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United Nations Daily Highlights, 01-12-24

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

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Monday, December 24, 2001

Instead of Noon Briefings this week, highlights of daily developments in the UN system will be provided on this page; Briefings resume on

Wednesday, January 2, 2002

BRAHIMI WELCOMES SET-UP OF AFGHAN INTERIM ADMINISTRATION

Describing the establishment of an Interim Administration in Afghanistan on Saturday, the United Nations Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi said it was a "momentous day for Afghanistan" as well as for the United Nations and the international community as a whole.

He expressed confidence that the Chairman of the Interim Administration, Hamid Karzai, would guide the Afghan people and the international community through this transitional phase and that the members of the Administration would exercise their authority with "wisdom, fairness and foresight."

He acknowledged the presence at the inaugural ceremony of representatives from each and every province of the country, "who symbolically represent the nation as a whole."

"The people of Afghanistan," he said, "have a unique opportunity to put behind them the divisions, hatred and bloodshed of the past two decades and rebuild a peaceful and stable nation."

Through the weekend, Mr. Brahimi met with a number of the members of the new Administration, other Afghan leaders and visiting dignitaries from neighboring countries, including Paksitan's Foreign Minister, Abdul Sattar, and an envoy of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Today, he welcomed a delegation from the All-Afghan Women's Association, who thanked him for his support for equal rights for women in Afghanistan.

AFGHAN HUMANITARIAN WORK CONTINUES 24/7

The Spokesman for the UN World Food Programme ( WFP) today in Islamabad, Pakistan, said that the humanitarian effort was going 24 hours a day, despite the holiday season.

Jordan Dey said that two ships from the United States were sailing for Afghanistan with enough wheat to feed seven million Afghans for two months. A shipment of rice from Thailand, which will help feed 360,000 Afghans for a month, is scheduled to put in at a Pakistani port in three days. Wheat-bagging operations are going 24 hours a day and low-cost bakeries run by women are reopening in Kabul.

The Quetta-Herat road has been partially reopened to UN truckers, he said, permitting food to be brought in from Pakistan to southwest Afghanistan.

REPORT ON "BOAT CASE" MADE PUBLIC

The report by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) on the investigation into allegations of misconduct and mismanagement of the boat project at the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP) was made public today. In the reports cover note the Secretary-General says that he took note of the findings of the report, concurs with its recommendations and notes that measures are being taken or have been initiated in respect of those recommendations.

The report makes seven recommendations ranging from administrative action to recovery for losses and to a review of ODCCP practices and procedures. According to the report, extensive investigation determined that the evidence did not support the allegation that the Executive Director of the ODCCP, Pino Arlacchi, had engaged in misconduct by improperly giving Office funds and equipment to a personal friend and fellow sailor, in exchange for the captains assistance with the Executive Directors voyage on his personal sailboat across the Atlantic Ocean.

However, the investigation did determine that multiple incidents of mismanagement of project operations and waste of ODCCP funds occurred. The report gives details of the investigation into the allegation of wrongdoing and the series of management failures that occurred in what became known as the boat project.

The ODCCP Executive Director announced ten days ago that he was stepping down at the end of this month

ASSEMBLY WRAPS UP MAIN SESSION

The Fifth Committee (Budgetary matters) met this morning to consider the final seven items on its agenda, including the proposed budget for the 2002-2003 biennium. Immediately following that meeting, the General Assembly convened in Plenary to wrap-up its work for the main session. The Plenary is expected to consider 33 items, most of which are reports of the Fifth Committee. The budget will be the final item considered in the Plenary session.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) took strong steps towards fighting organized crime at their 25th Summit held in Dakar last week. The United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, ODCCP, has been working with ECOWAS in the preparation of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and the Protocol on Fight against Corruption, which were adopted at the Summit. The Plan of Action commits ECOWAS members to take urgent action against the trafficking of persons by setting achievable goals and objectives.

Today, the Cook Islands became the 132nd country to sign the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorism.

The Department of Public Information has announced that UN Peace Operations in 2001: year in Review is available on the Internet.

The publication, subtitled Voices from the field, has contributions from peacekeepers and peacebuilders looking back over the past year.

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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