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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-04-06

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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

MARIE OKABE

DEPUTY

SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

BAN KI-MOON WELCOMES U.S. REAFFIRMATION OF COMMITMENT TO NUCLEAR-FREE WORLD

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon takes note of the release of a Nuclear Posture Review by the United States of America.

The Secretary-General welcomes President Obama's reaffirmation of his commitment towards a nuclear-weapon-free world. Following the recent successful conclusion of negotiations between the Russian Federation and the US for a successor agreement to the Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START), the release of this new Nuclear Posture Review is a timely initiative in that direction.

The Secretary-General hopes that this will help keep the recent positive momentum in the lead up to the upcoming Nuclear Security Summit and the Review Conference of Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT Review Conference).

The Secretary-General looks forward to the leadership of the United States in cooperation with other nuclear-weapon states, on further reducing and eliminating the role of nuclear weapons in security policies, which would contribute to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

As Secretary-General of the United Nations, he renews his firm commitment to advancing nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and facilitating success at the upcoming NPT Review Conference in May.

KYRGYZSTAN: BAN KI-MOON CALLS FOR RESTRAINT AND DIALOGUE

The Secretary-General is

concerned about the reports of the seizure of a Government building in Talas, Kyrgyzstan.

He emphasizes that while freedom of assembly is an essential element of any democratic society, the rule of law must be respected. He calls on all concerned to show restraint and appeals for dialogue.

BAN KI-MOON VISITS FORMER NUCLEAR TEST SITE IN KAZAKHSTAN

The Secretary-General visited the former Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in Kazakhstan today, becoming the first head of the United Nations to do so. He flew by helicopter to the remote Ground Zero site, where atomic bomb tests were carried out. At the site, he told journalists that Semipalatinsk now stands as a symbol for nuclear disarmament and hope for the future.

The Secretary-General commended U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for concluding a nuclear weapons reduction treaty, which they are to sign on Thursday. He also described President Obama's nuclear posture review as an important initiative. He said, I cannot think of a more fitting - even poignant - place to hear this news.

He arrived in Kazakhstan after departing Tajikistan, where he spoke to the press. The Secretary-General told reporters that all parties should refrain from unilateral action concerning the Rogun Dam until the World Bank has concluded its technical assessment of Tajikistans proposed hydropower project. And he encouraged Tajikistan to further strengthen its human rights and justice institutions.

SECURITY COUNCIL IS BRIEFED ON DEVELOPMENT FUND FOR IRAQ, GUINEA-BISSAU

The UN Controller, Jun Yamazaki, today briefed the

Security Council in an open meeting on the activities of the Development Fund for

Iraq. He told the Council that, once all outstanding activities under the Oil-for-Food Programme are concluded, all other remaining funds should be transferred from the Iraq Escrow Account to the Development Fund.

Yamazaki said that the action plan and timeline presented by the Government of Iraq for successor arrangements to the Development Fund is realistic. He said that he was pleased that the Government of Iraq plans to select an independent international auditor to confirm that all proceeds of export sales of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas from Iraq are accounted for.

At the same time, he added, work remains to be done to fully implement the action plan as presented by the Government of Iraq for the transition to successor arrangements for the Development Fund.

The Council continued its discussions on Iraq in consultations, and later took up Guinea-Bissau.

NEW DEPUTY HEAD OF AFGHANISTAN MISSION BEGINS WORK

Martin Kobler, the Secretary-Generals new Deputy Special Representative for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), arrived in Kabul today to take up his post. Kobler will be responsible for political issues in UNAMA, including electoral and parliamentary matters.

Upon arrival, he said that he is committed to ensuring that all the work that the Mission does is in line with the priorities of the Government of Afghanistan. We have a press release with more details, as well as a press release concerning Special Representative Staffan de Misturas visit to Mazar-i-Sharif.

DR CONGO: U.N ENVOY CONDEMNS REBEL ATTACK ON MBANDAKA

The Special Representative of the Secretary General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Alan Doss, said in

statement yesterday that he is concerned about the situation in Mbandaka, in Equateur province.

Rebels attacked the town on Sunday, first targeting the governor's residence before attacking the building of the Provincial Assembly, then finally taking control of the airport. They were later beaten into retreat by Congolese troops backed by UN peacekeepers.

Three UN personnel, including a uniformed peacekeeper and two contactors, were killed in this incident.

HAITI: ALL-FEMALE BANGLADESHI UNIT TO JOIN U.N. POLICE

The Department of Peacekeeping Operation

says that an all female Formed Police Unit from Bangladesh will be deployed to the UN Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) by the end of this month.

They are part of reinforcements that the Security Council authorized in January 2010 following the earthquake on the 12 January. The Formed Police Unit will consist of 130 female police officers and 30 support staff.

Though final arrangements on what this Formed Unit will be asked to do cannot yet be confirmed, it is likely that they will work in some of the internally displaced persons camps to help provide security alongside the Haitian National Police.

Meanwhile, UNICEF has

welcomed the return to school yesterday of some children who had been out of school for three months. While the goal was to get 70,000 children back to school by the summer, this small step, as UNICEF describes it, will help ensure childrens safety and give them a sense of normalcy.

Some 3 million children in Haiti have received little or no schooling in the past three months. UNICEF says that 4,000 schools were destroyed in the 12 January earthquake and classes have resumed for the most part in tents provided by UNICEF and others.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

INNOVATIVE PROJECT HELPS REFUGEES IN ECUADOR: The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) announced that an innovative registration initiative, just completed on 31 March, has resulted in 26,000 Colombian refugees receiving identity documents in an isolated region of northern Ecuador. For 12 months, mobile teams comprising officials from the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNHCR staff had traversed difficult terrain to reach the refugees. People who were then recognized as refugees received an official government document certifying their status as refugees. The project has doubled the number of registered refugees in Ecuador, which now totals more than 45,000 people, 98 percent of them from Colombia. UNHCR estimates that there could be another 100,000 people in Ecuador in need of international protection.

BHUTTO COMMISSION REPORT TO BE PRESENTED TO SECRETARY-GENERAL ON 15 APRIL: Asked about reports of a request by the Government of Pakistan for a delay in presenting the report of the Commission of Inquiry dealing with the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the Spokesperson said that the date for presenting the report remains 15 April.

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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