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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-09-21

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

Friday, September 21, 2007

BAN KI-MOON

CO-CHAIRS HIGH-LEVEL DARFUR MEETING TODAY

Today at 3:00 p.m., Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and

African Union Commission Chairperson Alpha Oumar Konaré are scheduled to

co-chair the Second High-level Consultation on

Darfur.

The meeting is expected to gather representatives from 26

countries, at the Foreign Minister level, along with the European Union and

the League of Arab States.

The objective of the meeting is to mobilize international

support behind: action on the political process in the lead-up to the

negotiations slated to start on 27 October in Libya; the establishment of the

African Union-United Nations hybrid peacekeeping force; and the humanitarian

operations on the ground in Darfur as well as development and recovery

perspectives.

Following the meeting, at approximately 6:00 p.m., the

Secretary-General and Konaré are expected to speak to the press.

BAN KI-MOON

CONCERNED BY GEORGIAN-ABKHAZ CLASH

The Secretary-General is

concerned by

reports of an incident on Thursday between Georgian Ministry of the Interior

units and Abkhaz de facto personnel, which reportedly left two Abkhaz dead,

several wounded and a number taken prisoner.

The United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG)

is in the process of conducting an investigation. The Secretary-General calls

on all parties to exercise maximum restraint and to prevent any further

escalation of the situation.

U.N. TO HOST

MEETINGS ON IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN & MIDDLE EAST

There are a number of major meetings this weekend. On

Saturday, the Secretary-General and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will

co-chair a high-level meeting on

Iraq, which will take place from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in Conference Room 6.

Participants will include the five permanent members of the Security Council;

the other members of the G-8; countries in the region; and regional

organizations.

The meeting is intended to deliver a clear message on the

need for inclusive national dialogue in Iraq and the UN role in advancing this

process, and to obtain explicit recognition on the need for more space for the

United Nations in providing assistance to Iraq and its neighbours in a

regional dialogue.

From 6:15 to 6:45 that evening, the Secretary-General and

Prime Minister Maliki will hold a press conference in Conference Room 4.

Then, the following day at 10:00 a.m., the

Secretary-General and Afghan President Hamid Karzai will co-chair a high-level

meeting on

Afghanistan that will bring together the countries and organizations

represented on the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board of the Afghanistan

Compact. Once the meeting concludes, the participants are expected to issue a

communiqué concerning their commitment to Afghanistan and its transition

process.

The Secretary-General will then chair a high-level

Middle East Quartet meeting at Headquarters, on Sunday afternoon, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Attending the meeting will be: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov; EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana; EU Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner; Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado, on behalf of the EU presidency; and Quartet Representative Tony Blair.

The objectives of the meeting are to hear Blair report on his last two visits to the Middle East and to address general political issues.

Following the Quartet meeting, at approximately 6:15 p.m., there will be a joint press conference by the Quartet Principals in Conference Room 4.

And then at 7:30 p.m., there will be a dinner at Headquarters for the Quartet Principals; members of the League of Arab States follow-up committee for the Arab Peace Initiative; and Norways Foreign Minister, who will chair the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee on the Middle East the following day.

Due to the number of high-level events, the Office of the Spokesperson will be fully staffed this weekend on both Saturday and Sunday. The Office will stay open as long as there are press events taking place at headquarters.

On Monday morning, the Secretary-General will co-chair a meeting in Conference Room 3 of the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee, which is chaired by Norway and serves as the main coordination mechanism for development assistance to the Palestinian people. Among other things, the meeting will help prepare for an international pledging conference in December.

Following the meeting, at a time still to be determined, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will hold a press conference.

CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE TO GATHER IN NEW YORK ON MONDAY

On Monday, the Secretary-General is convening a high-level, informal meeting on climate change. Representatives from more than 150 countries, including 80 Heads of State and Government, are slated to attend. The meeting begins at 9:00 a.m. in the General Assembly Hall, followed by thematic plenaries taking place in four separate locations all day.

The goal of this meeting is to bring leaders together so that they can express their views and leave with a renewed sense of commitment for tackling climate change, specifically at the negotiations taking place in Bali, Indonesia, in December.

In related news, environment ministers from around the world are expected to wrap up their weeklong discussions in Montreal today. Theyve been examining ways to extend the Montreal Protocol, which deals with gases that affect the ozone layer, and possibly move up the deadlines for some of its provisions.

BAN KI-MOON CALLS FOR GLOBAL CEASEFIRE ON PEACE DAY

Today is the International Day of Peace and many events took place around the world to celebrate its theme.

At UN Headquarters, a Peace Bell Ceremony took place, attended by the Secretary-General and a number of his Messengers of Peace. In his message celebrating the Day, the Secretary-General called for a global ceasefire for this day urging a 24-hour respite from the fear and insecurity that plague so many regions around the world.

The Secretary-General urged all countries and all combatants to honor this cessation of hostilities.

He reiterated that peace is one of humanitys most precious needs and the UNs highest calling. He called today an occasion to take stock of global efforts to promote peace and well-being for all mankind.

The Secretary-General also met with students from around the world, where he commended the future leaders of the world for their energy and idealism as well as their early demonstration of promoting peace and protecting the environment.

Asked why some previous Messengers of Peace were no longer listed as Messengers, the Spokeswoman recalled that Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Kiyo Akasaka had said that was a decision by the Secretary-General.

SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS LATEST LEBANON ASSASSINATION

Following consultations, the Security Council on Thursday afternoon adopted a Presidential Statement that strongly condemned the killing in Lebanon on Wednesday of at least seven persons, including Member of Parliament Antoine Ghanem.

On the eve of the crucial period of the presidential election, the Security Council stresses that any attempt to destabilize Lebanon, including through political assassination or other terrorist acts, should not impede or subvert the constitutional process in Lebanon.

It reiterated its call for the holding of a free and fair presidential election in conformity with Lebanese constitutional norms and schedules and without any foreign interference, fully respecting the sovereignty of Lebanon.

MORE IRAQI ASYLUM APPLICATIONS IN INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES

The Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees says asylum applications by Iraqis in industrialized countries rose 45 percent in the first half of 2007 compared to the last half of 2006, and nearly doubled from the same period one year earlier. That is according to provisional statistics based on information provided by governments. Nearly 20,000 such claims were lodged in the first six months of this year in the 36 industrialized countries that provided data, with nearly half of those claims in Sweden.

More than two million Iraqis are currently outside their country, primarily in neighbouring countries such as Syria and Jordan, which are not included in the industrialized country statistics.

HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF WELCOMES GABONS DECISION TO ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY

In Geneva today, the Human Rights Council selected by a drawing of lots the order in which countries will undergo the Universal Periodic Review over the next four years.

Under this mechanism, 48 countries will have their human rights records reviewed each year during three separate sessions. So over the course of the next four years, all 192 Member States will be evaluated by the Human Rights Council.

Meanwhile, in other human rights-related news, High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour today welcomed Gabons decision to abolish the death penalty and urged that the ban be enshrined in law rapidly.

HUMANITARIAN APPEAL LAUNCHED FOR FLOOD-HIT UGANDA

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) today launched an emergency

appeal for $41 million to provide assistance to those affected by flooding in Uganda. The appeal is based on requirements for an estimated 300,000 people, the majority of them women and children. OCHA notes that, since roads and bridges have been washed away, most of the affected communities are cut off, and the only way to bring in food is by air or by boat.

OCHA has also sent rapid joint assessment missions to Ghana and Burkina Faso in the wake of flooding there.

In other news, also from Uganda, the inter-agency standing committee country team in Uganda today issued a statement calling upon the government and the Lords Resistance Army to continue their commitment to the current peace process.

UNICEF HELPS CHILDREN IN FLOOD-STRICKEN SOUTH ASIA

Following the recent floods in South Asia, UNICEF has been working across the region to prevent outbreaks of diseases, address the health and nutritional status of women and children, and get children back into school.

In Bangladesh, for example, UNICEF has distributed fortified biscuits, education kits and plastic sheets. The agency is also working to create recreation centers for children in flood-hit districts, so that they have a safe place to play while their families are out collecting relief.

In Nepal, UNICEF, in conjunction with the UN Mission in Nepal, has handed out water purification agents. It is also supporting the ongoing training of Female Community Health Volunteers in seven districts.

CAMBODIA COURT ISSUES DETENTION ORDER FOR KHMER ROUGE LEADER

In Phnom Penh today, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia issued a provisional detention order against Nuon Chea, who, according to the co-investigating judges, had been Number 2 in the Khmer Rouge regime that ruled the country from 1975 until 1979.

The judges said that Nuon Chea is being prosecuted for crimes against humanity and war crimes, and added that he is alleged to have directed, implemented and enforced Khmer Rouge policy, characterized by forcible transfers of the population, enslavement, forced labour and other inhumane acts.

The provisional order of detention is for a period not to exceed one year.

U.N. GEARS UP FOR 2007 TREATY EVENT

The UN Office of Legal Affairs said today that the 2007 Treaty Event will take place between 25-27 September and 1-2 October 2007 at UN Headquarters.

Among the multilateral legal agreements open for accession this year are the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, its Optional Protocol and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance of 2006. Others include the E-Commerce Convention and the Nuclear Terrorism Convention, and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel.

HUMAN RIGHTS REMAIN A PRIORITY IN NEPAL

The Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal, Richard Bennett, today outlined his offices priorities in the coming months for Nepals peace process.

In a press conference, Bennett said his offices efforts will focus on helping to ensure that respect for human rights remains an integral part of the countrys transformation.

These include public security, representation of women and marginalized groups in politics, accountability on human rights violations, and capacity building in civil society.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

HUMAN RIGHTS EXPERT DENIED ENTRY INTO SOMALIA: In response to a question at Thursdays noon briefing, the Spokesperson confirmed that on 18 September, Ghanim El Najar, an independent expert on human rights in Somalia, was denied entry in Baidoa and asked to travel back to Nairobi. The UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) says that the Somali authorities have deplored the incident and have since invited El Najar to return to complete his mission, saying that his expulsion had been the result of a misunderstanding.

HEALTH AGENCY CONFIRMS CHOLERA IN IRAQ: The World Health Organization (WHO) says it has confirmed 1,500 cases of cholera in Iraq, with Baghdad recording its first confirmed case two days ago. WHO says there were also outbreaks of cholera in the northern areas of Iraq. Meanwhile, in the Soulimaniya area, WHO reports 10 deaths from diarrhoea from among the nearly 30,000 cases confirmed to date.

  • **The guest at the noon briefing was Tom Koenigs, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan.

    THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

    22 September 28 September 2007

    [This document is for planning purposes only and is subject to change]

    Saturday, September 22

    At 2 p.m. in Room 226, there will be a press conference by Yvo De Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    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 H.E. Nouri Al-Maliki.

    At 7.30 p.m. in Room 226, there will be a press conference by the Spokesperson for the Foreign Minister of Japan.

    Sunday, September 23

    From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Economic and Social Council Chamber, there will be a High-Level Meeting on Afghanistan. Following the meeting, at the stakeout between the Security Council and the Trusteeship Council, the Secretary-General and Afghan President H.E. Hamid Karzai will hold a joint press encounter.

    At 3 p.m. in Room 226, there will be a press conference by the Spokesperson for the Foreign Minister of Japan.

    From 4 to 6 p.m., in the Secretary-Generals Conference Room, there will be meeting of the Middle East Quartet.

    Following the above meeting, at approximately 6:15 p.m. in Conference Room 4, there will be a joint press conference by the Quartet Principals and Quartet Representative, Tony Blair.

    Following the above press conference, at 7:30 pm, there will be a dinner at the Delegates Dinning Room, for the Quartet Principals; members of the League of Arab States follow-up committee for the Arab Peace Initiative; and Norways Foreign Minister. A stakeout will be set up at the Delegates Entrance.

    Monday, September 24

    At 9 a.m., the Secretary-Generals High-level Event on Climate Change begins with an opening plenary in the General Assembly Hall, followed by thematic plenaries taking place all day in the GA Hall, the ECOSOC Chamber, Trusteeship Council, and Conference Room 4.

    At 9.30 a.m. in Room 226, Sze Ping of Greenpeace China; Meena Raman of Friends of the Earth International; and Hans Verolme of the World Wildlife Funds Global Climate Change Program will hold a civil society press conference on the High-Level Event on Climate Change.

    At 10.30 a.m. in Room 226, there will be a press conference by the President of Poland, H.E. Lech Kaczy&#324;ski, on climate change.

    Beginning at 10:30 a.m., the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee on the Middle East meets in Conference Room 3. The Foreign Minister of Norway, Jonas Gahr Store, and the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Salam Fayyad, will brief the press later in the day.

    At 12.35 p.m. in Room 226, the President of Indonesia, H.E. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, will brief the press.

    At 3 p.m. in Conference Room 8, there will be a Special Leaders of Tropical Rainforest Countries meeting.

    At 6 p.m. in Conference Room 4, there will be a joint press conference with the Secretary-General and Yvo de Boer, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

    Tuesday, September 25

    The General Debate of the 62nd session of the General Assembly begins today and continues through 5 October.

    At 11:15 a.m. in Room 226, there will be a press conference by the Prime Minister of Spain, H.E. José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

    At 12:30 p.m. in Room 226, there will be a press conference by the President of France, H.E. Nicolas Sarkozy.

    From 1:15 to 2:45 p.m., at the Holy Family Hall (315 East 47th Street), there will be a panel discussion on Global health in focus (organized by the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See).

    At 2 p.m in Room 226, there will be a press conference by Tibor Tóth, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organizations Executive Secretary, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, on the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which took place in Vienna from 17-18 September 2007.

    From 3 to 4:30 p.m., the Security Council will hold a high-level meeting on Peace and Security in Africa. Following the meeting, the President of France will hold a press encounter at the Security Council Stakeout.

    At 5:30 p.m. in Conference Room 4, there will be a press conference by the President of Iran, H.E. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    Today through Thursday, and continuing from 1-2 October, the UN will organize its ninth Treaty Event, aimed at encouraging countries to sign, ratify or accede to multilateral treaties.

    Wednesday, September 26

    At 11 a.m. in Room 226, there will be a press conference by the President of Sri Lanka, H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa.

    This afternoon, the President of Venezuela, H.E. Hugo Chavez, is expected to hold a press conference.

    At 4:30 p.m. in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, a panel of UN and global government and health officials, as well as the first lady of Zambia, will discuss improving maternal health and reducing child mortality around the world by 2015. The panel will be convened by Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund, and moderated by producer/actress Ricki Lake.

    In New York, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie are scheduled to join former U.S. President Bill Clinton for the meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, which runs through Friday, and to issue a call to raise $220 million for refugee education.

    Thursday, September 27

    The Secretary-General is expended to attend the ministerial-level meeting convened by the Contact Group on Kosovo.

    At 11 a.m. in Room 226, there will be a press conference by the President of Cyprus, H.E. Tassos Papadopoulos.

    From 3 to 4 p.m. in the Economic and Social Council Chamber, the Secretary-General and the Director-General of the World Health Organization are scheduled to attend a ministerial meeting on Foreign Policy and Global Health, organized by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of France and Norway.

    Friday, September 28

    This morning, the Security Council is scheduled to hear a briefing by the chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

    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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