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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-10-18

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

Thursday, October 18, 2007

BAN KI-MOON

NAMES FIVE SENIOR OFFICIALS FOR AFRICA

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has informed the Security

Council of his intention to appoint three Special Representatives: Ellen

Margrethe Loj of Denmark for Liberia; Alan

Doss of the United Kingdom for the Democratic Republic of the

Congo; and Choi Young-Jin of the Republic

of Korea for Côte dIvoire.

A response from the Security Council is expected shortly.

Ms. Loj, who most recently served as Denmarks Permanent

Representative to the United Nations, will replace Alan Doss.

Mr. Doss, currently the Secretary-Generals Special

Representative for Liberia, will replace William Lacy Swing of the United

States.

Mr. Choi, who most recently served as Permanent

Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN, will replace Pierre Schori

of Sweden.

In addition, the Secretary-General has appointed two

Deputy Special Representatives: Ms. Bintou Keita of Guinea for Burundi and Mr.

Bacre Waly Ndiaye of Senegal for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

BAN KI-MOON APPOINTS DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL

FOR U.N. GENEVA OFFICE

The Secretary-General has appointed Jan Beagle of New

Zealand as Deputy Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva (UNOG),

as part of his effort to strengthen the overall management capacity and

coordination among the organizations of the Secretariat in Geneva.

Ms. Beagle, who currently serves as Assistant

Secretary-General for Human Resources Management, has over 30 years of

experience in the United Nations in the political, development, management,

administrative and inter-agency areas of the Organization.

Prior to joining the United Nations, she served in New

Zealands diplomatic service.

MYANMAR MUST FULLY ADHERE TO ROADMAP TO

DEMOCRACY

The Secretary-Generals

Special Envoy for Myanmar, Ibrahim Gambari, in

Jakarta today held talks with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang

Yudhoyono and Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda. They discussed strategies on

how to ensure quick results to find a long- term solution on

Myanmar by encouraging ASEAN countries to play an important role.

In his remarks to the press following the meetings,

Gambari stressed the three aspects of his mission, adding that the United

Nations and ASEAN share a common objective for stable, peaceful, prosperous

and democratic Myanmar with full respect for Human Rights.

Gambari highlighted that the seven steps and the road map

to democracy need to be followed completely, effectively and to deliver

tangible results, adding that the Secretary-General is asking members of ASEAN

and other neighboring countries to use it so that Tan Sui will actually follow

through on his commitment.

He also said the view of the United Nations and the

International Communities that the process that is needed for national

reconciliation Myanmar should be all inclusive and for those who have

contributed in Myanmar.

Asked what kind of cooperation

Gambari expects to receive when he visits India, the Spokeswoman said that he

is meeting with a range of officials in the countries he visits in order to

achieve the goals of his mission concerning Myanmar. She declined to speculate

on what would be achieved in his different stops until he visits those

countries.

FIVE MILLION PEOPLE LACK SUFFICIENT FOOD

IN MYANMAR

The World Food Programme

said today that

humanitarian assistance presently provided to Myanmar is short of meeting the

needs of the people, and the local Government must undertake immediate

critical reforms for the benefit of the country's desperately poor and needy.

Following last weeks visit to Myanmar, WFP Regional

Director for Asia, Tony Banbury, said that while at least 5 million vulnerable

persons in Myanmar are short of food and far too many people suffer needlessly

from diseases and poverty, WFP can presently only provide food to about 10

percent of them.

Banbury added that humanitarian organizations are faced

with insufficient funding. Only 30 percent of the current WFP operation in

Myanmar is funded but it plans to reach a total of 1.6 million vulnerable

people at a total cost of $51.7 million in 3 years time.

BAN KI-MOON WARNS AGAINST ESCALATION OF

TENSIONS

AT TURKISH BORDER WITH IRAQ

Asked about the

Secretary-Generals reaction to the decision by the Turkish Parliament adopted

on Wednesday, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General was aware of

that decision, which would enable the Turkish armed forces to take cross

border military action in Iraq.

The Secretary-General believes

that any escalation of tension would further complicate the efforts of the

international community, including those by the United Nations, to bring

stability to this volatile region, she said.

Equally, Montas said, the

Secretary-General strongly encourages the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan

Regional Government to take decisive measures to ensure that Iraq's territory

is not used by the PKK to mount cross-border attacks against Turkey.

Asked whether there would be

an official statement by the Secretary-General on this matter, the Spokeswoman

said that, for now, there would not. Asked why no statement had been issued,

Montas noted that diplomatic efforts were continuing to avoid any

confrontation in the border area.

BAN KI-MOON APPEALS FOR CONSOLIDATION

OF IMPROVING AFRICAN GOVERNANCE

The Secretary-General today delivered

remarks to the

General Assembly Plenary Debate on the New Partnership for Africas

Development (NEPAD),

the causes of conflict and promotion of peace and development in Africa, and

the Decade to Roll Malaria.

The Secretary-General said we must now help consolidate

positive changes in Africa through stronger, more coherent UN support,

including in the areas of governance and institutional capacity-building.

On malaria, he noted that we now have the tools and

increased resources to control the sickness. But every minute we wait, another

two children die needlessly, he said.

INVESTING IN WOMENS HEALTH CAN HELP

REDUCE POVERTY

Speaking at a conference on womens health and womens

rights in London, Deputy

Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro says that it is time for the world to

deliver for women by increasing investment in womens health and well-being.

Unless this is done, entire nations will not be able to

lift themselves out of poverty, she warns.

INT'L CRIMINAL COURT TAKES CUSTODY OF

CONGOLESE WARLORD

The International Criminal

Court (ICC) says

that it has taken custody earlier today of Germain Katanga, a former senior

commander of the Force de Résistance Patriotique en Ituri in the Democratic

Republic of the Congo. Katanga, who is 29-years-old, is suspected of war

crimes and crimes against humanity and is now being held at the ICCs

detention center in The Hague.

In sealed documents filed in

June 2007, the ICC Prosecutor introduced evidence against Katanga, charging

him with three counts of crimes against humanity and six counts of war crimes.

Deputy-Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a statement today that Katangas name

will forever be associated with the village of Bogoro where in February 2003

Katangas fighters slaughtered some 200 people and forced local women into

sexual slavery, among other crimes.

Meanwhile, the UN Mission in

the DRC (MONUC) says that

363 former Congolese soldiers who fought alongside renegade General Laurent

Nkunda have left his ranks and joined the so-called brassage process,

which will lead to their reinsertion into the Government Army.

RWANDAN

CHARGED WITH GENOCIDE IS ARRESTED IN FRANCE

French authorities earlier this week arrested Rwandan

national Dominique Ntawukuriryayo, who has been on the run from the

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). He was detained by French

police in the town Carcassone, in southern France, and is expected to be

transferred to Paris and then on to the ICTR

in Arusha, Tanzania, in the next few days.

The suspect was a sub-prefect of Gisagara, in the

southern Rwandan province of Butare, during the genocide. The charge sheet

against him, submitted by ICTR Prosecutor Hassan Jallow in 2005, accuses him

of genocide, complicity in genocide and inciting the public to commit

genocide.

FIRE DESTROYS WAREHOUSE IN SYRIA; SETS

BACK IRAQI REFUGEE

ASSISTANCE OPERATION

The UN Refugee Agency

says that a fire

that broke out this morning at its compound in Damascus, Syria, will set back

operations there for some time.

The fire lasted for about six hours, destroying one

warehouse completely, along with thousands of tents and blankets. Other

buildings in the compound were flooded with water and remain full of

smoke. Several hundred refugees, along with about 40 staff members, were

evacuated.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

More than 80,000 Iraqi refugees have been registered at

the center this year.

In

his most

recent report on Iraq, the Secretary-General expressed concern about the

number of Iraqi refugees and displaced persons. He noted that the capacities

of neighbouring host countries, particularly Syria and Jordan, are strained to

extreme levels. He called on the Iraqi Government and the international

community to step up assistance for those in need, and also called for

political dialogue aimed at improving the security situation inside Iraq, in

order to create the conditions for the safe return of refugees and internally

displaced persons.

Asked about the safety

situation in Iraq, the Spokeswoman said that security conditions are assessed

regularly for UN staff. Asked about the Secretary-Generals decision to

increase staffing levels in Baghdad, she said that he would not make such a

decision, if he believed that there was a threat to the lives of staff.

UNESCO CHIEF CONDEMNS KILLINGS OF IRAQI

JOURNALISTS

The Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific

and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Koïchiro Matsuura

condemned the killing in Iraq of 5 Iraqi reporters one from the

Washington Post, three from Al Watan and one freelance journalist.

According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the new

killings bring the number of journalists assassinated in Iraq to at least 54

since the start of the year.

MONEY MIGRANTS SEND HOME SURPASSES AID TO

DEVELOPING NATIONS

Migrants working in industrialized countries sent more

than $300 billion to developing nations in 2006.

Thats according to a

study released today

in Washington, DC, by the UNs International Fund for Agricultural Development

(IFAD) and the Inter-American Development Bank.

According to IFAD, the seemingly

small sums sent home by migrant workers, when added together, actually dwarf

official development assistance.

The study says that, in 2006,

India was the top destination for remittances, having received nearly $25

billion. It was followed by Mexico, China, the Philippines and Russia.

UNITED NATIONS

CORRECTS INTERPRETATION MISTAKE

IN SYRIAN DELEGATES COMMENTS

There was a technical error in a press release that was

issued on Tuesday about the work of the First Committee, which incorrectly

cited a Syrian representative as mentioning a nuclear facility in that

country. In fact, the representative had simply mentioned what happened on 6

September 2007 against my country, and had not used the word nuclear at all

in that phrase.

The mistake was due to an interpretation error, and a

corrected press release has since been issued. We regret the error, and the

department that deals with General Assembly affairs is looking further into

the incident.

In response to questions, the

Spokeswoman said that the mistake had clearly been one of interpretation, as

anyone who heard the original Arabic would realize.

She confirmed that the Syrian

Mission had discussed the matter with the Department of General Assembly and

Conference Management.

According to the translation services, action will be

taken against that interpreter to the fullest extent of the UN Rules and

Regulations.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TAKES DISCIPLINARY MEASURE AGAINST U.N. STAFF MEMBER

Asked whether

Andrew Toh of the Department of Management had been demoted to director level,

the Spokeswoman said that, after carefully considering the case on the basis

of the report of the Joint Disciplinary Committee, the Secretary-General

reached a decision, involving the imposition of disciplinary measures. The

decision has been conveyed to the staff member.

The

Secretary-General, Montas said, stresses the importance he attaches to the

accountability of UN staff members, as he noted in his recent press stakeout,

and to that of senior managers in particular. The disciplinary measures

imposed reflect the seriousness with which he views the matter.

She added that

this is an internal, confidential matter between the Organization and a staff

member, and declined to provide any further comment.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

UNITED NATIONS READIES EMERGENCY AID FOR POSSIBLE

VOLCANIC ERUPTION IN EAST JAVA: The Office for the Coordination of

Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says the

U.N. office in Indonesia is closely monitoring the situation in East Java, after

government experts said the eruption of the Mount Kelud volcano is imminent.

U.N. agencies are taking part in assessment missions, and the World Health

Organization is already mobilizing emergency medical supplies and health staff.

UNITED KINGDOM PLEDGES LARGE DONATION TO POPULATION

FUND: The UN Population Fund has

received a pledge from

the United Kingdom of 100 million pounds over five years, to achieve universal

access to reproductive health. The announcement in London came on the first day

of the Women Deliver conference, where leaders have gathered to discuss ways to

reduce maternal deaths.

SECRETARIAT NOT TOLD OF

BUDGETARY COMMITTEE'S REPORTED POSITION ON A U.N PUBLICATION:

Asked whether the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions

(ACABQ) had informed the Secretariat that it considered one UN publication sold

in the bookstore as useless, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretariat had not

received that information.

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


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