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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-10-10
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MICHELE MONTAS
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
BAN KI-MOON TO TRAVEL TO
WASHINGTON, D.C. TOMORROW
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be traveling tomorrow
to Washington, D.C., where he will meet with CEOs dealing with climate change
issues at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Later in the day, he will be the keynote speaker at an
event organized by the National Association of Evangelicals, in an effort to
reach out to business and religious groups on climate change and the
importance of meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
On Friday, he will meet members of the Peace Corps before
returning to headquarters.
SECURITY COUNCIL TO DISCUSS MYANMAR THIS AFTERNOON
At 3 p.m., Security Council members are scheduled to hold consultations to discuss a draft Presidential Statement on Myanmar.
The Security Council today received, in consultations, an update on the situation in Haiti from the Secretary-Generals Special Representative to that country, Hédi Annabi. The Council also heard from the chair of the Counter Terrorism Committee, Ambassador Ricardo Arias of Panama.
After consultations yesterday, the Council President, Ambassador Leslie Kojo Christian of Ghana, read out a press statement on Nepal, in which he said that Council members expressed their disappointment at the news of the delay to Nepal's Constituent Assembly elections.
U.N. ENVOY LIKELY TO RETURN TO MYANMAR BEFORE NOVEMBER
Asked whether the Secretary-Generals Special Adviser, Ibrahim Gambari, would travel back to Myanmar sooner than November, the Spokeswoman said that he would most probably go back to that country earlier, although he would first travel to other countries in the region. No date has been set yet for his next visit to Myanmar.
Asked what Gambari was trying to achieve in Myanmar, Montas said that he had stated his goals clearly in his briefing to the Security Council last Friday.
Asked whether the Special Adviser was strengthening the government of Myanmar by shuttling between Senior General Than Shwe and Aung San Suu Kyi, the Spokeswoman said that Gambari's clearly stated intentions were to protect the rights of the people of Myanmar and to help achieve genuine national reconciliation.
Asked whether the Secretary-General is frustrated that Security Council members have not yet agreed on a Presidential Statement on Myanmar, Montas said that is a matter for the members of the Security Council.
BAN KI-MOON APPEALS TO ALL PARTIES TO RECOMMIT
TO PEACE RESOLUTION OF DARFUR CONFLICT
In the Secretary-Generals progress report on the deployment of the AU-UN hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID), he says that the implementation timeline for the operation is being delayed owing to the challenges encountered in efforts to obtain land for the construction of the UNAMID offices and accommodations in
Darfur, as well as delays in obtaining feedback regarding the list of troop-contributing countries submitted to the Government of Sudan.
Regarding the continuing violence in Darfur, the Secretary-General said that the ongoing loss of life and displacement of civilians is unacceptable and is not contributing to an atmosphere conducive to the upcoming peace talks in Libya.
He reiterates his appeal to all parties to recommit themselves in good faith, as a matter of the highest priority, to a peaceful resolution of the conflict and to observe an immediate cessation of hostilities.
While outlining the ongoing preparations for the peace talks, the Secretary-General says that the fragmentation and lack of unity among the movements continue to be a cause of concern. He said it is paramount that the parties now show seriousness and commitment and enter the negotiation process well prepared and in earnest so as to reach a final negotiated settlement to the conflict as soon as possible.
For UNAMID to deploy and be effective, for a cease-fire to take place and hold, and for the political negotiations to begin and bear fruit, all must play their respective parts, the Secretary-General concludes.
Regarding the preparations for the Libya negotiations, UN Special Envoy Jan Eliasson, who is in Khartoum today,
met with Presidential Advisor and Chief Negotiator Nafie Ali Nafie. He also chaired a high-level meeting with senior representatives of the regional partners, including Libyan Minister for African Affairs Ali Triki, to finalize preparations for the negotiations.
ATTACK LEAVES SOUTH DARFUR TOWN COMPLETELY DESERTED
The UN Mission in Sudan provided further details of the recent attack that took place in and around the town of Muhajariya in South Darfur.
The mission reports that an estimated 6,000 villagers and displaced persons fled to the north of the town, seeking refuge around an African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) group site.
Other residents reportedly fled to neighboring villages and the surrounding areas, leaving the town, which previously had a population estimated at 20,000 inhabitants, completely deserted.
A large number of houses in Muhajariya have been burnt to the ground, as well as several shops in the market.
CÔTE DIVOIRE: SECRETARY-GENERAL EXPRESSES CONCERN
ABOUT DELAY IN IMPLEMENTING PEACE AGREEMENT
In the Secretary-Generals latest report on Côte dIvoire, he says that the security situation has been calm since the signing of the Ouagadougou peace agreement in March 2007. Security continues to improve, despite a June attack on an aircraft carrying Prime Minister Guillaume Soro.
The political atmosphere has also improved somewhat, but delays in implementing the peace agreement are serious causes for concern. Difficulties in unifying the army have delayed the disarmament programme and the redeployment of State administration throughout the country. This, in turn, has placed serious strains on preparations for general elections, including a nationwide identification scheme.
Among the reports recommendations, the Secretary-General appeals to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to work closely with the UN Operation in Côte dIvoire (ONUCI) in realizing the Ouagadougou Agreement. He also recommends that current UN troop levels be maintained.
U.N. NEPAL ENVOY STRESSES IMPORTANCE
OF CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS
In reaction to the postponement of the elections in Nepal, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative there, Ian Martin, stressed today the importance of political parties maintaining their alliance, and going forward to agree on how to sustain the peace process and its implementation, and to create the conditions for the Constituent Assembly election.
Martin also condemned the assassination of a local official yesterday, highlighting frustrations by all communities across Nepal, on the poor state of public security.
He also said that without greater cooperation among the parties and civil society at the local level, the risk of communal tension and violence remains considerable.
The Secretary-Generals latest report on Nepal will be issued next week, and Mr. Martin will be in New York the following week to brief the Security Council.
Asked what the United Nations can do to deal with problems regarding Nepal, the Spokeswoman noted that Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Angela Kane on Tuesday briefed the Security Council on what the United Nations could do better there. She added that the Secretary-Generals next report on Nepal would come out shortly.
SECRETARY-GENERAL MEETS WITH HEAD OF NEW GUATEMALA
The Secretary-General received a visit yesterday afternoon from Carlos Castresana Fernández, whom the Secretary-General appointed recently to head the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (known by its Spanish initials as CICIG).
The Secretary-General expressed his full support for the work of the Commission and thanked Mr. Castresana for accepting the assignment. The Commission is still in the preparatory phase, and Mr. Castresana said he expects it will begin operations in Guatemala by the beginning of January.
PREVENTION OF MASS ATROCITIES AMONG U.N.S MOST SACRED CALLINGS
The United Nations University and the International Crisis Group are today holding an all-day event at UN Headquarters on preventing genocide. The goal is to explore the work of mass atrocity prevention across the UN system, with a particular focus on the Office of the Special Representative for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities.
In a message to the event, the Secretary-General says preventing mass atrocities is among the UNs and international communitys most sacred callings. Regrettably, however, it is a duty we have not always carried out well, he adds. The killing fields of Rwanda, Cambodia and the Balkans stand silent witness to the brutality that passed unchecked by an international system lacking both the will and the vision to act. The Secretary-General concludes that we can and must do better.
SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES SCALING UP OF RESOURCES
FOR MENTAL HEALTH CARE
Today is World Mental Health Day. In a message to mark the occasion, the Secretary-General says that resources for mental health are scarce and that the proportion of those who need, but do not receive, care is more than 60 per cent.
He adds that fear of stigma leads many to avoid seeking care and that the consequences are enormous in terms of disability, human suffering, and economic loss.
U.N. KOSOVO MISSION COMPOUND PARTIALLY EVACUATED: Asked about an evacuation at the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), the Spokeswoman confirmed that there was a partial evacuation of the UNMIK compound today, following the discovery of a device underneath a UN police car during a routine sweep. It is not known at this time exactly what the device was, but UNMIK says that all staff members are fine. The NATO Kosovo police Force is currently investigating the incident, Montas said
DATE ON SECRETARY-GENERAL PORTRAIT TO BE UPDATED AT END OF HIS MANDATE: The Spokeswoman, in response to a question concerning a portrait of Ban Ki-moon that had been given by Iran, noted that the Iranians had chosen not to include an end date for Ban Ki-moons term as Secretary-General, since his mandate has not yet ended.
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