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United Nations Daily Highlights, 05-07-21

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 SPOKESMAN'S NOON

BRIEFING

BY MARIE OKABE

DEPUTY

SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Thursday, July 21, 2005

ZIMBABWE REPORT TO BE RELEASED FRIDAY

The report on Zimbabwe drafted by the Secretary-General's Special Envoy Anna Tibaijuka, after a two-week fact-finding mission to that country, is scheduled to be made public tomorrow.

Ms. Tibaijuka will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. in this room to release the report.

SECURITY COUNCIL DEBATES GAZA WITHDRAWAL

Israels forthcoming withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the northern West Bank continues to overshadow all other issues, Alvaro de Soto, the UN Special Coordinator for the

Middle East Peace Process, told the Security Council today. It is a moment pregnant with hope, but also fraught with peril.

Addressing todays

Security Council public meeting on the Middle East, de Soto said that Israels domestic preparations for the withdrawal continue at a rapid pace. He said that the Israeli authorities have given clear evidence that they will not allow Israeli extremists to prevent the plan from being carried out.

At the same time, de Soto noted, there is considerable evidence that settlement activity continues, and Israel has also continued and accelerated construction of its barrier in the West Bank.

He added that, while the deterioration of the informal cease-fire is profoundly disquieting, there have been encouraging developments since last week, consisting of the actions of the Palestinian security forces to take vigorous action to restore law and order, and particularly to intercept militants preparing to attack Israelis.

The Security Council is proceeding with a debate on the Middle East, following a request by the Arab Group to discuss recent developments, including settlement activities and construction of the barrier.

SECURITY COUNCIL URGES ALL STATES TO JOIN ANTI-TERROR PACTS

The

Security Council wrapped up its open meeting on terrorism on Wednesday afternoon by adopting a

Presidential Statement reiterating its call on all Member States to become parties to all 12 International Conventions against terrorism.

In that context, the Council drew attention to this Septembers treaty event in New York, and encouraged Member States also to sign the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.

The Council also urged all States to cooperate to bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of acts of terrorism.

LATEST GENERAL ASSEMBLY SUMMIT DRAFT DUE OUT FRIDAY

The closed informal meeting of the plenary scheduled for Friday afternoon to introduce the revised version of General Assembly President Jean Pings draft outcome document for the September summit has been cancelled, as the Presidents return to New York has been delayed by one day.

However, the revised outcome document will still be submitted to member states tomorrow.

MONTHLY DARFUR REPORT SENT TO SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBERS

The latest monthly report on

Darfur has gone to Security Council members, but is not out yet as a document.

Jan Pronk, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Sudan, will be briefing the Security Council on Sudan in an open meeting on Friday.

U.N. ENVOY AND KURDISH LEADER DISCUSS KURDISH ISSUES

Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary Generals Deputy Special Representative for

Iraq, met with Dindar Zebari, the Kurdistan Regional Governments Coordinator to the United Nations, to discuss future UN activities in Northern Iraq.

They agreed that Dr. Zebari will help formulate two pilot programs in collaboration with the Kurdistan Regional Government in order to ensure that the UN addresses the key priorities of the people of Kurdistan.

MORE THAN 3.7 MILLION AFGHAN REFUGEES RETURN HOME SINCE 2002

The

UN Mission in Afghanistan reports that the number of Afghan refugees who have returned from Pakistan has now passed 2.5 million. That brings the total of people who have come back to Afghanistan from Iran and Pakistan since 2002 to more than 3.7 million.

So far this year, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has helped more than 200,000 Afghans return from Pakistan and 26,000 Afghans return from Iran.

U.N. REFUGEE CHIEF HIGHLIGHTS ASYLUM CONCERNS

High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, today gave his first press conference at the UNs Palais des Nations in Geneva, since taking office just over one month ago.

In his opening statement, he said he was concerned by how difficult it was to preserve asylum rights and to protect refugees in an environment of growing intolerance and extremism. Saying that nothing could justify terrorism, he added that we would only be able to defeat terror if we stuck to our values. In short, he said, the institution of asylum was an essential part of democracy and human rights.

He also said he was personally committed to having his agency deal with internally displaced persons, even though such people were not technically refugees.

ANNAN NAMES NEW HEAD OF U.N. OFFICE IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

In response to questions, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General has appointed William K. Davis as the new Director of the United Nations office in Washington.

Davis is an expert on international economic matters, human rights, development assistance, and peacekeeping. Having worked in every Administration since President Reagan, Davis comes to the post with a distinguished record of public service and extensive experience working with individuals across the political spectrum in Washington.

Asked when Davis would start work at the Washington office, the Spokeswoman said his official start date was August 22.

BURNHAM TO BRIEF U.S. SENATE ON CAPITAL MASTER PLAN

In response to questions, Under-Secretary-General for Management Christopher Burnham is in Washington, D.C. today. He will provide a briefing to a U.S. Senate subcommittee that is today holding a hearing about the

Capital Master Plan.

Asked about recent comments made in the press by Burnham about his loyalty to the United States, the Spokeswoman said Burnham had provided a clarification, saying that, as with all UN officials, Burnham took the oath of office upon joining the United Nations and understands that his professional obligation is to the United Nations and the Secretary-General.

He is fully committed to help implement the Secretary-Generals reform agenda and to improve the management of the United Nations.

Asked about the UNs view on Burnhams comments, the Spokeswoman said that the status of international civil servants is absolutely clear: their professional loyalty is to the United Nations and loyalty to their national government is put aside. Every UN official signs or takes an oath of office on joining the United Nations, she said, and is bound by Article 100 of the UN Charter.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

FAO WARNS LOCUSTS STILL THREATEN AFRICA: The UN Food and Agriculture Organization today warned that the remains of last years locust invasion of the northern Sahel could threaten the area again this year. A

statement released in Rome today said that the emergency is not over as fresh rains in breeding areas may increase locust numbers. FAO is monitoring the situation.

TSUNAMI WARNING EXPERTS SET MEETING FOR AUGUST: The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization today

announced that the first meeting of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System will be held August 3 through 5 in Perth, Australia. The meeting is expected to concentrate on technical and scientific requirements for tsunami warning systems, UNESCO said.

U.N. MEETING URGES BAN ON CORPORAL PUNISHMENT: Representatives of some 300 African government agencies and NGOs have called for a complete ban on corporal punishment for children. The

statement came at the end of a three day meeting in Johannesburg organized by the UN Childrens Fund in connection with the Secretary- Generals Study on Violence against Children. The study is due out next year.

HEALTH AGENCY TO CONTINUE WITH POLIO IMMUNIZATIONS IN INDONESIA: According to the World Health Organization, on 19 July 2005, 4 new polio cases were

confirmed in Indonesia, in districts already infected, namely Bogor (West Java province) and Lebak (Banten province). The total number of cases is now 153. These new cases are within the areas included during the two emergency vaccination campaigns held on 31 May and 28 June. Plans are underway for National Immunization Days targeting 24.4 million children under 5 years old throughout the country on 30 August and 27 September.

  • The guest at today's noon briefing was Rosario Manalo, Chairperson of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, who talked about the work of the Committee's current session.

    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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