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United Nations Daily Highlights, 08-08-13

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 FARHAN HAQ

ASSOCIATE

SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

BAN KI-MOON WELCOMES ACCEPTANCE OF PEACE PLAN FOR GEORGIA

The Secretary-General

welcomes the acceptance by Georgia and by the Russian Federation of the peace plan proposed by President Sarkozy of France. He calls for immediate follow-through in implementing the agreed principles, including the full end to hostilities and the withdrawal of forces to previous positions.

The Secretary-General reiterates his support for a solution based on the full respect of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia. He is prepared to use his good offices toward the restoration of peace and security in the region.

The Secretary-General appreciates the role played by the EU Presidency and the Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in search of a lasting peaceful solution. He strongly believes that the resolution of the conflicts in Georgia requires a comprehensive approach through a concerted effort by the international community.

The UN stands ready to facilitate international discussions as well as to contribute to possible peacekeeping or other arrangements for Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The Secretary-General remains concerned about the humanitarian situation in the region. He mourns the victims of the hostilities and urges all parties to provide full and safe access for humanitarian organizations to the regions affected by the conflicts.

U.N. FOOD AID REACHES PEOPLE DISPLACED BY GEORGIA CONFLICT

Two cargo aircraft chartered by the World Food Programme (WFP)

set off this morning for Tbilisi, Georgia, with 34 tons of high-energy biscuits for the thousands of people displaced by the recent conflict there.

The biscuits were shipped from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Brindisi, Italy, and will bolster the in-country food stocks that WFP already started distributing over the weekend. WFP will also supply wheat flour to bakeries near areas where the internally displaced are gathering.

Meanwhile, on a related note, Georgia has instituted

proceedings before the International Court of Justice against the Russian Federation for its actions on and around the territory of Georgia in breach of the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

BAN KI-MOON CONDEMNS LEBANON BOMBING

The Secretary-General

condemns the bombing that took place this morning in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. He extends his condolences and sympathies to the Government of Lebanon and to the victims and their families, including members of the Lebanese Armed Forces.

The Secretary-General believes this attack should not hinder the positive steps that have been taken to return the country to normalcy.

AFGHANISTAN: U.N. OFFICIALS SHOCKED BY MURDER OF AID WORKERS

Kai Eide, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Afghanistan, said he was

shocked and saddened to learn that an International Rescue Committee vehicle was attacked by unknown gunmen this morning, resulting in the death of three female international aid workers and their Afghan colleague.

Eide condemned the attack in the strongest possible terms and urged the authorities to leave no stone unturned in the search for the perpetrators.

He said that we face a growing humanitarian challenge in Afghanistan, and all parties to this conflict must recognize and respect the inherent neutrality and independence of the humanitarian assistance being provided to those Afghans who need help the most.

Meanwhile, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes also deplored the killing. He said that nothing can justify such an attack on people whose lives are devoted to helping the people of Afghanistan.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres also

expressed shock and sadness.

U.N. & IRAQ SIGN LANDMARK AGREEMENT ON RECONSTRUCTION, DEVELOPMENT & HUMANITARIAN NEEDS

The United Nations and Iraqs Government today

signed a landmark cooperation agreement, defining how the United Nations will support Iraqs reconstruction, development and humanitarian needs over the next three years. The United Nations Assistance Strategy for Iraq 2008-2010 is the first of its kind to be adopted in the country since the 1990s.

The Strategy sets out how UN Agencies will cooperate to help Iraq achieve its key economic and social goals, as reflected in the International Compact for Iraq. It contains development and humanitarian solutions for better essential social services, such as education and water, and protection for highly vulnerable groups. It also focuses on boosting Iraqs private sector to create more jobs, and stronger, more accountable systems for governance.

SOMALIA: U.N. ENVOY ENCOURAGED BY PLANNED COMMITTEE MEETINGS

After consultations with the Somali Transitional Federal Government and the opposition Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia, the two main follow-up committees to the Djibouti Agreement will be meeting this weekend in Djibouti.

The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, has

welcomed this development and invited the international community to show its full support for the Somali peace process and help address the plight of the Somali population.

Ould-Abdallah has also called on the Somali Parliament to suspend work to allow its members to attend the meetings in Djibouti. He said that among the expected attendees are the Somali prime minister, opposition leaders and diplomats from the African Union, the European Union, the League of Arab States, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

U.N. OFFICIAL CONCERNED OVER DETERIORATING SECURITY SITUATION IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REP.

The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for the Central African Republic, Francois Lonseny Fall, is deeply concerned by the security situation in the northeastern part of the country. He condemns the latest shooting incident between government forces and the rebel Popular Army for the Restoration of Democracy, which occurred on the 7th of August.

Fall said that such incidents endanger the ceasefire and peace accord signed by the parties in May of this year. He calls on both sides to abide by their agreements and urges them to exercise the utmost restraint. Fall also urged the parties to press ahead with the adoption of the amnesty law, which should pave the way to disarmament, cantonment and the reinsertion of members of armed political groups.

SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS NEW U.N. CONTROLLER

The Secretary-General today announced the appointment of Mr. Jun Yamazaki of Japan as Assistant Secretary-General, Office of Programme Planning, Budgets and Accounts, and Controller. Mr. Yamazaki will replace Mr. Warren Sach. Mr. Sach will assume the function of Assistant Secretary-General for Central Support Services

The Secretary-General recognizes Mr. Sachs dedicated service as Assistant Secretary-General and Controller. He appreciates the strong sense of commitment and professionalism shown consistently by Mr. Sach in the fulfillment of his responsibilities

Mr. Yamazaki has the extensive experience in the UN budget process as the member of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) from 2003 to 2007 and in the broad management related issues as the Director, International Peace Cooperation Division, and Deputy Director-General for Global Issues, International Cooperation Bureau in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan.

U.N. AGENCIES HELP MYANMAR WITH IMMUNIZATION CAMPAIGNS

UNICEF and the World Health Organization

handed over a new facility that can store vaccines to the Myanmar Ministry of Health yesterday, as part of their efforts to assist the Government with its immunization campaigns.

The facility can hold a full national 8-month-supply for 6 different vaccines, and it will be a crucial centre for distributing vaccines for routine and emergency immunizations nationwide. The number of health campaigns in Myanmar has been increasing, especially in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis.

FIRST DRAFT OF BIOFUELS STANDARD ENDORSED BY EXPERTS

The first draft of a global sustainability standard for biofuels was endorsed today by an international group of experts. The Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels, which includes the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP), is developing global norms for assessing the economic, social, and environmental impacts of biofuels.

The Roundtables Steering Group today approved draft criteria, based on a comprehensive "land to tank" analysis that covers the whole chain of biofuels production. The criteria address such issues as the potential contribution to climate change mitigation and rural development; the protection of land and labor rights; and the impacts on biodiversity, soil pollution, water availability and food security.

The draft will now undergo six months of global stakeholder consultation which will include feedback sessions around the world. A final version of the standard is expected to be approved by next April.

I.C.C. PROSECUTOR BRIEFS SENEGALESE PRESIDENT ON DARFUR

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, is today in Dakar, Senegal, where he

met President Abdoulaye Wade, to update him on the 4 investigations being conducted by his Office. The emphasis was on the situation in Darfur, which the Prosecutor called his primary challenge.

He said his visit was to underline the need for African leaders to support the work of the Court, especially in the context of Darfur.

U.N. OFFICIALS MOURN PASSING OF CELEBRATED PALESTINIAN POET

The UNs Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, has sent his condolences to the Palestinian people following the death of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. With eloquence and artistry, Darwish passionately voiced the aspirations of the Palestinian people for justice, freedom and statehood, Serry said. He added that he joins all Palestinians in mourning Darwishs passing.

The Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Karen AbuZayd, also issued a statement, saying that, with Darwishs passing, the world has lost a uniquely compelling voice and a passionate advocate against dispossession and the pain it engenders.

She added that Darwish was the poet of exile, the refugees' poet, whose universal language of dislocation and alienation will be heard for many years to come.

Asked about the comments made by AbuZayd, the Spokesman noted that the United Nations does not normally use the word nakba to describe the events during the establishment of Israel.

5TH ANNIVERSARY OF BOMBING OF U.N.S IRAQ OFFICE TO BE COMMEMORATED NEXT WEEK

The fifth anniversary of the bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad will be observed next Tuesday, at a brief ceremony to be held at 10:15 a.m. in the public lobby of the General Assembly Building, in front of the memorial plaque located outside the Meditation Room.

The ceremony, which is expected to be attended by the Secretary-General and survivors of the attack, will include the world premiere of Song without Borders, a new work of classical music by composer Steve Heitzeg, written in memory of United Nations staff members who have perished in the line of duty. The truck bomb attack that hit the UN compound in Baghdad on 19 August 2003 took the lives of 22 people and wounded more than 150 others.

GREECE-F.Y.R.O.M. ENVOY TO HEAD TO REGION NEXT WEEK

The Secretary-General's Personal Envoy for the talks between Greece and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Matthew Nimetz, met this morning with a delegation from Skopje -- including Martin Protoger, the Prime Ministers Chief of Staff, and Nikola Dimitrov, FYROMs principal negotiator for the name issue -- as part of the ongoing name discussions.

The main focus of the meeting was the core name issue, although related issues that have been raised by the parties were also discussed.

Nimetz will meet with the Greek side later in the day and plans on traveling to the region next week.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECRETARY-GENERAL AWARE OF KASHMIR SITUATION: Asked about the recent increase in violence in Kashmir, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General was aware of the situation, and that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was also monitoring developments.

  • ** The guests at the noon briefing today were Lt. General Babacar Gaye, Force Commander of the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), and Brig. General Mark Skidmore, Senior Military Adviser of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

    Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

    United Nations, S-378

    New York, NY 10017

    Tel. 212-963-7162

    Fax. 212-963-7055


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