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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-10-03
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MICHELE MONTAS
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES LATEST STEPS TOWARDS DENUCLEARIZATION OF KOREAN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
announcement at the six-party talks in Beijing on the next phase of the
denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula. It stipulates important measures and
steps aimed at implementing the provisions of the earlier agreement in
February this year.
The Secretary-General is encouraged by this important
step forward in multilateral diplomatic efforts towards a nuclear-free
Peninsula. Given the vital importance of nuclear non-proliferation and
disarmament, these efforts deserve strong support from the international
community in order to maintain the current momentum. The Secretary-General
encourages all the parties concerned to step up their work for
denuclearization, as well as peace and security in the region, and to enhance
mutual trust among them.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY DEBATE WRAPS UP INTENSE WEEKS OF DIPLOMACY AT U.N.
The General Assemblys general
debate, which wraps up today,
has been an active and intense three weeks that began with a series of
high-level meetings, convened by the Secretary-General, on Darfur, Iraq and
There was a special meeting of the Quartet on the Middle
East, as well as a high-level meeting of the Africa Steering Group on the
Millennium Development Goalsa
clear signal of an important priority; and there was the highly successful
conference on climate change.
The goal was to galvanize UN efforts and to coordinate
its work under one roof the United Nations so that we fight global warming
together, as one. This, in itself, was a signal accomplishment. It is a model
of how the Secretary-General hopes to continue working closely with Member
States and the General Assembly in the
There was measurable progress and broad agreements on
most of these issues during the general debate. Over the course of the last
week, the Secretary-General continued these conversations one-on-one with more
than 130 heads of state and government, foreign ministers and permanent
representatives. Taken together, he believes that the United Nations has
established a firm foundation for its work during the year ahead.
The priorities are clear: there was a push for peace in
Darfur, with a special emphasis on the deployment of peacekeepers to the
region and the negotiations that begin in Tripoli on October 27; on climate
change, he is looking forward to
the Bali summit in December and winning an agreement on global warming that
all nations can embrace.
The United Nations wants to reinvigorate the
international community's development efforts, particularly in Africa, where
it needs to find fresh solutions for the ''bottom billion'' of the world's
poor. And it will pursue UN reform, within the Secretariat so that it can
better deliver more efficiently and effectively on all that is
increasingly expected of the United Nations in this era of proportionately
U.N. ENVOY ON
HIS WAY BACK TO HEADQUARTERS FROM MYANMAR
A day after his
departure from Myanmar, the Secretary-General's Special Advisor, Ibrahim Gambari, met today with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Foreign Minister George Yeo of Singapore, in Singapore's capacity as chair of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
They exchanged views on developments in Myanmar. The Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister both expressed ASEAN's strong support for Gambari's mission.
Gambari is now flying back to New York. He will report to the Secretary-General and brief the Security Council and the President of the General Assembly upon his return.
The Spokeswoman declined to comment on the specific details of Gambaris visit to Myanmar, saying that he would first brief the Secretary-General, and then the President of the General Assembly and the Security Council. Once that was done, he would speak to the press.
She added, in response to questions on when Gambari might brief the Security Council, that it was expected to take place on Friday, with an appearance before the press planned afterward.
Asked why Gambari was briefing the General Assembly President before he is to go to the Security Council, Montas said that was because Gambaris mandate on Myanmar comes from the General Assembly.
Asked about reports that UN personnel had been arrested in Myanmar, the Spokeswoman confirmed that a UN Development Programme (UNDP) staff member was arrested early this morning in Yangon.
In the early morning, she said, authorities conducted a sweep of houses and apartments in the Shwedagon Pagoda area, where the major protests occurred. In this round-up, a UNDP staff member, her husband and brother-in-law, as well as her personal driver, were arrested.
Montas said that the United Nations is following up on this issue and trying to secure her release. UNDP will be sending a letter to the Permanent Mission of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations today to intercede for her release.
SECURITY COUNCIL CONSIDERS REPORTS ON SOMALIA, GUINEA-BISSAU
The Security Council this morning held consultations on Somalia and Guinea-Bissau, to consider recent reports by the Secretary-General on both countries.
On Somalia, the Council heard a briefing from the Secretary-Generals new Special Representative, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah.
After that, Council members considered the latest report on Guinea-Bissau. Shola Omoregie, the Secretary-Generals Representative for that country, briefed the Council.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Security Council adopted a Presidential Statement condemning the murderous attack that was reportedly committed by a rebel group on African Union troops in Haskanita, in
South Darfur. The Council reiterated its support for the African Union Mission in Sudan and underlined that any attempt to undermine the peace process is unacceptable.
ATTACKS ON AID WORKERS IN DARFUR CONTINUE
According to the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), a non-governmental organizations truck was hijacked in North Darfur on Monday in the area of the Kassab camp for internally displaced persons. The driver of the vehicle, who was taken by the hijackers, together with the truck, has been located, but the vehicle is still missing.
Also on Monday, three armed men hijacked at gunpoint a UN vehicle in El Fasher. Efforts to recover the vehicle are still ongoing.
The UN Mission also reports the hijacking of an NGO vehicle in South Darfur over the weekend.
At UN Headquarters, there will be a meeting of the troop contributing countries for the AU-UN hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) on Thursday afternoon. Then, at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno and Jane Holl Lute, head of the Department of Field Services, are expected to brief the media in Room 226.
SECRETARY-GENERAL REGRETS LOSS OF LIFE IN TURKEY
The Secretary-General regrets the loss of lives caused by a series of recent attacks in Turkey, including two bomb blasts in Izmir which reportedly left one person killed and ten people wounded, as well as an attack on a bus on 29 September in southeastern Turkey near the town of Beytüssebab in the Sirnak province, which reportedly left 13 people killed.
The Secretary-General reiterates in the strongest terms his condemnation of violence in all its forms.
TIMOR-LESTE: MAN ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED ROLE IN 2006 VIOLENCE
The United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) confirmed that Vicente do Conceicao, alias Railos, was arrested early this morning for his alleged role in the events of the 25th and 26th of May last year.
Railos has been charged with violating Articles 338 and 55 of the Penal Code, related to homicide, and he was expected to appear in Court in Dili later in the day.
The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Timor-Leste, Atul Khare, welcomed the arrest as a continued sign of the strong commitment by Timorese authorities to implement the recommendations of the UN Special Commission of Inquiry Report issued in October last year.
REPORT: RESOLUTION OF FINAL STATUS KEY TO FURTHER PROGRESS ON KOSOVO
In his latest report on the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), the Secretary-General says that UNMIK has largely achieved what is achievable under Security Council resolution 1244; further progress now depends on a timely resolution of the future status question.
The Secretary-General urged the parties and the Troika to do their utmost to reach an agreement that could be endorsed by the Security Council, adding that the United Nations will continue to assist the process.
He further noted the substantial gap between the parties, and said that consideration should be given to how to deal with the situation if the sides are unable to reach agreement by the end of the current 120-day period of engagement.
UNMOVIC WORKING TO DISPOSE OF ARCHIVES IN A COST-EFFECTIVE MANNER
The UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), whose mandate in Iraq was terminated at the end of June, has done considerable work over the past three months to dispose of its archives and other property, the Secretary-General says in a new report.
The report said that every effort has been made to complete these tasks as speedily as possible and in a cost-effective manner, to minimize the charge to the Iraqi escrow account.
MORE FLOODS IN UGANDA; FLASH APPEAL REMAINS UNDERFUNDED
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that flooding is still continuing in Uganda.
Last week, the UN Humanitarian Air Service flew in more than 10 tonnes of food and nearly 8 tonnes of basic household items. For its part, UNICEF has provided emergency health kits to cover 10,000 people for 30 days.
OCHA says that the health of the flood survivors is of particular concern, especially in light of the fact that the UN flash appeal that was launched nearly two weeks ago for Uganda remains only two per cent funded.
UNHCR: DISTURBING TRENDS IN TREATMENT OF ASYLUM-SEEKERS
In its annual refugee protection report, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warns that security concerns are playing a larger role in asylum systems in an increasing number of countries, leading to a disturbing trend in which rights become peripheral.
Addressing the annual meeting of UNHCRs Executive Committee, Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Erika Feller said that arbitrary detention, including of children, and the privatization of detention, is particularly worrying.
Also of concern was the growth of a class of untouchables deemed undesirable for resettlement, including politically sensitive ethnic groups, elderly persons, large families, or refugees with low educational levels.
SECRETARY-GENERAL STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF UNFPAS WORK
Last night the Secretary-General addressed a gala hosted by the non-governmental organization Americans for UNFPA, the UN Population Fund.
He told those gathered that too many women die during pregnancy and childbirth, become infected with HIV, and are subjected to violence because they do not have power over their own lives.
This is why UNFPAs work is so important and needs to be understood and supported, he added.
SECRETARY-GENERALS DISCUSSIONS WITH DPRK AMBASSADOR FOCUSED ON INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT: Asked whether the Secretary-General, in his recent meeting with the ambassador for the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea on Monday, had brought up the issue of access for the Board of Auditors to that country, the Spokeswoman said that the matter did not come up, since they had been discussing the inter-Korean summit. She added that efforts are continuing to obtain access.
AFRICAN SWINE FEVER SPREADS FROM GEORGIA TO ARMENIA: The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) plans to provide emergency technical assistance to Georgia and Armenia in order to accelerate rapid surveillance of African Swine Fever (ASF) and implement a national control strategy for that sickness. FAO warned that ASF remains deeply entrenched in Georgia and that it has recently hit northern Armenia and the outskirts of the capital, Yerevan.
UNICEF LAUNCHES PARTNERSHIP WITH SPECIAL OLYMPICS: UNICEF today announced a partnership with Special Olympics International to advance the rights of children with intellectual disabilities. The two organizations will work together to advocate for health care, education, recreational sports and employment policies.
SECRETARY-GENERAL ISSUES MESSAGE TO SPECIAL OLYMPICS: Today marked the opening of the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai. In a message to the participants, the Secretary-General highlighted the recent adoption by the General Assembly of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and its recognition of the important role sports can play in their lives. He saluted the athletes and wished them a record-breaking 2007 World Summer Games.
UNESCO AND THE REPETTO FOUNDATION LAUNCH DANCE FOR LIFE: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the REPETTO Foundation have
signed a partnership entitled Dance for Life to support educational projects that involve dance as a means to integrate marginalized children. This partnership will be presented during a press conference on 9 October at the UNESCO Headquarters.
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