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United Nations Daily Highlights, 08-11-14
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY FARHAN HAQ
ASSOCIATE SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Friday, November 14, 2008
BAN KI-MOON TO CALL FOR GLOBAL STIMULUS PACKAGE AT WASHINGTON SUMMIT
The Secretary-General is in Washington. D.C., today, where this evening he will speak to leaders gathered for the Group of 20 (G-20) Summit about the impact of the current financial crisis, and his concern that it should not evolve into tomorrows human crisis.
He will tell the G-20 leaders about the key messages he has developed from his dialogue with UN Member States, about the need for a truly global stimulus package; access to liquidity for emerging markets and other developing countries; the moral imperative to fulfill the
Millennium Development Goals; and the need for financial reform to be inclusive.
The Secretary-General will also participate in the Saturday G-20 meeting.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONCERNED BY WORSENING SITUATION IN GAZA AND SOUTHERN ISRAEL
The Secretary-General is deeply
concerned at the deterioration of the humanitarian and security situation in Gaza and southern Israel, and at the potential for further suffering and violence. He calls on all parties to uphold international humanitarian and human rights law.
The Secretary-General reiterates his condemnation of rocket attacks. He calls for an end to such attacks and urges full respect by all parties of the calm that has been in effect since 19 June 2008. The Secretary-General is concerned that food and other life saving assistance is being denied to hundreds of thousands of people, and emphasizes that measures which increase the hardship and suffering of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip as a whole are unacceptable and should cease immediately.
In particular, he calls on Israel to allow urgently the steady and sufficient supply of fuel and humanitarian assistance. He also calls on Israel to resume facilitating the activities of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and all humanitarian agencies, including through unimpeded access for UN officials and humanitarian workers.
Asked what the United Nations can do to provide essential aid to Gaza, the Spokesman emphasized the importance for Israel to open the crossing points. The United Nations, he said, was using all available channels to bring that about.
Asked whether the Secretary-General had spoken about the humanitarian situation in Gaza with senior officials recently, Haq noted that he had discussed that matter, among other topics, when he met with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Wednesday.
POWER CUTS START IN GAZA AS CROSSINGS REMAIN CLOSED
The Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) reports that all crossings into Gaza were closed today including for fuel and aid workers. It has now been nine days in a row that commercial and humanitarian food deliveries have been kept out of Gaza.
Because the fuel pipelines were blocked today, parts of Gaza are now experiencing power cuts of 8 to 12 hours a day.
Among the items that the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is trying to get into Gaza is wool for a rehabilitation center, where blind women knit sweaters.
LEBANON: BAN KI-MOON ENCOURAGED BY NATIONAL DIALOGUE ON DEFENSE STRATEGY
Michael Williams, the UN Special Coordinator for
Lebanon, met today with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, and said that he had conveyed to the Prime Minister the strong support of the Secretary-General for the establishment of diplomatic relations between Lebanon and Syria. The Secretary-General, he said, is following this issue with very close interest.
With regard to other issues, Williams added, the Secretary-General is very encouraged by the national dialogue on a defense strategy that Lebanese leaders have engaged on and by the reconciliation initiatives that have taken place in Lebanon in recent weeks.
IRAQ SEES STEADY REDUCTIONS IN VIOLENCE
Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for
Iraq, told the
Security Council in an open meeting this morning that this summer and fall have witnessed, despite some occasional spikes, a steady reduction in the levels of violence in Iraq.
Iraq, he said, now enters a delicate electoral period where every small security gain likely to give space to political dialogue should be built upon, in order to avoid any electoral-related violence linked to the provincial elections scheduled for next January. Iraqis should not relent in grasping the momentum to advance on gains attained in 2008, he added.
U.N. HUMANITARIAN AID REACHES THOUSANDS OF CONGOLESE
There were no major violations of the ceasefire or attacks on civilian lives or property in North Kivu, says the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC).
Though the overall situation is tense and unpredictable, the World Food Programme (WFP)
says its convoy of 12 trucks, carrying 100 tons of food, encountered no problems on its trip from Goma to Rutshuru and Kiwanja. Some 12,000 people are being helped today out of 50,000 who have registered for food aid. The WFP convoy, which was escorted by UN peacekeepers, also brought blankets, plastic buckets, clothes, jerry cans and plastic sheeting.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), meanwhile, says that because of persisting security threats, it has
agreed with North Kivu authorities to transfer the more than 60,000 people in the two Kibati camps to a new site west of Goma. The transfer is due to start next week.
UNICEF said that recruitment of children by armed militias took place in Kitchanga. A number of 14-year-old children are also reported to have been forcibly enlisted in Rugare and Rutshuru, bringing to some 3,000 the estimate of children drafted into the ongoing conflict.
EGYPTIAN BATTALION STARTS DEPLOYING IN DARFUR
The Egyptian Infantry Battalion has begun deploying in Darfur, as part of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).
The first batch of 164 personnel arrived in El Fasher on Thursday, and further personnel of the same battalion, comprising 326 personnel, are expected to arrive today and Saturday.
They will be deployed in Umm Kadada, North Darfur, where they will join the 177-member advance party that is already on the ground. The rest of the battalion, consisting of 184 personnel, is expected to arrive at the end of this year.
Egypts contribution to UNAMID includes a Signal Company, Engineering Company, a Heavy Transport Company and another Infantry Battalion that is expected to arrive in the near future.
In addition to the 10 Battalions currently on the ground from Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa, UNAMID is expecting an additional eight Infantry Battalions, from Egypt (2), Ethiopia (2), Thailand (1), Senegal (1), Burkina Faso (1) and Tanzania (1).
INTERFAITH DIALOGUE AN IMPORTANT STEP FORWARD
The two-day General Assembly meeting on the interfaith dialogue wrapped up Thursday afternoon. The Secretary-General read out a declaration in which, among other things, participating States affirmed their rejection of the use of religion to justify the killing of innocent people and actions of terrorism, violence and coercion, which directly contradict the commitment of all religions to peace, justice and equality.
a joint press conference with the Saudi Foreign Minister, the Secretary-General said that the General Assembly had sent a strong message to the world. The challenge now is to go beyond the powerful, positive words we have heard these past two days, he added. It may take time to see results, but I am convinced that this meeting is an important step forward.
HAITI: HURRICANE SURVIVORS GET RETURN KITS
Regarding hurricane relief efforts in
Haiti, in Gonaïves, people who had sought refuge in schools when storms destroyed their homes are being encouraged to return home. As of Tuesday, some 1,700 families had received return kits, which contain tents, mattresses, a cash donation and hygiene and sanitation tools.
Other items include building materials, such as shovels, saws, hammers and spatulas, as well as bags of cement and nail boxes.
SOMALIA: NAVAL ESCORTS TO ENSURE FOOD DELIVERIES
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that newly available Dutch naval and NATO escorts of food convoys will ensure that the World Food Programme can bring some 59,000 tons of food into Somalia this month.
The food shipments, to be delivered by eight vessels, will be enough to feed 2.3 million people for six weeks. Some 3.2 million people, or 43 percent of Somalias population, are currently in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
DISARMAMENT RESEARCH BODY GETS NEW CHIEF
The Secretary-General has appointed Theresa A. Hitchens of the United States as the fifth Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR). She will take up her duties in Geneva in January 2009. Ms. Hitchens replaces Ms. Patricia Lewis of the United Kingdom.
Ms. Hitchens currently serves as the Director of the Center for Defense Information (CDI) in Washington, D.C., in charge of CDIs Space Security Project. She brings to the independent Institute years of experience in research and writing on a broad array of subjects in the field of international security, defense, disarmament, and non-proliferation.
U.N. BUILDING TO BE LIT UP IN BLUE TO MARK WORLD DIABETES DAY
Today at 6:30 p.m. UN Headquarters will join 800 monuments throughout the world in being lit up in blue to observe World Diabetes Day.
message to mark the day, the Secretary-General notes that people must be more informed about the warning signs of the disease, particularly in the developing world, because diabetes is often diagnosed late or misdiagnosed as the flu. Many children in the developing world die from diabetes because they do not have insulin, he adds.
In the message, he also says that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than one million people died from the disease in 2005. WHO projects that, without urgent action, deaths from diabetes will increase by more than 50 per cent in the next 10 years.
YOUTH NETWORK TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) today launched its first-ever North American Youth Network to help combat climate change. Twenty youth representatives from the US and Canada are meeting in Chicago this weekend, as part of UNEPs new Kick the Carbon Habit Education Campaign.
The goal is to form a network of North American youth leaders, who will engage their communities through education events, such as resource conservation fairs at elementary schools and distributions of eco-friendly light bulbs to homeowners.
ACTRESS CHARLIZE THERON TO JOIN U.N. AS MESSENGER OF PEACE
The Secretary-General has designated Academy Award-winning actress and activist Charlize Theron, of South Africa and the United States, as a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a special focus on ending violence against women. Recognized for her work to focus attention and mobilize support on social issues, particularly in South Africa, Ms. Theron joins nine other United Nations
Messengers of Peace who advocate on behalf of the Organization.
Ms. Theron will be officially inducted as a Messenger of Peace on Monday, at a brief ceremony led by the Deputy-Secretary-General, on behalf of the Secretary-General, who will be in Geneva. Immediately following the ceremony, Ms. Theron will be formally introduced at a press conference at UN Headquarters at 10:00 a.m.
BAN KI-MOON TO HEAD TO GENEVA TO MEET WITH ENVOYS: In response to a question, the Spokesman said that primary purpose of the Secretary-Generals trip next week to Geneva was to attend a meeting bringing together his Special Representatives. Asked about a trip to Los Angeles that the Secretary-General had been scheduled to make this week, the Spokesman noted that the high-level meeting in New York had caused him to reschedule that trip.
ATTACKS ON JOURNALISTS REPEATEDLY CONDEMNED: Asked about the reported shooting of a journalist in Pakistan, the Spokesman noted that the Secretary-General and the Director General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have repeatedly condemned the killings of journalists around the world.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
15 November 21 November 2008
Saturday, November 15
The Secretary-General is in Washington, D.C., to attend a summit of G-20 leaders on the global financial crisis.
Sunday, November 16
Today is the International Day for Tolerance, as well as the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.
Monday, November 17
Today and tomorrow, the Secretary-General is in Geneva for a two-day meeting of his Special Representatives.
At 10 a.m. in Room S-226, Academy Award-winning actress and activist Charlize Theron will be formally introduced as a U.N. Messenger of Peace, following her induction at a ceremony led by the Deputy Secretary-General.
At 11 a.m. in Room S-226, Amb. Irakli Alasania, Permanent Representative of Georgia, briefs on the situation in Georgia.
At 1 p.m. in Room S-226, Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, and General Assembly President Miguel dEscoto Brockmann brief following Mr. Morales address to the General Assembly.
From today through 28 November, the independent expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti, M. Michel Forst, visits Haiti.
From today through Wednesday in Bamako, Mali, UNESCO, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization are among the co-organizers of a Global Ministerial Forum on Research for Health.
Today and tomorrow in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe is among the organizers of a special international conference on Water Unites Strengthening Regional Cooperation on Water Management in Central Asia.
Tuesday, November 18
The International Court of Justice is scheduled to deliver its Judgment concerning Serbias preliminary objections to jurisdiction and admissibility in the case concerning Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Croatia v. Serbia).
From today through Saturday in Rome, the Food and Agriculture Organizations member countries meet for a special session to discuss and adopt a three-year Plan of Action for reform of the organization.
Wednesday, November 19
This morning, the Security Council is scheduled to hold a high-level open debate on strengthening collective security and armament regulation.
In Geneva, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes launches the Humanitarian Appeal 2009.
In Kabul, Afghanistan, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres co-chairs an international conference on return and reintegration of Afghan refugees.
From today through Friday in Addis Ababa, the sixth African Development Forum focuses on Action on gender equality, womens empowerment and ending violence against women in Africa.
Thursday, November 20
Today and tomorrow, the Deputy Secretary-General is in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to attend the Second Meeting of the Africa Commission and the sixth African Development Forum meeting.
At 11:15 a.m., in Room S-226, Hania Zlotnik, Director of the Population Division at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, provides an update on global migration, reviews this years Global Forum on Migration and Development in Manila and discusses next years Forum in Athens.
Today is Universal Childrens Day. At 1:30 p.m. in Room S-226, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy; Amb. Giulio Terzi di SantAgata, Permanent Representative of Italy to the U.N.; Saad Houry of UNICEF; and former child soldiers and youth advocates Ismael Beah, Grace Akallo, and Kon Kelei launch a new global network of children formerly affected by war.
At 2.30 p.m. in Room S-226, Aira Kalela, Head of International Affairs at the Ministry of the Environment of Finland, and Liane Schalatek, Associate Director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in North America, brief on issues relating to gender and climate change.
At 6 p.m. in the Visitors Lobby, there will be an opening of a photo exhibit on Child Soldiers - Children of War: Broken Childhood.
In Geneva, the World Health Organization holds an international Foodborne Disease Stakeholder Event, which will discuss a five-year project on the effect of foodborne diseases on health, as well as economic costs to countries.
Today is Africas Industrialization Day.
Friday, November 21
In Geneva, the U.N. Institute for Disarmament Research and Landmine Monitor release the global findings of the Landmine Monitor Report 2008.
Today is World Television Day.
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
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