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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-10-19
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MICHELE MONTAS
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
Friday, October 19, 2007
COUNCIL IS BRIEFED ON U.N.S EXPANDED ROLE IN IRAQ
Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn
Pascoe told the Security Council, in
an open meeting on Iraq, that there is an opportunity in that country today
that is not to be missed.
Pascoe briefed the Council on the Secretary-Generals
on Iraq, which notes the expanded role of the
UN Mission in that country, as well as the small increase in UN staffing
in Baghdad and Erbil.
He stressed that the United Nations must be afforded the
necessary political and humanitarian space to implement the new mandate, and
the ability of the Organization to talk with all sides must be protected and
Prior to the Iraq meeting, the Council President,
Ambassador Leslie Kojo Christian of Ghana, read out a Presidential Statement
voicing concern at drug trafficking in Guinea-Bissau and expressing the
Councils intention to consider that countrys request as a possible candidate
for the Peacebuilding
BAN KI-MOON STRONGLY CONDEMNS DEADLY
ATTACK IN PAKISTAN
yesterday afternoon, the Secretary-General expressed shock at the attack on
former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhuttos convoy, shortly after her
arrival in Karachi, which killed more than 100 people and injured many more.
The Secretary-General strongly condemns this terrorist
attack and expresses condolences to the families of the victims. He trusts
that all political forces will act together to strengthen national unity.
U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY HELPS CONGOLESE
The UN Refugee Agency has begun the
Congolese civilians displaced by the latest upsurge in violence in North Kivu.
The internally displaced (IDPs) are being moved from a
congested makeshift settlement with very difficult living conditions to a new
camp with essential facilities.
Some 500 IDPs were transferred yesterday from the
makeshift Ndosho settlement to a new camp in Buhimba, just outside of the
regional capital Goma, where the displaced people continue to arrive, with
some 500 families reaching the camps in the past 10 days.
Aid agencies estimate over 370,000 people have had to
relocate to humanitarian camps in North Kivu since December 2006.
Meanwhile, Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Secretary-General's
Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, has expressed grave
concern over the escalation of forced child recruitment and sexual violence in
North Kivu by Laurent Nkundas armed forces, the FDLR and allied militias.
CÔTE D'IVOIRE: GROUP OF EXPERTS
ABOUT INABILITY TO CONDUCT WEAPONS INSPECTIONS
In the latest
the Group of Experts on Cote dIvoire, the experts note that impartial forces
were increasingly being denied permission to conduct inspections of the
embargo on arms and related material. They also noted a discrepancy between
weapons lists provided by defence security forces and the National Police and
their actual capacities.
The experts further noted a lack of transparency in the
management of revenues in the coffee, cocoa and hydrocarbon sectors. They
also uncovered possible violations of the embargo on diamond exports.
The panel recommends that the UN Mission there (ONUCI)
require the armed forces to provide an inventory of all the arms in their
possession. It also calls for the implementation of programmes to disarm
combatants and dismantle militias. The Group further calls upon Ivorian
authorities, as well as those in all the neighbouring countries, to prevent
the export of Ivorian diamonds.
ACCELERATED RENOVATION OF U.N.
HEADQUARTERS IS PROPOSED
In the Secretary-Generals latest report to the General Assembly on the Capital Master Plan (CMP), he proposes an accelerated strategy to renovate the Secretariat.
It proposes the construction of the temporary Conference Building on the North Lawn as planned in early 2008, but would be able to complete the entire renovation by mid-2013 (instead of mid-2016 under the current strategy).
For this Accelerated Strategy, the proposal is to empty out the Secretariat building completely and move more staff offsite (almost 2,600 instead of only 1,100). As a consequence, fewer staff would remain onsite during the renovation (2,200 instead of almost 3,700).
The proposal is to renovate the Secretariat building in 3 years instead of 6, starting early in 2009, the GA building in 2 years (instead of 2 1/2, starting mid 2011), and the Conference building in 2 years (instead of 3, starting mid-2009).
In addition to the lease signed so far for space for 750 staff members and the leases that are currently being negotiated, office space would need to be found for almost 1,500 other staff. The CMP office is already looking in Midtown Manhattan and Lower Manhattan.
The CMP office was able to come up with the Accelerated Strategy as a result of Skanska being appointed as the Pre-Construction Manager.
Michael Adlerstein, the Executive Director of the CMP, is expected to brief the Fifth Committee on the report early next week.
INT'L CRIMINAL COURT SIGNS COOPERATION AGREEMENT
WITH CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
The International Criminal Court (ICC) entered a protocol agreement with the Central African Republic.
The agreement, signed between ICC registrar Bruno Cathala and the Justice Minister in the presence of Prime Minister Elie Doté yesterday in Bangui, covers the conditions of operations for ICC teams on the territory of the Central African Republic.
It ensures that ICC investigators, security and witness protection officials can rely on full government cooperation and protection in conducting the investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity opened in May 2007 by Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.
WFP CONDEMNS DETENTION OF STAFF MEMBER IN SOMALIA
The World Food Programmes (WFP) Executive Director, Josette Sheeran, today condemned the continued detention of WFP staff member Idris Osman, who was seized by armed men in Somalia on Wednesday.
Noting that it has become extremely difficult for her agency to feed hundreds of thousands of Somalis, Sheeran said WFP needed the Somali Government to protect humanitarian workers.
Asked about the arrest Osman, the Spokeswoman said that the Somali authorities had not provided information on any charges against him. She added, in response to another question, that any move of UN offices to Somalia would depend on security circumstances in that country.
Regarding Sudan, where there has been a series of attacks on WFP convoys over the last week, Sheeran said such attacks severely limit WFPs ability to distribute vital food assistance. She noted that more than three million Sudanese are relying on WFP for their survival.
U.N. ENVOY ON MYANMAR HEADS TO INDIA ON NEXT LEG OF MISSION
The Secretary-Generals Special Advisor, Ibrahim Gambari, will be heading to New Delhi, India over the weekend, on the fourth leg of his 6-nation regional tour. From there, he is scheduled to visit Beijing and Tokyo. Hes expected to be in Beijing on the 24-25 October and in Tokyo after that.
Asked about comments from authorities in Myanmar, the Spokeswoman declined to respond, noting that Gambari was still conducting meetings in the region. The United Nations, she said, would not react to proposals from the authorities until Gambari has assessed the situation.
Gambari, she added, intends to travel back to Myanmar as soon as he can.
Asked when Gambari would report next to the Security Council, Montas said that it would depend on the course of his travel.
SPOKESWOMAN NOTES DIFFICULT WORK ENVIRONMENT IN IRAQ
Asked whether the Secretary-Generals son-in-law would be working at the UN Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), the Spokeswoman confirmed that Staffan de Mistura, the new Special Representative for Iraq, has asked Siddarth Chatterjee, to be his chief of staff in that country.
De Mistura had previously worked with Chatterjee in Iraq during the first Gulf War and knows him well, Montas said. This would be a lateral move, not a promotion, for Chatterjee.
She noted that Iraq is an extremely dangerous environment to operate in, adding that the publication of any information that increases the risk to any staff member and to the mission is not very helpful. In that regard, she said, the Secretary-General has always stressed security needs of staff, particularly in such difficult circumstances.
1559 REPORT ON LEBANON REPORT EXPECTED NEXT WEEK: Asked when the Secretary-Generals next report on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1559, on Lebanon, is expected, the Spokeswoman said it was to go to the Security Council next Monday. It had not been completed yet.
U.N. PEACEKEEPERS IN LIBERIA OPEN SCHOOL RESOURCE CENTER: Turning to Liberia, the Pakistani contingent of the UN Mission there (UNMIL) has opened a resource centre for schools in Tubmanburg, about 60 kilometers west of Monrovia. The Pakistan-Liberia Friendship Centre has 20 computers, a library and sewing machines. The Centre will provide technical and vocational training for about 600 students in the area.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
This document is for planning purposes only and is subject to change
Saturday, October 20
Today and tomorrow, the Deputy Secretary-General continues her trip to London, before traveling to Rome for meetings with Italian and Vatican officials, as well as Rome-based UN agencies. On 23 October, she travels to Turin to inaugurate the renovated UN System Staff College and open the academic year 2007-2008.
Sunday, October 21
From today through 23 October, the Secretary-Generals Special Advisor, Ibrahim Gambari, is expected to be in New Delhi for regional discussions on the situation in Myanmar. He is scheduled to travel to Beijing on 24-25 October, and then on to Tokyo.
Monday, October 22
This morning, the Security Council is scheduled to hold a debate on Côte dIvoire.
From 1 to 1:30 p.m. in the UN Book Shop, Dr. Han Seung-soo, former General Assembly President (56th Session) and Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Climate Change, will launch his book, "Beyond the Shadow of 9-11: A Year at the United Nations General Assembly". Under-Secretary-General Kio Akasaka will moderate the discussion.
At 1.15 p.m. in Room S-226, there will be a press conference by Robert Pollock from the Office of the President of the 62nd Session of the General Assembly; and Oscar de Rojas, Director of the Financing for Development Secretariat at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, on the upcoming High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development, to be held in New York from 23-24 October.
At 2 p.m. in Room S-226, there will be a press conference by Rachel Mayanja, Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women; and Joanne Sandler, Ad Interim Executive Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), on women, peace and security.
All this week in Geneva, humanitarian and information specialists from around the world are taking part in the Global Symposium +5 "Information for Humanitarian Action", hosted by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Through 16 November, the International Telecommunication Unions World Radiocommunication Conference 2007 takes place in Geneva.
Tuesday, October 23
Today and tomorrow, the General Assembly plenary is scheduled to hold a High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development. The session will open with addresses by the Secretary-General and the Presidents of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.
This morning, the Security Council is scheduled to hold an open debate on women and peace and security.
At 11 a.m. in Room S-226, there will be a press conference by Barbara Adams of the UN Development Fund for Women; Hellen Wangusa of the Anglican Consultative Council; Ana Agostina of the Feminist Task Force; June Zeitlin, of the Women's Environment and Development Organization; and Nerea Craviotto of the Women in Development Europe, on Financing for Development and gender equality.
Wednesday, October 24
This morning, the Security Council is scheduled to hear a briefing and hold consultations on the Middle East. Consultations on Sudan are scheduled for the afternoon.
Today is United Nations Day, as well as World Development Information Day.
At 5:30 p.m. in Room S-226, there will be a press conference by Sergio Pinheiro, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar.
At 7 p.m. in the General Assembly Hall, the 2007 United Nations Day Concert takes place.
Thursday, October 25
This morning, consultations are scheduled on the UN Mission in Nepal and on Côte d'Ivoire sanctions.
At 11 a.m. in Room S226, Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme; and Jeffrey Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, will hold a press conference to launch the UN Environment Programmes Global Environment Outlook Report 2007. There will also be a launch event in Conference Room 6 from 1:15 to 2:45 p.m., as well as events in 40 cities around the world.
From 1 to 2.45 p.m. in the Economic and Social Council Chamber, there will be a dialogue on "Human rights Constructing a world view for the 21st century?"
At 2 p.m. in Room S-226, there will be a press conference by Jean Ziegler, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.
From 3 to 5 p.m. in Conference Room 2, there will be a panel discussion on "Bringing the Doha Development Round to a Successful Conclusion". Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the World Trade Organization, and Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of UN Conference on Trade and Development, are scheduled to take part.
In Geneva, UNICEF is scheduled to release its Child Alert report on Afghanistan.
Friday, October 26
This morning, the Security Council is scheduled to hold a private meeting with Troop Contributing Countries to the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), as well as consultations on MINURSO.
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