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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-09-19
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MICHELE MONTAS
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
PEOPLE OF GAZA
SHOULDNT BE PUNISHED FOR MILITANTS ACTIONS
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
said that he is very
concerned at the decision taken today by the Israeli government to declare the
Gaza Strip an enemy entity and its announced intent to interrupt essential
services, such as electricity and fuel, to the civilian population. Such a
step would be contrary to Israels obligations towards the civilian population
under international humanitarian and human rights law.
The United Nations has broad humanitarian
responsibilities and is mandated to provide assistance to and meet the
humanitarian needs of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
There are 1.4 million people in Gaza, including the old, the young and the
sick, who are already suffering from the impact of prolonged closure. They
should not be punished for the unacceptable actions of militants and
extremists. The Secretary-General called for Israel to reconsider this
The continued indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza into
Israel is unacceptable and the Secretary-General deplores it. He calls for it
to stop immediately. He understands Israels security concerns over this
BAN KI-MOON INFORMED OF KILLING OF
In response to questions about
the killing of a member of the Lebanese Parliament today, the
Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General had been informed about that grave
incident and was consulting with his special envoys and senior advisers on the
situation. A statement was expected shortly.
The Spokeswoman strongly
objected to a linkage made by a reporter of todays killings and comments made
on Tuesday by the Secretary-General concerning his Special Envoy dealing with
the implementation of
Resolution 1559, Terje Roed-Larsen.
The Secretary-General, Montas
said, had been
to a specific question concerning comments in the Lebanese media about what
Roed-Larsen reportedly said. The Secretary-Generals remarks should not in
any way be interpreted as an expression of no-confidence in Roed-Larsen. The
Secretary-General, she affirmed, stands by resolution 1559.
Montas added that Roed-Larsen
said that he had not expressed an opinion but had cited articles of the
Lebanese constitution. She noted, in response to further questions, that the
Secretary General 's next report on the implementation of 1559 would come out
BAN KI-MOON CONCERNED BY RECENT
DEVELOPMENTS IN NEPAL
The Secretary-General has been following the recent
political developments in Nepal
Today, on the Secretary-Generals behalf, Lynn Pascoe,
the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, phoned both Prime Minister
Koirala and Maoist Chairman Prachanda to strongly urge political compromise in
the broader interest of the peace process and to emphasize in particular the
importance of pressing forward with a credible Constituent Assembly election
as scheduled in November.
Both leaders reiterated their commitment to the peace
process, and also noted that 8-Party discussions were continuing positively
with the goal of overcoming the current difficulties in the near future.
SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFED ON IRAN
SANCTIONS & LEBANON TRIBUNAL
The Security Council opened its proceedings this morning
with an open
briefing by Ambassador Johan Verbeke of Belgium, the chair of the
Sanctions Committee set up under
resolution 1737, concerning the sanctions placed on Iran.
The Council then moved into closed consultations to hear
from UN Legal Counsel Nicolas Michel about the preparations for the Special
Lebanon. Michel briefed Council members on the Secretary-Generals recent
report on that topic.
Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert of France, the Council
President, read out a press statement afterward, encouraging the
Secretary-General to continue his efforts to establish the Special Tribunal
and welcoming his intention to invite Member States to contribute to its
At 3 p.m., the Council has scheduled consultations on
Chad and the Central African Republic.
CAMBODIA: FORMER KHMER ROUGE LEADER
FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
The Co-Investigating Judges of
the Extraordinary Chambers in
the Courts of Cambodia today charged Nuon Chea, a former Khmer Rouge leader,
for crimes against humanity and war crimes, and have placed him in provisional
He was brought before the
judges today following the execution of an arrest warrant.
The Order of Provisional
Detention will be posted on the web site of the court at a later date.
IRAQ: OUTGOING U.N. ENVOY WRAPS UP
Ashraf Qazi, the
Secretary-Generals Special Representative for
concluded a three-day farewell visit to the Kurdistan Region, in which he
explored the possibilities for an expanded UN role in Iraq consistent with
Qazi reiterated UN commitments
to Iraq and assured them that his successor, Staffan de Mistura, will carry
forward the implementation of resolution 1770 in the same spirit of
cooperation and consultation.
He also visited the Kalawa camp
for internally displaced persons in Sulaymaniyah, and listened to the
grievances of the camp residents.
AREA TO BE DECLARED PEACE DISTRICT
On Friday, the UN Assistance
Mission in Afghanistan and the UN
Development Programme (UNDP) will declare the Saighan district of
Afghanistans Bamyan province a Peace District. This is will be the climax of
a disarmament operation begun today, during which as many as 70 different
sorts of weapons and ammunitions will be surrendered by some 13 commanders of
local armed groups.
The UN Mission and the UNDP are
sponsoring this event under the Afghanistan New Beginnings Programme.
KI-MOON HIGHLIGHTS UPCOMING HIGH-LEVEL MEETINGS
The Secretary-General said at yesterdays
that, in addition to the General Debate of the 62nd Session of the General
Assembly, there will be a number of very important side events or
international conferences in the days ahead. He cited high-level meetings on
climate change, Darfur, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East peace process.
The meeting on Darfur happens first, on Friday from 3 to
6 p.m. The Secretary-General is going to chair that meeting with African
Union Commission Chairperson Alpha Oumar Konaré.
Participation is expected at the Foreign Minister level.
Twenty-six countries and two organizations have been invited to attend.
Asked about any problems in
providing troops for the Darfur hybrid operation, the Spokeswoman said that
the process of obtaining troops was continuing, with a meeting of troop
contributing countries taking place today. The objective is to have a hybrid
force on the ground as soon as possible.
Regarding the other meetings, information on the Secretary-General's High
Level Event on Climate Change, is available at
Asked about efforts to
compensate for the environmental costs incurred by the 24 September meeting on
climate change, the Spokeswoman said that the United Nations is considering
ways of offsetting the carbon footprint of that event. She noted that
the event would bring together leaders who were already traveling to New York
to attend the 62nd General Assembly.
U.N. AGENCIES WORKING TO HELP AFRICAN
According to the UNs humanitarian agencies, the current
floods across Africa are
reported to be
the worst in decades in some places. And they extend in an arc from Mauritania
in the West to Kenya in the East. Some 1.5 million people have been affected
Teams from the World Food Programme (WFP) have fanned out
across the region to distribute food to flood survivors in several countries.
WFP is drawing on emergency stocks and bringing in helicopters and boats where
Meanwhile, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for
that the floods have seriously hampered its efforts to help tens of thousands
of Sudanese refugees and displaced Chadians in eastern Chad.
RELIEF WORKERS GAIN ACCESS TO DISPLACED
On the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, the
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
says relief workers have finally been able to deliver assistance to more
than 2,000 displaced families in the Masisi district. They had been cut off
for three weeks by fighting between rebel and governmental forces.
Meanwhile food and basic supplies have been distributed
to 65,000 internally displaced persons in the Mugunga area, and health and
nutritional services continue to be provided daily.
OCHA has also established a temporary base in Minova,
South Kivu, to help coordinate assistance to newly arriving IDPs there.
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL TO CHAIR AFRICA
DEVELOPMENT GOALS MEETING
Starting at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow, Deputy Secretary-General
Asha-Rose Migiro will chair a meeting of the UN
Millennium Development Goals
Africa Steering Group, in a follow-up to the Groups inaugural meeting of last
Tomorrows gathering will launch the operational work
agenda of the Steering Group and will see the active participation of senior
officials from the UN system, the Bretton Woods institutions, African and
other multilateral organizations and the 30-member Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD) of industrialized, market-economy
COMMENTS ON U.N. MEMBERSHIP STILL STAND:
Asked about the Secretary-Generals remarks about Taiwan on Tuesday, the
Spokeswoman said that those remarks stand. She noted that any decisions on
applications are up to the General Assembly, and declined to speculate on
reports that Taiwan might take its case to the International Court of Justice.
CALLS TORINO MEETING FRUITFUL: Asked about
the recent retreat of Under-Secretaries-General and Assistant
Secretaries-General in Torino, Italy, the Spokeswoman said it was an extremely
fruitful meeting, and was the first time that many of those senior officials had
EXPECTED SHORTLY: Asked about a report
looking into the humanitarian situation in Ethiopias Ogaden region, the
Spokeswoman said that the report was expected to be issued shortly.
*** The guests at the noon briefing today
were Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and
Crime; and Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Kline. They briefed on human
trafficking and the world premiere of the film "Trade" starring Mr. Kline.
Office of the Spokesperson for the
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
to the Spokesperson's Page
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