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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-03-18
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY FARHAN HAQ
ASSOCIATE SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Thursday, March 18, 2010
SECRETARY-GENERAL MEETS RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, SIGNS ACCORD WITH COLLECTIVE SECURITY TREATY ORGANIZATION
In Moscow today, the
Secretary-General met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and they discussed the situation in the
Middle East, including tomorrows meeting at the principals level of the Quartet.
They also talked about nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, climate change, peacekeeping operations, UN-Russia cooperation and the joint declaration that was signed earlier in the day between the United Nations and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
The Secretary-General also held talks with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the Middle East,
Afghanistan, Iran, the
Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea,
peacekeeping, the CSTO, Somalia and Russia-UN cooperation. They held a press encounter afterwards, in which the Secretary-General stressed the need for direct peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
After that meeting, he signed the joint declaration between the United Nations and the CSTO with that bodys Secretary-General, Nikolai Borduzha. The Secretary-General said that he saw potential for enhanced cooperation with the CSTO in a number of areas of common interest, including counterterrorism, drug trafficking and conflict prevention.
Later in the afternoon, the Secretary-General received an honorary degree from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. He delivered an
address, saying that the world needs Russias creative engagement across the United Nations agenda.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS ROCKET ATTACK ON ISRAEL
condemns today's rocket attack from Gaza which killed a civilian in
All such acts of terror and violence against civilians are totally unacceptable and contrary to international law.
SECURITY COUNCIL TOLD OF CROWDED POLITICAL CALENDAR IN AFGHANISTAN
The Under-Secretary-General for
Alain Le Roy, today presented the
Afghanistan to the
Security Council in an open meeting.
He noted that, in the midst of a military surge and heightened military tempo, we face a crowded political calendar in the months ahead.
Le Roy said that we must not underestimate on the one hand the importance and on the other hand the complexity of initiating a political process of reconciliation and reintegration. That is a process that should continue to be Afghan-led, he added.
And he noted that the Council will debate the mandate renewal of the
UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) in the next few days, adding that the Missions staff is continuing courageously to implement UNAMAs mandate with determination.
SECURITY COUNCIL ADOPTS RESOLUTIONS ON INTERNATIONAL COURTS
Before its meeting on Afghanistan, the
Security Council adopted two resolutions. In one, the Council
decided to hold an election on 29 June to fill a vacancy on the
International Court of Justice. In the other, it extended the terms of some ad litem, or short-term, judges serving on the
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
At 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, the Security Council held consultations on the
Democratic Republic of the Congo, at which Council members were briefed by the Under-Secretary-General for
Alain Le Roy.
U.N. ENVOY WELCOMES SIGNING OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN DARFUR REBEL GROUP AND GOVERNMENT OF SUDAN
Speaking in Doha earlier today, the Joint Special Representative and head of the
UN/African Union Mission in Darfur,
Ibrahim Gambari, welcomed the signing of the framework agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement.
Gambari said he was particularly happy that this agreement comes barely a month after a similar deal between the Government and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).
He said this also boosts the number of potential peace partners for UN/AU peacekeepers in
Darfur, a welcomed development in the face of recent hardships endured by the Mission personnel.
Asked about reports that some JEM members had been re-arrested in Sudan, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations did not have confirmation of that yet. He added that the United Nations hopes that the JEM and the Sudanese Government will implement the framework agreement of 21 February in good faith and make further progress towards comprehensive and inclusive talks, even though the 15 March deadline set by the Government has now passed.
SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES SIERRA LEONES RECOGNITION OF THREAT POSED BY CORRUPTION
In his latest report on the work of the
UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone, the
Secretary-General welcomes the recognition by President Ernest Koroma that corruption poses a serious threat to the country. He also welcomes the Anti-Corruption Commissions swift response to take on the problem.
Noting a need for critical financial support to allow Sierra Leoneans to enjoy the dividends of peace, he appeals to international donors to provide additional support to the National Human Rights Commission, as well as to the Governments Special Trust Fund for War Victims.
While there have been improvements in the political climate, the Secretary-General regrets that fostering political tolerance and promoting non-violence remain difficult. He urges the political parties to build trust and mutual confidence while abiding by the code of conduct as well as the provisions of the related joint communiqué they signed in April 2009.
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF MOBILIZING RESOURCES FOR MDGs
The Deputy Secretary-General,
Asha Rose Migiro, addressed the Special Meeting of the
Economic and Social Council with the Bretton Woods Institutions, the World Trade Organization and the
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, earlier Thursday.
remarks, she noted how all of those present had come together to mobilize action and resources within the
Financing for Development process to achieve the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
This meeting, together with the
High-level Dialogue of the General Assembly on Financing for Development next week, will provide crucial inputs, she said. She highlighted that, earlier this week, the
Secretary-General released his report entitled Keeping the Promise, which points out that progress towards the MDGs has been uneven, both across goals and regions.
RWANDA TRIBUNAL AFFIRMS CONVICTION OF SINGER ON GENOCIDE CHARGES
An appeals chamber of the
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has
affirmed the conviction and sentence of Simon Bikindi, a former singer and composer, on charges of direct and public incitement to commit genocide. Through his songs and during stage performances, Bikindi had exhorted Hutu extremists to exterminate the ethnic Tutsi minority.
Meanwhile, the appeals chamber reversed a number of the convictions of Simèon Nchamihigo and reduced his sentence to 40 years, from life in prison. He was a deputy prosecutor in a Rwandan prefecture during the 1994 genocide. The chamber confirmed his convictions for genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity for instigating the murders of a number of Tutsi families in the region under his jurisdiction.
MORE THAN 200 MILLION PEOPLE HAVE MOVED OUT OF SLUM CONDITIONS SINCE 2000
Some 227 million people in the world have moved out of slum conditions since 2000,
according to the new
UN-HABITAT report on the
State of the World Cities 2010/2011.
UN-HABITAT says that this means that governments have collectively surpassed the target set by
Millennium Development Goals by more than double. It adds that the trend is the result of slum upgrading.
However, UN-HABITAT also stresses that 55 million new slum dwellers have been added to the global urban population since 2000. The progress made has not been enough to counter the growth of informal settlements in the developing world.
The report notes that without drastic action, the world slum population will probably grow by six million each year.
W.H.O. REPORTS GROWTH IN RESISTANCE TO TUBERCULOSIS DRUG TREATMENT
In a new report, the
World Health Organization (WHO) says that in some areas of the world, one in four people with tuberculosis (TB) becomes ill with a form of the disease that can no longer be treated with standard drugs regimens.
For example 28 per cent of all people newly diagnosed with TB in one region of north western Russia had the
multidrug-resistant form of the disease (MDR-TB) in 2008. This is the highest level ever reported to WHO. Previously, the highest recorded level was 22 per cent in Baku City, Azerbaijan, in 2007.
In the new WHO report, Multidrug and Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis: 2010 Global Report on Surveillance and Response, it is estimated that 440,000 people had MDR-TB worldwide in 2008 and that a third of them died.
In sheer numbers, Asia bears the brunt of the epidemic. Almost 50 per cent of MDR-TB cases worldwide are estimated to occur in China and India. In Africa, estimates show 69,000 cases emerged, the vast majority of which went undiagnosed.
GROUP OF FRIENDS ON MYANMAR TO MEET ON 25 MARCH: Asked about the next meeting of the Group of Friends on
Myanmar, the Spokesperson confirmed that the
Secretary-General had scheduled a meeting of that Group on 25 March. He added that the Secretary-General had received a letter from UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Tuesday.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONSULTING ON TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR SRI LANKA ADVISORY PANEL: Asked about remarks by the
Secretary-General that there would be no delay in setting up an advisory panel on
Sri Lanka, the Spokesperson noted that at this stage, the Secretary-General is consulting broadly, including with his
High Commissioner for Human Rights, on the terms of reference for the panel. Work would continue for now on the terms of reference before any panel would be named.
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
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