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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-05-14
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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: firstname.lastname@example.orgARCHIVES
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Monday, May 14, 2007
U.N. HUMANITARIAN CHIEF TRAVELS TO UGANDA FROM SOMALIA
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes today arrived in Kampala, Uganda. Tomorrow, he is scheduled to visit Kitgum in northern Uganda, where he will meet local authorities and humanitarian workers. He will also meet with internally displaced persons, including ex-combatants, at a settlement camp.
Over the weekend, Holmes
visited Somalia. He was the first Under-Secretary-General to visit the country in 14 years. The mission had to be cut short for security reasons, and plans for a second day in Somalia were cancelled.
Nevertheless, in discussions with President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi, Holmes did have the opportunity to stress that the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) needs to provide a more enabling operating environment for aid workers.
Holmes also raised his concerns over human rights abuses in the country, and received assurances from the TFG that it would let High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour visit Somalia.
Asked about reported deaths during Holmess visit, the Spokeswoman said that a bomb exploded a few minutes after Holmes arrived in the Somali capital on Saturday, and two other bombs went off within half an hour, all on the path of his itinerary. Personnel from the AU Mission to Somalia defused a fourth explosive device, also on the route of his itinerary. Holmes returned to Nairobi, and plans for a second day in Somalia were cancelled.
The Spokeswoman added, in response to further questions, that the United Nations was not suggesting that Holmes had been the target of those attacks.
U.N. IRAQ ENVOY CALLS ON PARTIES
TO REACH CONSENSUS ON CONSTITUTION
Ashraf Qazi, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Iraq, today called upon the Constitutional Review Committee to find consensus among all of the political blocs on needed changes to the Constitution, and he encouraged it to build consensus and foster compromise. The deadline for the completion of the Constitutional Review is tomorrow.
Qazi reiterated the determination of the UN Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) to assist the Committee in its efforts to deal with the core constitutional issues at the heart of how Iraqs federal system will function namely, a balanced division of powers between the federal government and the regions and a system for the fair distribution of oil revenues throughout Iraq.
DR CONGO ENVOY PROMISES TO PUSH FOR IMPROVEMENT
IN SITUATION OF DISPLACED PERSONS
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), William Lacy Swing, this weekend visited camps for internally displaced persons in Rutshuru in the restive North Kivu province.
With some 140,000 more civilians displaced by the insecurity and recurrent bouts of violence in the region since the start of 2007, Swing appealed to the displaced Congolese to continue to seek UN and international support and promised to press the Kinshasa authorities to work speedily toward improving their situation.
Noting that some 85% of UN peacekeepers in the DRC were deployed in the northeastern provinces, Swing said that the UN Force Commander and representatives of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) would be assessing local conditions with a view to addressing the immediate needs of the internally displaced. Swing later held working meetings with Congolese and UN officials posted in the region.
Meanwhile, High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour today started her 12-day
mission to the Great Lakes region in the DRC. She met in Kinshasa with President Joseph Kabila, Prime Minister Antoine Gizenga, Defense Minister Chikez Diemu, and senators and deputies in the National Assembly, as well as representatives of Congolese human rights groups.
Tomorrow she is scheduled to meet with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Human Rights. She is expected to head to Kisangani on Thursday. Among the issues she is discussing are the need to combat the still-widespread impunity in the DRC, sexual violence against women and girls, and the use of child soldiers.
TIMOR-LESTE MISSION COMMENDS PARTIES IN TRIAL
OF FORMER INTERIOR MINISTER
The United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT)
welcomes the unfolding of the judicial process over the past few months in the ongoing case of the Former Interior Minister, Rogerio Lobato.
The head of UNMIT, Atul Khare, has commended all relevant parties involved in the trial of the former Interior Minister, noting that Lobato submitted voluntarily and peacefully to justice. He also hopes that others, including Alfredo Reinado, would follow this example.
The latest decision shows that a culture of impunity will not be tolerated in Timor-Leste and that respect for the legal process will lead to the longer term goals of national reconciliation.
Meanwhile, as part of an ongoing road safety awareness campaign, UNMIT and UN police have moved to
remind people about the rules regarding appropriate documentation when driving vehicles anywhere in Timor-Leste.
In accordance with the applicable laws, vehicle drivers should have a drivers license, backed with a valid identification card and an insurance certificate. The driver must also be in possession of a vehicle registration card and a vehicle ID card, which proves that there have been periodic inspections on the vehicle.
Drivers not in possession of the appropriate documentation risk a series of penalties ranging from warnings to disqualification, which may include confiscation of vehicles. The Code also applies to all government-owned vehicles.
MOST INJECTING DRUG USERS DENIED ACCESS
TO BASIC HIV PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
Despite increased political commitment and funding for the AIDS response, most people who inject drugs are still being denied access to basic HIV prevention and treatment services, according to the Joint UN Programme against HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
The number of people who inject drugs globally was estimated at over 13 million at the end of 2005, yet only 8 percent have access to some kind of HIV prevention service, UNAIDS says.
WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY OPENS IN GENEVA
Today in Geneva, the World Health Assembly opened its sixtieth
session. The Assembly is the supreme policy- and decision-making body of the World Health Organization.
For the next week and a half, Member States will discuss various issues, including avian and pandemic influenza, polio and smallpox eradication; malaria and tuberculosis control; health and emergency-care systems; and progress in the use of medicines.
MEETINGS ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES AND DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN
BEGIN AT HEADQUARTERS
The 38th Session of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) got underway at Headquarters this morning.
For the next three weeks, the Committee will consider country reports from Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Pakistan, Serbia, Syria and Vanuatu on measures theyve taken to implement the Convention.
Also this morning, the Sixth Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues got underway. This years theme focuses on Territories, Lands and Natural Resources.
WORK OF COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
DETERMINED BY ITS MEMBER STATES
Asked about the Secretary-Generals reaction to what reporters described as setbacks in the Commission for Social Developments (CSDs) work last Friday, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General had asked for a complete report on everything that was discussed at the CSD. He will examine the perceived setbacks at the CSD, she said.
She added, in response to a question on whether the Secretary-General would congratulate Zimbabwe for chairing the CSD, that he would not, and it is not customary for him to do so.
Montas noted that the work of the CSD is decided by its Member States. Asked about Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Josť Antonio Ocampos role at the Friday talks, she said that he was not actively involved, noting that the CSD elects its own representatives.
REPORTS THAT SYRIAN PRESIDENT MADE THREATENING COMMENTS ABOUT LEBANON NOT TRUE: Asked about a report that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had made threatening comments about Lebanon in a recent conversation with the Secretary-General, the Spokeswoman said the reports were untrue.
MONTHLY SECURITY COUNCIL LUNCHEON IS SCHEDULED TOMORROW: There are no Security Council meetings scheduled for today, but the Secretary-General is scheduled to hold his monthly luncheon with Security Council members tomorrow. Asked whether the Secretary-General would brief the Security Council tomorrow on Lebanon and the special tribunal to try the suspected killers of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the Spokeswoman said that was a possibility.
Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
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