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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-12-26

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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: unnews@un.org

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

[There are no noon briefings planned until January 2, 2008.

Developments within the UN system will be posted on this website throughout that period.]

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

NEPAL: BAN KI-MOON WELCOMES MAOISTS RETURN TO INTERIM GOVT.

The Secretary-General is pleased to learn that the Seven-Party Alliance has reached an agreement on key issues of the peace process, paving the way for a Constituent Assembly election to be held by April 2008. He welcomes the decision by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) to rejoin the Interim Government.

The Secretary-General urges all parties to swiftly move forward in the implementation of the agreements reached and lay the grounds for a peaceful, inclusive, and credible Constituent Assembly election. To that end, the Secretary-General and the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) stand ready to extend all necessary assistance.

RELIEF EFFORTS IN NEPAL GET FUNDING BOOST

The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has

allocated $1 million to the World Food Programme (WFP), to be used to provide life-saving food aid and reconstruction support to more than 1.2 million conflict-affected people in Nepal.

According to WFP, many Nepali people are still struggling to recover from the impacts of the eleven-year conflict and ongoing instability, despite the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement over one year ago.

The goal of WFPs $49 million programme is to provide the most conflict-affected communities with quick-impact economic opportunities and local assets that will contribute to longer-term food security in Nepal.

The CERF is a stand-by fund established by the UN to enable more timely and reliable humanitarian assistance to those affected by natural disasters and armed conflicts.

SOMALIA: U.N. ENVOY CALLS FOR RELEASE OF AID WORKERS

The UN Special Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, says he is shocked by the kidnapping of two staff members working for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Bosasso, Puntland.

According to Ould-Abdallah, kidnapping the humanitarian workers does not serve the cause of peace or Somalias traditional culture of hospitality, particularly during this holiday period.

He appeals to all actors involved in this operation and those behind them to free unconditionally the two women from MSF.

RECORD NUMBER OF U.N. EMERGENCY MISSIONS IN THE AMERICAS

In 2007, the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) teams

conducted nine missions to the Americas, their highest amount in history for that region.

Throughout the world, the emergency teams conducted 14 missions, which is more than usual. Ten out of the 14 missions were in response to hurricanes and floods. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that might be a glimpse of the shape of things to come given the reality of climate change.

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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