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United Nations Daily Highlights, 08-09-25
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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: email@example.comARCHIVES
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BANK KI-MOON
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Thursday, September 25, 2008
BAN KI-MOON URGES INJECTION OF NEW ENERGY INTO GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPMENT
General Assembly President Miguel DEscoto and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon have convened a High-level Event on the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Roughly 75 heads of State and Government are taking part, along with many leaders from the private sector and civil society. The purpose of the event is to review progress on the MDGs, identify gaps in that progress, and commit to concrete action to bridge those gaps.
remarks to the Opening Plenary this morning, the Secretary-General noted that the progress made on the MDGs in the past eight years is a sign that we are moving in the right direction. But we are not moving quickly enough, he said.
With the current financial crisis threatening the poorest of the poor most of all, the Secretary-General called for the injection of new energy into the global partnership for development. The Secretary-General asked those gathered to be bold in their commitments. I ask you to be generous. Tell us what you will do, and how you will do it, he said.
In addition to the High-level Event itself, more than
60 Side Events are taking place during this MDG Week. They include the events on Monday with a special focus on Africa, in the lead up to todays Event, as well as ones in which civil society organizations, philanthropic institutions and other stakeholders have announced commitments.
The Secretary-General is taking part in several events today, including this morning with the Irish Hunger Task Force and Oxfam. At the latter event, he signed his name to Oxfams In My Name glass pledge wall, through which signatories promise to call on governments to meet their meet their commitments to the MDGs. This afternoon, the Secretary-General is taking part in events on malaria, climate change, and gender equality.
At 5:50 p.m., the Secretary-General is holding a joint press conference with the President of Tanzania, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and Bill Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. At that time, the Secretary-General is expected to highlight some of the commitments announced throughout the day.
Following that, the Secretary-General will host roughly 35 world leaders at an evening event to discuss concrete steps for addressing the dual food and climate change crises. Looking ahead, the next step will be the
Doha conference that will review action on the Monterrey consensus at the end of November. The Secretary General has expressed the hope that the momentum of this week will be carried on to Doha.
UN Fund for Partnerships will follow-up on the commitments and, together with the UN Development Programme, present a report in 2010 on the status of these new commitments. The Secretary General has called for a summit on the MDGs in 2010 to further assess the delivery of commitments taken.
WORLD LEADERS LAUNCH CAMPAIGN TO REDUCE MALARIA DEATHS TO NEAR ZERO BY 2015
World leaders are gathering today at the 2008 Millennium Development Goals Malaria Summit to endorse an ambitious new Global Malaria Action Plan and commit nearly $3 billions towards reducing the number of malaria deaths to near zero by 2015.
The Secretary-General will be dropping by the Malaria Summit in a few moments. He is expected to laud the great progress we have seen in the fight against malaria. He will add that our approach to malaria can serve as a model for other campaigns against additional ills not just disease, but also hunger, poverty, illiteracy and gender inequality.
Todays Summit is being hosted by the Secretary-Generals
Special Envoy for Malaria, Ray Chambers. According to Chambers, we will not only achieve the malaria target within the Millennium Development Goals, but we will actually far surpass it.
To halt and reverse the incidence of malaria is not only a specific Millennium Development Goal -- it is also essential to improving maternal and child health, improving education and significantly reducing poverty, he adds.
SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES PROPOSAL TO HOLD MEETING ON MIDDLE EAST
The Security Council began consultations an hour ago on the Middle East, to discuss a letter from Saudi Arabia concerning a proposal to hold a formal meeting on Israeli settlements.
Yesterday, the Security Council deferred
until 15 December a decision on the size of a military component to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Chad, known as
MINURCAT, for which the Secretary-General has proposed 6,000 troops. The Council unanimously extended MINURCATs current mandate until 15 March 2009 and expressed its intention to authorize the deployment of a military component, taking fully into account the Secretary-Generals recommendations.
INTENSE FIGHTING DISPLACES THOUSANDS IN SOMALIA
At least 12,000 people have fled Mogadishu in the past week because of intensified fighting between Islamist insurgents and government forces and their Ethiopian military backers. Thats according to
UNHCR, the UN refugee agency. About half of the 12,000 newly displaced have found shelter within Mogadishu, while the rest have fled to Afgooye, some 30 kilometers southwest of the capital.
On Tuesday, the insurgents shelled a Mogadishu base of peacekeepers from the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM). The peacekeepers returned heavy return fire and briefly occupied a market area viewed as a rebel stronghold. They suffered no casualties but an unspecified number of insurgents were killed during the intervention.
CANADA EXTENDS ESCORT OF SEA-BOUND HUMANITARIAN CARGOES
World Food Programme Executive Director, Josette Sheeran, has
welcomed Canadas decision to extend by a month its protection of ships carrying humanitarian aid to Somalia.
hips sailing off the coast of Somalia have been targeted by pirates, placing at risk the lifeline for some three million people. As a result, some private ship-owners had threatened to cancel their contracts with WFP out of fear of pirate attacks. That move would have prevented some 100,000 tons of food from reaching Somalia.
The Canadian vessel was scheduled to end its mission on September 27th, but Canadas decision now extends it until October 23rd.
CASH NEEDED URGENTLY TO SHELTER AND FEED TAJIKSTANS POOR
The United Nations has issued a Humanitarian
Food Security Appeal for nearly $35 million to provide a temporary safety net for 800,000 of the most vulnerable people across the country.
The Appeal, which covers a 15-month period from October 2008 to December 2009, aims to offer short- and long-term relief by providing food and cash assistance, as well as rehabilitating critical infrastructure and supporting the agriculture sector through the next planting and harvest cycle.
Earlier year, Tajikistan experienced its most severe winter in 44 years, drought and locust infestation, in addition to skyrocketing food and fuel costs, and the combined resulting in an additional 1.3 million people out of a 6.7 million population, at risk of food shortages.
A total of 13 relief organizations are participating, with 21 project proposals to address immediate food requirements.
NEPALS FLOOD VICTIMS IN NEED OF RECOVERY ASSISTANCE
The United Nations and its humanitarian partners today issued an appeal seeking $15.5 million to cover the needs of 70,000 flood victims in Nepal over the next six months.
The appeal, including six NGO projects, and 27 UN agency projects, comes in addition to Nepals $102 million
Transition Appeal for 2008, currently only 44.5% funded.
While the Transition Appeal is helping agencies to address chronic problems in Nepal across all sectors, the flood emergency has added acute needs to an already challenging and complex humanitarian environment.
The flooding occurred in eastern Nepal, when the Koshi River, one of the largest river basins in Asia, breached its eastern embankment on 18 August. The force of the water led to 80% of the river changing its course.
In addition to the disaster in eastern Nepal, incessant rainfall in the mid-western and far-western regions between 19 and 21 September has resulted in more flooding and landslides in eight more districts. More than 30 deaths have been confirmed. Kanchanpur and Kailali districts in the far western region have been particularly hard-hit, with more than 24,000 families affected by flash floods alone.
MORE CHILDREN ARE IN SCHOOL THAN EVER BEFORE
UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman today delivered a message on the Secretary-Generals behalf at an event sponsored by the Global Campaign for Education to support the Education for All Initiative.
In his message, the Secretary-General emphasized that, if we forge a broad partnership, we can achieve the Millennium Development Goals by the target date of 2015.
He noted that we have already seen great progress in the area of education. More children are in school than ever before. More girls are getting the equal education that they deserve. Now, he asserted, we have to build on this momentum based on the conviction that education can drive economic and social progress.
MORE MEMBER STATES SIGN, RATIFY TREATIES AND CONVENTIONS
Office of Legal Affairs says that four countries will be taking actions on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, along with its Optional Protocol. New Zealand and Uganda are expected to ratify the Convention, with Uganda also ratifying the Optional Protocol. Pakistan will be signing the Convention while Romania will sign the Optional Protocol, as well as the International Tropical Timber Agreement.
Meanwhile, Liberia will become party to the Law of The Sea Convention and to the Agreement related to its implementation.
The Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers will gain a new state party in Jamaica. Jamaica will also join the Convention on the Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional weapons and all its related protocols and amendments.
Also today, Guyana will become party to the Convention on Road Signs and Signals and to the Agreement on the Implementation of the Law of the Sea Convention. Belgium, for its part, will ratify the UN Convention against Corruption.
AGENCIES SADDENED BY TAINTED MILK SCANDAL IN CHINA
UNICEF and the World Health Organization have
expressed great sadness and concern over the recent scandal concerning tainted infant formula in China. The agencies say that, while any attempt to deceive the public in the area of food production and marketing is unacceptable, deliberate contamination of foods intended for consumption by vulnerable infants and young children is particularly deplorable.
The agencies add that they are confident that swift and firm actions are being taken by Chinas food safety authorities to investigate this incident fully.
They also stress that breast milk is unquestionably better for infant feeding than any infant formula.
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
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