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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-06-24

United Nations Daily Highlights Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: unnews@un.org

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

BY THE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

SPOKESPERSON MARTIN NESIRKY

U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Thursday, June 24, 2010

SECRETARY-GENERAL NOTES GROWTH OF GLOBAL COMPACT, CALLS FOR INVESTMENT IN DEVELOPING WORLD

The

Secretary-General this morning

addressed the third

Global Compact Leaders Summit, telling the assorted business leaders and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg that the

Global Compact has become the world's largest and most ambitious initiative of its kind during its first ten years. Corporate sustainability is becoming a byword in companies across the world.

He said that, at the G20 Summit meeting this weekend in Toronto, you are likely to hear leaders of the world stress the need for austerity and budget consolidation at a time of crisis. But he said he would argue exactly the opposite: that we can't afford not to invest in the developing world. Global economic growth, he said, requires investment in the developing world.

The Secretary-General also spoke to the press, saying that the goal for the Global Compact is to have 20,000 participants by 2020. At the same time, he noted that in the past two years, we have de-listed more than 1,300 companies for failing to communicate progress in implementing the Compacts principles.

The Secretary-General asserted that the Compact may be a voluntary initiative, but that does not mean it lacks teeth.

SECURITY COUNCIL TOLD THAT TENSIONS PERSIST IN KYRGYZSTAN

The

Secretary-General instructed the

Department of Political Affairs to brief the

Security Council today to express the UNs continuing concerns about Kyrgyzstan, and the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs,

Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, provided that briefing in consultations this morning.

He noted that while the situation in Osh and Jalal-Abad cities has calmed, inter-ethnic tensions and rumours of impending violence persist.

He said that the United Nations is providing technical assistance to the Kyrgyz electoral authorities, who are committed to conducting the 27 June referendum. The United Nations is encouraging every effort to ensure both an inclusive and technically sound referendum, in which internally displaced persons could be able to vote.

Fernandez-Taranco observed the need for measures by regional organizations aimed at preventing a reoccurrence of violence and fostering an environment conducive to reconciliation and rebuilding.

Asked about internally displaced persons whose papers were destroyed, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations was told that the Kyrgyz authorities are trying to help replace papers as quickly as possible, although replacements before 27 June will be difficult.

UNITED NATIONS IS ENCOURAGING KYRGYZ AUTHORITIES TO DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE FOR INCLUSIVE REFERENDUM

Asked about reports that many displaced persons may not be able to vote in the referendum scheduled this weekend, the Spokesperson noted that the United Nations is not observing the elections. It is providing technical advice to the Central Electoral Committee, including on the need to have an inclusive process and technically sound vote.

Nesirky said that the United Nations recognizes the importance of the referendum. It is also keenly aware of the additional challenges in light of the recent violence in southern Kyrgyzstan and the displacement of large numbers of civilians.

He said that voting by displaced persons in Uzbekistan is not provided for. Apart from the logistical challenge it would have entailed to organize this on short notice, it would also have required diplomatic agreements between the Kyrgyz authorities and the Uzbek Government.

The Spokesperson said that the United Nations has been encouraging the Kyrgyz authorities to do everything possible to be inclusive, especially by facilitating the participation of displaced persons.

He said that we understand this is being addressed to a certain extent by establishment of mobile polling stations and also through a decision to allow voters to vote at any polling station, not just the one where they were registered allowing displaced persons to vote so long as their papers are in order.

He added that the situation and environment for the referendum is fluid and the United Nations will continue to follow it closely.

REPORTS OF INCREASE IN RETURN OF KYRGYZ REFUGEES FROM UZBEKISTAN

The

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that public transportation is working in the city of Osh, in

Kyrgyzstan, and both Kyrgyz and Uzbek people are seen in the streets. However, some city districts remain closed.

OCHA says that the Kyrgyz Border Service has reported a further increase in returns of refugees from Uzbekistan, with more than 50,000 returning on Wednesday.

The location of more than 130,000 internally displaced persons of whom 107,144 are in Osh Province and 22,871 in Jalal-Abad province has been confirmed. There are 15 locations where more than 100,000 people are without homes and now accommodated in schools, kindergartens or in the open. Others are living with host families. The overall estimated number of internally displaced persons in Kyrgyzstan remains at 300,000.

In Uzbekistan, the sizeable return of refugees to Kyrgyzstan continues, but there are no confirmed returnee figures from Uzbekistan. Despite the return movement, the Uzbek authorities continue to estimate the number of refugees at 100,000. There are at least 92,000 refugees registered.

Forty-six refugee settlements tented camps or settlements in public buildings - have been set up and are managed by the Uzbek authorities. Allegations are being made about a number of cases of involuntary returns to Kyrgyzstan. These are being verified by UN agencies, in particular the

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The

World Health Organization has

registered several cases of high fever among the refugees remaining in the camps. The cases are under surveillance.

Asked about the supplies available to the displaced people from Kyrgyzstan who are in Uzbekistan, the Spokesperson said that there has been a flow of aid deliveries to the displaced population in both Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. He added that some of the displaced people have been returning from Uzbekistan to Kyrgyzstan.

AT END OF AFGHAN VISIT, SECURITY COUNCIL STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF FREE ELECTIONS

The

Security Council has wrapped up its mission to

Afghanistan, and the head of that mission, Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan of Turkey,

spoke to reporters before the delegation departed from Kabul.

He said that the Council members were briefed on various challenges related to the legislative elections scheduled for 18 September. Free and fair elections are necessary, he said, adding that the Council members welcomed the strong participation of women candidates.

They also emphasized the importance of economic and social development for the future of Afghanistan and welcomed the trend to improved local governance. And the Council members encouraged the Afghan authorities to further their efforts to uphold the rule of law and human rights, particularly womens and children's rights.

U.N. ENVOY: PROCESS OF VETTING FINAL LIST OF CANDIDATES FOR AFGHAN ELECTIONS IS UNSATISFACTORY

The

UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan today

responded to the announcement of the final list of candidates vetted by the

Afghan electoral bodies to stand in the elections. Out of 2,577 candidates, 13 candidates appear to have been excluded for having links to illegal armed groups.

The Secretary-Generals Special Representative,

Staffan de Mistura, said, The process of vetting has not produced a satisfactory result so far. He said that the Vetting Committee could have done a more thorough job, and at this stage, we are disappointed.

The United Nations remains committed to supporting the Independent Election Commission and Electoral Complaints Commission technically and logistically as required over the coming months.

U.N. MISSION RECEIVES REPORTS OF TRIBAL CLASHES IN WEST DARFUR

The

African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) says it has received reports of tribal clashes in

West Darfur. Although the number of casualties has not yet been confirmed, UNAMID says 20 persons were reportedly killed and more than 25 injured. The mission is closely monitoring the situation and calls on both parties to cease hostilities.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan,

Georg Charpentier, says the United Nations and its partners are very concerned at the increasingly insecure environment in Darfur in which the humanitarian community serves the people of Sudan.

The steady deterioration of security conditions, particularly in the past two months, is not only affecting the population but directly targets the humanitarian community. Repeated kidnappings of humanitarian staff and the killing of peacekeepers, as well as vehicle hijackings and banditry, seriously impede overall humanitarian access, according to the statement.

GLOBAL COMMISSION ON HIV AND THE LAW LAUNCHED IN GENEVA

The

UN Development Programme (UNDP), with the support of the

UNAIDS Secretariat,

launched the Global Commission on HIV and the Law in Geneva today.

The Commissions aim is to increase understanding of the impact of the legal environment on national

HIV responses, with a focus on how laws and law enforcement can support, rather than block, effective HIV responses.

The Commission will gather and share evidence about the extent of the impact of law and law enforcement on the lives of people living with HIV and those most vulnerable to HIV and make recommendations on how the law can better assist universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

SPOKESPERSON: ADVISORY PANEL NOT REQUIRED TO ENTER SRI LANKA

Asked how the

Advisory Panel of Experts dealing with

Sri Lanka would be affected by a denial of visas to enter that country, the Spokesperson said that it would be up to the panel to determine how they intend to go about their work. They will decide whether they need to visit Sri Lanka or not.

It is not required to make visits to Sri Lanka that would require the consent of the Government, Nesirky said, adding that the Panel is not a fact-finding or investigative body.

QUARTET HAS ASKED FOR FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE IN GAZA POLICY, USE OF ESTABLISHED CHANNELS TO DELIVER GOODS

Asked about the easing of the entry of humanitarian goods into Gaza, the Spokesperson said that the

Secretary-General is

encouraged by the new approach by the Israeli authorities on access to goods into

Gaza.

He said that the United Nations continues to seek a fundamental change in policy as agreed by the Quartet, so that humanitarian assistance, commercial goods and people are able to flow through functioning open crossings.

Asked about groups trying to bring in aid by boat into Gaza, Nesirky noted that the Quartet, in its recent statement, urged all those wishing to deliver goods to do so through established channels so that their cargo can be inspected and transferred via land crossings into Gaza.

The Quartet emphasized that there is no need for unnecessary confrontations and calls on all parties to act responsibly in meeting the needs of the people of Gaza.

U.N. MISSION IN LIBERIA IS INVESTIGATING TWO SHOOTING INCIDENTS

In response to questions, the Spokesperson confirmed that the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) was investigating two separate shooting incidents.

On 8 June, a Lieutenant from the UNMIL Pakistani military contingent stationed at the Zwedru Airfield in Grand Gedeh County started shooting in the vicinity of and at the neighboring UNMIL Indian formed police unit (FPU) compound. There were no injuries or casualties as a result of the incident. The FPU officers on duty exercised commendable restraint during the incident, and did not return fire. The alleged shooter is in custody and was relieved of all military duties.

The incident is being fully investigated and the military officer will be repatriated on disciplinary grounds and barred from participating in any future United Nations peacekeeping operations. Both Governments have been kept fully informed of actions taken in this matter.

On Tuesday, 22 June, a fatal shooting incident occurred at a water treatment plant near the Pakistani battalion camp in Voinjama, Lofa County, Liberia. The incident involved a Non-Commissioned Officer and a Private belonging to UNMIL's Pakistani battalion 14, and led to the death of the private. The details of the circumstances leading to the shooting are not yet determined and UNMIL has instituted an immediate and full investigation.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

U.N. REFUGEE CHIEF CALLS FOR BETTER REFUGEE PROTECTION IN LEBANON: The

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,

António Guterres, wrapped up a two-day visit to

Lebanon this week by

emphasizing the need to work with the Lebanese authorities to improve refugee protection provisions in the country. In meetings Monday with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Saad Hariri and other senior officials and lawmakers, the High Commissioner expressed understanding for Lebanon's challenges as host to almost half-a-million Palestinian refugees.

CITIZEN AMBASSADORS TO THE UNITED NATIONS CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED: The Department of Public Information has launched the 2010 edition of its Citizen Ambassadors to the United Nations campaign, which seeks to utilize the power of online social media to engage a new generation of world citizens. The theme of the video contest this year is the

Millennium Development Goals, a set of eight internationally-agreed goals designed to bring concrete results by 2015 in the fields of poverty, hunger, disease, maternal and child deaths, education, gender equality and sustainability.

DOCUMENT ON PLEDGES OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE BEING PREPARED: Asked about the importance of nations delivering on their pledges of financial assistance, the Spokesperson said that the

Secretary-General has made clear the importance of having an action plan so that countries deliver on their specific pledges. He said that negotiations are already under way on a document that would contain specific action-oriented points. He also noted the Secretary-Generals recent opinion piece concerning the forthcoming G20 summit.

ANY TERRORIST ATTACK AGAINST CIVILIANS TO BE CONDEMNED: Asked about recent bombings in Turkey, the Spokesperson said that any terrorist attacks or attacks against civilians are to be condemned.

U.N. HEADQUARTERS DAY CARE SERVICE DISCONTINUED DUE TO RENOVATION WORK: Asked about the discontinuance of day care services at the United Nations, the Spokesperson said that this was linked to the renovation of UN Headquarters, which had caused a lack of appropriate space for children.

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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