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United Nations Daily Highlights, 06-11-24
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UNITED NATIONS HIGHLIGHTS
BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC
SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Friday, November 24, 2006
ANNAN DISMAYED AT SPATE OF TERRORIST ATTACKS IN IRAQ
The Secretary-General is greatly dismayed by the recent wave of terrorist attacks in Iraq, particularly in Sadr-City, Baghdad and Tal-Afar, which have reportedly caused the death and injury of hundreds of innocent civilians, and led to a number of reprisal attacks. He condemns these heinous acts in the strongest possible terms. They cannot be justified by any cause and are clearly aimed at fomenting sectarian strife and further undermining the stability and national unity of Iraq.
The Secretary-General urges the Iraqi people to heed the calls by political and religious leaders from all sides for calm and restraint to prevent an escalation of the situation, and to engage in a genuine national dialogue that addresses the needs and aspirations of all.
U.N CHIEF IN IRAQ CONDEMNS BOMB ATTACK ON SADR CITY
The UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) says that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq, Ashraf Qazi, has strongly condemned the recent spate of violent crimes, in particular yesterdays bomb attack on the Baghdad neighbourhood of Sadr City, which caused the death and injury of hundreds of civilians.
Qazi called on the Iraqi authorities to seriously pursue and apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice. He also urged Iraqis to work together toward overcoming adversity.
U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF ENDS VISIT TO ISRAEL AND OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES, SAYS CIVILIANS BEAR BRUNT OF VIOLATIONS
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour
said yesterday that Palestinian and Israeli civilians were the primary victims of the alarming deprivation of human rights in the region.
Speaking at the end of a five-day visit to the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel, the High Commissioner said her talks with both Palestinians and Israelis affected by the violence made apparent "their profound sense of frustration and abandonment, including a perception that the international community is not doing enough to protect them".
The High Commissioner said the situation was particularly acute in the occupied Palestinian territory.
"I left Gaza with a sense that the right of its people to physical integrity --their right to life -- was particularly imperiled: Beit Hanoun is only one case in many", she said, referring to the incident in which 19 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli shelling on 8 November.
The High Commissioner recommended ensuring appropriate redress in situations in which there has been the lethal use of force, saying a system of accountability available to Palestinians allowing for investigations which are law-based, independent, transparent and accessible was imperative.
Among other recommendations, the High Commissioner said Palestinians need to be able to enjoy their right to freedom of movement, which is currently seriously compromised within the West Bank in particular, but also between the West Bank and Gaza. Palestinian access to Jerusalem also remains of particular concern.
And, in addition to the particular responsibilities that rest on Israel as an occupying power, it must discharge its obligations without discrimination towards all individuals in Israel, including its Palestinian citizens.
IRAN GIVES NUCLEAR WATCHDOG ACCESS TO SOME MATERIALS BUT FULL COOPERATION STILL LACKING
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei,
told the agencys board of directors that Iran has agreed to provide access to materials related to its uranium enrichment activities. However, ElBaradei noted that cooperation is still too limited for any determination regarding its nuclear ambitions.
Calling Irans response a step in the right direction, ElBaradei stressed that the sooner Iran takes the remaining transparency measures and addresses the outstanding issues, the earlier the Agency would be in a position to provide the needed assurances - assurances that are key to restoring international confidence regarding the scope and nature of Iran´s nuclear programme.
U.N SUPPORTS SECURITY ULTIMATUM IN D.R. CONGO CAPITAL
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, William Lacy Swing, said that some 50 members of forces loyal to Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba have left Kinshasa in response to a 48-hour ultimatum imposed by the Congolese army to diffuse tensions in the capital.
The ultimatum came a day after the Supreme Court building and police vehicles were burned during a clash between police and Bembas supporters over a court filing challenging the provisional results of the presidential elections, which forecasted Bembas defeat by incumbent President Joseph Kabila. Swing said that the Congolese army, if necessary, will be backed by UN peacekeepers in enforcing the ultimatum, whose implementation is proceeding peacefully.
Meanwhile, the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) says that a farewell ceremony took place yesterday in Kinshasa for the Uruguayan contingent of the UN peacekeeping force. Speaking at the event, Swing said that the Uruguayan peacekeepers are among the most versatile and most flexible of UN troops for serving in eight of the African nations eleven provinces under difficult conditions.
U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF CONCERNED BY ESCALATING VIOLENCE AGAINST CIVILIANS IN NORTHEASTERN UGANDA
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour today
urged the Government of Uganda to review its forced disarmament strategy in Karamoja, North Eastern Uganda, and end violence and human rights violations against civilians in the area.
The High Commissioner, in a
report released today, said allegations of human rights violations and abuses in the Karamoja region have persisted since the May 2006 forced disarmament exercise initiated by the Government of Uganda. Karamoja is traditionally characterized by high levels of insecurity relating to the proliferation of illegal fire arms, cattle rustling, looting, ambushes, but also political marginalization and the absence of adequate central government services and institutions, including civilian law enforcement.
ANNAN COMMENDS WORK OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
In a message to the fifth session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which opened yesterday in The Hague, the Secretary-General said that the Court has established itself as the centrepiece of a truly international system of criminal justice and has become both the embodiment of, and the driving force behind, a profound evolution of international norms and law.
The Secretary-General noted that the UN-ICC cooperation has expanded greatly. The fact that the first ever witness before the Chambers of the Court in pre-trial proceedings is a United Nations official again reflects our strong commitment to ending impunity and aiding the ICC's work, he said.
U.N. ENVIRONMENT AGENCY CALLS FOR FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO COTE DIVOIRE TO HELP CLEAN CONTAMINATED SITES
International financial assistance should be swiftly
mobilized to pay for the clean-up and rehabilitation of contaminated sites in Côte dIvoire as a result of fresh information indicating that the final costs of a dumping incident in August could reach into the millions of dollars.
The call was made today by Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, on the eve of an international meeting of the parties to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.
Irrespective of who will or who will not be held liable for this incident, it is the people of one of the worlds poorest countries who have already paid dearly for this irresponsible act of hazardous waste dumping, who are now being forced to actually pay the bill for removal and clean up operations, said Steiner.
U.N. AGENCIES RUSH RELIEF SUPPLIES TO FLOOD SURVIVORS IN AFGHANISTAN
The World Food Programme has sent 127 tons of food aid to western Afghanistan, following
flash floods there.
For their part, the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees has provided tents, blankets, plastic sheets, jerry cans and lanterns, and UNICEF, with air support from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), has flown in chlorine powder for water treatment, as well as family kits, tarpaulins and jackets.
Meanwhile, the Afghan Ministry of Public Health, in coordination with the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) and the World Health Organization (WHO), has dispatched a medical team to the area, along with medical supplies.
U.N. DRUGS CHIEF WELCOMES MOVE TO REWARD AFGHAN PROVINCES THAT ELIMINATE OPIUM
Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has
welcomed the decision by the Afghan Counter Narcotics Trust Fund to make development grants to provinces which eliminate opium poppy.
This is something which I have long advocated, he said in response to a statement from the Fund that the current six opium-free provinces will each receive half a million dollars for development projects. They will receive the same amount again in 2007 if they maintain their opium-free status.
Solving Afghanistans opium problem is not only a question of security, its a question of development, Costa said.
U.N. ALLOCATES FUNDS FOR ETHIOPIA FLOOD RELIEF EFFORTS: The Government of Ethiopia and its humanitarian partners
launched a joint flash appeal for $7 million yesterday to meet the emergency and rehabilitation needs of some 400,000 flood survivors in Ethiopias Somali Region. The UN immediately stepped forward by allocating more than $ 2.6 million to the relief effort from the Central Emergency Response Fund, but the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says the situation remains critical.
U.N. TRIBUNALS WRAP UP MAJOR CASES: The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has dismissed in its entirety the prosecution's request for review of the appeals judgment in the case of Tihomir Blakić, a Bosnian Croat general, thus bringing the case to a close. Meanwhile, in Arusha, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has closed the case of François Karera, the former Prefect of Kigali-Rural, after the Prosecution and Defence in the case yesterday presented their final submissions before the Tribunal.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
25 November 1 December 2006
[This document is for planning purposes only.]
Saturday, November 25
Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Monday, November 27
The Security Council is scheduled to hold consultations on Cote dIvoire.
The General Assembly will hold an informal thematic debate on progress on the Millennium Development Goals.
From 1:15 pm to 2:30 p.m. in Conference Room 4, there will be a panel discussion on Galvanizing action towards ending violence against women.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will convene, in Oslo, a high-level event marking the launch of the updated Oslo Guidelines, for the use of military and defence assets in disaster relief. Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland will co-chair.
Vernor Muñoz, Special Rapporteur on the right to education, will visit Morocco at the from 27 November to 5 December 2006.
The UN Office for Outer Space Affairs will hold a weeklong workshop on the International Heliophysical Year 2007 in Bangalore, India, starting today.
Tuesday, November 28
The Secretary-General is scheduled to deliver a speech at Princeton University on peace and security, focusing on the subject of nuclear weapons.
The Security Council is scheduled to hold an open debate on children and armed conflict.
At 1:00 p.m., the Japanese Ambassador Kenzo Oshima and Shazia Rafi, Secretary-General of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), will hold a press conference on the PGA annual forum, to be held in Japan from 4 to 5 December.
From 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. in Conference room 7, there will be a multimedia panel discussion called: From Bosnia to Sierra Leone: an encounter with 2 children of war.
The world premiere screening of the Nigeria-themed film The Imam and The Pastor" will take place at 6:00 p.m. in the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium.
Wednesday, November 29
Today is the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
The Security Council is slated to hold consultations on Somalia.
At 11:00 a.m., the Canadian Mission will be sponsoring a press conference by David Malone, former President of the International Peace Academy and author of The International Struggle Over Iraq: Politics in the UN Security Council, 1980-2005, to discuss Iraq and the Security Council: Lessons from the Past, Suggestions for the Future.
Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs José Antonio Ocampo will be a keynote speaker at the International Institute for Labour Studies Research Conference on decent work, social policy and development in Geneva.
The screening of Three Needles will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium, in connection with World AIDS Day.
Con/Textualization: A Palestinian Narrative opens today in the UN Visitors Lobby. This exhibition of Palestinian art is in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and is sponsored by the Division for Palestinian Rights and the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the UN.
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland will hold his final Geneva press conference on Wednesday morning at the Palais des Nations.
Thursday, November 30
The Humanitarian Appeal 2007 will be launched by the Secretary-General at a half-hour event in the Trusteeship Council, starting at 11:00 a.m. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland and World Food Programme Goodwill Ambassador Princess Haya will come to the noon briefing to brief on the Appeal.
The Secretary-General and UNAIDS head Peter Piot are expected to attend the World AIDS Day Forum at Saint Bartholomews Church in New York. The event lasts from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday, December 1
Today is World AIDS Day. At 6:30 p.m. the First International HIV/AIDS Cartoon Exhibition will open in the UN Visitors Lobby.
At 11:00 a.m., Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland and Dennis Mukwege Mukengere of the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will brief on sexual violence.
At 6:00 p.m. an event called "Healing the Wounds of War: Sexual Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other situations of conflict" will take place at New York University's Tishman Centre. The event will feature Eve Ensler and Denis Mukwege, and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is one of the organizers.
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