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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-06-11

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 FARHAN HAQ

ASSOCIATE SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Friday, June 11, 2010

BAN KI-MOON SAYS "AFRICA IS THE WINNER" AT WORLD CUP OPENING

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is in South Africa today, where he has been attending the FIFA World Cup opening ceremony and the opening match at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg with President Jacob Zuma of South Africa and President Sepp Blatter of FIFA.

The Secretary-General regards this World Cup tournament as a major landmark for the people of Africa, and he was thrilled to be able to experience the exuberance of the opening ceremony and match.

He arrived overnight from Cameroon, where he met with President Paul Biya and

addressed the Parliament, telling them in a speech that we already know who is the winner of the World Cup. As he

told reporters afterward, Africa is the winner. It is a moment of pride for Africa. This is a symbol of achievement for Africa, let alone South Africa themselves.

The Secretary-General will continue his latest tour of Africa tomorrow, when he flies to Benin. He will also be visiting Sierra Leone before returning to New York.

Asked whether the Secretary-General would meet with former President Nelson Mandela, following the death of his great-granddaughter, the Spokesperson said that no meeting was planned and that the Secretary-Generals thoughts were with former President Mandela at this tragic time. The Spokesperson later added that the Secretary-General sent a personal letter to Mr. Mandela as soon as he heard the news.

BAN K-MOON CALLS FOR CALM AFTER RENEWED VIOLENCE REPORTED IN KYRGYZSTAN

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is deeply

concerned about reports of renewed violence and several deaths in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. He calls for calm to be restored and urges all involved to show the utmost restraint to prevent further losses of life.

The Secretary-General reiterates the need to respect the rule of law and to resolve issues peacefully through dialogue. He urges the Interim Government to pay particular attention to inter-ethnic relations in the country and to take measures to ensure the peaceful coexistence of all citizens in Kyrgyzstan.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Miroslav Jenca, was in Osh last Sunday and will continue his efforts to ensure the peace and stability of Kyrgyzstan.

SECURITY COUNCIL TO HEAR ON I.C.C. INVESTIGATIONS IN DARFUR

This afternoon at 3:00 p.m., the

Security Council will hold an open meeting, followed by a closed meeting, to discuss the

Secretary-Generals recent reports on

Sudan.

Luis Moreno Ocampo, the Prosecutor of the

International Criminal Court, will brief Council members on the status of his investigation into the situation in

Darfur.

After that, the Council will hold consultations on the situation between Djibouti and Eritrea. The Secretary-General issued a statement earlier this week on the agreement reached between those two countries.

U.N. ENVOY IN AFGHANISTAN COMPLETES VISIT TO HEART PROVINCE

The

Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Afghanistan,

Staffan de Mistura, today concluded a one and half day visit in the province of Herat, in the west of

Afghanistan.

He

said that he looked forward to increasingly see the capacity and reach of the Government of Afghanistan meet the demands of its people, improving their daily lives and assuming ownership of their own future.

He met officials in the province, and also paid respect to the Islamic tradition of Afghanistan by visiting some of the symbols of Islamic culture reconstructed with the support of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture: the Citadel and blue mosque in the centre of Herat city.

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY SEEKS FURTHER INFORMATION ON SOMALI ASYLUM-SEEKER BOAT SINKING

The

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was saddened to learn this week of the deaths of nine

Somali asylum-seekers off the coast of Mozambique on 30 May. They were part of a larger group of 77 Somali nationals trying to reach Mozambique by boat 41 of whom were forced into the water.

The incident occurred off the coast of northeastern Mozambique. UNHCR has sent a team to the area to seek further information.

UNHCR warns that an increasing numbers of

Somalis are fleeing violence at home by sea. Since January of this year, close to 2,000 Somali men have arrived by boat in northeastern Mozambique.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO HOLD HEARINGS ON MDGs AHEAD OF SEPTEMBER SUMMIT

On Monday and Tuesday, the

General Assembly is holding informal interactive hearings on the

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with representatives of civil society and the private sector. The special two-day session is part of the official preparatory process for the

September Summit on the MDGs.

The speakers representing NGOs, business and local authorities will present their views on how to accelerate progress on the MDGs and also comment on the draft outcome document for the Summit.

CLOSE TO $15 MILLION SOUGHT TO HELP WITH GUATEMALA STORM AFTERMATH

The

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), along with the Government of Guatemala and non-governmental organization partners today issued an appeal for humanitarian assistance to survivors of Tropical Storm Agatha.

The UN system and its partners are seeking close to $15 million for six months to provide aid such as food, health care and supplies, shelter, water and sanitation, agricultural assistance, early recovery and education. A grant from the Central Emergency Response Fund is currently being processed.

Tropical Storm Agatha, the first tropical storm of the 2010 Pacific hurricane season, made landfall on the Pacific coast of Guatemala on 29 May with more than 426 millimeters of rain in a short period of time affecting 21 of the 22 departments of the country, the heaviest rain since 1948.

Almost two hundred people have died, several hundred are injured or missing and almost 100,000 are living in shelters. Numerous bridges and roads were severely damaged, leaving many affected communities isolated.

UN HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF PRAISES COLOMBIAN COURT DECISION ON ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES

The

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,

Navi Pillay, on Friday welcomed a historic decision to sentence a senior Colombian army officer for human rights violations in a case of enforced disappearances in the aftermath of the 1985 hostage-taking at the Palace of Justice in Bogotá.

I commend the Colombian judiciary for its decision, which is an important step in the fight against impunity, and urge the Colombian Government to support and respect the decision. I also urge the Government to take all necessary steps to continue ensuring the security of Judge María Stella Jara, who is facing numerous threats, Pillay said.

On Wednesday, Judge Jara sentenced Colonel Luis Alfonso Plazas Vega to 30 years in prison for the disappearance of 11 people in November 1985, after Colombian military forces stormed the Supreme Court building where members of the M-19 guerrilla group were holding hundreds of hostages. Over 100 people, including more than 60 civilians, died during the military intervention.

The High Commissioner emphasized that, under international human rights law, no exceptional circumstances whatsoever including a state of war, or threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency may be invoked as justification for enforced disappearance.

BONN CLIMATE TALKS MAKE PROGRESS ON FLESHING OUT SPECIFICS OF GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE REGIME

Two weeks of Bonn UN Climate Change Talks have made important progress towards concluding what was left incomplete at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in 2009,

according to the

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The outcome is set to be presented at the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancún (COP 16) at the end of this year.

A big step forward is now possible at Cancún, in the form of a full package of operational measures that will allow countries to take faster, stronger action across all areas of climate change, said

Yvo de Boer, the UNFCCCs Executive Secretary.

Progress was made at the meeting in fleshing out the specifics of how a climate regime can work in practice. The Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention undertook detailed discussions on reducing greenhouse gases, adapting to the inevitable effects of climate change, the transfer of clean technology, reducing emissions from deforestation and capacity building, along with finance and institutional arrangements.

The chair of the negotiating group tasked to develop a long-term response to climate change tabled a text that seeks to address the wider interests of all Parties, and was requested by Parties to compile a revised version by the next negotiating session in August.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

UNITED NATIONS IN CONTACT WITH PARTIES ON SHAPE OF FLOTILLA INQUIRY: Asked about discussions concerning an inquiry into the 31 May flotilla incident, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations continued to be in touch with various parties about the shape of that inquiry, noting recent discussions between

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs

B. Lynn Pascoe and Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman. Haq reiterated that the

Secretary-General believes that credible international involvement is vital for any inquiry to be in line with the request made in the

Security Councils recent

Presidential Statement.

NO FORMAL NOTIFICATION RECEIVED ON CHANGE IN IRANS NUCLEAR COOPERATION: Asked about reports that Iran might modify its cooperation with the

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) the Spokesperson said that the IAEA had not commented and had not received any formal notification of a change. He recalled that, in his recent

statement, the

Secretary-General once more emphasized the need for Iran to cooperate with the IAEA and comply with the

Security Councils resolutions.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS[1]

Saturday, 12 June

The Secretary-General will leave Johannesburg, South Africa, for Cotonou, Benin.

Monday, 14 June

The Secretary-General will leave Cotonou, Benin, for Freetown, Sierra Leone.

The UN Security Council is meeting on Sudan, UNFICYP and Iraq/Kuwait.

The Administrator of the UN Development Programme, Helen Clark, will take part in a high-level meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, to review progress of the Delivering as One initiative in all eight pilot countries.

On Monday and Tuesday, the General Assembly is holding informal interactive hearings on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with representatives of civil society and the private sector. The special two-day session is part of the official preparatory process for the September Summit on the MDGs. The speakers representing NGOs, business and local authorities will present their views on how to accelerate progress on the MDGs and also comment on the draft outcome document for the Summit.

At 10:15 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium at UN Headquarters, there will be a press conference by the NGO "Watchlist" on Children and Armed Conflict. Participants include the Director of Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Eva Smets, and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy.

At 11:00 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium at UN Headquarters, there will be a press conference by the Swiss Mission on the launch of the Small Arms Survey Yearbook 2010: Gangs, Groups, and Guns. Participants include Ambassador Jurg Lauber, Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, Switzerland; Mr. Eric Berman, Managing Director of the Small Arms Survey (Moderator); and Dr. Jennifer Hazen, Senior Reserarcher of the Small Arms Survey.

At 12:00 p.m, the Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact Office, Georg Kell, will be the guest at the Spokespersons Noon Briefing and will speak about the upcoming 2010 Leaders Summit in New York City. He will also introduce the Global Compact Annual Review 10th Anniversary Edition.

The Deputy Secretary-General will be on official travel to Hanoi (14-16 June), where she will attend the high-level segment of the High-level Tripartite Conference on "Delivering as One: Lessons from Country-led Evaluations and Way Forward". The Conference will provide an opportunity to review achievements and challenges related to the Delivering as One approach. She will also have bilateral meetings with Ministers who will be participating in the Conference.

Tuesday, 15 June

The Secretary-General will leave Freetown, Sierra Leone, for New York.

The UN Security Council is meeting on the Middle East.

Ahead of the Thursday launch of the UN Development Programmes (UNDP) What Will It Take to Achieve The Millennium Development Goals? An International Assessment, UNDP will hold an embargoed briefing and breakfast discussion on the report. It will be presented by UNDPs Director of Policy and Assistant Secretary-General Olav Kjorven at 9:30 a.m. at the UNDP FF building, at 304 E 45th Street, New York, NY. Based on a review of 50 country studies, this report presents evidence of what has worked to achieve progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and outlines the steps needed to achieve the MDGs by 2015.

Wednesday, 16 June

The Secretary-General will arrive in New York.

The UN Security Council is holding an open debate on children and armed conflict, at which Mexicos Secretary of Foreign Relations, Amb. Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, will preside. At 11:30 a.m., she plans to appear at the stakeout alongside the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, to make some remarks to the press on this issue.

At 12:00 p.m., the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, and the Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, Ms. Hilde Johnson, will be the guests at the Spokespersons Noon Briefing and will speak about the recent release of Nepalese girls by Maoists.

Thursday, 17 June

The Administrator of the UN Development Programme, Helen Clark, will be the guest at the Spokespersons Noon Briefing, where she will launch What Will It Take to Achieve The Millennium Development Goals? An International Assessment. Based on a review of 50 country studies, this report presents evidence of what has worked to achieve progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and outlines the steps needed to achieve the MDGs by 2015.

The Deputy Secretary-General will be on official travel to Bangkok (17-18 June), where she will chair the meeting of the Regional Coordination Mechanism in the Asia Pacific Region. The meeting will address, among other things, coherent UN system support for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), coping with climate change and the impact of financial and economic crises. She will pay a courtesy visit to Thailands Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, and hold a townhall meeting with ESCAP staff to discuss the Secretary-Generals priorities including the MDGs.

Friday, 18 June

The UN Security Council is holding a debate on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

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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