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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-07-05

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 MARIE OKABE

DEPUTY

SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

U.N.

HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Thursday, July 5, 2007

BAN KI-MOON ADDRESSES BUSINESS LEADERS

AT U.N. GLOBAL COMPACT LEADERS SUMMIT IN GENEVA

Today in Geneva, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit, which is bringing together some 1,000 Chief Executive Officers, Ministers and heads of labour and civil society organizations.

The Secretary-General said, For business to enjoy sustained growth, we need to build trust and legitimacy. He added, For markets to expand in a sustainable way, we must provide those currently excluded with better and more opportunities to improve their livelihood.

He called on business leaders to embrace the Global Compact as an organizing tool for their global operations and urged Governments to sustain the Compact as an initiative complementing their role.

Speaking at a press conference afterward, the Secretary-General said that the Global Compacts growth has been remarkable, with the initiative today including more than 4,000 companies and stakeholders in every region of the world. He said he would continue to support the Compact to the fullest extent possible.

On the margins of the summit, he conducted bilateral meetings with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and with Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan.

Asked whether there was anything new regarding the United Nations efforts to hold companies to their Global Compact commitments, the Spokeswoman noted that the Secretary-Generals attendance at todays summit in Geneva itself attested to his support for the initiative.

The Secretary-General, she said, had called for companies cooperation in a number of fields, including dealing with his top priority of combating climate change.

Okabe said that the Global Compact requires all participating companies to disclose their actions in meeting the Compacts objectives. If a company does not make sure a disclosure for two years, it is delisted. She said that approximately 600 companies have been delisted from the Compact.

Okabe added that the Global Compact Office headed by Georg Kell is

doing the best that it can to try to reinforce measures regarding meeting the Compacts goals.

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL ADDRESSES

WOMENS SUMMIT ON HIV AND AIDS IN NAIROBI

Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro began the day in Nairobi by participating in the opening of the International Women's

Summit on HIV and AIDS, which was also attended by President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya, Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization and Peter Piot Executive Director of UNAIDS.

The Summit is attended by 1,800 participants from all over the world and will focus on the strategies, skills, and partnerships needed to combat the rising HIV infection rates in women and girls.

The Deputy Secretary-General delivered one of several keynote speeches and emphasized the changes needed to address the growing impact of HIV and AIDS on women.

"[Change] will require sustained political leadership at the highest levels, combined with energetic and creative leadership in civil society and in the private sector. We know what that change should look like: real, positive change that will give more power and confidence to women and girls", she said.

"As Deputy Secretary-General - and as a woman from Tanzania, one of the most affected countries in this region - I will do everything in my power to ensure that the issue of women and AIDS is high on the international communitys agenda", she added.

U.N. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR DARFUR ARRIVES IN SUDAN,

AHEAD OF MEETING ON DARFUR POLITICAL PROCESS

The Secretary-Generals Special Envoy for Darfur Jan Eliasson has arrived in Khartoum as part of the ongoing joint effort by the United Nations and African Union to re-energizing the Darfur political process.

The AU Special Envoy, Salim Ahmed Salim, is scheduled to arrive in Khartoum this weekend.

Eliasson met upon arrival with the AU-UN Joint Mediation Support Team (JMST) to review the preparatory work for the upcoming AU-UN chaired meeting in Tripoli Meeting on the Darfur political process scheduled for the 15th and 16th of July.

The purpose of the Tripoli meeting is to take stock of the progress achieved over the last two months, assess the implementation of the Roadmap, and review proposals on the way forward, especially on how to launch the negotiation phase of the Roadmap.

Jan Eliasson left Khartoum today to El Geneina, West Darfur, where he met with representatives of political parties, civil society organizations, and native administration involved in the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation process, as well as representatives of Internally Displaced Persons and local authorities.

Rodolphe Adada, the AU-UN Joint Special Representative to head the AU-UN operation in Darfur is scheduled to arrive later today in Khartoum, to assume his responsibilities. Adada will serve as the Head of Mission of the African Mission in The Sudan (AMIS) pending the deployment of the hybrid operation.

Meanwhile, the UN Mission in Sudan reports fresh attacks and movements of internally displaced persons in Darfur.

ARBOUR CONDEMNS USE OF MILITARY COURTS

TO TRY CIVILIANS IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, has

condemned the use of military courts to try civilians in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Arbour also criticized the verdict reached in June by the Military Court, which cleared all civilian and military defendants of charges of committing a staggering range of human rights violations in Kilwa, a town in the Katanga province.

In investigating the events, however, human rights officers from the UN Mission in the DRC had documented summary executions, torture, illegal detention and looting by Congolese government soldiers when the Army dislodged rebels from Kilwa in 2004.

Arbour deplored the fact eyewitness accounts and material evidence supporting allegations of serious rights abuse were not properly assessed by the court, which concluded that the events in Kilwa were collateral damage of armed fighting. She however expressed relief that an appellate court would now have the opportunity to revisit these findings.

U.N. MISSION IN COTE DIVOIRE WILL SUPPORT

INTERNATIONAL INQUIRY INTO ATTACK ON PMS PLANE

Turning to Côte dIvoire, the United Nations Operation in the country says it is ready to support any international inquiry into the attack of Prime Minister Guillaume Soros plane, on June 29 in Bouaké.

The announcement made by the Missions Officer in chargecame after the Ivorian Prime Minister said he would request such an investigation. During a meeting between the two men, Soro also emphasized his commitment to pursuing the peace process and implementing the Ouagadougou Agreement.

Asked whether Soro had officially requested an investigation, the Spokeswoman said he had conveyed that in his meeting with the Office in Charge of the UN Mission.

Asked about accusations from a Forces Nouvelles official that the United Nations had not done enough to provide security during the attack on Soros plane, Okabe noted that the Mission had made it clear that UNOCI does not have responsibility for the security of airports in Cote dIvoire. She noted that the Mission had issued a press

release on that matter today.

PROGRESS ACHIEVED COULD UNRAVEL

IF FUTURE STATUS REMAINS UNDEFINED IN KOSOVO

The Secretary-General, in his latest report on the work of UN Mission in Kosovo, says that, while Kosovos overall progress is encouraging, there is a real risk that the progress that has been achieved can begin to unravel if its future status remains undefined.

Sustaining and consolidating the progress made by Kosovo will require concrete prospects for the conclusion of the future status process and the active and constructive cooperation of all involved, he writes.

The report includes a technical assessment of progress in the implementation of the standards for Kosovo, prepared by the Secretary-Generals Special Representative there, Joachim Rücker.

The Security Council has scheduled consultations on Kosovo for next Monday.

UNIFIL BEGINS INTERNAL INQUIRY INTO TRAGIC ROAD ACCIDENT

Asked about reports that UN peacekeepers and local Lebanese had clashed following a traffic accident earlier this week, the Spokeswoman confirmed that on Tuesday, a tragic road accident involving a UNIFIL (UN Interim Force in Lebanon) logistics convoy and a civilian vehicle resulted in four civilian fatalities and two Polish soldiers being wounded.

UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces were immediately dispatched on location, Okabe said. UNIFIL has commenced an internal inquiry to determine the circumstances of the accident and is cooperating closely with the Lebanese authorities.

She noted that UNIFILs Force Commander, Major-General Claudio Graziano, had conveyed his sincere sympathies and condolences to the family of the victims and the village in which the accident occurred.

SECRETARY-GENERAL IS

CONCERNED ABOUT ALL CIVILIANS CASUALTIES

In a statement issued yesterday, the Secretary-General expressed hiss profound relief at the release of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston after his ordeal of 16 weeks in captivity in Gaza.

Asked about the lack of a statement from the Secretary-General concerning the recent Israeli incursion into Gaza, the Spokeswoman said that the lack of a specific reaction should not be misinterpreted, and she said that the Secretary-General is always concerned about civilian casualties, wherever they occur.

TIMOR-LESTE WAITS FOR FINAL ELECTION RESULTS

While we await the final certified results of last weekends parliamentary elections in Timor-Leste, the UN Integrated Mission in that country says that the UN will provide food to needy Timorese as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has identified six districts as very likely to face a food crisis between October and March 2008.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Timor-Leste, Finn Reske-Nielsen, said that both the UN and the Timorese Government predict that conditions for the internally displaced (IDPs) will remain challenging at least until next year as many IDPs are unable to return to their homes, which either have been damaged or repossessed by others.

SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES GUATEMALA

TO ESTABLISH COMMISSION AGAINST IMPUNITY

Late Tuesday, we issued a statement concerning the discussions in the Guatemalan Congress over the proposal to establish an International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) with the support of the United Nations.

In it, the Secretary-General expressed his hope that Guatemala will seize this important opportunity to use international assistance to strengthen its national judicial institutions in the fight against impunity in a way that is fully respectful of Guatemalan sovereignty.

I.A.E.A. REPORT OUTLINES AGREED ARRANGEMENTS

FOR MONITORING AND VERIFICATION IN DPRK

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei circulated a report this week on Monitoring and Verification in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK), following a visit by an Agency team to North Korea last week.

The report

outlines agreed arrangements for monitoring and verification by the Agency of the shutdown of the Yongbyon nuclear facility and the reactor under construction in Taechon, which were reached between the IAEA team and the DPRK during their visit last week. The report is restricted.

The IAEAs 35-member Board will consider the report at its next meeting on Monday, 9 July 2007 in Vienna.

LOCUST SWARMS EXPECTED TO CROSS FROM AFRICA TO ASIA

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that swarms of desert locust from Ethiopia and northern Somalia are expected to cross the Indian Ocean and reach India and Pakistan.

The Governments of these two countries have been warned and are mobilizing field teams, equipment and resources. The FAO is expressing particular concerned in light of the heavy rainfall in Pakistan and western India that will create unusually favourable breeding conditions for locusts.

Meanwhile, in Yemen, the FAO is organizing an emergency aerial campaign to control the worst locust outbreak the country has known in 15 years.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECURITY COUNCIL HAS NO PROGRAM TODAY: There are no meetings or consultations of the Security Council scheduled for today.

APPOINTMENTS FOR SENIOR POSTS STILL TO BE ANNOUNCED: Asked whether the Secretary-General is intending to eradicate a senior UN post dealing with Africa, the Spokeswoman said that a number of senior posts are being reviewed before new appointments can be announced, adding that she hopes those announcements can be made as soon as possible.

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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