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United Nations Daily Highlights, 01-12-27

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

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Thursday, December 27, 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

DESPITE INCREASE IN RETURNEES SOME AFGHANS CONTINUE TO SEEK REFUGE IN PAKISTAN

In its regular briefing in Islamabad, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the numbers of Afghans returning home from southern Pakistan continues to grow. Yesterday, the number of people passing the Chaman crossing topped 4,000.

Despite the increased outbound movement of refugees, UNHCR continues to care for newly arrived refugees from Afghanistan into Pakistans North West Frontier Province (NWFP). UNHCR officials are in the Khyber area today to finalize preparations for to open additional new campsites in the area.

Also in the NWFP, the Pakistani refugee agency informed UNHCR that the security situation in the Kurram area is back to normal and that relocation of refugees in that area can now resume.

AFGHANISTAN AND LIBERIA SANCTIONS COMMITTEES MEET

Two of the Security Council Sanctions Committees announced actions late yesterday.

The Committee on Afghanistan added the names of four individuals to the list of those whose funds and other assets should be frozen due to their association with Osama bin Laden. These four names were added to the consolidated list issued by the Committee on 26 November.

The Committee action was taken in accordance with paragraph 8 (c) of resolution 1333 (2000) which determines the "freeze without delay funds and other financial assets of Osama bin laden and individuals and entities associated with him as designated by the Committee"

The Committee on Liberia also issued a list a revised list of names of persons affected by the Security Council sanctions on Liberia, as contained in resolution 1343 (2001).

According to the resolution all States are expected, among other things, to prevent the entry or transit through their territories of the persons named on this list.

UN BOSNIA MISSION DENIES MISCONDUCT BY UN POLICE

The story in the Washington Post of 27 December 2001 concerning reports of misconduct by UN police in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a rewrite of old allegations, the UN mission (UNMIBH) said in a statement issued today.

All the charges contained in the article have been thoroughly investigated by the United Nations. The allegations were found to have no substance.

Separately, the US State Department investigated allegations where US police personnel serving with UNMIBH were supposedly involved and reached the same conclusion.

No UN international police officers have been found to be involved in the trafficking of women in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

UN COMMANDER IN SIERRA LEONE DIFFUSES TENSIONS IN KOIDU AREA

In a press release issued today, the UN mission in Sierra Leone announced that the UNs acting Force Commander, Maj General Martin Agwai, had recently chaired a successful conciliatory meeting with Kono elders, representatives of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), Civil Defence Force and Kono Youths, to resolve the recent clashes in Koidu town.

The meeting identified indiscriminate mining and revenue collection as the remote cause of the clashes.

At the meeting, the Acting Force Commander, that it was necessary to consolidate the peace, which all stakeholders have helped to restore in Sierra Leone.

Later in the day, Gen. Agwai met with the RUF Leader, Gen. Issa Sesay, at Makeni where discussions on the outcome of the conciliatory meeting took place.

All parties have indicated the need for utter restraint with the implementation of the peace process.

UNESCO & UNAIDS ISSUE TIPS FOR COMMUNITY GROUPS TO INCREASE AWARENESS OF AIDS

The linkage between human rights and HIV/AIDS is the focus of a new brochure series launched by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and UNAIDS.

Aimed at grassroots groups, the material has tips on how to organize public awareness campaigns to fight discrimination in the community, and, among other issues, on talking about HIV/AIDS and respecting freedom of thought and religion.

A special section is dedicated to promoting equal access to drugs and medical treatment.

The series also lists the 12 international guidelines on HIV/AIDS and human rights, and the most frequently asked questions about HIV/AIDS. It also describes a number of successful community group experiences in different countries.

NEW DATES FOR SPECIAL SESSION ON CHILDREN SET

May 8-10, 2002 has been set as the new date for the Special Session on Children, by a vote in the General Assembly Monday during its final plenary of the 56th regular session.

DEVELOPING COUNTRIES WITH OPEN WATERS FOR FISHING LOSE IN THE LONG TERM

New studies carried out by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with national organizations, have shown that developing countries which open their waters to foreign fishing fleets lose more than they gain.

The studies, carried out in Argentina and Senegal, note that the long term cost in loss of income for local fishermen, environmental damage and depletion of local fish stocks, can outweigh the short term financial gains generated from foreign fleets.

Klaus Toepfer, UNEP's Executive Director, said that unless strict safeguards are in place, fishing agreements, designed to bring in the foreign currency needed to pay off external debt, can turn out to be a costly mistake for developing countries.

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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