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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-09-14

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

Monday, September 14, 2009

BAN KI-MOON WILL JOIN IN PRAYER FOR PEACE AND PROSPERITY ON EVE OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY OPENING

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to join in a prayer for peace and prosperity at the Holy Family Church, as tradition on the eve of the opening of a new General Assembly session each year, just before leaders from around the world join at the UN to discuss how to achieve these goals.

In his remarks, the Secretary-General will reiterate that while the United Nations is responding by helping countries meet the

Millennium Development Goals, it cannot heal the wounds that families are suffering from economic hardship.

He will call on all religious groups to unite faiths so that they can strengthen ability to reach the UNs life-saving goals, and help shape the world.

This morning, the Secretary-General attended the book launch of UN Ideas That Changed the World published by the

UN Intellectual History Project.

In his

remarks, the Secretary-General commended the publication of the book that records the great ideas that have emanated from the great organization of the United Nations. The Secretary-General also highlighted that some of the ideas the world accepts as common wisdom today, were controversial when first articulated. He added that those ideas are what they are today because UN fought for and championed them.

This 336-page volume is the 17th of its kind, in a series published showing the culmination of a 10-year research effort to trace the intellectual history of the United Nations.

BAN KI-MOON WILL SEND TOP POLITICAL OFFICIAL TO SRI LANKA

The Spokeswoman, in response to a question, confirmed that the Secretary-General had spoken by phone this morning with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

[Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, the guest at todays briefing, said that the Secretary-General had raised the expulsion of a UNICEF staff member and the detention of two other staff in Sri Lanka. He had discussed sending Pascoe to Sri Lanka.]

I.A.E.A. CONFERENCE OPENS; BAN KI-MOON HAILS OUTGOING CHIEF, PLEDGES SUPPORT TO SUCCESSOR

Vienna today, the International Atomic Energy Agency began its 53rd general conference. Sergio Duarte, the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, read out a

statement on the Secretary-Generals behalf, in which the Secretary-General hoped that the 25 non-nuclear-weapon States that are party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) but which have not brought their comprehensive safeguards agreements into force will do so before the

2010 NPT Review Conference.

The General Conference also provides a useful opportunity to reaffirm international support for resuming the six-party talks aimed at the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the Secretary-General added.

The Secretary-General also thanked Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei for his many years of outstanding service to humanity and to international peace and security. He extended his full support to the new Director General, Ambassador Yukiya Amano, as he prepares to confront the many challenges ahead.

Asked about the latest proposal on nuclear negotiations concerning Iran, the Spokeswoman recalled that the Secretary-General has consistently called for Iran to resolve issues concerning its nuclear programme through negotiations. He has asked Iran to abide by the resolutions of the Security Council and to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

BUMPY ROAD AHEAD IN SIERRA LEONES REMARKABLE RECOVERY

The Security Council held an open meeting and consultations this morning on the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL).

In his briefing to the council members, the Secretary-Generals Executive Representative for Sierra Leone, Michael van der Schulenberg, cautioned that, though Sierra Leone had embarked on a remarkable journey towards a stable, peaceful and democratic country, this journey would be bumpy, long and even, at times, dangerous.

What Sierra Leone needs to succeed is, time, patience, determined national leadership and continued international support, van der Schulenberg stressed.

Also in the Council this morning, members held consultations on Resolution 1874 regarding the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.

KENYA: ANGELINA JOLIE HIGHLIGHTS TOUGH CONDITIONS IN VISIT TO OVERCROWDED REFUGEE CAMP

Angelina Jolie, the UN refugee agencys Goodwill Ambassador, paid a

visit this weekend to the worlds largest refugee site, the Daadab refugee camp, located on the Kenya-Somali border. She described conditions in the camp as one of the most dire she had seen.

During her day-long visit among some of the 285,000 refugees, Jolie met a number of families, including a mother who had just arrived in the camp, after walking for days with her three young children to flee war-torn Somalia.

After visiting a number of shelters she observed that toilets were overflowing and that refugees were living amongst garbage because of a lack of space.

UNHCR recently began moving 12,000 refugees to the Kakuma camp in northern Kenya as an emergency measure for new arrivals.

ZIMBABWE: ASSISTANCE DRIVE TO BOOST SMALL FARMERS OUTPUT

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, (FAO), has started a

major operation in Zimbabwe in support of small scale farmers, as part of FAOs joint efforts with the European Union (EU) to fight hunger this year.

FAO has procured 26,000 tons of seeds and fertilizers for distribution to 176,000 vulnerable farmers representing between 10 to 15 percent of communal farmers in the country.

FAO says that, with good seasonal rains, timely implementation and effective coordination, farmers production in Zimbabwe could more than double this season, compared to the previous year's national average production level.

FAO has received a total of around 200 million euros for work in 25 countries, of which 15.4 million euros goes to Zimbabwe.

GAZA UNDERGROUND WATER SUPPLIES IN DANGER OF COLLAPSE

The underground water supplies, upon which 1.5 million Palestinians depend for agricultural and drinking water, are in danger of collapse, according a new

report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

The potential breakdown is a result of years of over-use and contamination, which have been exacerbated by the recent conflict, UNEP says.

The agency adds that, unless the trend is reversed now, the damage could take centuries to undo. It also notes that, since the water supplies are linked to those of Egypt and Israel, those countries must be involved in any efforts to fix the situation.

As it stands now, pollution levels are such that infants in the Gaza Strip are at risk from nitrate poisoning.

Asked what the Secretary-General could do to lift the blockade of Gaza, the Spokeswoman said that he is in constant touch with officials on the ground to do what he can to alleviate the plight of the Palestinian people.

YEMEN: HUMANITARIAN FACT-FINDING MISSION IS UNDERWAY

Rashid Khalikov, the Director of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, is on the last day of a four-day fact-finding mission to Yemen. He has been visiting areas where people displaced by the conflict in northern Yemen have settled. On his arrival, Khalikov said that it is hard to have a comprehensive picture of the humanitarian situation because of the continued insecurity.

Earlier this month, a flash appeal for 23.7 million dollars for Yemen was launched, but it has not received any funding to date. Khalikov expressed his concern about the lack of funding, saying we urgently need the international communitys support to prevent the situation from deteriorating further.

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL BEGINS ITS REGULAR SESSION

This morning in Geneva, the Human Rights Council

opened its 12th regular session. It started with a high-level segment, during which it heard statements from representatives of Sri Lanka, the United States and Thailand.

Asked about the release of the report by the UN fact-finding mission on the recent Gaza conflict, which was mandated by the Human Rights Council and led by Justice Richard Goldstone, the Spokeswoman said that the Human Rights Council was scheduled to discuss the report on 29 September.

  • *Our guest at the noon briefing was UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe who briefed on recent political developments.

    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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