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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-08-21

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 SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

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 21, 2009

AFGHANISTAN: UNITED NATIONS CONGRATULATE AFGHANS OVER ELECTIONS

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has congratulated the Afghan people on the holding of the presidential and Provincial Council elections.

The Secretary-General, in a

statement we issued yesterday, said that the Afghans have again demonstrated their desire for stability and development in their country.

He also encouraged candidates and their supporters to cooperate with the authorities while the results of the vote are pending.

The members of the Security Council also welcomed the holding of the elections in a press statement yesterday.

The Council members reiterated the importance of the vote and congratulated the Afghan people on their participation.

They applauded the Afghan authorities efforts to prepare for the vote and recognized the strong support of international partners, including the UN Mission (UNAMA), in that process.

Asked about an update on Afghanistan, the Deputy Spokesperson noted that elections results would not be available until such results are declared by the Independent Election Commission. Concerning a media ban during yesterdays elections, she reiterated that the need for Afghanistans voters to have access to information had been relayed to the Afghan authorities.

U.N. AGENCIES ASSIST VICTIMS OF FIGHTING IN NORTH YEMEN

UNICEF says its gravely concerned about the

deteriorating situation in Yemen and the impact of the current crisis on women and children -- following the escalating violence in the north of the country.

According to UNICEF, more than 100,000 people have been affected by the conflict, the majority of them children. The agency has already started distributing water filters, jerry cans and hygiene kits, as well as 300,000 water purification tablets.

The World Food Programme, (WFP), is planning to increase its food assistance to 150,000 people in Yemen. Thats up from the 95,000 who had gotten aid last month.

Today WFP started distributing a full one-month ration of food to 10,000 people, and last week WFP began handing out high energy biscuits to 7,000 people.

According to estimates by the UN Refugee Agency, the fighting in Yemen has displaced some 35,000 people in the past two weeks alone.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization, (WHO), says that many internally displaced families are reporting cases of diarrhea, skin rashes and malaria.

PAKISTAN: HUNDREDS OF DISPLACED FAMILIES IN NORTH-WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE RETURN HOME

On Pakistan, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

notes that almost 229,000 previously displaced families have returned to their places of origin.

As a result, 13 camps have closed down, although 17 still remain open in the North-West Frontier Province.

In terms of what UN agencies are doing to help, UN-HABITAT and the UN Refugee Agency have pledged to provide shelter assistance to about 10,000 families whose homes were damaged.

And the World Food Programme is distributing food in Waziristan.

Regarding funding, donors have stepped up contributions to the Pakistan Humanitarian Response Plan during the past week. The $542 million plan is now more than 60% funded.

ATTACKS BY LORDS RESISTANCE ARMY DISPLACE THOUSANDS IN SUDAN

Thousands of civilians have fled

renewed attacks by the Lords Resistance Army in Sudans Western Equatoria region, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

All UN humanitarian work in the border region between Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo was suspended as a result of these attacks, and aid workers were evacuated by helicopter to safer grounds.

Local authorities place at 5,000 the number of civilians displaced by the LRA attacks, which were condemned by the Refugee Agency.

UNHCR says some 360,000 civilians have fled LRA attacks in eastern DRC while another 20,000 others have sought refuge in Sudan and the Central African Republic.

TOP OFFICIALS REVIEW MALARIA CONTROLS IN UGANDA

The Secretary-Generals Special Envoy for Malaria, Ray Chambers, and the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, are currently in Uganda.

The goal of their trip, which has also taken them to Tanzania, is to review progress made in malaria control and better understand the remaining challenges in areas with high malaria levels.

Chambers and Chan are holding discussions with local malaria experts and government leaders and visiting urban and rural health centers focused on fighting malaria.

On Monday they met with President Kikwete of Tanzania.

Their long-term objective is to end malaria deaths. That can be achieved by meeting the Secretary-Generals goal of providing all endemic African countries with malaria control interventions by the end of 2010.

Chambers and Chan are joined on this trip by the President of the Global Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

SOMALIA: U.N. AGENCIES AND PARTNERS PROVIDE MOSQUITO NETS, FOOD AND OTHER FORMS OF AID

In an effort to prevent the spread of malaria in south-central Somalia, UNICEF is currently distributing 59,000 mosquito nets through partners in Sakow district, Middle Juba and Wanla Weyne.

And

during the past week, in Wanla Weyne district, around 5,000 children, between the ages of 6 and 36 months, received the highly-nutritious, ready-to-use food, called, Plumpy doz, which helps prevent acute malnutrition.

In Puntland, the World Food Programme, (WFP), and local partners completed a blanket supplementary feeding programme in three districts [Gaalkacyo, Galdogob and Jariiban]. About 17,000 children under the age of five benefited from this programme. WFP and its partners also distributed [280 metric tons of] food to about 20,000 people under institutional and supplementary feeding programmes in Wogooyi Galbeed and Awdal regions in Somaliland, during the past week.

In the port town of Bossaso, in Puntland, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and local partners launched an awareness campaign for hundreds of would-be migrants, who are prepared to make the hazardous boat voyage across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen, in search of a better life. Brochures containing information on the dangers of the journey were distributed during the week.

HAITI: UNITED NATIONS ASSIST AUTHORITIES TO PREPARE FOR HURRICANE SEASON

In Haiti, UN agencies and the UN Mission in the country,

MINUSTAH, are preparing for the 2009 hurricane season.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Haiti says that an inter-agency plan has been established to assist national authorities in case of natural disasters, based on the experience of last years hurricane season.

It says that the United Nations system in the country will strengthen its cooperation with MINUSTAH regarding logistics and reporting.

UN agencies have also pre-positioned food and essential items in different part on the country. Among them, the World Food Programme (WFP)

says that 5,700 metric tons of food have been set aside for post-disaster relief -- enough to supply 500,000 people with an emergency one-month ration of cereals, pulses, vegetable oil and salt.

WFP has also stockpiled special, highly-nutritious food for 35,000 children and pregnant and lactating women.

PLAN IS LAUNCHED TO PREPARE AND PROTECT COMMUNITIES AGAINST A(H1N1) PANDEMIC

The World Health Organization (WHO), together with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), UNICEF, and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, today

launched a call to action in response to the H1N1 pandemic.

That call aims to prepare and protect all communities particularly those with weaker health systems and more vulnerable populations from the impacts of the disease.

WHO notes that the spread of H1N1 is inevitable and has already reached such countries as Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

The call to action calls for a range of measures that health ministries can take, especially in those countries that might have limited access to antivirals and eventually to vaccines. Those measures include identifying populations at increased risk of disease and death; reducing death by treating acute respiratory illness and pneumonia. Other measures are aimed at reducing the spread of disease; continuing critical services; planning for the worst; and coordinating efforts.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECRETARY-GENERALS TRIP TO THE POLAR ICE RIM: Asked about a possible visit to Norway by the Secretary-General, the Deputy Spokesperson said that he had been considering a trip to the Arctic Rim for some time as part of his efforts to reach an agreement at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, next December. Preparations for such a trip are ongoing, she added, stressing that climate change was a top priority for the Secretary-General.

COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN: Advance copies in English of the reports containing country recommendations by the women's treaty body committee, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, (CEDAW), from its 44th session held in New York 20 July to 7 August 2009, are now available on the

website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Committee reviewed compliance to the women's convention by 11 countries: Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Denmark, Guinea-Bissau, Japan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Liberia, Spain, Switzerland, Timor-Leste and Tuvalu.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

Sunday, 23 August

Today is the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition.

Monday, 24 August

The Secretary-General will have his monthly luncheon with Security Council members.

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe will be traveling to Istanbul for the Friends of Democratic Pakistan Senior Officials meeting and the Foreign Ministerial meeting on 24-25 August. He will be accompanied by Jean Arnault, the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General to the Group of Friends of Democratic Pakistan.

Starting today in Geneva, the Third Meeting of Experts from States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) will be held until 28 August 2009.

Tuesday, 25 August

There will be no noon briefing by the Spokesperson today.

Ann M. Veneman, UNICEF Executive Director will start today a five-day visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo. She will be in Kinshasa today and tomorrow and in eastern DRC from 27 to 29 August.

Wednesday 26 August

No major events are scheduled for today.

Thursday, 27 August

There will be no noon briefing by the Spokesperson today.

The Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Friday, 28 August

No major events are scheduled for today.

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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