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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-04-27

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

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

BAN KI-MOON COMMENDS PEOPLE OF SUDAN OVER PARTICIPATION IN ELECTIONS

Following the announcement of the Sudanese elections results by the National Electoral Commission,

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commends the people of

Sudan for participating in the largely peaceful elections process in spite of numerous challenges. This stands as a demonstration of their commitment to democracy.

The Secretary-General takes note of the preliminary reports of observer groups detailing both the successes and shortcomings of the elections, as well as of a number of security incidents. The Secretary-General calls on the authorities and political parties of Sudan to continue to resolve by peaceful means any matters arising from contested results or other irregularities.

The Secretary- General hopes that this election exercise will be a significant step towards opening up political space in the country and contribute to the full implementation of the

Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

The Secretary-General calls on the CPA partners and other Sudanese political actors to make rapid progress with the preparations for the next and the final phase of CPA implementation, the conduct of the referenda on self determination in Southern Sudan and Abyei.

Asked about reported violence in southern Sudan, the Spokesperson said that it was unclear who was involved. He added that the Secretary-General has emphasized that stability in Sudan is crucial for the referendum next year.

BAN KI-MOON RELIEVED OVER RELEASE OF PEACEKEEPERS IN DARFUR

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is greatly relieved to learn about the release of the four peacekeepers who had been abducted in

Darfur two weeks ago.

He appreciates the efforts made by the Government of Sudan to secure the safe release of the four police officers serving with the

African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). He once more emphasizes to all parties the importance of ensuring the safety of all UN and other personnel who are on the ground to help the people of Darfur.

The four police officers, who are from South Africa, are believed to be in good health, and there will now be a more full evaluation of their health conditions. The Secretary-General thanks the Government of South Africa for its help in securing their safe release.

The Spokesperson added that the Secretary-General spoke by telephone with the South African President and discussed the case.

SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFED ON EFFORTS ON TO MAKE PREVENTION OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE A TOP PRIORITY

Margot Wallström, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, briefed the

Security Council on her efforts to press the case to give sexual violence continuous consideration and to make prevention top priority.

She warned that politically-motivated rape is a disturbing trend, witnessed in the wake of Kenyas contested elections, and more recently, in broad daylight on the streets of Guinea. Such crimes, she said, present a security crisis that demands a security response.

Wallström welcomed the expansion of the list of shame on groups that recruit child soldiers to include groups credibly suspected of patterns of sexual violence. And she detailed her recent visit to the

Democratic Republic of the Congo, where she noted the efforts of the

UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to use market-route patrols to protect women. She said that the improved sense of safety from such patrols led to improved trade, which has contributed to economic development.

Wallström also spoke to Council members in consultations.

SECURITY COUNCIL ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON SOMALIA PIRACY; BRIEFED ON SUDAN

Earlier today, the

Security Council adopted a resolution on piracy off the coast of Somalia, in which it called on all States to criminalize piracy under their domestic law. It also requested that the

Secretary-General report within three months on possible options to further the aim of prosecuting and imprisoning persons responsible for acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the Somali coast.

The members of the Security Council held their monthly luncheon with the Secretary-General this afternoon. Later today, the Council held consultations on

Sudan, at which

Haile Menkerios, the head of the

UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) briefed on recent developments and that Missions work.

REPORT: SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR SUPPORT OF HAITI PEACEKEEPING MISSIONS SURGE EFFORT

The latest report of the

Secretary-General on the

UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has been issued.

In it, the Secretary-General says that he is deeply concerned about the risks

Haiti faces in the coming months, not least with the impending rainy and hurricane seasons. Relief and protection efforts must continue to scale up, he adds.

He also notes that despite the scale of loss and suffering, Haiti has not fallen back to the violence that was prevalent until 2007. He says that the elections that will allow for a Presidential transition in early 2011 are central the Governments vision for a renewed state. And he adds that this must be strongly supported by the international community.

The Secretary-General calls on the

Security Council to support the approach proposed in his report for a surge effort by MINUSTAH to provide additional technical, operational and logistical support that will assist the Government of Haiti in meeting its responsibilities, while respecting its authority.

SECRETARY-GENERAL COMMENDS CHINAS REMOVAL OF HIV TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

The

Secretary-General has

commended Chinas decision to remove travel restrictions based on HIV status. He says that punitive policies and practices only hamper the global

AIDS response and urges all other countries with such restrictions to remove them as a matter of priority and urgency.

The

Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has also applauded this decision by the Government of China to lift its national travel ban for people living with HIV. UNAIDS strongly opposes any laws that restrict movement based on HIV-positive status only; such restrictions are discriminatory and do not prevent HIV transmission or protect public health, it says.

HEAD OF U.N. SECURITY TO TRAVEL TO KABUL TO FOLLOW UP ON BOARD OF INQUIRY REPORT

Asked how the United Nations would follow up on its Board of Inquiry report on the 28 October 2009

attack on a UN guest house in

Kabul, the Spokesperson noted that, as a statement issued on Monday made clear, the

Secretary-General has instructed that the Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security,

Gregory Starr, review the security findings highlighted in the report. Starr will lead a team to Kabul next week, to discuss next steps and follow up with the Afghan authorities.

Nesirky noted that the Secretary-General has also instructed Under-Secretary-General for

Peacekeeping Operations,

Alain Le Roy, and Special Representative

Staffan de Mistura, to contact relevant NATO officials in Brussels and Kabul for further consultations on how best to ensure improved coordination in the event of future emergencies of this nature.

The Secretary-General also called on the Afghan authorities to ensure a thorough investigation into the attack on the guesthouse and the killing of UN staff. The Spokesperson said that if the Afghan authorities wanted a joint investigation, the United Nations would welcome that.

Asked about remarks in the media indicating that Afghanistans Interior Ministry rejected the report, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations had shared the findings of the Board, but not the full report.

The Deputy Special Representative for the

UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA),

Martin Kobler, had presented the findings in Kabul, while Under-Secretaries-General Alain Le Roy and

Susana Malcorra had shared the findings with the Afghan Mission to the United Nations.

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY WELCOMES GOVERNMENT-LED RETURNS IN NORTHERN SRI LANKA

The

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

welcomed today the resumption of Government-led return movements in northern Sri Lanka, following a three-week pause for the general election, the Sinhala holiday and the Tamil New Year.

Some 7,000

internally displaced people (IDPs) have returned to their homes since the operation resumed last week. Some 207,000 IDPs have left camps in the north and east of the country since the organized return process began in August last year.

In the past month, UNHCR was forced to suspend its assistance to the return process due to a funding shortfall. Thanks to recent contributions by donors, UNHCR will be restarting the shelter cash grants by the end of the week.

U.N. HUMANITARIAN CHIEF TRAVELS TO NIGERS ZINDER REGION TO ASSESS FOOD CRISIS

The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for

Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator,

John Holmes, traveled today to the Zinder region to assess the human impact of the food crisis in Niger.

Mr. Holmes first visited the village of Dalli, affected by a 100 per cent cereal shortage and classified amongst the regions most vulnerable villages. He met with its inhabitants, who explained their survival strategies, including reducing the frequency and quality of their meals, consuming wild foods, and picking hay and wood for sale in local markets.

The humanitarian chief also visited a supplementary feeding centre providing intensive therapeutic care to children under five suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

Holmes then visited the village of Danganari, where the

Food and Agricultural Organisation launched its animal feed operation to assist pastoralist populations. During the three-month operation, more than 700 tons of animal feed will be sold at reduced rates by non-governmental organisations, breeders associations and government services in Tanout.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECRETARY-GENERAL DISCUSSED MIDDLE EAST WITH U.S. ENVOY AND PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT: Asked about the

Middle East, the Spokesperson said that the

Secretary-General had spoken about recent developments there in a Monday phone call with US envoy George Mitchell and another phone call on Tuesday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

UNITED NATIONS ASSISTING INTERNALLY DISPLACED PEOPLE IN PAKISTAN: Asked about

internally displaced people in Pakistan, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations is making every effort to assist displaced persons and the Pakistani population as a whole.

  • ** The guest at the Spokespersons Noon Briefing on Tuesday was the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus,

    Alexander Downer.

  • ** The guest at the Noon Briefing is Susana Malcorra, Under-Secretary-General for the Department of Field Support, who briefed on the findings of the Afghanistan Board of Inquiry.

    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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