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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-09-19

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

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

decision.

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

matter.

BAN KI-MOON INFORMED OF KILLING OF

LEBANESE LAWMAKER

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

responding

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

in October.

BAN KI-MOON CONCERNED BY RECENT

DEVELOPMENTS IN NEPAL

The Secretary-General has been following the recent

political developments in Nepal

with concern.

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

Tribunal for

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

financing.

At 3 p.m., the Council has scheduled consultations on

Chad and the Central African Republic.

CAMBODIA: FORMER KHMER ROUGE LEADER

CHARGED

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

detention.

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

FAREWELL VISIT

Ashraf Qazi, the

Secretary-Generals Special Representative for

Iraq, yesterday

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

resolution 1770.

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.

AFGHAN

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.

BAN

KI-MOON HIGHLIGHTS UPCOMING HIGH-LEVEL MEETINGS

The Secretary-General said at yesterdays

press conference

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

http://www.un.org/climatechange/2007highlevel.

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

FLOOD SURVIVORS

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

so far.

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

necessary.

Meanwhile, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for

Refugees reports

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

CONGOLESE FAMILIES

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

week.

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

countries.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

BAN KI-MOONS

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.

SPOKESPERSON

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

met.

ETHIOPIA REPORT

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

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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