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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-05-12

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, May 12, 2010

BAN KI-MOON, IN OTTAWA, FLAGS IMPORTANCE ON U.N.-CANADA RELATIONSHIP

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is in Ottawa today, where he just spoke about the importance of the relationship between the United Nations and Canada, in remarks to the UN Association of Canada.

That relationship, he said, is particularly significant this year as Canada will soon host the G8 and G20 meetings.

The Secretary-General pointed to several challenges that need to be faced in the coming months, including the threat posed by climate change, the efforts underway to strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the need to achieve the

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Where we are not on track in achieving the MDGs, he said, it is not because the goals are unreachable, or because time is short. It is because of unmet commitments and a lack of focus and accountability.

The Secretary-General also met this morning with the Governor-General of Canada, MichaŽlle Jean. Later this afternoon, he will discuss a range of issues, including the G8 and G20 summits, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He will also met other senior officials and the leader of the opposition before returning to New York later today.

SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATES OF MISSIONS IN NEPAL, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC AND CHAD

The

Security Council unanimously approved the extension of the mandates of two UN Missions this morning.

The mandate of the

UN Mission in Nepal was extended by four months, while the mandate of the

UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad was rolled over for two weeks, until 26 May.

The Security Council then began an open debate on

Somalia.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, who said that next weeks Istanbul Conference on Somalia can show political solidarity with the Somali people, who have suffered so much. The meeting, which will be co-convened by the Secretary-General, is also a sign of hope to Somalis that they are not alone.

In response to a question, the Spokesman noted that the

Secretary-General intended to travel to Istanbul to co-convene the conference on Somalia.

UNITED NATIONS IS INVESTIGATING CAUSE OF AFGHAN SCHOOLGIRLS ILLNESS

Staffan de Mistura, the

Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Afghanistan,

said today that he is concerned by recent reports of girls falling ill in school in several different parts of Afghanistan, allegedly due to the presence of some kind of chemical contaminant.

The

World Health Organization and the

UN Childrens Fund, in support of the Afghan authorities, have been investigating these reports. They are also helping to treat the ill children and seeking ways to prevent any possible breach of security in Afghanistan's schools. At this point, the investigations have not revealed any conclusion as to the nature or source of these incidents of illness.

De Mistura noted that the children have recovered relatively quickly from their symptoms. He has asked all relevant UN entities to remain vigilant in the protection of schools and of the rights of all children to education.

SECURITY SITUATION IN NORTH DARFUR REMAINS TENSE

The

UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) reports that the security situation in

North Darfur remains tense. This assessment follows reports of an expanding presence of both government troops and Justice and Equality Movement forces in the Shangil Tobaya region, UNAMID says.

The buildup has already caused some 70 percent of

internally displaced persons (IDP) in the local UN-run IDP camping to flee the facility, fearing possible military battles.

UNAMID continues to monitor the situation.

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY SEEKS MORE FUNDS FOR DISPLACED SOMALIS

Prompted by a rapidly deteriorating situation and growing displacement in Somalia, the

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

seeking additional funds to ease the plight of Somali refugees in neighbouring Kenya, Yemen, Ethiopia and Djibouti and those forcibly displaced inside their country.

The two supplementary appeals being launched today in Geneva address the increasing needs in

Somalia and four neighbouring countries as well as the extension of the Ifo camp in Dadaab, Kenya.

Including an additional $60 million being sought today, UNHCRs overall budgetary needs in Somalia and its four neighbouring countries in 2010 presently amount to $424.7 million. So far this year, UNHCR has received 36 per cent of its global comprehensive needs budget.

MORE FUNDS SOUGHT TO DEAL WITH MONGOLIAS DZUD

The United Nations team in Mongolia today

launched a consolidated appeal for $18,150,794 to address the immediate and early recovery needs of nearly 800,000 people affected by the dzud, and to help the country with prepare for future emergencies.

The dzud a winter of severe cold and heavy snow has ravaged the country and is the worst of its kind in recent history. The government has declared disaster status in 15 of the countrys 21 provinces.

To date, the dzud has devastated the livelihoods of nearly 9,000 families who rely on their livestock for income, food and fuel. More than 7.5 million animals have died so far, representing more than 17 per cent of the total livestock in the country.

UNITED NATIONS HAS ENCOURAGED MYANMAR TO INVITE ELECTIONS MONITORS

Asked about reports that the authorities in

Myanmar might not invite international monitoring of its elections, the Spokesperson recalled that the United Nations has strongly encouraged the Myanmar authorities to invite regional and international monitors, because the United Nations believes that it will inspire confidence in the elections.

Asked about the dissolution of the National League for Democracy as a political party, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations respects the decision made by all political parties in Myanmar. He emphasized the need for Myanmar to hold a free, fair and inclusive process, consistent with the Governments own commitment.

TREATY OF LISBON SUBMITTED FOR REGISTRATION WITH UNITED NATIONS

Yesterday, the Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community was submitted for registration with the UN Secretariat, in accordance with Article 102 of the

Charter of the United Nations, by Cesare Maria Ragaglini, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, on behalf of Italy as depositary of the Treaty. The Lisbon Treaty entered into force on 1 December 2009.

The Under-Secretary-General for

Legal Affairs and Legal Counsel,

Patricia OBrien, officiated at the ceremony, which was held at the Office of Legal Affairs of the UN Secretariat. Ambassador Ragaglini was accompanied by Peter Schwaiger, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union, and Juan Antonio YŠŮez-Barnuevo, Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations. Spain currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES HELP COUNTRIES MAKE PROGRESS TOWARD MDGs: The

2010 World Summit on the Information Society Stocktaking report, released today, confirms that information and communication technology (ICT) development projects are helping countries make significant progress towards achieving the

World Summit on the Information Society connectivity targets and

Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The report, now in its third edition, identifies five key emerging issues that deserve special attention by the international development community.

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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