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United Nations Daily Highlights, 01-02-09

United Nations Daily Highlights Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: unnews@un.org

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NOON BRIEFING

BY FRED ECKHARD

SPOKESMAN OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Friday, February 9, 2001

UN ENVOY AND ARIEL SHARON HOLD FIRST TALKS

Terje Roed Larsen, the Secretary-Generals Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO), met with Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon today for the first time since his election victory.

During meeting, which took place in a Jerusalem hotel and lasted 45 minutes, the two discussed a full array of issues.

In particular they discussed the general economic situation in the Palestinian Authority, the impending fiscal crisis of the Authority and the Mitchell Fact-Finding Committee.

Afterwards, in speaking to reporters, Roed-Larsen said it was his impression that Sharon would be forthcoming on the financial issues facing the Palestinian Authority.

In discussing the overall security situation, Roed-Larsen added that it appeared to him that Sharon does not support a policy of collective punishment.

On the Mitchell Committee, the Special Coordinator said that Sharon is willing to honor the agreement of the Barak government and meet with the Mitchell Committee when it next travels to the region.

Both Sharon and Roed-Larsen agreed to remain in regular contact, personally and through their staff.

On Monday, Roed Larsen will meet with Arafat to present to him his updated report on the economic situation in the Palestinian Authority. It is expected that they will talk to the press afterwards.

COUNCIL ENCOURAGES ETHIOPIA & ERITREA TO IMPLEMENT PEACE ACCORDS

During a formal meeting this morning, the Security Council adopted a presidential statement that encourages both parties to continue working towards the full and prompt implementation of the Algiers accord of December 2000.

Prior to the formal meeting, Assistant Secretary-General for Peace-keeping Operations, Hedi Annabi, briefed the Security Council on recent developments concerning the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea, including the recent agreement to establish the temporary security zone.

The Councils next scheduled meeting is Monday. Closed consultations are scheduled on Afghanistan and Haiti in the morning. A private meeting in the afternoon is scheduled with a visiting delegation from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

UNS TOP HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICIAL MEETS POWELL AND RICE

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) Mary Robinson met separately in Washington Thursday with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.

The main focus of the meeting was the upcoming World Conference Against Racism, which will be held in South Africa later this year.

Robinson appealed for full U.S. involvement in this conference, including financial support.

The human rights situation in China and the situation in the Middle East were also discussed.

Powell is scheduled to meet the Secretary-General at UN headquarters on 14 February.

UN REPRESENTATIVE TO ATTEND UPCOMING DRC SUMMIT IN ZAMBIA

The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kamel Morjane, and his peacekeeping force commander will be in Lusaka, Zambia, starting Saturday to attend a series of meetings gathering the parties to the Congo conflict, starting with the Joint Military Commission, a meeting of the Political Committee on the implementation of the Lusaka agreement to be followed by a summit.

The Secretary-Generals report to the Security Council on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including a revised plan of operation for the UN mission (MONUC), is expected to be issued early next week

ANNAN NAMES NEW POLICY ADVISOR

The Secretary-General has decided to appoint Michael Doyle of the United States as Special Adviser in his Executive Office, where he is to concentrate on policy analysis and strategic planning.

Doyle will hold the rank of Assistant Secretary-General and take up his duties on April 2.

Doyle is currently the Director of the Center of International Studies and Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School. He has also worked on advisory committees for a number of UN bodies, including the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Doyle will be succeeding John Ruggie, who is departing the Executive Office to take up an appointment as the Evron and Jeanne Kirkpatrick Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

The Secretary-General paid tribute to Ruggie, calling him "a constant source of innovative ideas and sound judgement, good humor and warm collegiality."

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION TO TRAVEL TO MIDDLE EAST

A commission of inquiry will travel to the Occupied Palestinian Territories from February 10-18 to look into reports of human rights abuses. This commission was established on 19 October 2000 by a resolution during a special session of the UN Commission on Human Rights.

The Commission is made up three international experts: John Dugard of South Africa, Richard Falk of the United States and Kamal Hossein of Bangladesh.

They are mandated by the resolution to gather and compile information on violations of human rights [] the Israeli occupying Power in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The panel members will travel to Gaza, Jerusalem, Ramallah, Hebron and Beit Jala. They are expected to submit a report to the upcoming session of the Commission on Human Rights, which is set to start on March 19 in Geneva.

UN WARNS OF HUMAN TRAGEDY IN AFGHANISTAN

UN humanitarian coordinator for Afghanistan Erick de Mul notes that the Afghan population is now on the edge of an abyss from which there will be no recovery for the most unfortunate. Two years of drought, and many years of war, have culminated in a major human tragedy."

Kenzo Oshima, the UNs top humanitarian official, leaves New York over the weekend to begin a week-long mission to Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is expected to visit Kabul, Faizabad, Herat in Afghanistan and Islamabad, Pakistan.

The so-called six-plus-two group on Afghanistan, comprising of Iran, Pakistan Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, China, Russia and the United States, met Thursday afternoon in New York. Francesc Vendrell, the Secretary-Generals Personal Representative on Afghanistan, briefed the group.

Vendrell will brief the Security Council on Monday morning in closed consultations and will then brief reporters.

UNS TOP DEVELOPMENT OFFICIAL TO VISIT EAST TIMOR

Mark Malloch Brown, the Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) is arriving Saturday in East Timor where he will stay until Monday.

While in Timor, the administrator will participate in the launch of a new UNDP-funded anti-corruption project which will be implemented through the office of the Inspector-General of the East Timor Transitional Administration (UNTAET).

On Monday, Malloch Brown, along with the Secretary-Generals Special Representative Sergio Viera de Mello and Xanana Gusmao, will participate in a large-scale debate on human rights, reconciliation and the upcoming elections.

UN AGENCIES MOBILIZE FOR INDIAN QUAKE VICTIMS

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is providing shelter for 212,000 earthquake victims in the most severely affected rural areas of Gujarat.

It is seeking $11 million for the project which will ensure the safer reconstruction of houses with community involvement.

The World Food Programme (WFP) is issuing emergency rations to 178,000 children below the age of five as well as for pregnant and nursing women. These emergency rations will be replaced by locally procured fortified blended food and an additional 120,000 people will receive packages of wheat flour and lentils.

The United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) today warned that international adoptions should only serve as a last resort for children orphaned in the earthquake in Gujarat, India. A press release goes on to say that such adoptions should only be considered after exhausting the alternatives of extended family and friends in the community. Indian law has provisions for the care and protection of orphaned children and the tradition of the extended family is strong.

Meanwhile, UNICEF experts in child psychology have conducted the first in a series of sessions training teachers and health workers to identify earthquake-related trauma in children and in basic counseling.

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT DISCUSSES DRUG CONTROL WITH ARLACCHI

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Pino Arlacchi, Executive Director of the Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention (UNDCCP) in Vienna today.

They discussed money laundering, drug control, organized crime and cooperation between the Russian Federation and the United Nations Office in Vienna.

Putin said his government strongly supported the United Nationss work in the field of drug control and announced that his government would host an international conference on money laundering on June 5 and 6 in St Petersburg.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

The UN Centre for Human Settlements (HABITAT), known as HABITAT, announced today the start of the 18th Session of the Commission on Human Settlements which will meet in Nairobi from February 12-16 to discuss, among

other matters, the urgent need to strengthen and revitalize the Centre so that it can be an effective focal point for the implementation of the so-called Habitat Agenda.

The UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), in its briefing in Pristina, noted a wave of attacks on Kosovo Serbian homes and churches.

Peter Piot, Executive Director of UNAIDS has commended Tanzania for its growing and visible political commitment to the fight against HIV and AIDS. He said that the Government had placed HIV/AIDS issues into development strategies and placed it high on its expenditure agenda, indicating how seriously it takes the epidemic. While in Tanzania, Piot will participate in a consultative meeting to establish a Partnership Forum, a coalition of United Nations agencies, African leaders and donors.

Today, Cameroon became the 84th country to sign the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Protocol remains open for signature in New York until 4 June 2001

India has become the 44th Member State to pay its contribution to the regular budget in full, with a payment of over $3.5 million.

The UN Peacekeeping Department (DPKO) has issued an updated fact sheet of military and civilian police personnel serving in United Nations peacekeeping operations. Currently, 90 countries provide the 39,000 "blue berets" for 15 operations which are spread over four continents.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

Saturday, February 10

Ruud Lubbers, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, begins a nine-day mission to five West African States. He will visit Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote dIvoire and Mali, where he will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Economic Community of West African States.

A three-member panel of independent experts established by the Commission on Human Rights will visit the occupied Palestinian territories to investigate human rights violations committed since the resumption of violent confrontations on 28 September 2000. The mission is scheduled to end on 18 February.

Mark Malloch Brown, the Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) is arriving Saturday in East Timor he will stay until Monday The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for the democratic Republic of the Congo will be in Lusaka until Wednesday for meetings with parties to the Congo conflict.

Monday, February 12

The Security Council expects to hold closed consultations on Afghanistan, to hear a briefing by the Secretary-General's Personal Representative for Afghanistan, Francesc Vendrell, and on Haiti, to hear from the Secretary-General's departed Representative there, Alfredo Lopes Cabral. Vendrell will be the guest at the noon briefing.

The Security Council and the Secretary-General will hold their monthly luncheon.

In the afternoon, the Council expects to hold a private meeting to hear from a delegation of Foreign Ministers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), who will discuss the situation on the borders shared by Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The Secretary-General's report to the Security Council on the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) is expected in the early part of the week.

Kenzo Oshima, Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs will begin a week-long mission to Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is expected to visit Kabul, Faizabad, Herat and Islamabad.

The preparatory committee dealing with next year's meeting on financing for development will begin its second substantive session, and the Secretary-General will address the opening meeting for that session.

At 11:15, John Langmore, Director of the Division for Social Policy and Development in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), and Sergei Zelenev, Senior Economic Affairs Officer in DESA, will hold a press conference to discuss the Secretary-General's Report on "Social Protection and Vulnerability in a Globalizing World, and the Role of Volunteerism in Promoting Social Development", and the 39th Session of the Commission on Social Development which begins tomorrow and ends on 23 February.

The UN Forum on Forests will hold an organizational session.

In Geneva, the ad hoc group of states parties to the Biological Weapons Convention will begin a two-week session.

In Vienna, the scientific and technical subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space will begin a two-week session.

In Nairobi, the Committee on Human Settlements will meet through Friday.

In Rome, the Executive Board of the World Food Programme will meet through Friday.

Tuesday, February 13

The Security Council will hold an open briefing on Kosovo in the morning, and have scheduled consultations on Libya in the afternoon.

At 11:00, Ambassador Antonio Monteiro (Portugal) and representatives of the Parliamentarians for Global Action will hold a press conference on the "Conference on the International Criminal Court Ratification in Lusophone Countries."

Sixty school superintendents from New York City will visit headquarters for a meeting hosted by the Department of Public Information. It will feature opening remarks by Mrs. Gillian Sorensen, Assistant Secretary-General for External Relations, and lunchtime statements from Shashi Tharoor, Interim Head of the Department of Public Information.

Wednesday, February 14

The Security Council expected to hold consultations to be briefed by the Secretariat on the February 6-7 high-level meeting with regional organizations, which discussed peace-building.

There will be a meeting of the troop contributing countries for the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC).

The Secretary-General is expected to meet U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell at UN Headquarters.

Sharon Capeling-Alakija, Executive Coordinator of United Nations Volunteers (UNV), is expected to be the guest at the noon briefing.

Thursday, February 15

The Security Council will hold consultations on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

This is the last date of the present mandate of the UN Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA).

At 11:00 a.m., the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) will hold a press briefing to introduce its new Goodwill Ambassador, Lara Dutta.

Friday, February 16

The Security Council expects to hold a formal meeting to consider a Presidential Statement on a comprehensive approach to peace-building.

At 11:00 a.m., the Spanish Mission is sponsoring a press briefing by Joaquin Antuna, President of Peace and Cooperation, and Nancy Rivard, President of Airline Ambassador International, who will speak about the upcoming Global Youth Art Competition.

The Second Inter-sessional Consultation on the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice on its 10th session will take place in Vienna.

Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General

United Nations, S-378

New York, NY 10017

Tel. 212-963-7162

Fax. 212-963-7055


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