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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-08-11

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.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

BAN KI MOON DEPLORES AUNG SAN SUU KYI VERDICT; URGES HER IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is deeply disappointed by the verdict in respect of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The Secretary-General strongly deplores this decision.

The Secretary-General urges the Government to immediately and unconditionally release Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and to engage with her without delay as an essential partner in the process of national dialogue and reconciliation.

Unless she and all other political prisoners in

Myanmar are released and allowed to participate in free and fair elections, the credibility of the political process will remain in doubt.

SECURITY COUNCIL TO HOLD CONSULTATIONS ON MYANMAR

The President of the Security Council has scheduled consultations at 3.00 p.m. this afternoon in connection with Myanmar.

BAN KI-MOON ADDRESSES DISASTER REDUCTION, CLIMATE CHANGE IN REPUBLIC OF KOREA

The Secretary-General delivered three speeches today in Incheon, in the Republic of Korea.

In the first, to the Global Environment Forum, the Secretary-General

noted that some 80 per cent of the Republic of Korea's $38 billion national stimulus package is dedicated to green growth -- the highest percentage in the world. In addition, nearly a million green jobs will be created in the coming four years. But although he applauded that progress, he also stressed that Korea must do more. The world is looking to Korea for leadership, he said. For that reason, Korea must set ambitious goals for reducing its own emissions.

In his second speech, at the opening of the UNs new center for disaster relief in Incheon, the Secretary-General

said that we know that prevention is better than cure. Yet too often, he noted, there is a tendency to defer action until after disasters occur. Building risk reduction capacities and raising public awareness is crucial, he said. In that regard, he added, the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Education and Training Centre for Urban Risk Reduction marks an important step forward.

In a third speech, at a conference on Building a Local Government Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Secretary-General

said it was not just up to national governments to address climate change, sustainable economic development, poverty and disease. Rather, he added, we need support and participation of local leaders: mayors, governors, county chiefs. We also need civil society participation, he stressed.

SOMALIA: HUMANITARIAN SITUATION DETERIORATES TO NEW LOW POINT

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, (OCHA), reports that the humanitarian situation in Somalia has deteriorated to a new low point, since 1991.

A combination of intensified fighting between government forces and insurgents, a deepening drought, and country-wide economic crisis has put nearly half of the population - or 3.2 million Somalis - in need of humanitarian assistance.

Abuses, such as the recruitment of child soldiers, rape, arbitrary arrests, detention, harassment, intimidation, and the looting of possessions are widespread protection issues in Somalia, reports OCHA.

OCHA also says that Somalias humanitarian crisis is worsened by the impact of global recession. In the first half of 2009 remittance inflows into Somalia have declined by 25 percent.

Conditions of security for aid work also continue to worsen, with Somalia having one of the highest per-capita incidents of aid worker attacks anywhere in the world. So far in 2009, eight aid workers have been killed and 19 remain in captivity since 2008.

But OCHA notes that despite the considerable operational constraints, humanitarian aid delivery is possible and ongoing.

Currently, UN is feeding more than 2.2 million Somalis every month, more than 5.3 litres of water is provided every day to more than 600,000 displaced people, and country-wide health campaigns are reaching more than 1.5 million children and 1 million women with a package of preventive health care.

HAITI: SPECIAL ENVOY CLINTON APPOINTS PAUL FARMER AS DEPUTY

The

Special Envoy for Haiti, President Bill Clinton today appointed Dr. Paul Farmer as the Deputy UN Special Envoy for Haiti. Dr. Farmer will support President Clinton and be responsible for advancing their work on a day-to-day basis.

According to the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Haiti, Farmer, a medical anthropologist and physician, has dedicated his life to improving health care for the world's poorest people and has pioneered novel community-based treatment strategies. He began his lifelong commitment to Haiti in 1983 when he worked with villages in Haitis Central Plateau to bring them modern health care.

Clinton noted that Framers selfless commitment to building health systems in the poor Haitian communities over the last 20 years has given millions of people hope for a brighter future for Haiti. He added that his credibility both among the people of Haiti and in the international community will be a tremendous asset to our efforts as we work with the government and people of Haiti to improve health care, strengthen education, and create economic opportunity.

SOUTH SUDAN: FIRST PHASE OF DISARMAMENT DRIVE IS COMPLETED

The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) reports that it has successfully completed the initial phase of its drive to disarm and demobilize former combatants in the southern Sudanese Blue Nile State.

A total of 5,674 were processed yesterday at a site in the town of Ed Damazin. Of these, about a third have already received preliminary counseling as a first step to their reintegration into civilian life. This is part of a Three Areas First approach, in which the Mission and its government and other implementing partners aim to first process former combatants in Nile State, Southern Kordofan and the Abyei region, before expanding to other areas.

The Mission believes that the just-completed Blue Nile State drive will boost morale among the implementing teams as preparations are now underway to start counseling for former fighters in Southern Kordofan.

Upwards 180,000 combatants from the Sudan Armed Forces, Popular Defence Forces and Sudan Peoples Liberation Army are to be demobilised under the disarmament programme mandated by the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between North and South Sudan.

However, funding remains a major challenge, the Mission says. A February donor conference held in Juba raised but US$88.3 million whereas the estimated total cost of the disarmament effort is around $430 million.

MORE BURKINA FASO PEACEKEEPERS DEPLOY IN DARFUR

The UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) says it is investigating the shooting death yesterday of one its Sudanese contractor. The man was killed by unknown assailants near the Missions base in El Daein, in South Darfur.

Meanwhile, an advance party of 133 peacekeepers from Burkina Faso has

arrived in Nyala, in South Darfur, where 134 Burkinabe soldiers are already serving. The latest arrivals include military engineers who will help build a larger base at Foro Baranga ahead of the planned arrival and deployment of an even larger group of peacekeepers, also from Burkina Faso.

CONGOLESE POLICE RECEIVE TRAINING AHEAD OF PLANNED VOTE

The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) has

completed a training seminar for 293 Congolese police officers in Western Kasai province. The Mission says its training programme, organized jointly with the Congolese National Police, seeks to improve police performance restoring and maintaining public order. It also seeks to ensure law enforcement around elections tentatively planned for the first quarter of 2010.

Meanwhile, the Mission also held a two-day meeting with 35 traditional leaders in South Kivu Province to study cooperation strategies for the UN-backed government military operations now underway in eastern DRC.

The World Health Organization reports that the number of Congolese displaced by the violence in Orientale Province has passed the 50,000 mark. Another 21,000 Congolese have sought refuge in southern Sudan.

WHO says it is striving to meet the IDPs and refugees health needs in both regions. However, widespread insecurity continues to hamper its efforts, especially in the Orientale Province. Public health concerns there include malaria, reproductive health and acute respiratory infections. Low level of child immunization is also reported, leaving many at risk of contagious diseases.

FOOD AND NUTRITION BOOST EFFECTIVENESS OF HIV TREATMENT

The World Food Programme (WFP) says that that food and nutrition are critical components of the global HIV and AIDS response. It adds that without adequate nutrition, malnourished people living with HIV experience reduced treatment effectiveness as well as a lower tolerance to the drugs.

WFP held a special briefing session at the 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP), exploring the role of nutrition in the context of HIV treatment in countries such as Thailand, India and Bangladesh.

WFP currently implements AIDS programmes in 10 countries in the Asia and the Pacific region all of which support efforts to move towards universal access to HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment and care, and provide individuals and their families with food and nutrition support.

FIRST WORLD HUMANITARIAN DAY TO BE MARKED ON 19 AUGUST

The first

World Humanitarian Day will be marked on 19 August. Dedicated to the humanitarian workers who have lost their lives while trying to assist communities in distress, this Day also marks the killing of Sergio Vieira de Mello, along with 21 other colleagues in a bomb attack on United Nations headquarters at the Hotel Canal in Baghdad on 19 August 2003.

According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 700 humanitarian workers have lost their lives in the last 10 years, in attacks, in kidnappings, during robberies, during rapes and other situations. It also says that humanitarian workers are increasingly the targets of attacks, with Pakistan, Sierra Leone, the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan, the Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Iraq being countries and regions of serious concern.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS IN THE UN SYSTEM

U.N. WORKING WITH MEDIA TO ENSURE FAIRNESS IN AFGHAN ELECTIONS: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

reports that it has been supporting Afghanistans Electoral Media Commission, which has been working to ensure fair coverage to all candidates. Through a partnership between UNDP and local non-governmental organizations, weekly reports are sent to the Commission and then made available to the public for greater transparency. The partnership has also been promoting media training sessions and roundtables. Those roundtables are being used by more than 40 presidential candidates two of whom are women to reach out to voters.

FIFTY MILLION WOMEN IN ASIA AT RISK OF HIV: According to a new

report by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), an estimated 50 million women in Asia are at risk of becoming infected with HIV from their intimate partners. It is estimated that 90% of the 1.7 million women already living with HIV in Asia contracted the disease from their husbands or long-term partners.

SEVERAL COUNTRIES REPORT THEIR 1ST H1N1 CASES: Regarding the H1N1 influenza virus, the World Health Organization (WHO)

reports that, as of 6 August, there were 177,457 cases and 1,462 deaths reported from over 170 countries and territories. Those figures do not reflect the totality of cases, as many countries are no longer required to analyze all suspected cases of H1N1. Several countries have now reported their first cases, including Azerbaijan, Gabon, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Swaziland. WHO has also put in place a hotline on the H1N1 pandemic at +41 22 791 5000.

LEBANON MISSION WORKS ON DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: A two-day joint exercise, by the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL),wrapped up today in the village of Srifa in south Lebanon. The exercise was based on a fictitious scenario of an earthquake measuring 6 on the Richter scale, resulting in several casualties in southern Lebanon. It aimed at enhancing coordinated capability to effectively respond to an unforeseen natural disaster.

UN AGENCY WARNS OF LURKING MENACE OF WEEDS: The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is

warning that weeds form one of the biggest reasons behind world hunger but are largely ignored. While droughts and diseases are attention-grabbing due to their dramatic effect, weeds quietly wreak havoc all year round, year after year. FAO reports that one weed alone can lead to complete crop failure and also make fields infertile for many years. Regarded as farmers number one natural enemy, weeds cause some $95 billion a year in lost food production globally.

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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