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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-04-19

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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 MARTIN NESIRKY

SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Monday, April 19, 2010

BAN KI-MOON: NOW IS TIME TO BUILD ON MOMENTUM FOR DISARMAMENT, NON-PROLIFERATION

In his

remarks this morning to the General Assemblys thematic debate on Disarmament and World Security, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said there is encouraging advancement around the world for disarmament and non-proliferation, and now is the time to build on that momentum.

Underlining that disarmament is among the longest-held goals of the United Nations, the Secretary-General urged States parties to agree to practical measures to achieve the full implementation of the three pillars of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, as well as its universal application, and to implement the resolution on the Middle East.

The Secretary-General called for concerted effort on all fronts to achieve this long-standing goal, and highlighted four points of key issues: world-wide overspending on weapons, strengthening international cooperation towards a renewed multilateralism, enhancing partnership between the General Assembly and the Security Council, the important role of the General Assembly, and for disarmament issue to address both weapons of mass destruction and the regulation of conventional armaments.

BAN KI-MOON OPENS UN FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES

The Secretary-General addressed the ninth session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues this morning. He expressed his

concern that, as described in the UN report on the State of the Worlds Indigenous Peoples that came out in January, indigenous peoples suffer high levels of poverty, health problems, crime and human rights abuses all over the world. They make up some five per cent of the worlds population but one-third of the worlds poorest people.

He warned that, according to current forecasts, ninety per cent of all languages could disappear within 100 years. The loss of these languages erodes an essential component of a groups identity.

The Secretary-General called on all Governments, indigenous peoples, the UN system and all other partners to ensure that the vision behind the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples becomes a reality for all.

AFGHANISTAN: U.N. ENVOY MEETS WITH NEW ELECTORAL COMMISSION CHIEF

Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for

Afghanistan, met today with Fazel Ahmad Manawi, the new Chairperson of the Independent Election Commission (IEC).

De Mistura congratulated Manawi on his appointment, saying that he was looking forward to working with him in the months ahead. De Mistura added that these elections must be an improvement on the previous elections of last year.

He also said that with the appointment of Manawi and the endorsement of the Implementation Guidelines, he had recommended to the international community that they release funds, as soon as feasible, to allow electoral operations to begin.

De Mistura pledged the full technical and logistical support of the United Nations to the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Asked about the Board of Inquiry looking into the attack on a UN guesthouse in October 2009, the Spokesperson said that a draft report by that Board has been completed. It will now go through a regular review process before it is finalized and goes to the Secretary-General. Asked about the staffing of that Board, he said that it is not exclusively comprised of in-house personnel.

DECLINING FUEL IMPORT EXACERBATES LIVING CONDITIONS IN GAZA

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) today has issued its

monthly update on conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory. It reports that, in the West Bank, rioting and other incidents over the past month resulted in four Palestinians killed and 349 injured, as well as 44 injuries among Israeli forces.

The Gaza Strip also saw a significant increase in casualties, the Office reports, with four deaths and 39 injuries there, as well as damage to civilian homes and agricultural property, most of it as a result of a series of air strikes launched by the Israeli Air Force.

Poor living conditions were exacerbated in Gaza this month by deterioration in the supply of electricity. This stemmed from the continuing decline in the import of fuel to the Gaza power plant, following a funding crisis that began in December 2009. Separately, the

UN Special Coordinators office reports that crossings into Gaza will be closed today and tomorrow.

CAMBODIA, UNITED NATIONS CALL ON STATES TO DISBURSE FUNDS PLEDGED TO KHMER ROUGE TRIBUNAL

Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Patricia OBrien met this morning in Phnom Penh with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, to further the cooperation between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the United Nations on the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).

The Deputy Prime Minister and the Legal Counsel confirmed their strong support for the Chambers and their intention to continue to work closely together in a spirit of mutual cooperation and understanding to ensure that the legacy of the Court is preserved.

They expressed their

concern about the financial situation, including the cash flow, of the Chambers. Now that its budget for 2010 to 2011 has been approved, they call upon the international community to come forward with contributions and pledges to both the national and the international components of the Court.

UNITED NATIONS EXPECTS TALKS ON CYPRUS TO CONTINUE

Asked how the election of a new leader in the Turkish Cypriot community might affect peace talks on

Cyprus, the Spokesperson said that the negotiations are conducted under the auspices of the United Nations on the basis agreed to by the two sides and as defined by the relevant Security Council resolutions.

The United Nations, he said, expects the talks to continue, and will work with both sides to determine a date for the resumption of negotiations.

The Special Adviser of the Secretary-General, Alexander Downer, will be in New York next week and will be discussing the Cyprus issue with senior United Nations officials.

Nesirky added that the selection of the Turkish Cypriot leader is a matter for the Turkish Cypriot community.

MEMBER STATES URGED TO ADAPT CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS TO A CHANGING WORLD

The

12th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice has wrapped up in Salvador, Brazil with the adoption of a Declaration that calls for Member States to adapt their criminal justice systems to a changing world.

In the Salvador Declaration, Member States underlined the necessity of respecting and protecting human rights in the prevention of crime and the administration of criminal justice.

The Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Antonio Maria Costa, welcomed that, noting our shared responsibility to place human rights at the heart of the justice system.

SOUTH DARFUR INSTABILITY LEAVES CIVILIANS WITHOUT HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE

Aid agencies have been unable to reach civilians in some parts of South Darfur due to continued instability there. Georg Charpentier, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in

Sudan, said that the lack of access is most acute in the Eastern Jebel Marra region.

Charpentier also noted that with the approaching dry season, it is becoming more urgent to gain access to all civilians living in difficult circumstances in the region. Civilians there have until recently been provided UN aid including food, water, and medicines.

Asked about criticism by the United Kingdom, United States and Norway of elections in Sudan, the Spokesperson noted that the National Election Commission (NEC) is the Sudanese electoral body responsible for organizing and conducting the elections. The United Nations, he said, had provided technical assistance, in line with its mandate.

He noted that the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) has provided advice in relation to operational planning, voter registration, nominations, polling, counting, the tabulation and announcement of results, training plans and materials and voter education. But, he added, it is the NEC that makes the decisions and runs the process.

Asked about the reported abduction of four UN police in Sudan, the Spokesperson said that it is the Government of Sudan, as host government, that is responsible for ensuring their safe return. The United Nations is working with the Sudanese Government in that effort.

NEW REPORT HIGHLIGHTS PROGRESS IN MALARIA PREVENTION AND CONTROL IN AFRICA

Africa is on an upward and accelerated trajectory in controlling malaria. Thats according to The World Malaria Day 2010: Africa Update


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