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United Nations Daily Highlights, 05-07-28

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 STEPHANE DUJARRIC

SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Thursday, July 28, 2005

KOFI ANNAN WELCOMES IRA'S DISARMAMENT ANNOUNCEMENT

Secretary-General Kofi Annan

welcomes the announcement by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) that it has decided to end armed actions in Northern Ireland and disarm. This decision, if fully implemented, will be a watershed in the history of Northern Ireland.

The Secretary-General hopes the IRA will commit fully to the obligation it has just undertaken. He calls on all parties concerned to seize this unique opportunity to consolidate the Good Friday Agreement.

SECRETARY GENERAL APPEALS FOR CALM IN GUINEA-BISSAU

The Secretary-General has taken note of the provisional results announced today by national electoral authorities of the second round of the presidential elections held on 24 July 2005 in Guinea Bissau.

He

appeals for calm as the counting process continues before the announcement of the final results and the full restoration of constitutional rule.

The Secretary-General stresses the need to employ legal means to address any electoral grievances. He reaffirms United Nations support for the countrys efforts to consolidate democracy and to promote sustainable peace and development.

SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES COTE DIVOIRE, DR OF CONGO, HAITI

AND HEARS BRIEFING BY TOP HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICIAL

The

Security Council held consultations on sanctions on the Democratic Republic of the Congo and on Cote dIvoire, with briefings by the chairs of the Councils sanctions committees for those two countries respectively, the Ambassadors of Algeria and Greece.

A draft resolution on maintaining the sanctions on the Democratic Republic of the Congo was circulated.

On Cote dIvoire, meanwhile, the Security Council studied the

report of an experts panel which recommended a tighter definition of the arms embargo and also asked for the Council committee on Cote d'Ivoire to visit the region.

After those briefings, the Security Council heard from Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean Marie Guéhenno about developments in Haiti. [Afterwards, while briefing journalists, Guehenno said that the three main challenges for Haiti are security, the political process, and development assistance. He stated that elections in Haiti can be "a foundation for stabilization or a lost opportunity". The long-term solution for the country, he said, was in job creation and in building an economy, noting that "Haiti's enemy is also despair".]

The Security Council then heard from High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, who discussed the human rights dimension of issues on the Security Councils agenda.

Wednesday afternoon, the Security Council, in a Presidential Statement on Iraq, condemned in the strongest possible terms today the assassination of Ali Belaroussi and Azzeddine Belkadi, the two diplomats accredited to the Algerian Embassy to

Iraq. The Security Council also adopted a Presidential

Statement condemning the 23 July terrorist attacks in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

ZIMBABWE: SHELTER AND FOOD ARE NEEDED THE MOST

UN agencies on the ground have completed the assessment of current needs in

Zimbabwe, according to the

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The two greatest requirements are for shelter and food.

These needs arise in a country already experiencing a humanitarian crisis, which is marked by high HIV infection rates, fuel shortages, a growing food emergency, and, according to

UNICEF, the sharpest rises in child mortality in the world.

The United Nations and its partners are now discussing how to get the resources to meet these new needs, and are also discussing possibilities of either expanding existing programs or issuing a new appeal.

The Secretary-General has

underscored 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 has also stressed the need for a dialogue between the Government, domestic constituencies and the international community with a view to working together to address Zimbabwe's serious social, economic and political problems.

Asked whether the Secretary-General should visit Zimbabwe under the current circumstances, the Spokesman reiterated that, although the Secretary-General had accepted in principle an invitation to come to Zimbabwe, no date has been set. He noted that, before the Secretary-General visits, a number of things would have to happen, including the cessation of all demolitions and the start of a meaningful and sustained dialogue bringing together the Government, the opposition and civil society. Dujarric added that it is difficult to see how Zimbabwe could move forward without such a dialogue.

Also, he said, the Secretary-General would not want to substitute himself for his Special Envoy Anna Tibaijuka, whose report on Zimbabwe was clear and hard-hitting.

Asked who was responsible for the demolitions, the Spokesman said that the report clearly pointed to the collective responsibility of the Government of Zimbabwe.

Asked whether the United Nations believes the demolitions have stopped, the Spokesman said that the United Nations wants to see for itself whether that has actually happened, and is in the process of doing that by using its country team on the ground.

Asked who was present on the ground, the Spokesman said that the UN had a country team that included staff from UN Habitat, the UN Development Programme, the UN Childrens Fund, the World Food Programme, the UN Population Fund and the Office of UN High Commissioner for Refugees, all serving under a Resident Coordinator. That team, he said, engages with the Government and civil society. As the humanitarian effort increases, the numbers on the ground may also need to be ramped up.

Asked whether the Secretary-General was disappointed that African States on the Security Council had voted against a briefing Wednesday on Zimbabwe, the Spokesman said that it was up to the States to decide how to vote. He noted that Zimbabwe would need assistance from the international community, and its neighboring countries and African States would have a role to play. The United Nations, he added, trusts that they will play a role in such assistance.

ANNAN APPOINTS ENVOY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND BUSINESS

The Secretary-General has appointed Professor John Ruggie as his Special Representative on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

The creation of the mandate was requested by the UN Commission for Human Rights and approved by the Economic and Social Council on 25 July, and includes identifying and clarifying standards of corporate responsibility and accountability with regards to human rights.

An interim report presenting views and recommendations for consideration by the Commission on Human Rights is due at its 62nd session in 2006 and a final report in 2007.

Ruggie will remain the Kirkpatrick Professor of International Affairs and Director of the Center for Business and Government at Harvard Universitys Kennedy School of Government. But coincident with his new appointment, and to ensure the integrity of the mandate, he will resign his current UN role as Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on the Global Compact.

CLINTON URGES SRI LANKAN COMMUNITIES TO WORK TOGETHER

William J. Clinton, U.N. Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, today urged Sri Lankan communities to work together.

In a statement, he said, The Post-Tsunami Operations Management Structure in Sri Lanka agreement provides an important opportunity for all communities to work together to overcome the tragedy of the tsunami.

While the legal process takes its course, I hope that all sides will do their utmost to prevent any escalation of violence that will only set back our collective efforts to help tsunami victims."

UN MISSION IN COTE D'IVOIRE URGES PARTIES TO STICK TO ROADMAP FOR PEACE

The Principal Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Côte dIvoire, Alan Doss, reiterated the missions condemnation of last weekends events and urged Ivorian political parties to stick to the roadmap for the countrys peace process as outlined in the Pretoria agreement.

Those who do not want the implementation of these accords are contravening the Security Council resolutions and the Pretoria accord, Doss told reporters in Abidjan. He also cautioned against the use of language, which could incite violence, intolerance and hate, and jeopardize the gains already made in the peace process.

HUMANITARIAN AGENCIES COMBAT BIRTH-RELATED DEATHS IN BURUNDI

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the

UN Childrens Fund are working with local authorities in southern Burundi to combat maternal and child mortality there.

As part of a new program in Makamba, Burundis southernmost province, new medical equipment has been distributed to several health centers there, and an ambulance has been stationed nearby, so that emergency cases can immediately be transferred to the countrys capital, Bujumbura.

WHO says that three out of every four pregnancy- and birth-related deaths in the province could easily be prevented if appropriate care is given to mothers during pregnancy and delivery.

NEW GREENHOUSE EMISSIONS REDUCTION PLAN IS WELCOMED

In a

statement issued in Nairobi, Kenya, Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), welcomed a plan by the United States to work with Australia and Asian countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Toepfer notes that countries like the United States now recognize that a more diversified fuel supply makes economic as well as environmental sense but cautions that this new initiative is not a substitute for the Kyoto Protocol. We must look to how we tackle climate change beyond 2012, he says.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

GENERAL ASSEMBLY CONSULTS ON SUMMIT DRAFT: The General Assembly is holding today closed informal consultations on the revised draft outcome document on UN reform for the September summit.

NEW ONLINE REGULATION TOOLKIT LAUNCHED: The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN specialized agency for telecommunications, and infoDev, a multi-donor programme focusing on information and communication technologies (ICT) for development, today

launched a new online Regulation Toolkit designed to address the complex regulatory challenges emerging from a rapidly evolving ICT industry. Nearly 140 countries worldwide now have a national regulatory authority, with the vast majority having been put in place during the last 10 years.

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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