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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-03-23

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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 FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR BETTER MECHANISMS TO COORDINATE ECONOMIC POLICIES

The Secretary-General this morning

spoke at the High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development, and he said that the meeting takes place at a time when the world economy shows signs of recovery, yet growth remains fragile.

He welcomed the efforts of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to improve its lending framework and the support from Group of 20 leaders to expand the Funds lending capacity. However, he said, much more needs to be done.

The Secretary-General said that, in June, we will introduce a prototype of the Global Impact and Vulnerability Alert System, and we are working to strengthen coordination between UN country teams and the Bretton Woods institutions.

He added that we need to reform the international financial system and architecture. We need better mechanisms to coordinate economic policy with representative, accountable and equitable governance.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO BRIEF SECURITY COUNCIL ON TRIP TO ISRAEL AND OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY

The Secretary-General intends to speak to the

Security Council on Wednesday morning, to brief the Council on his latest trip to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, as well as to last weeks Quartet meeting in Moscow.

After his discussions with the Security Council members have ended, he will speak to reporters at the Council stakeout.

Asked what the Secretary-General achieved during his Middle East trip, the Spokesperson said that he had three main accomplishments: he was able to talk to the Israeli and Palestinian leadership; he saw the effect of settlements when he visited Ramallah in the West Bank; and he was able to speak to Gazans about their needs.

His meetings with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Nesirky added, gave the Secretary-General a chance to provide a readout of the Quartet meeting that took place in Moscow last Friday.

He added that, while in Gaza, the Secretary-General announced projects that Israel would allow the United Nations to bring into Gaza. The Secretary-General saw this as a welcome first step, but more needs to be done to help the people of Gaza.

Asked about a perceived diplomatic snub of the Secretary-General when he arrived in Israel early Saturday morning, the Spokesperson affirmed that the Secretary-General has cordial relations with the Israeli Government. The Secretary-General is aware, he added, that he arrived in Israel during Shabbat, because of unavoidable scheduling considerations.

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL HEADS TO DENMARK AND SPAIN

The Deputy Secretary-General will be on official travel to Copenhagen, Denmark, from 24-25 March to deliver remarks at the Government of Denmarks international conference on the

Millennium Development Goals, entitled: Womens Empowerment and Employment.

The Conference will provide recommendations for the United Nations MDG High-level Plenary Meeting in New York later this year and aims at ensuring a strong focus on MDG3. The Deputy Secretary-General will also hold bilateral meetings with the Government of Denmark and will pay a visit to the UNICEF Copenhagen Warehouse.

The Deputy Secretary-General will then proceed to Valencia, Spain, where she will deliver an opening address on 27 March at a two-day EU Presidency event hosted by the Spanish Government, entitled: Women for a better world. The meeting will focus on the four themes of Empowerment, Economy & Development, Sexual & Reproductive Health, and Education. The Deputy Secretary-General will hold bilateral meetings with the Spanish Government and other visiting international dignitaries.

The Deputy Secretary-General will return to New York on Monday, 29 March.

NEW AFGHANISTAN ENVOY OUTLINES U.N.S SUPPORT FOR ELECTIONS AND RECONCILIATION

Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for

Afghanistan, gave his first press conference in Kabul since taking up his duties, and outlined UN support for Afghanistans September elections and its reconciliation efforts.

On the elections, he said that he has received assurances by President Hamid Karzai on the important role played by two international staff on the Electoral Complaints Commission and on an expected announcement of changes in the Afghan electoral bodies.

Asked about reports that the Afghan Government was talking to the Hezb-i-Islami group, de Mistura said that reconciliation is urgently needed, and that dialogue needs to begin. He added that the United Nations respects that this should be an Afghan-led process and that the United Nations is ready and available to facilitate it at the right time.

DARFUR: U.N-A.U. ENVOY MEETS WITH HEAD OF LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES, EGYPTIAN FOREIGN MINISTER

The Joint Special Representative of the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Ibrahim Gambari, held a meeting on Monday in Cairo with Amr Moussa, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, and Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit. The three men discussed recent developments in Darfur and the signing of two separate framework agreements between Sudan and the Justice and Equality Movement and the Liberation and Justice Movement.

Gambari and his hosts agreed on strengthening cooperation and coordination between the Arab League and the Mission to help consolidate peace and bring stability to Darfur. Gambari also told his hosts of the Missions readiness to provide Arab League election monitors in Darfur with appropriate facilities to do their work during the forthcoming Sudanese elections.

UNITED NATIONS IS URGING SUDANS GOVERNMENT TO ADDRESS ELECTIONS CONCERNS

Asked about threatening remarks reportedly made by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in advance of the Sudanese elections, the Spokesperson declined specific comment on those remarks but noted that the United Nations remains focused on helping to ensure that elections will be credible.

The elections, he said, are a Sudanese process. The United Nations is providing technical assistance and limited logistical support. Preparations are well underway, and the campaigning period has been intensive.

However, Nesirky said, the United Nations has concerns in relation to technical challenges, reports of harassment of opposition party members, intimidation, arbitrary arrest and detention and the low registration of internally displaced people in Darfur.

He said that the United Nations has encouraged the Government of Sudan to address these concerns to ensure that the elections reflect the will of the Sudanese people.

NUMBER OF ASYLUM SEEKERS STABLE IN 2009

The overall number of asylum seekers in industrialized nations was stable in 2009, according to a new report by the UN Refugee Agency.

UNHCR

adds that Afghans topped the list of asylum applicants, representing a 45 per cent increase over 2008. Iraqis dropped to second place while Somalis moved to third place. Among the top countries of origin were also the Russian Federation, China, Serbia, and Nigeria.

The United States, France, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany represent the five top destination countries, receiving 48 percent of the total claims in 2009.

LAST YEAR WAS FIFTH WARMEST ON RECORD

Today is

World Meteorological Day. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is also marking its 60th anniversary on this day.

The Organization today released its report on the status of climate in 2009. It finds that 2009 was the fifth-warmest year on record since the beginning of instrumental climate records in 1850. It also shows that the decade from 2000-2009 was warmer than the preceding decade, which in turn was warmer than the 1980s.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

U.N. STRESSES ROLE OF SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION IN DEVELOPMENT: The Under-Secretary-General for

Economic and Social Affairs, Sha Zukang, is in Bogotá, Columbia, where he is participating in the Colombia High-level Event on South-South Cooperation and Capacity Development. The three-day meeting will address, among other issues, how South-South cooperation can contribute to shaping effective development cooperation and achieving the

Millennium Development Goals.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO CONVENE MYANMAR GROUP OF FRIENDS MEETING: In response to a question, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General would convene a meeting of the Group of Friends of Myanmar this Thursday. It would be an appropriate time, he said, to discuss the electoral laws and other recent developments, including those concerning Aung San Suu Kyi.

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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