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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-01-14

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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

BY MARTIN

NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

UN

HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Thursday, January 14, 2010

  • The briefing today was a videoconference briefing by the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Haiti, Kim Bolduc, and the Chief of Communications for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, David Wimhurst. Other news items from the U.N. system follow:

    SECRETARY-GENERAL NOTES INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO MAJOR HUMANITARIAN DISASTER IN HAITI

    In

    remarks to the press this morning, the Secretary-General said that the situation in

    Haiti following Tuesdays earthquake is a major humanitarian disaster. He said, To hear these reports of suffering, every hour, to see these terrible images on television it is very, very painful to all of us.

    One of the most heartening facts in this otherwise heart-breaking story is the dimension of the international response, he added. People throughout the world want to help. One of the UNs biggest challenges will be to help them to help Haiti to the utmost.

    The Secretary-General said that rescue efforts continue, but approximately 150 UN staff remain unaccounted for. Early this morning, he said, another survivor an Estonian close protection officer named Tarmo Joveer was located when scratching sounds were heard and was rescued. He added that the death toll of all military and police officers stands at 22, of many nationalities.

    He noted that the United Nations will launch a Flash Appeal for Haitis humanitarian needs on Friday.

    U.N. AGENCIES SPEED UP RESPONSE TO HUMANITARIAN NEEDS FOLLOWING EARTHQUAKE

    UN agencies have hastened efforts to bring humanitarian relief to the hardest-hit parts of Haiti following the earthquake.

    The World Food Programme (WFP)

    started its emergency food distribution work and reached 3,000 people in the southern town of Jacmel on Wednesday, with plans for more distributions in three areas of Port-au-Prince that have high a population concentration. WFP is preparing for a full emergency operation to supply food assistance to around 2 million beneficiaries for six months initially. WFP will focus on the distribution of ready-to-eat food and high-energy biscuits in the initial phase of this emergency operation.

    A WFP plane is expected today, with materials to support WFP and other UN teams such as satellite phones, satellites, food, among others.

    UNICEF is rushing life-saving supplies into the hardest-hit communities in Haiti. UNICEFs response, coordinated with other UN agencies and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent, is aimed at the children and women, who are the most vulnerable in times of crisis. Children under 18 make up nearly 50 per cent of the 10 million people of Haiti.

    The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is also

    sending reproductive health supplies to meet the special needs of women, to prevent women from dying in pregnancy and to ensure safe deliveries.

    The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is

    preparing to deploy up to 80 portable satellite uplinks and a base station to Haiti, in order to help restore communications in the country and to assist with the humanitarian effort.

    SECURITY COUNCIL TO RECEIVE BRIEFING ON SOMALIA; EXPRESSES SYMPATHY TO HAITIAN PEOPLE

    The

    Security Council will hear a briefing at 3:00 this afternoon from Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative on Somalia. The Councils discussions on Somalia will take place in an open meeting followed by closed consultations.

    This morning, the Security Council also held consultations to hear an update on the work of the UN Regional Centre dealing with Central Asia. In a press statement afterward, the members of the Security Council said they appreciated the efforts of the Regional Centre to assist Central Asia countries in responding to challenges in the region, in accordance with its mandate.

    On Wednesday, the Security Council concluded its meeting with regional organizations by adopting a

    Presidential Statement on cooperation with such organizations. And Council members, in a press statement, conveyed their deepest sympathy and solidarity to all those affected by the earthquake in Haiti, and to their families.

    REPORT: COTE DIVOIRES ELECTORAL PROCESS REMAINS ON TRACK

    Despite the postponement of the presidential election, which was planned for November 2009,

    Cote dIvoires electoral process remains on track. Thats according to the Secretary-Generals latest report on that country.

    The

    report includes a breakdown of benchmarks and indicators of progress. It also says that preparations for the poll have gained new momentum through sustained dialogue between the Ivorian parties. Meanwhile, the implementation of the delicate remaining stages will require vigorous international engagement, including in securing the election.

    The Secretary-General urges the Ivorian parties to continue to make headway in deploying mixed security brigades throughout the country. He also pledges continued UN support to the country.

    Also released today was a new

    report of the Security Council on the implementation of sanctions on some parties to Cote dIvoires military and political crisis.

    SECRETARY-GENERAL REQUESTS EXTENSION OF MANDATE FOR U.N. MISSION IN NEPAL

    In his report to the Security Council on the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), the Secretary-General stressed that Nepal is now entering a crucial period, and the coming few months before the May promulgation of a new constitution are critical for the successful conclusion of the peace process.

    Adding that while it is his desire to see UNMIN complete its mandated tasks and end its presence as soon as possible, the Secretary-General advised against withdrawing the Mission at this particular time of heightened tension.

    He recommends that the Security Council respond positively to the extension of the Missions current mandate, should the Government of Nepal request it.

    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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