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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-09-11
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OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MICHELE MONTAS
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
U.N. HUMANITARIAN CHIEF BRIEFS SECURITY COUNCIL ON DR CONGO
The Security Council today heard in closed consultations from Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes about the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Holmes visited that country, including the Kivus, last week and
drew attention to the horrific consequences of the violence there.
The Security Council today also held consultations on the work of its Sanctions Committee for Somalia, with a briefing by the chair of that Committee, Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo of South Africa.
Yesterday, the Council adopted a Presidential Statement on Timor-Leste, in which the Council lauded the Timorese people for demonstrating their strong commitment to peace and democracy by successfully holding elections and forming a new Government.
"EXTREMELY GRAVE REPORTS" RECEIVED OF FIGHTING BETWEEN SUDANESE GOVERNMENT FORCES AND REBEL FACTIONS
According to the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), the AU Mission in the Sudan (AMIS) has received extremely grave reports about fighting between Government of Sudan armed forces and non-signatory rebel factions in a South Darfur town yesterday afternoon.
AMIS, in a statement, says while the exact details of what happened still have to be properly investigated, the evidence that fighting indeed took place, involving use of heavy weapons including helicopter gunships, is clear.
AMIS is mandated to monitor the Ceasefire.
Meanwhile, the UN mission continues to report on insecurity in Darfur. In South Darfur, four armed men shot and wounded a displaced person in Kalma camp yesterday, and a boy from the Fur tribe was reportedly beaten by several armed men in the same camp for displaced persons.
In West Darfur, 20 women from an IDP camp were detained on Sunday while fetching fire wood from the nearby area and were later released.
Asked about Secretary-General Ban Ki-moons response to the reported fighting, the Spokeswoman noted his recent comments, made during and after his trip to Sudan.
In preparation for the upcoming peace talks, she said, the Secretary-General has urged all parties to declare their serious commitment to achieve a political solution to the Darfur crisis; to create a security environment in Darfur conducive to negotiations; to participate in and commit to the outcome of the negotiation effort; and to cease all hostilities immediately.
He has repeatedly said there must be an end to violence and insecurity, a strengthened ceasefire supported by the incoming UNAMID hybrid operation, as well as an improvement in the humanitarian situation and better prospects for development and recovery for the people of Darfur, Montas added.
She declined to speculate at this point on what effect the fighting might have for the peace talks planned for next month in Libya.
BAN KI-MOON URGES RESTRAINT DURING SIERRA LEONE BALLOT COUNTING
Secretary-General is pleased to note that the second round of the presidential election in Sierra Leone took place on 8 September in a generally orderly and peaceful atmosphere, in spite of the tensions and violence that marred the campaign period.
The Secretary-General urged the political parties and people of Sierra Leone to exercise restraint as counting of the ballots proceeds and to resolve all arising disputes through the existing legal channels.
CAMPS FOR INTERNALLY DISPLACED IN UGANDA BEGIN CLOSING DOWN
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says it has closed down the first two out of 40 camps for internally displaced people in the northern Lango region. Most of the IDPs there have returned home, as the security situation has improved and peace talks continue between the Ugandan government and the Lords Resistance Army. All 40 camps are expected to be closed by the middle of next year, and UNHCR says it plans to transform many of them into sustainable communities.
Elsewhere in Uganda, UNHCR and the World Food Programme are providing shelter and other assistance to some 1,500 Congolese refugees at the Nyakabanda reception centre. They had fled fighting last week in North Kivu, where UNHCR is also providing assistance to an estimated 35,000 stranded IDPs.
And, also in Uganda, UN agencies are distributing food, vaccines and other assistance to those affected by heavy rainfall in the eastern part of the country. The World Food Programme is providing a one-month food ration, while UNICEF is delivering basic household items and has begun cholera prevention activities.
EMERGENCY APPEAL IS LAUNCHED FOLLOWING VIOLENCE
IN LEBANON REFUGEE CAMP
In Beirut yesterday, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) issued an
appeal for almost $55 million for one year, to meet the emergency needs of the affected population following the violence in Lebanons Nahr el-Bared refugee camp.
Karen AbuZayd, UNRWAs Commissioner-General, said that the appeal includes provisions for temporary shelter and support to host families; infrastructure, including water and sanitation; temporary employment; and basic services including humanitarian assistance, health care and education for the coming year.
HEAD OF U.N. AFGHANISTAN MISSION APPEALS
FOR ONE-DAY CESSATION OF VIOLENCE
Tom Koenigs, the head of the UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), today
appealed for all Afghans to cease violence throughout the country on 21 September, in order to allow vital humanitarian initiatives to be carried out.
He noted that 21 September is marked throughout the world as a day of peace, but this year in Afghanistan, a special effort has been underway to promote support for an actual day of non-violence. In a press conference in Kabul today, Koenigs urged all Afghans, Help us make peace in Afghanistan real.
U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY URGES SYRIA TO ISSUE
HUMANITARIAN VISAS TO IRAQIS
The UN Refugee Agency reports that the crossing point at the border between Syria and Iraq was found virtually empty, as yesterday was the first day of new visa restrictions imposed by the Syrian government on all Iraqis entering the country.
UNHCR is actively advocating to the Syrian government for a humanitarian visa for people who are fleeing violence and persecution in Iraq.
U.N. HEALTH AGENCY RESPONDS TO CHOLERA OUTBREAK IN IRAQ
The World Health Organization (WHO) has sent two trucks carrying tons of medical supplies to northern Iraq, following a cholera outbreak there.
The supplies include antibiotics, rehydration salts and water chlorination kits.
WHO says the outbreak might partly be a result of cracked water pipes in the area, which allowed sewage to taint the water supply.
UNICEF GOODWILL AMBASSADOR LAUNCHES
GIRLS EDUCATION CAMPAIGN IN BENIN
Recording artist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo has been in her home country of Benin since yesterday, on a mission for UNICEF.
Kidjo is there to attend the launch of the 2007 girls education campaign with Government officials and other development partners. She will also visit schools and meet with womens groups and child victims of trafficking.
UNICEF says that Kidjos visit is expected to help raise decision-makers awareness of childrens rights, especially the rights to education and protection, and to highlight the needs of exploited and trafficked children.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO TRANSMIT LETTER FROM SYRIA TO SECURITY COUNCIL: Asked about a letter sent by the Syrian Government to the Secretary-General, the Spokeswoman said that it has been received, and that, as requested, it will be transmitted to the members of the Security Council. She noted that there was no further request from Syria in the letter, aside from its transmission to the Council and the General Assembly. She added, in response to a further question, that no letter had been received from Israel.
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New York, NY 10017
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