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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-01-02

United Nations Daily Highlights Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

ARCHIVES

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HIGHLIGHTS OF DEVELOPMENTS IN THE U.N. SYSTEM

UN

HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Friday, January 2, 2009

A briefing was held today by Robert Serry, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process,

who provided an update on the situation in Gaza via video-link from Jerusalem.

[The noon briefing will resume on Monday, January 5. 2009]

SITUATION IN GAZA REMAINS APPALLING AS UNITED NATIONS STARTS EMERGENCY BREAD DISTRIBUTIONS

The World Food Programme (WFP) reports that it has started distributing bread to families in areas of Gaza that have been badly hit by the recent upsurge in fighting.

The emergency distribution, which started on Thursday in Beit Hanoun, is for 3,000 poor families -- some 15,000 people -- who had not previously been receiving WFP food aid.

The recent attacks in the Gaza Strip have prevented WFP and its partners from operating at full capacity. And the difficulty of guaranteeing humanitarian access into Gaza over the last two months has reduced the availability of WFP food stocks, which would have helped address new needs, WFP says.

WFP calls the current situation in Gaza appalling, notes that many basic food items are no longer available on the market, and says that it urgently requires $9 million to meet foreseen additional food needs caused by the upsurge in fighting.

HIGH-LEVEL PANEL PRAISES PARTICIPATION IN BANGLADESH ELECTIONS

Francesc Vendrell, the head of the Secretary-Generals three-member High-Level Panel dealing with the Parliamentary elections in Bangladesh, spoke to the press in Dhaka today and congratulated all the political parties for participating in the election.

He paid tribute to the professionalism of the Election Commission and noted the reports from both domestic and international observers attesting to the "credibility and fairness" with which they managed the process.

With regard to the results of the voting, Vendrell said that there should not be "a feeling of winners and losers". He encouraged the new government to extend a hand of friendship to the new opposition, and said he was encouraged by public statements and his private conversation with Sheikh Hasina that "she has the right kind of spirit in reaching out to the opposition." Vendrell said the Panel will be reporting back to the Secretary-General next week on the conduct of the elections.

FRANCE ASSUMES SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY, AS FIVE NEW MEMBER STATES JOIN COUNCIL

France has assumed the rotating Presidency of the

Security Council for this month, replacing Croatia.

Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert of France is expected in the coming days to consult with other Council members on the programme of work for January.

He intends to brief the press next Tuesday about the Councils work over the coming month. The Council includes five new elected members for the 2009-2010 sessions: Austria, Japan, Mexico, Turkey and Uganda.

U.N. ENVOY DENOUNCES KILLINGS OF SOMALIS

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Somalia, today denounced the recent killings of several prominent Somalis, saying that it showed a blatant disregard for international law.

A member of the National Reconciliation Commission and a Radio Shabelle staffer were killed in separate incidents on Thursday, and Somalias Deputy Minister for Reconciliation was shot dead over the weekend.

Ould-Abdallah appealed to all Somalis to condemn the crimes and all similar acts of violence, and he called on the authorities to investigate the crimes and ensure that there is an end to impunity.

Meanwhile, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that heavy fighting earlier this week in the Dhuusamarreeb and Guri Elle towns in central Somalia resulted in at least 40 deaths and the displacement of more than 50,000 people. Humanitarian partners met today in Nairobi to coordinate their response, but the worsening security situation and limited humanitarian access continue to impede aid efforts, OCHA says.

The number of security incidents in Mogadishu over the past week increased compared to previous weeks; more than 17 people were killed across the city on Tuesday alone, OCHA says. There were three direct attacks against the humanitarian community this week. Hand grenades were thrown into the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) compound in Mogadishu, and armed groups entered the World Food Programme (WFP) compound in Marka by force.

A third supplementary ration distribution took place in Bossaso, Puntland, this week, for more than 7,600 children under the age of five living in displaced persons camps. So far,

UNICEF has distributed ready-to-use food to more than 9,000 children.

U.N. AGENCIES FIGHT EBOLA OUTBREAK IN D.R. CONGO

The World Health Organization (WHO) is

supporting the Ministry of Health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as it works to contain an ongoing outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever in the Province of Kasai Occidental.

WHO has deployed five vehicles to the field and has sent outbreak response equipment and medical supplies. Also helping are UNICEF, the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the World Food Programme.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

Monday, January 5

Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat are scheduled to meet in the U.N. Protected Area of Nicosia.

Tuesday, January 6

At 12.30 p.m. in Room S-226, Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert of France briefs the press, in his capacity as President of the Security Council for the month of January, on the Councils monthly programme of work.

Wednesday, January 7

The guest at noon is Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes, who will brief on the protection of civilians.

Talks between the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Congrès National pour la Défense du People (CNDP) are scheduled to resume today in Nairobi, Kenya.

Thursday, January 8

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres is scheduled to speak to reporters at the Security Council stakeout, following his morning briefing to the Council on the links between forced displacement and peace and security.

The guest at noon is Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy.

Friday, January 9

No major events are scheduled.

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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