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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-09-24

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

Monday, September 24, 2007

BAN KI-MOON COMMENDS

PEACEFUL MYANMAR RALLIES

URGES CONTINUED RESTRAINT

Secretary-General Ban

Ki-moon is closely following events in Myanmar. He

commends the

peaceful approach the demonstrators are using to press their interests, and he

calls upon the Myanmar authorities to continue to exercise restraint.

The Secretary-General

hopes that the Government will seize this opportunity to engage without delay in

dialogue with all the relevant parties to the national reconciliation process on

the issues of concern to the people of Myanmar.

The

Secretary-General, through his good offices mandate, is committed to continue to

intensify his assistance in this process with a view to promoting national

reconciliation, the restoration of democracy and full respect for human rights

in Myanmar.

CLIMATE

CHANGE CALLS FOR CONCERTED GLOBAL SOLUTION,

BAN KI-MOON SAYS AT OPENING OF KEY MEETING

Representatives from

nearly 160 countries, including more than 70 heads of state, are taking part in

a high-level, informal discussion on climate change. The Secretary-General

convened this meeting to give participants an opportunity to exchange views on

the challenges of climate change and how to respond to it.

Addressing the

opening plenary this morning, the Secretary-General stressed that science has

proven that climate change is real, and it is affecting most those who are the

least able to cope.

He called for national

action, with industrialized countries taking the lead in reducing their

emissions and support for adaptation being provided for poor countries.

But national action alone

is not enough, he said. Climate change must be confronted within a global

framework, namely the

UNs climate change process. He stressed the need for a breakthrough at the

upcoming negotiations in Bali, Indonesia, on a successor to the

Kyoto Protocol.

When todays plenaries

wrap up, the Secretary-General will issue a Chair Summary of the event.

BAN KI-MOON WELCOMES AGREEMENT

BY MONTREAL PROTOCOL SIGNATORIES

The Secretary-General welcomes the agreement reached over the weekend by

the signatories of the

Montreal Protocol

to sign up to an accelerated freeze and phase-out of hydrochlorflurocarbons

(HCFCs), the chemical compound which damages the ozone layer and also

contributes to climate change.

The Secretary-General is especially pleased that this historic agreement

was reached on the eve of the High-Level Event on Climate Change convened by

him on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.

He notes that international efforts to protect the ozone layer and to

combat climate change are mutually supportive. He also notes that the

agreement reached in Montreal includes a commitment to make sufficient funding

available to implement the strategy of phasing out HCFCs.

The Secretary-General hopes Member States will demonstrate the same

urgency and boldness as they turn to the sources of greenhouse gases.

UNITED

NATIONS TO OFFSET CARBON EMISSIONS

CAUSED BY CLIMATE CHANGE MEETING

The United Nations will

substantially offset the

carbon emissions caused by today's High Level Event on Climate Change, which

is estimated at about 500 tons of carbon dioxide.

These carbon emissions are

primarily from the energy use for the meeting, the travel of UN staff involved

in the organization of the meeting, special invitees and speakers, and heads of

state and government and ministers who have come to New York only for the

High-Level Event.

The carbon emissions from

the Event will be offset by a small-scale hydroelectric project located in

Intibuca, Honduras, near the city of La Esperanza. In addition to providing

power stability to the electric grid in the area, this high quality renewable

energy project provides significant local social and environmental benefits,

such as rural electrification and reduced dependency on fuelwood, increased

employment of local people, and improvement of the watershed through

reforestation.

The effort to offset the

carbon footprint of the Event, which will cost $15,800, is supported by the

UN Foundation.

PALESTINE

ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE BEGINS

PLANNING WORK FOR DECEMBER DONOR MEETING

The Secretary-General

this morning addressed 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.

In his remarks, the

Secretary-General said living conditions were worsening for a growing number of

Palestinians. Institutions -- weakened by several years of crisis, by fiscal

uncertainty, and by recent divisions must be rebuilt and reformed if they are

to lay credible foundations for a future State. He added that a political

solution was required to deliver long-term security to Israel.

The Secretary-General

also said he was particularly concerned for the welfare of the ordinary people

of Gaza, who find themselves and their goods increasingly cut off from the

outside world.

QUARTET PRINCIPALS

MEET WITH ENVOY, ARAB PARTNERS

The Quartet

Principals Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State

Condoleezza Rice, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, High Representative for

European Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, Portuguese Foreign Minister

Luis Amado, and European Commissioner for External Relations Benita

Ferrero-Waldner met on Sunday in New York to discuss the situation in the

Middle East.

They were joined by Quartet Representative Tony Blair.

The Quartet expressed

support for the international meeting on Israeli-Palestinian peace called for by

President Bush in his July 16 statement, according to a

communiqué

that was read out by the Secretary-General at a press conference following the

meeting.

He said that Quartet

Representative Tony Blair briefed the Quartet on his meetings and discussions in

the region, and discussed the way forward on the development of a functioning

Palestinian economy, and the institutions of governance that will form the

foundation of a Palestinian state.

The communiqué added

that the Quartet expressed concern over conditions in Gaza. It agreed on the

importance of continued emergency and humanitarian assistance without

obstruction. It expressed its urgent concern over the continued closure of major

crossing points given the impact on the Palestinian economy and daily life, and

also expressed its grave concern over the continued rocket fire from Gaza into

Israel.

The Quartet

principals later held a working iftar and dinner with their Arab partners.

HIGH-LEVEL

MEETING OFFERS SUPPORT FOR IRAQ, U.N. MISSION

On Saturday, the

Secretary-General and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki co-chaired a

high-level meeting at the foreign ministers level on

Iraq.

The

Secretary-General, speaking at a

press conference

afterward, said that there was a very positive and supportive tone from all the

participants at the meeting. And there was strong Iraqi support for an enhanced

UN role

within the framework of the new mandate in Security Council resolution 1770

(2007).

He added that th4ere

was an emphasis by many speakers on the key United Nations role in helping to

promote national reconciliation. Neighbouring States pledged their support for a

stronger United Nations role in promoting regional cooperation. In this context,

many speakers also stressed the need for strengthened border security.

HIGH-LEVEL

GATHERING URGES SUSTAINED

INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT FOR AFGHANISTAN

The Secretary-General

and Afghan President Hamid Karzai co-chaired on Sunday a

meeting of the countries belonging to the Joint Coordination and Monitoring

Board of the Afghan Compact about

Afghanistans

future.

According to a

communiqué issued afterward, the meeting addressed the security situation in

Afghanistan, in particular the increase in violent and terrorist activities by

the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, illegal armed groups, criminals, and those involved in

the narcotics trade against the local population and government, national

security forces and international military and civilian personnel.

Speaking to reporters

afterward, the Secretary-General

said that, while the

participants agreed that the challenges are enormous and difficult, they also

hope that the Afghanistan Government, under the leadership of President Karzai,

will continue to focus their efforts in good governance, eradicating corruption,

eradicating opium cultivation and drug trafficking, and promoting more education

and sanitation and health facilities.

NEW SPECIAL

REPRESENTATIVE COMPLETES FIRST VISIT TO SOMALIA

The new Special

Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould Abdallah,

was in Mogadishu over the weekend for a working visit with the leaders of

the Transitional Federal Government. He met with President Yusuf, Prime Minister

Gedi, Honorable Aden Mohamed Nur, Speaker of the Transitional Federal Parliament

and other officials.

Ould Abdallah held

another meeting with Ali Mahdi Mohamed, the chairman of the National

Reconciliation Congress. He called for the full implementation of the outcome of

the Congress and called for broadening it. He encouraged NRC members to pursue

their objectives vigorously.

Ould Abdallah also

held a separate meeting with the local UN staff and commended them for their

courage in discharging their duties in difficult conditions.

OTHER

ANNOUNCEMENTS

UNICEF PROVIDING

AID FOLLOWING INDONESIAN QUAKES: As part of continuing relief efforts following the recent earthquakes in

Indonesia, the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF)

has delivered family tents, school tents, basic household items, anti-mosquito

nets and water purification items to two districts of Bengkulu province.

Similar items were dispatched from its warehouse in Medan to Pesisir Selatan and

Mentawai Islands districts, West Sumatera province. UNICEF plans to deliver a

total of 2,000 bottles of water purification substances in West Sumatera.

IN HISTORIC FIRST,

FOOD AGENCY BUYS LESOTHO MAIZE FOR LIBERIAS HUNGRY:

The World Food Programme (WFP) has

completed

a historic purchase by buying maize directly from a group of small-scale farmers

in Lesotho, the first ever direct purchase in that country. This is a win-win

situation, said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran. It helps provide

income for small-scale farmers while saving money for WFP.

The maize will help feed thousands of poor, hungry children attending

nearby primary schools in the isolated and impoverished district of Qachas Nek.

UNAIDS ENVOY

VISITS RUSSIA: Actor Rupert Everett,

UNAIDS Special Representative, is currently in Russia, where he is

visiting AIDS and Tuberculosis (TB) projects. This is his first official

trip with UNAIDS since being appointed a Special Representative on World AIDS

Day last December. While in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Everett is meeting with

networks of People Living with HIV and activist groups, and witnessing how

effective prevention programmes are set up.

  • The noon briefing guest today was Achim Steiner,

    Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, to brief on the success of

    the Montreal Protocol on protecting the ozone layer and its relevance to the

    multilateral climate change process.

    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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