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United Nations Daily Highlights, 08-08-15
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY FARHAN HAQ
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Friday, August 15, 2008
BAN KI-MOON CONGRATULATES NEW NEPALESE PRIME MINISTER
The Secretary-General warmly
congratulates Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) on his election as the first Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.
He calls on all parties to cooperate with the new Government in order to carry forward Nepals peace process.
MYANMAR ENVOY TO BEGIN FIVE-DAY VISIT ON MONDAY
The Secretary-Generals Special Adviser on Myanmar, Ibrahim Gambari, will depart later today for a five-day visit to Myanmar starting on Monday, 18 August, at the invitation of the Myanmar Government.
Gambari looks forward to returning to Myanmar and continuing his consultations with the Government and other relevant parties in the implementation of the good offices mandate entrusted to the Secretary-General by the General Assembly.
HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES TO VISIT GEORGIA AND RUSSIA
High Commissioner for Refugees
António Guterres is scheduled to arrive in Georgia on Tuesday, on a trip that will also take him to the Russian Federation. He will be assessing his agencys humanitarian operations in both countries and discuss with the two Governments any further support they may require.
Meanwhile, Guterres agencys third
humanitarian flight this week to Georgia was scheduled to arrive in Tbilisi today, carrying 38 tons of jerry cans, blankets, kitchen sets and telecommunications equipment.
For its part, UNICEF has been
distributing hygiene kits and bottled water to 3,600 displaced women and children in and around Tbilisi. And the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that it is currently working on a flash appeal for Georgia, which may be launched as early as Monday.
Asked about comments from Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin that the United Nations had not approached Russia to discuss problems with humanitarian access, the Spokesman said that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon intends to meet with Ambassador Churkin in New York on Saturday. He had also tried earlier to contact the Russian President by phone, but had not been able to do so.
Haq noted that the Secretary-General had stated his concerns about the humanitarian situation in Georgia in a
statement on Thursday.
In response to questions about the work done by UN humanitarian bodies, the Spokesman added that the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is receptive to any constructive criticism of the maps that it prepares and if any information is wrong, it will be corrected.
Maps on an evolving crisis are extremely fluid, he said. OCHA relies on the information available at the time, gathered from situation reports from the field and it updates maps as the information flows in. It welcomes more information and support from all parties.
Asked whether the Secretary-General might speak to the press over the weekend, Haq said that the Secretary-General had intended to make himself available to the press in the near future to discuss developments in Georgia, but there was no date to announce yet for any briefing. Press would be informed as soon as a decision was reached.
Asked about the Security Councils consideration of Georgia, he said that Council members were discussing bilaterally the text of a draft resolution circulated by France, but that the Council had not yet scheduled any meeting to consider that resolution.
ETHIOPIAN PEACEKEEPERS EXPECTED IN DARFUR THIS WEEKEND
The advance party of the first Ethiopian Infantry Battalion to join UNAMID, the UN-AU Hybrid Operation in Darfur, is scheduled to
arrive in El Fasher over the weekend. This initial arrival will bring additional engineering capabilities to the Mission, especially in the areas of water installation, the erection of tents and electric power lines. The Ethiopian contingent will be deployed in the areas of Kulbus and Silea, in West Darfur.
Meanwhile, UNAMID reports that, following recent discussions between Deputy Special Representative Henry Anyidoho and the Governor of South Darfur, Ali Mahmoud, about restrictions of fuel allocations to the Kalma Camp, UNAMIDs Nyala office has received reports that the situation is being resolved. Oxfam informed us that its fuel allocation was approved as requested, and they were allocated sufficient fuel to run their water pumps in Kalma for a week. Other aid groups also reported that they were satisfied with the current government fuel allocations.
Asked about comments attributed to the Secretary-General in an Egyptian paper, al-Ahram, concerning the International Criminal Court and Darfur, the Spokesman said that the paper seemed to have mistranslated into Arabic the sentiments expressed in English by the Secretary-General. The Secretary-General, he said, had emphasized that the Court is an independent body.
SOUTH AFRICA: REFUGEE AGENCY HELPS DISPLACED FOREIGN NATIONALS WITH CASH DONATIONS
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says it has completed an
assessment of conditions for the remaining foreign nationals still living in camps for those displaced by recent xenophobic attacks in the Gauteng province of South Africa. While most of the 40,000 people displaced by the violence have returned to their home within South Africa, some 8,000 people remain at camps in Johannesburg and Cape Town. And UNHCR says that its implementing partners are assisting them with cash donations.
Meanwhile, the South African Government has signaled its intention to close the camps and thats expected to happen as early as next week.
CHEF DE CABINET TO ATTEND OPENING OF REGIONAL PEACE AND DISARMAMENT CENTRE IN NEPAL
Next Monday in Kathmandu, Nepal, the Chef de Cabinet, Vijay Nambiar, will represent the Secretary-General and deliver a message on his behalf at a ceremony marking the opening of the new office in Kathmandu of the UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific.
The ceremony is expected to be attended by President Ram Baran Yadav and other senior government officials of Nepal, as well as members of the diplomatic corps and representatives from regional organizations and civil society.
GAMBIA: U.N. AND ECOWAS TO PROBE DEATHS OF GHANA NATIONALS
A joint fact-finding team, from the UN and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), was initiated today in Abuja, to look into the deaths of a number of Ghanaian nationals, who were found buried in The Gambia in 2005.
The team, which will be based in Abuja, will be led by Curtis Ward, a UN-ECOWAS appointee. It will include representatives appointed by the Governments of The Gambia and Ghana.
The team was established at the request of both Governments to help bring about a peaceful closure to this matter, consistent with the principles of justice and respect for human rights and dignity.
RIGHTS COUNCIL ADVISORY COMMITTEE CONCLUDES FIRST SESSION
In Geneva today, the
Human Rights Council Advisory Committee concluded its first session, during which it adopted by consensus thirteen recommendations to the Human Rights Council.
Among other things, the Committee recommended that the Human Rights Council and the Secretary-General make available their good offices so as to extend the right of non-refoulement to hunger refugees.
The Committee also set up a working group charged which making recommendations to the Human Rights Council on the right to food and the current food crisis.
Another decision sets up a drafting group to begin preparatory work on a declaration pertaining to human rights education and training.
TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT BODY LAUNCHES ONLINE DATABASE ON COMMERCE IN CREATIVE GOODS
The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) today
launched an online database that provides trade statistics on creative goods and services. The statistics available on the site cover some 235 products related to heritage, arts, media and functional creations. The site also shows global trade flows for the decade starting in 1996.
UNCTAD says the site is a "work in progress" that aims at improving market transparency and supporting governments in policy making. With the value of exports in creative goods estimated at more than 335 billion dollars, UNCTAD says the sector is the most vibrant in world commerce.
ADVISOR ON SPORT FOR DEVELOPMENT HAILS OLYMPIC GAMES AS PROMOTER OF PEACE
Wilfried Lemke, the Secretary-Generals Special Advisor on Sport for Development and Peace, said that the power of sports in promoting peace has been evident at the 2008 Olympic Games. Speaking as the Games reach their midway point, Lemke said in a statement that sports builds bridges between individuals and across communities, providing a fertile ground for sowing the seeds of development and peace.
Meanwhile, UNAIDS is making
100,000 condoms available to athletes in health clinics in the Olympic Villages of Beijing, Qingdao and Hong Kong. Leaflets and posters giving information on HIV/AIDS in English, French and Chinese are also available at the Olympic Villages. Among other initiatives, UNAIDS is airing video messages by its Special Representatives, German footballer Michael Ballack and Chinese basketball star Yao Ming.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
16 August 2008 22 August 2008
Saturday, August 16
Through 25 August, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, S. James Anaya, continues his visit to Brazil.
Monday, August 18
The Secretary-Generals Special Adviser on Myanmar, Ibrahim Gambari, begins his five-day visit to Myanmar at the invitation of the Myanmar Government.
In Kathmandu, Nepal, Chef de Cabinet, Vijay Nambiar, delivers a message on behalf of the Secretary-General at a ceremony marking the opening of a new U.N. Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific.
This morning, the Security Council is scheduled to receive a briefing on its 1540 Committee report and on the U.N. Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), followed by consultations on UNMIS.
All this week, the ninth session of the Working Group on the Right to Development takes place in Geneva.
Tuesday, August 19
Today through Friday, U.N High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) António Guterres travels to Georgia and the Russian Federation. Today and tomorrow, UNHCR sends two airlift flights to Vladikavkaz, the Russian Federation.
At 10.15 a.m. in the public lobby of the General Assembly Building, the Secretary-General attends a wreath-laying ceremony marking the fifth anniversary of the bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad. Composer Steve Heitzegs Song without borders, composed in memory of the perished U.N. staff members, premieres at the ceremony.
Similarly, in Geneva, the anniversary will be observed with a minute of silence and a wreath-laying ceremony.
This morning, the Security Council is scheduled to adopt a resolution on the African Union Mission in Somalia, followed by a debate and consultations on the U.N. Mission in Timor-Leste.
Wednesday, August 20
This morning, the Security Council is scheduled to receive a briefing, followed by consultations, on the Middle East.
Thursday, August 21
No major events are scheduled.
Friday, August 22
No major events are scheduled.
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
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