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United Nations Daily Highlights, 08-09-17
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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: email@example.comARCHIVES
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARIE OKABE
FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
BAN KI-MOON, SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMN ATTACK ON U.S. EMBASSY IN YEMEN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly
condemns todays terrorist bombing of the United States Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen.
He is saddened by the reported deaths of at least 16 people, including Yemeni guards and civilians outside the Embassy, as well as the wounding of many others in this attack. He extends his condolences to the families of the victims, and wishes those injured a full recovery.
Attacks on diplomatic facilities and personnel worldwide are against international law and are totally unacceptable.
The Secretary-General calls on the Yemeni authorities to spare no effort in bringing those responsible to justice.
The Security Council President Michel Kafando of Burkina Faso later read a press statement condemning todays attack in Yemen, which Council members discussed under other matters.
U.N. AGENCIES UNDERTAKE HUMANITARIAN ASSESSMENT MISSION TO SOUTH OSSETIA
A UN humanitarian assessment
mission is on its way to South Ossetia and Tbilisi is currently in the capital of North Ossetia, in the Russian Federation.
It is being led by the
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and comprises representatives of key UN humanitarian agencies, namely UNICEF, the UN Development Programme, the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Health Organization and the World Food Programme, as well as a representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The objective of the mission is to gain first-hand knowledge of the humanitarian and human rights situations and needs on the ground, including the position of those displaced by the conflict and other vulnerable groups. The results of the mission will feed into the revision of the humanitarian
Flash Appeal, launched on 18 August. The mission has been coordinated with the Russian and Georgian authorities and will visit Moscow, South Ossetia and Tbilisi.
In response to a question, the Spokeswoman confirmed that the Secretary-General had spoken by phone on Tuesday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and that they had discussed Georgia. She noted that the Secretary-General has said that he had been in almost daily contact with world leaders on Georgia.
NEW REPORT CONTAINS RECOMMENDATION FOR CHAD/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC OPERATION
In his latest
report on Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR), the Secretary-General says that the causes of insecurity and instability in Chad, the CAR and the sub-region include weak institutions and poor infrastructure. These, combined with an inability to deal with the insecurity and violence, have gravely weakened the region.
On the basis on the findings of recent assessment missions, which are included in the report, the Secretary-General recommends that the Security Council create a UN military force of up to 6,000 troops to take over from the European force (EUFOR) when the latters mandate expires in a few months. He also invites Member States to work with the
Department of Peacekeeping Operations to establish a stand-by presence to be deployed on short notice in order back up the Mission in cases of increased security threats. However, he advises that the Council leave in draft form the resolution authorizing the deployment until the Secretariat has received firm commitments of troops and other critical support equipment.
SECURITY COUNCIL TAKES UP ETHIOPIA/ERITREA DISPUTE
In closed consultations this morning, the Security Council received a briefing on the recent dispute between Eritrea and Djibouti. João Honwana, the Director of the Africa I Division of the Department of Political Affairs, briefed Council members.
U.N. PEACEKEEPERS INTERCEDE IN FIGHTING IN EASTERN DR CONGO
The Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) has confirmed that intense fighting broke out yesterday between the Congolese army and rebels loyal to general Laurent Nkunda. The fighting took place in Kirotshe, a town near Goma in the east, which has been seen several fierce battles in recent days. The Mission says that the regular army used rocket launchers and other heavy artillery. But to ensure that civilians are not harmed, UN peacekeepers interceded with the Congolese troops, who agreed to cease fire by the end of the day.
Meanwhile, UN humanitarian agencies and international non-governmental organizations are working to restore the delivery of essential medical supplies and services in North Kivu and South Kivu. The delivery was disrupted by the outbreak of hostilities in late August, leading to the displacement of some 100,000 people. The movement of humanitarian personnel and relief workers has been greatly affected by the prevailing climate of suspicion, and health facilities have been looted, leaving the population in even more precarious living conditions.
INTERNATIONAL CONTACT GROUP ON SOMALIA DISCUSSES IMPLEMENTATION OF RECENT AGREEMENT
The International Contact Group on Somalia
met yesterday in Djibouti under the chairmanship of the Secretary-Generals
Special Representative, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah. According to a joint communiqué, the Contact Group and the Special Representative discussed possible ways to help implement the recent agreement between the transitional government and the opposition.
The Contact Group welcomed the participation of both parties in the meeting and pledged political and financial support to implement the agreement. They also pledged to help deal with issues of justice and reconciliation. They acknowledged the important contribution of the African Union peace mission (AMISOM), which was authorized by and enjoys the full support of the Security Council.
PALESTINIAN ECONOMY BECOMING MORE DEPENDENT ON AID, WORLD BANK SAYS
In a new
report on Palestinian economic prospects, the World Bank says that the Palestinian economy is becoming more aid dependent.
In addition, the closure policy in the Gaza Strip, which has been in place since the summer of 2007, is continuing to erode the Strips industrial backbone and leading to the collapse of the municipal sector.
The report adds that, despite the cessation of hostilities declared last summer, little progress has been made so far toward improving living conditions of the population in Gaza.
UNITED NATIONS STEPS UP AID IN WAKE OF HURRICANES IN THE CARIBBEAN
In response to the recent hurricanes in Haiti, the World Food Programme (WFP) says it has
tripled food deliveries in the past week.
Working with UNICEF and the
U.N. Mission in that country, WFP has delivered 1,000 tonnes of rice, beans, cooking oil, fresh water and other supplies in recent days, and has fed 217,000 people since the relief operation began. More than half of those receiving food assistance are living in shelters in Gonaïves, which is still 40 per cent under water and completely cut off from the rest of the country.
WFP is also set to launch its own air operation in Haiti, using four leased helicopters.
Meanwhile, WFP has undertaken an emergency operation to provide hurricane relief in Cuba. Nearly 54 tonnes of high-energy biscuits and canned fish from Ecuador are on their way to the Isla de la Juventud, where people are still unable to prepare their own food.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is buying and distributing medical supplies and equipment, as well as providing maternal and child health care in Western Cuba, where medical facilities have suffered extensive damage.
The U.N.s Central Emergency Response Fund has
provided more than US$2.5 million for this and other hurricane-relief projects in Cuba.
UNESCO UNIVERSITY INITIATIVE FIGHTS BRAIN DRAIN IN AFRICA
teaming up with Hewlett Packard on a project to reverse brain drain in Africa. With help from a French research centre, theyve provided a university in Dakar, Senegal with the latest in computer technology infrastructure. The aim is to reduce the number of graduates migrating abroad by giving them the research tools they need at home.
The initiative will eventually be extended to universities in five African countries. It follows the successful implementation of a similar project launched in southeastern Europe five years ago.
MEDIATOR NAMED FOR EQUATORIAL GUINEA/GABON BORDER DISPUTE
The Secretary-General has appointed Mr. Nicolas Michel of Switzerland as the Special Adviser and Mediator of the Border Dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. The Parties, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, have been informed about the decision of the Secretary-General.
Mr. Michel, who served as
United Nations Legal Counsel from August 2005 to 1 September 2008, will bring a distinguished career combining diplomatic and legal skills, as well as recognized impartiality and commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes. He handled the mediation of the border dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Gabon as one of the many sensitive issues under his purview as UN Legal Counsel.
Prior to his appointment as United Nations Legal Counsel, Mr. Michel served as the Legal Adviser of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. He was Chairman of the Committee of the Legal Advisors on Public International Law of the Council of Europe (CAHDI) in 2003 and 2004 and also served as chairman of many international committees and meetings. Mr. Michel is currently a professor of international law at the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.
Mr. Michel holds degrees in law from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, as well as a Master of Arts in International Relations from Georgetown University, Washington D.C. He is a licensed attorney at law. He is also the author of numerous books and articles on international and European law.
Born on 7 November 1949, Mr. Michel is married with children.
Asked about Michels employment status, the Spokeswoman said he would be at the Under-Secretary-General level, adding that this was not a full-time position.
SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS NEW DEPUTY SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR NEPAL
The Secretary-General has announced the appointment of Karin Landgren of Sweden as his Deputy Special Representative for
Ms. Landgren will bring to UNMIN many years of political, managerial and international law experience with the United Nations in a number of duty stations. Her service with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) included postings in India and the Philippines, and an emergency mission in the Great Lakes region of Africa. She was UNHCR's country representative to Eritrea, Singapore and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
She was UNHCR's chief of standards and legal advice and has published and lectured widely on humanitarian, refugee and child protection issues. In her current function, as
UNICEF's head of child protection, she has overseen a burgeoning field of knowledge and strategy for the protection of children from violence and exploitation. She was on the editorial board of the Secretary-General's 2006 Study on Violence against Children and is an adjunct professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.
Ms. Landgren earned a Bachelor of Science (Econ.) in International Relations and a Master of Laws in International Law from the London School of Economics. She was born on 13 October 1957, and has two children.
ATTENDANCE OF SARAH PALIN AT GENERAL ASSEMBLY IS NOT CONFIRMED: The Spokeswoman said, in response to questions, that she could not confirm that Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska was coming to attend the UN General Assembly debate next week. In a further response, she noted that delegations from Member States could include anyone that they want as delegation member.
MEETING BETWEEN SECRETARY-GENERAL AND SERBIAN FOREIGN MINISTER CANCELLED: Asked about a scheduled meeting today between the Secretary-General and Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, the Spokeswoman later said that the meeting had been cancelled.
U.N. MISSION IN LIBERIA URGES NEWLY-TRAINED CORRECTIONS OFFICERS TO UPHOLD HUMAN RIGHTS: Speaking at a graduation ceremony for 66 newly-trained corrections officers, the head of the U.N. Mission in Liberias (UNMIL) Corrections Advisory Unit
urged graduates to uphold high standards of human rights. The 12-month training programme they just completed is run jointly by UNMIL and the Liberian Government.
WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION SIGNS COOPERATION AGREEMENT ON INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS: The World Meteorological Organization and the International Organization for Standardization have
signed an agreement to cooperate and avoid duplication of work in setting international standards for meteorological and hydrological data, products and services.
NOMINEES ANNOUNCED FOR UNICEFS CHILDRENS BROADCASTING AWARDS: UNICEF has
announced the nominees for this years International Childrens Day of Broadcasting Awards. The prizes recognize outstanding achievement in childrens television and radio programming. The winner will be announced here in New York on November 18th.
Peacekeeping Operations, and Edmund Mulet, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
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