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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-04-07

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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 MARIE OKABE

DEPUTY

SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

BAN KI-MOON DEPLORES DEATHS IN KYRGYZSTAN PROTESTS, APPEALS AGAIN FOR CALM AND DIALOGUE

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is shocked by the reported deaths and injuries that have occurred today in Kyrgyzstan.

He once again calls on all concerned to show restraint.

He urgently appeals for dialogue and calm to avoid further bloodshed.

The Secretary-General is following the situation closely.

BAN KI-MOON COMPLETES CENTRAL ASIA VISIT;

CALLS FOR RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES OVER WATER AND ENERGY

The Secretary-General wrapped up his visit to Central Asia on Wednesday, with talks with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and other officials.

He also met UN staff based in Astana. In his meeting with the President, the Secretary-General discussed nuclear disarmament, cooperation among Central Asian countries over water resources, the global economy, Afghanistan, human rights and Kazakhstans chairmanship this year of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

He told reporters afterward that they had paid special attention to the regions management of energy and water. The Secretary-General said, We have a collective responsibility, both the international community as well as the regions leaders, to deal with these urgent issues before tensions get worse.

The Secretary-General is now en route to Vienna for talks with Austrian leaders, a meeting of the Chief Executives Board (CEB) bringing together the top UN officials, and a speech to the OSCEs Permanent Council.

UNITED NATIONS ENCOURAGES DIALOGUE AMONG SUDANESE ON EVE OF ELECTIONS

In his latest

report on Sudan, which was released today, the Secretary-General says that the parties to the

Comprehensive Peace Agreement have made progress on a number of fronts, including resolution of the long-standing dispute over the census results and advances in the north-south border demarcation. He also welcomes the renewed commitment of the parties to negotiating the post-referendum issues and, in particular, their achievement in agreeing to the negotiating process and structure. He warns the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) will face key challenges with regard to referendum preparations, security in the south, and capacity-building in its areas of operation.

Asked about reports that major parties will boycott the forthcoming Sudanese elections, the Spokesperson said that, while it respects the right of candidates and political parties to reach their own decisions, the United Nations continues to encourage all Sudanese political actors to recognize the importance of dialogue, for the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

One of the prime facets of the CPA is the opening of democratic space in Sudan, so that the people and the wide variety of political forces in the country can represent and participate in the process of decision-making. Okabe said that the elections are, therefore, an important step, designed to revive the democratic institutions and processes.

She added that the United Nations encourages the Government of National Unity, the Government of Southern Sudan, and the National Elections Commission to ensure that the elections credibly reflect the will of the Sudanese people.

The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) is mandated to assist the Government and the National Electoral Commission (NEC) by providing technical and logistical support n order to enable timely conduct of the elections and by advising and encouraging the NEC, the Government and all other parties to address concerns that may jeopardize their credibility.

BAN KI-MOON REITERATES WORLDS FIRM COMMITMENT

TO SECURE JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS OF GENOCIDE

The Secretary-General marked the 16th commemoration of the start of the genocide in Rwanda with a message paying tribute to the memory of more than 800,000 innocent people who lost their lives. He once more affirmed that the United Nations is fully committed to securing justice for the victims of genocide and to preventing future atrocities.

The Secretary-General said that he was encouraged by the General Assembly's response to his report on implementing the Responsibility to Protect. He said that the international community stands firm and in solidarity against genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing.

There will be an official ceremony today in observance of the genocide in the ECOSOC Chamber of the North Lawn Building, starting at 5:15pm. The ceremony will feature music performed by young Rwandan and international musicians, and the Deputy Secretary-General will be among the speakers.

The ceremony will be followed by a film screening of As We Forgive, a documentary about the power and pain of reconciliation in Rwanda. That screening will be followed by a discussion with the film's director and a genocide survivor, to be moderated by Ed Luck, the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect.

DR CONGO: LIFE SLOWLY RETURNING TO NORMAL IN MBANDAKA AFTER DEADLY VIOLENCE

Our Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) says that life is returning to normal in the town of Mbandaka, in the Equateur Province, days after deadly clashes between UN-backed Congolese troops and insurgents left several people killed.

Yesterday, the Missions Force Commander, Gen. Babacar Gaye,

visited the area to take stock of the situation. Gaye reported that some shops and markets had reopened but that the overall pace of recovery is slow. The Force Commanders visit also sought to shore up public confidence in the ability of UN troops to ensure public safety. It is expected that the General will make specific recommendations to the Mission leadership in how to further the effort to restore normal life in the region.

Meanwhile, Alan Doss, the Special Representative of the Secretary General in the DRC, has condemned the assassination by unknown gunmen on April 5th of a Congolese journalist working for the national broadcaster, RTCN. The killing took place in the town of Beni, in the Ma Campagne region. Doss has called on the authorities to make every effort to find the culprits and prosecute them with the full force of the law.

Still, on the DRC, the Mission has released new figures on the repatriation of former Rwandan rebels to their country of origin. Between January and March, 312 former rebels and their 375 dependents were sent back to Rwanda. In total, The UN has helped repatriate some 2500 former rebels since January 2009.

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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