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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-05-19

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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

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON APPEALS FOR CALM IN THAILAND

Responding to a question on the standoff between pro-opposition Red Shirt activists and Thai government forces, the Spokesperson said that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon remains deeply concerned about mounting violence and loss of life, as well as the acts of arson reported today in Bangkok.

Nesirky added that the Secretary-General continues to urge that every measure be taken by both the Thai authorities and the protesters to avoid any further violence and loss of life.

BAN KI-MOON WILL RECEIVE SOUTH KOREA REPORT ON SINKING OF NAVAL SHIP THIS THURSDAY

In response to a question on comments by a South Korean official blaming North Korea for the sinking of South Korea naval ship, Nesirky said that Ban Ki-moon has been following the situation with concern and has seen reports in the media carrying the official's comments.

Nesirky, however, added that the Secretary-General was awaiting an official report from the Republic of Korea, expected on Thursday, before making any further comment.

SECURITY COUNCIL IS BRIEFED ON RECENT MISSION TO DR CONGO

The

Security Council held a meeting this morning on peace and security in Africa.

That was followed by a briefing from Ambassador Gerard Araud of France about the recent Council mission he led to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Asked about the announced retirement of Alan Doss, the UN Special Representative to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and a pending report by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), Nesirky said that the Secretary-General had received the OIOS report and related comments by Mr. Doss.

PANEL WILL ADVISE BAN KI-MOON ON STANDARDS OF CREDIBLE SRI LANKAN INQUIRY INTO CIVIL WAR

In response to a question on Sri Lanka, Nesirky explained that the panel of experts will have the role of advising the Secretary-General on what the standards are for a credible domestic investigation or inquiry.

Nesirky added, "[the panel] will address the question of accountability that's been discussed very often. So it has the very specific aim to advise the Secretary-General on the extent to which a domestic Sri Lankan inquiry will meet widely held standards for that kind of inquiry."

DISTRACTED DRIVING IS A MAJOR CHALLENGE TO ROAD SAFETY

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today participated in the launch of global effort to end distractions while driving.

Every year, more than 1.2 million people die on the roads around the world, and as many as 50 million others are injured.

The Secretary-General

said that driver distraction mainly through the use of mobile phones- was one of the emerging challenges of road safety. No SMS is worth an SOS, he said.

The Secretary-General also said that he would be issuing an administrative instruction aimed at promoting road safety and saving lives. The instruction will prohibit all drivers of UN vehicles from texting while driving.

BAN KI-MOON IS CONCERNED AT REPORT OF MILITARY BUILD-UP, FIGHTING IN DARFUR

The Secretary-General had a

message today on the presentation of the Heildelberg Darfur Dialogue Document. The message was read by the UN/AU Chief Mediator for Darfur, Michel Bassole.

In it, the Secretary-General says that he is concerned at continued reports of a military build-up and clashes between armed movements and Government forces. He urges all parties to the conflict to scrupulously respect the cease-fire which has been declared, and to remain engaged in the negotiations in Doha towards a comprehensive settlement of the Darfur crisis.

The Secretary-General also congratulated the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public and International Law, which he says has launched a valuable social process by bringing together Darfuri intellectuals and activists to brainstorm on the peace process.

Meanwhile, the UN-AU mission in Darfur (UNAMID) notes with great concern the abduction of three aid workers yesterday outside Nyala, South Darfur, as the Missions peacekeepers have themselves been the target of such unacceptable offences while in Darfur to help restore stability to the region. The Mission is deeply dismayed by the recent increase in these intolerable crimes and calls for the swift and unconditional release of the aid workers.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

IRAQ: WFP LAUNCHES CASH-FOR WORK PROGRAMME: The World Food Programme (WFP)

launched its first cash-for-work programme in Iraq today. The goal is to help some of the poorest sections of Iraqi society earn enough money to pay for food that might otherwise be beyond their reach. WFP says that food insecurity in Iraq is an access problem, not an availability problem. It adds that nearly a million people need food assistance and millions more depend on government aid. The cash-for-work programme is being piloted in the central Iraqi governorate of Diyala.

BRAZIL-TURKEY LETTER ON IRAN SENT TO SECURITY COUNCIL: In response to a question, Nesirky said that his Office had been informed that a joint letter by the UN Ambassadors of Brazil and Turkey had been submitted to Security Council members on the question of Iran's nuclear programmes.

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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