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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-04-08

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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 FARHAN HAQ

ASSOCIATE

SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Thursday, April 8, 2010

NEW START TREATY AN IMPORTANT MILESTONE TOWARD A WORLD FREE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

welcomes the signing of the New START Treaty as an important milestone in the international efforts to advance nuclear disarmament and to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.

The Secretary-General commends President Medvedev and President Obama for their leadership. He believes that this significant achievement will also help create a positive atmosphere for the upcoming Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

The Secretary-General hopes that the Russian Federation and the United States continue their efforts in the pursuit of the reduction and elimination of all nuclear weapons.

BAN KI-MOON TO ATTEND NUCLEAR SECURITY SUMMIT IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

The Secretary-General has been encouraged by recent positive developments in the field of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.

In this context, the Secretary-General believes that the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C. next week is taking place at an opportune moment which will address daunting challenges facing the global nuclear non-proliferation regime.

He plans to attend the summit and hopes that this important event will help keep momentum for the success of the upcoming Review Conference of Parties to the

Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in May, which the Secretary-General will address.

When he attends next weeks summit in Washington, the Secretary-General will highlight the importance of coordination of global efforts at the national, regional and international level to address these challenges, including strengthening international conventions and institutions.

He will also discuss his initiatives, including the Action Plan on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation.

BAN KI-MOON DISPATCHES SPECIAL ENVOY TO KYRGYZSTAN

In Vienna today, the Secretary-General met with Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger, and discussed a range of topics with him, including the future of United Nations peacekeeping operations, the need to continue to support Middle East peace talks, the current challenge of nuclear non-proliferation and the specific cases of Iran and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea and the need for continued support for Afghanistan.

Regarding Kyrgyzstan, the Secretary-General

told reporters that he is going to dispatch on an urgent basis his special envoy, Jan Kubi, the head of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, who will visit Kyrgyzstan tomorrow. He said that he had been able to feel the tension in the air when he visited Kyrgyzstan over the past week, and he once more stressed the need to protect human rights and urged the parties to resolve their differences peacefully.

He was also asked about recent comments critical of the international community by President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, and responded that such rhetoric is not helpful and desirable at this time. He continues to expect full cooperation between Afghanistan and the international community.

The Secretary-General also met with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, with whom he discussed, among other topics, the Middle East peace process, non-proliferation, the Millennium Development Goals and climate change. They

spoke to the press afterward. And the Secretary-General also met with Austrian President Heinz Fischer.

In the afternoon, the Secretary-General addressed the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Also today, the Secretary-General is giving an address in the historic Debating Chamber of the Former House of Deputies in the Austrian Parliament organized by the Foreign Policy and United Nations Association of Austria. Then, tomorrow and Saturday, the Secretary-General will chair a meeting of the Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB), which brings together the heads of the UN system.

Asked whether the Secretary-General was responsible for the collapse of the Government in Kyrgyzstan, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General had made clear that, when he arrived in the country, the tension there was already apparent. The Secretary-General, in his remarks in Vienna today, has also pointed to the need to deal with the economic and social grievances that have been the root causes of problems in Central Asia.

SECURITY COUNCIL IS BRIEFED ON CHAD MISSION AND SUDAN ELECTIONS

Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy is briefing the

Security Council in its consultations this morning about the forthcoming elections in Sudan and about the UN Mission in Chad and the Central African Republic (MINURCAT).

Le Roy presented the Secretary-Generals recent

report on the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), which notes numerous reports that the Mission has received about arbitrary arrests and harassment of political party members by security services. The report says that the Mission is using its good offices to work with all concerned in assisting the Sudanese to establish an environment whereby the elections are acceptable to the people of Sudan.

Mr. Le Roy, in remarks issued to the press, said: "I have just updated the Security Council on recent political developments in Sudan and the status of preparations for the upcoming elections. These are nationally owned elections. The UN has been providing technical assistance and some limited logistical support to the National Election Commission, as mandated by the Security Council. We continue to express some concerns regarding aspects of the electoral environment. We have encouraged the Government, the National Election Commission and political parties to take steps to ensure respect for political freedoms and equal access to the media. We are encouraged by some steps taken in this regard. But it will be for observers (750 international and 18,000 domestic) to assess the elections. It will be important that the process and results be regarded as legitimate by the Sudanese population."

Also, the Security Council President intends to speak at the stakeout to read a press statement concerning the death of longtime Russian diplomat Anatoly Dobrynin.

SECURITY AND JUSTICE ARE ANTIDOTES TO DRUGS, CRIME AND TERRORISM

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released today it

2010 report. According to UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa, the report shows how health, security and justice are the antidotes to drugs, crime and terrorism.

And the Secretary-General, who is now in Vienna where he will chair the UN Chief Executive Board meeting, added that the Austrian capital has become a hub for human security issues, and for the UNs delivery of assistance to save people from the misery of drugs and crime.

The report details the range UNODCs work around the world; from promoting drug treatment, reducing vulnerability to crime and improving criminal justice systems, among others. It also showcases UNODCs growing capacity in drugs- and crime-related scientific and forensic services.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

UNDP CHIEF DISCUSSES RESULTS OF HAITI DONORS CONFERENCE WITH AUSTRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Today in Vienna, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark met with Austrian Foreign Minister Dr. Michael Spindelegger. They discussed the results of the recent Haiti Donors Conference and progress on UN reform, and they shared views on how Austria and the UNDP can work together to mitigate and adapt to Climate Change, fight HIV/AIDS, and achieve the

Millennium Development Goals.

IRAN URGED TO COMPLY WITH SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS: Asked whether the Secretary-General supports additional Security Council sanctions on Iran, the Spokesperson said that is an issue for the members of the Security Council to consider. The Secretary-General, he said, continues to call on Iran to comply with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

BHUTTO REPORT TO BE PUBLISHED AS PLANNED, ON 15 APRIL: Asked whether the Commission of Inquiry looking into Benazir Bhuttos assassination has received any new requests for a delay to its work, the Spokesperson reiterated that the Commission has said that its work has been completed and its report will be presented on 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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