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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-05-04

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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

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS UNITED NATIONS SHOULD BE GROUND ZERO FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT

The Secretary-General

spoke this morning to Mayors for Peace, which brings together some 4,000 mayors and city officials around the world, including the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Secretary-General said that the United Nations should be the new Ground Zero for nuclear disarmament, adding that he will carry that message with him when he visits Hiroshima in August. He said that would be humbled to be the first Secretary-General in UN history to personally participate in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony.

The Secretary-General is also today holding a number of bilateral meetings on non-proliferation with the high-level officials who are attending the

Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference.

At 6:20 pm, he will attend and make remarks at the opening of an exhibition by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization in the Visitors Lobby, alled Putting an End to Nuclear Explosions.

Asked about proposals for nuclear-weapons-free zones, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General believes that such zones are a way to build stability around the world, and that they can help to build confidence in general in the NPT.

Asked whether the Secretary-General would persuade Israel to support a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East, Nesirky said that one of the five points the Secretary-General emphasized in his

address to the NPT Review Conference was the need for progress towards a Middle East nuclear-weapons-free zone. He strongly supports efforts to create such a zone, and is aware of the need for a robust discussion of it.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TOLD IRANIAN PRESIDENT THAT TRUST MUST BE RESTORED ON NUCLEAR PROGRAMME

In response to questions, the Spokesperson recalled that the Secretary-General met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday afternoon. The Secretary-General conveyed to the President the urgency and importance for Iran to restore trust with the international community on the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme and to take action in this regard. He urged resumption of negotiations between Iran and the E3+3.

The nuclear fuel supply draft agreement proposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) provides an opportunity to restore such confidence. The Secretary-General appealed to Iran to adhere to the resolutions of the Security Council and the IAEA Board of Governors.

The Spokesperson added that the Secretary-General also discussed humanitarian and human rights issues.

U.N. MISSION CONFIRMS RENEWED FIGHTING IN DARFUR, CALLS ON PARTIES TO REFRAIN FROM FORCE

In response to questions about reported fighting, the Spokesperson said later that the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has reported that recent fighting between the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Government of Sudan has been confirmed, resulted in an underdetermined number of casualties and displaced. UNAMID has called on all parties for refrain from use of force and urges resolution through political means within the peace process and the JEM-Government of Sudan Framework Agreement.

The Spokesperson noted that the JEM spokesperson has made remarks about suspending its participation in the Doha talks. He said that we also understand that this is temporary, pending resolution of key issues, and have confidence that the talks will continue.

The mediation is continuing discussions with the Justice and Equality Movement to address their concerns, and it urges them to remain committed to the ceasefire and to conclude negotiations with the Government on the ceasefire agreement as well as the final peace agreement.

SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS CHIEF OF PROTOCOL

The Secretary-General has appointed Desmond Parker of Trinidad and Tobago as Chief of Protocol. He replaces Alice Hecht of Belgium who retired last year.

Mr. Parker has been serving as Deputy Chief of Protocol since 2007 and has served as a Protocol Officer for his own Government for over 7 years. He joined the United Nations in 1996 and served on peacekeeping missions in Haiti, Liberia and Nepal.

SECURITY COUNCIL TO BE BRIEFED ON COOPERATION WITH EUROPEAN UNION

The

Security Council, in its first consultations for this month, approved its programme of work for May.

At 3:00 pm, the Security Council will hold an open meeting to hear from Baroness Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, who will brief Council members on matters of cooperation between the European Union and Security Council.

HONDURAS: SECRETARY-GENERAL STRESSES NEED FOR NATION HEALING

In a

message to the Honduran Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which opened today in Tegucigalpa, the Secretary-General said the bodys commissioners have a grave responsibility before them, but that theirs is only one small part of the effort needed to heal the Honduran nation.

In his message, the Secretary-General encouraged the countrys leaders to take a sensitive, comprehensive and sustained approach to the task of national healing. That will require sustained efforts to strengthen democratic institutions, promote respect for human rights, and provide social and economic opportunity for all Hondurans.

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY REGAINS ACCESS TO 35,000 REFUGEES IN THE REPUBLIC OF CONGO

The UN Refugee Agency,

UNHCR, says it has regained access to some 35,000 Congolese refugees scattered on the Republic of Congo (ROC) side of the Oubangui River.

Pacifying operations by the military of the Democratic Republic of the Congo against ethnic militias in Equateur Province had prevented access for the past five weeks, but with the recent lifting of security restrictions UNHCR has been able to resume humanitarian assistance.

UNHCR says that the refugee situation in this corner of Africa is among the most complex logistical operations it faces anywhere.

The group is part of some 114,000 refugees who have fled clashes sparked by fishing and farming disputes in the DRC last October. These refugees are scattered in some 100 sites along a 600 kilometer stretch of the Oubangui River which separates Republic of Congo from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

U.N.D.P. CHIEF WRAPS UP VISIT TO MALI

The head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Helen Clark, is

wrapping a four day visit to Mali today. During her stay, she underscored Malis efforts in tackling issues like HIV/AIDS, poverty and education. She also highlighted the countrys commitment to democratic governance.

Clark also met senior Malian officials, including the President. She visited an all-women mango cooperative an

UNDP project which gives women farming skills to grow and prepare their produce for export.

From Mali, Miss Clark heads to Burkina Faso, Tanzania and finally South Africa.

CLIMATE CHANGE COULD REVERSE PROGRESS MADE IN POVERTY REDUCTION AND FOOD SECURITY IN AFRICA

Climate change can significantly reverse the progress towards poverty reduction and food security in Africa, according to a paper presented to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) regional Conference for Africa being held in Luanda, Angola this week.

The paper, Climate Change Implications for Food Security and Natural Resources Management in Africa,

warned that business as usual was no longer an option and urged African governments to prioritize and implement measures to develop agriculture and sustainable natural resource management.

Adaptation to climate change through sustainable practices, including the promotion and protection of traditional and local foods and agricultural knowledge should be a priority, the paper adds.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

IRAQ: Asked about UN electoral activity in

Iraq, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations is not involved in recounting ballots, but has been providing technical advice to the Iraqi electoral bodies.

MIDDLE EAST: Asked what the Secretary-General is doing to help the Middle East peace process, the Spokesperson said that, most recently, the Secretary-General spoke to several senior officials in the region last week to push for progress in peace talks, including a resumption of proximity talks. The Secretary-General does not see proximity talks as an end in themselves but believes that they can help to move the peace process forward.

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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