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United Nations Daily Highlights, 08-10-13

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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: unnews@un.org

ARCHIVES

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

BY MICHELE

MONTAS

SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

UN

HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Monday, October 13, 2008

SECRETARY-GENERAL VOICES CONCERN ABOUT IMPACT OF WORLD FINANCIAL CRISIS, CALLS FOR MULTILATERAL ACTION

The Secretary-General said in a statement that the global financial crisis is hitting the world economy hard. The concerted action taken by the finance ministers of key economies affected and by the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington this weekend, aimed at restoring confidence in financial markets are laudable but more coordinated approaches, including direct intervention by governments of the major economies are necessary to recapitalize the banking system and guarantee the savings of ordinary people. The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the impact of this crisis on the developing world, particularly on the poorest of the poor and the serious setback this is likely to have on efforts to meet major goals. The initiatives by the World Bank and the IMF to provide new emergency liquidity provisioning to poor countries could help them counteract some of the consequences of this crisis. But more needs to be done. At the United Nations, he said, we need to consider urgent multilateral action to alleviate the impact of recent events on the development agenda of the organization, covering the entire gamut of issues from the implementation of the

Millennium Development Goals to the food and energy crises, as well as the challenges of climate change. In this context, the Secretary-General feels strongly that the Financing for Development Conference next month in Doha provides an important opportunity to review developments and to ensure that the current financial difficulties do not undermine commitments already undertaken to provide more aid and other financial resources for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals. Meanwhile, the ad hoc manner in which governments have had to respond to the management of this crisis is reflective of serious lacunae in the current world financial system. To ensure continued stability and protect the economic gains of both developed and developing countries, the Secretary-General said, we need to consider deep and systemic reforms based on an inclusive multilateralism for a global financial system that can better meet the challenges of the 21st century. A statement from UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Sha Zukang was

delivered over the weekend to the development and finance committees of the Bretton Woods institutions, meeting in Washington, DC. In the statement, the United Nations calls for international cooperation to restore economic growth and to regulate the financial sector.

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES AGREEMENT ON DPRKS DENUCLEARIZATION

The Secretary-General

welcomes the agreement between the United States and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea on denuclearization verification measures, allowing for the resumption of the six-party process and related activities. This is another step towards a verifiable non-nuclear Korean Peninsula.

The Secretary-General urges all the participants of the talks to redouble their efforts to meet their respective obligations and to complete the disablement phase as soon as possible. The Secretary-General remains fully supportive of this process.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea today granted the Agency access to the 5 Megawatt Experimental Nuclear Power Plant, the Nuclear Fuel Fabrication Plant and the reprocessing facility at Yongbyon.

The Agency inspectors were also informed today that, as of 14 October, core discharge activities at the reactor would be resumed, monitored by Agency inspectors. Agency inspectors will also now be permitted to re-apply the containment and surveillance measures at the reprocessing facility.

U.N. PEACEKEEPERS IN D.R. CONGO ESCORTS HUMANITARIAN AGENCIES

The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for the

Democratic Republic of the Congo, Alan Doss, says that UN peacekeepers have provided 21 escorts to humanitarian agencies on a field mission in North Kivu. Doss said this in a letter to Médecins Sans Frontières, after that organization said that civilians and aid workers were being harassed and abused by both the Government army and illegal armed groups. Doss also stressed that he is seeking support from the Security Council to temporarily raise troop levels in North Kivu in order to allow better protection for civilian populations. The Mission, meanwhile, has confirmed that UN peacekeepers this weekend rescued 13 children under the age of 18 from forced recruitment by illegal armed groups in North Kivu. During that mission, the peacekeepers were fired upon by fighters loyal to General Laurent Nkunda. The peacekeepers returned fire, wounding one rebel.

INDONESIAN FORMED POLICE UNIT ARRIVES IN DARFUR

A contingent of 130 officers from the Indonesian Formed Police Unit has arrived in El Fasher aboard a special UN flight from Jakarta, at the start of a one-year tour of duty with the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

In his welcome address on Sunday, Deputy Police Commissioner Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi noted that the unit arrived at a crucial time, when their services are especially needed to support the work of the UNAMID Police, particularly in providing security to the Internally Displaced Persons throughout the region. Meanwhile, UNAMID reports that the Deputy Joint Special Representative for Operations and Management, Hocine Medili, traveled to North Darfur today to inspect the readiness of the team site in preparation for the incoming troops arrival from Egypt. The Egyptian Infantry Battalion is expected to join UNAMID at the end of the month. An Egyptian transport company is also expected to arrive at the same time and will be based in Nyala, South Darfur.

COTE DIVOIRE GEARS UP FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

Some 6 weeks before the planned presidential election in Cote dIvoire, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for

Cote dIvoire, Choi Young-jin, this weekend toured identification and voter registration centers in Abidjan. Choi said he wanted to collect first-hand impressions of how preparations for the vote are proceeding. Noting that some logistical challenges persist, including computer availability at the centers, Choi stressed that solid advances have been achieved overall. He was confident that the centers would be fully operational by November 30, which is scheduled to be Election Day.

NEW SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR LEBANON ARRIVES IN BEIRUT

Michael Williams, the newly appointed UN Special Coordinator for

Lebanon arrived yesterday in Beirut to take up his functions as the Secretary-Generals main representative in Lebanon. He will begin his round of meetings with Lebanese officials this week. In his capacity as Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Williams will be responsible for coordinating the work of the United Nations in Lebanon and representing the Secretary-General on all political aspects of the organizations work in the country. He will also be in charge of following up the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701.

CYPRIOT LEADERS MEET UNDER U.N. AUSPICES IN NICOSIA

Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat met this morning in the UN Protected Area of Nicosia. Speaking to the press after that encounter, the Secretary-Generals Special Adviser on

Cyprus, Alexander Downer, said that todays discussion featured resumed negotiations on the issue of the executive, namely the presidency and the vice-presidency. This Thursday, the leaders representatives and experts will meet under UN auspices to continue the discussion. The two leaders will then meet again on Wednesday of next week.

U.N. ENVOY WELCOMES NEW CABINET IN AFGHANISTAN

Kai Eide, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for

Afghanistan, said over the weekend that the Cabinet changes announced by President Hamid Karzai demonstrates the political determination to implement the agenda set in Paris last June, particularly the strengthening of the Afghan police and agricultural production, with a team that can move those issues forward. Eide said that he is fully committed to supporting the new Cabinet team and looks forward to working with them over the coming weeks and months. The Special Representative will brief the

Security Council in an open debate on Afghanistan on Tuesday morning, and he intends to speak to reporters afterward.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TRANSMITS FINAL REPORT OF ETHIOPIA-ERITREA COMMISSION

In a

letter to the Security Council, the Secretary-General says that, with the termination of the mandate of the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea, he will no longer provide reports to the Council on the situation between the two countries on a regular basis. The Secretary-General has, however, transmitted to the Council the final report of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission, which says that the Commission has now concluded all administrative matters connected with the termination of its mandate.

INTERNATIONAL COURT RECEIVES REQUEST FOR OPINION ON KOSOVO DECLARATION

The International Court of Justice has now

received the General Assemblys Request for an Advisory Opinion on whether Kosovos unilateral declaration of independence is in line with international law. The Secretary-General transmitted the Request to the Court in a letter dated 9 October 2008. Unlike judgments handed down in contentious proceedings between States, the Courts Advisory Opinions are not binding.

UNODC, INTERPOL AGREES TO ESTABLISH TRAINING CENTRE TO FIGHT DRUGS

A new

agreement between the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and INTERPOL sets the stage for the establishment of the worlds first training centre devoted to education, research and training to prevent and combat corruption. The International Anti-Corruption Academy, to be located in Laxenburg, just outside of Vienna, will develop curricula and training tools, as well as conduct training courses and anti-corruption education. Antonio Maria Costa, the Executive Director of UNODC, says that the Academy will strengthen efforts to prevent, measure and fight corruption.

SECRETARY-GENERALS FIRST REPORT ON FISTULA TO BE PRESENTED TO GENERAL ASSEMBLY

The Secretary-Generals first report on fistula is to be presented this week to the General Assembly. According to the report, Campaign to End Fistula, launched by the UN Population Found (UNFPA) in 2003, has seen a fourfold increase in the number of countries it serves -- from 12 in 2003 to over 45 today. The report outlines efforts to end fistula, a hole in the birth canal or rectum caused by labour that is prolonged, and help achieve Millennium Development Goal 5, which deals with maternal health. At least 2 million women in Africa, South Asia and the Arab region are living with fistula, and some 50,000 to 100,000 new cases develop each year.

BAN KI-MOON TO MEET COUNTERPARTS ON GEORGIA THIS WEEK

Asked whether the Secretary-General would attend an international meeting on Georgia to be held in Geneva this week, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General would meet on Georgia with his counterparts on Tuesday, a day before the technical meetings take place in Geneva. On Tuesday, Montas said, the Secretary-Generals would meet, among others, with European Union High Representative for a Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, with the Secretary General of the OSCE, Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, and with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner. The following day, his Special Representative for Georgia, Johan Verbeke, would attend the technical meetings.

U.N. MISSION CONDEMNS KILLING OF MINORITIES IN IRAQ

Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for

Iraq, strongly condemned the killing of civilians and expressed his concern at the spike in violence that has targeted Christian communities in recent days, particularly in and around Iraqs northern city of Mosul. He warned that these acts are aimed to fuel tensions and exacerbate instability at a critical time. De Mistura said that the United Nations and its partners are monitoring with concern and assessing the situation very closely. They are further positioned to provide assistance to families in need around Mosul and in Dohuk. An initial 102 families were provided yesterday with emergency assistance, and another 400 are being currently assisted. De Mistura said that the current displacement comes at a very sensitive time, and he stressed the United Nations position that respecting and guaranteeing the political and legal rights of minorities in Iraq is fundamental to a stable and democratic future for the country.

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

United Nations, S-378

New York, NY 10017

Tel. 212-963-7162

Fax. 212-963-7055


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