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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-07-02
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARIE OKABE
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Monday, July 2, 2007
BAN KI-MOON NAMES HIGH REPRESENTATIVE FOR DISARMAMENT
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Sergio de Queiroz Duarte of Brazil as the High Representative for Disarmament at the Under-Secretary-General level.
Mr. Duarte is a career diplomat and holds the rank of Ambassador in the Brazilian Foreign Service, where he has served for 48 years.
During his career, Ambassador Duarte represented his country at numerous international meetings in the field of disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation,
including the General Assemblys First Committee and the UN Disarmament Commission.
In 1988, Mr. Duarte was elected President of the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty Prohibiting the Emplacement of Nuclear Weapons on the Sea-bed and the Subsoil Thereof (Geneva). He served a one-year term (September 1999-September 2000) as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
In 2005, he was elected President of the VII Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), in New York. During his career, he attended 12 sessions of the First Committee of the UN General Assembly in different capacities and 6 sessions of the United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC).
In response to a question, the Spokeswoman later told the correspondent that the High Representative will report directly to the Secretary-General with greater access and participation in top policy-making.
BAN KI-MOON NAMES EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF CAPITAL MASTER PLAN
The Secretary-General has also appointed Michael Adlerstein of the United States as Executive Director of the Capital Master Plan (CMP).
This appointment will enable the United Nations to move forward with the implementation phase of the Capital Master Plan, the $1.9 billion renovation project of the organizations New York Headquarter complex, which will take place over the next seven years.
Most recently, Mr. Adlerstein was the Vice President and Architect of The New York Botanical Garden.
Alderstein had a long and distinguished career with the US Department of the Interior. Most notably, he oversaw the restoration of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, He led the Master Planning team and managed the team of architects, engineers, landscape architects and other consultants through the planning and design process and later managed the complexities of construction on Ellis Island. The success of the project led to his promotion to Chief Historical Architect for the Department of the Interior.
Born in New York in October 1945, Adlerstein also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia, and has worked as a State Department consultant on preservation issues on numerous projects, including the preservation of the Taj Mahal.
Asked if the appointment of the new Executive Director would prompt a rethinking of how the CMP is carried out to make the UN Secretariat more environment-friendly, Okabe said that the general scope of the CMP has been approved by the General Assembly and that, in carrying it out, due attention will be paid to the Secretary-General's stated desire to make the new Secretariat as environment-friendly as possible.
SECRETARY-GENERAL STRESSES NEED FOR SUSTAINED EFFORTS
TO REACH MILLENNIUM GOALS
Speaking this morning at the High-level segment of the Economic and Social Council in Geneva, the Secretary General underlined the need for a strong, sustained effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. It can mean, the Secretary General said, the difference between the success and failure of our grand endeavour. Needless to say, millions of lives quite literally hang in the balance.
The Secretary General welcomed the focus of the meeting on two of the Millennium Goals: cutting extreme poverty and hunger in half, and building the global partnership for development. Speaking later at a press conference, he added The goals are achievable if countries commit themselves to sound governance and accountability, and receive adequate financial and technical assistance from the developed countries.
Turning to Darfur, the Secretary General stated that it has been the highest priority on his agenda and said that during the last six months, we have made slow, but credible and considerable progress. The people in
Darfur have suffered too much and the international community has waited too long. It is now high time for us to take the necessary action, and I hope that the Sudanese Government will implement faithfully the commitments they have made, he said. It is vital, he added, that the African troops now deployed on the ground until December receive the financial resources so badly needed to protect and assist the populations in Darfur.
On climate change, the Secretary-General emphasized the need to galvanize political will and coordinate concrete action before the Bali negotiations in December. Time is of the essence, he said.
Recalling his brief visit to Afghanistan on Friday, the Secretary-General once again expressed his concern and sadness by the continuing violence and particularly the casualties suffered by civilians. He said he had made a strong request to Afghani leaders, as well as military commanders, to avoid such casualties.
The Secretary-General is scheduled to travel tomorrow to Rome for a Conference on the Rule of Law in Afghanistan.
CONFERENCE ON RULE OF LAW IN AFGHANISTAN GETS UNDERWAY
A two-day Conference on the Rule of Law in Afghanistan opened today in Rome.
The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tom Koenigs, is co-chairing it today on behalf of the Secretary-General, who will arrive in Rome tomorrow.
One of the key goals of the conference is to ensure international and Afghan support at the highest levels for the consolidation of the rule of law and for improving the justice and law enforcement institutions in a post-conflict Afghanistan. Among the documents being presented today are the Governments Justice Sector Priorities; a Donor Implementation Plan; and an outline of the National Justice Programme for Afghanistan.
President Hamid Karzai is leading the Afghan delegation and is expected to meet the Secretary-General in the course of the event to continue the conversation they began on Friday during the Secretary-Generals visit
SECRETARY-GENERAL DEPLORES U.K. TERRORIST INCIDENTS
The Secretary-General on Sunday issued a statement in which he deplores the terrorist attack that took place Saturday at Glasgow airport in Great Britain, as well as the attempt to explode car bombs in London on Friday.
He reiterates that no cause or belief can justify such acts of terrorism.
The Secretary-General expresses his strong support for the Government and the people of Great Britain at this time of heightened security threats in the country.
He looks forward to his visit to London next week, when he will have the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Gordon Brown to discuss, among other issues, how the international community can best implement the global strategy against terrorism adopted last year by the General Assembly.
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL MEETS WITH AFRICAN LEADERS
ON DAY OF THE AU SUMMIT IN ACCRA
Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro is participating today in the two-day Summit of the African Union, which ends today, in the Ghanaian capital, Accra.
Addressing the opening session of the summit on Sunday, the Deputy Secretary-General stressed the need for strong partnerships to help Africa achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
She stated that the Secretary-General, during last months G8 summit in Germany, had launched the MDG Africa Steering Group, bringing together the leaders of UN entities, international financial institutions and the African Union Commission to work closely with donors and developing countries to provide a vital new impetus for a continent-wide scaling up of interventions.
On the subject of a Union Government for Africa the theme of the summit the Deputy Secretary-General noted the UNs long-standing support for stronger regional integration in Africa as a way of assisting efforts to overcoming obstacles to closer union.
She has also highlighted UN-AU efforts to bring a speedy resolution to the Darfur crisis.
She has been holding bilateral meetings with a number of Heads of State and Government, including Presidents Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Laurent Gbagbo of Côte DIvoire, Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso, Ahmad Teijan Kabbah of Sierra Leone and also with the Chairman of the AU Commission, Alpha Oumar Konaré.
The Deputy Secretary-General is scheduled to leave Accra this evening for Nairobi, Kenya, which is the last stop of her current trip overseas.
NO CHANGE IN POLICY OF ANNOUNCING OFFICIAL VISITS
The Spokeswoman, in response to a question, said that there were no changes in practice or in policy on the announcement of the official travels of the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General. The established practice, she said, is to announce trips within the United States at least one day before they commence while other travels are usually announced to correspondents at least five days prior to their start.
Asked why the Secretary-General's Friday visit in Kabul had not been announced, Okabe explained that that was a surprise visit, unannounced for security reasons.
In response to another question, the Spokeswoman said that Friday's meeting of the Secretary-General and the President of Georgia had been initiated and set up spontaneously during a technical stopover in Georgia of the plane carrying the Secretary-General.
CHINA ASSUMES SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY FOR JULY
China has assumed the presidency of the Security Council for the month of July.
On Friday, the Council adopted a number of decisions, including a technical rollover extending the mandate of the UN Mission in Côte dIvoire until July 16th and a Presidential Statement condemning the attack on Friday on a plane carrying Prime Minister Guillaume Soro.
On Bosnia and Herzegovina, Council members adopted a resolution approving the recommendation by the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council to appoint Miroslav Lajčák as High Representative. The Council also approved the Steering Boards recommendation to extend the mandate of the Office of the High Representative for another year until 30 June 2008.
CYPRUS: BODIES OF 28 MISSING PERSONS POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED
The Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus announced today that the bodies of the first 28 missing persons have been positively identified. The Committee plans to personally notify the families concerned.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cyprus, Michael Moller, urged everyone to exercise all due restraint in this sensitive and emotional times and to respect the privacy of the affected families.
Both the Committee and the Special Representative hope that, despite their sorrow, the families will find relief and solace after so many years of uncertainty about the fate of their relatives.
According to UN data, over 1,400 Greek Cypriots and 500 Turkish Cypriots are listed as missing. Some 270 remains have been unearthed on both sides of the ceasefire line following an agreement last year.
U.N. REPRESENTATIVE CALLS ON COTE DIVOIRES GOVERNMENT
TO HELP DISPLACED PERSONS RETURN
The Representative of the Secretary-General for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Walter Kalin, concluded his week-long visit to Côte dIvoire this week-end.
Saying it was time for action, Kalin
called on the Government to implement the necessary means to help the return process of IDPs. He also called on the international community and donors to support IDP programmes.
During his trip, the Representative continued his dialogue with the authorities and all concerned actors concerning IDPs. He was also in Côte dIvoire to identify the needs of IDPs in the country and to assess their overall situation, following the signing of the Ouagadougou Agreement.
PPRELIMINARY RESULTS OF TIMOR-LESTE POLLS EXPECTED THIS WEEK
In Timor-Leste, Saturdays Parliamentary elections were conducted in a generally peaceful atmosphere and the security situation remains calm with no major incidents reported.
The National Election Commission announced that so far, approximately 20 percent of the total votes cast have been counted.
Preliminary results of the elections are expected to be out this week.
NO DECISION MADE ON WHERE TO ARCHIVE FILES
OF U.N. IRAQ MONITORING COMMISSION
In response to a question, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General commends the dedicated work of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in implementing their mandates given by the Security Council to verify Iraq's compliance with its obligations under relevant resolutions.
The Secretary-General will take all necessary measures to implement the decision made by the Security Council in relation to the appropriate disposition of archives and other property, and to transfer the remaining funds to the Government of Iraq. Okabe added, "The Secretary-General looks forward to Iraq's adherence to all applicable non-proliferation treaties and arrangements."
Asked if any decisions had been made by the Secretary-General on how and where to archive UNMOVIC's files, Okabe said that no such decisions had yet been made. She added that there would is enough expertise left at UNMOVIC to study the best ways to handle these issues, as per the Security Council's resolution on the matter.
REVISED REPORT ON WESTERN SAHARA EXPECTED SOON
The Spokeswoman, in response to questions, confirmed that a new, revised report on the recent direct talks on Western Sahara between Morocco and the Frente Polisario would be out shortly.
She added that the Secretary-General's personal envoy for Western Sahara, Peter van Walsum, would be give an oral briefing to the Security Council on the conclusions of the talks in the course of this month.
Asked if it was a common occurrence that the United Nations to pulls out published reports from circulation in order to revise them, Okabe said that it was not. "In this particular case, given the sensitivity and the delicate situation of the talks," she explained, "much consideration went into it, as a result of which the decision was taken" to reissue the report.
NO CHANGE ON U.N. POLICY ON EAST JERUSALEM: Asked if the United Nations had changed its policy on the status of East Jerusalem as an occupied Palestinian territory, Okabe stressed that there had been no change in policy.
NEXT MEETING OF QUARTET EXPECTED TO TAKE PLACE SOON: In response to a question, the Spokeswoman said that the next meeting of the Middle East Quartet principals would take place very soon in the region.
Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General
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