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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-08-06

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

UN

HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

During August, the Spokesperson's noon briefings will take place on Monday's, Wednesday's and Friday's.

Developments within the UN system will be posted on the website daily during this time.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

BAN KI-MOON SALUTES MEMORY OF HIROSHIMA ATOM BOMB VICTIMS; CALLS FOR END TO NUCLEAR ARMS RACE

In a message on the 64th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that nuclear weapons and the United Nations were born that same year, in 1945. But while atom bombs offered a so-called peace based on terror and destruction, the United Nations provided a peace co-created by nations through debate, compromise, the rule of law, human rights, the pursuit of justice and economic prosperity.

The Secretary-General saluted the memory of the hibakusha (victims of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and their families.

He also expressed concern about the apparent resumption of a nuclear arms race among nations, and appealed to all humanity to support the sensible and achievable goal of ending that pursuit and phasing out existing weapons. We must never forget not only the horrific effects of nuclear weapons, but also the human costs of war itself as a means to resolving disputes, he said.

The Secretary-General also had a video message to the Seventh General Conference of Mayors for Peace held on the margins of the Hiroshima anniversary. He commended the Conference on raising public awareness about the dangers that cities, in particular, would face if these destructive weapons were ever used again. A world without nuclear weapons may be distant, but it is no longer just a dream, he said.

UN General Assembly President Miguel dEscoto-Brockman also attended the events in Hiroshima and delivered remarks on that tragic event as well as prospects for a possible end to the use of nuclear weapons.

And in Geneva, the head of the UN Conference on Disarmament, Ambassador Caroline Millar of Australia, said that today marked a sober reminder to all of the destruction and devastation of nuclear weapons and of the compelling importance of the Conference resuming its work on nuclear disarmament.

BAN KI-MOON DESCRIBES ARRANGEMENTS FOR SEPTEMBER CLIMATE CHANGE SUMMIT

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefed Member States this morning about the Summit on Climate Change that he will convene at UN Headquarters next month.

The objective of the Summit, he said, is to create a broader political vision of the urgency for action, and to mobilise the political will needed to reach an agreed outcome at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December.

A clear airing of views on fundamental climate change issues can provide government negotiators with the political signals and guidance needed to move the negotiations forward. But this will not be a negotiation, he added.

The Secretary-General said that the points of convergence achieved will be captured in a Chairs Summary which will be the main outcome of the Summit.

Much of the time will be devoted to interactive roundtables where leaders can have focused discussions. These roundtables will be closed and there will be no press.

The Secretary-General noted that the United Nations is working on a background paper that will help to focus the discussions during the roundtables.

SECRETARY-GENERAL BRIEFS GROUP OF FRIENDS ON MYANMAR

The Secretary-General on Wednesday afternoon met with the Group of Friends on Myanmar, and informed them of his 31 July meeting with the Permanent Representative of Myanmar.

At the 31 July meeting, the Secretary-General

told reporters afterward, he had underscored his clear expectation and that of the international community that the Government of Myanmar will give careful consideration to the implications of any verdict in the trial of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and use this opportunity to exercise its responsibility to ensure her immediate release. He also had noted the importance of ensuring the release all political prisoners so that they could participate in a credible and inclusive political process.

The Secretary-General said that the members of the Group of Friends agreed to his proposal to convene a second High-Level Meeting of the Group of Friends on Myanmar at the margin of the General Assembly in New York in September.

TOP ENVOY FOR SOMALIA WELCOMES MEETING BETWEEN U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE AND SOMALI PRESIDENT

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, has welcomed todays meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, between the US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Somalias President, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.

Ould-Abdallah, whos the head of the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), said the meeting strengthened the efforts being made to support the Somali government by regional and international organisations, such as the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union, the League of Arab States, and the Organisation of Islamic Conference and the European Union.

This meeting is therefore a strong show of support for peace and stability in Somalia as promoted in the Djibouti Agreement, said Mr. Ould-Abdallah.

The Government needs strong backing to continue its dialogue with various parties and to increase security for the people.

Ould-Abdallah further called on other countries, groups, individuals and especially spoilers to show more understanding and respect for Somalia and help its people to rebuild their society and their country.

U.N. AGENCY CONCERNED BY POSSIBILITY OF MORE EVICTIONS IN EAST JERUSALEM

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has welcomed the statements this week by the international community which deplore the evictions of two families from their homes in the Jerusalem district of Sheikh Jarrah. However, UNRWA remains concerned about the other refugee families in the area and the possibility of more evictions which will cause further unacceptable humanitarian suffering. The agency says it will continue monitor this situation closely.

According to UNRWA, the families, evicted in the early hours of Sunday from the homes where they have lived for more than half a century, continue to suffer distress and shock. The children are particularly traumatized. The lasting humanitarian impact on the 53 people directly affected including 20 minors cannot be over-estimated. Seeing settlers being escorted into the houses in which some family members were born, was particularly distressing for these refugees, the agency adds.

UNRWA notes that, not only were the refugees surrounded by Israeli police and security personnel at dawn, their homes broken into and their families thrown onto the streets, but they had to endure the indignity and humiliation of their personal effects being loaded onto trucks and dumped in scrub land at the edge of Jerusalems Route One. UNRWA has assisted the families in recovering their belongings and will store them until the issue is resolved. The agency is raising these cases with the Israeli authorities as a matter of urgency.

UNRWA states that the evictions violate the rights of the refugees and international law. The agency calls on the Israeli authorities to refrain from taking any further measures to evict other members of the Palestine refugee community in Sheikh Jarrah and to reinstate the evicted families, as the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process has

demanded.

U.N.-RUN DISARMAMENT CENTER OPENS IN SUDAN

The joint UN/Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission in the central Sudanese state of Kordofan has stepped up operations, with the launch yesterday of a second demobilization centre.

Thats according to our Mission there (UNMIS), which also noted that 19 ex-combatants of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) were processed on the first day of operations at the new centre. In total, the centre expects to manage the demobilization of some 2,300 ex-combatants.

So far, the Mission has helped disarm and reintegrate into civilian life some 3,200 former combatants from the onetime rebel Sudanese People Liberation Army (SPLA) and the pro-government Popular Defense Forces (PDF). When the project concludes, some 18,000 Sudanese government soldiers, PDF and SPLA ex-fighters would have disarmed.

CYPRUS LEADERS MEET UNDER U.N. AUSPICES, DISCUSS CITIZENSHIP & IMMIGRATION ISSUES

Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat 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 had continued talks on the issue of immigration, asylum and citizenship and had made good progress.

Downer added that the leaders will meet again in September to discuss the issue of governance and in particular the executive. Once they have finished discussing that issue, they will move to the question of property and then other outstanding issues.

SECURITY COUNCIL ENDS DEBATE ON PEACEKEEPING WITH PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT

The

Security Council ended its day-long open meeting on peacekeeping on Wednesday by adopting a

Presidential Statement, in which it emphasized the need to focus on such issues as credible and achievable mandates, matched with appropriate resources; better information-sharing and management; and greater awareness in the Security Council of the resource and field-support implications of its decisions, and of the strategic challenges across peacekeeping operations.

The Council stressed, among other things, the need to assess regularly, in consultation with other stakeholders, the strength, mandate and composition of peacekeeping operations, with a view to making adjustments according to the situation on the ground. It also encouraged the practice of holding meetings between Council members and the Secretariat at the level of political-military experts prior to discussions on mandate renewals. The Council also requested an estimate of resource implications for a proposed new mission or significant changes to a peacekeeping mandate.

The statement also addressed the need for earlier and more meaningful engagement with troop- and police-contributing countries before the renewal or modification of mandates, and expressed the Councils intention to increase its interaction with the Secretariat in the early phase of mandate drafting and throughout mission deployment.

COOPERATION BETWEEN FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATIONS AND UNFPA CRITICAL TO MATERNAL HEALTH

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) reports today that it has concluded the two-day policy round table meeting with more than 40 international faith-based organizations. Its partnership with faith-based organizations is promoting action against maternal health, ending violence against women and advocating womens empowerment.

UNFPAs Executive Director underlines the importance of the partnership due to the profound moral authority that religious leaders have, and we are all aware of the face that religious organizations are the oldest social service providers humankind has known.

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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