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United Nations Daily Highlights, 01-12-12

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

OF THE NOON BRIEFING

BY

MANOEL DE ALMEIDA E SILVA

DEPUTY SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Wednesday , December 12, 2001

ANNAN MEETS WITH SWEDISH PRIME MINISTER, PARLIAMENT

Secretary-General Kofi Annan arrived in Stockholm, Sweden, this morning, where he met at the Nobel Foundation with his fellow Nobel Laureates who received awards this year. While the Peace Prize is given in Oslo, Norway, the other Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm.

At mid-day he went to the Parliament, where he was greeted by Speaker Brigitta Dahl. He addressed a session of the Parliament, speaking primarily about Afghanistan and the Middle East, and then taking questions from Parliament members. He told the Parliamentarians that talks between the Palestinians and Israelis should not wait for any period of calm, because it is when people are dying that peace talks are needed most.

On the future role of the United Nations, he said the UN would put people at the center of what it does, and emphasized the fight against poverty, girls education and the search for a cure for AIDS as priorities for the UN. |

In response to a question on the fight against poverty, he stressed the importance of the conferences to be held next year on financing for development in Monterrey, Mexico, and on sustainable development in Johannesburg, South Africa.

He also paid tribute to his predecessor, Dag Hammarskj÷ld, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize posthumously in 1961.

The Speaker then hosted a luncheon in the Secretary-Generals honor. In the afternoon, the Secretary-General met with Prime Minister Goran Persson.

After that meeting, the Secretary-General and the Prime Minister met briefly with the press. The Prime Minister said they had discussed the Middle East, Afghanistan and the importance of the two upcoming UN conferences for invigorating the dialogue between rich and poor countries. The Secretary-General added that the conferences must yield concrete results for the poor.

Asked his view on the possibility that the United States may extend its war on terrorism to Iraq, the Secretary-General said, My position on that has been clear that I dont think it would be wise and I should not advise it.

In the evening, the Prime Minister hosted a dinner for the Secretary-General.

UN ENVOY FOR AFGHANISTAN MEETS PAKISTANI PRESIDENT

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, is stopping over in Islamabad on his way back from Kabul.

In what his spokesman described as a very cordial and friendly meeting, Brahimi had talks with President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan today, during which he briefed the Pakistani leader of the his just-concluded visit to Kabul and his talks with the various Afghan leaders there.

Brahimi expressed his appreciation for Pakistans support for efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan. And President Musharraf expressed 100 percent support for the Bonn Agreement, a sentiment repeated during a later meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar.

In his meetings with UN staff in Islamabad, Brahimi encouraged the UN system to empower Afghans to run their country.

Brahimi is expected to be back at UN Headquarters on Friday.

The Secretary-General in Stockholm today told reporters that Brahimi had had good discussions in Kabul, and added that he believes the Afghan leaders will help create a secure environment for the United Nations activities and for the establishment of a new government. We are not going to impose anything on anybody, but to help ensure that constructive activities can be carried out, he said.

THOUSANDS OF AFGHAN CHILDREN MAY DIE, UNICEF WARNS

The UN Childrens Fund (UNICEF) warned that in a worst-case scenario, some 100,000 children may die in the coming six months unless enough emergency relief aid reaches them and reaches them quickly. By worst case, UNICEF assumes limited humanitarian access and increased mortality rates, linked to preventable diseases and exacerbated by high rates of malnutrition, according to the press briefing in Islamabad.

The World Food Programme (WFP) described the difficulties it is encountering in its efforts to delivering food throughout Afghanistan. For example, on Monday, WFP said, a truck carrying wheat was destroyed by a land mine on a road about 120 kilometers outside of Kabul. The driver received relatively minor injuries. Initial reports said that the load of wheat he was carrying saved his life.

On Tuesday morning, UN staff crossed the Friendship Bridge into the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, using this route for the first time since 1996. The UN convoy reached Mazar-i-Sharif in the afternoon, after a stop in Hairaton.

Starting from today, up to five UN staff members will be based in that city, to cover areas in northern Afghanistan where an estimated three million people depend on aid, according to the UN Humanitarian Coordinators Office for Afghanistan.

SECURITY COUNCIL TO DISCUSS CYPRUS, DR-CONGO

The Security Council will meet this afternoon in closed consultations to take up the Secretary-Generals latest report on UN operations in Cyprus. Council members will be briefed by the Secretary-Generals Special Advisor on Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto.

Following that discussion, Council members will be discussing the latest report of the Panel of Experts on the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The President of the Security Council, Ambassador Moctar Ouane of Mali, today addressed the Executive Board of the UN Childrens Fund (UNICEF). He told the board that UNICEF and the Security Council may seek to establish joint mechanisms to ensure that the actions and decisions of UNICEF and the Security Council are complementary and mutually reinforcing.

UN ENVOY FOR DR-CONGO HEADS DELEGATION TO GOMA, KINDU

The head of the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Amos Ngongi, and the UN Force Commander in that country, Gen. Mountaga Diallo, left Kinshasa early this morning for Goma.

The two, who are also accompanied by the Ambassadors of Belgium and the representatives to the DRC of the five permanent members of the Security Council, will meet with the leadership of the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) to discuss the implementation of the latest Council resolution on the DRC, which authorizes Phase III of the UN Missions deployment.

Specifically, they will discuss the deployment of UN troops in Kindu, as well the demilitarization of Kisangani.

Ngongi, Diallo and the six Ambassadors will then go to Kindu Thursday and then return to Kinshasa later that day.

Asked how many troops the UN Mission had in the DRC, the Spokesman said that at the end of November, the number of military personnel was 3,379.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Olara Otunnu, will leave on Saturday for a four-day visit to Northern Ireland. He will meet with members of the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and other Government officials as well as NGOs, child rights activists and children. He will leave Belfast for London next Wednesday.

The second performance report on the program budget for the biennium 2000-2001 was available today, and it presents the estimate of the final level of expenditures and income for the biennium, taking into consideration changes in rates of exchange, inflation and cost of living adjustments. The revisions amount to a net increase of $28.9 million, reflecting an increase in expenditure of $27.8 million and a decrease in income of $1.1 million. The budget estimate for the biennium was revised to $2.560 billion.

The World Health Organization (WHO) today reported on assistance to the Government of Gabon in response to the outbreak of Ebola in that country.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General Jacques Diouf said that an international strategy for combating foot-and-mouth disease was needed. Speaking at the International Conference on Prevention and Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease in Brussels, he said that no region or country could fight the disease in isolation and that supporting developing countries in their efforts to control and eradicate animal diseases was to everyones advantage.

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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