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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-07-02

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

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

BY MICHELE MONTAS

SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Please note that, due to a US holiday, UN Headquarters will be closed on Friday, 3 July. The Spokespersons briefings will resume on Monday, 6 July.

SECRETARY-GENERAL IN SINGAPORE, ON WAY TO MYANMAR

The Secretary-General left Japan today and arrived in Singapore, where he met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and had a working dinner with Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong. They discussed the Secretary-Generals trip the following day to Myanmar.

On Friday morning, he expects to travel to

Myanmar, arriving first in Yangon and then traveling to the capital, Nay Pyi Taw. He is scheduled to meet with Senior General Than Shwe in the capital, among other stops scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

The Secretary-General had expressed four main areas of concern on which he intends to move forward: the release of all political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; the resumption of dialogue between the Government and Opposition as a necessary part of any national reconciliation process; the need to create conditions conducive to credible elections; and the need to consolidate and build on the joint humanitarian effort launched after Cyclone Nargis.

FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON TO BEGIN FIRST VISIT TO HAITI AS SPECIAL ENVOY

This coming Monday, former US President Bill Clinton will begin his first visit to Haiti as the Secretary-Generals

Special Envoy for that country.

In Haiti, the Special Envoy will meet with Government officials about how to best support the efforts to prepare for hurricanes, generate new jobs and enhance the delivery of basic social services. Clinton will also focus on how to ensure that the United Nations, civil society and the donor community align their activities with the Governments recovery plan as well as with each other.

This visit will be his second trip to Haiti this year; he accompanied the Secretary-General to the country in March.

Asked what the most critical issues are that Clinton will face, the Spokeswoman noted that the Special Envoy had spelled out his priorities in a

press conference once he was appointed.

Beyond that, Montas noted the need to deal with the impact of the flooding during the hurricane season, following the damage caused in some fragile areas, like the town of Gonaives in the Artibonite Valley, from earlier flooding.

Asked about an earlier incident in which a demonstrator had died while UN peacekeepers in Haiti had fired warning shots, the Spokeswoman noted that an autopsy had been performed, with the results in the hands of the Haitian authorities.

The UN Mission, she reiterated, had said that the troops had fired into the air and had indicated that they mostly use rubber bullets in such incidents.

SECRETARY-GENERAL DEEPLY CONCERNED BY ONGOING POLITICAL CRISIS IN NIGER

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the ongoing political and constitutional crisis in Niger, which threatens to destabilize the country and undermine the progress made in recent years to consolidate democratic governance and the rule of law. He regrets the most recent decisions taken by the Niger Government, which have made it extremely difficult for the countrys democratic institutions and the Constitutional Court to play their roles as guarantors of the rule of law. The Secretary-General calls for restraint and political dialogue to resolve the crisis.

The Secretary-General offers his good offices to work with regional partners, in particular the African Union and ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African States), to find a solution to this political crisis.

BAN KI-MOON WELCOMES GHANA AND GAMBIAS AGREEMENT TO END TENSIONS OVER DEATH AND DISAPPEARANCES OF GHANAIANS

The Secretary-General welcomes the Joint Communiqué signed today in Sirte, Libya, between the Governments of Ghana and the Gambia, to end the tension that arose following the deaths and disappearances of Ghanaian nationals in Gambian territory in 2005.

The Secretary-General applauds both countries for their commitment to settle the differences between them in a peaceful and negotiated manner. He trusts that the Joint Communiqué will strengthen the existing fraternal and cordial bilateral relationship between Ghana and the Gambia.

The Secretary-General acknowledges and expresses appreciation for the immense contribution of ECOWAS, which worked preventively and in partnership with the UN to resolve the problem between the two countries.

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONCERNED ABOUT WAVE OF UNCONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE OF GOVERNMENTS IN WEST AFRICA

The latest

report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) has just been released.

In the report, which covers the first half of this year, the Secretary-General notes that the overall peace and security situation in West Africa continues to improve, but he warns of a fragile progress in the area of governance.

Specifically, he raises deep concern about the recent wave of unconstitutional changes of government in the sub-region. The Secretary-General recommends that to combat the phenomenon of coups détat, the international community must respond in a firm, proactive, collective and consistent manner to address both their root causes and the practices that can serve as triggers.

The report also highlights other key issues, such as drug trafficking and cross-border organized crime, and conflict-prevention efforts through the tri-partite collaboration involving the United Nations, the Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS), and the African Union (AU).

I.A.E.A. SELECTS NEW DIRECTOR GENERAL

Today Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano won the required two thirds majority of those present and voting in the 35-member International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors with 23 votes and one abstention.

On Friday, the Board will meet again and procedurally move to appoint Amano as the Director General. Amano will succeed current Director General Mohamed ElBaradei on December 1.

CYPRUS LEADERS DISCUSS AGREEMENT REACHED ON CROSSING OPENING

Talks between the

Cyprus leaders continued today in Nicosia under UN auspices.

Speaking after the leaders meeting, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Cyprus, Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, told the press that the leaders discussed the follow-up to the agreement reached on the opening of certain crossings. They also exchanged views on the issue of territory that each of the two constituent states would occupy in a future federation.

The leaders decided that, at their next meeting, on 9 July, they will open discussions on security issues.

U.N. MISSION IN DARFUR LAUNCHES WOMEN CENTRES FOR INTERNALLY DISPLACED

The Gender Advisory Unit of the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs in North Darfur, today launched the reactivation of women centres at the Abu Shouk Camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in El Fasher, North Darfur.

Women centres were established to provide livelihood activities for women, as well as support in the context of sexual and gender based-violence. The Abu Shouk Centre will carry out several activities, including tailoring, candle making, henna and coffee sessions, handicraft, adult literacy classes, and awareness-raising on women's health, sexual violence and assistance on reproductive health.

U.N. WELCOMES INDIAS DECISION TO DECRIMINALIZE HOMOSEXUALITY

The Joint UN Programme against HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has strongly

welcomed todays decision in India to decriminalize homosexuality.

According to Executive Director Michel Sidibé, The Delhi High Court has restored the dignity and human rights of millions of men who have sex with men and transgendered people in India.

He noted that oppressive laws, such as the one that was repealed today in India, drive people underground, making them much harder to reach with HIV prevention, treatment and care services.

Sidibé added that todays ruling sends a positive message to the more than 80 countries in the world that still prohibit same-sex relations.

U.N. AGENCIES STRESS GENEROSITY OF PAKISTANI PEOPLE DURING CRISIS

Even as UN agencies have expressed their concerns about the health and welfare of approximately two million displaced people living in northwest

Pakistan, they have praised the Pakistanis who have provided food, shelter and other resources to those in need in that region.

The everyday people of Pakistan are the real heroes of this current crisis in Pakistan, said Martin Mogwanja, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Pakistan. Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad, he said, They set an inspiring example of extraordinary generosity for the whole world.

He said that he hoped this example is followed by the governments of this world, whose continued urgent support is desperately needed.

SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR THE IDENTIFICATION, RELEASE AND REHABILITATION OF CHILD SOLDIERS IN SRI LANKA

The Secretary-Generals

report to the Security Council on children and armed conflict in Sri Lanka, urges the Government of Sri Lanka to build on the progress achieved to date with the support of the U.N. and other parties.

He asks the Government to ensure that children released by armed groups have access to care, protection and reintegration programmes, including other appropriate assistance to those recruited as children who are now over 18 years of age.

In particular, he stresses that the Government should ensure that the identification, release, and rehabilitation of all children leaving armed groups and their successful reintegration into the communities is given priority and implemented in accordance with international standards.

He also urges the Sri Lankan Government to facilitate access of humanitarian actors and the delivery of assistance to internally displaced persons. He wants to ensure relevant care and protection for children separated from their families, and to address the high rates of malnutrition among internally displaced children.

The Secretary-General also urges the Government to ensure effective implementation of its zero tolerance position on child recruitment, including systematic and vigorous investigations for every reported case, followed by prosecutions and convictions of responsible perpetrators.

Asked about reports that Sri Lankan troops were firing in camps for displaced persons, the Spokeswoman said that if such reports are verified, it is never legitimate to fire on civilians. She noted that the United Nations has little control over the camps, which are run by the Sri Lankan Government.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECURITY COUNCIL ADOPTS PROGRAMME OF WORK: In its first consultations for the month of July, the

Security Council adopted its programme of work for the month ahead.

U.N. VOLUNTEERS TO SUPPORT ELECTIONS IN TIMOR LESTE: In Timor-Leste, a total of 62 United Nations Volunteers from around the world will gather in the country this month at the request of the Government, to support its coming local elections. The volunteers have been asked to cover five different areas of support, including field operation, logistics, civic and voter education, and monitoring.

TOURISM DECLINING IN 2009: The World Tourism Organization (WTO) has

revised its downward its forecast for international travel in 2009. This is due to a recorded decrease of international tourist arrivals from 269 million in 2008 to 247 million between the months of January and April in 2009. Aside from the global financial crisis and increased unemployment worldwide, the WTO also associates the decline in travel to the recent pandemic of the H1N1 virus.

NO U.N. ROLE IN DEALING WITH SHIP HELD BY ISRAEL: The Spokeswoman, in response to a question, said that the United Nations has not played a role in dealing with a ship held by the Israeli authorities.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS[1]

4 July 10 July 2009

Saturday, 4 July

The Secretary-General is in Myanmar.

Today is the International Day of Cooperatives.

Sunday, 5 July

No major events are scheduled for today.

Monday, 6 July

The Secretary-General is in Geneva, Switzerland, where he will open the High-Level Segment of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) which runs through Thursday. The ECOSOC substantive session will be held until 31 July. As part of his opening statement to the ECOSOC High-level Segment, the Secretary-General will formally launch the Millennium Development Goals Report for 2009 -- the annual statistical assessment of how we are doing on the Goals.

At noon, at the Palais des Nations, the Secretary-General will brief the press

The Secretary-Generals Special Envoy for Haiti, Bill Clinton, will be in Haiti until Wednesday, on his first trip as Special Envoy.

Matthew Nimetz, the Secretary-General's Personal Envoy for the talks between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Talks will hold two days of discussions in Skopje, starting today, on the name issue". He will also hold talks in Athens on July 7, 8, and 9.

Starting today and until July 15, the United Nations Independent Expert on minority issues, Ms. Gay McDougall, will undertake a country visit to Kazakhstan, at the invitation of the Government.

Tuesday, 7 July

The Secretary-General is in Ireland, today and tomorrow, for his first official visit. During his trip, he will meet the President, the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and the Defence Minister of the country. He will also make a public address on UN Peacekeeping.

Today, the Security Council is expected to adopt resolution on the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. It will also hear a briefing and hold consultations on the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA).

At 3 p.m. in Room S-226, Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will present the Launch of the Threat Assessment on Transnational Trafficking and the Rule of Law in West Africa.

Wednesday 8 June

This morning, the Security Council will hold consultations on the 1701 report.

The guest speakers at the noon briefing in Room S-226 will brief the press on the West Africa Coast Initiative, to be launched later in the afternoon. Speakers are Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); Said Djinnit, Special Representative for West Africa of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA); Andrew Hughes, UN Police Adviser, Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO); and Harper Boucher, INTERPOL Special Representative to the UN.

From 3 p.m. to 5.30 p.m., in Conference Room 3, the West Africa Coast Initiative will be launched. Jointly developed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the initiative is a multi-agency effort to support implementation of the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on Illicit Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime (2008-2011).

Thursday, 9 July

Today and tomorrow, the Secretary-General is in LAquila, Italy, where he will attend the meeting of the G-8.

This morning, the Security Council will hold a debate on Somalia.

Talks between the Cyprus leaders continue today in Nicosia under UN auspices. The leaders plan to open discussions on security issues.

Friday, 10 July

The Secretary-General will participate in a Food Security Session in LAquila.

The Security Council will hear a briefing and hold consultations on the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC).

[1]This document is for planning purposes only and is current as of DATE \@ "HH:mm" 14:29 DATE \@ "dddd, dd MMMM, yyyy" Thursday, 02 July, 2009.

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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