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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-09-22

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 MICHELE MONTAS

SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

BAN KI-MOON'S SUMMIT ON CLIMATE CHANGE DRAWS NEARLY 100 WORLD LEADERS

Now is your moment to act, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

told the nearly 100 world leaders gathered today for the High-Level

Summit on Climate Change that he has convened. With only 15 negotiating days left until the Climate Change conference in Copenhagen, the Summit aims to mobilize political will and strengthen momentum for a fair, effective and ambitious climate deal.

Your negotiators need your direct political support and guidance to resolve core issues, to accelerate the pace of negotiations and to strengthen the ambition of what is on offer, the Secretary-General told the delegations. He added that a successful deal in Copenhagen will mean more prosperity, more security, and more equity.

He called on the leaders of the industrialized countries to take the first steps forward and called on leaders from developing countries to accelerate their efforts. All countries must do more now, he said.

The Secretary-General warned that failure to reach broad agreement in Copenhagen would be morally inexcusable, economically short-sighted and politically unwise.

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also addressed the Summit, followed by leaders of eight countries and a representative of civil society. The opening session ended with the voice of the next generation, when Yugratna Srivastava, a 13 year-old environmental activist from India, addressed the world leaders.

After the plenary, the Secretary-General attended a luncheon of the UN Leadership

Forum on Climate Change, organized by the UN Global Compact.

BAN KI-MOON WELCOMES TRANSFER OF SUSPECT TO RWANDA GENOCIDE TRIBUNAL

The Secretary-General

welcomes the transfer, on 20 September 2009, of Grégoire Ndahimana, by the Congolese Government to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

Ndahimana, a Rwandan national and high-level figure in the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR), was arrested in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo by the Congolese Army on 10 August 2009.

Ndahimana was among 13 of the remaining fugitives indicted before the ICTR for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in Rwanda in 1994. Ndahimanas arrest and transfer to the ICTR was facilitated by MONUC, at the request of Congolese authorities.

COMMITTEE COORDINATING AID TO PALESTINIANS GATHERS IN NEW YORK

The Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, which coordinates and promotes donor assistance to the Palestinian people, is meeting today, here at Headquarters.

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe today delivered a

message from the Secretary-General to that meeting. In that message, the Secretary-General noted that the Palestinian Authoritys achievements in security, the economy, financing, reform and planning over the past two years are unprecedented. The Secretary-General also expressed strong support for the Palestinian Authoritys plan to complete the building of the state apparatus for Palestine in two years. He pledged the UNs full assistance in that regard.

Asked about the meeting today that brings together the Presidents of the United States, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General was following that meeting with interest. Montas said that the Quartet would meet later this week and would be expected to discuss, among other matters, todays meeting.

YEMENS FAILING CEASEFIRE IGNITES FEARS OF FURTHER VIOLENCE

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says that the situation in Yemen's northern Sa'ada province remains volatile, despite an announced two-week suspension of military operations on the occasion of the Eid holiday. This is the second failed ceasefire in less than a month.

Relative calm was reported in the city of Sa'ada at the end of last week, UNHCR says, but renewed clashes erupted over the weekend in several neighbourhoods. During the brief lull in fighting some 1,600 people in the city of Sa'ada received assistance through UNHCR's local NGO partner. The Agencys stocks in Sa'ada are diminishing and establishment of humanitarian corridors for delivery of aid to this area remains a top priority.

AFGHANISTAN ENVOY WELCOMES AGREEMENT ON RESOLVING OUTSTANDING ELECTORAL DISPUTES

Speaking yesterday in Kabul, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for

Afghanistan, Kai Eide, welcomed the joint announcement by the countrys Independent Election Commission and Electoral Complaints Commission on their agreement on resolving issues before electoral results can be certified.

Eide said that such cooperation is essential, adding that the Afghan people need to know the outcome of the election, including whether a run-off vote is required, without undue delay.

He called on the two commissions to ensure a timely conclusion to the process while respecting international standards and the need for transparency. The final result of this election must reflect the will of the Afghan people, Eide said.

HUMAN RIGHTS ENVOY TO BEGIN SRI LANKA VISIT TOMORROW

Following last weeks visit to Sri Lanka by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe, the Secretary-Generals Representative on the Human Rights for Internally Displaced Persons, Walter Kaelin is set to make a 5-day visit to the country starting tomorrow.

Kaelin's visit is an important next step from Pascoe's latest trip to Colombo, which will provide an opportunity to flesh out the specifics on the Government's renewed commitment to moving all internally displaced persons (IDPs) out of the camps and home by January and in fully implementing their 180 day plan.

Asked about Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoes efforts to obtain the release of two UN staff detained in Sri Lanka, the Spokeswoman said that Pascoe met last week in Sri Lanka with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and raised the issue of the two detained staff with him. The United Nations, she added, is providing the staff members with legal support.

SOMALIA: FALLEN PEACEKEEPERS LAID TO REST

The Secretary-Generals Deputy Special Representative for Somalia, Charles Petrie, has called on the international community to do more now, in order to plant seeds of durable peace in Somalia.

Petrie was speaking on behalf of the United Nations at a funeral service held on Sunday in Bujumbura, for the Burundian officers and soldiers killed in last weeks suicide bomb attacks on the Mogadishu Headquarters of the African Union Mission in Somalia,

AMISOM. He paid tribute to the valiant peacekeepers who gave their lives for peace in Somalia.

A full investigation into the circumstances of the attacks is being undertaken.

Asked whether there had been UN personnel in the AMISOM camp when it was attacked, the Spokeswoman said she was unaware of any UN presence. She added, in response to further questions, that the United Nations has provided support to AMISOM.

CHAD TO RELOCATE REFUGEES FROM UNSAFE BORDER CAMP

The UN Refugee Agency has welcomed a decision by Chad to relocate some 28,000 Sudanese refugees from the Oure Cassoni camp, in the troubled northeastern border region with Sudan.

UNHCR had been pressing Chad to remove refugee from that camp for a number of years, partly because of its location just 7 kilometers from the border, which was deemed too unsafe and often inaccessible. UNHCR also suspected that Sudanese armed groups were recruiting children and weapons circulated all too freely inside the camp.

UN and Chadian teams are now evaluating a replacement site near the town of Bahai.

HIV/AIDS A THREAT TO INTERNATIONAL PEACE & SECURITY

The AIDS, Security and Conflict Initiative, which is supported by UNAIDS, today

released a new report that shows how HIV threatens international peace and security. The new report suggests that the transition from war to peace can increase risks of HIV transmission as refugees go home, soldiers leave the army, and relief agencies wind down their work.

It adds that, in many countries, laws and law enforcement drive the AIDS epidemic underground by criminalizing injecting drug use, sex work or homosexualitythereby ruling out proven HIV prevention methods such as needle exchanges and the promotion of condom use.

According to Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS, the reports findings underscore the importance of aligning efforts to prevent both sexual violence and HIV.

PRINCESS MÁXIMA TAKES ON ROLE OF SPECIAL ADVOCATE ON INCLUSIVE FINANCE FOR DEVELOPMENT

The Secretary-General has designated Princess Máxima of the Netherlands as his Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development.

In her new role, Princess Máxima will work to highlight and promote inclusive finance for development to Governments and international institutions.

She will also contribute to raising awareness -- among intergovernmental organizations, Governments, parliaments, civil society, the private sector and the media -- on the importance of developing inclusive finance to reduce poverty, equalize opportunity and achieve development goals, particularly the Millennium Development Goals.

CITY OF ROTTERDAM TO HOST SIGNING EVENT FOR NEW U.N. TREATY

Tomorrow the city of Rotterdam will be hosting a signing ceremony for the new UN

Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea. The event is being jointly organized by the Dutch government, the city of Rotterdam, the UN Office of Legal Affairs and the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

The Convention, also known as the Rotterdam Rules, was adopted by the General Assembly in December 2008. It creates a legal regime for container transport on itineraries including an international sea leg but not limited to port-to-port carriage of goods.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SUPERMODEL GISELE BÜNDCHEN TO SERVE AS GOODWILL AMBASSADOR ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES: Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen has been

designated a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). In her new position, Gisele will help to inspire action to protect the environment. She will also work to draw attention to some of the biggest threats facing the planet, including climate change and environmental degradation.

BILLION TREE CAMPAIGN HITS TARGET: The United Nations

Billion Tree Campaign has hit its seven billion goal target, reports the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Today's milestone was reached with the news that the Government of China has planted 2.6 billion trees as part of this unique campaign, bringing the total to 7.3 billion trees planted in 167 countries worldwide.

BHUTTO COMMISSION WORK MOVING APACE, QUIETLY: Asked about the work of the independent commission that is looking into the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General, in a meeting yesterday, discussed the commissions progress with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari. The commission is working steadily but has avoided commenting about the details of its work, she added.

  • *The guest at the briefing today was Janos Pasztor, the Director of the Secretary-Generals Climate Change Support Team.

    THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

    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 10 a.m. in Room-S226, there will be a press briefing by

    Kazuo Kodama, Press Secretary for the Prime Minster of Japan.

    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-Sarkozy.

    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 4:30 p.m., the launch of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, ALMA, will occur in the Staff Cafe on the 4th floor. The launch is being convened by President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, working in concert with the Secretary-Generals Special Envoy for Malaria, Ray Chambers. Heads of State from approximately 10 African countries are expected, including: Comoros, Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone and Uganda.

    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 10 a.m. in Room-S226, there will be a press briefing by

    Kazuo Kodama, Press Secretary for the Prime Minister of Japan.

    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.

    At 5.15 p.m. in Room-S226, there will be a press briefing by Yasuhisa Kawamura, Press Secretary for the Foreign Minister of Japan.

    Friday, 25 September

    The Secretary-General will be in Pittsburgh to attend the G-20 meeting.

    At 9 a.m. in Room-S226, there will be a press briefing by Yasuhisa Kawamura, Press Secretary for the Foreign Minister of Japan.

    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.

    Saturday, 26 September

    At 8:30 a.m., the Secretary-General will attend the Ministerial meeting of the Alliance of Civilization Group of Friends, in the ECOSOC Chamber.

    At 9:15 a.m., the Secretary-General will attend an event on the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, in the Trusteeship Council Chamber.

    At 12 p.m., Ms. Micheline Calmy-Rey, Foreign Minster of Switzerland, will brief the press at the Security Council stakeout, following an event commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Geneva Conventions.

    At 2:10 p.m., the Secretary-General will participate in a mini-Summit on CARICOM, in Conference Room 9.

    At 4 p.m., the Secretary-General and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will co-host a side-event on Partnering for Food Security.

    At 5:15 p.m., the Secretary-General will attend the UN-ASEAN meeting, in Conference Room 7.

    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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