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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-07-13

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 13, 2007

BAN KI-MOON TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE ON MONDAY

On Monday, 16th July, at 10:30 a.m., Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will brief the press on his recent two-week trip to Europe and Afghanistan.

SECRETARY-GENERAL ANNOUNCES COMPOSITION

OF HIS EXECUTIVE OFFICE STAFF

The following is the list of the Secretary-Generals senior advisors/staff, at the director (D-2) level and above in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General.

Asha Rose Migiro of Tanzania, Deputy Secretary-General.

Vijay Nambiar of India, Chef de Cabinet (Under Secretary-General)

Kim Won Soo of the Republic of Korea, Deputy Chef de Cabinet and Special Adviser (Assistant Secretary-General)

Robert Orr of the United States, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Strategic Planning (ASG).

Nicholas Haysom of South Africa, Director for Political, Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Affairs (D-2)

Michael Meyer of the United States as Director of Communications and Speechwriting (D-2)

Alice Hecht of Belgium, Chief of Protocol (D-2)

Michele Montas of Haiti, Spokesperson (D-2).

There are also a few offices that are administered by the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. The position of some of these offices within the Secretariat structure will change as a result of the Administration of Justice reforms and other policy changes, pending Member States decisions.

Regarding the Ombudsmans office, which was led by Patricia Durrant of Jamaica at the ASG level, Ms. Durrant will soon embark on a well-deserved retirement and a new recruitment process will begin. Today was her last day on the job.

The Ethics Office will be led by Robert Benson of Canada (D-2)

The Global Compact Office, which is an extra-budgetary programme, will be led by Georg Kell of Germany (D-2). Now that the Global Compact is well underway, the Secretary-General is examining options for better institutional linkages with the UN System as a whole.

The Peacebuilding Support Office, temporarily administered by the EOSG during the start-up phase, is led by Carolyn McAskie of Canada (ASG)

BAN KI-MOON, ALARMED AT RISK OF ECONOMIC COLLAPSE, APPEALS FOR REOPENING OF CROSSINGS INTO GAZA

The Secretary-General is increasingly concerned about the situation in the Gaza Strip and its impact on the economic life.

He notes in particular the new figures released by the World Bank, which show that in the last month alone 3,190 businesses have closed down, forcing over 65,000 people into unemployment.

If what is left of Gazas economy is allowed to collapse, poverty levels, already affecting an estimated two thirds of households, will rise further and the people of Gaza will become nearly totally aid dependent.

The Secretary-General calls for every effort to be made to open all crossings into Gaza for the passage of humanitarian supplies and workers, as well as commercial goods. In particular, he calls for the Karni Crossing to be opened immediately for the passage of commercial imports and exports. In addition, the Secretary-General calls for the opening of the Rafah Crossing to allow into Gaza more than four thousand Palestinians stranded in Egypt.

The continued restrictions in Gaza will have a severe humanitarian impact and can only cause further suffering to the people there.

Asked whether the Secretary-General had relayed his concerns to Israeli officials, the Spokeswoman said that he had spoken with a number of officials in recent days about the situation in Gaza.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO ATTEND MIDDLE EAST QUARTET MEETING

NEXT WEEK IN PORTUGAL

On 19 July, the Secretary-General will participate in a Quartet meeting in Lisbon.

The meeting comes at a crucial moment and will be an opportunity to assess the recent events and discuss the way forward to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East.

In particular, the Quartet principals will confer with the Quartet Representative, Tony Blair, on how best to assist the Palestinian Authority in building its institutions and economy, which are vital for the creation of a viable Palestinian state.

BAN KI-MOON APPEALS FOR PEACEFUL CONSENSUS

AS SOMALIA EMBARKS ON KEY RECONCILIATION TALKS

The Secretary-General wishes the people of Somalia a successful beginning to the National Reconciliation Congress scheduled to start this weekend in Mogadishu.

He commends the determination of the National Governance and Reconciliation Committee and the Somali delegates to proceed with this important event in the face of many obstacles. He urges continued efforts to ensure the broadest possible participation in the process.

The Secretary-General condemns the violent incidents and threats in recent days aimed at disrupting the Congress.

He calls on opposition groups inside and outside Somalia to renounce violence and join the Congress process in order to give reconciliation a chance to succeed and to work together in addressing the peace, security and development challenges facing the country.

The Secretary-General stresses that the National Reconciliation Congress is the beginning of the process of rebuilding consensus in Somali society.

He expresses the commitment of the United Nations to continue supporting all-inclusive efforts at national reconciliation and greater international assistance to help bring peace and stability to Somalia.

SECURITY COUNCIL IS BRIEFED ON PEACEKEEPING DEPLOYMENT OPTIONS

FOR CHAD AND CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

The Security Council held consultations on Chad and the Central African Republic. Council members heard from Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno on the concept of operations for those countries.

Guéhenno spoke to reporters afterwards.

Then, the Council members held their monthly luncheon with the Secretary-General.

AUDIT TEAM DISPATCHED TO DR CONGO TO PROBE ALLEGATIONS

OF MISCONDUCT BY PEACEKEEPERS

In light of a series of recent allegations of misconduct by elements serving with the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), the Department of Field Support and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, are immediately dispatching a management audit team to Kinshasa.

The team, which will be led by a senior official, will work with all levels of the UN Mission to obtain a full picture of various recent allegations of serious misconduct against UN personnel serving with MONUC. They will also evaluate management processes related to the maintenance of good order and discipline in the Mission.

The team will report to Headquarters with recommendations aimed at strengthening mission management on this issue.

BAN KI-MOON PROPOSES DIALOGUE WITH WARRING PARTIES ON CHILDRENS RIGHTS IN CHAD, CONDEMNS CONTINUED ABUSE IN THE DR CONGO

Available today are two periodic reports of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict. One concerns Chad, while the other deals with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

On Chad, the Secretary-General describes how the convergence of the governments battle with armed opposition groups, ethnic strife in eastern Chad and the Darfur conflict have worsened conditions for children. He says that weapons are becoming ubiquitous, as is cross-border banditry, leading to an increase in grave abuses of childrens rights. He called on the belligerent parties to comply with international humanitarian law and ensure the safety of humanitarian workers and assets.

On the DRC, the Secretary-General says despite recent improvement in the situation of children affected by armed conflict, major challenges remain, especially in the northeastern provinces. He is concerned that failure to arrest those who abuse childrens rights, including renegade Army general Laurent Nkunda, will eventually diminish the gains of recent months and projects. In conclusion to his report, the Secretary-General makes a number of recommendations to reinvigorate action for the protection of war-affected children in the DRC.

ATTACKS BY REBELS AND ARMY CONTINUE

TO DISPLACE CIVILIANS IN EASTERN DR CONGO

The UN Refugee Agency is expressing concern about spiraling displacement and atrocities in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo province of North Kivu.

It says heightened tensions and militarization, by both government and militant forces, have resulted in the displacement of more than 160,000 people since the beginning of the year.

UNHCR and UNICEF are today making a joint distribution of assistance to more than 10,000 IDPs in the Buganga area.

UNHCR is urging all armed parties to immediately halt direct attacks on civilians and atrocities, which include burning of villages, widespread pillaging and raping of women.

U.N. AND AFRICAN UNION ENVOYS TO CHAIR

MEETING ON DARFUR PEACE PROCESS THIS WEEKEND

The UN Special Envoy for

Darfur, Jan Eliasson, is in Asmara today, where he was to meet with Darfur rebel groups and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki as part of his efforts in moving the process forward and finalizing preparations for the weekend meeting on Darfur.

Jan Eliasson and his African Union counterpart, Salim Ahmed Salim, will be jointly chairing the meeting in Tripoli, Libya, on 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 Joint AU-UN Roadmap for the Darfur Political Process, and review proposals on the way forward, especially on how to launch the negotiation phase of the Roadmap.

Invitations to the meeting were sent to Sudan, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, the Arab League, the five permanent members of the Security Council and key donors, including Canada, the Netherlands, Norway and the European Union.

Asked whether the Secretary-General would go to Darfur, the Spokeswoman said that he would go when the time is right and had already agreed in principle to an invitation from the Sudanese Government for such a visit.

U.N. ENVOY WRAPS UP TOUR OF KURDISH PROVINCE OF IRAQ

Ashraf Qazi, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Iraq, yesterday concluded a three-day visit to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

During his visit, Qazi attended the opening session of the three-day conference on Practical Federalism in Iraq, where he told the participants that, while the proposals of the Constitutional Review Committee are not yet complete, they represent an important step towards establishing a sound federal system for Iraq.

Qazi also held a number of official meetings, including one with the President of the Kurdistan Region, Massoud Barzani, and discussed a wide range of issues, including the Constitutional Review, human rights and the security situation in the country. He assured his interlocutors that the UN Mission is looking forward to expanding its activities in the Region of Kurdistan.

NUCLEAR WATCHDOG TEAM COMPLETES VISIT TO IRAN

A delegation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), headed by Deputy Director General for Safeguards, Olli Heinonen, yesterday

completed a two-day visit to Iran.

During that visit, Iran and the IAEA reached agreement, among other things, on a visit by Agency inspectors to the Heavy Water Research Reactor at Arak by the end of this month.

In addition, agreement was reached on the modalities to resolve remaining issues regarding Iran's past plutonium experiments. A dedicated meeting will take place in Iran for this purpose in early August.

Asked about the next steps, the Spokeswoman said that the IAEA regularly submits reports on its work in Iran to its Board of Governors and to the Security Council, who then follow up with their own discussions.

SECRETARY-GENERALS SPECIAL ENVOY DISCUSSES

MYANMAR WITH JAPANESE OFFICIALS

The Secretary-Generals Special Adviser, Ibrahim Gambari, is in Tokyo, where he met with the Japanese Vice-Foreign Minister Masayoshi Hamada and Deputy Vice-Foreign Minister Chikao Kawai.

He had detailed and open discussions on how best the United Nations and Japan can continue to work together to support Myanmar's efforts in implementing relevant General Assembly resolutions. Tokyo was the last stop on his current trip to the region.

Asked whether Gambari discussed a recent confidential report, which had been leaked to the press, which reportedly had mentioned land confiscations in Myanmar, the Spokeswoman noted that Gambaris mission to the countries he was visiting had not changed. She declined to comment on the leaked report.

REPORT ON U.N. PROBE OF GEORGIA HELICOPTER ATTACKS MADE PUBLIC

The report by the Joint Fact Finding Group on the rocket firing incident in the Upper Kodori Valley on March 11, 2007, was made public yesterday.

Its been posted on website of the UN Observer Mission in Georgia.

ALBANIA COMPLETES DESTRUCTION OF ITS CHEMICAL WEAPONS

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed yesterday that Albania has completed the destruction of its entire stockpile of declared chemical weapons.

It's the first country to have completed one of the core objectives of the Chemical Weapons Convention: the total destruction of all declared chemical weapons. Albania has in total eliminated 16,678 kilograms of chemical warfare agent, including mustard agent.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

AGREEMENT GIVES EFFECT TO BRITISH COMMITMENT TO IMPRISON CHARLES TAYLOR IF HE IS CONVICTED: The Special Court for Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom yesterday signed a Sentence Enforcement Agreement, the third of its kind for the Court, the previous two having been agreed with Sweden and Austria. After the signing, UK Minister for Africa, Asia and UN Mark Malloch-Brown said the agreement would give effect to the British governments stated commitment to imprison former Liberian president Charles Taylor if he is convicted by the Special Court.

FORMER RWANDAN MAYOR PLEADS GUILTY TO CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY: The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda said earlier today that Juvenal Rugambarara, the former mayor of Bicumbi, a township near Rwandas capital Kigali, has pleaded guilty to a single count of extermination as a crime against humanity. Rugambarara was arrested in Uganda in August 2003 and immediately transferred to the Tribunal which initially charged him with nine counts of international crimes.

AT LEAST THREE MONTHS OF FOOD AND WATER SUPPLIES NEEDED FOR PAKISTAN FLOOD VICTIMS: In Pakistan, a review today by UN agencies and non-governmental organizations of 20 flood assessment missions in Balochistan and Sindh finds that two to three months of food and water is likely to be needed for the flood victims, especially for the more than 200,000 people that have fled their homes. UN agencies and partners are providing combined tent and plastic sheeting for approximately 100,000 people.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

14 July 20 July 2007

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

Sunday, July 15

Today and tomorrow in Tripoli, Libya, the UN and the African Union are jointly chairing an international meeting on the Darfur peace process.

Monday, July 16

At 10:30 a.m. in Room 226, the Secretary-General will brief the press on his recent two-week trip to Europe and Afghanistan. This evening, he is scheduled to attend a private dinner in Washington, D.C., with political leaders and experts on climate change.

This morning, the Security Council is scheduled to adopt a resolution on the UN Mission in Côte dIvoire, and hold a debate on its mission report.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Trusteeship Council Chamber, the Organizational Committee of the second session of the Peacebuilding Commission holds its second meeting.

From today through Wednesday in Geneva, the 2007 Substantive Session of the Economic and Social Council addresses its Humanitarian Affairs Segment on "Strengthening of the coordination of UN humanitarian assistance through enhancing the effectiveness of needs-based humanitarian assistance".

Tuesday, July 17

The Secretary-General is scheduled to meet with U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House.

This morning, the Security Council is scheduled to hold consultations on Afghanistan.

At 1:15 p.m. in Room 226, Mr. Les Malezer, Chairperson of the Indigenous Peoples Caucus, will brief on the next steps for the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Wednesday, July 18

This morning, the Security Council is scheduled to hold consultations on its 1701 and Lebanon Independent Border Assessment Team reports.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, the launch of the Pilot Peacebuilding Portal on Sierra Leone is scheduled to take place.

Thursday, July 19

In Lisbon, Portugal, the Secretary-General will participate in a meeting of the Quartet.

This morning in the Security Council, a briefing and consultations are scheduled on the International Independent Investigation Commission.

At 10 a.m. in the Trusteeship Council Chamber, the General Assembly Working Group on Security Council Reform is scheduled to hold an informal, closed meeting.

At 11 a.m. in Room 226, Dr. Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development at Harvard University, and Susan Brandwayn, from the UN Conference on Trade and Development New York office, will launch a report on "Knowledge, Technological Learning and Innovation."

At 12:45 p.m. in Room 226, there will be a press conference by U.K. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry, Mr. Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and Ms. Julia Ormond, Actress and UNODCs Goodwill Ambassador for human trafficking.

From 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. in Conference Room 6, the presentation of the project Planet Peoples Games is scheduled to take place.

From today through 26 July in Geneva, the General Segment of the Economic and Social Council will consider reports of ECOSOC subsidiary bodies, namely its functional and regional commissions and expert bodies, including the Ad Hoc Advisory Groups for countries emerging from conflict.

In Geneva, the UN Conference on Trade and Development launches its Least Developed Countries Report 2007.

Friday, 20 July

At 11.15 a.m. in Room 226, Mr. John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, will hold a press conference on humanitarian issues.

At 11:30 a.m. in the Economic and Social Council Chamber, the Chairman of the Security Councils Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Johan Verbeke of Belgium, will hold an open briefing for Member States.

The guests at the noon briefing will be Mr. Serge Malé, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representative in Chad, and Mr. Chris Ache, UNHCR Representative in Sudan, who will brief on the situation of refugees in Eastern Chad and Darfur, as well as provide updates on humanitarian developments and challenges.

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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