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United Nations Daily Highlights, 08-02-07
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Thursday, February 7, 2008
BAN KI-MOON STARTS VISIT TO CHICAGO
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this morning traveled to Chicago, to start a trip that has been organized in cooperation with the UN Association of the USA.
Later this afternoon, the Secretary-General is scheduled to attend a luncheon hosted by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, where they are expected to discuss his climate change initiatives.
The Secretary-General will also visit the MacArthur Foundation, which has been an important supporter of UN initiatives, and address a dinner at the Economic Club of Chicago.
He is expected back in New York tomorrow.
TRUCKS CARRYING PAPER, SUGAR, FLOUR ENTER GAZA FROM ISRAEL
According to the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO), a total of 37 trucks were able to make it into Gaza from Israel today.
Those included: nine trucks of paper for schoolbooks, from the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA); and ten trucks of sugar and wheat flour from the World Food Programme. Commercial imports of dairy products and frozen meat also made it through.
UNSCO says that, although 37 trucks is an improvement, it is nowhere close to what is required to meet the needs of the people of Gaza.
Meanwhile, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that, because of continued fuel reductions from Israel, the majority of Gazan households are still dealing with power cuts lasting eight hours a day.
Asked what the Secretary-General is doing to address the humanitarian situation in Gaza, the Spokeswoman said that he has been actively engaged in dealing with the issue, and has discussed it with several leaders during his recent travels.
Montas said that the Secretary-General has called repeatedly for the lifting of restrictions at the Gaza crossing points. Asked whether any punitive action would need to be taken to deal with the situation, she said that would need to be decided by the Security Council.
Asked about the Secretary-Generals recent comments on whether Gaza is occupied territory, the Spokeswoman noted that he had said it is a legal question, and that the United Nations has determined that Gaza is part of the occupied Palestinian territory.
SECURITY COUNCIL WELCOMES PROGRESS IN KENYA NEGOTIATIONS
The Security Council yesterday afternoon adopted a Presidential Statement on Kenya, in which it welcomed the announcement of the progress in the negotiations overseen by Kofi Annan and emphasized its full support for the Panel of Eminent African Personalities that he leads.
The Council expressed its deep concern that civilians continue to be killed, subjected to sexual and gender-based violence and displaced from their homes and called for those responsible to be brought to justice. It also expressed its strong concern at the continuing dire humanitarian situation in the country.
The Security Council further requested the Secretary-General to report on how the United Nations can further support the mediation efforts in Kenya, as well as on the impact of the crisis on the wider sub-region and UN operations in that area.
U.N. TO INCREASE ASSISTANCE FOR INTERNALLY DISPLACED OF KENYA
As security in the North Rift Valley shows modest signs of improvement, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that UN teams will increase delivery of assistance to more than 39,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs). The IDPs are spread in 15 camps in that region and OCHA says they urgently need medication, food and water.
On Tuesday, the World Food Programme handed out some 80 tonnes of food at 11 IDP camps. Some 2,000 displaced children under 5 also received supplementary food items to prevent malnutrition.
WFP also noted that enrolment in UN-assisted schools in Nairobi slums is some 28 percent lower than before the outbreak of violence.
SOME 30,000 CHADIANS FLEE VIOLENCE TO CAMEROON
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says, though estimates place the number of Chadians who fled the violence at 30,000, no exact figures on fatalities, casualties, and serious damage to infrastructure are available at this time.
UNFPA, the UN Population Fund, is gravely concerned for the health and safety of pregnant women and their children among the crowd of refugees who fled the latest outburst of violence in Chad.
The agency says that it is working with governmental and other organizations to assess conditions for expectant refugee mothers in Cameroon. UNFPA will also provide clean delivery kits, including plastic sheeting, razor blades and soap, to ensure safe delivery to displaced mothers as well as emergency obstetric care.
Meanwhile, humanitarian operations in and around NDjamena are lagging because United Nations and international NGO staff were evacuated during the fighting, with only small teams left behind.
SPECIAL ENVOY FOR DARFUR TO BRIEF SECURITY COUNCIL
Jan Eliasson, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for
Darfur, is briefing the Security Council tomorrow on the Darfur peace process.
Meanwhile, UN-African Union Joint Special Representative for Darfur, Rodolphe Adada, in a meeting with the Netherlands Minister for Development Cooperation (Bert Koenders), reiterated the appeal by the Secretary-General to international partners to honour their pledges and provide helicopters for the Darfur peacekeeping Mission.
CONGOLESE REBEL LEADER ARRESTED,
HANDED TO INTERNATIONAL COURT
Congolese national Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, an alleged former leader of the rebel National integrationist Front and currently a Colonel in the Congolese Army, was arrested yesterday and handed over to the International Criminal Court.
Thats according to a statement by the Courts Registrar, Bruno Cathala, who added that the suspect is expected today at the Courts Detention Centre in The Hague.
ICC judges say that Chui, as the highest ranking FNI commander, played a key role in designing and carrying out a murderous attack on the village of Bogoro, in the northeastern Congolese province of Ituri, in February 2003.
He is facing 3 counts of crimes against humanity and 6 counts of war crimes, including sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers.
COMPLAINTS BY KHMER ROUGE VICTIMS BEING PROCESSED IN CAMBODIA
The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is processing and responding to hundreds of complaints that have been submitted by Cambodians on crimes that occurred during the period of Democratic Kampuchea.
More than 500 complaints by the Khmer Rouge victims - mostly registered since last October - have all been processed and analyzed, and properly completed complaint forms are being forwarded to the appropriate offices within the ECCC for further action.
Having analyzed these complaints, the Court is now in the process of advising each complainant about the status of their complaint and how the Court intends to use it in the ECCC process.
CYPRUS: U.N. TO SUPPORT EFFORTS ON BOTH SIDES TO RESTART TALKS
Speaking to UN peacekeepers in Cyprus today, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Cyprus, Michael Moller, said that, rather than launching a new initiative on its own, the United Nations will support good faith efforts on the part of both sides to restart talks and work for a solution.
Moller added that this year may indeed prove crucial for a solution, and that the time has come for serious negotiations.
COUNTRIES NOT TAKING ALL NECESSARY MEASURES TO PREVENT SMOKING DEATHS: The World Health Organization (WHO) today
released a new report showing that while progress has been made, not a single country fully implements all key tobacco control measures. The report presents the first comprehensive analysis of global tobacco use and control efforts, based on data from 179 countries.
PLANNING UNDERWAY AFTER DEADLINE FOR ERITREA TO LIFT RESTRICTIONS: Asked whether the United Nations had taken any action following the end of the deadline for Eritrea to lift restrictions on fuel supplies, the Spokeswoman said that plans are being devised, but no action has been taken yet.
SECRETARY-GENERAL DID NOT ATTEND UNICEF BENEFIT: Asked whether the Secretary-General had attended a benefit involving UNICEF on Wednesday night, the Spokeswoman said he did not attend, since he had intended to travel to Chicago that evening, although that trip was delayed until today. She added that the Deputy Secretary-General also had not attended the event.
WFP LAUNCHES INITIATIVE FEATURING KAKA OF BRAZIL: The World Food Programme (WFP) today launched Fill the Cup, a major international fundraising and awareness initiative to benefit millions of hungry school children worldwide. Partners in the campaign include: Brazilian football star Kaka; the President of Ghana and the African Union, John Agyekum Kufuor; and Milans Mayor, Letizia Moratti.
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