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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-04-14

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

BY MARTIN NESIRKY

SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

BAN KI-MOON SENDS CONDOLENCES TO CHINA FOLLOWING QINGHAI EARTHQUAKE

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

has sent his deepest condolences to the Government and people of China for the loss of life and injuries and for the destruction caused by the earthquake that struck Qinghai Province at 07:49 local time on 14 April 2010.

The Secretary-General recognizes the efforts being undertaken by the Government of China to assess the situation and to assist those affected by the earthquake.

The United Nations has made clear that it is ready to provide assistance, if requested by the Government of China.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO ANNOUNCE JOINT ACTION PLAN ON MATERNAL AND NEWBORN HEALTH

The Secretary-General is announcing today the development of a Joint Action Plan for accelerating progress on

maternal and newborn health. The Joint Action Plan will bring together Governments, foundations, the corporate sector, civil society and UN agencies in a targeted effort to improve the health of women and children.

On Thursday, the Secretary-General will convene a meeting of key partners to develop a series of concrete actions to advance that Plan.

At 3:00 this afternoon, the Secretary-General is holding a press conference to kick off the global initiative on reproductive, maternal and newborn health.

CRISIS OF CONFIDENCE HAS PREVENTED RESUMPTION OF MIDDLE EAST TALKS

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe briefed the

Security Council this morning on the situation on the ground in the

Middle East, which he says remains fragile. He says that a crisis of confidence between the parties has so far prevented the resumption of talks.

Pascoe said that the Israeli Governments partial restraint on settlement construction in the West Bank remains in effect and, as previously noted, has led to a reduction in construction activity despite some violations.

At the same time, he said that an Israeli military order that gives the military commander the power to evict a broad category of individuals that the Israeli authorities deem are not residents of the West Bank, which went into effect on 13 April, was a worrisome development. Special Coordinator Robert Serry raised the issue with Israeli authorities and his office will continue to monitor this development closely.

Pascoe also noted the progress that is now being made on the entry of materials for a number of approved United Nations projects since the Secretary-Generals visit to Gaza on 21 March.

BHUTTO COMMISSION OF INQUIRY TO PRESENT REPORT TO SECRETARY-GENERAL TOMORROW

The Commission of Inquiry that was formed to determine the facts in the 2007 assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto will formally present the report on its work to the Secretary-General on Thursday afternoon, at 4:30.

The Secretary-General then intends to transmit it to the Government of Pakistan, and he will also share it, for information purposes, with the members of the Security Council.

Then, at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz of Chile, the Chair of the Commission, and one of the other Commission members, Marzuki Darusman of Indonesia, will give a press conference to provide details of the report. The Commission is expected to make copies of the report available at that time.

U.N. IN CONTACT WITH AFGHAN AUTHORITIES, F.B.I. CONCERNING DEATH OF STAFF MEMBER IN KABUL

Asked about the death of UN security staff member Louis Maxwell in an attack in October 2009 in

Afghanistan, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations has followed due process in investigating the death of staff in Afghanistan last October by instituting a Board of Inquiry after an initial fact-finding by staff in Kabul and New York.

The United Nations has been in contact with the responsible Afghan authorities in the course of its inquiries. The Board will submit its report in due course. Further actions by the United Nations will depend on its findings.

The specific circumstances in which Louis Maxwell died are currently being investigated and it would be premature to comment further at this stage.

The Spokesperson added that the United Nations is also cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in its inquiries into the incident. The United Nations has briefed the Maxwell family on the progress of its initial inquiries and is determined to support the family.

Asked about a video related to Maxwells death, Nesirky said that the video is with the FBI.

Asked about actions taken by the Afghan authorities, he said that the Afghan authorities took some steps in the wake of the incident but the United Nations is not privy to the outcome of their inquiry. The United Nations has been in contact with the responsible Afghan authorities in the course of its inquiries.

DARFUR MEDIATOR AWARE THAT PARTICIPANT IN NEGOTIATIONS WAS FORMER U.N. STAFF

Asked about the response by UN-African Union Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur Djibril Bassolé to the activity of a former UN staff member, the Spokesperson said that Bassolés office has said that Dr. Al-Tijani Al-Sissi Ateem is a former employee of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). He has never been employed by any UN entity headed by the Joint Chief Mediator.

He is taking part in the negotiations now in his personal capacity and no longer has any institutional links to the United Nations. The Mediator is aware that Dr. Tijani was a UN staff member and that he has resigned.

The UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has taken note of the criticism of its selection of civil society members. The Mission believes that its approach to civil society selection is methodical and well thought out.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

MORE PEOPLE IN INDIA HAVE ACCESS TO CELL PHONES THAN TO TOILETS: Far more people in India have access to a cell phone than to a toilet and improved sanitation. Thats according to UN experts, who today have published a nine-point prescription for achieving the worlds

Millennium Development Goal for sanitation by 2015. Recent UN research in India shows that roughly 366 million people, or 31 percent of the population, had access to improved sanitation in 2008. But India also boasted 545 million cell phones that are connected to service.

MYANMAR VISIT NEEDS TO BE WELL-ORGANIZED: Asked when Chef de Cabinet Vijay Nambiar would visit Myanmar, the Spokesperson said he had no visit to announce at this time. A visit by the Chef de Cabinet would need to be well-organized, he added.

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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