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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-07-15

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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

Thursday, July 15, 2010

SECRETARY-GENERAL LEAVES FOR MILLENNIUM GOALS MEETING IN MADRID

The

Secretary-General is leaving tonight for Madrid, Spain, where he will attend the first meeting of the

Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group this Friday.

The Secretary-General will meet with the eminent personalities that make up this Group. He is expected to tell them that they are there to help translate the rhetoric of good intentions into results. He will also stress the need to identify strategic opportunities and build awareness in the fight against poverty and in reaching the

Millennium Development Goals.

Asked about a proposal before the General Assembly to treat clean water and sanitation as a human right, the Spokesperson noted the importance that the Secretary-General attaches to improving access to water and sanitation, which is one of the key Millennium Development Goals that he will be discussing at the Friday meeting of the MDG Advocacy Group. At the same time, it is up to Member States to decide whether to determine that access to clean water and sanitation is a human right.

RWANDA HAS SHOWN OUTSTANDING COMMITMENT TO MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Asked about the selection of Rwandan President Paul Kagame as one of the co-chairs of the

Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group, the Spokesperson said that committed political leadership from both the North and the South is essential to build support for the global partnership embodied in the

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Rwanda, he said, has displayed extraordinary commitment to the MDGs and is among the few countries in Africa that have made the most progress towards the Goals. There have been commendable declines in both child and maternal mortality. The country has also made remarkable progress in reducing the number of reported malaria cases and deaths and has the highest proportion of women parliamentarians in the world. Rwanda's commitment to the MDGs has been outstanding.

Asked about allegations that the Government of Rwanda was linked to a recent murder, the Spokesperson recalled that the Secretary-General is against all violations of human rights and strongly condemns all such violations of human rights. He added that President Kagame is the Head of State of Rwanda, and it is not for the Secretary-General to prejudge the outcome of any proceedings or accusations initiated against him.

SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFED ON SITUATION IN GUINEA-BISSAU

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Guinea-Bissau,

Joseph Mutaboba, briefed the

Security Council this morning in an open meeting on the situation in that country.

In his remarks, Mutaboba said that recent developments in the political and security areas have underlined the extreme fragility of the peacebuilding process in Guinea-Bissau, and its vulnerability to reversals. Mutaboba added that, while these and other challenges are significant, they are not insurmountable if addressed without delay.

Following the open meeting, Council members continued their discussions on Guinea-Bissau in closed consultations.

MORE PEOPLE DISPLACED BY FIGHTING IN EASTERN D.R. CONGO

In the

Democratic Republic of the Congo, the

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that more people have been displaced in the territory of Beni, in the extreme north of the North Kivu province. This displacement is a result of armed confrontations between the national Army and the Ugandan armed opposition group, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

OCHA adds that, although relatively low in number when compared to the to the countrys estimated 1.85 million

internally displaced persons (IDPs), this wave of displacement is significant because it is caused by the activities of a group the ADF that was nearly dormant over the last four years.

So far, nearly 38,000 IDPs have been registered in the village of Oicha. The inter-agency Rapid Response to Movements of Population mechanism is assessing needs in order to provide assistance.

U.N. COMMITTEE TO RECEIVE NAMES OF PEOPLE REQUESTED FOR DE-LISTING FROM SECURITY COUNCIL SANCTIONS

Asked about efforts by the Afghan Government to remove the names of some Taliban officials from the list of Taliban individuals placed under UN sanctions, the Spokesperson said that removing names from the sanctions list is a matter for the

Security Council and its

Sanctions Committee dealing with Resolution 1267.

Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-Generals

Special Representative for Afghanistan, confirmed this week that the names of ten people whom the Government of Afghanistan would want to be de-listed are on their way to the Security Council, by a deadline that was extended to 31 July.

Both the 1267 Sanctions Committee team and the Security Council visited

Afghanistan after the Consultative Peace Jirga, and helped to achieve progress on this process, Haq added.

SECRETARY-GENERAL HAS SPOKEN TO ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER, TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER IN RECENT DAYS

The Spokesperson, in response to a question about the

Secretary-Generals proposal for an international inquiry into the flotilla incident last month, said that the Secretary-General is continuing his high-level contacts on the issue.

Earlier today, Haq said, the Secretary-General had spoken by phone with Ahmet Davuto&#287;lu, the Foreign Minister of Turkey, and he had also spoken by phone in recent days with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Asked about the

Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General continues to support those talks as a valuable process that are to lead ultimately to direct talks, and that he continues his efforts, including within the Quartet, to encourage that process.

Asked about responses being received concerning the

Goldstone report, Haq said that Israel has a deadline until next Monday to reply on its response; replies from the Palestinian Authority and Switzerland have already been received. Once all replies have been received, it is expected that the Secretary-General will submit a report to the General Assembly on the implementation of the Goldstone Reports recommendations.

Asked about a Libyan ship that was prevented from entering Gaza, the Spokesperson noted that the United Nations is continuing its efforts to ensure that all humanitarian aid intended for Gaza can get there.

U.N.D.P. CHIEF: AFRICA PART OF THE SOLUTION TO GLOBAL ECONOMIC RECOVERY

Speaking in Accra today, the Administrator of the

UN Development Programme,

Helen Clark, said that Africas economic prospects are encouraging, citing the International Monetary Funds recent economic outlook, which projects that Sub-Saharan Africa will be the second-fastest growing region in the world this year and next.

As an important contributor to the global economy, Africa is not part of the problem. Africa is part of the solution, Clark said.

She warned that while robust growth is required to meet the

Millennium Development Goals, this alone will not be enough.

Clark is wrapping up a three-day official visit to Ghana and attending the annual meeting of all UN Resident Coordinators in Africa. She will meet the President of Ghana, John Evans Atta Mills, later today.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT ORDERS RELEASE OF CONGOLESE MILITIA LEADER: Following an earlier

decision imposing an unconditional stay on the proceedings of the case against Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga, a trial chamber of the

International Criminal Court (ICC) today

ordered the release of the accused. According to the judges, an accused cannot be held in preventative custody on a speculative basis.

UNITED NATIONS TO MARK FIRST EVER NELSON MANDELA DAY: This week, the United Nations will commemorate the first

Nelson Mandela International Day, designated as 18 July, with various activities planned at UN Headquarters and throughout the world. These include a screening at UN Headquarters of the movie Mandela: Son of Africa/Father of the Nation on Thursday. On Friday, also at UN Headquarters, there will be an informal session of the

General Assembly in honour of Nelson Mandela and the opening of photo exhibit Nelson Mandela: Man of the People.

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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