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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-07-22
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARIE OKABE
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
SUDAN: BAN KI-MOON WELCOMES RULING ON ABYEI DISPUTE
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
welcomes the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on the final settlement of the Abyei dispute.
The Secretary-General commends the intent of the parties to abide by and peacefully implement the Court's decision.
The resolution of the Abyei dispute is a major step forward in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
The Secretary-General calls on the parties to sustain this positive development by supporting the Abyei Administration to deliver the long awaited peace dividend to the people of Abyei.
The Secretary-General calls on the parties to keep alive the spirit of cooperation generated by the resolution of the Abyei dispute by resolving the outstanding issues critical to the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
Speaking in Abyei town shortly after the Court announced its ruling, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sudan Ashraf Qazi
described it as a win-win decision for both sides.
He congratulated the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) for completing the Abyei Arbitration process in the Permanent Court of Arbitration, noting that their commitment to uphold the decision reflects their respect for the rule of law and their desire for peace.
And he said that the UN mission in Sudan (UNMIS) stands ready to assist the parties and the local communities in efforts to implement the decision.
SECRETARY-GENERAL MEETS WITH IRAQI PRIME MINISTER
In response to a question, the Spokeswoman noted that the Secretary-General and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Kamal al-Maliki met this morning at UN headquarters.
Their discussions focused on the review process, pursuant to paragraph 5 of Security Council Resolution 1859, which concerns the review of Chapter VII mandates on Iraq.
Asked why the Secretary-Generals report on the review process has not come out yet, Okabe said that the Secretary-General informed the Prime Minister that his factual report on the review process will be issued shortly. There is no due date for the report, she noted.
The Secretary-General noted the views and concerns of the Prime Minister regarding outstanding Chapter VII mandates, she added. They agreed to continue working together on this matter.
Asked whether the Secretary-General supports Iraqs efforts to end outstanding Chapter VII mandates, Okabe said that the Secretary-General has been working with Iraqi officials to resolve the matter. She noted his recent discussion with the countrys Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, and the work that is to be reflected in the upcoming report.
SECRETARY-GENERAL PRESENTS REPORT ON PEACEBUILDING TO SECURITY COUNCIL
The Secretary-General this morning
presented to the Security Council his report on peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict.
The report, he said, sets out an approach to peacebuilding that is better resourced, managed and coordinated.
Building peace is about much more than ending war, the Secretary-General said. It is about putting in place the institutions and trust that will carry people forward into a peaceful future. The report focuses on that crucial two-year period when conflict has ended but insecurity often persists and peace is fragile.
He emphasized the five interconnected messages of the report, which stresses the importance of: national ownership; international leadership; coherence; a common strategy; and predictable and credible delivery. And the Secretary-General also encouraged the Security Council, in the context of next years review of the Peacebuilding Commission, to consider how it can make more effective use of that body.
SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES ISRAEL TO FREEZE SETTLEMENT ACTIVITY
The Secretary-General today sent a message to the UN International Meeting on the Question of Palestine. That gathering is being held today and tomorrow in Geneva, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
In that message, the Secretary-General urged Israel to freeze settlement activity and natural growth. He added that, if Israel continues settlement activity, it will not only be acting contrary to international law but also to a strong international consensus. He also expressed regret that Hamas has not renounced violence and committed clearly to a two-State solution with Israel.
The Secretary-General added that he supports the work of the Human Rights Council fact-finding mission led by Justice Richard Goldstone. He said that, where civilians have been killed and there are allegations of violations, there should be thorough investigations, full explanations and, where required, accountability. We have the full message upstairs.
UN ENVOY SAYS TENSIONS IN SOUTHERN LEBANON CALMING DOWN
Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Michael Williams, is continuing his discussions with senior Lebanese officials, meeting today with Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh.
He said that they discussed the importance of the full implementation by all sides of Resolution 1701.
Furthermore, Williams said, the United Nations has urged both Lebanon and Israel to refrain from any actions which could be perceived as provocative and which could spiral into undesirable results.
Asked about the situation in Southern Lebanon, Williams said that, following the incident of last week, the situation has been calming down. He added that he is assured that all sides including the UN Interim Force (UNIFIL), the Lebanese Armed Forces, the Lebanese Government and Hezbollah are working to reduce tension.
UNITED NATIONS CONTINUES TO CLOSELY FOLLOW ELECTION PROCESS IN MAURITANIA
Asked about the elections in Mauritania over the weekend, the Spokeswoman said that the United Nations continues to follow the election process in Mauritania closely, but it may not have a formal statement to make until the final results have been announced by the Constitutional Council, which has to look into any complaints.
While the UN is not an observer, Okabe added, it deployed a high-level UN panel to Mauritania on 14 July to help promote a peaceful and transparent process. The panel has met the key actors and will report to the Secretary-General. Several of the panel members will remain on the ground to follow the rest of the election process.
She added that the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for West Africa, Said Djinnit, is also following this closely.
U.N. OFFICIAL VISITS DR CONGO TO DEAL WITH QUESTIONS ON PRISON SYSTEM
The Assistant Secretary-General for the Rule of Law and Security Institutions of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), Dmitri Titov, is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His visit is focused on dealing with questions regarding the countrys penitentiary system.
Today, Titov is in Sake where he will visit a UN mine action site and meet with local North Kivu judiciary authorities. On Monday and Tuesday, he was in Goma and Rutshuru. In Goma, he visited the main prison and met with the civilian and military components of the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC), among other officials.
Titov started his visit to the DRC last Sunday in Bunia. Before leaving the country, he is scheduled to meet with the Interior, Defence, International Cooperation and Justice Ministers. He is expected to hold a press conference on Friday.
HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF WELCOMES ASEANS ENDORSEMENT FOR REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today
welcomed the endorsement by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Foreign Ministers, of the terms of reference for the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights.
Calling it "an important step forward" in the establishment of a new mechanism to protect and promote the human rights of people living in the ASEAN region, Pillay said she looked forward to continued cooperation between the United Nations and ASEAN States in the development of the regions first such Commission.
ANTIRETROVIRAL DRUG CAN LESSEN CHANCES OF HIV INFECTIONS ON NEWBORNS
If HIV-positive pregnant women are given a combination of antiretroviral drugs from late in pregnancy until six months into breastfeeding, their babies are over 40% less likely to become infected with HIV.
Thats according to a new
study led by the World Health Organization.
UNAIDS notes that preventing mothers from dying and protecting babies from HIV is one of its priority focus areas.
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
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