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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-01-15

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

Friday, January 15, 2010

  • The briefing today was by Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes, who discussed the humanitarian effort in Haiti. Other news items from the U.N. system follow:

    SECRETARY-GENERAL: UNITED NATIONS TO LAUNCH EMERGENCY APPEAL FOR $550 MILLION

    In remarks to the press today, the Secretary-General said that preliminary estimates from UN emergency teams in

    Haiti show widespread damage to infrastructure in Port au Prince and other affected areas, with as many as 50 percent of buildings in the worst-hit areas damaged or destroyed.

    A high proportion of the 3 million people in the capital area are without access to food, water, shelter and electricity, he added.

    This afternoon, the Secretary-General said, the UN will launch an emergency flash appeal for around $550 million. Most of this money will go to urgent needs: food and water are in critically short supply. Given the number of people in the streets, without homes, we must provide shelter, and tents are needed badly, he said. Medical supplies and personnel are also needed.

    He added that he is dispatching Assistant Secretary General Tony Banbury, in the UN office of field operations, to Haiti to serve as Edmond Mulets principal deputy Special Representative.

    U.N. MISSION IN HAITI FOCUSING ON HUMANITARIAN DELIVERIES AND RESCUE OPERATIONS

    The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) reported that its military operations remain focused on supporting the delivery of humanitarian assistance and rescue operations.

    An aerial reconnaissance was conducted over Port au Prince on 13 January to detect the most affected areas and identify others where people have sheltered. This allowed aid workers to start distributing humanitarian assistance as of 14 January.

    Also, MINUSTAH is reinforcing military and UN Police patrols throughout the city to prevent criminality.

    On the humanitarian side, flights carrying humanitarian aid have arrived from Spain, France, USA, Peru, Chile, Canada, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Brazil, with medical personnel and supplies, search and rescue teams, and food.

    The Haitian Prime Minister and President met Thursday with MINUSTAHs Deputy Special Representative in Charge of Humanitarian Assistance, Kim Bolduc. The Minister of Interior was assigned as a liaison officer to coordinate relief efforts with the international community, as per normal Government procedures.

    Today, Jordanian, Brazilian and Colombian mobile military hospitals will arrive to support the humanitarian efforts. One of them is to be soon installed nearby the Police Academy to take care of injured Haitian National Police Officers.

    Food and water supplies were distributed in two main areas, and continues today in five others. The main zones of distribution are currently located in: Delmas 33, Bourdon (Primature), Centre Ville (downtown) and Place Boyer. The distribution has been carried out by MINUSTAH military personnel in cooperation with international humanitarian organizations and NGOs.

    The World Food Programme (WFP) started feeding 8,000 people on a regular basis several times a day since Thursday.

    The strong need for medical supplies and equipment prevails, as the situation in local hospitals remain precarious in terms of personnel and equipment.

    Asked about efforts to rescue the roughly 100 UN personnel believed to be trapped in the rubble of the Christopher Hotel, the Spokesperson said that efforts continue to locate people, using sniffer dogs and sensors, among other assets, but no new people have been found alive so far today.

    Asked who is charge of the nearby airport, he said that the United Nations is working in strong coordination with the US Government, which has brought its own assets and expertise to the area, and with the Haitian Government, to whom the airport belongs.

    Asked about security efforts, he said that the United Nations is looking after security, in concert with the Haitian National Police.

    AIR SHUTTLE SERVICE TO FLY BETWEEN SANTO DOMINGO AND PORT AU PRINCE

    The Spokesperson provided an update on the air shuttle service mentioned by the Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, Susana Malcorra, earlier this week. It wont be from Miami, but between Port au Prince and Santo Domingo, flying a round-trip between the Haitian and Dominican Republics capitals once a day.

    Its purpose is to assist with rescue efforts and the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and to shuttle people on a priority basis. Journalists will be able to use this depending on availability.

    U.N. RELIEF COORDINATOR STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF COORDINATION IN HAITI

    The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, John Holmes, has

    warned of growing needs in the days ahead in Haiti and stressed the importance of coordination.

    Already the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Haiti is coordinating more than 25 search-and-rescue teams that are now working on hospitals, schools, hotels and larger buildings. A further 13 teams are mobilizing and will receive support from the UNs Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team at the airport.

    Dozens of countries have offered assistance, and specialized UN coordination teams are working to ensure that aid quickly reaches the right people at the right time.

    The World Health Organization is coordinating medical assistance and sending a 12-member team specializing in victim care, while NGOs such as Medecins sans Frontiers are scaling up their efforts on the ground as quickly as possible.

    W.F.P. SAYS ITS FOOD STOCKS IN HAITIS CAPITAL ARE INTACT

    The World Food Programme (WFP) wishes to stress that, contrary to what has been reported in some media, there has been no looting of its food stocks in the Haitian capital. Though the WFP warehouses in Port-au-Prince have been damaged by the earthquake, the food stocks have remained intact.

    WFP has food and staff deployed in Haiti as part of its long-running operations in the country, and it began food distributions with 24 hours of the earthquake. The programme plans to reach 2 million people during its emergency operation.

    WFP is appealing to donors for 14 million humanitarian daily rations, or ready-to-eat meals that will be used while many of the beneficiaries have no access to their own cooking facilities.

    SECRETARY-GENERAL DRAWS ATTENTION TO PLIGHT OF HAITIANS AT YALE COLLOQUIUM

    On Thursday in New Haven, Connecticut, the Secretary-General addressed the Global Colloquium of University Presidents on New Technologies for Meeting Global Challenges, which was held at Yale University.

    In his

    remarks, the Secretary-General paid tribute to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti and called for greater and immediate international assistance to the Haitian people. He underscored how the transfer of technology from rich to poor countries and the availability of highly trained scientists in countries such as Haiti could help avert both natural and man-made disasters.

    While at Yale, the Secretary-General also received a $5,000 check from the University in support of the UN's Haiti relief efforts.

    U.N. REPRESENTATIVE WELCOMES GOVERNMENT REQUEST FOR EXTENSION OF MISSION IN NEPAL

    Karin Landgren, the Secretary-Generals Representative for Nepal, today told the

    Security Council that the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) welcomed the request from the Government of Nepal for its mandate to be extended for three months and three weeks. Should the Council decide to extend the Missions mandate, she said that she hoped for conditions to be created for UNMIN to complete its work in that timeframe.

    She warned that the clashes and provocations that took place late last year underscore the absence of a credible and independent national monitoring mechanism to determine whether or not the Comprehensive Peace Agreement is being implemented as foreseen.

    The Security Council discussed Nepal in an open meeting followed by consultations. In its closed consultations, the Council also expected to discuss Burundi.

    HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONER URGES UGANDA NOT TO ADOPT BILL ON HOMOSEXUALITY

    The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Friday

    urged the Ugandan Government to shelve a draconian draft bill on homosexuality that is due to be put before the Ugandan parliament later in January. She said it would bring the country into a direct collision with established international human rights standards aimed at preventing discrimination.

    Pillay welcomed recent statements by the President and other senior members of the Government, suggesting it might intervene to stop the private members bill from becoming law.

    THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

    16-22 January 2010

    Monday, January 18

    The Secretary-General has scheduled a Town Hall meeting with UN staff on Haiti, to take place in Conference Room 4 of the North Lawn Building at 11:00 a.m.

    At 11:30 a.m., the Mission of Bolivia will hold a press conference on the People's World Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth Rights.

    At noon, David Wimhurst, Communications Director for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), will brief the press in New York by videoconference.

    Tuesday, January 19

    The guests at the noon briefing will be Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and Kevin Watkins, Editor of the Education-for-All Global Monitoring Report 2010. They will launch their flagship report on the state of education throughout the world.

    Wednesday, January 20

    At 10:00 a.m., Rob Vos, Director, Development Policy and Analysis Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), will hold a press conference to launch the DESA report on the World Economic Situation and Prospects.

    At 11:00 a.m., the UK Mission will sponsor a press conference to launch a report by the Human Security Report Project at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. The report is entitled "The Shrinking Costs of War".

    Thursday, January 21

    The Security Council has scheduled a formal meeting to consider a resolution on the UN Mission in Nepal. It has also scheduled a formal meeting, followed by consultations, on the UN Office in Cote dIvoire.

    Friday, January 22

    The Security Council has scheduled an open debate on Kosovo.

    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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