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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-01-05
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
INSECURITY FORCES WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME TO SUSPEND OPERATIONS TEMPORARILY IN SOUTHERN SOMALIA
The World Food Programme (WFP) has
suspended its operations in much of Southern Somalia, due to rising security threats and attacks on humanitarian operations.
WFP offices in half-a-dozen locations in the south have been temporarily closed, and food supplies and equipment have been moved out of these areas. Staff have also been moved to safer areas to ensure that food assistance reaches as many vulnerable people as possible.
The decision means that about one million people in Southern Somalia will not be able to receive much-needed assistance. WFP is deeply concerned about rising hunger and suffering among the most vulnerable. WFP continues to provide life-saving food assistance in the rest of Somalia, including the capital, Mogadishu.
Asked further about the relocations, the Spokesperson said that WFP has announced that it is adjusting its operations but not withdrawing or even suspending in the entire south. Work is still ongoing in Mogadishu and in the Afgooye corridor, he said.
Nesirky added that the relocation is a temporary measure, and that the United Nations hopes that conditions will allow a full resumption soon.
Asked about conditions for non-governmental organizations working in Somalia, he said that some agencies are still working in areas in which WFP has temporarily suspended operations. He noted comments made by WFP spokespeople concerning efforts by al-Shabaab to impose fees on NGOs.
SECURITY COUNCIL: PROGRAMME OF WORK ADOPTED AS FIVE NEW MEMBERS JOIN
Security Council this morning adopted its programme of work for this month, in its first consultations for this year. And Council members also decided on the chairs and vice chairs of its Sanctions Committee for this year.
Todays consultations were the first to include the Councils five new members for 2010-2011: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Gabon, Lebanon and Nigeria.
DARFUR: U.N. ASSISTS SUDAN GOVERNMENT WITH PRE-ELECTION TRAINING FOR POLICE PERSONNEL
Police advisors of the African Union-UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) have concluded a series of security training sessions for Sudanese Government police personnel, in preparation for the forthcoming general elections, scheduled to be held in April this year.
The sessions held in all three states of Darfur - began on 2 January, and were organised in collaboration with the Government of Sudan. The aim is to educate the Governments police force on security issues, election rules and crisis management. UNAMID has said it believes an effective police force is important in ensuring safe and peaceful elections.
BAN KI-MOON APPOINTS AS NEW DEPUTY ENVOY FOR CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
The Secretary-General has appointed Mr. Bo Schack of Denmark as his Deputy Special Representative in the Central African Republic. Schack will also serve as the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Representative in that country.
Mr. Schack, who most recently served with the UN High Commission for Refugees, joins the newly established United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) at a critical period when the country prepares for legislative and presidential elections. He brings with him a wealth of development, humanitarian assistance and leadership experience.
AFGHANISTAN: U.N. AND PARTNERS PROVIDE VITAL SUPPLIES TO THOUSANDS FACING HARSH WINTER
As temperatures drop around
Afghanistan, United Nations agencies, their partners and the Afghan Government are working together to provide relief supplies to help some 200,000 vulnerable people cope with the harsh winter across the country.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says that its winterization package for this year is much better than last years, because the number of items for each family has been increased. For instance, the package includes warm clothes, shawls and gas cylinders. Also, the number of blankets given to each family has been increased from three to six.
The World Food Programme (WFP) has completed its winter pre-positioning programme in eastern provinces, for the areas where roads could be blocked during winter due to heavy snow. A total of 5,064 metric tonnes of wheat has been stocked in the stores. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has distributed essential medicines to the hospitals of Afghanistans eastern provinces.
Asked about the UN role in the London Conference on Afghanistan scheduled for 28 January, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations was helping to organize that conference, and the UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) had been working to shape the outcome of that meeting.
AT LEAST 28 U.N. STAFF, SEVEN PEACEKEEPERS WERE KILLED IN 2009
At least 28 civilian UN staff members and seven peacekeepers lost their lives due to acts of violence against United Nations personnel during 2009, the United Nations Staff Union said today.
Nine civilian staff members were killed in four separate incidents in Pakistan. Seven were killed in two separate attacks in Afghanistan. Five were killed in the Gaza Strip. Two were killed in Somalia. More than two-thirds of the victims were national staff members.
At least 34 United Nations personnel lost their lives in 2008 and at least 42 did in 2007.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO TALK TO PRESS ON 11 JANUARY: The Secretary-General will be speaking at a stakeout on 11 January. He will also hold a press conference on 25 January. Also, UNTV has prepared a
news package showing the Secretary-General and other staff moving to the new temporary building.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONTINUES ENGAGEMENT WITH QUARTET ON MIDDLE-EAST: Asked about a briefing the Secretary-General had from his
Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, the Spokesperson said that was a phone conversation this morning, prior to the Secretary-Generals meeting this afternoon with US diplomat George Mitchell. The latter meeting, Nesirky said, showed the Secretary-Generals continuing engagement in Middle East peace efforts within the framework of the Quartet.
PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR SECURITY OF U.N. STAFF RESTS WITH HOST GOVERNMENTS: Asked about the responsibility for security in Pakistan, the Spokesperson said that the primary responsibility for the security of UN staff rests with the host country where the staff operates. Decisions on staff security, including relocations, are taken on the advisement of the Department of Safety and Security (DSS).
BAN KI-MOONS ENVOY CONTINUES WORK ON WESTERN SAHARA: Asked about the work being done by the Secretary-Generals Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, the Spokesperson said that Ross was working with the parties to arrange a second round of informal talks on Western Sahara.
U.N. HAS MORE THAN 500 STAFF IN YEMEN: In response to a question about the UN presence in Yemen, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations currently has 127 international staff and 450 national staff in Yemen. The UN operates out of 12 offices in Sanaa and three sub-offices in the provinces. In addition, the UN Refugee Agency operates from several refugee camps in the South and now in the North.
NEW JOINT GOVERNMENT-U.N. OPERATIONS IN D.R. CONGO AIM TO BOLSTER SECURITY AND PREVENT ATTACKS ON CIVILIANS: Asked about Operation Amani Leo in the eastern
Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Spokesperson referred to Alan Dosss extensive briefing to the Security Council on 16 December, in which he announced that Operation Kimia II would be ending and that Operation Amani Leo would begin in January. As he told the Council, the new operation would concentrate on holding ground recovered from the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) and preventing attacks on civilians, and would include targeted actions where the FDLR may have regrouped.
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
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