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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-08-18

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 18, 2009

BAN KI-MOON IS DEEPLY DISTRESSED BY KILLINGS IN SUICIDE ATTACK IN KABUL

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is deeply distressed by the news that two Afghan UN staff members were killed, and a third injured, in a suicide attack in Kabul earlier today, which reportedly killed seven people and wounded many more.

The Secretary-General offers his deepest condolences to the families of those killed and his best wishes for a rapid recovery to those who were injured.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, Kai Eide, also issued a

statement and "condemned completely those responsible."

At a

press conference in Kabul just two days before the 20 August presidential and provincial council elections, Kai Eide, said: I appeal again to those who threaten with violence - and use violence - to allow Afghans to choose who should be the future leader of Afghanistan.

BAN KI-MOON WRAPS UP KOREA VISIT, PAYS TRIBUTE TO DECEASED KOREAN LEADER

The Secretary-General wrapped up his visit to the Republic of Korea today.

Before leaving Seoul, he paid tribute to the former President of the Republic of Korea, Kim Dae-jung, who passed away today. Visiting the temporary mourning altar that had been set up at the former Presidents hospital, the Secretary-General expressed his sorrow and sense of personal loss.

Also in Seoul today, the Secretary-General met with President Lee Myung-bak. The two discussed ways to resolve the nuclear crisis in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, as well as other global challenges including climate change.

The Secretary-General also visited the Korea National Red Cross Headquarters and met with First Vice Minister Kwon Jong-rak, the Global Compact Korea Association, and the board of the International Vaccine Institute.

KENYA: RELOCATION BEGINS FOR SOMALI REFUGEES AT OVERCROWDED CAMP

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has begun relocating some 12,900

Somali refugees from the overcrowded Dadaab refugee complex in northeastern Kenya to Kakuma camp in the northwest. A first group of 311 refugees arrived at Kakuma this past weekend after a three-day road trip, with another 520 expected there tomorrow.

The relocation drive, whose logistics are being handled by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), is part of a plan to stem chronic overcrowding at the Dadaab camp. Built 18 years ago, Dadaab now hosts more than three times its intended population. With the arrival since January of 43,000 Somalis at Dadaab, the camp now houses a record 289,500 people.

UNHCR says that conditions at the Kakuma camp are an improvement over Dadaab. It says that, once Dadaab has been emptied of its residents, it will begin work to upgrade the aging water and sanitation systems. It will also increase health delivery, improve housing conditions and food services as well as funding for community initiatives.

UNHCR has been assisting more than 510,000 Somali refugees across Kenya, Yemen, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Uganda.

MISSION IN DARFUR OPENS SEX CRIME INVESTIGATIONS UNIT

In response to reports of recurrent sexual crimes in Darfur, the UN/African Union Mission there (UNAMID) has

launched a special gender crime investigations unit within its police division.

The unit will monitor and report on investigations of crimes against women and children, and help bring culprits to justice. It will also lend a hand to Sudanese law enforcement in matters such as sexual harassment, child abuse, human trafficking, domestic violence, child abandonment and prostitution. UNAMID has assigned seven officers to the task. They have with special training in sexual gender-based violence.

The Mission, meanwhile, has just completed a

workshop for three dozen prison workers in North Darfur who received courses in human rights standards and prison management. The workshop was part of UNAMIDs efforts to help improve the Sudanese prison system and promote human rights.

And in South Sudan, the International Organization for Migration says in a new

report that an overwhelming majority of the 1.9 million returning internally displaced persons and refugees continue to face enormous challenges in accessing basic services and facilities.

U.N. SENDS MEDICAL SUPPLIES TO CONFLICT-HIT YEMEN

In light of the current conflict in northern Yemen, the World Health Organization (WHO) has

sent enough medical supplies for 200 surgical interventions for persons with trauma injuries. WHO also expects to send a large consignment of medical supplies next week to Yemen. In addition, it has sent additional medical staff from its regional office in Cairo to support the emergency health operations.

WHO and UNICEF are also jointly coordinating a combined health and nutrition cluster response to the emergency.

WORLD HUMANITARIAN DAY TO BE MARKED TOMORROW

Ahead of

World Humanitarian Day, which will be observed for the first time tomorrow, UN

High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a statement that killing those who are trying to help others is a particularly despicable crime, and one which all governments should join forces to prevent, and when prevention fails to punish.

Noting that humanitarian work and human rights are inextricably entwined, she stressed that it is very often abuse of human rights that causes humanitarian crises in the first place. Pillay added that without humanitarian aid, the basic human rights of millions of people would be denied.

The High Commissioner also noted that August 19 marked the day in 2003 when 22 people, mostly UN staff, were killed at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad. Sadly, she added, since then, there have been numerous other assassinations of individuals and further bombs most notably the one in Algiers on 11 December 2007 which took the lives of a further 17 UN staff members targeting UN and NGO staff.

In another statement to mark World Humanitarian Day, Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Healthy Organization (WHO) said that has the number of emergencies continued to increase, it was important to remain steadfast in our determination to help to be quickly on the scene in the growing number of hot spots around the world. She reaffirmed WHOs commitment to lead international and national responses to the health component of emergencies.

Tomorrow, the Secretary-General will inaugurate the first observance of World Humanitarian Day, at 10:35 in the General Assembly Building public lobby of the United Nations Secretariat. Before that, he will attend a wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the Baghdad bombing.

SHANGHAIS EXPO 2010 OFFERS GLIMPSE OF GREENER FUTURE, SAYS U.N. ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

released today its assessment of Shanghais efforts to organize an environmentally-friendly Expo 2010.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, said that the Shanghai Expo was offering us a glimpse of a greener future. He added that despite the challenges, Shanghai was clearly determined to turn its modernization into a green example for urban development of the future.

The UNEP Environmental Assessment outlines Shanghais efforts in nine key areas: air quality, transport, energy, solid waste, water, green coverage, protected areas, climate neutrality and the overall situation of the Expo site.

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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