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United Nations Daily Highlights, 06-11-16

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From: The United Nations Home Page at <> - email:






Thursday, November 16, 2006


In Addis Ababa, the Secretary-General has been co-chairing a series of high-level meetings throughout the day with the Chairman of the African Union Commission, Alpha Oumar Konaré, to move the international community and Sudan forward on ways to protect the people of Darfur.

Prior to the start of the high-level meeting on Darfur, the Secretary-General also had meetings with, first, representatives of the five permanent members of the Security Council, and then representatives of the African Union.

The Secretary-General told reporters earlier today that everyone in attendance realises that they need to come out with something concrete that will help put a credible force on the ground that can help displaced persons, assist in implementing the Abuja agreement and allow the humanitarian workers to do their work. He added that, even if you can deploy troops, the solution lies in a political agreement.

Earlier today, the Secretary-General signed with Chairman Konaré a declaration on enhancing AU-UN cooperation. He also held a bilateral meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

The SG began the day today by attending the Fifth African Development Forum, concerning youth and leadership in the 21st century.

He said that today, thanks largely to the vision and political will that emerged from four UN summits over the past six years, official development assistance is breaking through the $100 billion barrier; and a set of agreed goals the Millennium Development Goals is supported by all major development actors.

The Secretary-General urged African leaders to do more to achieve key development targets, saying that Africa now understands that development is first and foremost an African priority. But, he added, I'm afraid that countries actually walking the walk, and not just talking the talk, are still the exception rather than the rule.

This evening, the Secretary-General is also attending a farewell ceremony in Addis Ababa, a city where he first worked for the United Nations four decades ago. Tomorrow, he will travel to Geneva.

Asked about the UN-AU agreement, the Spokesman said it formalizes cooperation between the two bodies, whether in the political arena, on development or on good governance. He added that each organization can learn much from the other.


Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland, today travelled to El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, where he met with representatives of internally displaced persons from local camps. They told him that they had come to meet him in the capital because it would be too dangerous for him to enter the camps and too dangerous for them to be seen with him.

Egeland noted that this was his fourth visit to Darfur and that he had never before seen such a bad security situation. He deplored the fact that the violence being committed by various groups had seriously interrupted aid work.

Egeland also met with internally displaced women who told him that violence against women, particularly rape, is worse than it has ever been. They said they cannot leave the camps and are even being attacked inside of them. Egeland is expected to also visit North Darfur before returning to Khartoum on Saturday.


The Security Council this morning adopted a Presidential Statement concerning the talks that are taking place in Juba, southern Sudan, between the Government of Uganda and the rebel Lords Resistance Army. The Presidential Statement welcomes efforts aimed at ending the long-running conflict in northern Uganda.

The Council also heard a briefing from Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jane Holl Lute on the local and municipal elections that are scheduled to take place in Haiti on 3 December. The Council President read out a press statement on Haiti, expressing the Councils deep regret at the deaths of two Jordanian peacekeepers last Friday.

Todays consultations included as observers, for the first time, the five Member States who will join the Council starting next January: Belgium, Indonesia, Italy, Panama and South Africa.


A statement was issued yesterday on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in which the Secretary-General welcomed yesterdays announcement by the Independent Electoral Commission of the provisional results of the second round of the presidential election.

The Secretary-General also reiterated that any challenges to the provisional results must be pursued in accordance with the electoral law.

He urged all political leaders and the Congolese people to receive the results calmly and responsibly, to refrain from any recourse to violence, and to avoid statements that could threaten the peaceful completion of the national elections.


Asked how information reported by the Monitoring Group dealing with Somalia sanctions was obtained, the Spokesman noted that the Monitoring Groups report would be discussed by the Security Council Sanctions Committee on Somalia on Friday afternoon. He said that only the Monitoring Group members could speak about the reports contents and promised to arrange a briefing by them.

Asked whether the Monitoring Group members are independent, he said that they are independent, impartial experts named by the Secretary-General at the request of the Security Council, and they report to the Security Council. They are selected on the basis of their expertise, not on the basis of nationality.


Asked about the recent letters from the Prime Minister and President of Lebanon concerning the proposals on a tribunal of an international character to examine the killing of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General on Wednesday night had forwarded to the Security Council his report on the framework and architecture of that tribunal. That report went out following the receipt of the letter from Prime Minister Siniora.

The next step, Dujarric said, would be for the Security Council to respond. If they give a green light to the proposals, he added, they would then go back to the Lebanese Government for a formal agreement, in line with its constitutional procedures.

The current proposals, he said, are not a formal agreement between Lebanon and the United Nations; that would come later, after an action by the Security Council. However, he said that the United Nations has completed an important phase by concluding its consultations with the Lebanese Government on the proposals.

Asked about the status of President Lahouds letter, the Spokesman said that, in his report, the Secretary-General had informed the Security Council that it had received the letter.

Asked whether the two letters will be made available, he said that some of their contents were mentioned in the Secretary-Generals report, which will be a document. The Security Council will determine when to hold consultations on that report.


NEW U.N. OFFICIAL APPOINTED IN TIMOR-LESTE: Eric Tan Huck Gim has been appointed as the Deputy Special-Representative for the Secretary General for Security Sector and Rule of Law for the UN Mission in Timor-Leste. Tan is a retired Brigadier General from the Singapore Armed Forces.

CONCERNS RAISED OVER PALESTINIANS ACCESS TO MEDICAL SERVICES: The World Health Organization (WHO) is concerned about the rapid deterioration of Palestinians equitable access to adequate and effective medical services. This is mainly the result of the Palestinian Ministry of Health's financial crisis, it says, following the Palestinian Legislative Council elections in January 2006. As a consequence of that crisis, the Palestinian Authority has been unable to pay regular salaries since March 2006.

ANNAN MARKS TOLERANCE DAY: Today is the International Day for Tolerance. In a message to mark the day, the Secretary-General says that recent years have witnessed a sharp rise in intolerance, extremism and violence across the world. This disturbing trend is troubling and we must each strive to uphold the principles of tolerance, pluralism, mutual respect and peaceful coexistence.

Experts Agree to Bolster Terrorism Prevention in Central and South-East Europe: Experts from 12 Central and South-East European States and nine international and regional organizations have agreed on practical measures to

improve national and region-wide terrorism prevention at a seminar organized by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

New U.N. Report Outlines Threats to MIGRATORY SPECIES: Climate change is and will increasingly have dramatic

impacts on migratory species from whales and dolphins to birds and turtles, a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) says. Some species, like green turtles, are suffering higher levels of tumours with the rise linked to warmer waters that may be favouring infections. Meanwhile, changes and losses in habitats have significant impacts on species that migrate long distances.

SECRETARY-GENERAL-DESIGANTE ARRIVES IN NEW YORK: Asked about the transition to a new Secretary-General, the Spokesman noted that Secretary-General-designate Ban Ki-moon arrived in New York on Wednesday, and his press officer should be in New York next week. Asked about the status of UN officials, he noted that the Deputy Secretary-General was expected to leave at the end of this year.

INTERNAL WATCHDOGS AUDIT NOT YET COMPLETE: Asked about a recent audit by the Office of Internal Oversight Services, the Spokesman said that audit was not yet completed. He noted that officials from that Office intended to brief the press once the General Assembly has passed its yearly resolution on the Offices work.

U.N. NOT IN BUSINESS OF RECOGNIZING RELIGIONS: Asked whether the United Nations would recognize the religious rights of a British group of Jedi Knights, the Spokesman said that the United Nations was not in the business of officially recognizing religions, with or without light sabers.

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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