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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-04-28

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 28, 2010

SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON CALLS FOR TRANSFORMATION OF GLOBAL ENERGY SYSTEM

This morning, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

presented the report of his

Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change.

He said that for any global climate agreement to be effective and equitable it must address energy access for the poor.

The

report calls for a new energy pathway that will provide universal access to modern energy sources while addressing the challenges of climate change, sustainable development, and the achievement of the

Millennium Development Goals.

The decisions we make today on energy will have a profound impact on the global climate, on sustainable development, on economic growth, and global security later said the Secretary-General in a

press conference, where he was joined by the Advisory Groups chairman, Mr.

Kandeh Yumkella, Director-General of the

UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and chair of

UN Energy, our system-wide mechanism, as well as Mr. Helge Lund, Chief Executive Officer of Statoil and Mr.

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the

UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Secretary-General also said he had convened this Group in June last year for one simple reason: we need to urgently transform the global energy system.

NEW ASSISTANT SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS APPOINTED

The

Secretary-General has appointed

Tayť-Brook Zerihoun of Ethiopia as Assistant Secretary-General for

Political Affairs.

Mr. Zerihoun replaces

Haile Menkerios of South Africa, who has been appointed, for a one-year period, as the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for

Sudan.

Since April 2008, Mr. Zerihoun has served as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cyprus and Head of the

United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

SECURITY COUNCIL TOLD OF HAITIS PROGRESS IN PROVIDING AID FOLLOWING EARTHQUAKE

Edmond Mulet, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Haiti, told the

Security Council today that

Haiti has made considerable progress in providing aid to the people left most vulnerable after the 12 January earthquake.

Meanwhile, in recent weeks, the United Nations has been working as a priority to relocate thousands of displaced Haitians from sites deemed to be at high risk from flooding and mudslides.

Mulet said that he believes the next 12 to 18 months, which include a timetable for elections by February 2011, are a period of great challenge and risk. The Secretary-Generals recent report contains a recommendation for a surge in the police presence of the

UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), to help ensure its visibility on the streets and in camps for displaced people. He asked the Council to support the Secretary-Generals recommendations.

BAN KI-MOON DISCUSSES MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS WITH ISRAELI DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER BARAK

The

Secretary-General met today with Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak, the Spokesperson said in reply to questions. They discussed the prospects for progress on the

Middle East peace process.

The Secretary-General expressed his hope that proximity talks between the parties would begin shortly. He appealed for further progress on access for reconstruction materials into Gaza.

The Secretary-General and the Deputy Prime Minister reviewed matters of mutual interest regarding the stability of the region, including Lebanon. Lastly, they exchanged views on the Iranian nuclear issue.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO DISCUSS DEVELOPMENTS WITH GREECE-FYROM ENVOY

The Spokesperson, in response to questions, confirmed that the

Secretary-General will meet this afternoon with his Personal Envoy for the Greece-FYROM talks, Matthew Nimetz.

Nesirky said, in response to questions about whether it is now time for an agreement on that issue, that the United Nations has not set a deadline for an agreement, but it has continued to provide good offices to the parties. The United Nations has emphasized the need for an agreement that is acceptable to both parties.

WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME FACES SERIOUS BUDGET SHORTFALL FOR YEMEN OPERATIONS

The

World Food Programme (WFP) is facing a shortfall of nearly 70 percent of it 2010 budget requirements for its operations in Saada, in Yemen, with $24 million still needed. As a result of limited funding, WFP does not have enough food to meet the needs of families.

The WFP, in consultation with the Government of Yemen and its partners, will be required to cut food rations by half beginning in May. This should allow the limited food stocks to last through the end of August.

Meanwhile, the

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that four out of the five education projects included in the

UN Humanitarian Appeal for Yemen have received no funds at all so far. And health programmes in Yemen are only nine per cent funded, so that provision of health assistance to displaced Yemenis is only available for internally displaced people in camps and those who can reach existing, but already overstretched, health structures.

Asked about funding shortfalls for other WFP projects, the Spokesperson noted that in a number of other countries, including Niger, the United Nations has raised the importance of maintaining donor support. He noted competing demands on donors but expressed the hope that donors will continue to show the generosity that they have demonstrated in the past.

U.N. OFFICIAL, LEBANESE PRIME MINISTER DISCUSS RECENT TENSIONS IN LEBANON

The

UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon,

Michael Williams, met today with Prime Minister Saad Hariri and discussed the tension that has arisen as a result of recent allegations.

Williams commended Prime Minister Hariri for his efforts to reduce tension, including his visit yesterday to meet with President Mubarak of Egypt.

Williams said, following meetings with

Israeli and

Lebanese officials, that he expects that all parties will do their part to maintain the stability in the south and across the Blue Line, and that tension will dissipate.

U.N. AGENCIES WORKING IN NIGER TO PREVENT MALNUTRITION AMONG CHILDREN UNDER TWO

Some 800 children aged 6-23 months received their first of four supplementary food monthly rations in Koleram, a village in the region of Zinder, today.

The blanket feeding operation, supported by the

World Food Programme and the

UN Childrens Fund and 13 NGOs, is part of the Governments Response Plan and the Emergency Humanitarian Action Plan was launched following the Governments appeal on March 10. It aims at improving the nutritional status of children aged 6-23 months often the most vulnerable to food shortages by providing 500,000 children with complementary food regardless of their nutritional status.

All regions of Niger, except Niamey, will benefit from supplementary food distribution where one child out of two suffers from stunting. More than half of the population in Niger is considered as food insecure with 3.4 million people needing immediate help.

U.N.D.P. ADMINISTRATOR CALLS FOR RE-ENERGIZED EFFORT ON MDGs

Yesterday afternoon, the Administrator of the

UN Development Programme (UNDP)

Helen Clark

spoke at the meeting of the G8 Development Ministers in Halifax, Canada.

In leading a discussion on the

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Ms. Clark reiterated that the September Summit is a good opportunity to re-energize the global MDG effort and agree on a concrete action plan to accelerate progress.

Lets use this meeting, and other events leading up to the MDG Summit, to help reach an agreement on an action agenda for the MDGs one which will be a genuine turning point in the fight against poverty, she said. She added that UNDP, along with other agencies, will be providing firm evidence on what has worked to achieve the MDGs so far to help formulate that action plan.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

FREE LEGAL DEFENCE SERVICES TO BE OFFERED TO DETAINEES IN IRAQ: Lawyers and civil society today agreed on the way forward for free legal defence services to be offered to detainees in

Iraq, under a project supported by the European Union and implemented by the

UN Office of Project Services (UNOPS). Between September and November 2009, the project established 20 Legal Defence Centres in 16 governorates of Iraq, providing free services to beneficiaries who have reduced access to legal representation.

DISCUSSIONS CONTINUE ON MINURCATS MANDATE: Asked whether UN peacekeepers would have to leave Chad, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations believes that it would be desirable for the

UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) to stay. The discussions on the Missions mandate are continuing.

UNITED NATIONS TO RECYCLE FURNITURE WHERE POSSIBLE: Asked about the furniture in the UN Headquarters building, the Spokesperson later said that the UN is in the process of deciding which of the used furniture in the Secretariat Building can be salvaged for economic and preservation reasons, and which ones will have to be disposed of. The United Nations will recycle the furniture to the extent possible.

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

United Nations, SA-1B15

New York, NY 10017

Tel. 212-963-7162

Fax. 212-963-7055


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