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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-04-01

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

FARHAN HAQ

ASSOCIATE

SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Thursday, April 1, 2010

[

Please note that on Friday, April 2, UN Headquarters in New York will be closed in observance of Good Friday.

The noon briefing will resume on Monday, April 5.

GUINEA BISSAU: BAN KI-MOON URGES LEADERSHIP TO RESOLVE DIFFERENCES BY PEACEFUL MEANS

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is following with concern the military incidents in Guinea-Bissau involving the detention and subsequent release of the Prime Minister.

He calls on the military and political leadership of Guinea-Bissau to resolve differences by peaceful means and to maintain constitutional order and ensure respect for the rule of law. He further underlines the need to avoid any risks to the gains made by Guinea-Bissau in its on-going peace consolidation efforts.

The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Guinea Bissau, Mr. Joseph Mutaboba, is working closely with other international partners including the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union to continue to support national efforts to promote sustainable stability in the country.

BAN KI-MOON STARTS CENTRAL ASIA TRIP

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has begun his travel to Central Asia, and he will arrive later today in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan.

Tomorrow, he will meet with the Turkmen President, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, and he will also visit the

Office of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia.

Asked whether the Secretary-General would deal with human rights concerns during his travels in Central Asia, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General regularly discusses such concerns when he pays official visits to Member States. He added that the Secretary-General would see civil society representatives in the various Central Asian countries that he was visiting.

BAN KI-MOON SAYS $9.9 BILLION PLEDGED FOR HAITI MUST BE WELL-SPENT

Before leaving for Central Asia, the

Secretary-General and the other co-chairs of the

Donors Conference on Haiti spoke to the press yesterday afternoon, and the Secretary-General

announced that donors had pledged $5.3 billion for the next two years and $9.9 billion, in total, for the next three years and beyond.

Now, he said it comes down to implementation, delivery on our promises, transparency and accountability.

He said that we must make sure

Haiti gets the money it needs when it needs it and we must guarantee that it is well-coordinated and well-spent.

The Secretary-General added that the plight of Haitis people requires immediate action, including dealing with the difficult living conditions in the camps fir the displaced and, in particular, reports of sexual violence against women and children.

He said that he will soon dispatch the

Deputy Secretary-General to Haiti to survey the situation in the camps, assess the steps that have been taken and explore areas for further action.

JAPAN ASSUMES SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY FOR MONTH OF APRIL

Today, Japan assumes the rotating

Presidency of the

Security Council for the month of April.

We expect the Council to hold consultations next Monday on the programme of work for the month. After that, Ambassador Yukio Takasu of Japan, the Council President for April, will hold a press conference to brief you on the programme of work.

SECURITY COUNCIL CONGRATULATES IRAQ ON ELECTIONS

Yesterday afternoon, the Security Council issued a

press statement in which Council members congratulated the

Iraqi people and Government for holding successful elections.

Council members called for the political entities to respect the certified election results and the choices of the Iraqi people.

The members of the Security Council also urged Iraqs political leaders to avoid inflammatory rhetoric and actions and looked forward to the formation of the new government, in a spirit of cooperation and respect for national unity.

Asked about the work being done by the United Nations regarding Iraqs elections, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations had provided technical advice to the Iraqi electoral authorities, including the Independent High Electoral Commission. The United Nations did not monitor the elections, in line with its practice in elections where it provides technical support. It was up to the competent Iraqi bodies, he added, to respond to complaints about the electoral process.

U.N. DRUG SURVEY FINDS AFGHANISTAN IS A MAJOR CANNABIS PRODUCER

Afghanistan is not only the world's biggest producer of opium, but it is also a major producer of cannabis.

These are the findings of the

Afghanistan Cannabis Survey, the first report by the

UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on cannabis in Afghanistan. The Survey estimates that between 10,000 and 24,000 hectares of cannabis plant are grown in Afghanistan every year.

Meanwhile, UNODC says that the astonishing yield of the Afghan cannabis crop also makes Afghanistan the world's biggest producer of hashish. It is estimated to produce between 1,500 and 3,500 tons of hashish a year. The Survey is available on the UNODC website.

The Spokesperson declined to comment in response to remarks made by President Hamid Karzai about UN responsibility for fraud in the 2009 elections. He noted that the United Nations had extensively discussed fraud in the Afghanistan elections last year and referred to the extensive record of was said and done at that time. Haq added that the actions of the United Nations last year made underscored its efforts to ensure that fraud could be determined and addressed.

UNESCO CALLS FOR JUSTICE FOLLOWING KILLING OF FIVE HONDURAN JOURNALISTS IN MARCH

The Director-General of the

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,

Irina Bokova, has

condemned the killing of two radio journalists in eastern Honduras last Friday the latest murders bring the total number of journalists killed in Honduras in March to five.

According to press reports, José Bayardo Mairena and Manuel Juárez were ambushed by gunmen on 26 March as they were driving back from hosting a radio programme in Catacamas.

Such despicable crimes against media professionals undermine the fundamental right of freedom of information, cornerstone of a democratic society, Ms. Bokova said. She has also called on the Honduran authorities to make every possible effort to arrest the perpetrators and put an end to this unprecedented and intolerable wave of violence.

BHUTTO COMMISSION HAS TECHNICAL EXTENSION BUT SAYS ITS WORK IS DONE

Asked whether the Commission of Inquiry looking into the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto would re-open its work to examine reported threats that were made against her, the Spokesperson said that, on the basis of what the Commissioners have said, they believe that their work is done.

The Government of Pakistan is free to provide any further information if it believes it is worthy of consideration, he added.

Asked about the Commissions mandate, Haq said that, although the Commissioners have informed the United Nations that they have finished their work, purely technical extensions were given to take into account the delay in presenting the report. The report, he reiterated, will be presented on 15 April.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

Friday, 2 April

UN Headquarters in New York will be closed in observance of Good Friday.

The Secretary-General is on official visit to Turkmenistan.

Saturday, 3 April

The Secretary-General is on official visit to Kyrgyzstan.

Sunday, 4 April

The Secretary-General is on official visit to Uzbekistan.

Monday, 5 April

At 12:30 p.m., Mr. Yukio Takasu, President of the Security Council and Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, will brief correspondents on the programme of work for the month of April. This event will take place at the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium at UN Headquarters in New York.

The Secretary-General is on official visit to Tajikistan.

The UN Childrens Fund and partners will launch, in Dubai, a new report, entitled Raising Clean Hands: Advancing Learning, Health and Participation through WASH in Schools. The report is a call to action for policymakers, school administrators, communities and parents to make sure that all children go to a school with child-friendly water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.

Tuesday, 6 April

The Secretary-General is on official visit to Kazakhstan.

Wednesday, 7 April

Following his trip to Central Asia, the Secretary-General will travel to Vienna for the spring session of the Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) as well as a bilateral visit to Austria.

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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