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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-08-14

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 MARIE OKABE

DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

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.

Friday, August 14, 2009

CLIMATE CHANGE NEGOTIATIONS CONCLUDE WITH URGENT CALL FOR MORE TO BE DONE BEFORE DECEMBER

The Bonn Climate Change Talks a United Nations negotiating session toward a new global response to climate change concluded today in Germany.

Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) warned that negotiations had to pick up pace if there is to be success at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, this December.

He stressed that there were only 15 days of negotiating time left before Copenhagen.

De Boer also said that industrialized countries needed to show a greater level of ambition in agreeing to meaningful mid-term emission reduction targets.

He added that poorer countries risk being left by the wayside without access to technology and finance.

The next UN negotiating session will begin on 28 September in Bangkok. Before that, as you know, Heads of States and Governments will gather here in New York for the Climate Change Summit convened by the Secretary-General on 22 September -- which will give them the opportunity to provide clear political guidance to negotiators ahead of Copenhagen.

INCREASING VOTER TURNOUT IS MAIN CHALLENGE FOR UPCOMING ELECTIONS IN AFGHANISTAN

The UN Development Programme (UNDP), in a

press release today, reports that increasing voter turnout is one of the main challenges for the upcoming presidential and provincial council elections in Afghanistan, on August 20. To raise awareness about voting procedures and to step-up the number of voters, the Commission has enrolled sports stars and civic educators to organize mock polling stations throughout the country.

While the Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC) is fully in charge of this electoral cycle, the United Nations has been requested by the Security Council and President Karzai to lead and coordinate electoral assistance to the elections.

The United Nations, through

UNDP and under the general political guidance of the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), is providing substantial technical assistance to the IEC and other Afghan institutions.

These activities include operational support to the delivery of the elections, for example, advice to the Commission, production, transport and general management of voting materials, training of Afghan police, assistance to the Election Complaints commission, assistance to the media commission, independent media monitoring, training of national observers.

U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONERS REPORT ON GAZA INDICATE

GROSS RIGHTS VIOLATIONS DURING LAST MILITARY OPERATIONS

Available today is a

report on the recent Gaza conflict by High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

Youll recall that the same Human Rights Council resolution which set up Justice Richard Goldstones Gaza fact-finding mission also requested the High Commissioner to issue a series of progress reports on the situation there.

Todays report is the first of that series. Pillays report will be presented to the Human Rights Council, along with Justice Goldstones report, on 29 September.

The Goldstone report will be made available next month, prior to the Human Rights Councils next session, which starts on 14 September.

In her report today, Pillay says there is significant evidence which indicates that serious violations of international humanitarian law, as well as gross human rights violations, occurred during the military operations of 27 December 2008 to 18 January 2009.

Pillay also expresses grave concern that Israel has not yet complied with the International Court of Justices Advisory Opinion on the Wall.

She adds that the blockade of Gaza and the restrictions on the movement of people and goods into, out of, and within the West Bank amount to collective punishment under article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Pillay concludes that there can be no lasting peace without respect for human rights and without accountability for human rights violations.

BAN KI-MOON WELCOMES RELEASE OF REPUBLIC OF KOREA CITIZEN DETAINED BY NORTH KOREA

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomes the release of a national of the Republic of Korea working in the Gaeseong Industrial Complex who has been detained by the authorities of the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea since 30 March.

As this development comes on the heels of the release of the two U.S. journalists, he appreciates the decision of the DPRK to take positive measures based on humanitarian considerations. He extends his warmest sympathy to the family of the released worker and the Government of the Republic of Korea .

The Secretary-General renews his hope that a dialogue will resume at the earliest possible time between the DPRK and the concerned parties including inter-Korean dialogue. He continues to support dialogue aimed at improving relations among them and resolving outstanding matters, including the nuclear issue. The Secretary-General reiterates his unswerving commitment to doing his best to assist those endeavors.

LEBANON: U.N. ENVOY PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR THE FORMATION OF NEW GOVERNMENT

The UNs Special Coordinator for

Lebanon, Michael Williams, met with Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri in Beirut yesterday.

Following that meeting, Williams noted that the UN stood behind the Prime Minister-designates efforts to form a new government in consultation with all the political parties in Lebanon.

Williams said he hoped this process will be completed soon in order to allow the new government to address the many socio-economic and political challenges facing the country.

Williams also said he had been reassured by the Lebanese authorities and different Lebanese political parties and groups of their commitment to Security Council

resolution 1701, which deals with Lebanon and Israel.

He expressed hope that the new government, when formed, will renew that commitment and work actively towards the resolutions full implementation.

SOMALIA: UNICEF, WHO AND WFP LAUNCH FRESH EFFORTS TO HELP NEEDY CHILDREN AND MOTHERS

UNICEF and the World Health Organisation, (WHO), in partnership with local authorities

launched the second round of Child Health Days (CHDs) for Somaliland, when a package of critical health services will be delivered to needy children and mothers.

About 440,000 children under the age of five and 500,000 women of child bearing age will be targeted for measles and polio immunization, vitamin A supplementation and de-worming. The beneficiaries will also receive aqua-tabs for water treatment, hygiene education, tetanus vaccination for women and nutritional screening.

UNICEF has moved from water trucking to the construction, rehabilitation, operation and maintenance of water points in the drought-affected areas of Somaliland.

Meanwhile, in recent days, the World Food Programme (WFP) and its partners have distributed some 110 metric tonnes of assorted food commodities to many beneficiaries. In Mogadishu, five cooked meal sites have just re-opened following a month-long closure caused by insecurity. Every day, an average of 80,000 people receive cooked meals from those kitchens.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECRETARY-GENERAL EXPECTS AN UPDATE ON PROBE INTO HIRING IRREGULARITY ALLEGATIONS: In response to a question about the allegations suggesting irregularities in the recruitment procedures being investigated by UNDPs Office of Audit and Investigations, in conjunction with the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), Okabe confirmed that the Secretary-General is aware of the situation surrounding the hiring by UNDP of the daughter of Alan Doss, his envoy to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Secretary-General has been assured that a thorough independent investigation is underway. He takes this matter very seriously, and expects to see a report [of what has been done to date] upon his return to New York, she said.

WFPS HUMANITARIAN AIR SERVICE RECEIVES CRITICAL SHORT-TERM FUNDING FOR CHAD OPERATIONS: The World Food Programme, (WFP), says that it will able to continue its

Humanitarian Air Service operation in Chad, but only for another month. And thats because it has received 1 million dollars from the United States in response to its recent appeal for donations. However, if no new donations are made, the Humanitarian Air Service remains at risk of suspending or altogether ending its operations by late September. Meanwhile, the Humanitarian Air Services operation along the West African coast remains in dire financial straits. WFP says it urgently needs $3.3 million to keep up that operation through the end of the year.

MALARIA-FIGHTING BED NETS TO BE FEATURED IN U.S. TELEVISION HIT SERIES "UGLY BETTY": ABCs hit series "Ugly Betty" will be filming their season-premiere episode here at Headquarters during the evenings of Wednesday the 19th and Thursday the 20th. The UN Foundation's Nothing but Nets Campaign, which deals with malaria-fighting bed nets, will be featured in the storyline. This project falls under the Creative Community Outreach Initiative, which brings together the UN and the world of film and TV.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS[1]

Monday, 17 August

Starting today and until 21 August, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Jorge Bustamante, will be on an official visit to Senegal.

Tuesday, 18 August

There will be no noon briefing by the Spokesperson today.

Wednesday 19 August

The Secretary-General will attend a wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the Baghdad bombing today at 10.29 a.m., in front of the memorial plaque located outside the meditation room, in the Visitors Lobby of the General Assembly Building.

The Secretary-General will inaugurate the first observance of World Humanitarian Day, at 10:35 in the General Assembly Building public lobby, South exhibition hall of the United Nations Secretariat.

This morning, the Security Council will hear a briefing on the situation in the Middle East. Consultations on the same subject will follow.

Thursday, 20 August

There will be no noon briefing by the Spokesperson today.

Today, the Security Council will hold consultations on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and on Sudan.

Friday, 21 August

No major events are scheduled for today.

[1]This document is for planning purposes only and is current as of DATE \@ "HH:mm" 15:13 DATE \@ "dddd, dd MMMM, yyyy" Friday, 14 August, 2009.

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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