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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-08-03
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MICHELE MONTAS
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Monday, August 3, 2009
BAN KI-MOON CONDEMNS WEEKEND ATTACK IN SOUTHERN SUDAN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
notes with extreme concern, the 2 August attack in Akobo, Jongeli State, Southern Sudan, and condemns the reported killing of 161 people, including 100 women and children, 50 men and 11 SPLA soldiers.
The Secretary-General has directed the UN Mission in Sudan, UNMIS, to extend all possible assistance to those affected by this heinous act and work with local authorities to restore calm.
The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the Government of Southern Sudan and the bereaved families.
He calls upon the Government of Southern Sudan to bring to justice those responsible for these events and take the necessary measures to protect civilians across Southern Sudan.
DARFUR: PEACEKEEPERS EXPAND PATROLS IN NEW CAMPS FOR INTERNALLY DISPLACED
Minor incidents of banditry and car-jacking continue to be reported from North Darfur, says the UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) although the overall security situation has remained calm.
The Mission also reports that its Deputy Joint Special Representative, Henry Anyidoho, yesterday visited the Kalma camp for internally displaced persons near Nyala, in South Darfur. Anyidoho was there to inspect progress on work being done by UNAMID engineers in the wake of recent heavy flooding.
The Deputy Joint Special Representative also met traditional leaders with whom he discussed living conditions at the camp as well an IDP (Internally Developed Persons) voluntary return programme. He also handed local civil society representatives some 250,000 dollars from the Missions Quick Impact Project (QIPs) budget to build classrooms, bathrooms and water pumps at the Kalma camp.
Meanwhile, the Mission on Saturday began all-day patrols in an additional 14 IDP camps across Darfur. The expansion comes a day after the arrival and deployment of 36 police advisors from Malawi. And the Mission says another 80 police advisors are expected to join its ranks later this week from South Africa.
SECRETARY-GENERAL EXPRESSES HIS CONCERN AHEAD OF REFERENDUM IN NIGER
A referendum to endorse an amendment to Nigers Constitution is scheduled to take place tomorrow, despite sharp differences among the country's political stakeholders.
statement issued Friday, the Secretary-General expresses his concern and reiterates his support for an inclusive process to resolve the current crisis peacefully and in conformity with the country's democratic values.
The Secretary-General calls on the people of Niger to exercise utmost restraint and urges all parties to refrain from any form of violence. The United Nations stands ready to support initiatives that would help resolve the current situation in a peaceful and sustainable manner.
In two other statements issued over the weekend, the Secretary-General
congratulated the State institutions which participated in the organization of the polls in Guinea-Bissau; and he
paid tribute to the late President of the Republic of the Philippines, Corazon Aquino.
MIDDLE EAST COORDINATOR DEPLORES EVICTION OF PALESTINIAN FAMILIES IN EAST JERUSALEM
The UNs Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, has
deplored the eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in the Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem.
Serry called those actions by Israeli security forces totally unacceptable. He noted that settlers were allowed to take possession of the properties, and that the Palestinian families in question were refugees registered with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
Serry added that such actions contravene the Geneva Conventions, as well as calls by the international community for Israel to refrain from provocative actions in East Jerusalem.
Serry rejected Israel's claims that this is a matter for municipal authorities and domestic courts. And he called on Israel to adhere to international law and its Roadmap obligations, and to cease and reverse its recent provocations in East Jerusalem.
According to UNRWA, the personal belongings and household property of the evicted families were loaded onto trucks by the Israeli authorities and dumped in scrubland at the edge of the busy thoroughfare in Jerusalem known as Route One.
Today, UNRWA helped the evicted refugees recover their possessions, loaded them into trucks and stored them in UNRWA warehouse facilities. UNRWA says the families who have lived in these houses for more than half a century are still in shock and trauma. Of the 53 people evicted, 20 are children and are reported to be particularly traumatized, UNRWA adds.
Asked about the Secretary-Generals views on the issue, the Spokeswoman noted that Serry was speaking for the UN system and that the Secretary-General has repeatedly expressed his concerns about settlements.
SECRETARY-GENERAL HOPEFUL ABOUT IRAQS FUTURE
Iraq is entering a crucial period, highlighted by its increased responsibility for its security and the important national elections planned for next January. Yet a relative calm has been achieved, and the Secretary-General is hopeful that this is a trend that bodes well for Iraqs future.
Thats what the Secretary-General says in his latest
report to the Security Council on Iraq, which notes the work being done by the UN Assistance Mission in that country (UNAMI).
The Secretary-General writes that he is concerned about the relationship between the Federal Government in Baghdad and the leadership of the Iraqi Kurdistan region. He urges the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament to reconsider the provisions in the draft Kurdistan regional constitution, which could have the potential to aggravate tensions and affect ongoing discussions on the disputed boundaries.
He also calls for an end to provocative statements, including those which prejudge in any way the future of areas such as Kirkuk. He warns against any unilateral actions on the ground which the other side is likely to see as hostile in intent.
AFGHANISTAN: TOP U.N. REPRESENTATIVE HIGHLIGHTS ANTI-FRAUD MEASURES FOR UPCOMING ELECTIONS
Kai Eide, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for
Afghanistan, in a press conference yesterday highlighted the measures in place to discourage fraud in that countrys upcoming national elections. He said that everything possible is being done to prevent and detect fraud and irregularities.
Regarding detainees, Eide added that he recently visited a detention centre in Kabul and plans to visit other ones in the future. He said that there is a need to improve such facilities and to provide as much information as possible to the families of detainees. It is important, he added, that conditions are in accordance with international standards and do not lead to further radicalization.
U.N. AGENCIES LAUNCH HEALTH CAMPAIGN FOR DISPLACED CHILDREN IN SRI LANKA
The United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have launched this week, a special health campaign for children in Vavuniya, Sri Lanka. More than 36,000 internally displaced children under the age of 5 will be vaccinated against measles and polio. They will also each receive dosages of vitamin A and de-worming tablets.
The acting UNICEF Country Representative says that Children under five are the most vulnerable part of a population especially in emergencies; [and] this campaign will help save lives.
UNICEFS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CONCLUDES VISIT TO NORTHERN NIGERIA
UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman has concluded her visit to Northern Nigeria.
announced 1.85 million dollars in additional support for UNICEF nutrition programmes. The funds, says
UNICEF, will be used to scale up integrated community-based nutrition stations where families can bring their children for preventative and curative assistance.
During her visit, UNICEFs Executive Director also discussed with government and faith-based leaders the need to eradicate polio. Nigeria is one of only four polio endemic countries in the world and the only endemic country in Africa. Veneman announced the allocation of over $5 million to contribute to polio eradication efforts in Nigeria.
SECURITY COUNCIL TO ADOPT PROGRAMME OF WORK TOMORROW: The United Kingdom has assumed the rotating Presidency of the
Security Council for the month of August. The new Council President, UK Ambassador John Sawers, is today holding bilateral meetings with other Council members on the programme of work for the month.
LETTERS SENT UPON INAUGURATION OF NEW GOVERNMENTS: Asked when the Secretary-General would write a letter to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his election, the Spokeswoman said that, in accordance with regular practice, such a letter would go out once Ahmadinejad has taken his oath of office and begun a new mandate.
UNESCO AWARDS 2009 INTERNATIONAL LITERACY PRIZES: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 2009 International Literacy Prizes went to a newspaper produced entirely by women in rural India and three innovative literacy projects in Burkina Faso, Afghanistan and the Philippines. The Non-Formal and Continuing Education Programme of the Ministry of Education of Bhutan also received an Honourable Mention for its holistic approach to literacy. The UNESCO International Literacy Prizes are awarded every year in recognition of excellence and innovation in literacy throughout the world.
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