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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-07-06

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

Friday, July 6, 2007

BAN KI-MOON IS HEARTENED BY U.N. BUSINESS SUMMIT PLEDGE

TO MAKE GLOBALIZATION WORK FOR ALL

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today brought the Global Compact Leaders Summit in Geneva to a close, saying he was heartened to see leaders from business, government, civil society, labour and the academia display such a deep and broad commitment to the Compacts principles.

As the summit closed, business leaders from developed and developing countries pledged to comply with labour, human rights, environmental and anti-corruption standards.

They agreed on the text of the Geneva

Declaration, which expresses the belief that globalization, if rooted in universal principles, has the power to improve our world fundamentally -- delivering economic and social benefits to people, communities and markets everywhere."

The Declaration spells out actions to be taken by the now roughly 4,000 companies participating in the Global Compact.

The Secretary-General said that the summits more than 1,000 participants clearly emphasized the links between market leadership and development. This relationship, he said, will help us build the supportive measures needed to create more sustainable markets. And it will ultimately help to improve the lives of many people around the world.

The Secretary-General called on business leaders to ensure that the Global Compact is implemented more fully with their organizations and through their suppliers and partners. He also urged civil society and labour leaders to remain vigilant and engaged, and to continue to hold business accountable to their commitments.

He said that the participants at the summit would plan to meet again in three years, and urged them all to do their part in giving practical meaning to the Declaration.

BAN KI-MOON TO BEGIN OFFICIAL VISIT TO PORTUGAL

Earlier in the day, the Secretary-General visited the Geneva-based International Telecommunications Union. It was the first visit of a Secretary General to the oldest UN agency. In a meeting with the Secretary General of the ITU, Amadoun Toure and later with the staff, Ban emphasized the unique role ITU plays in connecting the populations of the world and helping developing countries bridge the technology gap .

The Secretary General also paid the first visit of a Secretary General of the United Nations to the Geneva headquarters of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Addressing the senior staff of the federation, Ban spoke of his early ties as a young man in South Korea to the Red Cross and his wifes volunteer work of many years with the organization.

Ban also visited the headquarters of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Later he held a joint meeting with the Director General of the World Trade Organization, Pascal Lamy and with his counterpart at the International labor Organization, Juan Somavia.

The Secretary General will leave Geneva this weekend for an official visit to Portugal.

CALM MUST BE RESTORED TO FOCUS ENERGIES ON

FINDING JUST AND LASTING PEACE IN MIDDLE EAST

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned at the violence reported in Gaza in the context of the recent Israeli incursion.

Reports indicate that during heavy exchanges of fire, including the use of tank fire in populated areas, a number of Palestinian civilians were injured and at least one was reported killed.

The Secretary-General calls on all parties to do their utmost to protect civilians and uphold international law.

In addition, Palestinian rocket fire into Israel must stop.

Calm must be restored in order to focus all energies on finding a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

BAN KI-MOON URGES GREEK CYPRIOT AND TURKISH CYPRIOT LEADERS TO MOVE TO REAL ENGAGEMENT IN POLITICAL PROCESS

This Sunday, 8 July, marks the anniversary of the agreement signed between the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, which provides the framework for a political process aimed at the resumption of full-fledged negotiations leading to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.

Although the two sides continue to be engaged through regular discussions under the auspices of the United Nations -- and both leaders express their commitment to a solution leading to a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation -- it is regrettable that one year has passed without any start to the agreed process.

The Secretary-General takes this opportunity, therefore, to urge the two leaders to build on the progress achieved to date, by showing the necessary imagination and political courage to move from talks about procedures to real engagement on substance.

While emphasizing once again that the responsibility for the solution to the Cypriot problem lies with the Cypriots themselves, he also reiterates that the United Nations stands ready to continue assisting the two communities in their search for a solution to this protracted problem.

CHEIKH SIDI DIARRA OF MALI IS NAMED HIGH REPRESENTATIVE FOR LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES, LANDLOCKED DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AND SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES

The Secretary-General has appointed Mr. Cheikh Sidi Diarra of Mali as High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.

The full mobilization and coordination of the UN System in support of the least developed, landlocked and small island developing countries is a high priority for the Secretary-General and reflects his commitment to the developmental objectives of this organization.

In order to make the United Nations more effective in serving the special needs of these countries, it is essential to consolidate the limited resources of the Organization and ensure reliable linkages with all key actors in the UN system and beyond.

This includes advocacy, in favour of the requirements of these countries with donor governments and organizations, with civil society, media, academia and other institutions. It also includes the crucial role of mobilizing international support and resources in real terms. In order to achieve these goals, the Secretary-General has been looking for ways and means to strengthen the Office of the High Representative and to build on its existing functions and resources.

As part of this initiative, it is timely to strengthen the Organizations focus on Africa. After consultations with African leaders, and with a view to complementing the re-configuration of the Office of the Special Adviser for Africa (OSAA), the Secretary-General intends to designate the new High Representative to serve as the focal point at UN Headquarters for African economic and social issues, including the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD).

ECA will remain the field focal point for NEPAD. In this connection, we are addressing a letter to the Chairman of the ACABQ for the information of members. The General Assembly will also be suitably consulted in due course.

In order better to serve the needs of LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS, through improved institutional coherence between the Office of the High Representative and UNCTAD, the Secretary-General intends to designate the High Representative, in addition to his existing functions, as the Special Representative of UNCTAD at UN Headquarters. In that capacity, the High Representative will be fully supported by the substantive Divisions of UNCTAD, especially the Division for Africa, LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS. The UNCTAD liaison office in New York will also be placed under him.

CHOI SOON-HONG OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA IS APPOINTED

CHIEF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY OFFICER

The Secretary-General is appointing Choi Soon-hong of the Republic of Korea as Chief Information Technology Officer, Assistant Secretary-General.

In this position, Mr. Choi will be responsible for all substantive and operational needs on information and communication technologies of the United Nations. This will involve developing, maintaining and monitoring the implementation of effective tools and strategies to modernize the organization. One of the immediate tasks will be to oversee the introduction of the new Enterprise Resource Planning system accross the organization.

He will be responsible for providing leadership and coordination in the area of IT to strengthen the ability of UN to deliver the change management needed. As you will recall, the General Assembly approved the position of Chief Technology Information Officer in July 2006, as part of the reform proposals put forth last year by the Secretary-General.

Mr. Choi has 30 years of technical and management experience in the public and private sectors. He has a PhD from the George Washington University. He joined the International Monetary Fund in 1981 and has served as its Head of Information Technology Services since 2004. He also has experience in the private sector.

Mr. Choi has lectured and researched in the fields of public policy, strategic management, and innovation. He has presented his work in a number of major international conferences. His recent research interests include globalization, technology competition, digital society, knowledge sharing, and ICT for development.

He will join the United Nations as of September 1st.

SYRIA AND JORDAN ARE STRUGGLING TO HOST IRAQI REFUGEES

The UN Refugee Agency today warned that Syria and Jordan, the two countries caring for the biggest proportion of Iraqi refugees, have still received next to nothing in bilateral help from the world community.

Both countries, UNHCR says, are struggling to cope. Syria continues to receive about 2,000 Iraqis each day, with about 30,000 of them staying in Syria each month.

UNHCR strongly urges governments to step forward now to help the host countries for the Iraqis, and it reiterated its call for international solidarity and burden sharing.

U.N.ENVOY FOR DARFUR PREPARES FOR MEETING ON PEACE PROCESS

The Secretary-Generals Special Envoy for Darfur Jan Eliasson is meeting today with the African Union Mission Force Commander Gen. Martin Agwai and Rodolphe Adada, the Joint AU-UN Special Representative for Darfur.

He is also meeting with the ambassadors of the countries and organizations that were invited for scheduled Tripoli meeting on the Darfur Peace Process, as well as NGOs, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and World Bank on developmental issues in Darfur, and Minni Minawi, Senior Assistant to the President.

Tomorrow, his schedule includes meetings with Government officials, including Minister of Foreign Affairs, civil society groups and tribal leaders, as well as AU envoy for Darfur Salim Ahmed Salim who is arriving in Khartoum tomorrow afternoon.

TIMOR-LESTE: U.N. SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE HAILS DEMOCRATIC

CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS

At a meeting earlier today wit/h representatives of all of Timor-Lestes political parties, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Atul Khare, congratulated Timorese politicians for their democratic conduct in the wake of last weekends parliamentary elections.

The UN Mission says that during the meeting, the parties also thanked the UN and its agencies for the electoral and post-election assistance.

Khare and the Timorese political leaders agreed that the most important challenge facing the country now was the formation of a government that would be inclusive and representative of all the people of Timor-Leste.

Khare told his interlocutors that the UN Mission would continue to host monthly consultative meetings with all political parties in Timor-Leste.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

HEAD OF U.N. MISSION IN COTE D'IVOIRE DISCUSSES PEACE PROCESS: The Officer in charge of the United Nations Operation met yesterday with the facilitator of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso.In their consultations, they discussed the latest developments in the peace process, one week after the attack on Prime Minister Guillaume Soros plane in Bouaké. ONUCI says the meeting is part of the Operations ongoing efforts to keep the peace process on track and to ensure that the Bouaké events do not slow down the implementation of the Ougadougou Agreement.

SOUTH KOREAN PEACEKEEPERS ARRIVE IN LEBANON: An advance party of South Korean peacekeepers arrived in southern Lebanon yesterday, ahead of the impending deployment of a South Korean mechanized infantry contingent, to serve as part of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).The rest of the South Korean peacekeepers will arrive sometime at the end of July, and once fully deployed, the unit will have a total of 350 troops. The peacekeepers will be based near the city of Tyre. UNIFILs strength now stands at 13,306 peacekeepers.

SECRETARY-GENERAL RECEIVES LETTER FROM U.S. CONGRESS MEMBER ON UNDP EMPLOYEE: Asked if the Secretary-General had received a letter from a member of the U.S. Congress about a former UNDP employee in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and a reaction from the UN Secretariat, the Spokeswoman confirmed that the Secretary-General was in receipt of that letter and would be responding soon. Okabe added that the UN Ethics Office was considering a request by the former UNDP employee seeking whistleblower protection.

NO CONFIRMATION ON DATE OF NEXT QUARTET MEETING: Asked to confirm press reports that the next Middle East Quartet meeting was scheduled for July 16, the Spokeswoman said she could not confirm that date at this time.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

[This document is for planning purposes only and is subject to change.]

Saturday, July 7

Today is the International Day of Cooperatives.

Through Tuesday, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Martin Scheinin, is visiting Israel, at the invitation of the Government. He also plans to visit the Occupied Palestinian Territories during his mission.

From today through 15 July, Professor Yakin Ertürk, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, will conduct an official visit to Ghana, at the invitation of the Government.

Entry into force of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.

Sunday, July 8

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention visits Equatorial Guinea, at the invitation of the Government, from 8 to 13 July.

Monday, July 9

This morning, the Security Council is scheduled to hold consultations on the UN Mission in Kosovo.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, begins a week-long visit to Indonesia, at the invitation of the Government.

The Human Rights Committee will hold its 90th session in Geneva until 27 July.

The Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination will conduct a fact-finding visit to Chile from 9 July to 13 July 2007, at the invitation of the Government of Chile.

Marking International Gun Destruction Day, the Organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is organizing the destruction of 14,000 weapons in Colombia, a country with one of the highest rates of homicide in the world.

The UNESCO Committee for NEPAD will meet today and tomorrow in Paris, to advise UNESCO on its contributions to further the implementation of the African Union/NEPADs action plans within its fields of competence.

Tuesday, July 10

This morning, the Security Council is scheduled to hold consultations on Guinea-Bissau, its 1718 Committee report, Children and Armed Conflict, and its Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions.

Starting today and through July 13, the Operational Activities Segment of the ECOSOC Substantive session will open in Geneva with a high-level interactive panel discussion on the contribution and effectiveness of the UN development system.

The Global Forum on Migration and Development, organized by the Government of Belgium, takes place today and tomorrow in Brussels. It will mark the start of a new global process designed to enhance the positive impact of migration on development. The Secretary-General is expected to make an opening statement.

Wednesday, July 11

This morning, the Security Council is scheduled to hold a private meeting with the Troop Contributing Countries to the UN Mission in Côte dIvoire, followed by consultations on Côte dIvoire and Western Sahara.

Today is World Population Day.

From 11 to 13 July in Vienna, the IAEA is hosting a three-day steering committee meeting, in close collaboration with WHO, to plan a regional consultation on nutrition and HIV/AIDS for Southeast Asian countries.

The Counter-Terrorism Committee's Executive Directorate (CTED) is hosting a one-day informal meeting between technical assistance providers/donors and West African countries.

Thursday, July 12

This morning, the Security Council is scheduled to hold a debate on the report of its recent mission to Africa.

At 1.30 p.m in Room 226, Ambassador Peter Burian (Slovakia), Chairman of the Security Councils 1540 Committee that deals with the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, will update the press on the work of the Committee.

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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