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United Nations Daily Highlights, 05-07-19
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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: firstname.lastname@example.orgARCHIVES
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SPOKESMAN'S NOON
BY MARIE OKABE
SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
ANNAN STRONGLY CONDEMNS ASSASSINATIONS IN IRAQ
Secretary-General Kofi Annan
has learned with shock and dismay of the assassination today of Mijbil Sheikh al-Issa, a member of the Constitutional Drafting Commission of the Transitional National Assembly of
Iraq. An adviser to the Commission, Dahmen al-Jabouri, was also tragically killed in the same attack. The Secretary-General notes that Issa was one of the fifteen Sunni representatives who had recently joined the Commission with the purpose of drafting a new constitution through an inclusive process that is responsive to the needs of all Iraqi constituencies.
The Secretary-General strongly condemns this criminal act and hopes that it will not deter the Constitutional Commission from completing its important task on time.
UN ENVOY DESCRIBES IRAQ VIOLENCE AS UNACCEPTABLE
The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for
Iraq, Ashraf Qazi, today also condemned the recent killings and suicide attacks across the country.
These are unacceptable acts of violence under any circumstances, Qazi said. These heinous acts are against the principles of Islam and the human values of all religions and beliefs, and must be condemned.
Qazi also met today with Hachem al-Hassani, the Speaker of Iraqs Transitional National Assembly, to discuss the constitution-making process and other developments.
Because of his work in Iraq at this time, Qazi will not be able to come to New York this week, and consequently he will not be the guest at the noon briefing on Friday.
Asked whether the United Nations considered what was going on in Iraq to be a civil war, the Spokeswoman said it did not. She added that the United Nations had stressed its concerns about the ongoing violence and the need by all parties to pull together.
SECURITY COUNCIL WELCOMES UN ACTION ON HIV/AIDS
Security Council wrapped up its open meeting on AIDS and peacekeeping yesterday by adopting a
Presidential Statement welcoming the collaboration between the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, UNAIDS and its co-sponsors to address HIV/AIDS awareness among peacekeepers.
The Security Council, the statement said, recognizes that UN peacekeeping personnel can be important contributors to the response to AIDS, particularly for vulnerable communities in post-conflict environments. The Council welcomes the action taken by the Secretary-General and UN peacekeeping missions to integrate HIV/AIDS awareness in their mandated activities.
The Security Council has no meetings or consultations scheduled today.
LOUIS FREDERICK REUTER IV TO OVERSEE CAPITAL MASTER PLAN
The Secretary-General has decided to appoint Louis Frederick Reuter IV of the United States as his Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of the
Capital Master Plan. Reuter succeeds Toshiyuki Niwa of Japan, who left to join UNICEF.
Reuter has played a number of principal roles in architectural and healthcare consulting firms and has had extensive planning and project development experience in the United States, the Middle East and South America. He recently served as Executive Vice-President of Administration for the New York Presbyterian Hospital, during which time he was responsible for the rebuilding of the New York Weill Cornell Medical Centre.
Asked why an American had been selected for the job, the Spokeswoman said that he was the best qualified candidate.
Asked whether US criticism of the United Nations is fair given the number of senior US officials at the United Nations, Okabe said that the Secretary-General has believed the criticism against him to be a minority view. The Secretary-General, she noted, works with Americans in many venues, including at the United Nations.
Asked about the US loan offer for the Plan, the Spokeswoman reiterated the Secretary-Generals hope that the General Assemblys Fifth Committee can come to a decision on it as quickly as possible, so that work can proceed.
ANNAN SAYS CONFLICT PREVENTION CAN SAVE LIVES
The Global Conference on the Role of Civil Society in the Prevention of Conflict and Peacebuilding began here this morning. In a
message to the Conference, delivered by Special Adviser Stephen Stedman, the Secretary-General said that what is lacking in our conflict prevention efforts is full recognition of our increasing interdependence.
A new security consensus, he said, would require us to respond to violent conflicts far more equitably wherever they erupt.
He noted that if peace agreements had been successfully implemented in only two countries, Rwanda and Angola, millions of lives could have been saved. The Secretary-General said that he hopes the establishment of a UN Peacebuilding Commission will help to prevent such tragedies in the future.
FOOD RATION CUTS HURT REFUGEES IN WESTERN TANZANIA
The World Food Programme together with the UN refugee agency, or UNHCR today
warned that continued food ration cuts are hurting Burundian and Congolese refugees in western Tanzania.
UNHCR and WFP are especially concerned about increasing sexual exploitation and violence against refugee women, who have to go outside the camps to look for work.
Unless an additional $5 million is pledged soon, ration reductions will continue through December 2005.
UNHCR: LIBERIAN REFUGEES GOING HOME
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees
reports that more than 5,000 eastern Liberian refugees in Côte d'Ivoire have chosen to return home under the agencys voluntary repatriation programme, because of improved security conditions.
This represents a sharp increase from the early part of the year.
REFUGEES FROM MYANMAR IN SQUALID CONDITIONS
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the European Commission and diplomats from five donor countries have completed an emergency mission to southeastern Bangladesh, to see for themselves the plight of more than 6,000 Myanmarese who are living in extremely risky and deplorably squalid conditions.
The mission saw the Myanmarese literally living on the tidal river flats of the Teknaf River, which forms the border with Myanmar. They are extremely vulnerable to seasonal high tides, flooding and cyclones during the monsoon season. There is no water or sanitation at the site, creating a health hazard.
UNICEF CHIEF TO VISIT AFRICA
Ann M. Veneman, the Executive Director of the UN Childrens Fund will visit Africa this week. She will
take part in a harvest festival in a Kenyan village being aided by the UN Millennium Project, and she will visit children affected by fighting in northern Uganda.
reports that it will join UN-Habitat in a project to provide shelter for some 2,400 Somalians left homeless by the December tsunami.
COMMITTEE HAS NOT REPORTED PROBLEMS WITH BENON SEVAN: Asked where Benon Sevan is, the Spokeswoman noted that Sevan is on a dollar-a-year contract to facilitate his cooperation with the Independent Inquiry Committee. The Committee would report to the United Nations if it has any problems with Sevans cooperation, and it has not done so.
SECRETARY-GENERAL VALUES MAURICE STRONGS ADVICE: Asked about Maurice Strong, who had served as the Secretary-Generals Special Envoy for the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, the Spokeswoman said that Strongs contract expired last week and was not renewed. Strong, she noted, had placed himself on suspension in April, pending the outcome of an inquiry by the Independent Inquiry Committee, and he had not wanted to work at the same operational pace as before. The Secretary-General, Okabe said, values Strongs advice and expertise and believes he has worked with distinction. Following the results of the inquiry, the United Nations would see if he could play a role in the future.
BRAHIMI DRAFTING REPORT ON NEPAL: Asked about Special Adviser Lakhdar Brahimis trip to Nepal, the Spokeswoman said that Brahimi met with a variety of actors in that country during a six-day trip last week, and was now writing an internal report to the Secretary-General. The Secretary-General, she said, had said that the United Nations would be at the parties disposal should they require assistance.
Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
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