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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-03-02

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 FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

UN

HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

BAN KI-MOON TELLS CHILEAN PRESIDENT THAT UNITED NATIONS IS READY TO HELP

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke with President Michelle Bachelet of Chile last night. He expressed his condolences and reiterated that the United Nations is ready to help and the United Nations would it its utmost to make the items requested by the Chilean Government available as swiftly as possible.

The

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that

preliminary evaluations of the impact of the earthquake in Chile indicate that two million people were affected and 723 deaths have been reported so far, with 1.5 million homes damaged.

The Chilean National Emergency Office is coordinating the relief operations, which are in the hands of the government of Chile, which is one of the countries in Latin America best prepared to face disasters.

Following preliminary assessments, the Chilean government has welcomed support targeting the following priority relief items: field hospitals equipped with surgery facilities; autonomous dialysis centre; generators; field camps; satellite phones and related stations; structural damage evaluations systems; salt water purification system; mobile bridges; field kitchens.

These needs are being communicated to member states, and it is expected that they will be met largely by member states. OCHA has emphasized that donors should respond to these needs, and refrain from sending what has not been requested.

The Chilean armed forces have set up five temporary field hospitals. Argentina, Brazil and Peru have committed to send field hospitals. The Argentinean government, together with the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), is sending a large capacity hospital and four field hospitals are being installed by PAHO.

There are 22 UN organizations already in the country, which stand ready to provide assistance, at the governments request.

The UN has remained in constant contact with the government in Chile and also with representatives in New York and Geneva.

While

UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination teams have been stood down, the UN is sending dozens of satellite telephones to Chile from New York and Geneva.

The

World Food Programme (WFP) has offered 30 tons of food support, which is ready to be transported to Chile from nearby Ecuador should it be required.

A disaster management expert, deployed by PAHO and WHO, will support its country office and work with efforts led by the ministry of health to assess damage to health facilities. OCHA has also deployed a small team to the country.

A PAHO/WHO health emergency response team, comprising more than 80 trained specialists in a range of disciplines, is on standby.

The head of the

UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,

Irina Bokova, has

said that her agency is prepared to assist Chile recover from the massive quake, underscoring the need for countries in high-risk areas to bolster their disaster risk reduction capacity.

Asked about the request for help from the Chilean Government, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations, along with some Member States, had received a detailed request for specific items from the Chilean Government, and the Secretary-General had reiterated to President Bachelet the readiness of the United Nations to provide the items requested.

BAN KI-MOON CALLS ON TOGO LEADERS TO ENSURE PEACEFUL ELECTIONS

The presidential election scheduled to take place in Togo on 4 March offers a crucial opportunity for the country to continue to strengthen its democratic institutions, and foster national cohesion, stability and sustainable development.

The

Secretary-General

calls on all political leaders and institutions to ensure that the election is credible and peaceful and reflects the will of the people of Togo. He calls on all segments of society to refrain from any action likely to exacerbate tensions before, during or following the poll.

The Secretary-General reiterates the continued commitment of the United Nations to support the electoral process in Togo.

ALL NIGERIANS ENCOURAGED TO SUPPORT EFFORTS OF ACTING PRESIDENT

The

Secretary-General

continues to follow political developments in Nigeria closely. He recognizes the challenges currently confronting the country as it continues to develop its democratic system and encourages Nigerias leadership and institutions to work together in the greater national interest, respecting the rule of law and ensuring adherence to the country's Constitution.

the Secretary-General sends his best wishes to President YarAdua during his continuing convalescence.

At the same time, the Secretary-General wishes to encourage all Nigerians, their leaders and institutions to continue to support the efforts of Acting President Jonathan and the Government which he leads to help the country overcome its current challenges.

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR EXPANSION OF GAINS FROM BEIJING PLATFORM OF ACTION

Addressing the

General Assembly Meeting Commemorating the

Beijing Platform of Action, Deputy Secretary-General Asha Rose Migiro said earlier today that 15 years after the adoption of that plan of action, there have been many good and promising developments in womens empowerment issues. These include legislative change, sector-specific initiatives and efforts to improve data collection on

women.

The challenge now is to expand and apply such gains more widely and systematically. Even so, a big challenge remains how to close the gap between law, policy and aspiration on the one hand, and the daily realities for billions of women and girls on the other.

NEW PLAN LAUNCHED TO ADDRESS WOMEN AND GIRLS AND HIV/AIDS

The

Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has

launched a five-year action plan to address gender inequalities and human rights violations that continue to put women and girls at risk of HIV infection.

The

Agenda for Accelerated Country Action for Women, Girls, Gender Equality and HIV calls on the UN system to support governments, civil society and development partners in reinforcing country actions to put women and girls at the centre of the AIDS response, ensuring that their rights are protected.

The launch took place at a high-level panel during the 54th session on the

Commission on the Status of Women today.

EGYPT URGED TO STOP USING LETHAL FORCE AGAINST UNARMED MIGRANTS

The

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,

Navi Pillay, today

called on the Egyptian Government to immediately order its security forces to stop using lethal force against unarmed migrants trying to enter Israel via the Sinai Desert. Her call came after the latest in a series of some 60 fatal shootings over the past two and a half years.

Pillay also called for an urgent independent inquiry into those killings by State security forces and the wounding and disappearance of dozens more people on the Egyptian side of the Sinai border with Israel since July 2007.

Pillay said that the sheer number of victims suggests that at least some Egyptian security officials have been operating a shoot-to-kill policy. She asserted, Sixty killings can hardly be an accident.

PROVIDING SHELTER IN HAITI REMAINS TOP PRIORITY FOR U.N.

In

Haiti, the

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

says that providing people with waterproof shelter materials is the top priority at present, ahead of the rainy season.

The United Nations and partners are working to distribute as much plastic sheeting, tarpaulins and tents as possible. OCHA says that, to date, more than 523,210 people, or 40 per cent of those in need, have received emergency shelter materials. An additional 232,000 tarpaulins and 22,000 tents are in the pipeline and will be distributed immediately upon arrival.

Concerning food, since the earthquake, the

World Food Programme (WFP) and partners have

provided food assistance to more than 4.3 million people in Port-au-Prince and the rest of the country. WFP is now assisting government authorities to plan a more targeted food distribution which is scheduled to start in the second week of March. These distributions will benefit some 300,000 families that is an estimated 1.5 million people - with a full food basket including rice, beans, corn-soya blend, oil and salt.

In addition, WFP has started providing daily cooked meals for school aged children (5 to 16 years) in the greater Port-au-Prince area, aiming to initially reach 72,000 children in 148 schools. And school meal programmes have resumed in other parts of the country, including Gonaives and Cap Haitien.

INFLUX OF DISPLACED IRAQI CHRISTIANS FROM MOSUL SLOWS DOWN

In relation to the displacement of

Iraqi Christians following recent unrest in the northern city of Mosul, the

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that the influx of displaced Christian families from Mosul city to nearby districts in the Ninewa governorate has slowed down over the past few days.

As of yesterday, the total number of internally displaced persons is now about 4,320, an increase of about 200 people since Saturday.

There are protection concerns for the Christian families remaining in Mosul, including unconfirmed reports that they are confined to their homes out of fear for their safety; Christian university students are reportedly not attending classes and workers are not attending their places of work.

GUINEA: HUMANITARIAN FLIGHTS MAY STOP DUE TO LACK OF FUNDING

The

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

says that unless funding is secured, the

World Food Programme-managed

UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) could be discontinued in Guinea, before the end of the month.

The funding shortfall for 2010 amounts to over $3 million.

UNHAS flights in Guinea were established to facilitate the movement of humanitarian personnel and the transport of urgent relief items, as well as linking Guinea to other coastal West Africa states.

OCHA says that the ongoing unstable political and security situation in the country requires a continuation of UNHAS to provide safe and rapid response. It adds that over 1.8 million persons could be affected in Guinea if the flights stop.

BAN KI-MOON FOCUSES ON MOBILIZING SUPPORT FOR U.N. IN CALIFORNIA

The

Secretary-General spoke at the University of California-Los Angeles, with his remarks focusing on the mobilization of the people of California to support the goals and mission of the United Nations.

He noted that he first came to California as an exchange student 50 years ago an experience that opened his eyes to a new world.

He spoke about the challenges the United Nations faces, particularly the climate threat, the fast-approaching deadline for achieving the

Millennium Development Goals, and the need to empower the worlds women. He also spoke about the UN's work in places from Burkina Faso and the

Democratic Republic of Congo to

Haiti.

The Secretary-General will return to New York this evening.

Asked for details of the Secretary-Generals efforts to mobilize Hollywood, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General had held a wide range of meetings in Los Angeles as part of an outreach project to link up the values and work of the United Nations with the creative work put out by Hollywood. He underscored that it was important to engage with that creative community in a direct way to help get out the messages of the United Nations.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECURITY COUNCIL ADOPTS PROGRAMME OF WORK FOR MARCH: In its first consultations for March, the

Security Council adopted its programme of work for the month of

March. The President of the Security Council and the Representative of Gabon, H.E. Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet, then gave a briefing about the programme of work for the month of March.

U.N. SYSTEM IN BANGLADESH MONITORING SITUATION IN CHITTAGONG HILLS TRACT: In response to a question on Monday about the UNs reaction to the situation in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region of Bangladesh, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations system in Bangladesh is closely monitoring the situation in the Chittagong Hill Tracts and hopes that all will unite to help the recovery from this tragedy in a spirit of peace for the greater good of the nation. The United Nations stands ready to provide targeted assistance to those in need, in close collaboration with the Government.

LATEST SECRETARY-GENERAL REPORT ON RESOLUTION 1701 WITH SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBERS: Asked about criticism made by Hezbollah against the

Secretary-Generals latest report on

resolution 1701, concerning Lebanon, the Spokesperson said that the latest report had gone to the

Security Council, as required, and is factual, in line with previous reports.

U.N.S WORK IN D.R. CONGO BASED ON SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS: Asked whether the United Nations would work with a colonel linked to allegations of human rights violations in the

Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations work in that country was based on Security Council resolutions. Under its guidelines, the UN peacekeeping mission would not work with anyone linked to human rights violations, Nesirky said.

The 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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