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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-09-14
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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: email@example.comARCHIVES
OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MICHELE MONTAS
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Friday, September 14, 2007
BAN KI-MOON CONVENES UNPRECEDENTED GATHERING
TO HELP AFRICA MEET MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convened the inaugural meeting of the Millennium Development Goals Africa Steering Group, which also included top officials from the African Union, European Union, African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
The Secretary-General, in comments to the press following the meeting, said that this was an unprecedented gathering of the UN family and other multilateral and intergovernmental organizations, to demonstrate the shared commitment to reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
He said the Steering Group members resolved to work together to review and strengthen international mechanisms to support African countries in health, education, agriculture, infrastructure and statistical systems. Also, the Group would work to make aid more predictable and collaborate more closely so Africa can reach the Millennium Development Goals.
The Secretary-General noted that the Deputy Secretary-General will chair on 20 September a working-group meeting to continue the discussion on the matter.
U.N. AIRCRAFT FLIES DARFUR REBEL LEADER OUT OF SUDAN
The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) announced that one of its aircraft had flown Suleiman Jamous to Nairobi today in keeping with an agreement reached between the Secretary-General and the Sudanese President in Khartoum last week.
The Secretary-General had said at the time of his announcement that the agreement to allow Mr. Jamous to leave the country would create a favourable atmosphere for peace and conditions conducive to peace negotiations for Darfur.
Those negotiations are slated to start in Libya on 27 October under the lead of the African Union and UN Special Envoys.
According to the UN Mission, Mr. Jamous, a leading member of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), one of Darfurs rebel groups, left the UN hospital at Kadugli in Sudan for Nairobi, Kenya.
SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS TERMS OF TRIBUNAL PROSECUTORS
The Security Council extended the terms of the current prosecutors for the two international tribunals in back-to-back formal meetings today.
By a unanimous vote, the Council extended Hassan Jallows term as prosecutor for the Rwanda tribunal by four years.
Carla Del Ponte, the prosecutor of the tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, was extended for a final period ending this 31 December. Her extension was approved with 14 votes in favour and Russia abstaining.
VIOLENCE FORCES SOME 12,000 TO FLEE HOMES IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REP.
Some 12,000 people have now
fled from their homes in the northern Central African Republic, according to the UNs Humanitarian Coordinator for that country, Toby Lanzer.
In light of this violence-induced displacement, the UNs Emergency Relief Coordinator, John Holmes, has called on all parties to create conditions that would enable the displaced to return home.
Holmes is also considering allocating money from the Central Emergency Response Fund to the Central African Republic, since the $83 million appeal for that country is only 50% funded so far.
SECURITY CONDITIONS HAMPER
HUMANITARIAN WORK IN AFGHANISTAN
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that challenging security conditions remain the major obstacle to fully addressing humanitarian needs in the remote parts of the South, Southeast, and East regions of Afghanistan.
The UN Mission in Afghanistan is facing security challenges in having accessing to the areas of operation to verify casualties or implement humanitarian action, with almost all parts of the 53 districts in the five provinces of the South effectively inaccessible. Both sides of the conflict contribute to this problem, OCHA says.
FLOOD VICTIMS ASSISTED IN ETHIOPIA, GHANA & BANGLADESH
In Ethiopia, the World Food Programme (WFP) reports that it started distributing food today to more than 60,000 flood survivors. WFP says it is concerned by some overcrowding in temporary shelters there and threats of an outbreak of water-borne diseases.
Meanwhile, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says it has deployed a six-member disaster assessment and coordination team to northeastern Ghana, to help with flood relief efforts there.
In other flood-related news, UNICEF says it is providing life-saving drugs, high protein biscuits and shelter equipment, among other items, to Bangladesh, which is bracing itself for potentially devastating new floods.
HUMANITARIAN BODIES AGREE ON MENTAL HEALTH GUIDELINES
International humanitarian agencies, including six UN bodies, have
agreed on a new set of guidelines to address the mental health and psychosocial needs of conflict and disaster survivors.
According to the new guidelines, protecting and promoting mental health and psychosocial well-being will now be the responsibility of all humanitarian agencies and workers. Previously, many viewed mental health as the sole responsibility of psychiatrists and psychologists.
The World Health Organization says that if the psychological and social suffering of the survivors of conflicts and natural disasters is not adequately addressed, it can lead to long-term mental health and psychosocial problems. Such problems can then threaten peace, people's human rights and development.
D. R. CONGO: REFUGEES RETURN TO NORTH KIVU
In the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says some 35,000 Congolese refugees have returned home from Uganda, after fleeing fighting in North Kivu last week.
Insecurity continues to hamper aid distribution in the area, however.
The World Food Programme warns that, although it has been able to get food to tens of thousands of displaced people in recent days, it is still having trouble reaching those in outlying areas.
Meanwhile, UNICEF is extremely concerned by the new recruitment of child soldiers in the latest round of fighting.
Regarding the Ebola outbreak in central DRC, the World Health Organization (WHO) says it is working to establish a mobile field lab, so that it can rapidly diagnose patients. It is also working to improve logistics in the area, in order to better help manage and contain the outbreak.
U.N. RESOLVED TO DO WHATEVER IT CAN TO HELP IRAQI PEOPLE
Asked whether the United Nations will step up its involvement in Iraq, the Spokeswoman affirmed that the United Nations is involved in discussions to determine how to best do that.
She stressed that that is one of the objectives of the 22 September ministerial meeting to be co-chaired by the Secretary-General and Prime Minister Maliki. The meeting hopes to provide clarity on the UN role in Iraq and the way ahead for the country.
Montas said that the United Nations is resolved to do whatever it can to assist the Iraqi people at this time. There are more than 50 international staff in Iraq at present, from a ceiling of 65 international staff, and that number may rise in the coming weeks, depending on the assessment of the security situation on the ground.
U.N. LAUNCHES APPEAL FOR HURRICANE-HIT NICARAGUA: The United Nations launched a flash appeal for Nicaragua this afternoon, to urgently help hurricane survivors. The appeal calls for nearly $40 million. To kick-start the appeal, the United Nations will supply funding from its Central Emergency Response Fund.
BAN KI-MOON SPEAKS TO LEBANESE LEADERS BY PHONE: In response to questions, the Spokeswoman confirmed that the Secretary-General spoke by phone with Lebanese Speaker of the Assembly Nabih Berri at about noon on Thursday, and spoke to Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora about an hour later. Asked about comments attributed to Special Envoy Terje Roed-Larsen, she said that the United Nations would check to see whether Roed-Larsen had been quoted accurately before responding.
SYRIA LETTER IS WITH SECURITY COUNCIL: Asked about a letter sent by Syrias UN Ambassador on reported Israeli overflights, the Spokeswoman noted that the letter was now in the hands of the Security Council.
U.N. ENVOY EXPECTED TO TRAVEL TO MYANMAR IN COMING WEEKS: Asked when Special Adviser Ibrahim Gambari would next visit Myanmar, the Spokeswoman said that there is no date yet for a visit, but Gambari expects to travel to the country in the coming weeks.
AFGHANISTAN TO BE DISCUSSED AT SEPTEMBER MEETING: Asked about comments about the Taliban made by Special Representative for Afghanistan Tom Koenigs, the Spokeswoman said that the issues concerning Afghanistan would be discussed fully at a ministerial-level meeting, on 23 September, that would be chaired by the Secretary-General and President Karzai.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
15 September 21 September 2007
[This document is for planning purposes only and is subject to change]
Saturday, September 15
Clean Up the World Weekend takes place today and tomorrow. Volunteer projects are planned around the world to clean up, fix up and conserve the local environment.
Sunday, September 16
Today is the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.
Monday, September 17
At 10 a.m. in the General Assembly Hall, the Assembly will hold the final meeting of its 61st Session.
At 9:45 a.m. in the Visitors Lobby, the Secretary-General will lay a wreath, as part of a ceremony commemorating the 46th anniversary of the death of Dag Hammarskjöld, Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1953 to 1961, and of those who accompanied him on his last mission of peace.
From 10 a.m. to noon in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a UN University panel discussion on Measuring human well-being: Key findings and policy lessons.
At 10:45 a.m. in Conference Room 3, Mr. Sha Zukang, Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, will hold an informal dialogue with the Group of 77 on strengthening the role of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs in development.
At 3 p.m. in Room 226, there will be a press conference by Robi Damelin and Khaled Abu Awwad of the Parents' Circle, on an exhibit in the UN Visitors Lobby entitled "Offering Reconciliation". The exhibit features the works of 135 Israeli and Palestinian artists.
From 4 to 5 p.m. in Conference Room 5, the Secretary-General, UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the World Bank will launch the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative.
From today through 5 October in Geneva, the Committee on the Rights of the Child holds its 46th session.
From today through Friday in Montreal, the signatory parties to the Montreal Protocol will meet to chart the future of the Protocol and to ensure that the world remains on track to phase out the remaining uses of ozone depleting substances.
Through 21 September, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of Human Rights Defenders, Hina Jilani, will visit the Republic of Serbia, including Kosovo. She will also visit the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on 24 and 25 September.
Tuesday, September 18
Today is the first day of the 62nd Session of the General Assembly, which opens at 3 p.m. in the General Assembly Hall.
At 10:30 a.m. in Room 226, the Secretary-General will hold a press conference.
At 1 p.m. in Room 226, the incoming President of the General Assembly, H.E. Srgjan Kerim, will hold a press conference.
Today and tomorrow, at 1:15 p.m. in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a special screening of the film Pole to Pole from the television series Planet Earth.
From today through Wednesday, the Bureau of the International Coordinating Council for UNESCOs Man and Biosphere Programme will meet to consider 33 new sites for inclusion into the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
Wednesday, September 19
This morning, the Security Council is scheduled to hear a briefing on its 1737 Sanctions Committee, and hold consultations on the Lebanon Tribunal.
The General Assemblys General Committee meets all day in Conference Room 4.
At 11.15 a.m. in Room 226, there will be a press conference by Craig Barrett, Chairman of the UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development and CEO of Intel Corporation; Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union; Walter Fust, Director-General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation; and Mohsen Khalil, Director of Global ICT at the World Bank Group, on the "Connect Africa Initiative", a new effort to bring ICT connectivity to the continent.
The guests at the noon briefing will be Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); and Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Kline, who will brief on human trafficking and the world premiere of the film "Trade" starring Mr. Kline. The film premieres tonight at 7 p.m. in the Trusteeship Council Chamber.
At 3 p.m. in Conference Room 7, there will be a briefing by the United Nations Environment Programme on its recent report entitled SudanPost-conflict environmental assessment.
At 3 p.m. in Room 226, there will be press briefing by the UN Safety and Security Service and the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit on the upcoming high-level events and General Assembly 62nd Session.
From today through 28 September, the UN Independent Expert on minority issues, Gay McDougall, will visit France.
Thursday, September 20
This morning, the Security Council is scheduled to hear a briefing and hold consultations on the Middle East.
At 10 a.m. the Working Group of the MDG Africa Steering Group will meet on the 38th floor. Media arrangements are still to be confirmed.
At 11 a.m. in Room 226, there will press conference by the Women's Environment and Development Organization on the impact of climate change on women.
Following the noon briefing, there will be a background briefing on the upcoming Focus 2007 Treaty Event, which takes place at UN headquarters from 25-27 September and 1-2 October.
In Geneva, UNICEF launches its report on "Education for Some, More Than Others".
Friday, September 21
Today is the International Day of Peace. At 9:30 a.m., in a ceremony at the Japanese Garden in front of the UN Conference Building, the Secretary-General will ring the Peace Bell, deliver a message of peace, and call for the observation of one minute of silence. Hell be joined by Messengers of Peace Michael Douglas, Jane Goodall and Elie Wiesel, and also announce the appointment of two new Messengers of Peace.
Following the Peace Bell Ceremony, at 11 a.m. in Room 226, there will be a press conference by the Messengers of Peace.
The guest at the noon briefing will be Tom Koenigs, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, who will brief on the work of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.
From 3 to 6 p.m. in the Economic and Social Council Chamber, there will be a meeting of the Enlarged Contact Group on Darfur.
Saturday, September 22
From 4 to 6 p.m., in Conference Room 6, there will be a High-Level Meeting on Iraq. Following the meeting, in Conference Room 4, there will be a joint press conference by the Secretary-General and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki.
Sunday, September 23
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the ECOSOC Chamber, there will be a High-Level Meeting on Afghanistan. Following the meeting, at the Security Council stakeout, the Secretary-General and Afghan President Hamid Karzai will hold a joint press encounter.
From 4 to 6 p.m., in the Secretary-Generals Conference Room, there will be meeting of the Middle East Quartet. Following the meeting, in Conference Room 4, there will be a joint press conference by the Quartet Principals and Quartet Representative, Tony Blair.
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