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United Nations Daily Highlights, 08-09-22
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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 MICHELE MONTAS
FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Monday, September 22, 2008
BAN KI-MOON TO ADDRESS WORLD LEADERS TOMORROW
Tomorrow, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will address the
General Assembly about the need to respond to the global financial, energy and food crises with collaboration and global leadership.
In that speech, he will highlight the need to galvanize global awareness and action to realize the Millennium Development Goals; to respond to the global food crisis and to ongoing peacekeeping challenges with new resources; and to tackle climate change.
REACHING DEVELOPMENT GOALS IN AFRICA STILL ACHIEVABLE
The Secretary-General this morning
opened a High-Level Meeting that he is convening on Africas development needs, saying that he is convinced that through concerted action by African Governments and their development partners, the
Millennium Development Goals remain achievable in Africa.
The Secretary-General said that it will cost about $72 billion per year in external financing to achieve the Goals by 2015. This price tag may look daunting, he said, but it is affordable, and falls within existing aid commitments.
He added that perseverance is needed to build peace, and he paid tribute to the people of Zimbabwe for negotiating a Government of national unity. Similar perseverance is needed to resolve other crises, the Secretary-General added, such as those in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia.
BAN KI-MOON, SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMN TERRORIST ATTACK IN PAKISTAN
statement issued Saturday, the Secretary-General strongly condemned the heinous terrorist attack on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, which has reportedly killed and injured a large number of people.
He expressed his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of this appalling attack, as well as to the Government and people of Pakistan. No cause can justify the indiscriminate targeting of civilians.
And today, the Security Council President also read a Presidential Statement about Saturday's terrorist attack in Pakistan.
SECRETARY-GENERAL DEPLORES CAR BOMBINGS IN SPAIN
The Secretary-General strongly
condemns the recent series of car bombings in Spain, which have resulted in one fatality and the wounding of several others.
He expresses his sympathy for the victims and their families and his solidarity with the Government and people of Spain in the face of such terrorist violence.
U.N. OFFICIALS NOTE DETERIORATING SECURITY SITUATION IN DARFUR
The Secretary-General and African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Jean Ping convened a meeting on Darfur at midday Sunday to review the security and humanitarian situation, the political process, deployment of the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court's decision to seek an arrest warrant for the Sudanese President.
The Under-Secretaries-Generals for Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Affairs noted the deteriorating security situation on the ground and the impact on their operations to assist the people on the ground in need. The joint AU-UN Special Representative for Darfur Rodolphe Adada noted calm over the past two days.
On the political process, they reviewed the joint mediator's activities, the Qatari initiative, and the Sudanese national peace initiative, and expressed the need for an early normalization of Sudan-Chad relations. The participants highlighted the need to expedite the political process and for all parties to meaningfully engage in that process.
The status and challenges of the deployment of UNAMID was also discussed. The Under-Secretary-General for Field Support outlined efforts to expedite deployment and pressed for much-needed peacekeeping personnel and critical assets.
On International Criminal Court developments, the Secretary-General emphasized the need for justice to run its course in parallel with the peace process. The AU Commission Chairperson raised the AUs concerns surrounding the case and explained the AU Peace and Security Councils position on this issue.
The United Nations and African Union agreed to use the window of opportunity in the coming months and to keep close coordination to make as much progress as possible on all these fronts.
The Secretary-General had met the joint mediator Dijbril Bassole first thing Sunday morning to be briefed on the status of the political process and to discuss the strategies on the way forward.
BAN KI-MOON HIGHLIGHTS NEEDS OF PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
The Secretary-General this morning
addressed the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, which deals with assistance to the Palestinian people.
Noting that the Palestinian Authority is facing a budget crisis, he stressed that more predictable donor commitment is needed. He also said the United Nations will continue to do everything in its power to create and support those who work towards the goal of a better socio-economic environment for the Palestinian people.
Meanwhile, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) says it is increasingly concerned by the situation facing some 30,000 Palestinian refugees, who were displaced by fighting last year at the Nahr el Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon.
UNRWA reports that, unless funds are found in the coming weeks, it will have to stop food distributions to 3,100 families and halt rental subsidies for about 27,000 people by the end of October.
UNRWA says that many of these refugees have already been displaced three times.
AFGHANISTAN: GUNS FALL SILENT ON INTERNATIONAL PEACE DAY
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)
said that yesterday, guns fell silent across much of the country, as soldiers and Taliban all ceased fighting during the International Day of Peace, allowing UNICEF and the World Health Organization to begin a polio vaccination campaign.
The Secretary-Generals Special Representative, Kai Eide, said that the halt to fighting, and marches yesterday in support of peace, showed the huge demand that exists for peace in Afghanistan. He noted that, this week, as many as 1.8 million children stand to benefit by receiving their polio vaccinations.
Eide asserted, A window for peace has been opened, through which the people of Afghanistan are making themselves heard.
Meanwhile, the response to the text messaging campaign for the International Day of Peace was a resounding success. Overall, we have received over 145,000 text messages and online messages about peace from people living in 132 countries. The Secretary-General sent a text message himself on Friday.
Meanwhile, also on Afghanistan, the
Security Council held consultations today to discuss a draft resolution on extending the mandate of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in that country. The resolution was adopted unanimously in the early afternoon.
SOMALI PARTIES REACH AGREEMENT UNDER U.N. AUSPICES
Somalias Transitional Federal Government and the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia have completed a second round of talks in Djibouti.
In a joint
communiqué, the parties said their meeting, which was chaired by the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, led to an agreement to conduct field assessments and further consultations.
Although they failed to sign a formal ceasefire, they agreed to meet again within two weeks to develop the modalities for an eventual cessation of hostilities.
They also agreed to press ahead with the talks through their respective high-level and joint security committees.
D.R. CONGO: UNICEF DEMANDS UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE OF 90 ABDUCTED SCHOOLCHILDREN
Regarding the Democratic Republic of the Congo, UNICEF has
appealed for the immediate and unconditional release of 90 children abducted last week by the Lords Resistance Army (LRA). The agency is very concerned that the children will be forced to fight or support fighting in the ranks of LRA, thus putting their lives at risk.
The abductions are believed to have occurred last week during concerted attacks on villages in Province Orientale. The 90 children were forcibly removed from classrooms at local primary and secondary schools.
One village chief and 2 Italian missionaries were also abducted, 3 civilians were slain, local health centers were looted, and the village of Kiliwa was burnt to the ground. Survivors fled to nearby villages and UNICEF is now working on an emergency response to the crisis.
Meanwhile, the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) confirms that fighting with heavy artillery has continued over the weekend and intensified this morning in the northeast. The fighting involves the Government and rebels led by General Laurent Nkunda.
NUCLEAR WATCHDOG AGENCY HOPES D.P.R.K. CAN RETURN TO NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY
The Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei, today
addressed that bodys Board of Governors in Vienna. He told them that, this morning, the authorities of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) asked the Agencys inspectors to remove seals and surveillance equipment at Yongbyon, to enable them to carry out tests at the reprocessing plant, which they say will not involve nuclear material.
ElBaradei said he still hopes that conditions can be created for the DPRK to return to the Non-Proliferation Treaty at the earliest possible date and for the resumption by the Agency of comprehensive safeguards.
He added that the IAEA has not been able to make substantive progress on the alleged studies and associated questions relevant to possible military dimensions to Irans nuclear programme. These remain of serious concern.
U.N. AGENCY ADDRESSES LACK OF MIDWIVES IN DEVELOPING WORLD
The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Confederation of Midwives have
launched an initiative to address the severe lack of midwives in developing countries.
The project will focus on education and training of midwives, as well as developing practice standards and strengthening national midwifery associations.
Every year, half a million women die in pregnancy or childbirth, and between 10 and 15 million women suffer serious or long-term illness or injuries. Three million newborns die during their first week, while another three million are stillborn. It is estimated that skilled attendance at delivery, backed up by emergency obstetric care, could reduce the number of women dying in pregnancy and childbirth by 75 per cent.
The three-year, $9 million initiative will start in 11 of the hardest-hit countries, all in Sub-Saharan Africa, then expand to include 30 countries, if funding allows.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization is holding a Roundtable Breakfast with First Ladies and Women Leaders on Maternal Health this Thursday.
NEARLY 3 DOZEN COUNTRIES TO SIGN, RATIFY OR ACCEDE TO AT LEAST ONE TREATY
In conjunction with the General Assembly General Debate, the 2008 Treaty Event will also begin tomorrow at UN Headquarters. As part of the annual campaign, nearly three dozen Member States have indicated that they intend to sign, ratify or accede to at least one international treaty.
Updates and photos of all signings will be available at the Office of Legal Affairs new treaty website,
BAN KI-MOON TO ENCOURAGE ADHERENCE TO TEST-BAN TREATY
The Fourth Ministerial Meeting to promote the early entry-into-force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) will take place at UN Headquarters on Wednesday.
It will be attended by the Secretary-General and leading international figures.
The goal is to promote the treaty that would outlaw all nuclear weapons testing on Earth. In the meeting, the Secretary-General will urge all countries that have not done so to sign or ratify the CTBT so that it can finally enter into force.
BAKASSI PENINSULA MEETING WILL NOT TAKE PLACE
In light of the fact that the President of Nigeria, Mr. Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, will not be attending this year's ordinary session of the General Assembly, the High Level Meeting on the Bakassi Peninsula between the Secretary-General the Nigerian President and Cameroonian President Paul Biya, initially scheduled for this afternoon, will not take place as planned.
Asked when the Secretary-General learned that the Nigerian President would not be present in New York, the Spokeswoman said that he received that information on Sunday.
She added that the Secretary-General had intended to congratulate the Nigerian and Cameroonian Presidents on the Bakassi agreement and to follow up on what had happened since its implementation.
HORN OF AFRICA FACING WORST HUMANITARIAN CRISIS SINCE 1984
The World Food Programme today
appealed for $460 million to feed the hungry in Ethiopia through next March.
WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran notes that the Horn of Africa region is facing its worst humanitarian crisis since 1984. Many of those most affected live in the arid Somali Region of Ethiopia, where it has not rained for three years.
NO MEETING REQUEST BY ALASKA GOVERNOR
In response to a question, the Spokeswoman noted that there was no request received for Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska to meet with the Secretary-General.
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
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