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United Nations Daily Highlights, 04-11-16
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SPOKESMAN'S NOON BRIEFING
BY FRED ECKHARD
SPOKESMAN FOR THE
OF THE UNITED NATIONS
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
INVESTIGATION FINDS THAT NO RULES VIOLATED
IN U.N. OFFICE OF INTERNAL OVERSIGHT SERVICES
The UN Staff Council, in its Resolution adopted on 15 April 2004, brought to the attention of
Secretary-General Kofi Annan allegations made against the
Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services, Dileep Nair, regarding violations of Staff Regulations and Staff Rules with respect to appointment and promotion of staff in the
United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), as well as allegations of corrupt practices in that office, and other misconduct on the part of the Under-Secretary-General.
The Secretary-General requested the Under-Secretary-General for Management, Catherine Bertini, to undertake urgently an internal investigation of the allegations.
After a thorough review of the personnel-related allegations, the Under-Secretary-General for Management
reported to the Secretary-General her findings and recommendations.
She found that no Staff Regulations or Staff Rules were violated in the appointment and promotion of staff in OIOS, and that the relevant personnel procedures were followed. With regard to the other allegations, the investigation found that they did not present credible information on which to follow-up and, therefore, recommended that no further action was necessary in the matter.
The Secretary-General reviewed the report and accepted the findings and recommendations of the investigation.
He has so informed Nair and said that he had every confidence that the good work of OIOS under his leadership will continue.
Asked whether the report on the OIOS would be made public, the Spokesman said it would not, adding that it was an internal report prepared for the Secretary-General. The results of the inquiry, he said, were reported today to members of the Staff Council.
SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES RESOLUTION ON SUDAN
AFTER EXTENDING U.N. MISSION IN EAST TIMOR FOR FINAL SIX MONTHS;
This morning, the
Security Council voted unanimously to extend the mandate of the UN Mission in Timor-Leste for a final period of six months until 20 May 2005.
Then starting at 10:30 a.m., the Council held consultations on a resolution on
Sudan, to be adopted on Friday at the Security Council's meeting scheduled in Nairobi.
Security Council members are leaving New York for Nairobi today.
REPORTS OF INSECURITY IN DARFUR CONTINUE
The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for
Jan Pronk, also left for Nairobi to attend the
Security Council meeting.
Meanwhile, we continue to receive reports of insecurity in
Darfur. For example, five days ago, four women were reportedly raped while walking home on the outskirts of El-Geneina, according to the
UN Mission in Sudan. A gunfight ensued between police and the attackers.
SECURITY COUNCIL IMPOSES ARMS EMBARGO ON COTE DIVOIRE
unanimously adopted a resolution on Monday evening that places an arms embargo on Cote dIvoire for 13 months.
Resolution 1572 also lists other measures, including a travel ban and assets freeze placed on persons designated by a
Security Council sanctions committee.
Those measures are to take effect on 15 December, unless the Council determines before then that the Ivorian parties have implemented their commitments to the Accra III peace agreement and are embarked towards the full implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement.
HATE RADIO GIVES WAY TO CALLS FOR RETURN TO WORK, EXERCISE OF RESTRAINT
UN Operation in Cote DIvoire (UNOCI) reports that the situation in Abidjan and other major cities is calm today. Commercial activities have resumed and life seems to be returning to its normal pace.
However, a high degree of uncertainty prevails on all sides.
UNOCI also reports that hate messages have given way to calls for return to work and exercise of restraint. National Radio and Television have been airing peace messages significantly different in tone and content to the ones we have been hearing of late.
Radio ONUCI, the missions radio station, is highlighting the outcome of the just adopted Security Council resolution and the
message from the
Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide.
An increased presence of UN peacekeepers in Abidjan has contributed greatly to reassuring the local population and ensuring the security of evacuees, in particular, UNOCI reports.
UN Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
reports that Ivorian refugees arriving in Liberia say that more people are on the way. Ivorians are arriving in Liberia through at least 12 entry points along a 45-km stretch of relatively remote frontier, often crossing the border river in small canoes.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that electricity and water has not been fully restored in rebel-controlled areas.
UN ENVOY: ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS MUST ADVANCE PEACE,
The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process,
Terje Roed-Larsen, in his last
briefing on the
Middle East to the Security Council before he becomes President of the International Peace Academy, said Yasser Arafats passing marks the end of an era.
Now that he has gone, Roed-Larsen said Monday afternoon, Israelis and Palestinians must make even greater efforts to bring about the peaceful realization of the Palestinian right of self-determination.
U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONER CONCERNED ABOUT CIVILIANS IN FALLUJAH
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,
Louise Arbour, is
deeply concerned about the situation of civilians caught up in the ongoing fighting in
There have been a number of reports during the current confrontation alleging violations of the rules of war designed to protect civilians and combatants.
The High Commissioner is particularly worried over poor access by civilians still in Falluja to the delivery of humanitarian aid. She is also concerned about the lack of information regarding the number of civilian casualties.
The High Commissioner considers that all violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law must be investigated and those responsible for breaches must be brought to justice, be they members of the Multinational Force or insurgents.
Arbour calls on parties in the fighting to take every possible precaution to protect civilians.
The Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq,
Ashraf Qazi, today met with Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi for talks on how to advance the political process in the country.
Discussions also dealt with the security situation in the country and preparations for national election, set to take place towards the end of January.
In addition, the
World Food Programme is closely monitoring the situation of internally displaced persons and others affected by the events in Falluja. If required, it will help Iraqi institutions provide food through the public distribution system.
Asked about the extent of casualties in Falluja, the Spokesman said the United Nations had no basis for gathering casualty figures.
ANNAN VALUED COLIN POWELLS COUNSEL AND OBJECTIVE APPROACH
Secretary-General spoke yesterday to Secretary of State Colin Powell, after Powell announced his resignation.
The Secretary-General thanked Powell for the close and productive relationship they have enjoyed over the past four years, during which they worked together on a wide range of issues of concern to the international community.
statement issued yesterday afternoon, the Secretary-General said that he has always valued Powells wise counsel and objective approach.
Speaking to reporters after yesterdays
Security Council meeting on Cote dIvoire, the Secretary-General
added that he is looking forward to a constructive and collaborative relationship with the US administration and the next Secretary of State. He called Powell a wonderful human being and a great diplomat."
FAMILIES OF AFGHANISTAN ABDUCTEES EXPRESS HOPE FOR THEIR RELEASE
The families and friends of the three UN staff members abducted in
Afghanistan today issued a statement, expressing their hopes that Annetta Flanigan, Angelito Nayan and Shqipe Hebibi will be restored to them.
They said that, at this sacred time of giving gifts, the only gift we desire is their safe return.
They added that, after 25 years of strife and uncertainty, some people in Afghanistan may do desperate things, but the Afghan people are honorable.
U.N. REPRESENTATIVE FOR SOUTHERN LEBANON
CONCERNED OVER REPORTS OF ROCKET FIRING
The office of
Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-Generals Personal Representative for Southern Lebanon, expressed its serious concern at reports that two Katyusha rockets were fired on Monday evening from inside Lebanese territory, and were apparently directed across the Blue Line.
So far this year, there have been at least six incidents of the firing of rockets from within Lebanese territory, apparently directed across the Blue Line.
De Misturas office strongly called on the Lebanese government to redouble its efforts to ensure that such dangerous violations cease immediately.
U.N. MISSION IN GUATEMALA WAS SUCCESSFUL EXAMPLE OF PEACE-BUILDING
message delivered yesterday afternoon at the closing ceremony of the
UN Verification Mission in Guatemala, the
Secretary-General said that the United Nations has achieved many firsts in Central America: in areas ranging from multi-dimensional peace-keeping to the pioneering work carried out by truth commissions.
The message, which was delivered by the Under-Secretary-General for
Kieran Prendergast, said that the Mission in Guatemala was a successful example of UN peace-building, with valuable lessons for operations in other parts of the world.
But most of all, he added, it is Guatemalans who should be proud of what theyve accomplished over the years they brought an end to an era of terrible violence and they continue to implement a truly national agenda.
The Secretary-General said the closure of the Mission should not be seen as the end of the peace process, but rather, as the beginning of a new and necessary phase in which national actors assume full responsibility for monitoring and promoting the goals of the peace accords.
SEVENTEEN GROUPS GIVEN GRANTS TO ADDRESS VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
UN Trust Fund to Eliminate Violence Against Women is
granting $900,000 to 17 groups in developing countries, who are addressing gender-based violence in conflict and post-conflict situations. The grants are going to 20 countries which include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and Georgia.
Since its establishment in 1996, the Trust Fund has granted $8.3 million to 175 initiatives in 96 countries and demand continues to outstrip supply. In addition, the
UN Development Fund for Women is
hosting a special event in New York to commemorate UN-designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
TEN YEARS BEFORE WORLDS CIVIL RESEARCH REACTORS CONVERTED TO SAFER FUELS: Much progress has been made, but it will take the better part of a decade before all the world´s civil research reactors can be converted to run on fuel that poses lower proliferation concerns. Among the biggest challenges is developing the types of uranium fuel that converted reactors require more than 60 civilian research reactors worldwide still run on weapons-grade high-enriched uranium fuels. These are some of the key
findings from a gathering of experts at a meeting organized by the
International Atomic Energy Agency.
NEARLY $2 MILLION SOUGHT FOR BOLIVIA DROUGHT APPEAL: UN humanitarian agencies are appealing for some $1.8 million to bring emergency aid to 180,000 people in Bolivias south-east, over the next seven months. The
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that a prolonged drought is severely threatening the food security, health and nutritional status of children and adults in the El Chaco region. It adds that the acute nature of this years drought is compounding the effects of years of drought, and has put the region at risk of a major humanitarian crisis.
GLOBAL LANDSCAPE STILL SCARRED BY INTOLERANCE: Today is the International Day of Tolerance. The
Secretary-General marked it by
saying that the global landscape continues to be scarred by fanaticism, exploitation of ignorance, and fear of the other. He also noted that in todays interdependent world, societies are increasingly multicultural, and more and more people are the product of several cultures.
He added that tolerance doesnt mean simply putting up with others. On the contrary, it means being actively committed to human rights and fundamental freedoms.
NO KNOWN PLANS FOR ANNAN TO TRAVEL TO WASHINGTON, D.C.: Asked whether the
Secretary-General was going to travel to Washington, the Spokesman said he was unaware of any planned visit.
OIL-FOR-FOOD LETTERS TO BE MADE PUBLIC AFTER SENATORS CONFIRM RECEIPT: Asked about an exchange of letters between
Paul Volcker, head of the independent inquiry committee for the
oil-for-food program, and UN lawyers, the Spokesman said that Volcker had said that he would be sending letters to U.S. Senators Norm Coleman and Carl Levin today. Those letters, he said, would deal with the Senators request for access to documentation and witnesses. Eckhard said a copy of the letter would also go to the
Secretary-General, and that Volcker had said the letters would be made available to the press once their receipt had been confirmed.
Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
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