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United Nations Daily Highlights, 03-08-29

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 STEPHANE DUJARRIC

ASSOCIATE SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

OF THE UNITED NATIONS

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Friday, August 29, 2003

IRAQ: ANNAN CONDEMNS IN STRONGEST POSSIBLE TERMS ATTACK IN NAJAF;

URGES ALL TO EXERCISE RESTRAINT

Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in a statement issued today, condemns in the strongest possible terms todays terrorist attack in Najaf, Iraq, in which the spiritual leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution (SCIRI), Ayatollah Mohammad Baker Al-Hakim, and many others were killed. He is appalled that this incident took place just after Friday prayers in one of Shiite Islams holiest sites.

The Secretary-General has repeatedly stated that all terrorist acts, whatever their justification, are morally reprehensible and wholly indefensible.

In the difficult days ahead, the Secretary-General urges all political and religious groups in Iraq to exercise maximum restraint and to refrain from further acts of violence and revenge. The Secretary-General reaffirms his belief that only a credible, inclusive and transparent political process can lead to peace and stability in Iraq.

NEPAL: ANNAN CALLS FOR DIALOGUE BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND MAOISTS

In a statement issued today, the Secretary-General says he is deeply concerned by the breakdown of the cease-fire and the recent upsurge in violence in Nepal. He remains convinced that there is no alternative to the continuation of dialogue and a peaceful solution to the conflict.

The Secretary-General urges all concerned, in particular the insurgents belonging to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), to return to the negotiating table.He reminds the parties of their responsibilities to protect civilians and abide by international humanitarian law.

ANNAN SAYS RWANDA POLLS IMPORTANT STEP TOWARDS MULTI-PARTY DEMOCRACY

The Secretary-General, in a statement issued today, welcomes the news that the presidential elections in Rwanda the first since the genocide of 1994 were conducted in a generally peaceful manner with a high voter turnout, for which he commends the people of Rwanda.

The Secretary-General considers this election an important step towards the establishment of a pluralistic multi-party democracy in Rwanda. He expresses the hope that the parliamentary elections scheduled for next month will further contribute to that process.

UN STAFF IN GENEVA HONORS VICTIMS OF BAGHDAD BOMBING

Earlier today in Geneva, over 2,000 people filled the assembly hall of the UN Offices in Geneva to pay tribute to all the victims of the bombing of the UN offices in Baghdad.

In her address, Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette said no ceremony, no speeches can adequately express the sadness that we feel since the vile attack which cost the lives of so many of our colleagues. Their death, she said, is not only a great loss to the UN family but also to the people of Iraq, who have already suffered so much.

During the ceremony, music, poems and photos were screened as a personal tribute to each victim. Family, friends and colleagues attended the ceremonies. Also there were Permanent Representatives of members states, Swiss federal and local officials as well Adnan Pachachi, member of the Iraqi Governing Council. Mrs. Nane Annan also attended.

An updated list of the 22 killed in the attack was issued Thursday evening.

SECURITY COUNCIL RECEIVES NOMINATIONS FOR UN TRIBUNAL PROSECUTORS

In two letters sent to the President of the Security Council Thursday afternoon, the Secretary-General nominated prosecutors for the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and former Yugoslavia, in accordance with a Council resolution that divided the prosecutor's job - which is currently held by one person, Carla Del Ponte.

The Security Council will vote on two resolutions concerning the appointments. No date has yet been set for the vote.

There are no consultations or meetings scheduled for today.

Starting September 1, the Council Presidency will be assumed by the United Kingdom.

COTE D'IVOIRE: AGENCIES APPEAL TO HALT WIDESPREAD DISPLACEMENT IN WEST

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in a press release issued after the briefing, notes that the western region of Côte dIvoire has been particularly affected by the armed conflict and inter-community clashes that have torn apart the social fabric and called into question the peaceful atmosphere that has existed for years between the local, ethnic and foreign communities here.

OCHA reports that humanitarian agencies are issuing an alert aimed at halting the expulsions currently taking place in the western region of the country, which are likely to revive inter-ethnic and community tensions. For several weeks now, humanitarian agencies and the different military forces in place in the west have observed widespread departure, and in some cases flight, of populations from their camps, villages and usual places of residence.

Thousands of people, mostly nationals of West African countries and Ivorians native to other areas of the country, have been and continue to be expelled from villages and rural areas around the towns of Toulépleu, Zouan Hounien, Guiglo and Duékoué. During their departure, they are also subject to threats and aggression by small groups of youth who remain unidentified.

UN humanitarian agencies and their partners urge the Government to take all appropriate measures to ensure the promotion of the rule of law, in accordance with the aspirations of the authorities, and the protection of the civilian populations in the western region.]

LIBERIA: UN SPECIAL ENVOY WORKING TO FINISH REPORT TO SECURITY COUNCIL

The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Liberia, Jacques Klein, has returned to Monrovia where a second wave of the assessment team is due later today. Klein is working with the team to finish a report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on Liberia.

In his meetings Thursday in Abidjan, Cote DIvoire, Klein met with humanitarian agencies, which asked him to raise with the Government the idea of conducting cross-border operations into Liberia by opening humanitarian corridors between Cote D'Ivoire and Liberia.

Klein did, and President Laurent Gbagbo and other government officials indicated they would facilitate flow of humanitarian assistance. The President and Prime Minister Seydou Diarra pledged their support for a UN peacekeeping operation in Liberia and stressed the importance of stabilizing the volatile border region between the two countries.

On the ground today, a team from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health, the UN Childrens Fund, and other partners was starting to sanitize some of the wells in Monrovia, WHO said in Geneva. Some 5,000 wells would be treated with chlorine.

CLEAN WATER VITAL IN FIGHT AGAINST POVERTY, ANNAN SAYS

The International Freshwater Forum is scheduled to open Saturday in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

In a message of the Secretary-General, which will be delivered by Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developing Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States Anwarul Chowdhury, he calls for improving water productivity, particularly in agriculture, regional management of watersheds and better water management strategies.

According to the Secretary-General, the next challenge is to move from prior made commitments to concrete projects, because Providing water services to all, especially the poor, is vital in itself. It is also crucial for the success of our fight against poverty, hunger and disease.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

GREECE/FYROM: Pursuant to the Interim Accord of 13 September1995, the representatives of Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia met on 27 August 2003 under the auspices of the Secretary-General. The Greek side was represented by Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was represented by Ambassador Nikola Dimitrov. The Secretary-General was represented by his Special Representative, Mr. Matthew Nimetz. The parties continued to exchange views in the context of article 5 of the Interim Accord.They decided to meet again on a date to be agreed.

GUINEA-BISSAU AND BURUNDI: Out as a document today is a letter from the President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) addressed to the Security Council President on ECOSOCs work on African post-conflict countries, notably Guinea Bissau and Burundi. The ECOSOC President, Ambassador Gert Rosenthal of Guatemala, says he looks forward to continued interaction between the two bodies on the support to be provided to African post-conflict countries and on other issues of common interest.

ANGOLA'S HEALTH NEEDS: Director General Lee Jong-Wook of the World Health Organization, on his first country visit in Luanda, Angola, stressed the need to eradicate polio and measles in Angola and that successful nationwide immunization campaigns show that it is possible to provide health care for all in a country that was torn by almost three decades of civil war. The three-day polio campaign aims to vaccinate more than 5 million children under five against the disease.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

Saturday, August 30

The Secretary-Generals message to the Dushanbe (Tajikistan) International Freshwater Forum is scheduled to be delivered by Anwarul Chowdhury, High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.

Monday, September 1

Today is Labor Day in the United States, and UN Headquarters in New York will be closed.

The UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, in cooperation with the Government of Thailand, will hold the Workshop on the Contribution of the Satellite Communications Technology to Bridge the Digital Divide in Bangkok, Thailand, from 1-5 September.

Tuesday, September 2

The Security Council President for the month of September, Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry of the United Kingdom, is expected to hold bilateral consultations with other members of the Council on its program of work for the month.

Wednesday, September 3

The Security Council is expected to hold consultations on its program of work for September.

Security Council President, British Ambassador Jones Parry, is scheduled to hold a press briefing on the programme of work for the month of September in Room 226 around 12:30 p.m.

The 2003 Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which will take place in the Austria Centre in Vienna, Austria, from 3 to 5 September 2003, is convened under Article XIV of the CTBT for the purpose of examining ways and means to accelerate the Treatys entry into force.

Thursday, September 4

Georg Kell, Principal Officer in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General and Executive Head of the Global Compact, will launch the World Investment Report at a press conference at 11:00 a.m. (It is being launched at approximately 80 cities around the world, with the main launch in Geneva with Rubens RIcupero, Secretary-General of UNCTAD.)

Jan Egeland, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, is scheduled to be the guest at the noon briefing.

Friday, September 5

style="font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-weight: Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General

United Nations, S-378

New York, NY 10017

Tel. 212-963-7162 - press/media only

Fax. 212-963-7055

All other inquiries to be addressed to (212) 963-4475 or by e-mail to: inquiries@un.org


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