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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-06-16
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY FARHAN HAQ
ASSOCIATE SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS MINISTERIAL LEVEL MEETING ON CHILDREN AND ARMED CONFLICT
Security Council this morning is holding a formal meeting at the ministerial level to discuss children and armed conflict.
Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative dealing with
children and armed conflict, discussed the progress made on that issue recently, including the naming and shaming of violators, which she said has persuaded parties to cease this reprehensible behaviour and should deter others from future offences.
Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Atul Khare told the Council what the UN is doing to protect children in the conflict zones where peacekeepers are present, including its deployment of child protection advisers in nine peacekeeping missions. And Hilde Johnson of UNICEF detailed how the Security Councils resolutions on children and armed conflict are making a real difference in childrens lives.
BAN KI-MOON, UZBEK PRESIDENT DISCUSS KYRGYZSTAN CRISIS
During a brief airport stop-over in London on his way back to New York, the Secretary-General spoke by telephone today with President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan to discuss the crisis in Kyrgyzstan and the plight of ethnic Uzbeks. The Secretary-General told the President that he highly appreciated Uzbekistan's constructive efforts in addressing the alarming humanitarian situation in Kyrgyzstan, particularly in opening the border for refugees and providing for their care despite limited resources.
The Secretary-General thanked President Karimov for granting the UN Resident Coordinator in Tashkent access to refugee camps to be able to assess needs. He said the United Nations would mobilize all necessary assistance in close coordination between relevant UN agencies and regional governments. He said it was necessary to provide aid to all affected people in southern Kyrgyzstan and those seeking refugee in Uzbekistan.
The Secretary-General has been in touch with key leaders in the region, and he will consult with key members of the Security Council now that he is back in New York.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that security in Osh
remains fragile while pockets of violence persist around some nearby villages. The International Committee of the Red Cross and human rights organizations have been admitted to some Uzbek-dominated areas in Osh, but access is difficult for others; as well, some retail outlets have opened in Osh and Jalal-Abad, although the number is limited.
OCHA says theres been little change in the situation in the border areas with Uzbekistan, where therere several concentrations of internally displaced ethnic Uzbeks.
Meanwhile, an emergency airlift by the
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to Uzbekistan, carrying aid for tens of thousands of people fleeing the recent violence in Kyrgzystan
began early today with the first two flights landing in Andijan several hours ago.
The two cargo planes brought in 800 lightweight tents, plastic sheeting for emergency shelter, blankets and sleeping mats to meet the growing shelter needs of refugees. According to Uzbek authorities, more than 75,000 refugees have sought safety in Uzbekistan since last Friday.
In close coordination with Uzbek authorities, the tents will be rushed to the countrys east.
Todays flights are the first of six that will deliver more than 240 tonnes of emergency relief items by the end of this week.
The first members of a UNHCR emergency team are in Tashkent and Andijan and are working with the government on planning and distribution of UNHCR assistance.
In addition, UNHCR is preparing a separate airlift to Osh and the deployment of an emergency team to Kyrgyzstan in Osh, UNHCR has opened its warehouse and the initial assistance for 2,000 people is being handed out through partners on the ground.
Asked about comments from Miroslav Jenca that the referendum should be held in Kyrgyzstan as scheduled, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations believes that holding a referendum remains the best option, despite the logistical challenges posed by the displacement of so many people in recent days. He said that the UNs Electoral Affairs Division was in touch with the relevant electoral bodies in Kyrgyzstan to see how arrangements could be put in place so that as many people can vote in the referendum as possible.
U.N. POLITICAL AFFAIRS CHIEF MEETS WITH SRI LANKA PRESIDENT
Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe began a two-day visit to Sri Lanka today as part of the UNs continuing attention to post-war challenges facing the country.
He held meetings in Colombo with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and other senior Government officials, and was scheduled to meet later in the evening with the Leader of the Opposition.
Pascoe also visited areas around Mullaitivu town in the North, close to where the last battles of the conflict were waged in May 2009 and where, today, people who fled their homes during the armed conflict are being resettled with assistance from the Government, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations. He was briefed on progress as well as difficulties in the resettlement process in the District, which is home today to a resettled population of more than 40,000.
TWO DARFUR REBEL LEADERS SURRENDER TO INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has
announced the voluntary surrender of Darfur rebel leaders Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus. Both men are responding to ICC summonses to appear issued under seal in August 2009. The seals were removed today.
They are facing three counts of war crimes in connection with a September 2007 attack on African Union peacekeepers in Haskanita, in North Darfur, in which 12 peacekeepers were killed and 8 were gravely wounded. The two rebel leaders are alleged to have led the assault by a coalition of splinter groups from the Sudanese Liberation Movement-Army (SLA/M), and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).
Meanwhile, the UN/African Union Peacekeeping Mission (UNAMID) warns that an enduring drought in North Darfur could lead to significant food and water shortages. That area has recently been the theatre of massive population displacements due to ongoing fighting between armed groups and government forces across a swath of land stretching from El Taweisha all the way to the Jebel Mara, in South Darfur. The Mission says it will be supplying water to the estimated 10,000 displaced civilians who reached the Zamzam IDP camp in El Fasher, North Darfur.
MISSION IN SUDAN WELCOMES FORMATION OF NEW UNITY GOVERNMENT; PLEDGES FURTHER SUPPORT
The Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) has welcomed the formation of the new national government, which it notes will shoulder the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in the final year of the Interim Period.
The Mission also encouraged the parties to the CPA to facilitate the timely establishment of referenda commissions on Southern Sudan and Abyei. It also pledged continued UN support to the process.
CANTONMENT OF FORMER COMBATANTS BEGINS IN COTE DIVOIRE
The Mission in Cote dIvoire (ONUCI) says that an event marking the start of demobilization and cantonment of 600 former combatants took place yesterday in the northern rebel-held town of Korhogo. The 600 former combatants, who the Mission says will join the national army at a later date, are among a group of
1,200 former fighters expected to disarm and enter cantonment under a process monitored by the UN and other parties.
The event was attended by
Abou Moussa, the Principal Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for Côte d'Ivoire, who pledged further UN support to the process.
DELIVERING AS ONE, CENTERPIECE OF U.N. SYSTEM REFORMS, IS NEARING END OF STUDY PHASE
Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro spoke earlier today at the High-Level Conference on Delivering as One, which is being held in Hanoi, Vietnam. In her remarks, she stressed that Delivering as One is the centrepiece of reforms for system-wide coherence on UN operational activities.
Launched in 2007, Delivering as One is now nearing the end of its phase of exploration and study, she noted.
The outcome of the review will set policy directions for the UN development work for years to come, she said.
After her address to the opening of the Conference, the Deputy Secretary-General held bilateral meetings with the UK minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, Alan Duncan and Cambodian officials.
SECURITY COUNCIL WELCOMES POSITIVE STEPS BY IRAQ IN RETURNING MISSING KUWAITI PERSONS AND PROPERTY: The
Security Council received a briefing on Tuesday afternoon from Gennady Tarasov, the High Coordinator dealing with the return of Kuwaiti and other missing persons and property from Iraq. In a
press statement, Council members appreciated Tarasovs work and welcomed the positive steps taken by the Government of Iraq, while noting the limited progress in clarifying the fate of the Kuwaiti national archives.
BAN KI-MOON CONSULTS WITH WORLD LEADERS TO STRENGTHEN CLIMATE CHANGE AGREEMENT: In response to a question, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General was in touch with a wide range of leaders of developing and other nations to hear their concerns about climate change, so that the agreement reached at Copenhagen last year can be strengthened as nations prepare for the next major climate change meeting in Mexico.
U.N ENVOY, LEBANON PRIME MINISTER DISCUSS LEBANON-SYRIA BORDER ISSUES: The
UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Michael Williams, met with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and discussed with him the notable progress in recent days in Lebanese-Syrian relations. Williams was pleased to hear that President Lebanese Michel Sleiman and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad discussed on Tuesday the delineation and demarcation of the common border and expressed their intent to make progress on this issue. He warmly welcomed progress on such bilateral issues, which are of direct relevance to the implementation of 1701.
MORE THAN 120 MILLION PEOPLE ARE AT RISK OF YELLOW FEVER IN GHANA AND NIGERIA: The UN Children Fund (UNICEF) says that more than 120 million people will remain at risk from yellow fever if planned mass vaccination campaigns are not carried out in Nigeria and Ghana. That data is from the International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Yellow Fever Vaccine Provision. UNICEF also warns that a continuing financial shortfall is threatening the global supply of yellow fever vaccine and could result in the exclusion of the two countries from upcoming campaigns. Over the past three years, campaigns across West Africa have enabled 61 million people to be immunized, protecting them from the risk of devastating yellow fever outbreaks.
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