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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-11-03

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, November 3, 2009

BAN KI-MOON AND U.K. PRIME MINISTER DISCUSS AFGHANISTAN, CLIMATE CHANGE IN LONDON MEETING

The Secretary-General this morning had a working breakfast in London with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and afterwards, he

told reporters that they had discussed, among other things,

Afghanistan, climate change, the

Millennium Development Goals and Myanmar.

He said that, while he was in Afghanistan yesterday, he had very good meetings with President Hamid Karzai and Dr Abdullah Abdullah, and other core diplomatic members there. He added that ensuring good governance, including eradicating corrupt practices, should be the top priority for Karzais new government.

On climate change, the Secretary-General stressed the need for a comprehensive, binding agreement in Copenhagen in December. If there is political will, he said, he is sure that there is a way we can conclude a binding agreement in Copenhagen. But he acknowledged that, realistically speaking, we may not be able to have all the details settled.

Later in the day, the Secretary-General

spoke to a gathering of religious and secular leaders at Windsor Castle about the importance of dealing with climate change. He said that the worlds faith communities occupy a unique position in discussions on the fate of our planet and the accelerating impacts of climate change

.

He told the leaders that we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions and we must assist the poorest and most vulnerable people to adapt to climate impacts already locked into the atmosphere. It is a pivotal moment for our world, he added.

Also, a

message was delivered in the Secretary-Generals name on Monday night, where he says that those who say tackling climate change is too expensive are wrong. We will pay an unacceptable price if we do not act now, he warns.

U.N. AND D.R. CONGO LAUNCH PROBE INTO ALLEGED KILLINGS BY ARMY UNIT

The Spokesperson was asked earlier today about the killings that Human Rights Watch has detailed in its report concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In response, she said that the United Nations condemns them entirely.

We condemn these killings and all killing and abuse of civilians, whether by the Congolese Armed Forces or by armed groups, she said.

She said that the UN Mission in the DR Congo (MONUC) has immediately suspended support to the 213th brigade, which was the Congolese Army unit identified as being involved.

At the same time, the Congolese Armed Forces command and MONUC are launching an immediate investigation in order to determine who is responsible and take the necessary action.

KENYA: HEAVY RAINS DISPLACE THOUSANDS

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

reports that, while most of Kenya continues to suffer from the effects of a prolonged drought, parts of the country have now been pounded by torrential rainfall with serious consequences.

An estimated 4,600 people along the Indian Ocean coast and the northeastern region have been displaced and forced to seek shelter in schools and in homes of host families.

Local authorities, with support from

UNICEF, have chlorinated wells that were contaminated with flood water in one area.

There are concerns that up to 750,000 people in Kenya may be affected by flooding and landslides from enhanced rains caused by El Niño during October, November, and December.

ANGOLANS EXPELLED FROM D.R. CONGO GET U.N. ASSISTANCE

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has

airlifted emergency relief items from South Africa to Angola, for tens of thousands of Angolans who were expelled from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) last month.

The items include thousands of tents, sleeping mats, and blankets, plus a prefabricated warehouse. They will be sent to two provinces in northern Angola that border the DRC. The number of Angolans who were expelled plus those who came back of their own accord in the wake of the expulsions now totals 50,000.

UNHCR adds that those who have been expelled are now living in extremely difficult conditions, with some observed sleeping on the cement floor of an old school building without sleeping mats or mattresses.

NEPAL IS URGED TO PROTECT BASIC RIGHTS

The Office of the High

Commissioner for Human Rights today strongly urged the Government of

Nepal, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist and other political parties to ensure that the human rights of all individuals are protected and respected, while nationwide protests are being organized by the Maoists.

The Human Rights Office also calls for all political actors to exercise restraint in response to nationwide agitation. It stressed that organizers of the protests must ensure that protestors act peacefully and within the law.

The Office called on the Maoists not to resort to any form of violence and maintain the highest regard for the rule of law. It also called on the Government to ensure that the security forces act with restraint and respect the rights of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

W.H.O. URGES COUNTRIES TO REMAIN PREPARED FOR H1N1 VIRUS

The World Health Organization (WHO) today reiterated that Member States need to remain prepared for the

H1N1 virus.

The agency added that the H1N1 vaccine is one of the best tools that it has to fight the pandemic. The advantages of getting vaccinated far outweigh the risks at this point, WHO said.

In other news, a special issue the

Bulletin of the World Health Organization, an independent public health journal, advises that HIV/AIDS services should be integrated with sexual and reproductive health services if the goal of reducing HIV transmission is to succeed.

The Bulletin adds that HIV and other sexually transmitted infections must be tackled at the same time, since each one encourages the spread of the other.

WAGES DROP WORLDWIDE FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR

Wages worldwide are

deteriorating for the second year in a row, according to a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The 2009 Update of the Global Wage Report shows that the global growth in wages slowed dramatically in 2008 as a result of the economic crisis and is expected to drop even further this year. The ILO adds that this raises serious questions about the true extent of an economic recovery.

U.N. ECONOMIC CHIEF DISCUSSES ROLE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES

The Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Sha Zukang, is in Washington D.C. today, where he is participating in the World e-Parliament Conference.

The three-day conference, organized by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, will address ways to use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to strengthen the role of parliaments in driving effective governance, democracy and development.

In his opening remarks, Sha said that, despite the evident potential of ICTs, and despite some progress made in improving access, a vast digital divide remains between developed and developing countries.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECURITY COUNCIL ADOPTS PROGRAMME OF WORK FOR NOVEMBER: The

Security Council this morning held its consultations for this month and agreed on its programme of work for November.

REPORT ON LAW OF THE SEA ISSUED: The Secretary-Generals latest

report to the General Assembly on oceans and the Law of the Sea was issued today. The report is intended to assist the General Assemblys working group on the Law of the Sea in its deliberations on the conservation and use of marine biodiversity in international waters. The report will also help that working group determine the agenda of the planned 2010 meeting of Member States on oceans and the Law of the Sea.

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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