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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-06-23

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From: The United Nations Home Page at <> - email:







Tuesday, June 23, 2009

(There was no noon briefing today)



much, Mr. Howard. Mr. Mayor [Michael Bloomberg] and Mr. [Paul] Dickinson [CEO,

Carbon Disclosure Project], ladies and gentleman, citizens of New York.

Good afternoon.

Its a great pleasure for me to participate in this very meaningful event and

particularly to be joined by distinguished Mayor Bloomberg of New York and other

civic leaders.

We are here for one reason: to push for urgent action on climate change from

world leaders, from civic leaders and from everyone, every citizen of the world,

including New York City.

Climate change is the greatest challenge facing this and future generations.

Much more for future generation: your daughters and sons and your grandchildren.

Emissions are rising and the clock is ticking.

That is why I am going to convene an unprecedented Climate Change Summit of the

United Nations here at UN Headquarters on 22 September. I appeal to all the worlds leaders to participate and make their contribution and make their commitment and give clear instructions to the negotiators on climate change.

According to the worlds leading scientists, we have less than ten years to halt the rise in greenhouse gas emissions, if we are to avoid catastrophic consequences for people and the planet.

Now is the time for action.

This year we have an unprecedented opportunity to change course and retool our economies to generate green growth, green jobs for a lasting recovery.

In December, the worlds governments will gather in Copenhagen, Denmark, to negotiate a new global climate agreement.

If we are to seal a deal in Copenhagen, we need to be bold and ambitious and visionary. And therefore we need the full support and commitment of the visionary global leaders at the highest level.

The United Nations can highlight the imperative for action. We can mobilize support and facilitate the negotiations.

But, in the end, it is the Parliaments, the Presidents and Prime Ministers and Ministers and governors and mayors of the world that have to act. The difficult but necessary policy choices facing us today can only be made by them. And I count on the leadership and commitment of Mayor Bloomberg. That is why I am here.

And also that is why I am inviting the Heads of State and Government from every country in the world to the United Nations Headquarters on 22 September. I am counting on all leaders to attend again, whether they are from countries with the highest emissions or from those suffering most acutely from the effects, including those small island developing countries, landlocked countries and least developed countries.

The goal of the Climate Change [Summit] is to mobilize the political momentum needed to seal the deal in Copenhagen on a fair, effective and scientifically ambitious new climate framework.

We have a lot of work to do, and not a lot of time. This is the time to act.

So far, the response by the worlds governments has been less than sufficient.

I hope that working together, the worlds leaders will signal their determination to resolve all final obstacles. I want this Climate Summit to help them seal the deal.

All nations, and all leaders, have a stake in a successful outcome in Copenhagen. Climate change involves everyone.

Thats what the United Nations seal the deal campaign is all about: mobilizing support across the globe.

To put it simply: If we want a climate change agreement in December, we need action today.

We need action from the grassroots, from religious groups and young people, from Main Street to Wall Street and beyond.

That is why I am pleased to join forces with the City of New York and the NGO [Non-Governmental Organization] community to launch Climate Week NYC, which will be held throughout the week of the Summit.

It is also why I am pleased to be joined by the Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg.

Mayor Bloomberg has taken important steps to build a green economy right here in New York City. He is a leading voice on this issue. And I count on your support, your cooperation, your participation. And most importantly, I count on the visionary leadership of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Thank you very much.

Q: [inaudible]

SG: This is a very important part of our negotiation. This climate change negotiation and addressing all these issues, in fact, should be led by the industrialized countries in view of their historical responsibilities. But what they need to do is, in terms of providing technology, in terms of providing financing support, the industrialized countries should take much more attention and support to developing countries - the most vulnerable countries, including least developing countries, land-locked countries and small island developing countries. I have been working very hard to mobilize political will as well as financial and technological support for these developing countries. That will be one of the very important elements to make these negotiations a success.

Q: Somebody said that business is willing and able and ready to take care of global warming. Didnt they cause it in the first place?

SG: In addressing this global warming phenomenon, it is vitally important that governments, the business community and the civil community cooperate. We need this tripartite partnership working together. In fact, business participation, particularly [by] CEOs, is crucially important. I have been meeting a group of CEOs during the last two and a half years; in parallel with my own efforts to talk with government leaders, business leaders participation is very important. The United Nations has established a very important initiative called the Global Compact. These business leaders have taken the initiative [in a project] called Caring for Climate. This is an initiative done by business leaders [with whom] I have been working very closely. Participation of business CEOs during the September 22nd summit will be a very important part. And I am also considering inviting Mayor Bloomberg, if his schedule permits. I know that he is a very busy leader, but let us see. I think a contribution by such a distinguished mayor of New York City, one of the biggest cities in the world -- that will give a very good example of how mayors and governors and local government leaders can lead by example. Thank you very much.



Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a statement issued Monday afternoon, expressed his growing concern at the situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran and his dismay at the post-election violence, particularly the use of force against civilians, which has led to the loss of life and injuries.

He calls on the authorities to respect fundamental civil and political rights, especially the freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of information.

The situation in Iran is of concern to the international community, and the Secretary-General calls on the Government and the opposition to resolve peacefully their differences through dialogue and legal means.

He urges an immediate stop to the arrests, threats and use of force.

'The Secretary-General reiterates his hope that the democratic will of the people of Iran will be fully respected.


The Security Council began its work on Tuesday by voting unanimously to extend the mandate of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights by six months.

The Council then heard a briefing by Joseph Mutaboba, the Secretary-General's Representative for Guinea-Bissau and head of the UN Peace-building Support Office in Guinea-Bissau. He discussed the latest report on the country, which, among other things, recommends that Guinea-Bissau consider a number of measures, including a credible commission of inquiry, to end the cycles of violence and impunity there.

Mutaboba briefed the council on the continuing political and military tensions following the recent assassinations of President Nino Vieira, the Military Chief of General Staff, General Tagme Na Waie, and a number of top political leaders.

He described the general situation as fragile and insecure, with a high degree of mistrust and skepticism because of the assassinations. Mutaboba added that though the setting is not ideal for peaceful elections, the interim president, Raimundo Pereira, has reaffirmed that presidential elections scheduled for Sunday, June 28, would go ahead.

He further stated that the United Nations is working with the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, and the African Union to assist the Government of Guinea-Bissau in its investigation into the double assassinations of the president and the military chief.

Continued instability is the desire of spoilers who benefit from a weak state and organised crime and drug trafficking, Mutaboba said, as he called on the international community to stay engaged with its much-needed support, especially for the conduct of the presidential elections.

This afternoon, the Security Council will receive a briefing on the situation in the Middle East by the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry.


The Mission in Chad and the Central African Republic (MINURCAT) is deeply concerned about the spiraling violence in the northeastern Vakaga region of the CAR. That region is home to an estimated 60,000 civilians in acute need of humanitarian assistance.

The Secretary-Generals Special Representative, Victor Angelo, was in Bangui yesterday for urgent consultations with the countrys leadership on how respond to the worsening security situation in the northeast. He later said that the discussions included consideration of a stronger UN presence to contain the violence and help resolve the conflict there.

Meanwhile, humanitarian personnel have been evacuated from local hub of Birao following a Sunday attack on a government base there, says the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). OCHA says the attacks have caused most of the civilian population to flee; 3 civilians and 6 soldiers were wounded, and more than 100 homes set on fire. A June 6 attack had left scores wounded, many houses burned to the ground, and some 1500 people homeless.

OCHA views the attacks as reflecting mounting tension between local ethnic groups, including some allied to the Union of Democratic Forces for Unity (UNFDR), a key signatory of the peace agreement.

Despite a small peacekeeping deployment near Birao, repeated violence and the peacekeepers limited access to patrol helicopters and other resources means that it is hard to ensure continued protection of civilians.

Meanwhile, as of today, only 41 percent of the requested $116 million in humanitarian assistance for the Central African Republic has been received, OCHA noted.


The midterm

report of the Panel of Experts on Liberia has been released today.

In the report, the panel deals with the Security Councils arms embargo on Liberia and a review of the lifting of the embargoes on the export of diamonds and timber. In addition the panel reviewed the Councils travel ban and assets freeze imposed on certain individuals associated with former President Charles Taylor, whos currently on trial in The Hague on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The panel says that it is investigating allegations of unapproved travel by individuals under the Councils travel ban. It also reports that the Government of Liberia has issued at least four passports, including a diplomatic one to listed individuals. Among its recommendations the panel suggests that implementation of the travel ban could be particularly enhanced through collaboration with organisations such as INTERPOL.

On the subject of timber and diamonds the panel recommends that the Security Council should continue to mandate the UN Mission in Liberia, (UNMIL), to assist the Government in establishing proper administration of its natural resources and authority in the areas of mining and forestry.


Robert Petit, the International Co-Prosecutor for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, issued a statement expressing his regret that, for personal and family reasons, he will resign from his post, effective 1 September 2009.

"It has been the greatest privilege of my career to have the opportunity to bring some justice to the victims of the crimes of the Khmer Rouge," he said. "I remain convinced that Cambodia's hopes for a better future lie, in part, on true accountability for crimes." Petit expressed his belief that Deputy Prosecutor William Smith and his staff, along with their Cambodian colleagues, will continue to pursue that goal following his departure.


The Secretary-General today

addressed the seventh UN Public Service Day Awards Ceremony.

During that ceremony, public institutions from around the world were recognized for the impact that their services have on the day-to-day lives of ordinary people. In his remarks, the Secretary-General said the UN has long recognized that effective governance and efficient public administration are central to the global development agenda.

The ingredients are simple: commitment, hard work, innovation, talent and technological know-how. Combined, they make a powerful recipe, he said.


Three Afghan staff of a local non-governmental organization, Development and Humanitarian Services for Afghanistan (DHSA), were killed today when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in Jowzjan Province. DHSA is a partner of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).


The World Drug Report 2009, the flagship publication of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), will be

launched in Washington DC tomorrow by UNODC Executive Director, Antonio Maria Costa, together with the newly appointed Director of the United States Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske.

The Report, presented in the run up to World Drug Day on 26th June, notes that despite huge efforts made by countries and partners, the production, trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs still represent serious challenges to human security.

While there are positive trends in Southeast Asia such as a likely drop in opium consumption and a leveling of poppy cultivation, the data highlights the growing issue of amphetamine-type stimulants production, trafficking and consumption, and the continuing prevalence of heroin use in East Asia.

The report represents the anti-narcotics bodys yearly effort to raise understanding of the state of global drug markets and to enhance responses by Member States to the threats they represent.


The 33rd session of the World Heritage

Committee, opened today in Seville, Spain. During the session, which ends on June 30, the Committee´s 21 members will review the state of conservation of properties inscribed on UNESCOs World Heritage List and 27 nominations for new inscriptions of cultural and natural sites on the List.

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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