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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-07-24

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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

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

INVITATIONS ARE SENT FOR PRE-NEGOTIATIONS ON DARFUR

Following several rounds of extensive and inclusive consultations, the African Union and the United Nations Special Envoys for

Darfur, Salim Ahmed Salim and Jan Eliasson, have today issued invitations to leading personalities of the non-signatory movements to the Darfur Peace Agreement to participate in a meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, from the third to fifth of August 2007.

The meeting was endorsed at the recent meeting in Tripoli, also under the co-chairmanship of the AU and UN Special Envoys.

The objective of the upcoming Arusha meeting is to take stock of the progress made in the Road-map on the political process and for the Special Envoys to consult with the movements on the preparations for the upcoming final negotiations.

Discussions will focus on the key role to be played by the Sudanese parties concerned in ensuring a speedy, negotiated and sustainable settlement of the Darfur conflict, including the format and venue of and participation in the negotiations.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO MEET WITH RESEARCHER

ON UNDERGROUND WATER IN DARFUR

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is meeting this afternoon with the Boston University professor who led the research into the reported underground water supplies in Darfur.

Dr. Farouk El-Baz is expected to travel next month to Sudan and join the UN Mission there and Sudanese geologists to conduct a survey of Darfur.

The Secretary-General also met today with U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan, Mr. Andrew Natsios, who later spoke to reporters.

SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFED ON U.N. MISSION IN ETHIOPIA/ERITREA

The Security Council held consultations today on the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hédi Annabi briefed Council members on the Secretary-Generals latest report on that mission, which recommends a six-month extension of it.

CONSIDERABLE WORK HAS TO BE DONE TO HOLD ELECTION IN NEPAL

The Secretary-General, in his latest report on the UN Mission in Nepal, says that, although he remains optimistic about that countrys peace process, it is clear that the national political scene has become more complex and challenging in the past few months.

He warns that failure to ensure a credible election within a realistic and well-planned period could have a much more serious impact on the unity of the eight parties and their ability to act and function in unison within the existing coalition.

The Secretary-General says that the UN Mission continues to advise that if the Constituent Assembly election is to be held this November, considerable work needs to be done to meet that objective, including improvements by the parties to the peace process in implementing their commitments.

NEARLY $50 MILLION NEEDED FOR DISPLACED SOMALIS

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has launched a $48 million appeal to help Somali refugees and internally displaced persons who have fled the renewed conflict there.

The money will be used to provide assistance through the end of next year to nearly 500-thousand people, including tens of thousands of Somalis who have sought refuge in neighboring Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen and Djibouti.

UNHCR also expects to gain greater access to internally displaced persons within Somalia, especially in the southern and central areas of the country.

HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

URGES FAIR TRIALS IN ETHIOPIA

Today, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour,

welcomed the pardon and release last Fridayof 38 political leaders and activists in Ethiopia.

Arbour said the pardons were significant for what they represent in terms of the expansion of the democratic space in Ethiopia.

The High Commissioner also urged fair proceedings for the 67 defendants still on trial and who face similar charges. Some of these trials are set to resume tomorrow.

I.A.E.A. TO SEND EXPERTS TO EXAMINE NUCLEAR PLANT IN JAPAN

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei

welcomed an invitation by the Japanese Government to send specialists to jointly examine the current condition of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant.

He said the invitation is important for identifying lessons learned that might have implications for the international nuclear safety regime.

The IAEA intends to send a team of IAEA and international experts in the coming weeks. The exact timing will be decided in consultation with the Japanese authorities.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES RELEASE OF BULGARIAN NURSES: Asked about the Secretary-Generals reaction to the release of Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor from Libya, the Spokeswoman said that he welcomed the development.

UNITED NATIONS AWAITS REPLY FROM DUTCH GOVERNMENT ON LEBANON TRIBUNAL: Asked whether the United Nations had received a reply from the Dutch Government to the Secretary-Generals letter concerning the tribunal dealing with Rafik Hariris assassination, the Spokeswoman noted that the letter had only been sent on Monday, and the United Nations was awaiting a reply.

BAN-KI MOON FOLLOWS HOSTAGE SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN CLOSELY: Asked about the Koreans who had been abducted in Afghanistan, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General remains concerned about the plight of that very large group of detainees, as well as about German and other abductees. He is in touch with the UN Mission in Afghanistan about that matter.

  • The guest at the noon briefing was John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, who gave updates on the humanitarian crises in southern Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and elsewhere.

    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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