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United Nations Daily Highlights, 06-11-09
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC
SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Thursday, November 9, 2006
SPRAWLING U.N. SYSTEM MUST BE RADICALLY REVAMPED
Secretary-General Kofi Annans High-Level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence in the Areas of Development, Humanitarian Assistance and the Environment presented its report to the Secretary-General this morning.
According to that report, called Delivering as One, the sprawling UN system must be radically revamped in order to fulfil its potential and help countries reach the Millennium Development Goals.
In remarks to an informal meeting of the General Assembly this morning, the Secretary-General said the reports analysis and recommendations open the way to a decisive realignment of the UN System, which will make it more coherent and more effective in crucial areas of its work. He also said he would transmit the document to his successor, Ban Ki-moon, who in due time may wish to make more specific proposals for implementing it.
SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS OPEN DEBATE ON MIDDLE EAST
The Security Council this morning began an open debate on the Middle East, and Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Angela Kane opened the debate by discussing the incident that occurred in Beit Hanoun on Wednesday, in which, she said, men, women and children, who posed no threat, were killed as they slept in their home.
She noted that the Secretary-General has repeatedly expressed his deep concern about the rising death toll caused by the Israeli military operation in northern Gaza, given that such operations inevitably cause civilian casualties. The Secretary-General has reminded both sides of their obligations under international humanitarian law regarding the protection of civilians in armed conflict.
Kane said that the United Nations hopes that both Israelis and Palestinians will, in the wake of yesterdays tragedy in Beit Hanoun, pause and reflect on the fact that the conflict between them will not be resolved by force, and that ways must be found to bring about negotiations. The United Nations therefore reiterates its call for a return to dialogue as the only way out of this spiral of violence, she added.
LEBANESE ARMY STARTS DEPLOYING IN VILLAGE AFTER ISRAELI WITHDRAWAL
Following the withdrawal of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) on Tuesday from most of the surrounding area of the village of Ghajar, the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) carried out intensive patrolling and set up temporary checkpoints in the specified area to confirm that the Israeli forces were no longer present.
After verification of full withdrawal by UNIFIL, the Lebanese Armed Forces began to deploy their troops on the ground in the area at 9:00 a.m. today.
The IDF remain present in the northern part of the village of Ghajar, inside Lebanese territory, and in the immediate vicinity of the village, UNIFIL reports.
ANNAN HIGHLIGHTS EFFORTS TO BREAK IMPASSE ON DARFUR
The Secretary-General told reporters after the Security Council luncheon yesterday afternoon that they had discussed the situation in Darfur and the need to work urgently with the Sudanese Government and other parties concerned to find a way out of the impasse which exists today with the deteriorating situation on the ground.
He mentioned that a series of meetings on Darfur are being planned in Addis Ababa, beginning on the 13 November.
He said, Everyone hopes that between now and the end of the month we will be able to come with a workable alternative so that we can move ahead with the implementation of
resolution 1706, and help the people concerned.
Hedi Annabi, the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, will depart today for Khartoum where he will discuss with Sudanese Government officials the way forward in Darfur, and other issues of common concern, including the UN support package to the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS). From there, Hedi Annabi travels to Addis Ababa for the November 13 consultations on Darfur. He will then proceed to Brussels for a series of official meetings there.
Meanwhile, the UN Mission in Sudan clarifies that the Officer in Charge in Sudan, Deputy Special Representative Taye Zerihoun will also be in Addis Ababa starting this weekend but he will be attending a separate meeting on Darfur concerning implementation of the Darfur peace agreement.
In related news, several remote villages in southeastern Chad near the border with Darfur have been attacked, looted and burned over the past week by armed men on horseback, leaving many dead and forcing hundreds to flee their homes, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Initial reports received by UNHCR staff in the region indicate more than 200 people may have been killed.
U.N. HUMANITARIAN CHIEF HEADS TO UGANDA & SUDAN
Jan Egeland is scheduled to arrive tomorrow in Nairobi, Kenya, at the start of his final mission to Africa as the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.
During his 10-day mission, Egeland is expected to travel to Juba, in southern Sudan, at the request of the parties to the ongoing peace talks between the Government of Uganda and the Lords Resistance Army (LRA), and to Kampala, Uganda. While in Juba, Egeland has indicated his willingness to meet with the LRA senior leadership in the event of a significant humanitarian development such as a transfer of non-combatants, wounded and/or sick civilians into the care of specialized humanitarian agencies.
He is then expected to continue his mission to Khartoum, then proceed to Darfur, where he plans to visit several displacement camps and meet with nomadic and other traditional leaders, local and state leaders, as well as with representatives and field commanders from both the signatories and non-signatories to the Darfur Peace Agreement.
TOP U.N. POLITICAL OFFICIAL ARRIVES IN MYANMAR
The Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Ibrahim Gambari, arrived in Myanmar today, beginning a four-day working visit being carried out within the framework of the good offices mandate of the Secretary-General. Gambari is continuing the dialogue initiated in May of this year with senior authorities and other key actors from across the political spectrum.
In meetings in Yangon today with the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Labour and Planning, Gambari discussed enhancing cooperation between the United Nations and Myanmar, while stressing the need for concrete results in areas of concern to the international community. These include: the need to make the road map political process more transparent and inclusive, the release of political prisoners, the opening of space for humanitarian assistance, and the situation in Kayin State.
Gambari is scheduled to meet over the next few days with all of the groups and persons he was able to see during his previous visit to Myanmar.
FORCE CONTINUES TO BE USE INDISCRIMINATELY IN SRI LANKA
Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland has said that yesterdays massive attack on civilians in an area of eastern Sri Lanka controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam shows that force continues to be used indiscriminately in that countrys conflict.
Noting that this particular artillery bombardment by the Sri Lankan Army hit a school that was hosting some 1,000 internally displaced persons, Egeland called upon all parties to the conflict to ensure the protection of civilians under all circumstances in accordance with international humanitarian law.
For his part, Allan Rock, Special Advisor on Sri Lanka to the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, visited the school today and described it as a shocking sight.
TWO MILLION CHILDREN DIE ANNUALLY FROM LACK OF CLEAN WATER
In a world of unprecedented wealth, almost two million children die each year for want of a glass of clean water and adequate sanitation. That is the argument of this years
Human Development Report, launched earlier today by the UN Development Programme in Cape Town, South Africa.
This years report investigates the underlying causes and consequences of a crisis that leaves 1.2 billion people without access to safe water and 2.6 billion without access to sanitation. It argues for a concerted drive to achieve water and sanitation for all through national strategies and a global plan of action.
U.N. OFFICIAL CONCERNED BY VIOLENCE IN KENYA SLUMS: The Director-General of the UN Office at Nairobi (UNON), Anna Tibaijuka, has expressed deep concern over the continuing escalation of violence and rising death toll in Nairobis Mathare slums. Tibaijuka has called for calm, and urges all stakeholders to work together to find a peaceful and lasting solution.
POLANDS EX-PRESIDENT TO MARK HUMAN SOLIDARITY DAY: Nobel Peace Laureate and former Polish President Lech Walesa will be at Headquarters tomorrow to observe International Human Solidarity Day. The ceremony will take place at 10:00 a.m. in the Trusteeship Council Chamber.
U.N. PARTNERSHIP NETS AWARD FOR WORK ON SHRIMP FARMING: The Consortium on Shrimp Farming and the Environment, composed of the Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN Environment Programme and other partners, has won the World Bank's 2006 "Green Award" for its work to make shrimp farming more environmentally friendly. The award is presented each year by the bank to projects which help developing countries green up their economic development programs and guide the bank's efforts to fund development that is environmentally sustainable.
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