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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-09-16
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
BAN KI-MOON TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE AT 11 A.M. TOMORROW
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will hold his monthly press conference is at 11 a.m. Thursday so there will be no noon briefing.
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME WARNS OF GROWING FOOD CRISIS
The World Food Programme (WFP) is warning of a growing food crisis for the worlds hungry. In the week that marks the first anniversary of the global financial crisis, there are more hungry people in the world and less food aid than ever before, says Executive Director Josette Sheeran in a
As the green shoots of economic recovery are appearing, WFP makes a plea not to forget those who are most in need, and who have been hit hardest by this crisis.
The Executive Director also says that of its $6.7 billion budget to feed 108 million people in 74 countries this year, WFP has only received $2.6 billion as of today.
At our current funding levels, we will in October have to cut our services throughout the world, adds Sheeran, saying WFP urgently needs an additional 3 billion dollars to meet the needs of the worlds hungry.
SECRETARY-GENERAL'S ENVOY ARRIVES IN SRI LANKA
Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe has arrived in Sri Lanka.
Youll recall that the Secretary-General and President Mahinda Rajapaksa agreed on Monday that Pascoe would visit the country this week. While he is there, Pascoe will discuss the resettlement of internally displaced persons, political reconciliation and the establishment of a mechanism of accountability for alleged human rights violations in the context of the conflict.
Mr. Pascoe will go to the camps in the north for internally displaced persons tomorrow. He is scheduled to meet with President Rajapaksa on Friday.
While in Sri Lanka from 16-18 September, Pascoe expects to hold discussions with President Rajapaksa and senior officials of his government, diverse political and civil society leaders, and also obtain a firsthand view of the situation of internally displaced persons in camps in the northern part of the country. USG Pascoe will also hold consultations with the United Nations Country Team in Sri Lanka, with a view to helping ensure the UN can effectively provide assistance to Sri Lanka in support of forward movement in all of the aforementioned areas.
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL SET TO TAKE UP REPORT OF U.N. FACT-FINDING MISSION ON GAZA CONFLICT
Asked when the
report by the Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict would go to the Security Council, the Spokeswoman pointed out that first, it would be up to the Human Rights Council to review the report and decide how to respond.
Montas noted that the report contains a recommendation that the Human Rights Council ask the Secretary-General to bring the question of follow-up to the Security Council under Article 99 of the UN Charter. She noted that the Human Rights Council would take up the report later this month.
She declined to comment on remarks by the Israeli Government responding to the report.
Asked about UN efforts to open the crossing points into Gaza, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General has constantly asked for opening crossings and getting humanitarian and reconstruction aid into Gaza. She noted that he has also raised the issue of Palestinian prisoners.
Asked about the lack of water in Gaza, Montas said that the situation has been raised with authorities on the ground.
YEMEN: PLIGHT OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED HIGHLIGHTED
Rashid Khalikov, the Director of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, (OCHA), ended his mission to Yemen today. He briefed members of the humanitarian community in Sanaa, telling them that widespread deep poverty and fighting have stretched peoples coping mechanisms to the limit in northern
He said that he had traveled to camps where he saw people who have fled with nothing. The approximately 150,000 internally displaced people urgently need all the essentials of life: food, water and sanitation, shelter and health care.
Khalikov said that the lack of potable water is a particular worry.
A flash appeal issued on 2 September to respond to the current crisis still has not received any funding.
LEADING U.N. BODY ON A.I.D.S. WELCOMES APPROVAL FOR NEW TOP AGENCY DEDICATED TO WOMEN
As you know, we issued a
statement yesterday, in which the Secretary-General welcomed the General Assemblys new resolution on system-wide coherence and its agreement to consolidate all women-specific entities into one stronger UN entity.
The UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) also
echoed the Secretary-Generals sentiments.
Today UNAIDS has added its voice to the chorus, noting that women are disproportionately affected by the AIDS epidemic. UNAIDS has
pledged to work alongside the new womens agency to advance the delivery of critical maternal and child health services to women and girls at the grassroots level.
BAN KI-MOON STRESSES BENEFITS OF ACTION ON GLOBAL CHALLENGES
Today is the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.
Noting that this Day comes some 80 days before the Copenhagen climate conference, the Secretary-General says that this years observance marks a milestone, with the deposit of the instruments of accession to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and its Montreal Protocol by the youngest democracy in the world, Timor-Leste.
Now, the Convention and Protocol have achieved universal participation a unique status among the hundreds of treaties deposited with the Secretary-General, he adds.
message to mark this Day, the Secretary-General stresses that the example of the Montreal Protocol sends a powerful message that action on major global challenges is not only possible, but that the financial and human benefits invariably outweigh the costs.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO DISCUSS CYPRUS TALKS: Asked whether the Secretary-General will meet with the Cypriot leaders, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General will meet tomorrow afternoon with his Special Envoy dealing with Cyprus, Alexander Downer, and they will work on their approach on that issue.
AFGHANISTAN: U.N. COMMITTED TO CREDIBLE ELECTION OUTCOME: Asked whether the Secretary-Generals Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan, Peter Galbraith, has left the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), the Spokeswoman said that Galbraith remains an integral part of the mission leadership. With any hotly contested election there are bound to be differences in opinions; that is to be expected, she said. However, Montas added, the leadership of UNAMA remains committed to supporting a credible election outcome that is accepted by voters. She added that Galbraith is currently on mission and he will join the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Afghanistan, Kai Eide, later this month in New York at the briefing of the UN Security Council, after which he is expected to return to Afghanistan.
*** The guests at the noon briefing today were UN legal Counsel Patricia O'Brien and Craig Mokhiber, Deputy Director of the New York Office for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. They briefed on the upcoming 2009 UN Treaty Event which will take place next week at the UN headquarters. Later in the afternoon, John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, briefed on the general humanitarian overview worldwide, focusing on the situations in Sri Lanka, Yemen, some Horn of Africa countries and Guatemala.
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
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