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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-07-17

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

Friday, July 17, 2009

BAN KI-MOON CONDEMNS INDONESIA BOMBINGS

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemns the bombings in two hotels in Jakarta this morning which have reportedly killed at least nine people.

The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the families of the victims and wishes those injured a speedy recovery. He expresses his solidarity with the Government and people of Indonesia.

The Secretary-General recognizes the steadfast efforts that the Indonesian Government has made in bringing to justice perpetrators of past terrorist acts. He expresses confidence that these new attacks will be investigated with equal resolve and that those responsible will be prosecuted.

SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFED ON SUDAN

Alain Le Roy, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, this morning briefed the

Security Council in its closed consultations on the Secretary-Generals recent report on Sudan and the work of the

UN Mission there. Le Roy also discussed the arbitration over Abyei. He spoke to reporter afterwards.

Thursday afternoon, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006) designated five entities, determined two goods and designated five individuals to be subject to the measures imposed in paragraph 8 of resolution 1718 (2006), which concerns the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. The Committee issued a

press release with further details.

DARFUR: SITUATION FOR CIVILIANS STILL DEEPLY TROUBLING

The Secretary-Generals

report to the Security Council on the deployment of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) is out as a document.

This report is scheduled to be discussed a week from today.

While outlining the challenges faced by the Mission in the 18 months since the transfer of authority from the African Union Mission in Sudan to UNAMID, the report notes considerable improvement in the quality of the Governments cooperation with the Mission.

The Secretary-General notes that the number of units on the ground has been steadily increasing and will continue to do so. All pledged units are expected to be in place and fully operational by 31 December 2009, constituting 92 per cent of the Missions total authorized strength.

The Secretary-General, however, notes that the situation for the civilians of Darfur continues to be deeply troubling, with 2.6 million internally displaced persons unable to return to their homes and some 4.7 million Darfurians in need of assistance. Meanwhile, banditry and sexual violence continue to plague civilians throughout Darfur.

He concludes by saying that UNAMID represents a unique strategic partnership between the African Union and the United Nations and he welcomed the AU initiative to establish the High-level Panel on Darfur and says he looks forward to the report of President Mbeki, which is expected to contain specific suggested measures to facilitate AU-UN mediation efforts.

He recommends a mandate extension for a further period of 12 months, until 31 July 2010.

PAKISTAN: U.N. COMMISSION VISITS SITE WHERE FORMER PRIME MINISTER WAS KILLED

Heraldo Muñoz, the Chairman of the UN Commission of Inquiry looking into the assassination of former Prime Minister of

Pakistan Benazir Bhutto, today said that his team will do its work in a transparent, open-minded and committed manner to ensure that the truth is established.

Ambassador Muñoz addressed the media in Islamabad after the commission this morning visited the park in Rawalpindi where the former prime minister was assassinated. He said the visit to the crime scene was important for him and his team to understand more clearly and fully what happened on the fateful day. At the site, the commission members were walked through the final events leading to and after the assassination and received briefings by police officers, including two who were injured during the attack.

Muñoz stressed that responsibility for a criminal investigation, including the possible naming of anyone or persons that committed the crime, remains with the Pakistani authorities.

The commissioners will conclude their initial working visit this weekend. A team of core staff will remain and be based regularly in Pakistan to carry out the commissions activities.

In response to a question, the Spokeswoman denied that the Commission had been set up only to placate the Government of Pakistan. She said that, although the Government had asked the Secretary-General to set up a Commission, it was established in order to further the cause of justice, a goal which Montas said she believed it would achieve.

She added that, although the Commission cannot accuse people formally of crimes, it can provide useful information to the Pakistani authorities as it pursues the case.

U.N. ENVOY IN COTE DIVOIRE CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION OF ELECTORAL TIMETABLE

In Côte dIvoire, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative, Choi Young-Jin, called for the immediate publication of an electoral timetable. He said that if the deadlines for each stage of the electoral process were not met, there was a risk that the presidential elections could be delayed.

Choi added that the electoral timetable would increase the transparency of the electoral process and help to plan and carry out the steps that are necessary in the lead up to the presidential elections, set for November 29.

He also stressed that the UN Mission in Côte dIvoire (ONUCI) was ready to assist the Independent Electoral Commission and the relevant authorities in overcoming any challenge on the road to the elections.

U.N. ALLOCATES EMERGENCY FUNDS FOR CONGOLESE CIVILIANS

Some 250,000 people in the Democratic Republic of the Congos troubled North and South Kivu provinces will get urgently needed humanitarian aid thanks to a seven million dollar allocation from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund.

Of that $7 millions, $4 million will help 43,000 displaced families with basic relief supplies from UNICEF. Another $2.5 million will provide clean water from UNICEF to 250,000 people in areas where waterborne diseases have doubled in the past few months.

In addition, $500,000 will bolster the World Health Organizations efforts to make basic healthcare accessible to 170,000 people including 3,200 children under the age of five. The allocation will also pay for health kits to be used in 10 clinics.

CYPRUS LEADERS DISCUSS SECURITY ISSUES

The Cyprus leaders met today under UN auspices in Nicosia. The Secretary-Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, spoke to the press afterwards. He noted that the leaders mainly discussed the issue of security.

Next week, he added, the leaders will continue to discuss security. But they will also talk about governance and power-sharing -- including the issue of aliens, immigration, asylum and citizenship.

In response to a question, Downer noted that Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat had given olive branches to Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias as a gift today.

U.N. WELCOMES SIGNIFICANT MILESTONE IN NEPAL PEACE PROCESS

The UN Mission in Nepal and the and the UN Country Team

welcome the decision by the Government of Nepal and the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist to formally launch the discharge and rehabilitation process for the 4,008 Maoist army personnel, including 2,973 minors, who were disqualified during the verification process.

Todays launch marks a significant milestone in the peace process. It will be important that the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist cooperates with the government to ensure the successful completion of the discharge and rehabilitation programme.

The United Nations is encouraged that the agreement recognizes the importance of compliance with international standards in line with Security Council resolution 1612 on children and armed conflict. The agreement commits to following a discharge and rehabilitation process that will allow the disqualified personnel to choose freely between a range of rehabilitation assistance packages.

BAN KI-MOON TO HONOR NELSON MANDELA

The Secretary-General tomorrow will attend an event marking the 91st birthday of former South African President Nelson Mandela -- at 3:00 p.m. in Grand Central Station. Among other things, he will sign a Volunteer Scroll to pledge 67 minutes of volunteer work to honor Nelson Mandela. In a message, the Secretary-General calls Mandela a living embodiment of the highest values of the United Nations.

To this day, he works tirelessly for peace and human dignity throughout the world, the Secretary-General says. His engagement in the fight against AIDS broke new ground against stigma. Above all, the Secretary-General says, he has shown the difference one person can make in the face of injustice, conflict, poverty and disease.

U.N. LEGAL CHIEF LOOKS INTO SOMALIA PIRACY ISSUES

Asked about Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Patricia OBriens recent travels concerning Somalia, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General had dispatched her to meet with legal authorities in Kenya, as well as with other regional groups and entities, to set up a legal framework to bring to justice pirates that are arrested in the high seas off the coast of Somalia. That effort, she said, remains a work in progress.

Asked whether the World Food Programme is dealing with Somalias al-Shabaab group, Montas said she could not confirm that. She added that UN bodies at times have contacted a variety of groups on the ground, at the operational level, in order to ensure that the safety and protection of civilians can be upheld.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

NEW DOCUMENT FOCUSES ON PEACEKEEPING POLICIES: The internal document or 'non-paper' on a renewed partnership agenda for peacekeeping will be released to Member States today. The non-paper entitled A New Partnership Agenda: Charting a New Horizon for UN Peacekeeping was prepared to support a reinvigorated dialogue with the aim of forging a peacekeeping policy agenda that reflects the perspectives of all stakeholders. Starting tomorrow more information on the process and copies of the report can be obtained on http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/dpko/newhorizon.shtml. A Peacekeeping official will provide a background brief interested members of the media next week.

POLLUTION TREATY TO BE IMPLEMENTED IN EUROPE: The UNs Economic Commission for Europe is

implementing a new international treaty on pollution that is set to enter into force this October. This treaty requires organizations to submit an annual report on how much pollution they release into the environment or transfer to other facilities. This information will be available on a public register online and will help identify the biggest polluters in communities across Europe.

  • ** The guest at the noon briefing today was Stephen Rapp, Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, who briefed on the work of Special Court and his meeting with the Security Council yesterday.

    THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

    18 July 24 July 2009

    Saturday, 18 July

    At 3 p.m., the Secretary-General is expected to make formal remarks at an event marking Mandela Day at the Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Station.

    Sunday, 19 July

    Starting today and until 24 July, Assistant Secretary-General Dimitry Titov will be in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to assess the country's upcoming priorities in the areas of Rule of Law and Security Institutions, focusing specially on the areas of police, justice, corrections and disarmament.

    Monday, 20 July

    This morning, the Security Council will hold consultations on the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN).

    The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women will hold its forty-fourth session, until August 7, in New York.

    In Geneva, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will hold its Humanitarian Affairs Segment until July 22. Over three days, Member States and humanitarian organizations will discuss the challenges, opportunities and activities related to the strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations.

    Starting today, the UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the rights of peoples to self-determination will carry out an official visit to the United States until 3 August.

    At 2.15 p.m. in Room-S226, there will be a press conference by Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    Tuesday, 21 July

    This morning, the Security Council will hold consultations on Djibouti/Eritrea.

    In Geneva, John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator will give a mid-year review of 2009 humanitarian appeals.

    Following the noon briefing, Naela Gabr, Chairperson of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, will brief on the Committees current session.

    Wednesday 22 June

    Today the Security Council will hold an open debate on post-conflict peacebuilding.

    The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will start a two-day meeting today in Geneva.

    Thursday, 23 July

    The Security Council will hear a briefing and then hold consultations on the United Nations Operation in Cote dIvoire (UNOCI). It is also expected to adopt a resolution on the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN). Karin Landgren, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Nepal and Head of UNMIN, will be the guest at the noon briefing.

    At 11 a.m. in Room-S226, there will be a press conference by Kate ORegan, Sinha Basnayake, Jenny Clift and Geoffrey Robertson from the Internal Justice Council.

    Friday, 24 July

    The Security Council will have a meeting and consultations on the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

    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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