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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-05-10

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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, May 10, 2010

SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON TO MEET CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER THIS WEEK

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be travelling to Ottawa on Wednesday, 12 May, to meet Prime Minister Stephen Harper; the Governor General of Canada, Michaelle Jean; the Minister of International Cooperation, Beverley Oda; and the Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty.

The Secretary-General will take this opportunity to discuss a range of global issues that are central to the work of the United Nations. These include: the

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the forthcoming

MDG Summit in New York; the UN's work in promoting Maternal and Children's Health; climate change; the UN's support to

Haiti,

Sudan and

Afghanistan; and the

Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review currently under way in New York. This working visit will also provide an opportunity to discuss the forthcoming G8 and G20 summits.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO ATTEND SOMALIA CONFERENCE IN ISTANBUL

The

Secretary-General is also scheduled to travel next week to Istanbul, Turkey, where, on 22 May, the United Nations and the Government of Turkey are co-hosting a high-level international Conference on Somalia.

That conference is intended to advance the Djibouti peace process and its objectives of political stability, security and reconstruction. The Conference will also focus on combatting piracy off the Somali coast.

Later this week, we expect to have the Under-Secretary-General for

Political Affairs,

B. Lynn Pascoe, and the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Somalia,

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Somalia, give a press briefing on the issues we expect to discuss at the Istanbul Conference. Turkeys Ambassador to the United Nations, Ertu&#287;rul Apakan, will also participate in that briefing.

SECRETARY-GENERAL ENCOURAGED BY START OF ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PROXIMITY TALKS

In a

statement issued last night, the

Secretary-General said he is encouraged by the beginning of the

Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks and commends the United States initiative in this regard. The Secretary-General hopes that the parties are able to make progress and move towards direct negotiations.

Asked what needs to be done to move from proximity talks to direct negotiations, the Spokesperson said that, while indirect talks are welcome, they should not be seen as an end in itself. The Secretary-General, he said, wants progress towards direct talks.

Nesirky added that the start of this round of proximity talks had been long in the making, and he gave credit to US Senator George Mitchell, as well as the Israelis and Palestinians, for launching this round of talks.

Asked how Palestinian society could move forward without a cohesive Palestinian Government, the Spokesperson said that one thing that the Secretary-General wanted to see was progress in the peace process, including the current proximity talks, so that social and development initiatives among the Palestinians could succeed.

SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFED ON HISTORIC DEVELOPMENTS IN BURUNDI

The

Secretary-Generals Executive Representative for Burundi,

Charles Petrie, briefed the

Security Council this morning, saying that this is an historic moment for Burundi and the region, with the country now on the verge of a transition from one democratically-elected government to another.

He said that the

UN Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB) will help assist the Burundians in the forthcoming Presidential and local elections. And he also noted the social, economic and security challenges that Burundi will face after the elections.

Following an open meeting on Burundi, Petrie continued his discussions with Council members in closed consultations. The Under-Secretary-General for

Humanitarian Affairs,

John Holmes, also spoke with Council members in consultations, to discuss his

recent trip to the

Democratic Republic of the Congo.

MEETING ON UNAMID FOCUSED ON PROTECTION OF PERSONNEL

The Under-Secretary-General for

Peacekeeping Operations,

Alain Le Roy, is in Addis Ababa today, along with officials from the

UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), including the Joint Special Representative,

Ibrahim Gambari, to attend the eighth meeting of the Tripartite Mechanism on UNAMID.

With UNAMIDs deployment now standing at 87 per cent, the meetings focus was expected to be on the protection of UNAMID personnel and the implementation of its mandate. Other issues for discussion included the provision of a radio broadcasting license for UNAMID in

Darfur.

Asked who is responsible for the recent violence in Darfur, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations is working to determine whether those suspected of

killing two Egyptian UN peacekeepers last week have been apprehended, and, if so, whether they will receive due process.

SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR A NEW VISION TO MAINTAIN BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

Natural systems that support economies, lives and livelihoods across the planet are at risk of rapid degradation and collapse unless there is swift, radical and creative action to conserve and sustainably use the variety of life on Earth.

Thats one of the main conclusions of the third edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-3), a major

assessment of the current state of biodiversity and the implications of its continued loss for human well-being, produced by the

Convention on Biological Diversity.

The report says that realizing objectives such as tackling poverty and improving the health, wealth and security of present and future generations will be greatly strengthened if we finally give biodiversity the priority it deserves.

In his foreword to GBO-3,

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon writes: To tackle the root causes of biodiversity loss, we must give it higher priority in all areas of decision-making and in all economic sectors. He adds that we need a new vision for biological diversity for a healthy planet and a sustainable future for humankind.

U.N.D.P. HEAD VISITS ZANZIBAR PARK, EXAMPLE OF BIODIVERSITY

Continuing her African tour, the head of the

UN Development Programme (UNDP),

Helen Clark, visited Zanzibar on Sunday.

In addition to meeting with President Amani Abeid Karume, she also visited the Jozani-Chwaka Bay Conservation Area the single most important site for the conservation of Zanzibars globally significant biodiversity.

The forest is managed by a community non-governmental organization and is considered a model to reduce global warming. UNDP supported the creation of the park and supported the Government of Zanzibar to put in place policies and legislative processes for the conservation of biodiversity.

The conservation area is considered a model to reduce global warming because it is led by the community who give 65 percent of the proceeds to the local community. Up to 90 per cent of staff are locals from the villages within the national park.


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