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United Nations Daily Highlights, 06-06-01

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 NOON BRIEFING

BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC

SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Thursday, June 1, 2006

ANNAN REGRETS FAILURE BY DARFUR REBEL GROUPS TO SIGN PEACE ACCORD

Secretary-General Kofi Annan is concerned that, despite the appeals of the African Union (AU) and the international community, the Abdulwahid faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement have failed to sign the Darfur Peace Agreement prior to the 31 May deadline set by the African Union in its communiqué of 15 May 2006.

The Secretary-General deeply regrets this failure and will remain in touch with the AU leadership on the possible follow-up measures.

The Secretary-General strongly believes that the only way forward in addressing this devastating conflict is through the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement, as well as the decisions of the African Union and Security Council.

ANNAN MAKES DIRECT APPEAL FOR UNITY TO TIMORESE PEOPLE

Today in Timor-Leste radio stations broadcast a message by the Secretary-General, in which he urges the people to set aside their differences in the interest of the nation.

He says he has already spoken to the countrys political leaders encouraging them to work to end the crisis.

He also urges the Timorese people to stand up against anyone who tries to divide them.

Meanwhile, the UN Office in Timor-Leste reports that the Secretary-Generals Special Envoy there, Ian Martin, has met with the President, President of the National Assembly, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and other officials, as well as the Bishop of Dili, representatives of civil society, and members of the diplomatic corps. He is continuing to assess the situation and will report back to the Secretary-General.

Several UN agencies on the ground in Timor-Leste have joined with other NGOs in a task force to provide assistance to more than 100,000 persons displaced by the violence.

The World Bank and the IMF have joined 11 nations and several international institutions in a joint call for all rival political military and ethnic groups in the country to end the fighting.

Asked about reports that records detailing serious crimes were destroyed during the recent violence in Timor-Leste, the Spokesman later said that those records were not affected and they are still with the UN Office in Timor-Leste, and from there they will be shipped to U.N. Headquarters in New York.

SECURITY COUNCIL REDUCES SIZE OF U.N. MISSION IN ETHIOPIA & ERITREA:

CONDEMNS FIGHTING IN SOMALIA

Denmark has assumed the rotating Presidency of the Security Council for the month of June.

The Security Council last night extended the mandate of the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea for another four months -- until 30 September. In a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council also authorized the reconfiguration of the Missions military component, approving the deployment of up to 2,300 troops, including up to 230 military observers within the existing mandate.

Yesterday afternoon, the Council President read out a press statement in which members strongly condemned the resumption of fighting in Mogadishu. They called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and urged both sides to find solutions to the problems in Mogadishu, within the framework of the Transitional Federal Charter.

SECURITY COUNCIL TO RECEIVE UPDATE ON SUDAN TOMORROW

Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hedi Annabi will brief the Security Council tomorrow on the mission he undertook with Lakdhar Brahimi to Sudan.

In response to questions about whether the UN-African Union assessment mission to Sudan would overlap with the Security Council mission also headed to Sudan, planners are closely coordinating with the Council mission, so they are not in country at the same time

U.N. CONCERNED BY SHORTAGES OF MEDICINES IN POST-QUAKE INDONESIA

In Indonesia, UN agencies are continuing their efforts to help quake survivors.

The UNs Disaster Assessment and Coordination team, for example, has set itself up at Yogyakarta Airport, to help coordinate incoming relief supplies. The World Health Organization (WHO) is managing the arriving medical supplies, to ensure that the right medicines and equipment are distributed to the right places. WHO has noted shortages of orthopaedic supplies, anaesthetics and antibiotics.

UNICEF has opened the first child protection centre in the quake zone. It is the first of five to be opened this week.

However, the World Food Programme reports that the price of basic foods like rice has increased in urban areas by 10 to 15 percent since the quake struck. That will be hard on poor families who lost their homes and assets, the agency says.

On 2 June, the UN will launch an Earthquake Response Plan to support the urgent needs of over 100,000 people severely affected by the earthquake.

WEAPONS INSPECTORS REPORT ON IRAQS CHEMICAL WEAPONS PROGRAMME

The latest quarterly report of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), which deals with Iraq, was issued today.

UNMOVIC says that the summary of the compendium of Iraqs proscribed weapons and programs has been completed, and it seeks to have that summary made available as a report to the Security Council.

The Commission adds that in light of Iraqs intention to accede to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the report contains an annex which gives an overview of Iraqs chemical weapons programme.

ANNAN WELCOMES WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION REPORT

The Secretary-General welcomes the release of the report of the Independent Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission. He stresses that this report will be an important contribution to the debate on disarmament and non-proliferation.

The Secretary-General urges the international community to study the report and consider its recommendations.

ANNAN TAKES NOTE OF MONTENEGRO INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM

The Secretary General takes note of the official result of the referendum on the independence of Montenegro announced by the Republican Referendum Commission on 31 May 2006.

He is gratified by the fact that the referendum went smoothly and that the International Referendum Observation Mission has confirmed its conformity with international standards.

The Secretary General hopes all concerned will continue to engage in direct negotiations on the way forward.

DELAY OF MILITIA LEADERS TRIAL IS A MATTER FOR THE COURTS

Asked about a move by the International Criminal Court to postpone a hearing of Thomas Lubanga, a former Congolese militia leader, until 28 September, due to violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congos (DRC) Ituri district posing a problem of the protection of witnesses, the Spokesman said the timing of the trial is up to the Court to decide.

Asked what the lack of protection could mean for the DRCs upcoming elections, the Spokesman said that the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is working towards bringing peace and stability to the Ituri province. He noted that the European Union has committed to deploying additional peacekeepers to help with security during the elections.

Asked about the status of the seven Nepalese peacekeepers who are being held by a militia group in the DRCs east, the Spokesman said the United Nations was still in indirect contact with the suspected captors.

U.N. RESPONSE ON FINDINGS IN NAIR REPORT CONTAINED IN STATEMENT

In response to questions about Jerome Ackermans report into allegations of wrong-doing by Dileep Nair, the former head of the UN Office for Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), the Spokesman said the statement released yesterday by the United Nations is the definitive and final reaction to the report.

The Secretary-General took note of the findings, decided there was no further action to be taken in the case, and accordingly decided that the matter is closed, Dujarric said.

Asked if there was anything the Secretary-General could do about Nair given the reports findings, the Spokesman noted that the Secretary-Generals decisions are in the statement.

In response to a question as to why a story on the UN News Center claimed that Nair was cleared of all improper wrongdoing, he said that the UN's official position is that reflected in the Secretary-General's statement released yesterday and not reflected in the UN News Center story.

Asked if the Secretary-General felt it was appropriate for a former or current UN official to not cooperate with an investigation, the Spokesman noted that OIOS will read the report and reflect on the issue of cooperation.

The report is fairly complete in its detail about what was made available and what was not made available, Dujarric said. The Secretary-General took note of its findings, and no doubt our colleagues at OIOS will do the same.

Asked who inside OIOS was instrumental in holding up the flow of information as noted in the report, the Spokesman noted that Ackerman is available for comment to the press.

This report is exhaustive, it was made available to you [and is] up to you to draw your own conclusions- the Secretary-General has drawn his and the matter is now closed, Dujarric said.

Asked what OIOS will do in light of the reports findings, the Spokesman said OIOS could be contact directly on this.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

ANNAN MEETS WITH PEOPLE LIVING WITH H.I.V.: The 2006 High Level Meeting on AIDS is continuing today. This afternoon, the Secretary-General will meet with people living with HIV.

NEW U.N. APPOINTEE ARRIVES IN CYPRUS: On Cyprus, Christopher Girod, the recently appointed third member of the Committee on Missing Persons, arrived in Cyprus last night for a preliminary visit before assuming his fulltime official duties in July. The Secretary-Generals Special Representative in Cyprus, Michael Møller, will introduce Mr. Girod to the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Mehmet Ali Talat today and to the Greek Cypriot leader, Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos, tomorrow.

Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General

United Nations, S-378

New York, NY 10017

Tel. 212-963-7162

Fax. 212-963-7055


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