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United Nations Daily Highlights, 06-11-14

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

U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

ANNAN TO ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE IN NAIROBI

Secretary-General Kofi Annan arrived this afternoon in Nairobi, Kenya, where tomorrow he will address the high-level segment of the UN Climate Change Conference.

Immediately after arriving, the Secretary-General went to the State House, the seat of the Presidency, where he met briefly with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki.

Following that meeting, the Secretary-General attended a ceremony in which he received Kenyas highest civilian honour, as he was made Chief of the Order of the Golden Heart, an honour is accompanied by a golden chain that he was given.

In impromptu remarks afterward, the Secretary-General lauded Kenyas relations with the United Nations, noting that two UN agencies are based in the country.

He also spoke about the need for leadership and urgent action to deal with the problems posed by climate change, a topic he will bring up again when he addresses the Climate Change Conference tomorrow.

Speaking about the responsibility of African leaders, he said: African Presidents tend to be reticent in interfering in internal affairs of others. But these problems, these crises, whether it is in Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, they don't remain internal for very long. It becomes sooner or later a problem for the whole region. It throws up refugees, guns move into the region destabilising societies and so, as I leave, I hope the African leaders will see a problem of their neighbours as theirs and intervene sooner rather than later, intervene before it becomes a regional problem.

He will also give a press conference in Nairobi tomorrow.

DARFUR POLITICAL PROCESS MUST BE BACKED BY SOLID PEACEKEEPING FORCE

The Security Council began its work this morning by receiving a briefing in closed consultations from Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno on recent initiatives by the Secretary-General on Darfur.

Guéhenno spoke to reporters after he left the Council, and said that a week of intense diplomatic activity was underway, including the meeting in Addis Ababa on November 16 that we mentioned yesterday, to bring nations together on ways to help the people of Sudan.

He stressed that a real cease-fire in Darfur is as important as the deployment of a force there, and he warned that the intensification of military activity needs to stop. He said there is a need for a solid political process, backed by a solid peacekeeping force.

After the briefing by Guéhenno, the Security Council continued its consultations with a briefing by Juan Mendez, the Secretary-Generals Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide.

PEACEKEEPING OFFICIAL HOLDS MEETINGS ON DARFUR WITH AFRICAN UNION AND SUDANESE GOVERNMENT

Assistant Secretary-General Hédi Annabi arrived in Addis Ababa on 12 November, where he participated in an African Union (AU)-United Nations-Government of Sudan meeting on Darfur, convoked by the AU in accordance with the AU Peace and Security Council's September communiqué.

He also held technical consultations with officials from the AU Commission, on a draft Memorandum of Understanding required to enable the United Nations to deploy an initial light support package to the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS). Annabi also met with Pekka Haavisto, the EU Special Representative for Sudan, as well as local Ambassadors of the five permanent members of the Security Council.

U.N. CHIEF IN IRAQ STRONGLY CONDEMNS LATEST KIDNAPPINGS

Ashraf Qazi, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Iraq, today condemned in the strongest terms the kidnappings of dozens of employees and visitors of the Ministry of Higher Education.

Qazi said that the kidnappings were conducted in broad daylight, allegedly by uniformed perpetrators; he warned that the crime could hurt progress in a country that has long been known for its literary and scientific tradition.

He called on the Iraqi authorities to pursue those responsible, free the abductees and ensure the sanctity of higher education.

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL TO MEET EUROPEAN, NATO OFFICIALS

The Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown leaves tonight for Brussels, where tomorrow he will be participating in the first observance of the European Development Days.

The event is part of the follow-up to the new European Consensus on development, whose aim is poverty eradication.

While in Brussels, the Deputy Secretary-General will address the segment on "Perspectives on Governance, participate in a seminar on human security hosted by the European Unions Javier Solana, and meet with the Secretary-General of NATO.

He will return to New York this Thursday.

ANNAN: LEBANONS APPROVAL OF TRIBUNAL PROPOSALS A MAJOR STEP

In response to earlier questions regarding the UNs response to the action taken in Lebanon regarding the proposals the UN sent to the Government of Lebanon last week about a tribunal dealing with the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General believes that the decision of the Lebanese Council of Ministers approving the draft agreement and draft statute regarding the establishment of a tribunal of an international character is an important step in fulfilling the Security Councils mandate in

resolution 1664.

Asked whether the United Nations recognizes the present Lebanese Government as legitimate, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General believes that it is the responsibility of the Lebanese authorities to take actions they consider appropriate within the laws of Lebanon. It is not for him to comment on these internal matters.

He added that, after review by the Security Council, the draft instruments will again be sent to the Government of Lebanon, and the Lebanese authorities will have opportunity to review them and follow the process required by their laws.

Asked whether the Secretary-General, who has voiced support for a unity government among the Palestinians, would support one among the Lebanese, the Spokesman said that as a general rule, the Secretary-General would like to see stable political situations in every country. As for the current government, the Secretary-General has received a letter from the Lebanese Prime Minister and responded to it, he said.

Asked about meetings involving the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Lebanon, Geir Pedersen, Dujarric said that Pedersen had been meeting with a number of Lebanese leaders from all political groupings, as part of his regular work. He would report back to UN officials in New York on his meetings.

AUSTRALIAN GENERAL NAMED CHIEF OF STAFF AT JERUSALEM-BASED MISSION

The Secretary-General has informed the Security Council of his intention to appoint Major-General Ian Campbell Gordon of Australia as the Chief of Staff of the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), which is based in Jerusalem. Maj-Gen. Gordon will replace Maj-Gen. Clive Lilley of New Zealand who will relinquish his post at the end of this month.

Maj-Gen. Gordon has served as Deputy Force Commander with the UNs Mission in Timor-Leste from 2001-2002 and, ten years prior to that, with the UN Mission in Western Sahara.

UGANDA TRUCE MUST BE MAINTAINED

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland met last night with the President of Uganda in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, to discuss several issues, including the Cessation of Hostilities between the Government and the rebel Lords Resistance Army (LRA) and his meeting with the senior LRA leadership in southern Sudan the previous day.

While agreeing with the President that the peace talks could not continue indefinitely, Egeland emphasized the need to maintain the Cessation of Hostilities, noting that there had never been a quieter period in northern Uganda.

Of particular importance was the need to improve conditions in the LRA assembly areas by ensuring basic services and a sense of security for the LRA as they gathered there, Egeland added.

Egeland is now en route to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, to continue his mission.

D.R. CONGO RIVALS PLEDGE TO RESPECT NEUTRALITY OF POLICE AND ARMED FORCES

The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo says that representatives of President Kabila and Vice President Bemba have signed another Acte dEngagement in which they pledge to respect the apolitical character of the Congolese Armed Forces, of the National Police and other security services.

The Mission says both parties have agreed to respect strictly the chain of command of the armed forces and police, to abstain from influencing these elements to act according to their political strategies, and to encourage their supporters to cooperate with the armed forces and the police.

The Mission notes that this latest Acte dEngagement is crucial in that in could help ease tensions ahead of the official release of election results, which is expected on 19 November.

REFUGEE AGENCY CONCERNED AT RISING VIOLENCE IN CHAD

With new attacks reported daily in southeastern Chad, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says it is extremely worried that the inter-communal violence there, which has left more than 220 dead, is spiraling out of control.

UNHCR reports that a UN humanitarian assessment mission had to flee a recently-attacked village in southeastern Chad yesterday, when it came under fire from unseen gunmen.

KENYA FLOODS HAMPER SOMALI REFUGEES SETTLEMENT PROGRAM

In eastern Kenya, floods have greatly hampered the UN refugee agencys efforts to settle thousands of Somali refugees, with rising waters destroying hundreds of homes in the camps near the town of Dadaab. With normal overland supply routes cut off, UNHCR is planning an emergency airlift of supplies, including blankets and plastic sheets, to Dadaab in the coming days.

The World Food Programme is also reporting difficulties, with its food centres getting flooded and its trucks getting stuck in the mud.

For its part, the World Health Organization is discussing with the Kenyan Government a response to a flood-related cholera outbreak.

RIGHTS COUNCIL TO CONSIDER ACTION ON ISRAELI VIOLATIONS IN BEIT HANOUN

The Human Rights Council will

hold its third special session tomorrow, to consider and take action on human rights violations emanating from Israeli military incursions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the most recent in Beit Hanoun.

The special session is being convened following a request by the Ambassador of Bahrain on behalf of the Group of Arab States and the Ambassador of Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

Asked whether the Secretary-General would make a last-ditch effort to exercise his good offices regarding the Israeli-Palestinian problem, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General has been on the phone with foreign ministers and other interlocutors to that end, and remains extremely concerned with the situation.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Alvaro de Soto, meanwhile, remains in touch with his partners in the Quartet, as part of the continuing effort to move the process forward, Dujarric said.

CLOSE TO HALF A BILLION NEEDED TO REMOVE UNEXPLODED ORDNANCE NEXT YEAR

The UN Mine Action Service, UNICEF and the UN Development Programme are releasing their Portfolio of Mine Action Projects 2007 in Geneva and New York today.

The report describes how landmines and explosive remnants of war affect 29 countries and territories and shows that it will cost $429 million to address these problems in 2007.

The Secretary-General has issued a message on the occasion of the report's release, calling it timely and relevant. Copies of the message, the report and press materials are available in this room. And colleagues from the UN Mine Action Team are here today to answer any questions you might have, after the briefing.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

NEW KINDS OF INSURANCE NEEDED IN LIGHT OF CLIMATE CHANGE: New kinds of insurance and financing are urgently needed in developing countries to assist them in adapting to current and future climate change, a new report says. Experts of the United Nations Environment Programmes Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) are warning that losses from extreme weather events linked to climate change are doubling every 12 years.

U.N. report Underscores Africas Potential to Boost Agriculture Supplies: The massive potential of rainwater harvesting in Africa is underlined in a new report released today at the climate convention talks in Nairobi. The report, compiled by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Agroforestry Center, concludes that many communities and countries suffering or facing water shortages as a result of climate change could dramatically boost supplies by collecting and storing rain falling freely from the clouds.

polio immunization campaign starts in Iraq: Despite the difficult security situation in Iraq, UNICEF, the Iraqi Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization began a national polio immunization drive to protect 4.8 million Iraqi children. The campaign started over the weekend and the north already had been completed. Parts of the campaign in other areas had to be delayed for a few days because of security concerns, but they were now underway. Over 5,400 mobile vaccinators were participating in the campaign to immunize every child under five against polio in order to maintain Iraqs polio-free status.

ARREST OF KENYAN EMBASSY OFFICIAL A BILATERAL ISSUE: Asked whether the United Nations had waived the immunity of a Kenyan official in New York who was accused of alleged domestic abuse, the Spokesman said that the United Nations was not involved in the matter. The official, contrary to some media reports, was not a UN official but a Kenyan one, and the matter is between Kenya and the host country, Dujarric said.

ANNAN REMAINS CONCERNED ABOUT SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE: Asked about a report that the Secretary-General had intended to defer action on Zimbabwe until the President of South Africa had acted, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General in fact has spoken extensively about his concerns about Zimbabwe.

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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