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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-12-30

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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: unnews@un.org

ARCHIVES

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

UN

HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

There are no noon briefings planned until January 4, 2010.

Developments within the UN system will be posted daily on this website daily throughout this period.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONER SHOCKED BY VIOLENCE IN IRAN

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay,

said that she was shocked by the recent violence leading to deaths and injuries in Iran, and she called on the Government to curb excesses by security forces.

Pillay said that, while the exact circumstances that led to at least seven deaths and many more injuries last Sunday are still unclear, "the information available once again suggests excessive acts of violence by security forces and the paramilitary Basij militia. She added that the Iranian Government has a duty to ensure that the violence does not escalate.

The High Commissioner also expressed concern about continuing reports of arrests of political activists, journalists, human rights defenders and other civil society actors. "People have a right to express their feelings, and to hold peaceful protests, without being beaten, clubbed and thrown into jail," she said.

BAN KI-MOON DISCUSSES CLIMATE CHANGE WITH WORLD LEADERS

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been making a number of calls to world leaders following the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

Among those he has spoken to so far are leaders from China, United States, Ethiopia, the Maldives, Grenada, France, Brazil and Australia.

The

Copenhagen Accord aims to kick-start immediate action on climate change and guide negotiations on long-term action.

U.N. MISSION IN D.R.CONGO EXTENDS EXPANDED PATROLS IN VULNERABLE AREAS

Expanded patrols by the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) in some of the most vulnerable areas of Equateur and Orientale provinces and the Kivus during the Christmas holiday season will be extended into the New Year.

The Mission says that fears have been expressed in each of the provinces that public gatherings in churches and elsewhere could provide easy targets for the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Orientale, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) in the Kivus and insurgents in Equateur.

In Orientale province, no exactions by the LRA have been reported since patroles were expanded. Twelve suspected LRA rebels have been arrested by the Congolese army and peacekeepers since 23rd December.

In Equateur province, MONUC's presence has helped to stabilize the situation in and in some communities, displaced families are returning home in growing numbers.

Meanwhile, the UN Mission in the country has expressed its deep concern over the death threats received by members of the UN Joint Human Rights Office and by local human rights organizations in Kalemie, in the eastern DRC.

MONUC has condemned these threats and urged the Government of the DRC to take all necessary action to ensure the security of members of human rights organizations and MONUC staff, and to bring those responsible for the threats to justice.

SUDAN: U.N. ENVOY SAYS 2010 CRUCIAL FOR COUNTRYS DESTINY

The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Sudan, Ashraf Qazi, has warned that 2010 will be a crucial year for Sudan, with implications for the destiny of the country.

In an end-of-year statement issued by the UN Mission in Sudan, (UNMIS), Qazi says that the year will be important for negotiating and implementing agreements and understandings on issues that will determine the fate of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, (CPA).

He has therefore called on Sudanese to make every effort, individually and collectively, to contribute to the success of the CPA.

Qazi further notes that Sudans political leadership will have a special and historical responsibility towards the Sudanese people and the welfare and quality of life for coming generations.

GUINEA-BISSAU: U.N. LIAISES WITH GOVERNMENT OVER FORMER NAVY CHIEF SEEKING U.N. PROTECTION

In response to some media requests regarding Guinea-Bissau, we wish to state that former Rear Admiral Bubo Na Tchuto arrived unannounced at UN premises in Bissau early Monday, 28 December 2009 and remains there at this time. He has asked for protection.

We have been in constant contact with the authorities in Guinea-Bissau in an effort to resolve this situation peacefully and in accordance with international law.

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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