historic step on the road to a peaceful future for the people of Northern Ireland.
SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES REPORT ON ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA
The Security Council held consultations today to discuss the Secretary-Generals recent report on Ethiopia and Eritrea. Dimitry Titov, the Director of the Africa Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, briefed Council members on that report.
The Security Council President, Zalmay Khalilzad, read a press statement afterward, saying that Council members remain deeply concerned at the impasse in the Eritrea/Ethiopia peace process. They reiterated their support for the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea and called on both parties to cooperate with the Mission.
Also, out on the racks today the latest report by the Security Councils 1267 Committee, which deals with sanctions on al-Qaeda, the Taliban and associated individuals and entities.
U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY STAFF MEMBER IS SHOT DEAD IN AFGHANISTAN
This morning, a UN local staff member living and working in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar was shot dead while on his way to work, apparently by men on a motorbike.
In a statement, Tom Koenigs, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Afghanistan, said that the motives for this attack need to be established, and the UN Mission is working with the authorities in Kandahar to help the investigation.
The safety and well-being of Afghan and international staff who work for the UN in Afghanistan is a matter of paramount importance, Koenigs said.
SECRETARY-GENERAL IS CONFIDENT ON SUCCESSFUL
SECOND ROUND ELECTIONS IN TIMOR-LESTE
The Secretary-General, on the eve of the second round of the presidential elections in Timor-Leste, said he trusts that participation this round will be just as enthusiastic as the first.
Calling on both candidates and their supporters to react to the results in a peaceful manner, the Secretary-General also encouraged that any concerns on the process should be raised through the appropriate legal channels.
He stressed that the United Nations remains steadfastly committed to continuing to assist the Timorese people in the work for development, peace and democracy.
Continuing on Timor-Leste, the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) reports, all logistics are in place for the second round of the Presidential elections to take place Wednesday.
The distribution of polling material across the countrys 13 districts continued today with UNMIT providing logistical support to the national authorities in charge of running the election.
The boxes of ballots and counting forms are being delivered to some 700 polling stations in about 500 centers.
UNMIT adds that a total of 630,000 ballot papers will be distributed throughout the country. To best to ensure that Wednesdays election is peaceful, both U.N. and local police will have a presence at every polling centre with mobile patrols stationed in each district. Formed Police Units will also be on standby.
TRIAL DATE SET FOR CHARLES TAYLOR, EX-LIBERIAN PRESIDENT
The Special Court for Sierra Leone has set the start of the trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor for June 4th. This was decided yesterday at a pre-trial conference in The Hague.
Taylor is charged with 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international humanitarian law, including mass murder, mutilations, rape, sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers.
Meanwhile, the Courts Prosecutor, Stephen Rapp, has said that he plans to present some 139 key witnesses, including individuals with inside knowledge of Taylors alleged activities, in an effort to prove Taylors suspected role in the atrocities committed during Sierra Leones civil war.
WORLD FOOD AGENCY STARTS FOOD AID DISTRIBUTIONS IN SOMALIA
Turning now to Somalia, the World Food Programme (WFP) has started its first distributions of food aid in Mogadishu to 16,000 residents and returnees.
By the end of this week, WFP expects to have distributed food over the past week and a half to 114,000 people, including those who fled violence in the city and those who were unable to escape the fighting.
EARTHQUAKE RISK REDUCTION CENTER TO OPEN IN IRAN
The Secretariat of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction has announced that a new regional earthquake risk reduction center will open tomorrow in Tehran, Iran.
The center will: provide training; enhance awareness among authorities, managers and experts; and improve the capacities of the Asia and Pacific region to deal with disasters.
GLOBAL FUND FOR HIV/AIDS TO IMPROVE SUPPORT IN HAITI
The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AID (UNAIDS) says that it will be reinforcing its relationship with the local Foundation SOGEBANK in a bid to improve support for the countrys response to HIV/AIDS.
The Foundation SOGEBANK being the principal Haitian recipient of funds from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, UNAIDS and Foundation SOGEBANK have scheduled several initiatives, including consultations with Haitian business leaders based on a study of the 20 largest Haitian companies response to HIV/AIDS.
Among other findings, the study shows that Haitis labor-intensive companies have a greater awareness of, and a more active response to, HIV/AIDS.
UNICEF WELCOMES COST CUTS IN HIV/AIDS MEDICINE
UNICEF is welcoming todays announcement by the Clinton Foundation of major reductions in the price of critical HIV/AIDS medicines.
UNICEF says the agreements reached with drug manufacturers will allow millions of children to receive treatment.
REQUESTS BY EXTERNAL AUDITORS ON DPRK UNKNOWN: In response to a question, the Spokeswoman said she was not aware of any request by the External Board of Auditors for visas to enter the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.
Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
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