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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-05-25
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
BAN KI-MOON URGES ALL STATES TO ADOPT CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon marked today the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, with UNICEFs new Executive Director, Anthony Lake.
The two protocols one on prostitution and child pornography, the other on children and armed conflict have been endorsed by two-thirds of all Member States so far.
urged all countries to adopt these instruments within the next two years in order to provide children with a moral and legal shield.
He said that in too many places, children are seen as commodities, treated as criminals instead of being protected as victims and that in too many conflicts, children were used as soldiers, spies or human shields.
In response to a question about the reported [forced] marriage of a 13-year-old Egyptian girl, Nesirky reiterated the Secretary-General's strong advocacy for the rights of children, adding that Ban Ki-moon's moral voice on this issue is very clear.
SECURITY COUNCIL ORDERS DRAWDOWN OF MISSION TO CHAD AND THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
The Security Council unanimously adopted a new resolution on the situation in Chad, the Central African Republic and the sub-region.
That resolution effectively terminates the mandate of the UN Mission (MINURCAT) and orders a full withdrawal of the Mission by 31 December.
[In a statement issued after the briefing, the Secretary-General welcomed the adoption by the Security Council of a revised mandate for the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT).
Under the new mandate, the Government of Chad assumes full responsibility for the protection of civilians, under international norms, as MINURCAT starts withdrawing its military component as of 27 May.
The new mandate will allow the civilian component of the Mission to work with the Government to consolidate gains achieved so far and help it to develop plans for their sustainability after MINURCAT leaves on 31 December 2010.
The Secretary-General looks forward to working with the Governments of Chad and of the Central African Republic, as well as with other partners, towards the implementation of the revised mandate in a spirit of partnership and cooperation.]
Earlier Tuesday, the Security Council this morning heard a briefing by Ad Melkert, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Iraq. Melkert told Council members that the recent elections and the government expected to be formed based on the election results offer a new opportunity to strengthen Iraqs sovereignty. It will also allow Iraqis to move with greater determination toward reconciliation.
He added however that a host of challenges remain, however, including the continued violence across Iraq, which so far this year has claimed 2000 lives and wounded 5,000 civilians.
MODEST PROGRESS IS BEING MADE ON GAZA PRIORITY PROJECTS
The Secretary-General had a
message today to the UN International Meeting in Support of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process, which is being held in Istanbul under the theme Ending the Occupation and Establishing the Palestinian State.
The Secretary-Generals message was delivered by Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. In it, the Secretary-General expressed his satisfaction that, after a prolonged period of delay and setbacks, proximity talks are finally under way. He also encourages the parties to avoid provocations or breaches of the Roadmap or international law, which will only create new crises of confidence. He welcomes the modest progress that has been achieved with the Government of Israel facilitating a number of priority projects and widening the list of commercial goods allowed into Gaza.
Separately, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that Gazas agriculture sector is being hit hard by the Israeli blockade. OCHA says that more than 60 percent of Gaza households are now food insecure, a situation that agriculture could have helped redress. However, Israels import and access restrictions continue to suffocate the local agriculture sector and directly contribute to rising food insecurity.
BAN KI-MOON HOPES FOR A DEAL AT NON-PROLIFERATION REVIEW CONFERENCE IN NEW YORK
Asked if reports of an alleged Israeli proposal to provide nuclear materials to South Africa would affect the upcoming Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference, Nesirky recalled that the Secretary-General, during his press conference yesterday, stated clearly what is required of the states taking part in the Review Conference.
Clearly, there are complex issues to be negotiated, but Conference participants should focus on making their best effort to reach a deal. "The world is watching," Nesirky said, summing up the Secretary-General's comments.
Asked if the alleged Israeli initiative breached the nuclear-free Middle East agreement as espoused by the Secretary-General, Nesirky noted that that agreement has been in place for some time now and that Ban Ki-moon's endorsement of it is in line with a wider international acceptance of the concept of a nuclear-free Middle East.
In response to a question on the possible impact on the Review Conference of a positive IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) response to the Iranian communication, the Spokesperson said it is difficult to gauge what impact it might have since the Iranian document is now under IAEA analysis. It is equally difficult to gauge what impact it might have on the ongoing Security Council discussions of Iran's nuclear programme.
Meanwhile, "the proposal or the deal struck between Iran, Turkey and Brazil would represent a positive step if combined with the full compliance that the international community expects of Iran with existing Security Council resolutions," Nesirky said.
HAITI, U.N. LAUNCH JOINT COMMISSION TO PROBE PRISON INCIDENT
President Préval and the Secretary-Generals Special Representative in Haiti, Edmond Mulet, have agreed to establish an independent commission to investigate the incident in Les Cayes Prison on 19 January.
The Commission will be a joint UN-Haiti effort.
Further details on its composition and mandate will be soon provided by MINUSTAH.
BAN KI-MOON LAUDS AFRICAS ROLE IN WORLD AFFAIRS
Today is Africa Day and in a
message to mark the day, the Secretary-General says that this years celebration has particular significance as it marks the 50th anniversary of independence of several Francophone African states and Nigeria, the continents most populous nation.
He goes on to note that the independence movement that swept Africa five decades ago brought many new members to the United Nations, resulting in a new focus on the continents development needs and heightened emphasis on greater democracy in the management of international relations.
The Secretary-General also notes that by consistently reminding the international community of its responsibility to the most vulnerable, and affirming that we are all members of a global family of nations, Africa has helped to reshape the global agenda.
SLOW RESPONSE TO U.N. 2010 HUMANITARIAN APPEALS
To date, $3.7 billion has been contributed for the 20 consolidated appeals or their equivalents launched for 2010 which were calling for just over $10 billion. So that represents 36 per cent of overall requirements.
OCHA says that contributions in the first quarter of this year have generally been somewhat lower this year than in previous years, except for the case of Haiti.
'Of the 20 appeals, 14 are currently funded below 40% -- with some barely reaching 20 per cent such as the appeals for Yemen, the occupied Palestinian territory, Guatemala and West Africa. This of course, says OCHA, has serious consequences on field operations.
PLEDGING CONFERENCE FOR CAMBODIA TRIBUNAL: This afternoon, the Secretary-General is scheduled to address the pledging conference for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.
BALANCING NEED TO HELP AND STAFF SAFETY IS SOMETIMES A DILEMMA: Responding to a question about the reported pullout of UN workers from a Sudanese state of Jonglei following ethnic violence there, the Spokesperson noted that it is generally difficult to balance the need for UN aid workers to help the people they are assigned to help and the Organization's responsibility to its staff and their safety. "Sometimes it is a dilemma," Nesirky said.
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, SA-1B15
New York, NY 10017
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