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United Nations Daily Highlights, 05-07-25
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SPOKESMAN'S NOON
BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC
SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Monday, July 25, 2005
KOFI ANNAN STRESSES NEED TO HELP ZIMBABWEAN PEOPLE
The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka, who as the UN Special Envoy on Human Settlement Issues in Zimbabwe released her
report based on her recent visit to that country, has now positioned a human settlements officer as part of the UN country team in Zimbabwe.
The officer will help advise the government on the technical aspects of the resettlement of those who have been displaced by "Operation Restore Order."
In response to a reporters question this morning, Secretary-General Kofi Annan
confirmed he had spoken with President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and said he had stressed the need for action to be taken to help the people affected, to stop the clearances, and to ensure that those affected are not only looked after, but they are given adequate housing.
He went on to say that we, the international community, would want to muster the aid necessary to help the people, and also to work with the Government in changing the situation.
Asked whether an appeal would be issued for Zimbabwe, the Spokesman said that UN teams are in Zimbabwe now, trying to assess the scope of what is needed financially and in terms of material resources, such as tents. After an assessment is done, he added, money will be needed from the international community.
Asked who is on the ground from the United Nations, the Spokesman said that a country team, with most UN humanitarian agencies represented, was present.
Dujarric added that an appeal will be made once needs are assessed, and noted the Secretary-Generals message to the Government that the demolitions must stop immediately and that it must provide access to humanitarian workers.
Asked whether the United Nations would attach conditions of political reform to any aid effort for Zimbabwe, the Spokesman noted that Anna Tibaijukas
report had made it clear that the Government of Zimbabwe was collectively responsible for what happened. At the same time, he emphasized, it is essential that the people affected not be victimized twice, and that they receive assistance.
SECRETARY GENERAL CONDEMNS SINAI BOMBINGS
reacted with sorrow and anger to the news on Saturday of the multiple car bombs in the Sinai peninsula in Egypt. In a statement we issued over the weekend, he once more condemned the use of terror and indiscriminate violence against civilians, which no cause or belief can possibly justify.
Speaking to reporters on entering the building this morning, the Secretary-General
said that what has happened in the last few weeks, from London to Sharm el-Sheikh, gives one more reason for nations to press ahead and get a good definition of terrorism that we can all live with.
He also voiced the hope that the authorities in London will go after criminals, but not generalize in going after people coming from one region or another, and he noted that the United Kingdom had been able to do that over the years.
Asked whether the Sharm el-Sheikh and London bombings would affect security at the United Nations for the September World Summit, the Spokesman said that UN security was working with local and federal law enforcement authorities to ensure that the best security conditions are in place for Heads of State and Government during the Summit.
MULTILATERAL ORGANIZATIONS MUST BE REINVIGORATED
The Secretary-General this morning addressed a high-level
meeting between the United Nations and regional and other inter-governmental organizations.
In his remarks, the Secretary-General said that to promote progress in security, development and human rights, we needed to reinvigorate our multilateral institutions. In that regard, the UNs relationship with regional organizations was critical.
Saying that we needed better structured and more efficient channels of cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations, he said that the creation of a Peacebuilding Commission would allow for those bodies to have a seat and a voice at the table during the critical rebuilding stage in countries emerging from conflict.
U.N. PEACEKEEPERS IN COTE DIVOIRE PUT ON ALERT
UN peacekeepers in
Cote dIvoire have been put on a state of alert following an attack on Saturday night on the towns of Anyama and Agboville by unidentified assailants.
The UN mission, which is working closely with the Ivorian authorities, has decided to dispatch military units to the area to help restore calm.
The mission strongly condemns this attack, which could jeopardize the important progress made in the peace process, and calls on all parties to refrain from any action that could further contribute to the deterioration of an already worrying situation.
Meanwhile, the humanitarian agencies in the field are preparing to undertake an assessment mission to Anyama and Agboville.
SECURITY COUNCIL TO CONSULT ON LEBANON, GEORGIA
At 3:00 this afternoon, the
Security Council will hold private meetings with the countries that contribute troops to two UN peacekeeping missions.
Security Council members will meet first with the troop contributors for the
UN Interim Force in Lebanon, and then with those for the
UN Mission in Georgia.
U.N. AFFILIATED EDUCATOR KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN
UN Mission in Afghanistan reported that an Afghan civic educator, employed by a non-governmental organization that works with the United Nations on civic education, was shot dead last week, in an attack which also left his son injured.
The Joint Electoral Management Body responded by condemning any violence against people working to bring democracy and stability to Afghanistan.
U.N. ENVOY SAYS HIV/AIDS EFFORTS ARE FAILING WOMEN
Stephen Lewis, the UN Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Africa, last night addressed a meeting of scientists and experts on
AIDS that took place in Rio de Janeiro.
Lewis said the greatest single international failure in the response to HIV/AIDS is the failure to intervene on behalf of women.
He also questioned the results of the G8 summit, called for an independent international agency for women and challenged scientists to engage in a campaign of advocacy.
At the conference, the World Health Organization (WHO)
said that to achieve universal access to HIV prevention and treatment, the scientific and public health communities must respond quickly to developments on the ground to narrow the gap between discovery and intervention. WHO stressed the need to "learn by doing."
FOOD CRISIS AFFECTS ENTIRE SAHEL AREA
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that the food security crisis currently devastating Niger has also had an impact throughout the Sahel region.
In Mali, Burkina Faso and Mauritania, populations are also facing difficult food security situations because of last years drought and locust plague.
According to statistics from OCHA, some 1.1 million people in Mali will need food aid in 2005, and women and children are suffering from malnutrition in Burkina Faso. In Mauritania, the World Food Programme is on the ground, assessing the scope of the food security situation.
TRAINING COULD PREVENT FOREST FIRES
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today said proper training could save many lives that are lost every year in forest fires. In an
advisory issued in Rome today the FAO said that people are the cause of most fires.
Proper training for people living near wooded areas would cost a small fraction of the billions of dollars lost in the fires, the FAO said.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO CONSULT ON SUMMIT DRAFT
General Assembly will hold, on Wednesday and Thursday this week, closed informal consultations on the revised draft document dealing with Member States' views on UN reform in preparation for the September summit, which Assembly President Jean Ping submitted to member states on Friday.
The Spokesman, in response to a question, said that it should not be expected that the Secretary-General would provide a detailed statement responding to Pings document.
Asked about the Secretary-Generals involvement in the current Security Council reform debate, Dujarric said this was a membership-led discussion, which the Secretary-General was monitoring closely. He would make himself available to Member States, if needed, as that discussion proceeds.
CLINTON CALLS FOR SWIFT WORK ON TSUNAMI WARNING SYSTEM: In the light of recent earthquakes this weekend near the Nicobar and Andaman islands, of India, UN Special Envoy for Tsunami-affected Countries President Bill Clinton encourages the governments in the region to accelerate the creation of an effective early warning system.
CONFERENCE ON GLOBALIZED WORKPLACE IS PLANNED: The International Labor Organization today announced that it will organize a conference in the autumn on challenges in the 21st century globalized workplace. Some three hundred experts are scheduled to discuss safety and other work-related issues during the conference in Düsseldorf, Germany.
EX OIL-FOR- FOOD AIDE AVAILABLE TO INQUIRY: Asked whether it is a concern that Benon Sevan is in Cyprus, the Spokesman said that the main point is that anyone who needs to have access to Sevan should have it. Unless the United Nations hears otherwise from Paul Volckers Independent Inquiry Committee, the Spokesman added, it would assume that Sevan is cooperating.
UNITED NATIONS HOPES IRAQI CONSTITUTION ON SCHEDULE: The Spokesman, in response to a question, said the United Nations hoped that Iraqs constitution would be ready on schedule.
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