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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-05-20

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

Thursday, May 20, 2010

SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON TRAVELS TO TURKEY

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is traveling today to Istanbul, Turkey, where the United Nations and the Government of Turkey are co-hosting a high-level International Conference on Somalia. And hell also hold bilateral talks with Turkish leaders.

Shortly upon arrival in Istanbul on Friday, the Secretary-General plans to deliver remarks at Bogazici University.

DARFUR: SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES ALL PARTIES TO RETURN TO NEGOTIATIONS

The Secretary-General

notes with concern recent reports of military build-up and clashes in Darfur. He is particularly concerned for the safety and welfare of civilians following reports of injuries and displacement.

The Secretary-General urges all parties to respect the declared cessation of hostilities and to return to the negotiating table in Doha as soon as possible, with a view to achieving a comprehensive settlement of the Darfur crisis.

Meanwhile, the Joint Special Representative for the UN-African Union hybrid Operation in Darfur, Ibrahim Gambari, briefed the Security Council on developments on the ground.

In the area of security and protection of civilians, he told Council members that some progress has been made but pockets of instability remain; while the peace process has also experienced some progress but theres still a deep sense of mistrust between the parties and some parties are not engaging in the process.

He added that

UNAMID is nearing full deployment, which allows staff to focus more on mandate implementation but its still without critical enabling units.

BAN KI-MOON URGES CALM AND RESTRAINT IN KYRGYZSTAN

The Secretary-General is

following with concern events in Jalalabad, Kyrgyzstan, where at least two persons were reportedly killed in ethnic clashes yesterday and the Governor of Jalalabad attacked today. The Secretary-General urges calm and restraint. He underlines the need to respect the rule of law and to resolve issues peacefully through dialogue.

The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Central Asia, Miroslav Jenca, has regularly visited Kyrgyzstan and is keeping the Secretary-General informed of developments.

The Secretary-General welcomes the decision by the Kazakh authorities to lift the restrictions on their border with Kyrgyzstan.

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONCERNED BY RESULTS OF CHEONAN NAVAL SHIP INVESTIGATION

In a

statement issued last night, the Secretary-General said he had learned of the results of the investigation into the sinking of the Cheonan naval ship of the Republic of Korea with a heavy heart and serious concern. |

The Secretary-General appreciates the restrained and patient efforts of the Government of the Republic of Korea to investigate this incident in an objective and scientific manner by both domestic and international experts. |

The facts laid out in the report are deeply troubling. As Secretary-General of the United Nations, he will continue to closely follow developments.

The Secretary-General takes this opportunity to express once again his deep sadness over the loss of the sailors. He also extends his heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved families as well as to the people and the Government of the Republic of Korea.

Asked further about the Secretary-Generals reaction to the results of the investigation, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General will be holding a press conference at UN Headquarters on Monday and that he expected him to return to the subject then.

Asked what procedure the Republic of Korea would need to follow at the United Nations in relation to the results of the investigation, the Spokesperson said that while there is a well-defined path for issues to be brought to the attention of the UN Security Council, it would not be appropriate for the United Nations to prejudge the next steps that the government of the Republic of Korea would take.

Asked if the investigation has any bearing on the UN Command Military Armistice Commission, the Spokesperson declined to speculate but noted that the Commission has played an important role on the Korean peninsula for decades.

Asked about the Secretary-Generals feelings on the matter given his former service as the ROK Foreign Minister the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General, like all other UN staff members are required to do, puts asides all national affiliations and pointed to the statement issued last night which mentioned the Secretary-General's reaction to the findings.

In response to a question, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations had not been involved in the investigation, noting that it had been carried out by domestic and international experts.

Asked whether the Secretary-General thought the situation threatens international peace and security, the Spokesperson said he views it with serious concern. Asked about the continuance of UN programmes on issues such as the environment and energy in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK), given the reports findings, the Spokesperson said that the programmes would not be affected. The work that goes on the ground in the DPRK is to help the people of the DPRK and that remains the case, Nesirky said.

SECRETARY-GENERAL HIGHLIGHTS CRITICAL TASKS TO COMPLETE TRANSITION IN SOMALIA

In his latest

report on Somalia, the Secretary-General says that the Transitional Federal Government is striving to improve security and strengthen stability in the war-torn country. These efforts are illustrated by its growing ability to raise domestic revenues and fund projects. And that underscores the governments desire to become more self-reliant and a more viable partner of the international community.

While August 2011 will conclude the transitional phase in Somalia, several critical transitional tasks, such as the drafting of a new constitution, have yet to be completed.

The Secretary-General also welcomes the governments effort to complete its own security sector assessment report and a national security and stabilization plan. However, he is concerned that it would still lack the ability to implement that agenda. He warns that any failure to achieve this and other goals will play into the hands of the insurgents. The Secretary-General therefore urges Somali leaders to maintain cohesion and dialogue within the transitional federal institutions.

UN-BACKED RADIO STATION ADDRESSING SUDANESE GOVERNMENTS CONCERNS

Asked about recent statements by a Sudanese government minister on the closure of the UN-sponsored Radio Miraya in Sudan due to concerns that it was undermining stability in the countrys south, the Spokesperson said that the

UNMIS Regional Coordinator for Southern Sudan had a meeting with the Minister of Information during which they discussed, in a constructive manner, matters of mutual interest. The Minister of Information expressed concerns about Radio Miraya coverage which are being addressed.

Nesirky added that Radio Miraya is committed to promote the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the culture of peace in the Sudan with neutrality and professionalism. He cited Radio Mirayas coverage of the Sudanese elections represents a significant example of neutrality, professionalism and commitment to the CPAs spirit.

ISSUE OF IRANS NUCLEAR FUEL LIES IN THE SECURITY COUNCILS HANDS

Asked how engaged the Secretary-General is in discussions on Iran and when he last spoke with officials from that country, the Spokesperson said the Secretary-Generals last interaction with the Iranian President, Mahmoud Admadinejad, and Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, was during the first week of the NPT conference.

Asked about an agreement amongst Security Council members for sanctions against Iran, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-Generals reaction is that the matter is in the hands of the Council. He would like to reiterate that Iran should fully comply with the existing sanctions and cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency and the international community at large to lay to rest those doubts that there are in the international community about the nature of Irans nuclear energy programme, Nesirky said.

AFGHANISTAN: U.N. ENVOY STRESSES COMMITMENT OF U.N. TO KANDAHAR REGION

The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, visited Kandahar today to

assess the situation on the ground and meet with local leaders and authorities as well as UN staff members.

During the trip, De Mistura reassured the people of Kandahar of the commitment and intention of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and UN agencies to be actively present in this region despite the difficulties.

BAN KI-MOON CALLS FOR EXPANDED, PEOPLE-CENTERED UNDERSTANDING OF SECURITY

This morning, the Secretary-General presented his

report on human security to the General Assembly.

He

called for an expanded understanding of security -- where the protection and empowerment of people form the basis and the purpose of the actions of the international community. He added that strategies had to be people-centered, comprehensive, context-specific and preventive.

The Secretary-General also said that the concept of human security provided Governments with effective tools that look at the root causes of persistent and emerging threats. As a result, he said, human security supports early warning systems that diminish the impact of such threats.

UNITED NATIONS AGAINST USE OF DEATH PENALTY

Asked about reports the United Nations stance on reports that Yemen has announced the death penalty for six Somali pirates, the Spokesperson said the topic of piracy will be one of those addressed at the Somalia Conference in Istanbul on Saturday.

He added that the United Nations speaks out quite clearly on the use of the death penalty namely, that it should not be used.

*** The guest at the Noon Briefing was Michael Adlerstein, Executive Director of the Capital Master Plan.e 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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