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United Nations Daily Highlights, 04-06-10

United Nations Daily Highlights Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

ARCHIVES

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

BY MARIE OKABE

ASSOCIATE SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

OF THE UNITED NATIONS

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Thursday, June 10, 2004

AFGHANISTAN: UNITED NATIONS CONDEMNS KILLINGS OF CHINESE WORKERS

Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in a

statement issued through his Spokesman, said he was shocked to learn of the killing, last night, of 11 Chinese construction workers and their Afghan guard on the outskirts of Kunduz city in Northern Afghanistan.

He condemns this outrageous and contemptible act against unarmed civilians, which also left five Chinese workers wounded.

This appalling attack follows a series of other incidents directed against those working in support of the Bonnpeace process.

The Secretary-General calls on the Government of Afghanistan, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force for Afghanistan (ISAF), and Coalition forces to take the necessary measures to address the security situation.

The Secretary-General expresses his profound condolences to the Chinese Government and to the bereaved families.

In a statement to the press, the President of the Security Council said members condemned the attack in the strongest possible terms. The President added that the Security Council urged all States to cooperate actively in an effort to find and bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of the attack.

From Kabul, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative, Jean Arnault, also

expressed his condemnation of what he called a cold blooded attack.

ANNAN URGES PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS IN THE EASTERN DR CONGO

The Secretary-General, in a

statement issued through his Spokesman, is deeply concerned that recent events in the eastern

Democratic Republic of the Congo have compounded an already serious humanitarian situation.

There have been reports of human rights violations, including violence against women and children, population displacements, and massive looting. Personnel of United Nations humanitarian agencies and their Non-Governmental Organization partners have been attacked and their equipment damaged, forcing the suspension of most aid programmes for some 3 million people in the region.

The Secretary-General stresses to those involved in the recent fighting of their obligation under international humanitarian law to protect civilians caught in armed conflict.

He urges them to provide humanitarian workers with the safe and unhindered access they need to deliver life-sustaining aid.

The Secretary-General calls on neighbouring states to facilitate access by all humanitarian actors, as well as the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the Bukavu area.

A UN human rights team is continuing its investigation in Bukavu, and is receiving firsthand information about human rights violations which occurred during the recent fighting.

In addition, effort continue to restore access by humanitarian agencies to all those affected by the fighting and civil unrest in the eastern DRC.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has

dispatched a mission to the border of Burundi and the DRC to look into reports that thousands of new refugees have arrived in Burundi fleeing fighting in the Uvira region, south of Bukavu.

Meanwhile, the

UN Mission in the DRC, reports that the situation in Bukavu itself is relatively calm although some looting has continued.

ANNAN TO CALL ON SUDAN TO DISMANTLE MILITIAS

In a commencement address which he will deliver this afternoon at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Secretary-General is expected to draw attention again to the alarming situation in

Darfur, where about 1.3 million need immediate assistance.

He is expected to reiterate his call to the international community to insist that the Sudanese authorities immediately put their own house in order. Specifically, he will say that they must neutralize and disarm the brutal Janjaweed militia; allow humanitarian supplies and equipment to reach the population without further delays and pursue the political negotiations on Darfur with a renewed sense of urgency.

On the ground, UNHCR is continuing its worldwide airlift of more than 1,700 tons of emergency supplies for Sudanese refugees in Chad, hundreds of whom are still arriving weekly amid the start of seasonal rains. On Wednesday, UNHCR completed the airlift of tents from Pakistan and started similar flights from Tanzania to rush an additional 280 metric tons of aid to Chad.

ANNAN RECEIVES HONORARY DEGREE FROM HARVARD

The Secretary-General is in Cambridge, Massachusetts, today where this morning he received an honorary degree from Harvard University. The degree states that the Secretary-General "affirms the dignity of each individual while persevering for peace in a difficult world."

At 3 p.m., he is scheduled to deliver the commencement address.

[In the early afternoon at Harvard University, the Secretary-General met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.]

He arrived in Boston last night, and attended a dinner honouring him and eight other prominent individuals who are receiving honorary degrees from Harvard.

The host of that dinner, Harvard President Larry Summers, said that the Secretary-General "in a very real sense bears the weight of the world on his shoulders."

The Secretary-General responded with a toast, saying he was now tempted to say that he had the best of both worlds -- an MIT education and a Harvard degree.

He added that America's universities today have a special responsibility, more crucial than before, to encourage American students to look outwards from their country and see and understand the extraordinary world beyond it, in all its complexity and richness.

ANNAN TO TRAVEL TO BRAZIL FOR UNCTAD AND G-77 MEETINGS

The Secretary-General is scheduled to go to Sao Paulo, Brazil to open and attend the 11th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XI).

While there, he will address a Special Ministerial Meeting marking the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Group of 77.

He is also expected to hold a number of bilateral meetings, including one with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The Secretary-General is expected to arrive in Sao Paulo on Saturday and return to New York on Wednesday.

ANNAN TO ATTEND REAGAN FUNERAL

Asked if the Secretary-General would attend the funeral service for former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Washington, D.C., the Spokeswoman confirmed that he would.

SECURITY COUNCIL MEETS ON COTE DIVOIRE;

SCHEDULES CONSULTATIONS ON LIBERIA SANCTIONS AT 3 P.M.

Members of the Security Council met in closed consultations this morning to hear an update by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, Jean-Marie Guehenno, on the situation in

Cote dIvoire.

Then at 3 p.m., consultations are scheduled on the most recent report by the panel of experts

on Liberia sanctions.

ANNAN ENCOURAGED BY PROGRESS OF GUINEA-BISSAU

The Secretary-Generals

report to the Security Council on Guinea Bissau is out today.

In it, he says he is encouraged by progress being made on the political front, but cautions that the democratization process remains fragile.

The country still needs international support to complete the transition to constitutional order, he says, and also flagged the need for resources.

He pays special tribute to his former Representative David Stephen, who served in Guinea Bissau until his retirement in April, noting that his dedicated efforts greatly contributed to the restoration and consolidation of peace in that country.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

COST OF VIOLENCE: Violence devastates lives and also imposes major economic costs on societies around the world, some of which spend more than 4% of their Gross Domestic Product on dealing with violence-related injuries. This and other findings are contained in a new report released today by the

World Health Organization at the 7th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion from 6-9 June in Vienna, Austria.

PCBs: A two-day international meeting in Geneva sponsored by the

UN Environment Programme, UNEP, is looking into ways of ridding the world of PCBs, one of 12 highly toxic chemicals targeted for elimination by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are environmental pollutants that are hazardous to human health and the environment and can be found in air, water, soil and food.

BUDGET: Ethiopia has paid $57, 441 towards the UNs regular budget, becoming the 84th member state to pay its dues in full.

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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