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United Nations Daily Highlights, 05-08-01

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

Monday, August 1, 2005

KOFI ANNAN MOURNS DEATH OF JOHN GARANG,

SYMBOL OF HOPE FOR MILLIONS OF SUDANESE

Secretary-General Kofi Annan is

deeply saddened by the tragic death of Dr. John Garang de Mabior, First Vice-President of

Sudan, President of Southern Sudan and Chairman of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A).

The Secretary-General offers his sincere condolences to the family of Dr. Garang and to the people of Sudan, who have lost a great son.

Dr. Garang, who led the SPLM/A for more than twenty years, was a symbol of hope for millions of Sudanese who aspired to a better future. He was one of the main architects of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the historic accord which was signed by the Government of Sudan and the SPLM/A on 9 January 2005, ending the civil war.

The Secretary-General calls on all concerned to honour Dr. Garangs memory by reaffirming their commitment to continue to build on what has been achieved in the peace process in Sudan.

During this time of mourning, the Secretary-General has received personal assurances from President Omar Hassan al-Bashir that the Government remains committed to implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. He is also reassured to hear that the SPLM leadership is likewise committed to the CPA and the peace process in Sudan.

The death of Dr. Garang is a terrible loss for Sudan. As the country recovers from this loss, close collaboration between the signatories to the CPA will continue to be critical. The United Nations and UNMIS (UN Mission in Sudan) stand ready to assist and support the Sudanese in this process as they address the challenges ahead and move irrevocably towards a lasting peace.

UNITED NATIONS OFFERS TO COLLABORATE CLOSELY WITH SUDAN

At a

press encounter this morning, the Secretary-General said the United Nations has offered very close collaboration with the Government and SPLM.

He noted that weve been working with them ever since the crash. He said that it was our helicopter that is taking the body to New Cite where his family and the SPLM leadership have gathered, and also retrieving the other bodies. So we are on the ground, very actively working with them," the Secretary-General said. "And we have made it clear that we will give them all the support and necessary, both in the political process and in our efforts to contain the humanitarian situation and settle the process in Darfur.

He also appealed to the Sudanese people for calm, saying that "all indications as of now seem to indicate that it was an accident."

He said he has good hope that this will hold together. "And we should all do whatever we can to ensure that it doesnt unravel," he said.

Asked about concrete steps being taken by the United Nations to shore up the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the Spokesman said at the moment the United Nations was working with the SPLM and Government to retrieve the bodies and bring them back to New Cite. It is also working, in the delicate days ahead, to make sure that things do not unravel.

Asked whether the United Nations would investigate the helicopter crash, the Spokesman noted that the Secretary-General had indicated that the United Nations is willing to help, should the Government ask for assistance. At present, he said, all indications including from the Government and the SPLM are that the crash was an accident.

Asked whether the United Nations was thinking of speeding up its deployment to Sudan, the Spokesman said the focus in the immediate days ahead was on assisting the people of Sudan.

Asked about reports of violence, Dujarric said the UN Mission has received reports of some demonstrations. He said that the Secretary-General and United Nations have appealed for calm in the days ahead.

ANNAN IS SADDENED AT DEATH OF SAUDI ARABIAS KING FAHD

The Secretary-General

told reporters this morning that he was saddened to hear about the death of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, whom he called a man who has done a lot to develop and build his country. He said he had offered his deepest condolences to King Fahds successor, King Abdullah, saying that the new king is a man of great experience, and Im sure he will be a successful King.

According to a

statement, the Secretary-General learned with sadness of the death of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahd Bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia. The Secretary-General extends his deepest condolences to the family of the late King, as well as to the Government and people of the Kingdom.

The Secretary-General notes that for almost quarter of a century, the economic, social and political development of Saudi Arabia has been associated with King Fahds name. Under King Fahds leadership, the country witnessed remarkable progress in areas ranging from industrial development to education. While recognizing the demands of the modern world, King Fahd was also firmly guided, in the tradition of his predecessors, by the principles and traditions of Islam.

The Secretary-General pays tribute to King Fahds enduring contributions in the field of international and regional diplomacy, where he worked tirelessly to achieve peaceful solutions based on justice.

The King was a true friend of the United Nations since its inception, having attended the inauguration of the Organization as a member of the Saudi delegation in 1945. King Fahd will be remembered not only with deep affection and loyalty among the people of the Kingdom, but with profound respect in the Islamic, Arab and world communities.

The Spokesman said, in response to a question, that the UN flag was flying at half-mast today in honour of King Fahd.

ANNAN: WE WILL WELCOME U.S. AMBASSADOR JOHN BOLTON

The Secretary-General, in his

comments to the press this morning, said that he looked forward to working with John Bolton, appointed today by President Bush as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and said that we will welcome him at a time when we are in the midst of major reform.

The Secretary-General added, in response to questions, that the appointment had been the Presidents prerogative. He added that, if an ambassador comes to the United Nations with a spirit of give and take, and of listening to others, then that ambassador will succeed.

He said that Bolton was very bright, and stressed the importance of having the United Nations and United States work together to achieve reform.

Asked about whether the United Nations was concerned that Bolton would be the U.S. Ambassador, the Spokesman declined to expand on the Secretary-Generals comments. Asked about Boltons credentials, the Spokesman noted that Bolton will become the U.S. Permanent Representative once his credentials are presented to the Secretary-General, as is customary with all ambassadors.

OLARA OTUNNU COMPLETES MISSION FOR CHILDREN AND ARMED CONFLICT

On 26 July 2005, the Security Council adopted resolution

1612 (2005) in which it took note of the action plan presented by the Secretary-General relating to the establishment of a monitoring and reporting mechanism on children and armed conflict. The Council requested the Secretary-General to implement the mechanism without delay with regard to situations of armed conflict listed in the annexes to the Secretary-Generals report (S/2005/72).

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Mr. Olara Otunnu, contributed enormously in the preparation and presentation of the plan of action. His comprehensive briefings of the Council culminated in the adoption of resolution 1612.

With the adoption of a solid plan of action, this mechanism has now entered the implementation phase. With the expiry of Mr. Otunnus appointment on 31 July 2005 and pending the appointment of his successor, the Secretary-General has requested Ms. Karin Sham Poo of Norway to be Officer-in-Charge of the programme. Ms. Sham Poo served, until recently, as the Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF.

The

Secretary-General wishes to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Otunnu for his splendid services to the Organization and, in particular, for raising the profile of United Nations efforts to protect children in armed conflict. The adoption of a comprehensive plan of action on a monitoring and reporting mechanism on children and armed conflict attests to the wonderful work done by Mr. Otunnu for which the Secretary-General and the international community, and no doubt children around the world, are all grateful.

In his own

statement issued today, Under-Secretary-General

Otunnu said he would continue to be actively engaged in the campaign to protect children. He said he would work to ensure compliance with child protection instruments and norms where it matters most, on the ground. He said words on paper alone cannot protect children and women in danger.

ANNAN WELCOMES VOTE OF CONFIDENCE IN LEBANON GOVERNMENT

In a

statement issued on Saturday, the Secretary-General welcomed the vote of confidence that has formally established

Lebanon's new government headed by Prime Minister Fuad Siniora.

He also welcomed the government policy statement outlining an agenda of essential political and economic reforms for Lebanon and extended the support of the United Nations to the new government in meeting the challenges ahead, in the best interest of the people of Lebanon.

JAPAN TO PRESIDE OVER SECURITY COUNCIL IN AUGUST

Japan takes over today as President of the

Security Council for the month of August.

Ambassador Kenzo Oshima is holding bilateral meetings with other Council members, and, at 12:30, will also meet with the Secretary-General.

Then, tomorrow, the Council plans to hold consultations on the program of work for August. After those consultations adjourn, we expect that Ambassador Oshima will brief correspondents.

I.A.E.A. CHIEF CALLS ON IRAN TO CONTINUE NEGOTIATIONS

The Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, today

called on Iran to continue the negotiation process with the three European Union Member States.

He urged Iran not to take any action that might prejudice the process at this critical stage when those three countries are expected to deliver a package addressing security and political, economic and nuclear issues.

ElBaradei also called on Iran not to take any unilateral action that could undermine the Agency inspection process at a time when the Agency is making steady progress in resolving outstanding issues.

FUNDING SHORTFALL IN AFGHANISTAN COULD HAMPER ELECTIONS

The

UN Mission in Afghanistan is concerned about a shortfall of $31 million in funding for Afghanistans upcoming elections, which are less than seven weeks away.

If the funds do not become available very shortly, the Mission said, it will hamper essential preparatory work, such as voter education, the establishment of thousands of polling facilities and the hiring of more than 140,000 polling staff. The consequences, it warned, could include the postponement of the election.

U.N. ENVOY QAZI MEETS IRAQS TALABANI

Yesterday,

Ashraf Qazi, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for

Iraq, met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, and updated him on the UNs electoral work and its Office of Constitutional Support. They also discussed the ongoing discussions about the constitution taking place in the Transitional National Assembly.

Asked about UN efforts in Iraq, the Spokesman said that Qazi was working to assist the Government on the elections and the constitutional process. He noted that the United Nations had provided an expert, Nicholas Fink Haysom, to assist the committee that is drafting the constitution.

U.N. ENVOY HOLDS TALKS WITH SOMALI LEADERS

The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Somalia,

Francois Lonseny Fall, held talks today with President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Gedi of the Transitional Federal Government in Jowhar, Somalia. Fall afterwards returned to Nairobi.

The objective of Falls initiative is to help in overcoming the current differences within the Transitional Federal Institutions on the way forward. This can only be done through a constructive dialogue among the Somali leaders on issues related to the relocation of the Transitional Federal Government back to Somalia, the deployment of an IGAD/African Union peace support mission and the question of security for Somalia in the future.

U.N. FOOD AGENCY CHIEF ARRIVES IN MYANMAR

James Morris, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), arrived in Myanmar today, and will be there until this Friday.

The purpose of the trip is to review WFPs humanitarian operations throughout the country, and Morris expects to meet with the UN Country Team, as well as government officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations and civil society.

ANNAN TO DRAW FIRST FRONT ROW SEAT IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY HALL

The

General Assembly is continuing today and tomorrow its informal consultations on the revised draft outcome document on UN reform for the September summit.

General Assembly President

Jean Ping plans to submit to Member States a second revised version of the draft outcome document later in the week, on Friday.

This afternoon, at 3:00, the Secretary-General will draw the name of the Member State to be seated at the first front row seat in the General Assembly Hall during the 60th session of the General Assembly.

Asked about one Member States comments on paying less to the United Nations if Security Council reform is not approved, the Spokesman said that a high stakes game of negotiations was underway on UN reform. He reiterated that Member States should be calm and constructive in their statements during that negotiating process.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

POTENTIAL VISIT BY ANNAN TO ZIMBABWE SHOULD BE CAREFULLY PLANNED: The Secretary-General has agreed in principle on a trip to

Zimbabwe, but the trip should be carefully planned in order to achieve its main objectives. The visit needs to contribute to the alleviation of human suffering and assist in addressing the social, economic and political challenges in Zimbabwe.

ERIC SCHWARTZ NAMED AS DEPUTY TSUNAMI ENVOY: The Secretary-General has appointed Eric Schwartz as Deputy Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery. Schwartz served on the United States National Security Council during the Clinton Administration, as the Senior Director for Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs. He has also worked for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as Chief of the Executive Office. Schwartz succeeds Erskine Bowles and will assume his new duties early this month.

BREASTFEEDING CAN SAVE LIVES, SAYS UNICEF: The UN Childrens Fund today

reports that better infant feeding practices could prevent almost one fifth of all child deaths in the developing world. UNICEF made the statement in connection with World Breastfeeding Week, which begins today. In developing countries a child that is not breastfed is about three times more likely to die than a breastfed child, UNICEF reports.

ANNAN SENDS MESSAGE TO TALLBERG FORUM 2005; RECEIVES GIFT: On Saturday, in a

video message to the Tallberg Forum 2005 in Sweden, the Secretary-General answered questions posed by children of the town, on issues of clean water, HIV/AIDS, poverty and prevention of war. The video was introduced by Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information,

Shashi Tharoor. The schoolchildren presented a gift to the Secretary-General - three apple trees of a species which produces four different types of apples on each tree. Accepting the gift on behalf of Annan, Tharoor welcomed it as symbolic of unity in diversity. The children expressed the hope that the Secretary-General would visit the schools garden next year and see his trees.

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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