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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-03-04
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Thursday, March 4, 2010
SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON TO TRAVEL TO CHILE TO ASSESS HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will travel to Chile this evening.
He wants to express solidarity and sympathy with the people and government of Chile following the 27 February earthquake. He will also assess the humanitarian assistance effort and the scale of the disaster for himself.
The Secretary-General is expected to meet on Friday with President Michele Bachelet and President-elect Sebastian Pinera, as well as senior government officials in charge of national disaster and emergency humanitarian assistance. He will reiterate that the United Nations system, through its Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), is committed to assisting the Chilean government and people in any way required, both immediate and long-term.
During his visit, he is also expected to visit the city of Concepcion, one of the cities most affected by the earthquake, and to meet with staff at the UN Ecomomic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and other UN agencies and programmes which have a presence in Chile.
SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES IRAN AND SUDAN SANCTIONS, HEARS FROM NEW AFGHANISTAN ENVOY
Security Council, in a meeting this morning, heard an update on the sanctions placed on Iran under resolution 1737 by the Chairman of the Councils sanctions committee dealing with that resolution, Ambassador Yukio Takasu of Japan. Among other things, he noted the work that the Committee has done to try to obtain more information about arms-related materials from Iran that was found on board two ships, the Hansa India and the Francop.
The Security Council then continued its discussions in closed consultations. Under other matters in those consultations, Council members heard the incoming Special Representative for
Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, and discussed sanctions on Sudan.
SECRETARY-GENERAL SELECTS MEMBERS OF CLIMATE CHANGE FINANCING ADVISORY GROUP
The Secretary-General has selected the 19 members for the new High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing that will work to mobilize the financing promised for climate change during the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen last December.
announced the launch of the Group on 12 February. The Secretary-General established the Group to study the potential sources of revenue for financing mitigation and adaptation activities in developing countries, and to make progress on this key issue in the course of 2010.
The Group will be co-chaired by Mr. Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Mr. Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Joining them will be high-level officials from Ministeries and Central Banks as well as experts on public finance, development and related issues.
Tentatively, the Group is scheduled to hold its first meeting on 29 March in London.
AFGHANISTAN FACES MOST CHALLENGING YEAR
Kai Eide gave his farewell press conference today as the Secretary-Generals Special Representative in
Afghanistan. He told reporters in Kabul that this year will be the most challenging that Afghanistan has faced since the fall of the Taliban. He said that it is a year where negative trends have to be reversed, or they will become irreversible.
Eide emphasized that a successful transition strategy depends on a change of mindset in the international community and among Afghan authorities, in which the Afghan people take greater control over their own future.
He was asked about potential peace talks with insurgents, and responded that it is high time that we get into this kind of a political process. Eide said that the reconciliation and peace process, whatever shape it takes, should get underway as soon as possible.
CYPRUS LEADERS DISCUSS ECONOMIC MATTERS
The Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders, Mehmet Ali Talat and Demetris Christofias, met at the UNFICYP Chief of Mission Residence in Nicosia today.
Speaking to the press after the meeting, the Secretary-Generals
Special Envoy, Alexander Downer, said that there was substantial discussion about the economy and that the representatives are likely to meet again in the latter part of next week while the leaders next meeting is going to be on the 16th of March. At that meeting, its expected that there will be more discussions on the economy as well as European Union matters.
LEBANON: SPECIAL COORDINATOR MEETS WITH PRIME MINISTER
Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Michael Williams, met today with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and they discussed the Secretary-Generals recent
report on the implementation of resolution 1701.
Williams said afterward that the most recent report highlights that, despite recent rhetoric, the situation along the Blue Line has remained relatively stable, and all parties have continued to reassure the United Nations of their commitment to the cessation of hostilities and the full implementation of resolution 1701.
While this is important and positive, Williams added, it should not detract from the importance of working towards a permanent ceasefire as called for in Resolution 1701. He also welcomed the decision of President Michel Sleiman to convene the national dialogue next week.
U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF VOICES CONCERN OVER SITUATIONS IN SRI LANKA, IRAN AND SUDAN
This morning in Geneva, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay,
introduced her Offices annual report to the Human Rights Council.
On Sri Lanka, she said the opportunity for peace and reconciliation continues to be marred by the treatment of journalists, human rights defenders and other critics of the Government.
Pillay added that she remained deeply concerned by the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran where there has been a violent crackdown on dissent and by the wave of executions in Sudan.
On Egypt, she said an urgent and independent inquiry into the killings of migrants trying to enter Israel via the Sinai Desert must be conducted.
The High Commissioner also stressed that the United States should now conduct thorough investigations into allegations of torture at the detention centres in Guantanamo Bay and Bagram.
SECRETARY-GENERAL STANDS READY TO APPOINT HEAD OF NEW GENDER ENTITY
Last December, the Secretary-General submitted to the General Assembly an important reform proposal outlining his vision for the new gender entity. It is now up to Member States to take decisive action on this long overdue reform process.
The Secretary-General has been urging Member States to expedite matters and take this up in the General Assembly as a priority.
The Secretary-General looks forward to a swift decision by the General Assembly and stands ready to appoint the senior official who will head the new entity.
U.N. PROVIDING LOGISTICAL SUPPORT TO CONGOLESE ARMED FORCES OPERATION
In response to a question, the Spokesperson noted that the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) has a set of conditions, in line with Security Council resolutions, concerning the way in which it supports operations by the Congolese Armed Forces. Primarily, MONUC provides logistical support limited to Congolese operations that are underway, including such things as fuel, transport and evacuations of wounded personnel.
That assistance, Nesirky said, was taking place for Operation Amani Leo, which technically began on 1 January but has moved into an operational phase recently.
Asked about UN involvement with Congolese Armed Forces units that have been linked to human rights violations, the Spokesperson recalled that MONUC has an agreed procedure in place with the Congolese Armed Forces, which it has used to screen all units and commanders directly involved in operations that MONUC is called upon to assist. This includes joint planning of these operations as required by the Security Council.
Asked about any involvement by the United Nations with Colonel Innocent Zimulinda, Nesirky said that units commanded by Zimulinda are not receiving any assistance from MONUC.
UGANDA: U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY PROVIDES ASSISTANCE TO LANDSLIDE VICTIMS
The UN refugee agency has
agreed to provide urgent assistance to Ugandans left homeless by a major landslide in the east of the country.
UNHCRs team in Uganda has mobilized an initial stock of tents and plastic sheeting for emergency shelter that will cover the needs of 5,000 people.
Since October last year, Uganda has been experiencing heavy rains believed to be the consequence of the El Nino phenomenon, which is expected to last for another month.
DARFUR: U.N.-A.U. MISSION TO ASSESS NEW DISPLACEMENTS CAUSED BY RECENT CLASHES
The security situation in Darfur remains relatively calm but unpredictable.
The African Union United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) is in the process of verifying the reported clashes in the Jabel Marra area. The Mission is planning a humanitarian mission in collaboration with humanitarian agencies, to meet the needs of the newly-displaced persons, who have fled the region in the past months.
A UNAMID team has conducted verification patrol to villages and interacted with the Sheikhs (or traditional leaders) of the new arrivals who informed that about 7,000 persons had been displaced to one village in the last two weeks, and require humanitarian assistance.
SECRETARY-GENERAL HAS APPEALED FOR SECURE ELECTIONS IN IRAQ: Asked about recent violence in Iraq just before the elections there, the Spokesperson said that the elections are on track, with some special groups already voting and the bulk of the voting to take place on Sunday. The Secretary-General, he said, has appealed for elections to be held in secure conditions so that all those who wish to vote can do so safely.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO PARTICIPATE IN QUARTET MEETING IN MOSCOW: Asked about an agreement by Arab nations for Palestinians to hold proximity talks with Israelis, the Spokesperson welcomed any movement forward on the Middle East peace process. He said that the Secretary-General would participate in Quartet discussions on the Middle East, to be held in Moscow on 19 March.
The Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
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