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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-09-05

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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 MICHELE MONTAS

SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

U.N.

HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

SECRETARY-GENERAL VISITS AFRICAN AND U.N. OFFICIALS, DISPLACED PERSONS IN DARFUR

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in El Fasher, the capital of

Darfur, from the southern Sudanese city of Juba earlier today. Upon arrival at the headquarters of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), he met with the Missions leadership, including the Joint UN-AU Special Representative, Rodolphe Adada, and the AMIS Force Commander, Major General Martin Agwai. They briefed the Secretary-General on the work of the African Union Mission and the current security situation.

He then met with the Wali of North Darfur.

The Secretary-General then went to a meeting at UNMIS headquarters in El Fasher with representatives of internally displaced persons, who were self-selected from all three camps in the El Fasher area. When he arrived, a group of uninvited people showed up and tried to force their way into the meeting. Security precautions had to be taken. After a brief delay the Secretary-General resumed his schedule in another part of UNMIS headquarters.

This included a meeting with three representatives of the original group and another with civil society and traditional leaders. The rest of his programme has continued until this time. The Secretary-General later met with the group which had tried to meet with him earlier.

The Secretary-General also went to the Al Salim camp for internally displaced persons in El Fasher, which is the smallest of the three IDP camps in the El Fasher region. He received a warm welcome from thousands of displaced persons, and he told them that he brings with him a message of hope, peace, security and water.

Later today, the Secretary-General plans to go to the site of the future headquarters of the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur before holding a press encounter and returning to Khartoum.

SECRETARY-GENERAL NOTES STEADY PROGRESS OF HYBRID OPERATION IN DARFUR

The Secretary-Generals latest report to the Security Council on the preparations for the African Union-UN Hybrid Operation in

Darfur, known as UNAMID, which is available today, notes the establishment of a multidisciplinary team in El Fasher, which is implementing deployment plans on the ground.

The Secretary-General says that the establishment of the hybrid operation is making steady progress, and he calls upon Member States to urgently provide the outstanding military contributions that are critical for UNAMID to fulfill its challenging mandate.

He also expresses his deep concern about the escalation of violence in Darfur in recent weeks, and about the reports of police action taken on 21 August in the Kalma camp for internally displaced persons.

SECRETARY-GENERAL INTENDS TO APPOINT TOP OFFICIALS IN IRAQ, SUDAN

The Secretary-General, in letters sent to the Security Council, has informed the Council of his intention to appoint Staffan de Mistura as his Special Representative for

Iraq.

De Mistura would replace Ashraf Qazi, who the Secretary-General intends to appoint as his Special Representative for

Sudan.

De Mistura, who is Swedish and Italian, currently serves as Director of the UN Staff College in Turin, Italy, and previously had been the Deputy Special Representative for Iraq.

The Secretary-General also today said he would appoint Ameerah Haq of Bangladesh as his Deputy Special Representative for Sudan. She would also serve as the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan. She has previously served as the Secretary-Generals Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan.

Asked whether Iraq had wanted someone besides de Mistura as the Special Representative, the Spokeswoman said that Iraq had been consulted.

She added, in response to further questions, that, for the appointments of Qazi and de Mistura, the respective Governments in Sudan and Iraq had been included in the consultations and had agreed on the final choices.

Asked about de Misturas qualifications, Montas stressed that de Mistura already had experience in dealing with the situation in Iraq, having served as the deputy there earlier.

The Spokeswoman added, in response to a question, that no decision had been made yet on who would replace Michael Williams as the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

CHAIR OF PEACEBUILDING FUND ADVISORY GROUP NAMED

The Secretary-General has designated Ms. Marjatta Rasi, currently Under-Secretary-of State for Development in Finland, to serve as the first Chair of the Peacebuilding Fund Advisory Group.

The Advisory Group oversees the performance and management of the multi-year, multi-donor Trust Fund established by the Secretary-General for post-conflict peacebuilding.

The Deputy Secretary-General will address the inaugural meeting of the Funds Advisory Group on Thursday morning.

EMERGENCY RELIEF COORDINATOR MEETS WITH D.R. CONGO PRESIDENT

In Kinshasa today, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes met with President Joseph Kabila.

Holmes and the President discussed their extreme concern about the humanitarian situation in eastern DRC, and they also discussed the need for increased protection of civilians and for more effective action to combat sexual and gender-based violence.

At a press conference, Holmes deplored the resumption of combat in Masisi District in North Kivu, where fighting has displaced more than 10,000 civilians since 27 August. He said that the United Nations calls upon all parties to the conflict in North Kivu to respect fundamental humanitarian principles, and added that all armed groups should refrain from targeting civilians.

After meeting the President, Holmes flew to Bukavu in South Kivu, where he is meeting with representatives of UN agencies and other humanitarian organisations.

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL OPENS DPI/NGO CONFERENCE

The Deputy Secretary-General, Asha-Rose Migiro, this morning delivered remarks to the opening session of the sixtieth annual DPI/ NGO conference.

The Deputy Secretary-General highlighted the importance of a strong partnership between the UN and the NGO community, especially in the global challenge posed by climate change.

She stressed that climate change is not a challenge for the UN alone and confronting it requires a truly global effort; an effort that draws together governments, the private sector and civil society in one sustained push for change.

The Deputy Secretary-General added that UN climate change initiatives will only succeed through sustained and broad-based engagement and urged all participants to redouble their efforts to raise public awareness on this subject.

UNRWA TO BOOST TEACHING OF MATHEMATICS, ARABIC

John Ging, the Director of the Gaza Field Office for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, known as UNRWA, today said that a recent survey of the Agencys schools has shown alarming failure rates in literacy and math skills. He warned, What we are seeing is the collapse of education standards due to the cumulative effects of the occupation, closures, poverty and violence.

He said that the survey found that students from grade four to grade nine had an average failure rate of nearly eighty per cent in mathematics, and an average failure rate of over forty per cent in Arabic.

Ging announced a plan by UNRWA to boost its educational efforts, which includes setting up a programme of remedial teaching in Arabic and mathematics, reducing class sizes to no more than thirty students per classroom and providing two additional classes per week in Arabic and Mathematics.

U.N. ENVOY ATTENDS MEETING ON COTE DIVOIRE AGREEMENT

The officer-in-charge of the UN Operation in Côte dIvoire, Abou Moussa, took part Tuesday in the second meeting of the Evaluation and Monitoring Committee of the Ouagadougou Political Accord, held in the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou.

The agenda of the meeting, attended by the Ivorian signatories of the Ouagadougou agreement, included among other things the security of the Ivorian Prime Minister, the military ranks of Forces Nouvelles officers and the deployment and security of district commissioners.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECURITY COUNCIL AGREES ON PROGRAMME OF WORK: The Security Council today held its first consultations for the month of September, under the French Presidency of the Council. Council members approved their programme of work for the month.

UP TO ETHICS OFFICE HEAD TO DEAL WITH COMPLAINT: The Spokeswoman declined to comment on a new complaint that was reportedly sent to the UN Ethics Office. She said it is up to the head of the Ethics Office, Robert Benson, to respond.

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

United Nations, S-378

New York, NY 10017

Tel. 212-963-7162

Fax. 212-963-7055

to the Spokesperson's Page


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