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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-09-18
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MICHELE MONTAS
SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Friday, September 18, 2009
[Due to the observance of Eid al-Fitr, a UN holiday, there will be no noon briefing Monday. The briefing resumes on Tuesday, September 22.)
BAN KI-MOON IS DEEPLY CONCERNED OVER RECENT AIR STRIKES IN NORTHERN YEMEN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is deeply
concerned about reports of recent air strikes during the course of military operations in the North of Yemen and the reported civilian casualties resulting from this.
The Secretary-General urges all sides of the conflict to immediately cease all fighting and to urgently allow humanitarian access to the afflicted areas.
The United Nations has launched a flash appeal to cover the immediate needs of those affected by the conflict in the country and stands ready to provide any additional assistance needed.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay,
said that she is deeply disturbed by eyewitness reports of a 16 September air attack by Yemeni warplanes against a makeshift camp that killed dozens of people displaced by fighting. Pillay said the latest air strike is a deeply disturbing development in a conflict that was already troubling in terms of its impact on civilians. She urged the Government of Yemen to launch an investigation and take immediate action to avoid a repetition.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) describes the humanitarian situation of the civilian population caught in the conflict in northern Yemen as alarming. Five weeks into the conflict, Sa'ada city remains virtually isolated from the rest of the world and inaccessible for the UN humanitarian community. Most of the displaced are stranded and dangerously exposed to the fighting as they are unable to reach safer areas.
Taking advantage of a lull in the fighting between Government troops and Al Houti forces, the Refugee Agency managed this week to reach some of the internally displaced in Sa'ada through a local partner. Today, that partner is planning a distribution of UNHCR aid to more than 700 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Sa'ada city. The distribution of aid will continue as security conditions permit.
BAN KI-MOON CONDEMNS MARKET SUICIDE ATTACK IN PAKISTAN
The Secretary-General condemns todays suicide car bomb attack at a village market in north-west Pakistan which reportedly killed more than 30 people and injured dozens.
He reiterates his rejection of such indiscriminate and reprehensible acts of violence and extends his condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Pakistan.
IN CALL WITH AFRICAN UNION HEAD, SECRETARY-GENERAL RENEWS U.N.S SUPPORT TO MISSION IN SOMALIA
The Secretary-General has spoken today, on the phone, with the Chairman of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping, about yesterdays suicide bomb blasts in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
The Secretary-General repeated his shock and outrage over the attacks against the headquarters of the African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM.
He again condemned the attacks in the strongest terms and conveyed his sincere condolences to the African Union, the families of the victims and the contingents.
The Secretary-General further renewed the UNs steadfast commitment to support for the African Union Mission in Somalia.
On the casualties, we wish to correct one piece of information we shared yesterday: that is, to rectify that it was the outgoing deputy Force Commander who died and not the incoming Deputy Force Commander, who survived with some minor injuries.
Immediately following the attacks, United Nations aviation resources from the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been deployed to assist AMISOM and the AU in helping to save the lives of the injured bomb victims.
BAN KI-MOON ASKS G-20 LEADERS TO PROTECT POOR, PROGRESS ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND MDGs
As mentioned in his press conference yesterday, the Secretary-General has written to the G-20 leaders gathering in Pittsburgh and asked for their commitment to protect poor countries through the crisis, and accelerate action on climate change and achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
More specifically, the Secretary-General, in that letter, has asked G-20 leaders to: Deliver the $1.1 trillion promised in London last April, especially the $50 billion for poorest countries; Honour the Gleneagles pledges to increase official development assistance (ODA). The international community should reach $155 billion by next year with $65 billion for Africa; Accelerate actions to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); Set the stage for significant progress on climate change, by establishing a fair financing mechanism to reach the estimated $250 billion a year needed by 2020.
In Pittsburgh, the Secretary-General will update the G-20 on our new Global Impact and Vulnerability System (GIVAS) which will deliver real-time data on the impacts of the economic crisis on poor people around the world.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TAKES NOTE OF RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS IN MYANMAR
The Secretary-General [takes note of] the release of a [certain] number of political prisoners as part of a larger amnesty announced yesterday.
Following his visit to Myanmar in July, the Secretary-General called on the Myanmar authorities to take credible steps in response to several proposals, which he left with the senior leadership, including the release of all political prisoners.
He reiterates his call on the Myanmar authorities to take further steps to ensure the release of remaining political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, as a necessary step towards a credible process of national reconciliation and democratic transition.
SRI LANKA: SENIOR U.N. OFFICIAL DISCUSSES SITUATION OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED WITH PRESIDENT
Wrapping up his two-day mission in Sri Lanka, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe today met with President Rajapaksa and other key government and military officials, as well as with leaders of the opposition and Tamil politicians.
In the meetings, the Under-Secretary-General discussed with each of the groups, the situation with the internally displaced people (IDPs), political reconciliation, and human rights accountability.
Speaking at a press conference following the meetings, Pascoe stressed that the United Nations and concerned parties have not seen the progress expected after the agreement on such issues that are fundamental for building a lasting peace in Sri Lanka.
Pascoe expressed strong concerns on several areas including the lack of freedom of movement for IDPs, and in particular, the closed nature of the camps. He urged the government to allow those who have completed the screening process to leave the camps as they choose, and for those remaining in the camps to be able to leave the camps during the daytime, and to freely visit friends and family in other sites.
NEW CASH GRANT WILL PROVIDE SUPPORT TO FLOOD SURVIVORS IN MEXICO
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says it is authorizing an emergency cash grant of $100,000 to help provide immediate support to flood survivors in Mexico Citys Valle Dorado suburb.
During his visit to Mexico City last week, the Secretary-General made an unplanned helicopter trip to the flood-hit areas, where he saw firsthand the devastation, personally consoled victims, and offered the UN´s support and assistance.
The OCHA-administered cash grant, which contains funds provided by the Governments of the Netherlands and Norway, comes as a result of the Secretary-Generals pledge to ease the suffering that he witnessed in person.
The funds will be put towards life-saving and life-sustaining measures, which may include: procuring vaccines, medical supplies and emergency equipment; providing food for the elderly and others whose homes have seen disruptions in electricity and cooking gas supply; distributing blankets and mattresses to needy families; and assisting in urgent home repairs.
BURUNDI: SECRETARY-GENERAL STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF REINTEGRATION OF CHILD SOLDIERS
The Secretary-Generals latest
report on children and armed conflict in Burundi is out.
Noting that as of August 2009, there are no more known cases of children associated with armed groups in Burundi, the Secretary-General says the priority should now be to ensure that all children formerly associated with armed groups are fully reintegrated. He also stresses the importance of putting in place a viable protection and prevention system is in place to reduce the vulnerability of children to any possible new recruitment or re-recruitment.
He also recommends that the Security Council Working Group on children and armed conflict visit Burundi in the coming months, to follow up on the gains and progress made in the protection of children in Burundi.
W.H.O. WELCOMES H1N1 VACCINE DONATIONS FROM NINE COUNTRIES
World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Margaret Chan welcomed the announcement of donations of pandemic vaccine made today by the United States of America, in concert with Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. She said that the announcement demonstrates the commitment of these countries to fairness in sharing of scarce resources as the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic continues to evolve.
Current supplies of pandemic vaccine are inadequate for a world population in which virtually everyone is susceptible to infection by a new and readily contagious virus. These donations, together with the doses pledged by manufacturers, will help increase supplies of pandemic vaccines to populations that would otherwise not have access, Chan said. WHO continues to support developing countries to ensure donated vaccines are distributed where they are most needed.
WE MUST DISARM, SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL ON INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE
September 21st is the International Day of Peace. Marking the occasion this morning, the Secretary-General attended a ceremony in the UNs rose garden. He was accompanied by UN
Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall and the President of the General Assembly.
As children holding flags from all of the UNs Member States looked on, the Secretary-General and participants observed a moment of silence. Following that, the Secretary-General rang the Peace Bell, and white doves were released into the sky. In his
remarks, the Secretary-General said, On this International Day of Peace, I have one simple message: We Must Disarm.
Following the ceremony, the Secretary-General headed to an observance by students of the International Day of Peace, also here at Headquarters. He
told the young people gathered there that he counted on their commitment as future leaders to push for a nuclear-weapon-free world.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
19 - 25 September 2009
Monday, 21 September
Today is the International Day of Peace.
The Secretary-General will attend the opening ceremony of Climate Week in New York, at 12 p.m., at the New York Public Library.
At 2 p.m., the Secretary-General will attend the opening of the Summit of the Association of Small Island States (OASIS) on Climate Change, at the American Museum of Natural History.
Tuesday, 22 September
At 9 a.m. in the General Assembly Hall, the Secretary-General will open the plenary session of the High-level Event on Climate Change he has convened.
At 10.30 a.m. in Room-S226, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, Klavs Arnoldi Holm from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Steve Grove from YouTube and Rebecca Moore from Google Earth Outreach will launch an initiative to promote awareness of the global impact of climate change.
At 11 a.m. in Conference Room 4, there will be a press conference by the UN Global Compact on the UN Leadership Forum on Climate Change. At 1 p.m., the Secretary-General will deliver the keynote address at the UN Leadership Luncheon.
The guest at the noon briefing will be
Janos Pasztor, Director of the Secretary-General's Climate Change Support Team.
At 3 p.m. in Room-S226, the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands sponsors a press conference by CIDSE (an international alliance of the Catholic Development Agencies) and Caritas Internationalis on the occasion of the High-level Event on Climate Change.
At 4 p.m. in Room-S226, H.R.H Prince Albert II of Monaco joins other speakers to brief on climate change.
At 5:30 p.m., the Secretary-General will present a Chairs summary of the Summit on Climate Change, in the General Assembly Hall.
At 6 p.m., he will then hold a press conference with the Prime Minister of Denmark, in Conference Room 4.
Wednesday, 23 September
The Secretary-General will attend and address the opening session of the General Debate of the General Assembly, which starts at 9 a.m. today.
At 12 p.m. in Room-S226, there will be a press conference by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain.
At 3 p.m., the Secretary-General will attend the Innovative International Financing for Health event, hosted by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, in the Trusteeship Council Chamber.
At 4 p.m., the Secretary-General will join the meeting on Global Health organized by Mrs. Carla Bruni-Sarkozi.
At 4:30 p.m. in the Trusteeship Council Chamber, the Secretary-General will attend a UN-REDD (United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries) event, hosted by the Government of Norway.
At 5 p.m., the Secretary-General will take part in the High-level meeting of the Group of Friends on Myanmar, in Conference Room 6.
At 5 p.m. in Room-S226, there will be a press conference by Alvaro Uribe Velez, President of Colombia.
At 6 p.m. in Room-S226, there will be a press conference on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries.
Thursday, 24 September
The Secretary-General will attend the opening session of the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty at 8 a.m., in Conference Room 3. At 8:45 a.m., he will hold a press stakeout. The CTBT will resume at 11 a.m. and continue tomorrow, Friday.
From 8:15 to 8:55 a.m., UNRWA Commissioner-General Karen AbuZayd and Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro will unveil a banner in the Delegates' Lounge commemorating UNRWA's 60 years.
At 9 a.m., the Secretary-General will attend the High-level Summit of the Security Council on non-proliferation in the Security Council Chamber.
At 11:05, the Secretary-General will attend the ministerial segment of UNRWAs 60th anniversary commemoration, in the Trusteeship Council Chamber. The session will open at 9 a.m. and will end with a Chair's summary from 12:50-13:00. After the meeting, UNRWA Commissioner-General Karen AbuZayd, President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre will brief the press at the Security Council stakeout.
At 12 p.m., the Secretary-General will attend the High level meeting of the Group of Friends of Democratic Pakistan, in the ECOSOC Chamber.
At 3 p.m., the Secretary-General will participate in a Middle East Quartet meeting.
Friday, 25 September
The Secretary-General will be in Pittsburgh to attend the G-20 meeting.
At 10.15 a.m. in Room-S226, there will be a press conference by Dimitris Christofias, President of Cyprus.
At 11 a.m. in Room-S226, there will be a press conference by Amre
Moussa, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States.
At 1.30 p.m. in Room-S226, there will be a press conference by Johnson Toribiong, President of Palau.
At 5 p.m. in Conference Room 4, there will be a press conference by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran.
At 6.15 p.m. in Room-S226, there will be a press conference by John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
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