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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-07-19
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Thursday, July 19, 2007
BAN KI-MOON ATTENDS QUARTET MEETING IN LISBON
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is in Lisbon, Portugal, today, where he is meeting with the other principal members of the Quartet dealing with the
They are: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, European Union High Commissioner for a Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and representing the EU Presidency, Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Filipe Marques Amado. They will be joined by newly-appointed Quartet envoy Tony Blair.
At a joint press conference, the Secretary-General is expected to read out a joint communiqué on behalf of all the Quartet members.
The Secretary-General is due back in New York tomorrow.
Asked whether a U.S.-sponsored conference on the Middle East would take place on the sidelines of the General Assembly this September, the Spokeswoman said she was unable to confirm that, adding that the conference was not being organized by the United Nations.
GAZA: CLOSURES OF CROSSINGS COME AT HUMANITARIAN COST
On the humanitarian situation in Gaza, UN officials on the ground stress that the closures of crossing points into Gaza are coming at a terrible cost to people living there.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) notes that the layoff of 65,000 workers by companies in Gaza, following the lack of supplies there, could affect as many as 450,000 dependents.
And the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has identified $30 million worth of emergency projects for Gaza, and said that it will provide employment projects worth some 640,000 days of work for unemployed Gaza refugees. UNRWA further endorses the Secretary-General's call for Karni crossing to be open to Palestinian commercial imports and exports.
BRAMMERTZ BRIEFS SECURITY COUNCIL ON LEBANON INVESTIGATION
Serge Brammertz, the head of the Independent International Investigation Commission dealing with Lebanon, today briefed the Security Council in an open meeting about the Commissions consolidation of its work, which has resulted in a series of detailed reports totaling more than 2,400 pages.
Brammertz said that a number of people of interest have been identified who may have been involved in some aspects of the assassination of Rafik Hariri, and common links have been found across a number of cases. He also warned the Council that the security situation in Lebanon has deteriorated, and stressed that the security of witnesses and people who cooperate with the Commission needs to be guaranteed.
He then continued to talk with Council members in closed consultations. After that, Brammertz spoke to reporters, telling them that the Commission is ready to hand over its work to a tribunal when it begins to function. He added that more work needs to be done to complete the investigation, before indictments can be made.
SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES SITUATION IN DRCS KIVU PROVINCES
The Security Council is also holding consultations on the Democratic Republic of the Congo today.
Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno is briefing the Council on the situation in the Kivu provinces in the eastern Congo.
He gave an overview of the current situation there, as well as steps taken here and by the UN Mission on the ground, MONUC, to deal with it.
The Security Council has postponed its discussion of Kosovo until tomorrow.
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL WILL HEAR REPORT
ON MID-YEAR PROGRESS IN IRAQ
Tomorrow, at 10:00 a.m. here at headquarters in Conference Room Four, the Government of
Iraq will present the Mid-Year Progress Report of the International Compact with Iraq.
This initiative, in partnership with the United Nations is supported by the World Bank and was launched at Sharm El-Sheikh, in Egypt this past May.
Deputy Secretary-General Asha Rose Migiro will be joined by video conference by the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, Barham Salih.
Asked about developments in the Iraqi parliament, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General is following matters closely.
U.N. ENVOY PREPARES FOR NEXT STEP IN DARFUR PEACE PROCESS
The Secretary-Generals Special
Envoy for Darfur, Jan Eliasson, is wrapping up his most recent visit to Sudan.
Jan Eliasson, at a press conference in Khartoum, briefed reporters on the recently concluded meeting on Darfur held in Tripoli, Libya, and outlined the steps ahead on the African Union-United Nations political roadmap of the Darfur peace process.
Eliasson said the next meeting is planned in Arusha, Tanzania, starting on the 3rd of August and lasting up to the 5th or 6th of August, which will bring together leading personalities of the movements.
The participants will discuss the coordination of positions, Eliasson said, adding We will require from all a cessation of hostilities, as we have already from the government, and to begin normalization of the situation and preparations for the negotiations.
Eliasson said, We hope that by the end of August, AU Special Envoy Salim Ahmed Salim and I could be able to recommend to Chairman of the AU Commission Konaré and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, respectively, that we send out invitations to negotiations before the end of August.
[In a statement issued after the briefing, the Secretary-General said he is determined to move forward expeditiously with the implementation of the roadmap for the political process in Darfur and strongly calls on all parties to engage in good faith in forthcoming political negotiations in order to achieve lasting peace and bring this terrible tragedy to an end.]
SIERRA LEONE: SPECIAL COURT HANDS DOWN FIRST SENTENCES
TO THREE EX-AFRC MEMBERS
The Special Court for Sierra Leone has sentenced to lengthy prison terms three former members of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) for their part in crimes committed during Sierra Leones decade-long civil conflict. These are the first sentences handed down by the Special Court.
Alex Tamba Brima, Brima Bazzy Kamara, and Santigie Borbor Kanu were each convicted on June 20th on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The Court imposed single so-called global sentences of 50 years for Brima, 45 years for Kamara, and 50 years for Kanu. They will be given credit for time served since their arrests in 2003.
The Court ordered that the three men begin serving their sentences immediately.
U.N. MISSION IN TIMOR-LESTE CONGRATULATES
POLICE ON FUGITIVES CAPTURE
The Head of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), Atul Khare, congratulated the national police on the recapture of a prison escapee, Jose Da Silva, who had been charged with murder and arson back in January.
He escaped from Becora prison on February 17TH.
Stressing that rule of law must prevail in Timor-Leste, Khare said criminals must learn that they cannot act with impunity.
The arrest comes one day after U.N. and local police held a seminar on the reform, restructuring and reconstitution of the Timorese national police.
U.N. AGENCIES URGE STRENGTHENING OF FOOD SAFETY SYSTEMS
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are urging all countries to strengthen their food safety systems and to be more vigilant with food producers and traders.
During the last 12 months, an average of up to 200 food safety incidents per month have been investigated by the two organizations. They say that most incidents are caused by lack of knowledge of food safety requirements or by the illegal use of ingredients, including food additives or veterinary drugs.
The FAO and the WHO say they are working with governments to help them improve their food safety institutional set up while also providing them with scientific advice.
ACTOR JUDE LAW IN AFGHANISTAN TO PREPARE
U.N. INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE
Actor Jude Law has just completed a secret mission to Afghanistan, where he took part in filming, as part of UNICEFs preparations for the UN International Day of Peace which is September 21st.
Jude Law and British director Jeremy Gilley visited schools and interviewed children, government ministers, community leaders and UN officials inside and outside the capital.
At a press conference today in Kabul, Jude Law urged the world to commit to recognizing the day, by observing a worldwide ceasefire and day of non-violence.
SCIENCE AND INNOVATION IS A NECESSITY FOR LDCs: The worlds 50 poorest nations must innovate their way out of poverty, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Developments (UNCTAD) Least Developed Countries Report (LDCs) 2007 -- which was launched today. The report stresses the importance for LDC governments to adopt policies to spur science, technology and innovation, saying that developing these domains is a necessity not luxury for these states.
SECRETARY-GENERAL RECEIVED G77 LETTER AFTER PRESS: Asked when the Secretary-General had received a letter from the Group of 77 concerning the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa, the Spokeswoman reiterated that he had received it after it had appeared in the press.
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