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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-03-19
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.HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Thursday, March 19, 2009
BAN KI-MOON TO TRAVEL TO ATTEND MEETINGS ON AFGHANISTAN AND MIDDLE EAST, G20 SUMMIT
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will embark on an official trip next week that will take him to Russia, Qatar, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France and Turkey.
He will first head to Moscow, in the Russian Federation, to participate in a conference on Afghanistan. That gathering is being held on 27 March under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and will focus on the impact that the situation in Afghanistan is having on its neighboring States. It will also examine ways for States to jointly tackle threats emanating from Afghanistan, including terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime.
Following the conference in Moscow, the Secretary-General will go to Doha, Qatar, to take part in a League of Arab States summit. There he will exchange views with Arab leaders on a variety of topics, including the Middle East peace process, Lebanon, Iraq, Sudan and Somalia.
The Secretary-Generals next stop will again focus on Afghanistan, as he helps to open the International Conference on Afghanistan, being held in The Hague, in the Netherlands, on 31 March. Building on the achievements of the Conferences held in Bonn, in London and, most recently, in Paris last year, this Conference will take a comprehensive look at the current political, security and development issues being faced in Afghanistan and discuss upcoming policy choices.
The Secretary-General will then head to the United Kingdom for the G20s London Summit for Stability, Growth and Jobs, which is to be held on 2 April. The G20 Summit will be taking place against the backdrop of a global recession, with falling trade and rising unemployment. The Secretary-General will call on G20 leaders to resist protectionism, and to commit to actions that will support developing countries through the crisis, including the poorest and most vulnerable.
From London, the Secretary-General will travel to Paris, France, to meet with the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB), which meets twice a year and comprises the heads of UN agencies, funds and programmes. During a retreat, the CEB will discuss the global financial crisis and what the UN system is doing to respond to it. It will also review the work of the UN system in certain key areas, including security, managerial coordination, system-wide coherence, and climate change, as well as political, economic and social developments throughout the world.
The Secretary-Generals final stop will be Istanbul, Turkey. There he will attend the second Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, which is being held from 6 to 7 April. The Forum will work to address ongoing tensions and divides across cultures and religions, and to examine some of the broader challenges of good governance and cultural diversity in an age of rapidly accelerating globalization. It will convene a network of global leaders and heads of international organizations, corporations, media, civil society and youth groups, to forge partnerships and build interaction between diverse communities.
SECURITY COUNCIL IS BRIEFED ON COUNCILS MISSION TO HAITI
Security Council began its work this morning with an open briefing by Ambassador Jorge Urbina of Costa Rica on the Councils mission last week to Haiti, which he headed.
The Council then went into closed consultations to hear an update on the work of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) from the head of that mission, Ellen Löj.
Then, at 3:00 this afternoon, the Security Council will hold an open meeting to discuss the work of the UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Afghanistan, Kai Eide, will begin with a briefing to present the Secretary-Generals recent
report on that Mission.
In that report, the Secretary-General details UN support for the Afghan elections that are scheduled to take place on 20 August. He notes that UNAMA has established a unit to work with political parties, observers, civil society and others to promote a political climate that is conductive to free and fair elections.
The report notes that the past year has been one of shaping UNAMA to better meet the expectations placed upon it, with Eide reorganizing the Mission to meet the needs of 2009. Mr. Eide plans to speak to reporters at the stakeout once the meeting has finished.
Wednesday afternoon, the
Security Council wrapped up its meeting on relations between the United Nations and the African Union by adopting a
Presidential Statement welcoming the African Unions important efforts to settle conflicts on its continent. The Council requested the Secretary-General to submit a report, no later than 18 September of this year, on practical ways to provide effective support for the African Union when it undertakes peacekeeping operations that are authorized by the United Nations.
U.N. ENVOY PLEDGES TO BEEF UP PRESENCE OF PEACEKEEPERS IN NORTH KIVU, EASTERN DR CONGO
The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Alan Doss, is continuing his security and humanitarian assessment mission to North Kivu. He has held meetings in various towns with Congolese civilian and military authorities as well as with womens groups.
The UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) says that Doss interlocutors denounced the insecurity and the spate of sexual violence against women. In response, the Special Representative pledged to strengthen the presence of peacekeepers in the region.
He said the Mission will beef up its logistical support to the Congolese army to flush out illegal armed groups from the region. Doss told representatives of women groups that a stronger UN presence in the region will help impose discipline within the armed forces. All this should, in turn, help contain and prevent sexual violence, he said.
Doss also visited the sites of various projects launched in the context of the recently-adopted regional stabilization and development plan.
SECRETARY-GENERALS REPORT ON U.N. MISSION IN KOSOVO IS RELEASED TODAY
The Secretary-Generals latest
report on the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, or UNMIK, is available today. In it, he notes that there is a perception among many Kosovo Albanians that UNMIKs continued presence is an unwelcome obstacle to the desire for Kosovo to function as a sovereign State.
On the other hand, many Kosovo Serbs continue to reject the authority of Kosovo institutions derived from the quote Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo end of quote.
For its part, UNMIK has accelerated its reconfiguration process, with its functions being adapted to respond to profoundly changed circumstances on the ground.
On the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, or EULEX, the Secretary-General notes its assumption of operational functions in the rule of law sector. He adds that this coordinated effort was accomplished without significant security incidents, and with the support of both Pristina and Belgrade. In that sense, it constitutes a major milestone in the international involvement in Kosovo, and a positive example of cooperation between the UN and the EU.
The Secretary-General again notes the commitment of EULEX to operate under the overall authority and within the status-neutral framework of the UN. And he stresses that its deployment and role in Kosovo need to continue to take into account the specific circumstances and concerns of all communities.
He also notes that EULEX has begun to submit reports to the UN on its activities on a regular basis.
UNITED NATIONS SADDENED BY DEATH OF NGO STAFF IN SRI LANKA
The United Nations in Sri Lanka issued a statement saying it is saddened to learn of the death of a national staff member of the non-governmental organization CARE. He died of injuries sustained as a result of shelling inside the No Fire Zone, compounded by a lack of sufficient medical care.
Unfortunately, the death of Mr. R. Sabesan is an insight into the larger circumstances confronting civilians trapped by fighting in the conflict area, the statement said.
The United Nations extends its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr. Sabesan.
FOOD COST DECLINE NOT AS FAST IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
While food prices have fallen internationally, that decline is not as fast in developing countries.
Thats one of the findings of a new food price index
launched by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This interactive internet tool -- covering 55 developing countries -- shows the prices of different food commodities and allows for price comparisons between domestic and international markets, as well as between countries.
UNEP: ONE PERCENT OF WORLD G.D.P. INVESTMENT CAN BOOST GLOBAL GREEN NEW DEAL
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
says that investing 1 percent of the worlds GDP -- or around 750 billion dollars into five key sectors could lead to a Global Green New Deal.
The five key sectors identified are: construction; renewable energy; ecological infrastructure; sustainable transport and sustainable agriculture.
UNEP says that investments in these areas in conjunction with other measures could play an important role in reviving the global economy and boosting employment while accelerating the fight against climate change, environmental degradation and poverty.
These findings are part of a new UNEP policy brief launched in advance of the G20 meeting.
UNCTAD: CURRENT ECONOMIC CRISIS REFLECTS GLOBAL FINANCIAL DEREGULATION AND IMBALANCE
A new report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) says that the current economic crisis reflects failures of national and international financial deregulation and persistent imbalances. It also reflects the absence of a rule-based system and deep inconsistencies among global trading policies, among others.
The report also stresses the need to revive and extend multilateralism in a globalizing world adding that the United Nations must play a central role in guiding this reform process.
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