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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-09-25
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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: firstname.lastname@example.orgARCHIVES
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MICHELE MONTAS
SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Friday, September 25, 2009
BAN KI-MOON PARTICIPATES AS G-20 MEETS IN PITTSBURGH
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is in Pittsburgh today at the meeting of G-20 leaders.
Earlier, the Secretary-General wrote to the G-20 leaders and asked for their commitment to protect poor countries through the crisis, and accelerate action on climate change and the
Millennium Development Goals.
He will be back later this afternoon for a number of bilateral meetings scheduled this evening.
SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFED BY BRAZILIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ON HONDURAS
The members of the
Security Council began consultations at 11:00 this morning, to discuss a
letter from the Permanent Representative of Brazil that requests that an urgent meeting of the Council be convened to discuss the situation in Honduras.
The Council then began a formal meeting in which Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim informed Council members of the current situation related to the presence of President Manuel Zelaya in the Embassy of Brazil in Tegucigalpa.
Following his briefing, the Security Council resumed consultations to discuss matters further. After that, the Council President, Ambassador Susan Rice of the United States, read a press statement that mentioned, among other things, that Council members stressed the importance of international law and also stressed the inviolability of the Embassy of Brazil.
AFGHANISTAN: ALLEGED ELECTION IRREGULARITIES HAVE GENERATED SIGNIFICANT POLITICAL TURBULENCE
The Secretary-General, in his latest
report on Afghanistan, says that the level of alleged irregularities during and after the 20 August elections has generated significant political turbulence. He writes that serious electoral fraud occurred, made possible primarily, but not exclusively, by the lack of access to parts of the country owing to the ongoing conflict.
Following a decision by the Electoral Complaints Commission to review results from a number of polling stations, he says, a credible audit and recount process is now coming to its conclusion. When the entire electoral process is completed, the Secretary-General writes, it will be of critical importance for the results to be accepted by all, so that the election of Afghanistans future president can be certified and a new Government can be formed.
He appealed for Member States to provide greater resources and specialized personnel to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan as it works to fulfill its mandate.
The Security Council will discuss Afghanistan in an open meeting next Tuesday.
LEBANON: U.N. MISSION HELPS CLEAR LAND OF MINES, RETURNS IT TO FARMERS
This week, farmers and landowners in the southern Lebanese town of Hiniyyeh were returned some 7,500 square meters of their land, which were cleared of mines by the Italian battalion of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
UNIFIL carries out some humanitarian de-mining activities to assist the civilian population, under the coordination of the Lebanon Mine Action Centre. As a part of this coordinated effort, UNIFIL demining teams have to date cleared more than 4.7 million square metres of affected land and destroyed more than 32,000 unexploded ordnances and mines in southern Lebanon.
SOMALIA: DIRE NEED FOR NUTRITION INTERVENTIONS IN MOGADISHU
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that more than 50,000 Somalis have
fled into Kenya since the beginning of the year, escaping the fighting and the growing humanitarian crisis in their country.
The refugees are arriving at an overwhelming average rate of more than 6,000 a month. This is adding more pressure on the already overstretched facilities and resources in the Dadaab camps in northern Kenya, which currently host three times the population they were designed to hold.
Since mid-August, UNHCR has managed to relocate about 10,000 refugees to Kakuma camp in north-west Kenya, in an effort to de-congest the Dadaab camps. But the camp population in Dadaab remains virtually unchanged. There are now 281,600 Somali refugees there.
In the capital, Mogadishu, fresh information, gathered from eight new supplementary feeding centres supported by the World Food Programme (WFP), indicate that there is the dire need for nutrition interventions in Mogadishu.
The centres have recorded admissions of about 700 cases and treated at least 3,250 children under the age of five and pregnant and lactating women, just one week after they were set up.
WFP is supporting 190 supplementary feeding centres, targeting some 70,000 malnourished children across Somalia.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS ON DONORS GENEROSITY FOR MEETING ON CHAD/C.A.R. MISSION
The Secretary-General is appealing to donor nations and institutions to be generous when they meet on 2 October in Brussels to raise much-needed funds for the UN Mission in Chad and the Central African Republic (MINURCAT).
The event is being organized by the Mission, the Government of Chad and the European Commission. They are hoping to raise some $17 million for the Missions technical and logistical support for a specialized Chadian police unit. That unit, the Détachement Intégré de Sécurité, is tasked with protecting refugees and internally displaced people in Chads northeastern border region with Sudan.
The Mission says it also needs another $4 million for new projects to improve Chads justice and prison sectors.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR FIGHT AGAINST DISCRIMINATION, INCLUDING ISLAMOPHOBIA
message delivered by Under-Secretary-General Shabaan Shabaan, the Secretary-General today congratulated the Organization of the Islamic Conference on its fortieth anniversary.
In the message, he details the work the UN system has been doing to help to resolve conflicts throughout the Muslim world. Beyond that, he says, we must promote human rights and good governance, and we must fight discrimination of any sort, including Islamophobia. We must fight faith-based violence, and foster tolerance, dialogue and mutual respect, as the UN Alliance of Civilizations initiative is doing.
HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF WELCOMES NEW MILESTONE IN FIGHT AGAINST TORTURE
High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today
welcomed a new milestone in the fight to end torture, after a key UN instrument got its 50th state ratification.
Switzerlands ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture enables the number of independent experts who monitor states compliance with the treaty to rise from the ten members at present to 25 in the future.
The Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture is now in a position to broaden its range of activities, which include making unannounced visits to places of detention and providing technical advice to States on establishing national independent preventive bodies.
The Convention Against Torture the parent treaty to which the Optional Protocol is attached was adopted in 1984 and has been ratified by 146 states.
MORE COUNTRIES SIGN ON TO U.N. TREATIES
The Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) reports that 24 Member States so far have signed the new Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which opened for signature on Thursday.
Meanwhile, 17 member states have signed the new Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea, also known as the Rotterdam Rules. That convention opened for signature on Wednesday in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. This convention will modernize the current regime governing the carriage of goods by sea, allowing for door-to-door container transport and electronic commerce.
U.N. AGENCY TO COORDINATE DISTRIBUTION OF DONATED H1N1 VACCINES IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
The World Health Organization (WHO)
estimates that worldwide vaccine production capacity to deal with the H1N1 pandemic will be some 3 billion doses per year. While this figure is lower than previously projected, a single dose of vaccine may be sufficient to protect both healthy adults and older children -- thus doubling the number of people who can be protected with current supplies.
At the same time, however, these supplies will still be inadequate to cover the whole world, WHO says. For its part, WHO will be coordinating the distribution of donated vaccines in developing countries.
U.N. AGENCIES TRY NEW APPROACH TO TACKLING SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST GIRLS
Five United Nations organizations -- UNICEF, UNAIDS, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the World Health Organization (WHO) will
participate in a new approach to address the rights violations and health impacts of sexual violence against girls.
The five agencies will join the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private sector supporters in this effort, via the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).
According to UNICEF, the initiative partners are working together to provide funding to expand surveillance of sexual violence against girls in developing and emerging countries. They will also develop a technical package of interventions for implementation at a country level to reduce the incidence of sexual violence against girls and launch an awareness campaign on the issue.
U.N. AGENCY TO USE PRIVATE SECTORS BUSINESS EXPERTISE TO FIGHT HUNGER
The World Food Programme (WFP) today
announced a multi-million dollar programme which harnesses the power of leading multinational companies to work together to end hunger and malnutrition among children in the developing world.
WFPs Executive Director, Josette Sheeran, said that with the numbers of hungry increasing, the private sector was needed in the fight against hunger.
Also, the Secretary-General will co-host, with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, an event on food security at 4 p.m. on Saturday in the Trusteeship Council Chamber. David Nabarro, coordinator of the Secretary-Generals High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis will brief reporters on that event, at 3:30 p.m. in room 226.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO HEAD TO SWEDEN, DENMARK, SWITZERLAND
The Secretary-General is planning to travel in early October to Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland.
The first leg of the trip is an official visit to Sweden, where he plans to meet with the Prime Minister and have an audience with the King. He will visit the gravesite of the former Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld, deliver a lecture at Uppsala University and meet with a group of non-governmental organizations.
From Stockholm, the Secretary-General is scheduled to go to Copenhagen, where he plans to address the 13th Olympic Congress. He will also deliver a lecture at the University of Copenhagen, "The Road to Copenhagen: Meeting the Climate Challenge." During the working visit, he is also expected to meet with the Prime Minister and the Development Cooperation Minister.
From Copenhagen, he is expected to travel to Geneva. There, he will attend the International Telecommunication Unions ITU Telecom World, an event where major issues around information and communications technology and economic growth will be among the key areas to be explored. He also will deliver remarks focusing on disarmament at the Third Edition of the Geneva Lecture Series.
MAOISTS ASKED TO COOPERATE WITH HUMAN RIGHTS PROBES IN NEPAL: The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal today released a
letter calling for immediate action to be taken by the Maoist leadership to ensure the partys full cooperation with ongoing police investigations into human rights abuses alleged to have been committed by Maoist cadres. In the letter, the Office calls upon the Maoists to support ongoing police investigations into these cases, and to direct known suspects to surrender to the authorities.
BAN KI-MOON TO MEET IRANIAN PRESIDENT: The Spokeswoman, in response to a question, confirmed that the Secretary-General would hold a bilateral meeting this evening with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran.
U.N. CALLS FOR RESPONSE TO SAND STORMS: The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) are calling for an immediate global response to the increasing number of sand and dust storms. During a two-day meeting of the Parties to the Convention, experts warned of the increased frequency of drought and called for better climate services in developing countries.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
26 September-2 October 2009
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 the Ministerial working session on the sixtieth anniversary of the Geneva Conventions Ensuring respect for international humanitarian law in a changing environment and the role of the United Nations, 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 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will co-host an event on Food Security, in the Trusteeship Council Chamber.
At 5:15 p.m., the Secretary-General will attend the UN-ASEAN meeting, in Conference Room 7.
Sunday, 27 September
Today is World Tourism Day.
Today is World Heart Day.
The Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime will hold its fifth session until 30 September.
Monday, 28 September
Today is World Rabies Day.
At 11 a.m. in Room-S226, there will be a press conference by Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), and Jeffrey Sachs of the Millennium Villages project.
Tuesday, 29 September
The Secretary-General is expected to hold a press conference at 10.30 a.m. in Room-S226.
This morning, the Security Council will hear a briefing on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
In Geneva, the Human Rights Council will hold its follow-up to its ninth special session on the Gaza conflict. The report of the Fact Finding Mission headed by Richard Goldstone will be presented. The report by the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the special session on the Gaza conflict will also be presented.
From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., in the Trusteeship Council Chamber, the Ministerial follow-up Forum on the Paris Commitments to protect children from recruitment or use by armed forces or armed groups will be co-hosted by the Permanent Mission of France, UNICEF and the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict.
Wednesday, 30 September
Today, the Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution on women, peace and security.
Starting today, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 will hold an open meeting until 2 October, in the Economic and Social Council Chamber, as a part of the comprehensive review of the status of implementation of resolution 1540.
Thursday, 1 October
Today, Viet Nam assumes the monthly rotating presidency of the Security Council.
The Secretary-General will be in Sweden, today and tomorrow, on the first leg of a trip that will also take him to Copenhagen, Denmark and Geneva, Switzerland.
Friday, 2 October
Today is the International Day of Non-Violence.
At 12.30 p.m. at Room-S226, Ambassador Le Luong Minh, Permanent Representative of Viet Nam and President of the Security Council for October, to brief on the Councils programme of work for the month.
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
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New York, NY 10017
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