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United Nations Daily Highlights, 01-02-12

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From: The United Nations Home Page at <> - email:





Monday, February 12, 2001


The Security Council had two items on its agenda for discussions in closed consultations this morning.

The first agenda item was Afghanistan on which they were briefed on the military and political developments, the humanitarian situation and narcotics issue by Francesc Vendrell, the Secretary-Generals Personal Representative for Afghanistan.

Vendrell summarized by saying that the situation in Afghanistan remains dismal. He joined the noon briefing following the Council consultations on Afghanistan to discuss the situation with reporters.

The second item on the agenda for this mornings session was Haiti. Former Representative of the Secretary-General, Alfredo Lopes Cabral, was the briefer.

Today, the Security Council also has its monthly luncheon with the Secretary-General.


This afternoon the Council will hold a private meeting on the situation along the Sierra Leone-Guinea-Liberia border with a visiting delegation of foreign ministers of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Expected at this meeting are the foreign ministers of Mali, Nigeria, Togo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and ambassadors of Guinea and Gambia, as well as the Executive-Secretary of ECOWAS.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan will address that closed meeting.

The High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ruud Lubbers has called on Guinea to establish safe corridors to move tens of thousands of refugees away from the volatile border area. Today, UNHCR reported that 72 trucks are expected to have picked up some 1,000 refugees stranded after the rest of the 34,000-refugee camp emptied over the weekend because of insecurity in the area.


The new report to the Security Council on the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), which contains a revised plan of operation which the Secretary-General mentioned last week is expected to be out today.

Jean-Marie Guehenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, will be here this afternoon at 3:00 to brief you on the report in advance.

Meanwhile, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kamel Morjane, and his military force commander are in Lusaka, Zambia, to attend a series of meetings on the Congo conflict. The Joint Military Commission met over the weekend to discuss disengagement plans.


This morning the Secretary-General delivered the opening address at the Preparatory Committee for the High Level Intergovernmental event on Financing for Development.

The Secretary-General reminded the delegates that broad goals on this issue had been agreed unanimously during last years Millennium Summit. These include, among others, halving the proportion of the worlds population living in abject poverty, ensuring basic education for boys and girls alike and reducing the maternal mortality rate by three quarters.

What is lacking, the Secretary-General said, is agreement on the means by which we are going to do it.

He outlined two essential tasks for this process.

First, agreement must be reached on what main policies are to be applied since donors, from either the public or private sectors, do not put up money unless you tell them clearly how you are going to spend it.

In determining these policies, the Secretary-General called for greater representation of the developing countries. They are the countries where development has to happen, he told the audience. It is their people who have to be rescued from poverty.

The second task, according to the Secretary-General, is to get the attention of political leaders and financial authorities throughout the world. Development is far too important, he added, to be left to specialized ministries or agencies. It must mobilize the energies of governments and societies as a whole.


The Secretary-General Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Terje Roed Larsen will Tuesday hold a press conference in Gaza to release the key findings of an updated report on the social and economic impact on the Palestinian economy of the on-going conflict and border closures

The United Nations mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) began today to deploy forces to create the Temporary Security Zone as called for in the peace agreement between the two countries.

The Secretary-General's greeting to the meeting of the governing body of the UN Commission on Human Settlements (HABITAT), which opened in Nairobi today, was delivered by HABITAT Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka.

The Bureau of the Conference of Parties to the UN Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) is holding consultations here in New York today regarding the resumption of the negotiations that were suspended in The Hague last November. It is expected that a press release will be issued later today on the outcome of those consultations.

The UN Childrens Fund (UNICEF) announced today that since 1998 almost a million children have been saved from death through the distribution of Vitamin A capsules. Carol Bellamy, Executive Director, said that it was unacceptable that a child should die of Vitamin A deficiency when a high dose capsule costing about 2 cents, given twice a year, can provide adequate protection...

A study jointly conducted by the UN University (UNU) and the University of Ulster, in the United Kingdom, examining lessons learned from the peace process in five conflict areas will be released Tuesday at UN headquarters. The study found that providing work for former paramilitary and security force members and easing their integration into society is one of several essential elements in a successful peace process.

Todays briefing notes from the UN Mission in East Timor (UNTAET) report on a symposium on human rights, reconciliation and elections which was held today in Dili.Speakers at this forum included the Secretary-Generals Special Representative Sergio Vieira di Mello, the UN Development Programmes (UNDP) Administrator Mark Malloch-Brown and CNRT President Xanana Gusmão, and Carina Perelli, Director of the Electoral Assistance Division at UN Headquarters.

Nicaragua has become the 45th Member State to pay in full its contribution to the regular budget for this year, with a payment of over $9,000.

Tuesday, about 60 school superintendents from New York City schools will attend a meeting hosted by the Department of Public Information. The meeting, the regular monthly meeting for the superintendents, is being held at the United Nations to give them the opportunity to establish closer ties and learn about the work of the Organization.

UNICEF will present the winners of the 2001 Lewis Hines Award Tuesday at 10a.m. at the UN Correspondents Association Club at UN headquarters. The awards are given to those who have made an exceptional contribution to the lives of America's youth. The winners this year include two from New York and one from New Jersey.

  • Todays guest at the noon briefing was Francesc Vendrell, the Secretary-Generals Personal Representative for Afghanistan, who briefed reporters after attending a closed session of the Security Council on the situation in Afghanistan.

    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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