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United Nations Daily Highlights, 08-09-15
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY FARHAN HAQ
FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Monday, September 15, 2008
BAN KI-MOONS ENVOY ATTENDS SIGNING OF ZIMBABWES POWER-SHARING DEAL
The Secretary-General's envoy for Zimbabwe, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Haile Menkerios, was in Harare today to attend the signing of the agreements reached to resolve the political crisis there.
The role of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his support of the mediation process through the UN's role in the reference group was acknowledged by the parties and by President Mbeki in their statements.
Mr. Menkerios conveyed the Secretary-General congratulations personally to President Robert Mugabe, to Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai and to Mr. Arthur Mutambara and emphasized the importance of working together cooperatively to implement the agreements.
He expressed the UN's readiness to support programs of emergency relief and longer term recovery once the new government had articulated needs and priorities, and the UN's willingness to assist in developing plans. In that respect, he also met today with the UN country team in Harare.
Mr. Menkerios will be departing Zimbabwe tomorrow for New York.
AFGHANISTAN: BAN KI-MOON CONDEMNS DEADLY ATTACK ON U.N. CONVOY IN KANDAHAR
A UN convoy that was traveling yesterday in Kandahar Province, in southern
Afghanistan, was attacked in a suicide bombing that killed two doctors working for the World Health Organization, as well as their driver, all Afghan nationals. The doctors, traveling in clearly marked UN vehicles, were carrying out a polio vaccination campaign. A number of innocent bystanders were injured in the attack.
The attack came one day after another suicide bombing near Kabul that killed the Governor of Logar Province.
statement issued last night, the Secretary-General condemned the attacks, which he said show the brutal face of those opposing progress towards peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan.
The Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan Kai Eide gave assurances that the United Nations remains committed to addressing the humanitarian needs of Afghanistans most vulnerable people.
DEPUTY JOINT MEDIATOR FOR DARFUR IS APPOINTED
The Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon and the African Union Commission Chairperson Jean Ping
have appointed Mr. Azouz Ennifar of Tunisia as Deputy Joint AU-UN Mediator for Darfur.
Mr. Ennifar will assist the Joint AU-UN Chief Mediator for Darfur, Mr. Djibril Yipènè Bassolé of Burkina Faso.
Mr. Ennifar brings to this position extensive experience in peacekeeping, mediation and diplomacy. He served as Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of Mission for the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea from July 2005 to July 2008.
Mr. Ennifar also has a distinguished career with his countrys foreign service, serving as Tunisian Ambassador to the United States, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Brazil, and Italy, and as the Tunisian representative at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
DARFUR MISSION HELICOPTER IS SHOT AT, LANDS SAFELY WITH PASSENGERS UNHURT
The African Union-United Nations mission in Darfur (UNAMID) reports that a UNAMID helicopter in North Darfur was fired at yesterday, but was able to land safely with 12 passengers and 4 crew members, despite the fact that one its fuel tanks was leaking.
UNAMID says it was the third time a UN helicopter has been fired at.
And in West Darfur yesterday, two UNAMID staff were shot at by criminals suspected to be Janjaweed dressed in army uniform near UNAMIDs Sector West Headquarters. The two UNAMID staff were driving two vehicles and managed to escape uninjured, amidst a volley of shots.
And UNAMID police embarked on a patrol to the Zam Zam camp housing displaced persons in the wake of an alleged armed attack by Government of Sudan reserve police last week. UNAMID reports that most premises were pockmarked by bullets and some houses were burnt down.
HEAD OF MISSION IN CHAD AND C.A.R. ATTENDS CHAD/ SUDAN FOLLOW-UP PEACE MEETING
The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Chad and the Central African Republic, Victor Angelo, was this weekend in Asmara, where he attended the 5th follow-up meeting to the Dakar Agreement between Chad and Sudan.
The UN Mission in Chad and the Central African Republic (MINURCAT) said that the parties discussed a possible resumption of diplomatic relations between Chad and Sudan. They also pledged to exchange ambassadors before the next follow-up meeting. Defense, border security and intelligence gathering were also discussed.
The participants also adopted a joint statement at the end of the meeting.
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IN D.R. CONGO SEEKS SPEEDIER IMPLEMENTATION OF PEACE AGREEMENT
Alan Doss, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), was among a group of international officials who met with Congolese President Joseph Kabila yesterday in Goma, DRC.
Among the officials were representatives of the members of the
Security Council, the African Union and the European Union.
After the meeting, Doss said that all participants agreed to improve the implementation plan of last years agreement between the government and various armed groups. The participants stressed that a disengagement plan be publicized as soon as possible and that practical steps be taken for the safe return of displaced people.
It was also agreed that the renegade general Laurent Nkundas movement be brought back into the Amani (peace) Programme.
COTE D'IVOIRE: START OF IDENTIFICATION AND VOTER REGISTRATION
SIGNALS IRREVERSIBILITY OF ELECTORAL PROCESS
The launch of the identification and voter registration operation in Côte dIvoire confirms the fact that the electoral process irreversible, declared the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Côte dIvoire, Yoonjin Choi in Yamoussoukro on Monday.
Speaking at the official launch of the operation, presided over by the Head of State, President Laurent Gbagbo, Choi said that the launch presents an historic opportunity for Ivorians to resolve the identification issue once and for all. He added that the start of the operation represented an historic milestone that capped the significant progress made in the electoral process.
POOR QUALITY AND QUANTITY OF GOODS HAS AFRICAN EXPORT LAGGING BEHIND
The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is expected to release in about an hour from now a report on African export. It will assess the performance of African export after African countries adopted policies that encourage the loosening of trade restrictions.
The report is expected to say that the main obstacle faced by African countries is their limited ability to produce the quantity and quality of goods required to meet the demands of the global market. African export, it will say, still lags behind that of other developing regions.
The UNCTAD report will also propose a set of possible solutions to this problem.
DEMOCRACY IS CENTRAL TO THE MISSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Today is the General Assemblys first observance of the International Day of Democracy, and the Secretary-General
addressed the General Assemblys meeting to mark the Day, telling them that supporting democracy is a central mission for the United Nations.
Although the word democracy does not appear in the
UN Charter, he said, the United Nations does more than any other single organization to promote and strengthen democratic institutions and practices around the world. He noted that the UN Democracy Fund, created just over two years ago, is now strongly supported by some 35 donors among Member States.
The Secretary-General added that the
International Day of Democracy is an opportunity to discuss and highlight the interactions between the agendas for democracy, peace and development, with a view to making them even more mutually reinforcing.
We also have embargoed copies of his remarks later this afternoon at an event hosted by the
UN Democracy Fund, also in honour of Democracy Day.
And the Secretary-General will also deliver remarks at the Church of the Holy Family this afternoon, as he does prior to the start of the General Assembly session each year.
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL ATTENDS REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT MEETING IN LEBANON
Over the weekend, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro attended the 12th Regional Coordination Mechanism Meeting dealing with development matters in the Middle East, and she
said that the region is emerging as a true leader in development-- from burgeoning intra-regional investment in infrastructure to energy security.
But she noted that, although Gulf Cooperation Countries are on track to meeting the majority of the Millennium Development Goals, Arab Least Developed Countries, particularly those enduring conflict (Iraq, Palestine and Sudan) are lagging significantly behind. It is unlikely they will meet the majority of the targets by 2015, she said, underscoring the links between peace and development.
U.N. MINE ACTION TEAM IN SOUTH LEBANON TO RECEIVE 2008 NANSEN REFUGEE AWARD
The British head of the
UN Mine Action Programme in southern Lebanon and his 990-member team of mine clearers will receive the 2008 Nansen Refugee Award for their courageous work in removing tons of deadly munitions that had prevented the safe return of hundreds of thousands of displaced people.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres
announced that the annual prize will go to Christopher Clark, the British coordinator of the UN-funded programme and his international and Lebanese staff of nearly 1,000 civilian mine clearers.
According to the UNHCR press release, in 2006, over a period of five weeks, between 2.6 and 4 million Israeli cluster bombs were scattered in southern Lebanon. More than 750,000 Lebanese fled the south and lived as internally displaced people in northern Lebanon, while another 250,000 people fled to Syria or further afield.
The Mine Action Programme is directly responsible for the management and co-ordination of both the landmine clearance operation, following the Israeli withdrawal in May 2000, and the cluster bomb clearance operation, following the July-August 2006 war.
EX-BOSNIA/HERZEGOVINA COMMANDER IS SENTENCED TO PRISON
The Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court today
sentenced Rasim Delic to three years imprisonment for crimes committed by the El Mujahed Detachment of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina against captive Bosnian Serb soldiers during the 1992-1995 conflict in the Balkan state.
Delic, the former Commander of the Main Staff of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was found guilty by majority with one judge dissenting.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO HELP PROMOTE COMPREHENSIVE NUCLEAR TEST BAN TREATY
The Secretary-General, along with more than 40 Foreign Ministers, is expected to participate in the 4th Ministerial Meeting to promote the early entry-into-force of the
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) next week at UN Headquarters.
In the conference to promote the treaty that would ban all nuclear weapons testing on earth, the Secretary General will give welcoming remarks followed by a special presentation by former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry and UN Messenger of Peace and actor Michael Douglas. A joint press conference will follow the conference.
In order to raise political momentum for the early entry into force of the CTBT, the Ministers are expected to adopt a Joint Ministerial Statement.
UNITED NATIONS TO TEMPORARILY RELOCATE STAFF FROM NORTHERN SRI LANKA: Asked about UN relocations from northern Sri Lanka, the Spokesperson said that, while UN relocation from the Kilinochchi area was delayed over the weekend due to protests by the local population, the United Nations is making all efforts to relocate its staff and assets in compliance with the Governments request. According to a statement issued by the UNDP office in Colombo later in the day, the UN and humanitarian agency staff have been compelled to temporarily relocate from Kilinochchi because of a security assessment that the situation has become too dangerous to remain working from there at this time. Because of the UN's continuing commitment to and concern for the civilians of the Vanni, senior staff are in place to mount our humanitarian operation from Vavuniya, the statement said.
AS PARALYMPICS END, U.N TEAM IN CHINA SALUTES THE SPORTING SPIRIT OF THE DISABLED: The
UN Country Team in China and the China Disabled Persons Federation have jointly hosted an event in praise of the performance with sportsmen and women with disabilities at the Paralympics. The event also acknowledged the work of those around the world who are promoting the rights of people with disabilities. Speaking about the performance of athletes at the Paralympics, Khalid Malik, the UN Resident Coordinator in China said, There are no people with disabilities, but people with different abilities. Their rights shall by no means be ignored, disrespected or not fulfilled. The Games, which are now to conclude, brought together more than 4,000 athletes from 148 countries.
PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS A MUST AT PAKISTAN BORDER: The Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General, as he made clear in his press conference last Thursday, had no comment on the incidents involving U.S. and Pakistani forces in northern Pakistan. But he noted that, as a general rule, the United Nations consistently asks all parties to take all steps to avoid civilian casualties.
NUCLEAR AGENCY BOARD TO RECEIVE IRAN REPORT: Asked about the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran, the Spokesperson said that the report was going to the member states of the IAEA Board of Governors, and he declined to comment specifically on the report. He said that the Secretary-General continues to call on Iran to comply with the resolutions of the Security Council and to cooperate with the IAEA.
NORTHERN UGANDA ENVOY REMAINS ON THE JOB: Asked whether Joachim Chisssano has ended his mediation efforts with the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda, the Spokesperson said that Chissanos efforts have not formally ended thus far, although he added that LRA leader Joseph Kony has not shown up for talks.
AGRICULTURE AGENCY HELPS UGANDAN FARMERS CONTAIN BANANA DISEASE: The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), together with the Government of Uganda, has
helped over 3,000 farmers fight a disease that was threatening to wipe out the production of cooking banana, a staple crop for 14 million Ugandans. FAO reports that the project contained the spread of the disease, and that several participating farmers have even been able to double or triple their production.
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