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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-10-09

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

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES KOSOVO AND

NEPAL

The Security Council

this morning received in its consultations a periodic update on the work of

the UN Mission in Kosovo by the head

of that mission, Special Representative Joachim Rücker.

The Security Council then heard from Assistant

Secretary-General for Political Affairs Angela Kane, under other matters,

about Nepal. Youll recall that we told you last week that Secretary-General

Ban Ki-moon was

disappointed by the decision of the Interim Government of Nepal to

postpone the Constituent Assembly Election which had been scheduled for 22

November.

CLASHES REPORTED IN SOUTH DARFUR TOWN

The UN

Mission in Sudan, citing initial reports it has received, has reported

that clashes took place yesterday in and around the town of Muhajariya in

South Darfur between the SLA (Sudan Liberation Army)/Minni Minawi faction and

forces suspected to be tribal militia.

The mission did not have further information on the

circumstances of the fighting nor on possible casualties.

Meanwhile, the UN Special Envoy for Darfur Jan Eliasson

is back in Khartoum to meet with Government officials, members of civil

society and other stakeholders in the upcoming peace negotiations on Darfur

scheduled in Libya.

SECRETARY-GENERAL DISCUSSES MYANMAR WITH

U.S. FIRST LADY

The Spokeswoman, in response

to questions, confirmed that the Secretary-General had spoken today by phone

with US first lady Laura Bush, and that they had discussed the Human Rights

situation in Myanmar. The Secretary-General provided an update on the work

being done by his Special Advisor, Ibrahim Gambari.

The Spokeswoman said the call

was a follow-up to a call that the first lady had made to the

Secretary-General when he was in Torino, Italy, in August.

Asked about an erroneous media

report concerning the UN offices in Myanmar, which she had corrected on

Monday, Montas reiterated that there had never been any formal request from

the Myanmar authorities for the United Nations to turn over its computers.

AFGHANISTANS RESUMPTION OF EXECUTIONS IS

CONDEMNED

High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour today

expressed her dismay at the reported execution of 15 convicted prisoners

on Sunday. I am deeply troubled by this sudden resort to execution, after

three years of refraining from carrying out the death penalty, Arbour said.

As reported, the circumstances of the executions may constitute a breach of

Afghanistan's obligations under international law.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Secretary-Generals

Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tom Koenigs, also expressed concern at

the executions. He said that the UN

Assistance Mission in Afghanistan has been a staunch supporter of the

moratorium on executions observed in Afghanistan in recent years.

VIOLATIONS OF LEBANONS BLUE LINE TOP

AGENDA

OF TRILATERAL MILITARY DISCUSSIONS

The Force Commander of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL),

Major-General Claudio Graziano, met with senior officials from the Lebanese

Armed Forces and the Israel Defense Forces today at the UN position at the

border crossing at Ras Al Naqoura.

The main focus points discussed were the implementation

of

resolution 1701, especially the violations of the Blue Line, with a view

to preventing incidents. They also discussed the marking of the Blue Line and

the temporary security arrangements for the northern part of the village of

Ghajar.

Graziano said afterwards that he was encouraged with the

general approach and the determination of the parties to adhere to the

relevant provisions of resolution 1701.

NEARLY SIX MILLION IRAQI CHILDREN HEAD

BACK TO SCHOOL

Nearly six million Iraqi children are going back to the

classroom this week, according to

UNICEF, which

lauded the extraordinary efforts by parents, teachers and local officials to

keep Iraqs schools open and functioning.

However, UNICEF adds, a quality education amidst the

ongoing conflict remains an uphill struggle for many Iraqi families, and it

notes that just 28 per cent of Iraqs graduation-age population took their

exams at all.

Iraqs schools are in urgent need of support, both in

terms of access to schooling and the quality of learning children receive,

said Roger Wright, the UNICEF Representative for Iraq. Well-educated children

represent a chance to lift Iraq into a future of security and hope.

FIRE SWEEPS THROUGH IRAQI REFUGEE CAMP

ON SYRIAN BORDER

The UN refugee agency

says its deeply

concerned about the precarious living conditions of Palestinian refugees at

the Al Tanf border camp in the no-man's land between Iraq and Syria.

After a devastating fire recently swept through the camp,

UNHCR rushed tents, mattresses and kitchen supplies to the area, organized the

refilling of fire extinguishers, and explored extra fire-prevention measures.

COMMUNICATIONS LINKS RESTORED IN REMOTE

BANGLADESH REGIONS

The International Telecommunication Union

(ITU) has deployed 30

satellite terminals as a way to help restore vital communication links in

remote areas of Bangladesh, which has recently been ravaged by floods and

where response efforts have been hampered by damaged roads and lack of

telecommunications facilities.

ITU is taking all measures to help governments focus on

rehabilitation operations, particularly by covering all expenses that include

transportation of equipment, training, and usage.

EX-MILITIA LEADERS ARE SENTENCED BY

SIERRA LEONE SPECIAL COURT

Two former leaders of Sierra Leones Civil

Defense Forces (CDF) militia have received prison sentences following their

convictions in August for war crimes committed during the countrys

decade-long civil conflict, according to a press release issued by the

Special Court for Sierra Leone.

Justice Itoe said that while both

Prosecution and Defence had recommended single, global sentences, the Court

had decided to hand down separate sentences on each count for which the two

accused had been found guilty.

FINAL CONVOY OF CONGOLESE REFUGEES LEAVES BANGUI, C.A.R.

The UN Refugee

Agency has wrapped up a 3-year long phased repatriation programme for

Congolese refugees in the Central African Republic. A final convoy of some 130

Congolese refugees left the host countrys capital, Bangui, this weekend for

the region around Kinshasa.

The operation began in 2004 but was repeatedly disrupted

due to widespread insecurity. Since then a total of 135,000 Congolese refugees

have been sent back home from neighboring countries, 43,000 since the start of

this year. Even so, some 312,000 remain in refugee camps in Tanzania, Zambia

and Rwanda.

AIRLIFTED FOOD SUPPLIES RUNNING SCARCE

FOR FLOOD-AFFECTED UGANDANS

The World Food Programme (WFP) is

warning that it is

running out of food for hundreds of thousands of Ugandans affected by

floods. WFP has been airlifting food and other assistance by helicopter to

marooned communities, but says supplies will run out in December if it doesnt

receive any new contributions.

The agency still needs more than $20 million to buy food

and to provide trucks, boats, aircraft and emergency road and bridge

repairs. To date, WFP has only received one fifth of that amount.

Elsewhere in Africa, WFP is also feeding people affected

by floods in Ghana and Togo. The Central Emergency Response Fund, meanwhile,

has allocated almost $4 million for flood survivors in Ghana, Togo and Mali

since August.

AWARENESS OF DISASTER REDUCTION MUST

BEGIN IN SCHOOL

To mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction,

which is tomorrow, the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR)

has launched a new publication on keeping

children safe at school and educating them about disasters.

ISDR notes children are one of the groups most vulnerable

to disasters more than 10,000 schools were destroyed in Pakistan during the

2005 earthquake, for example.

In a message to mark the day, the Secretary-General says

we have a moral, social and economic obligation to act now in building

resilient communities and nations.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

HEALTH WATCHDOGS SIGN UP COUNTRIES TO

IMPROVE ACCESS TO TB MEDICINE: The Stop Tuberculosis Partnership's Global

Drug Facility and UNITAID which are both hosted by the World Health

Organization have

announced a collaboration with 19 countries to address life-threatening

shortages of anti-tuberculosis drugs. The initiative will provide drugs to

countries that are scaling up their tuberculosis control efforts but are not

able to cover their full needs at present. B

BAN KI-MOON

SUPPORTS PALESTINIAN DEMANDS FOR OPENING OF CROSSINGS:

The Spokeswoman declined to respond specifically to comments by a Hamas official

in Gaza who had called on the Secretary-General to resign. She referred

reporters to the Secretary-Generals clear positions on Middle East issues,

including his support for the population in Gaza and his push for the opening of

crossing points there.

UN WEBSITES FULLY RESTORED AFTER HACKERS ATTACK:

Asked about the UNs investigation into the hacking of its web site, the

Spokeswoman said that the hackers had not been determined, but the damage to the

web site had been repaired and measures had been taken on how to protect the

site.

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES SINGAPORES RETURN TO

UNESCO: Asked about Singapores decision

to rejoin the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the

Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General had no specific comment, but she

added that the decision was welcome.

TOP HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICIAL HEADS TO SRI LANKA: High

Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour will head to Sri Lanka tomorrow, as

part of her mandate to engage with Member States on the promotion and protection

of human rights. Arbour plans to meet with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and other

senior Government officials, as well as representatives of political parties, UN

agencies and civil society.

TRIBUNALS FOR

RWANDA AND FORMER YUGOSLAVIA BEGIN REVIEW OF ARCHIVE-STORAGE OPTIONS: Today

in The Hague, both the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

launched a key

study on the future of their archives. An expert committee has been formed and

is chaired by the Tribunals former Prosecutor Richard Goldstone. The expert

committee will provide an independent analysis on future accessibility of the

archives and will review study possible storage locations. A recommendation

expected at the end of the study is whether or not both Tribunals should keep a

single joint archive, two separate archives or multiple archives.

UNITED NATIONS

PROMOTES GOOD EATING HABITS: Responding to a rise in diet-related diseases

and malnutrition, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has

published

a new planning guide on good eating habits, addressed to primary schools.The

main purpose is to make children aware of how to handle food safely and avoid

food-related risks, such as excess weight, obesity, diabetes and hypertension.

FAO also stressed that as future parents, children should be able to educate

their own children to follow a well-balanced quality diet.

POSTAL UNION

MARKS WORLD POST DAY: Today is World Post Day, and the Universal Postal

Union has an official

message

stressing the economic importance of making sure all the worlds citizens have

easy access to postal services.

  • ** The guests

    at the noon briefing were John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian

    Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator; and Markku Niskala, Secretary-General

    of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

    They discussed disaster reduction and the International Day for Disaster

    Reduction. ***

    Office of the Spokesperson for the

    Secretary-General

    United Nations, S-378

    New York, NY 10017

    Tel. 212-963-7162

    Fax. 212-963-7055

    to the Spokesperson's Page


    United Nations Daily Highlights Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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