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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-09-13

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 MICHELE MONTAS

SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

U.N.

HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Thursday, September 13, 2007

BAN KI-MOON HAILS ADOPTION OF DECLARATION ON INDIGENOUS RIGHTS

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warmly welcomes the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a triumph for indigenous peoples around the world.

He notes that this marks a historic moment when UN Member States and indigenous peoples have reconciled with their painful histories and are resolved to move forward together on the path of human rights, justice and development for all.

The Secretary-General calls on Governments and civil society to urgently advance the work of integrating the rights of indigenous peoples into international human rights and development agendas, as well as policies and programmes at all levels, so as to ensure that the vision behind the Declaration becomes a reality.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour also hailed today's adoption of the Declaration, calling it "a triumph for justice and human dignity".

CHILD MORTALITY FIGURES DROP BELOW 10 MILLION FOR THE FIRST TIME

UNICEF has issued a new report showing that deaths of children under the age of five dropped below 10 million for the first time last year, representing a substantial drop from nearly 13 million in 1990.

UNICEF credits such basic health interventions as measles vaccinations, mosquito nets and increased breast-feeding.

UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman hailed the news as an historic moment that must be built on, but noted that 9.7 million deaths are still unacceptable, and that most of those deaths are preventable.

U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF HIGHLIGHTS MYANMAR, DR CONGO, AND IRAN IN ADDRESS TO HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour

addressed the Human Rights Council today in Geneva.

Regarding Myanmar, she said she had been following with growing concern the suppression of peaceful protests in that country. She urged Myanmars authorities to release detainees and political prisoners and ensure respect for fundamental rights.

On the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she regretted that none of the perpetrators of the serious crimes committed during the first half of this year had been arrested and brought to justice. She added that recent trials raised serious questions about the independence of the Congolese judiciary.

Arbour also expressed particular concern about Iran, regarding the application of the death penalty to juveniles and the need to protect the right to peaceful public expression.

HIGH-LEVEL OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

AGAINST CHILDREN FOUND IN SUDAN

The level of grave human rights violations against children in Sudan remains high, including their recruitment and use by armed forces and groups, as well as rape and sexual violence. That is the conclusion of a new report by the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Sudan.

In general, the Secretary-General says, the situation for children in Sudan is showing small signs of improvement. But cases of the killing, rape and abduction of children continue to be recorded.

The Secretary-General urges all parties to the conflict in Darfur to take concrete steps to implement their commitments to end grave violations of childrens rights.

He also urges the Government of National Unity and the Government of Southern Sudan to take concrete steps to undertake an independent verification exercise, with the support of the UN Mission in Sudan and UNICEF, to assess and identify the children presently associated with their forces and allies.

U.N. ENVIRONMENT AGENCY HEAD URGES PHASE-OUT OF HCFCS

The head of the UN Environment Programme, Achim Steiner, is

urging environment ministers to agree to speed up the reduction and phase-out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons, or HCFCs, when they meet next week in Montreal to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, the worlds ozone treaty.

HCFCs are the chemicals that replaced the more damaging CFCs a decade ago. Theyre now used widely in refrigeration systems, air conditioning units and foams. HCFCs are to be phased out by 2040, but scientists are urging that this date be moved up by 10 years. Benefits of such reduction would include a reduction in skin cancer, cataracts and reduced damage to ecosystems, UNEP says.

SECRETARY-GENERAL DONATES AWARD TO UN-HABITAT

The Secretary-General is receiving an award today from the Pony Chung Scholarship Foundation, which was established by the Hyundai Corporation. The Pony Chung Innovation Award recognizes individuals who bring about innovative and effective changes in the realm of politics, economics, society and culture.

The award includes a monetary prize of $100,000, all of which the Secretary-General has had transferred to UN-HABITAT. The money will be used for skills training for poor youth in Nairobis Kibera slum, which the Secretary-General visited on his first trip after taking office.

The Secretary-General was selected for the award in December 2006 for his accomplishments while he served in the Government of the Republic of Korea.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

NO MAJOR INTERNATIONAL RELIEF OPERATION NEEDED IN INDONESIA AT THIS TIME: Asked about the UN humanitarian assessment of the situation in Indonesia following the tsunami, the Spokeswoman noted that a UN assessment team was in the region, and it was felt that a major international relief operation is not required at present. She said that Indonesia informed the United Nations that its response has been sufficient, and that the needed aid, including tents, is being distributed.

SECRETARY-GENERAL ENCOURAGES UNIFORM ETHICAL STANDARD ACROSS U.N. SYSTEM: Asked about possible means of allowing the jurisdiction of the UN Ethics Office to apply to UN agencies, funds and programmes, the Spokeswoman noted that either a decision by the General Assembly or one taken by the different executive boards of the various UN entities could approve such a change. She said that the Secretary-General would encourage any solution to bring closure to the matter and establish a uniform ethical standard.

MEMBERS OF MIDDLE EAST QUARTET TO MEET AT UNHQ ON 23 SEPTEMBER: Asked about an upcoming US conference on the Middle East, the Spokeswoman noted that the members of the Middle East Quartet, and several concerned Arab states, would meet at UN Headquarters on 23 September.

  • *The guest at the noon briefing today was Mr. Nicolas Haysom, Director for Political Affairs, Executive Office of the Secretary-General, who briefed on the upcoming high-level meetings to take place at United Nations Headquarters.

    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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