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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-06-14

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

Monday, June 14, 2010

BAN KI-MOON ALARMED BY KYRGYZSTAN INTER-ETHNIC VIOLENCE

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke by telephone over the weekend with Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, Kanat Saudabayev, who is the Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). They discussed the growing tensions in Kyrgyzstan.

The Secretary-General said he was alarmed by the scale of the clashes, the inter-ethnic nature of the violence, the mounting casualties and the large number of displaced people. The Secretary-General said the United Nations was urgently assessing humanitarian aid needs.

The

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is

preparing to deploy an emergency team and aid to Uzbekistan where thousands of refugees have gone, fleeing violent clashes in Osh and other cities in south Kyrgyzstan.

According to the Uzbek government, more than 75,000 refugees have arrived from Kyrgyzstan since last Friday.

UNHCR has offered its assistance to Uzbek authorities who are already dealing with needs of the displaced and UNHCR reports that the Uzbekistan government has welcomed its humanitarian aid.

In addition, UNHCR is also preparing an airlift from its emergency stockpile in Dubai this aid will cover the immediate humanitarian needs of some 75,000 people.

Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has

voiced her alarm at the escalating violence in southern Kyrgyzstan shes urging local and national authorities to take swift and decisive action to protect citizens, irrespective of their ethnic origin, and curb the violence.

And the UN Childrens Fund, UNICEF, has

expressed deep concern about the situation of children there saying it has received distressing reports, including photographs, of children being displaced, traumatized, separated from family members, and even being killed.

Asked about UN diplomatic activity on Kyrgyzstan, the Spokesperson said that the senior UN official in the region, Miroslav Jenca, was talking to the various parties in Kyrgyzstan about how to resolve the situation peacefully.

SECRETARY-GENERALS PROPOSAL FOR INVESTIGATION INTO 31 MAY INCIDENT REMAINS ON THE TABLE

Asked about the Israeli announcement on their inquiry into the 31 May flotilla incident, the Spokesperson said that a thorough Israeli investigation is important and could fit with the Secretary-General's proposal, which would fully meet the international community's expectation for a credible and impartial investigation.

The Secretary-Generals proposal for an international inquiry remains on the table, Haq said, and he hopes for a positive Israeli response.

He added, in response to further questions, that the Secretary-General believed that an international investigation would meet the criteria set forth in the Security Councils 1 June

Presidential Statement for an investigation that is thorough, prompt, impartial and credible.

At the same time, the Secretary-General has repeatedly stressed the need for an Israeli accounting of the incident.

Asked why the Secretary-General believes the door remains open for Israeli acceptance of an international inquiry, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-Generals contacts on the issue have continued. In discussions with Israeli officials, including the Foreign Minister, the Secretary-Generals proposals have not been rejected.

At the same time, Haq said, with discussions on the initiative continuing, no final proposal has been formally conveyed to the parties.

BAN KI-MOON BEGINS VISIT TO SIERRA LEONE

The Secretary-General arrived in Sierra Leone earlier today from Benin, on the last stop of his second Africa trip this month. In Freetown today, the Secretary-General will visit the Special Court for Sierra Leone and meet President Ernest Bai Koroma. He will also attend a football match between amputees who survived the country's civil war.

In Benin over the weekend, the Secretary-General held extensive talks with President Boni Yayi, covering Benin's forthcoming election, climate change and the Millennium Development Goals. He also met other political leaders.

Among other things, the Secretary-General visited a seaside site which has been particularly badly affected by coastal erosion. The Secretary-General told reporters the scene was both striking and alarming.

Before flying to Freetown on Monday, he made a televised address in Cotonou to the people of Benin, in which he said that next year's presidential and parliamentary elections would be a test for Benin's well-established democratic tradition.

SECURITY COUNCIL IS BRIEFED ON SUDAN;

WILL HOLD INFORMAL INTERACTIVE DIALOGUES ON KOREAN PENINSULA

The

Security Council this morning has been discussing Sudan, including Darfur, in an open meeting, which included briefings from the heads of the two peacekeeping missions there Haile Menkerios and Ibrahim Gambari as well as from Joint UN-African Union Mediator for Darfur, Djibril Bassolé.

Menkerios said that Sudan needs to be encouraged and assisted to expand the democratic space opened by the recent elections and establish a broad-based system of national governance that leads to a more equitable society and durable peace.

Gambari briefed on the recent upsurge in fighting in Darfur, which he said has created very serious hindrances to the effective implementation of

UNAMIDs protection mandate there. And Bassolé provided an update on the Doha negotiations concerning Darfur. Their briefing notes are available at the Spokespersons Office, and former South African President Thabo Mbeki also discussed the Darfur mediation.

This afternoon, Council members have scheduled informal interactive dialogues which are not official Council meetings to discuss the situation on the Korean peninsula.

U.N. POLITICAL AFFAIRS CHIEF TO VISIT SRI LANKA THIS WEEK

The Under-Secretary-General for

Political Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe, will depart New York this evening for a two-day visit to Sri Lanka on 16-17 June, as part of the UNs continuing attention to postwar challenges facing the country.

The visit will focus on issues covered in the joint statement issued by the Secretary-General and President Rajapaksa in May 2009, including political reconciliation, the return and resettlement of internally displaced people, and human rights. Pascoe will meet President Rajapaksa, other senior Government officials, representatives of opposition and minority parties, including Tamil leaders, as well as civil society and media representatives. In addition, he will hold consultations with the Resident Coordinator and the UN County Team in Sri Lanka.

Asked about the advisory panel of experts that is to be formed on Sri Lanka, the Spokesperson said that the decisions on establishing the panel have already been made. The Secretary-General is moving ahead with his panel of experts. The United Nations, Haq said, has been going through a careful process of selection. The Sri Lankan Government has been informed of the Secretary-Generals plan.

U.N. ENVOY STRESSES NEED TO KEEP MOMENTUM OF AFGHANISTAN PEACE JIRGA

Over the weekend, Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for

Afghanistan, gave a press conference to discuss the need to keep up the momentum since the recent Peace Jirga. He added that the aim was for reconciliation, which could only take place through constructive inclusion.

The bottom line, he said, is that the momentum on the Peace Jirga, which was a success, needs to be maintained. And the way to maintain it is to have constant incremental signals that move in the direction of dialogue, leading up to the Kabul conference this summer.

HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF APPOINTS PANEL TO MONITOR ISRAELI,

PALESTINIAN PROBES OF GOLDSTONE REPORT FINDINGS

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay,

announced today the membership of a committee of three independent experts, which was mandated by the Human Rights Council to monitor Israeli and Palestinian investigations into the serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law that were reported by the UN Fact Finding Mission led by Justice Richard Goldstone.

The three experts who have agreed to form the committee are Professor Christian Tomuschat (who is the Chair), Justice Mary McGowan Davis and Mr. Param Cumaraswamy.

U.N. DEVELOPMENT GROUP FULLY COMMITTED TO DELIVERING AS ONE

Speaking as the Chair of the United Nations Development Group in Hanoi today at a conference evaluating the Delivering as One reform initiative, the Administrator of the

UN Development Programme, Helen Clark,

said that the United Nations Development Group is fully committed to responding to calls from Member States for a more coherent, effective, and efficient UN development system. She stressed that such a system would maximize the impact of the UN in supporting developing countries to achieve the

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

For some years now, across the UN's funds, programmes, and specialized agencies, numerous measures have been implemented to improve co-ordination, Clark said. These measures are most advanced in the Delivering as One countries and those which have voluntary adopted this approach. It is important to me as Chair of the UN Development Group that we step up our co-ordination globally.

Helen Clark also met with the President of Vietnam, Mr. Nuguyen Minh Triet, and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Pham Gia Khiem.

UNITED NATIONS INTERESTED IN FINDING AFFORDABLE OFFICE SPACE NEAR ITS NEW YORK HEADQUARTERS

Asked whether a UN complex would be built in Robert Moses Park in New York, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations is at this point not formally involved in the process led by the Host City and the United Nations Development Corporation to pursue plans for the construction of a new building to be occupied by the United Nations on the grounds of Robert Moses Park.

The United Nations is, however, interested in finding a long-term solution for its needs for affordable and consolidated office space in the vicinity of its Headquarters compound.

MISSION IN HAITI BRINGS WORLD CUP TO DISPLACED CIVILIANS

The UN Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has set up two large LED screens at Port-au-Princes main stadium

to allow destitute Haitians to watch the games. The Mission and the Haitian Football Federation will be giving out 10,000 free stadium access tickets for every game. The games

will also air on large-screen TV across 12 camps for the internally displaced and five poor neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince.

Meanwhile, football stars and UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors Didier Drogba and Zinedine Zidane have launched an anti-poverty TV spot urging the world to live up to the challenge of meeting the Millennium Development Goals. The multilingual public service announcement will be broadcast throughout the World Cup in South Africa. The video is also up for viewing on UNDPs

website.

  • **The guest at the Noon Briefing today was Georg Kell, Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact Office, who briefed on the upcoming 2010 Leaders Summit that will take place in New York. He also introduced the Global Compact Annual Review 10th Anniversary Edition.

    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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