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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-12-07

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 MARTIN NESIRKY

SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Monday, December 7, 2009

CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE OPENS IN COPENHAGEN

The United Nations

Climate Change Conference started today in Copenhagen with what Yvo de Boer, the top UN climate change official, called unprecedented political momentum for a deal.

World leaders are calling for an agreement that offers serious emission limitation goals, one that would provide significant financial and technological support to developing countries, he said.

De Boer called on negotiators to focus on solid and practical proposals that will unleash prompt action on mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology, reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries and capacity-building.

He also spoke about the three layers of action that governments needed to agree to by the end of the conference. Those are: fast and effective implementation of immediate action on climate change; ambitious commitments to cut and limit emissions; and a long term shared vision on a low-emissions future for all.

For his part, the Chair of the UN

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, stressed that "the evidence is now overwhelming that the world would benefit greatly from early action and that delay would only lead to costs in economic and human terms that would become progressively high."

Negotiators now have six days to conclude their work before the Ministerial High Level Segmentwhich will start on 16 December.

Ministers will then have two days to take any unresolved issues forward before more than 100 world leaders arrive on 17 December. The conference is expected close on 18 December.

More than 15,000 participants, including government delegates and representatives from business and industry, environmental organizations and research institutions, are attending the two-week gathering.

BAN KI-MOON TO ATTEND HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT OF COPENHAGEN SUMMIT

As for the Secretary-Generals travel plans, we can now confirm to you that he will be in Copenhagen next week to attend the high-level segment and summit of the United Nations Climate Change Conference session and the summit. The high-level segment begins Tuesday afternoon of December 15.

The Secretary-General expects a robust agreement at Copenhagen that will be effective immediately and include specific commitments on mitigation, adaptation

finance and technology.

He says Copenhagen can and must be the turning point in the worlds efforts to prevent runaway climate change and usher in a new era of green growth for all.

From all corners of the globe we see unprecedented momentum for a deal.

More than 100 Heads of State and Government, including President Obama and Premier Wen Jiabao, have said they will go to Copenhagen to provide their support for a global agreement. Never have so many different nations of all size and economic status made so many firm pledges together.

The Secretary-General says We must seize this moment, and continue pushing for still higher ambition, now is the time for action and results.

COUNTRIES CLOSER TO AVOIDING GLOBAL WARMING OF MORE THAN 2░C

And also on climate change, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

says that countries meeting in Copenhagen may be closer than some observers realize to agreeing the emissions cuts required to give the world a reasonable chance of avoiding global warming of more than 2░C.

In an analysis of national proposals for annual emissions reductions launched today, UNEP says that the gap between countries' strongest proposed cuts and what is needed may be only a few billion tonnes of greenhouse gases.

BAN KI-MOON CONGRATULATES IRAQI LEADERS ON FINALIZATION OF ELECTION LAW

We have a

statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the finalization of Iraqs Election Law.

The Secretary-General congratulates the Iraqi Council of Representatives on finalizing amendments to the Election Law and commends Iraqi leaders and parliamentarians for overcoming their differences and reaching a compromise.

The way is now paved to hold national elections in Iraq on a date to be determined by the Iraqi Presidency Council.

The Secretary-General firmly believes that these elections will be an important step forward for Iraqs political and democratic progress.

The Secretary-General is pleased that his Special Representative for Iraq, Ad Melkert, and the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) were able to assist Iraqi political leaders in reaching this important agreement.

The Secretary-General reaffirms the United Nations commitment to provide support and technical assistance to the Independent High Electoral Commission during the electoral process and encourages the Iraqi people and all political parties to participate in a process that will shape their countrys future and contribute to national reconciliation.

Ad Melkert, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Iraq, also congratulated the members of the Council of Representatives.

Melkert said that, during the past few weeks, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) has worked intently and diligently with Council members representing all political parties and entities to facilitate a process leading to a broad agreement.

He said that UNAMI has advised all parties that it is feasible to hold Iraqs elections on Saturday, 27 February. The United Nations stands ready to ensure that all support is provided to Iraqs electoral commission to meet such a goal.

BAN KI-MOON URGES SUDANESE PRESIDENT TO INTERVENE TO SECURE RELEASE OF ABDUCTED STAFF

Yesterday, the Secretary-General called Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for the sole purpose of an urgent humanitarian matter. He called to urge the Presidents direct engagement in securing the release of two UNAMID staff members held hostage in Darfur for 100 days, since 29 August.

The Government has been attempting to secure their release but they have not as yet been released. One of the hostages is gravely ill and the situation is critical.

The President assured the Secretary-General that everything possible was being done.

The Secretary-General also urged that the perpetrators of the two weekend attacks on UNAMID peacekeepers in North Darfur that killed five Rwandan peacekeepers be brought to justice.

President Bashir indicated he had issued instructions to his security agencies that the perpetrators be apprehended as soon as possible.

In concluding the call, the Secretary-General expressed his appreciation of the Sudanese governments support for the recent appointment of Mr. Ibrahim Gambari as the new UNAMID Joint Special Representative.

BAN KI-MOON DEPLORES KILLING OF RWANDAN PEACEKEEPERS IN DARFUR, SUDAN

Clearly, the security situation has deteriorated in Darfur following two separate attacks over the weekend, which led to the killing of five UNAMID peacekeepers and left about five others injured.

The Secretary-General has

deplored these attacks and called on the Government of Sudan to do its utmost to ensure that the perpetrators are swiftly identified and brought to justice.

He expresses his condolences to the families of the peacekeepers who lost their lives, and reiterates his appreciation for their service and commitment to the search for peace in Darfur.

In a related security and safety development, the acting Joint Special Representative of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Henry Anyidoho, today met with officials from the Government of Sudan and various humanitarian agencies to sign the terms of reference establishing a new State Joint Committee for North Darfur.

The State Joint Committee, and particularly its Sub-Committee on Safety and Security, aims to provide better protection for humanitarian agencies providing assistance to the war-torn region. It also seeks to facilitate their movements to rural areas within Darfur to deliver aid.

The collaboration is geared toward further developing relations between the Government of the Sudan, UNAMID and international humanitarian agencies working in Darfur.

Asked about who was behind the attacks, the Spokesperson said that would need to be investigated. He reiterated that the Secretary-General had discussed the attacks with President Bashir.

In response to a question, Nesirky confirmed this was the first call between the Secretary-General and the President of Sudan since the International Criminal Courts indictment of the President. In that regard, he emphasized that the call was made purely on humanitarian grounds, with one of the two abductees gravely ill. The Secretary-General, he said, wanted to ensure that all efforts are being made to secure their release.

SUDAN: CONCERN OVER DETENTION AND ALLEGED BEATING OF OPPOSITION PROTESTORS AND RELATED ARSON

The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Sudan, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, has expressed his concern over the detention and alleged beating of some prominent Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) leaders, opposition supporters and civil society activists during demonstrations earlier today. He is also concerned about the reported setting on fire of National Congress Party (NCP) offices.

These developments could have adverse implications for the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Qazi said. He added that these developments are coming at a very critical stage in NCP-SPLM negotiations on the comprehensive Agreement (CPA). Qazi emphasized the central importance of political rights and freedoms, especially in the lead-up to elections and referendum.

Welcoming the subsequent release of SPLM leaders as well as First Vice President Salva Kiirs call for calm and restraint, Mr. Qazi urged all concerned authorities to take effective measures to ensure that law and order is maintained and acts of political violence are prevented.

He called on both parties to give the highest priority to bringing about a conducive political environment for the successful implementation of the CPA.

ZIMBABWE: HUMANITARIAN AGENCIES APPEAL FOR $378 MILLION

Humanitarian agencies in Zimbabwe have launched an appeal for US$378 million to provide humanitarian assistance to millions of people in the country throughout 2010.

Speaking during the launch in Harare, the UN Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Catherine Bragg, said, This is a critical moment for the UN and partners to support both humanitarian and recovery activities in Zimbabwe. She expressed the hope that donors will continue to generously support saving lives and livelihoods of the people of Zimbabwe.

Although the Zimbabwes humanitarian situation has improved, it remains fragile. About 6 million people remain vulnerable because of the erosion of basic services and livelihoods following the protracted economic downturn. An equal number lack access to safe water and sanitation.

SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS CONSULTATIONS ON COTE DIVOIRE

The Security Council has begun consultations on C˘te dIvoire. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy is briefing Council members on the work being done by the UN peacekeeping operation in that country (ONUCI).

A draft presidential statement has been circulated by France.

NEPAL: U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF CALLS FOR CALM AND RESTRAINT DURING EVICTION DRIVE

In Nepal, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights strongly cautioned the Government and the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist to exercise restraint and prevent the occurrence of further violence. This, in view of the violence occurred during the recent eviction drive.

OHCHR is verifying allegations of excessive use of force by security personnel during the eviction drive resulting in the reported deaths of 3 individuals, and attacks on security forces by the individuals resisting the eviction reportedly causing the death of one police personnel. 41 civilians and 9 police were also injured.

While monitoring and interacting with actors on the ground to minimize further violence, the Office of the High Commissioner calls on the national actors to exercise restraint and prevent any incidents which could further aggravate the fragile situation in the region.

TIMOR-LESTE: U.N. POLICE CONTINUE TO HAND OVER RESPONSIBILITY TO NATIONAL POLICE

Over the weekend in Dili, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Timor-Leste, Atul Khare, and Deputy Prime Minister JosÚ Luis Guterres presided over the ceremony marking the resumption of primary responsibility for the conduct of police operations by the PolÝcia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL) in the District of Viqueque - the 4th district to have policing responsibility resumed since May 2009.

At the ceremony, Khare highlighted the importance of police accountability, stressing that long-term accountability and integrity of the national police in the future will only be guaranteed through timely, effective and fair application of the penal and disciplinary code.

UN Police will maintain their presence in the districts where the national police have resumed responsibility, in order to support, advice, and to monitor the PNTL, in areas such as community policing and human rights protection.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

BAN KI-MOON REMAINS CONCERNED ABOUT SAHARAWI ACTIVIST Asked about Saharawi activist Aminarou Haidar, who has been on hunger strike, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General remains concerned about her condition. He reiterated the appeal made last week by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, in which he called on Spain and Morocco to consider any measure that could facilitate a resolution of the issue and end the current impasse. The UN is looking for ways it can help to resolve Ms. Haidar's situation, Nesirky added.

GUINEA: BAN KI-MOON STRESSES NEED TO AVOID VIOLENCE AND RESPECT THE RULE OF LAW: Asked about the recent violent developments in Guinea, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General is aware and following the situation. This latest violence underscores the urgent need to move swiftly towards the restoration of constitutional order in Guinea in a peaceful and consensual manner, he said. The Secretary-General, Nesirky said, calls for calm and reiterates the need to avoid violence and to respect the rule of law. He has instructed his Special Representative for West Africa, Said Djinnit, to remain actively engaged with national and regional stakeholders in the search for a solution that provides the people of Guinea an opportunity to elect their leaders in a democratic manner.

SENIOR U.N.D.P. OFFICIAL VISITS MYANMAR: The UN Development Programmes Assistant Administrator and Director for the Bureau for Asia, Ajay Chhibber, wrapped up a 5-day mission to Myanmar, focusing on the U.N.s development efforts.| During the visit from 3 to 7 December, Chhibber met with key government officials and Ministries to discuss ongoing collaboration and emphasized UNDPs strong commitment to support the country in its future development efforts.

BAN KI-MOON HOPES FOR CALM AND RESTRAINT OVER IRANIAN STUDENT PROTESTS: Asked about reports of violence during student protests in Iran, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations has limited information based on today's press reports. However, as in any such situation, the Secretary-General hopes that calm and restraint will prevail, he said. He added that UN staff in Iran would try to determine details about what happened.

FUNDING FOR PAKISTANS DISPLACED: Asked about the level of funding for a humanitarian appeal on Pakistan, the Spokesperson said that the appeal is 72 percent funded.

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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