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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-01-12

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 OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

UN

HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

SECRETARY-GENERAL ENCOURAGED BY COMMITMENT TO RETURN TO CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER IN GUINEA

According to a

statement issued on Monday night, the Secretary-General is encouraged by recent political developments in Guinea, particularly the commitment expressed by the interim Head of State, General Sekouba Konaté, for a return to constitutional order. He welcomes both the invitation extended to the opposition to put forward a consensus Prime Minister and the guarantees of security given for all Guineans, including the country's political leaders.

The Secretary-General reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to support Guinea towards a rapid restoration of constitutional order in a peaceful and consensual manner. The Secretary-General calls on the members of the military authority and the Government to honour their earlier commitment not to contest the forthcoming elections. He also appeals to all political stakeholders to work together to find lasting solutions to the challenges facing the country.

The United Nations will continue working with the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other partners toward these ends.

Asked whether junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara should be tried, the Spokesperson said that the Commission of Inquiry dealing with Guinea has turned in its report, which the Secretary-General has transmitted to the Security Council and other concerned bodies. The Security Council is consulting on the issue.

SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES OPPORTUNITY IN GUINEA, SITUATION IN WEST AFRICA

Said Djinnit, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for

West Africa, this morning briefed the

Security Council in an open meeting on the activities of his office over the past six months.

Speaking on Guinea, he said that the crisis in that country, if left unaddressed, could spill over to the subregion and threaten prospects for lasting peace there. But he added that current developments in Guinea are encouraging, following the recent statement by the interim leader. He said that the consensual approach proposed by the interim junta leader provides an opportunity that should be seized by all stakeholders in order to put the peace and reconciliation process back on track.

He said that the march towards democracy and the rule of law has made giant strides in West Africa in the past few years, but warned that national institutions remain weak and unstable.

Djinnit continued to brief Security Council members in closed consultations following the open meeting.

SECRETARY-GENERAL ACCEPTS WITH REGRET RESIGNATION OF REGISTRAR OF SPECIAL TRIBUNAL FOR LEBANON

The Secretary-General received the resignation of the Registrar of the

Special Tribunal for Lebanon, David Tolbert, on 6 January. That resignation will be effective on 1 March 2010.

In a

statement, the Secretary-General regretted the departure of Mr. Tolbert and congratulated him on his new appointment as President of the International Center for Transitional Justice.

The Secretary-General said that, during Tolbert's tenure as the Registrar, the Special Tribunal has made excellent progress, and the Registry is an efficient and fully functioning office which is ready to support the judicial activities of the Special Tribunal. The Secretary-General will be appointing an acting Registrar as an interim measure.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO PARTICIPATE IN COLLOQUIUM AT YALE

This Thursday and Friday, the Secretary-General will be attending the Global Colloquium of University Presidents in Yale. There he will be participating in the discussion on 'The Roles of Science in Meeting Global Challenges'.

Then, on Friday evening, 15 January, the Secretary-General will speak at the Stanley Foundation retreat in Tarrytown, New York, on the Responsibility to Protect.

REFUGEE AGENCY SAYS 200,000 PEOPLE ARE DISPLACED IN NORTHERN YEMEN

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says that there is no lull in the fierce fighting between Government troops and Al Houti forces in Saada province, in northern Yemen, as the conflict enters the sixth month. UNHCR estimates that some 200,000 people have been affected by the conflict in Yemen since 2004, including those displaced by the latest escalation, which erupted last August.

This latest influx is straining already stretched shelter capacity and quickly depleting aid resources in the area. The number of internally displaced people outside the camps is also growing rapidly. There are now huge makeshift sites along the roads close to the Al Mazrak camps.

Asked whether the United Nations would try to resolve Yemens problems politically, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General had

indicated that he would take part in a conference in London this month that would deal with the issue of Yemen. That conference, he noted, would discuss issues such as counter-terrorism and radicalization in that country.

Asked whether the focus of the London conference should be broadened beyond such issues, Nesirky added that the agenda of the conference is still being developed, and the United Nations may want to see humanitarian and other key concerns also addressed.

D.R. CONGO: REFUGEE AGENCY STRESSES URGENT NEED FOR SITES

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says that there is a

massive influx of refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo into neighbouring Congo-Brazzaville and the Central African Republic (CAR). This is creating an urgent need for appropriate sites to house the refugees, according to UNHCR.

The Refugee Agency says that more than 107,000 civilians have now fled into Congo-Brazzaville since early November. Another 17,000 refugees have crossed into the Central African Republic.

The refugees who have fled violence in the Equateur province of north-west DRC are occupying public buildings and spaces. UNHCR says the influx of refugees is severely stretching the meager resources of local authorities, with the risk of potential tensions within the local communities.

VIOLENCE IN SOMALIA CAUSING FURTHER DISPLACEMENTS

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)

says that continuing violence in Somalia is having a devastating effect on civilians and causing more displacements.

UNHCR says violent clashes between two rival militia groups earlier this month in Dhusamareb, Central Somalia, has resulted in the killing of over 150 people and the displacement of 7,000 others. Most of the displaced persons are reported to be living under trees and many children have become ill as a result of the cold nights.

UNHCR is holding discussions with its local NGO partners in Somalia to find ways of delivering assistance to the displaced persons in the quickest time possible.

SECRETARY-GENERAL NOTES PROPOSAL TO DEPLOY MORE PEACEKEEPERS IN COTE DIVOIRE

In a

letter to the Security Council, the Secretary-General said that he has received a letter from the Presidents of Cote dIvoire and Burkina Faso proposing the deployment, for a three-month period, of a military unit of up to 500 troops from Burkina Faso to the UN Operation in Cote dIvoire (UNOCI). That deployment would be to reinforce the general security arrangements for the elections that are expected to take place by this March.

Such a deployment, the Secretary-General said, would require the Security Councils authorization for a temporary increase in the UNOCI force, past the current level of 7,450.

SENIOR HUMANITARIAN OFFICIAL FINISHES VISIT TO EGYPT

U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Catherine Bragg, has concluded the first leg of her four-day Middle East mission to Egypt and Syria.

The Cairo regional Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) covers a region with multiple ongoing humanitarian emergencies, with some ten million refugees and more than three million internally displaced persons. Bragg expressed gratitude to the Egyptian Government for hosting the facility.

In a meeting with representatives of the League of Arab States on Monday she encouraged the League to take an active role in promoting international humanitarian coordination and funding for the various humanitarian appeals and response plans in the region.

Bragg will continue her mission in Damascus, Syria, on 13 and 14 January.

SPOKESPERSON: UNITED NATIONS, ISRAEL HAVE MADE PROGRESS IN DISCUSSIONS ON PAYMENT

Asked about delays in a final agreement between Israel and the United Nations on a payment for damages during the Gaza conflict, the Spokesperson said that the Government of Israel is working to deal with technical issues regarding the payment.

He said that the United Nations had submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel a claim for reimbursement for the losses that the United Nations had sustained in a number of incidents that occurred during the Gaza conflict. Since that time, discussions have taken place between the United Nations and Israel. Those discussions have taken place in a very positive atmosphere and are now at a very advanced stage, Nesirky said.

He said that agreement has been reached in principle on the terms of an arrangement under which Israel would make a payment to the United Nations. The United Nations is now waiting for a green light from the Government of Israel.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECRETARY-GENERAL WANTS TO ENSURE HOLDING OF FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS IN MYANMAR: Asked about the elections in Myanmar, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General is closely monitoring the situation and wants to ensure that free and fair elections take place there, with the process conducted in a transparent manner. He added that the Chef de Cabinet, Vijay Nambiar, is overseeing the Secretary-Generals good offices on Myanmar at present.

VIOLENCE IN SRI LANKA ELECTION CAMPAIGN REGRETTABLE: Asked about reports of violence during Sri Lankas electoral campaigning, the Spokesperson said that any violence in the course of such a campaign is regrettable.

ELECTIONS NEED TO PROCEED IN COTE DIVOIRE: Asked about calls for the resignation of the chief of the electoral commission in Cote dIvoire, the Spokesperson said that elections require the work of electoral commissions. Any delay to the electoral process in Cote dIvoire, he said, would be regrettable.

U.N. POSITION ON HONDURAS HAS NOT CHANGED: Asked whether the United Nations would confer diplomatic credentials on people recommended by the de facto government in Honduras, the Spokesperson said that the UN position on Honduras (based on the General Assembly resolution adopted on 29 June 2009) has not changed.

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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