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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-05-09

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 SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

U.N.

HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

BAN KI-MOON STRONGLY URGES SUDAN TO CEASE ATTACKS IN DARFUR

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is deeply concerned by reports of aerial bombardments in North Darfur which have taken place over the last three weeks. These attacks have brought more destruction and loss of life, including new displacement of civilians. In one instance, the school in the village of Um Rai was struck by rockets fired from a Government helicopter.

The Secretary General strongly urges the Government of Sudan to cease all attacks and to comply fully with the Darfur Peace Agreement, Security Council resolutions and international humanitarian law.

He reiterates that only a political solution can bring peace and stability to Darfur and calls on the parties to renounce military action.

He further calls on both the Government and all movements to immediately stop military hostilities and cooperate fully with the African Union and United Nations team which is leading efforts to mediate an end to this devastating conflict.

Asked about the work being done for the AU-UN hybrid force in Darfur, the Spokeswoman said that the work was proceeding, but added that the focus for now is on the heavy support package for the African Union Mission, on which the United Nations has received offers for contributions.

U.N.-A.U. ENVOYS ON DARFUR TRAVEL TO SOUTH SUDAN

IN MISSION TO RE-ENERGIZE DARFUR PEACE PROCESS

Special Envoys for Darfur Jan Eliasson of the United Nations and Salim Ahmed Salim of the African Union are today in Juba where they are scheduled to meet with First Vice-President and President of the Government of southern Sudan, Salva Kiir.

The focus of their discussions will be on the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) initiative to assist in re-energizing the peace process, as well as on the way forward in expediting the political process.

The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) also reports continued population displacements throughout Darfur, as a result of inter-tribal fighting and militia attacks. Continuous new arrivals in Nyala have now caused all the camps to exceed their maximum capacity.

BAN KI-MOON CALLS FOR GREATER USE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES

The Secretary-General this morning addressed the high-level segment of the fifteenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), offering them his support as they deal with the critical issues of energy, climate change, industrial development and air pollution. Addressing those in unison, he said, creates many win-win opportunities and is crucial for sustainable development.

The Secretary-General noted that about 1.6 billion people lack access to electricity, and 2.4 billion do not have modern energy services for cooking and heating. He said, We must do more to use and develop renewable energy sources.

The Secretary-General added that the world urgently needs to step up action to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, with industrialized countries needing to make deeper emission reductions, as well as the need for further engagement with developing countries.

Asked about the recent focus on climate change issues after last months Security Council meeting on that topic, the Spokeswoman clarified that the Secretary-General had treated climate change as a priority before that meeting, noting that he has been dealing with the issue since he started.

Montas noted that in recent days, there have been a number of events dealing with climate change, including the CSD meeting, and a number of findings, including recent reports. The issue, she said, is always on the front burner.

She added, in response to further questions, that there would be a meeting on climate change in Bali this December and that there has been new momentum for dealing with the issue.

SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS

TO MOVE FORWARD WITH NEGOTIATIONS

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is convening a two-day meeting today and tomorrow in Pretoria on the Question of Palestine, and the Secretary-General has issued a message marking the occasion.

In it, the Secretary-General says that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have begun to meet regularly to discuss a range of issues, and he hopes that the internal challenges each faces will not deter them from moving forward with discussions on the political horizon. He encourages both parties to demonstrate a true commitment to peace through a negotiated two-State solution.

TIMOR-LESTE: BALLOT COUNTING BEGINS

AFTER PEACEFUL SECOND ROUND ELECTIONS

The United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) reports that Wednesdays presidential run-off between Jose Ramos-Horta and Francisco Guterres went smoothly and peacefully. According to UNMIT, no security incidents were reported.

Ballot counting has begun and provisional results are expected to be released on Friday or Monday.

NEW RECTOR OF U.N. UNIVERSITY NAMED

The Secretary-General today announces the appointment of Professor Konrad Osterwalder of Switzerland as the next Rector of the Tokyo-based United Nations University (UNU).

Professor Osterwalder, a physicist and current Rector, and President ad interim, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, will succeed, on 1 September, Professor Hans van Ginkel of the Netherlands, who has served since 1997.

YUGOSLAV TRIBUNAL CONVICTS TWO EX-BOSNIAN SERB ARMY OFFICERS

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has confirmed the convictions of former Bosnian Serb Army officers Vidoje Blagojevi&#263; and Dragan Joki&#263; for crimes against humanity and violations of laws and customs of war.

The convictions relate to the participation of the two individuals in crimes against Bosnian Muslims committed in the area of Srebrenica in July 1995.

In the same ruling, the Appeals Chamber reversed Blagojevi&#263;'s conviction for complicity in genocide and reduced his sentence to 15 years' imprisonment, while Dragan Joki&#263;'s sentence of nine years' imprisonment was confirmed.

As of today, the Tribunal has rendered final judgments against six persons for genocide and other crimes committed in Srebrenica.

SIERRA LEONE: U.N. PROMOTES TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION

THROUGH MUSIC

The UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL) is continuing its drive to disseminate the findings and recommendations of the countrys Truth and Reconciliation Commission with the release this week of a music CD containing messages for greater citizen engagement toward peace consolidation.

UNIOSIL had earlier produced and distributed a child friendly version of the Commissions findings. It says that the 15 songs on the CD will bring the findings to both young and old in a country where illiteracy rates remain high and where music plays an important role in social and cultural life.

GLOBAL BIO-ENERGY ENERGY PARTNERSHIP LAUNCHES WEBSITE

A day after UN-Energy launched its report on biofuels, the Global Bioenergy Partnership today unveiled its new website.

The site is designed to provide information on the Partnership, which was created last year to promote the use of bioenergy and other green fuels, particularly in developing countries.

Also today, the Food and Agriculture Organization, in conjunction with the European Commission, launched an e-learning course on improving the collection, analysis and dissemination of food security information.

The course covers the basic concepts of malnutrition and its underlying causes.

WINNERS OF NORTH POLE RACE TO USE SPONSORSHIP MONEY

TO HELP REFUGEES

According to an update on two young British men, including a former UN Refugee Agency staff member, taking part in a race to the North Pole, Jake Morland and James Turner reached the Pole last Wednesday, edging out five other teams to win the 2007 Polar Race.

Morland served with UNHCR in East Timor, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Sudan; Turner is a teacher.

The two have raised more than $100,000 from sponsors but hope to raise five times that amount by the end of the year.

They plan to use the money to establish a special trust fund for urgent medical evacuations of refugee children and a quick access fund to enable field officers to bypass time-consuming paperwork.

EXTERNAL D.P.R.K. AUDIT REPORT IS EXPECTED SOON

Asked whether the report by the External Board of Auditors on the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) has been finished, the Spokeswoman said she understood that it had been, and would go to the General Assemblys Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ).

Asked whether the Secretary-General had set the auditors terms of reference, the Spokeswoman said that he had not; the terms of reference were defined by the auditors.

Asked what issues were outside the auditors terms of reference, Montas declined to comment on any details of the report until it has gone to the Member States.

Asked when the auditors 90-day timeline had started, she said that the 90 days started on 19 March, when they actually began their work.

The Spokeswoman stressed that the External Board of Auditors is a fully independent body and that the auditors do not take instructions from the Secretary-General or any UN body.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECRETARY-GENERALS MEETING WITH SYRIAN PRESIDENT WAS TĘTE-A-TĘTE: Asked whether the Secretary-Generals Special Envoy on the implementation of resolution 1559, Terje Roed-Larsen, had joined the Secretary-Generals recent meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Spokeswoman later said that the Secretary-Generals meeting with Assad was tęte-a-tęte.

WORLD BANK DEVELOPMENTS ARE AN INTERNAL MATTER: The Spokeswoman declined to comment on developments at the World Bank, describing them as an internal matter for the Bank.

SENIOR U.N. APPOINTMENTS TO BE ANNOUNCED IN DUE COURSE: Asked about the process of appointing senior UN officials, the Spokeswoman said more appointments will be announced in due course, but noted the Secretary-Generals desire to take time to decide wisely.

SECRETARY-GENERAL ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN U.N. IRAQ EFFORTS: Asked about UN efforts in Iraq, the Spokeswoman noted the Secretary-Generals active involvement, including his participation in the launching of the International Compact with Iraq in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, last week.

  • *The guest at todays noon briefing was Dr. Anna Tibaijuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, who briefed on the effect of climate change on the worlds cities.

    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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