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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-10-06

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, October 6, 2009

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES ARREST OF RWANDA TRIBUNAL SUSPECT IDELPHONSE NIZEYIMANA

The Secretary-General

welcomes the arrest, in Kampala, Uganda, of Idelphonse Nizeyimana. Mr. Nizeyimana allegedly participated in the killing of Tutsis and moderate Hutus during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. He was indicted by the International Criminal

Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in November 2000 for genocide, rape as a crime against humanity and other inhumane acts as a crime against humanity.

The United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) reports that Idelphonse Nizeyimana is a key leader of the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), which has been operating in North Kivu. In this context, his arrest is an important step forward in the fight against impunity and strongly signals the Great Lakes regions commitment to peace and security.

The Secretary-General welcomes this positive development and calls on all Member States to continue to cooperate fully with the ICTR.

The Tribunal confirmed the arrest in Kampala on Monday of Idelphonse Nizeyimana. The accused is the second of 13 fugitives to be arrested and extradited to the Tribunal in Arusha in less than two months. He is facing charges ranging from genocide to crimes against humanity for offenses that include his command of a mass-murdering unit of the Rwandan Army and the murder of the former Tutsi queen of Rwanda.

GUATEMALA: SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR JUDGES OF UNQUESTIONED COMPETENCE TO BE NAMED IN HIGHEST COURTS

In a statement on Guatemala issued on Monday evening, the Secretary-General

notes the concerns raised by the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) and the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, regarding the election of magistrates to the Supreme Court of Justice in Guatemala. This is an issue of great importance to the fight against impunity in the country.

The Secretary-General trusts the Guatemalan Congress will ensure that judges of unquestioned competence, independence and integrity are named to the country's highest courts.

BAN KI-MOON WRAPS UP TRIP BY ADDRESSING TELECOMMUNICATIONS ROUNDTABLE IN SWITZERLAND

The Secretary-General is on his way back to New York, after wrapping up his six-day travel to Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland.

This morning, the Secretary-General attended a roundtable of Heads of State and chief executive officers (CEOs) attending the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecom World. He

told the roundtable that CEOs can inspire government leaders to be bold and can help them to understand the power of information technology to address the climate threat and usher in a new green economy.

He noted that information technologies contribute 2 to 3 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but they can also reduce emissions in other sectors by at least 15 per cent.

UNITED NATIONS CONTINUES TO ASSESS SECURITY CONDITIONS FOLLOWING BOMBING IN PAKISTAN

Asked about the Monday bombing of the World Food Programme (WFP) office in Islamabad, Pakistan, the Spokeswoman said that the United Nations continues to assess security conditions in the country and whether it is safe to re-open UN offices there. For the time being, she said, services to internally displaced persons in Pakistan are continuing through the efforts of critical staff and affiliated non-governmental organizations.

Montas said that the United Nations would definitely perform its own investigation into the bomb attack, as well as examine the existing security situation in Pakistan.

Asked about the claim from the Taliban that it was responsible for the attack, she said that there was no confirmation yet of Taliban responsibility.

U.N. IRAQ ENVOY STRESSES NEED TO ADOPT ELECTION LAW

On Sunday, Ad Melkert, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Iraq, held a high-level meeting with Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Al-Sistani, along with other senior officials in Najaf. Among the subjects discussed were the increased activities by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) in the political, humanitarian and human rights areas.

Ayatollah Sistani and Ad Melkert also discussed the issue of the pending electoral legislation, and the Ayatollah confirmed his strong support for the electoral process and for a broad participation in the forthcoming elections in January. Melkert noted the urgent need for the adoption of the Election Law, to allow for the speedy passing of crucial decisions regarding the timely implementation of key technical electoral issues. He stated that the next ten days will be crucial for the Council of Representatives to live up to its responsibility to adopt the Election Law.

U.N. LAUNCHES $74 MILLION APPEAL TO ASSIST PHILIPPINES

The United Nations and the international humanitarian community today

requested for more than $74 million to help the Government of the Philippines provide immediate assistance to more than one million of the people most affected by tropical storm Ketsana and typhoon Parma.

A day ahead of the launch of the Flash Appeal, the United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, John Holmes,

announced an allocation of $7 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to enable humanitarian agencies to provide the most immediate life-saving assistance to those affected.

Meanwhile in Indonesia, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says 22 international rescue teams continue the search for survivors.

The World Food Programme has about 25 fulltime staff now in Padang that have begun food distributions today to 17,000 young children and pregnant and lactating women.

Also, UNDPs Director for the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, Jordan Ryan, is currently visiting Samoa and Tonga to assess the situation of additional support required for the recovery efforts. The Samoa Disaster Advisory Council requested the UN to conduct a disaster assessment, which began Monday.

INDIAN OCEAN: COUNTRIES TO PARTICIPATE IN TSUNAMI WARNING SYSTEM EXERCISE

Eighteen countries around the Indian Ocean Rim will

participate in an ocean-wide tsunami exercise next week to coincide with World Disaster Reduction Day, according to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

This first-time drill will test and evaluate the effectiveness of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System established in response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami that devastated South and Southeast Asia in December 2004.

Aiming to increase preparedness and improve coordination throughout the region the exercise will replicate the magnitude 9.2 quake that occurred off the northwest coast of Sumatra, Indonesia in 2004, which generated a destructive tsunami affecting countries from Australia to South Africa.

SECRETARY-GENERAL APPEALS TO SUPPORT TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT IN SOMALIA

In his latest

report on Somalia, the Secretary-General he says that while the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) appears to have weathered a recent spate of threats to its existence, there remain challenges to it in both the political and security areas.

Encouraging recent progress include advances in the reconciliation dialogue with opposition groups, building capacity for local governance and drafting a new constitution. He urges the TFG to stay the course. He also appeals to the international community to redouble its support and rally solidly behind the Government.

The Secretary-General also notes that humanitarian conditions remain a source of extreme concern. Assassinations, abductions and threats against aid relief workers have rendered the delivery of aid extremely dangerous - this at a time when fighting and a seasonal drought have increased Somalis need for humanitarian aid.

The Secretary-General also reiterates the UNs firm support for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and encourages it to vigorously continue its peacekeeping deployment into the country. He also calls on international donors to expedite the disbursement of all outstanding pledges of support to the Mission.

Meanwhile, UN international staff will continue to conduct missions into the country in preparation for a second, light footprint phase of an increased and staged UN presence.

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY WARNS AGAINST RETURNS IN EASTERN D.R. CONGO

The UN Refugee Agency has

warned some 2,300 Congolese refugees in Burundi against their announced planned return this week to their native South Kivu province, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

UNHCR says that security conditions in South Kivu due to ongoing military operations would make impossible for either the Congolese Government or UNHCR to guarantee their safety or assist them in any meaningful way.

This group of refugees fled the DRC between June and August 2004. They are among some 30,000 Congolese refugees in UN-run camps across Burundi.

GREATER EFFORTS NEEDED TO GUARANTEE CHILDRENS RIGHTS

The UNs Children Fund has

released a new report on child protection. Entitled Progress for Children: A Report Card on Child Protection, it gathers together for the first time data on a range of issues that affect children, including sexual abuse and trafficking, child marriage, physical punishment of children, child labour, birth registration, the harmful traditional practice of female genital cutting, and attitudes toward violence against women inside marriage.

At the reports launch in Tokyo,

UNICEFs Executive Director, Ann M. Veneman, said that a society cannot thrive if its youngest members are forced into early marriage, abused as sex workers or denied their basic rights. She added that the evidence of continuing harm and abuse must inspire the world to greater effort to guarantee the rights of all children, everywhere.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SENIOR U.N. OFFICIALS IN CONSTANT CONTACT WITH ENVOY IN AFGHANISTAN; Asked about the certification of elections in

Afghanistan, the Spokeswoman said that was a matter being handled by the countrys elections commissions. In response to further questions, the Spokeswoman noted that the Secretary-General and senior UN officials have remained in constant touch in recent days with the Special Representative for Afghanistan, Kai Eide.

UNITED NATIONS FAVOURS INVESTIGATION INTO HORRIFIC GUINEA VIOLENCE: Asked about the reported violence and abuse of women in Guinea, the Spokeswoman recalled that the Secretary-General had made his concerns clear in a recent statement. She said that the United Nations favours an investigation into what happened and an end to impunity. She said that it was clear that horrific acts had taken place. Asked whether a UN peacekeeping mission should be sent to Guinea, Montas responded that any such decision is in the hands of the Security Council.

SECRETARY-GENERAL SUPPORTIVE OF DOMESTIC INVESTIGATIONS FOR GAZA: Asked whether Israel and Hamas should conduct investigations into the violence that took place in Gaza earlier this year, the Spokeswoman noted that the Secretary-General has been in favour of domestic investigations into what happened. As for Justice Richard Goldstones report on Gaza, she said that it is up to the Human Rights Council, which authorized the report, to decide on action.

SECRETARY-GENERAL FAVOURS SIX-PARTY TALKS: Asked about the Secretary-Generals reaction to reports that the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) would rejoin six-party talks, the Spokeswoman noted that the Secretary-General was on a plane at present, but added that he would certainly welcome a resumption of six-party talks.

MORE THAN A QUARTER OF THE WORLDS POPULATION IS NOW ONLINE: According to the latest

statistics from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), more than a quarter of the worlds population is now

online and using the Internet. Also, three quarters of households now own a television set. In related news, ITU chief Hamadoun Touré today

noted that no country is immune to cyber-attack. That is significant since every country is now critically dependent on technology for commerce, finance, healthcare, emergency services, food distribution and more, he said.

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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