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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-06-08

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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 FARHAN HAQ

ASSOCIATE SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

BAN KI-MOON MEETS WITH SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT, DISCUSSES SPORTS AND MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

The Secretary-General has arrived in South Africa, at the start of his second trip to the continent this month. He met President Jacob Zuma of South Africa for bilateral talks.

He then joined President Zuma and other dignitaries at a Sports for Peace Gala Dinner. He made remarks there, in which he highlighted the unifying power of sport and underscore the importance of the

Millennium Development Goals.

Very early on Wednesday morning, the Secretary-General will fly to Bujumbura for an official visit to Burundi. He will meet the President, Pierre Nkurunziza, and other officials. He will also meet members of the UN mission,

BINUB, and other UN staff, as well as visit a Burundian battalion that serves with AMISOM, the African Union mission in Somalia. He will then travel on to Cameroon late that evening.

SECRETARY-GENERAL STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF INTERNATIONAL INVOLVEMENT IN PROBE INTO 31 MAY INCIDENT

In response to questions about reports that Israel may reject any international investigation into the 31 May incident involving the flotilla, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations has not yet received an official response from Israel.

He underscored the Secretary-General's considered view that credible international involvement is crucial to a prompt, credible, impartial and transparent investigation, as called for in the Security Council's

Presidential Statement of 1 June.

The Secretary-General understands that Israel is still considering how and if to bring an international element into the investigative process.

Asked about the advice the Secretary-General had received from the Office for Legal Affairs (OLA) regarding the legality of the Israeli blockade of Gaza, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General routinely seeks the advice of his Legal Counsel on matters of pressing international concern. That advice is an internal matter between the Secretary-General and his Legal Counsel.

LIBYA: REFUGEE AGENCY IN TALKS WITH GOVERNMENT OVER ORDER TO CEASE OPERATIONS

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has received instructions by the Libyan Government to cease its activities in Libya and close down all its offices in the country.

UNHCR has said that it very much regrets this decision. UNHCR has been doing major work in Libya to protect, assist and find durable solutions for the refugees and asylum seekers present in the country.

The Agency is still trying to negotiate its presence in Libya and remains hopeful that a positive solution could be found. UNHCR is the only existing asylum system in Libya and this move would leave a huge vacuum for the thousands of refugees and asylum seekers already present in the country and for those who continue to arrive every week.

Asked about the Secretariats response to the Libyan action, the Spokesperson said that the Secretariat is pursuing the matter with the Libyan authorities. He emphasized the value of UNHCRs work in the country.

SECURITY COUNCIL MEETS ON NON-PROLIFERATION, DISCUSSED DRAFT RESOLUTION ON IRAN

The

Security Council this morning is holding consultations on non-proliferation, to discuss matters concerning a draft resolution on Iran.

Council members also discussed the Iran draft resolution on Monday afternoon, in consultations.

SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS NEW HEAD OF MISSION IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC AND CHAD

The Secretary-General has appointed Youssef Mahmoud of Tunisia as his Special Representative for the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), effective 1 June 2010. Mahmoud will succeed Victor da Silva Angelo who served as Special Representative until the end of March 2010.

Before his arrival in Chad, Mahmoud served for three years as Executive Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB) and immediately prior to that as the Secretary-Generals Deputy Special Representative for the peacekeeping mission that preceded BINUB.

SEARCH BEGINS FOR CANDIDATES TO LEAD COMMISSION AGAINST IMPUNITY IN GUATEMALA

A

statement issued Monday afternoon following Carlos Castresanas announcement that he will be leaving the Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) said that the Secretary-General intends to proceed with the appointment of a qualified replacement who can build on the progress achieved to date and lead the Commission through the remainder of its mandate.

The Secretary-General expressed his hope that critical policy recommendations of CICIG will be implemented soon, and that the Guatemalan Government ensures that key positions in the justice sector are filled with qualified candidates.

HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF URGES KENYA TO SET UP SPECIAL TRIBUNAL FOR 2007 POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay,

has urged the Government of Kenya to try once again to establish a Special Tribunal to fight against the current almost total lack of accountability for the terrible events that took place in the wake of the December 2007 elections.

Pillay made the comments to the press at the end of a three-day visit to Kenya. She added that the involvement of the

International Criminal Court in the investigations is limited, as it would only be able to address a small number of high-profile cases of people suspected of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide.

BAN KI-MOON URGES GOVERNMENTS, CITIZENS TO HELP ENSURE HEALTH OF OCEANS

Today is World Oceans Day. In a

message to mark the event, the Secretary-General calls upon governments and citizens around the world to acknowledge the enormous value of the worlds oceans to humanity and to do their part in ensuring their health and vitality.

The Secretary-General says that oceans are integral to sustainable development and an important frontier for research. If we are to fully benefit from what they have to offer, we must address the damaging impacts of human activities, such as over-exploitation of resources, climate change, pollution and piracy.

World Oceans Day is being marked with several activities at United Nations Headquarters. This afternoon, at 3:00 p.m. in North Lawn Building Conference Room 1, there will be a roundtable discussion on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 15 years after its entry into force. And this evening, at 6:00 p.m. in the General Assembly Hall, there will be a screening of the Disney nature feature Oceans.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SENIOR U.N. OFFICIAL ATTENDING WATER FOR LIFE REVIEW: The Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Sha Zukang, is in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, where he is participating in the High-level Conference on the Mid-term Review of the Implementation of the International Decade, "Water for Life", 2005-2015. As head of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs which serves as Secretariat for UN-Water and UN-Energy Sha has called for greater cooperation among all stakeholders to address disparities in water access, and to help implement the Water for Life Decade. He is also delivering the message of the Secretary-General.

U.N HAS NO PRESENCE AT CHINA/DPRK BORDER: In response to a question, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations was aware of reports of violence at the border between China and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, but added that there was no UN presence at the border to confirm the reports.

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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