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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-07-16

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, July 16, 2010

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS SUICIDE BOMBINGS IN IRAN

The

Secretary-General strongly

condemns the suicide bombings in Zahedan, Iran, which have reportedly claimed the lives of scores of people and left many more injured. This senseless act of terrorism at a place of worship makes it all the more reprehensible.

The Secretary-General extends his sincere condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Iran.

Asked whether the perpetrators of the attacks should be added to the list of entities and individuals associated with al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the Spokesperson said that that was a decision for the

Security Council Security Council and its

1267 Sanctions Committee. He added that the Secretary-General hoped the attacks would be investigated.

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONCERNED BY RISING TENSION IN THE MALDIVES

The

Secretary-General is concerned by rising political tension in the Maldives, which culminated in some violent demonstrations earlier this week.

He urges all political parties to restrain those who promote violence and confrontation, and to resolve their differences through dialogue. Political rivalries should not be allowed to jeopardize the significant gains the country has registered in democratic reform.

The Secretary-General also urges the Government and all parties to ensure the rule of law is maintained, and to safeguard the rights and protections enshrined in the constitution.

The Secretary-General recognizes the positive steps taken by the Maldives to advance democracy in recent years and underlines the importance of cooperation and accommodation among the various political actors as an essential ingredient of building democracy. The United Nations stands ready to assist the Maldives.

SECRETARY-GENERAL ATTENDS FIRST MEETING OF MILLENNIUM GOALS ADVOCATES

The

Secretary-General is in Madrid, Spain, today, where he closed the first meeting of the

Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group. He met with many of the Advocates who make up the Group, including Michele Bachelet of Chile, and Graca Machel of South Africa.

The Secretary-General

told the Advocates this morning that people around the world support the

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), more needs to be done to educate and inform them. He said that, at a time of economic uncertainty and fiscal austerity, the Advocates could help send the message that the MDGs go beyond development. He added that they could help to make the

MDG Summit, to be held in September in New York, a turning point.

Earlier this morning, the Secretary-General met separately with the two co-Chairs of the MDG Advocacy Group, Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Over the weekend, he will travel to Geneva, where he will attend the Third World Conference of Speakers of Parliament.

Asked about reports that Prime Minister Zapatero had not wanted President Kagame to be a co-Facilitator of the MDG Advocacy Group, the Spokesperson noted the Secretary-Generals appreciation for the Prime Ministers work in supporting the implementation of the MDGs, as well as Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinoss role in convening todays meeting.

In response to questions about concerns regarding President Kagame, the Spokesperson noted that, in todays meeting between the Secretary-General and President Kagame, they discussed the MDGs and Rwanda's achievements towards achieving the MDGs, especially those on education and gender equality. The Secretary-General also underlined his expectations concerning the work of the MDG Advocacy Group and its first meeting, today in Madrid.

The Secretary-General also noted the upcoming elections in Rwanda and expressed concern about recent incidents causing political tensions, Haq said. He stressed the need to uphold human rights. The Secretary-General encouraged the Rwandan authorities to take immediate action, including a thorough investigation into the latest incidents, and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES IMPORTANCE OF PREVENTIVE DIPLOMACY

The

Security Council began an open debate this morning on preventive diplomacy. The

Deputy Secretary-General, Asha-Rose Migiro, speaking on behalf of the Secretary-General,

told the Council at the outset that there is a pressing need to re-evaluate how we can use our limited resources and capabilities to maximize the impact of preventive action.

She said that, over the past three years, we have sought to strengthen the

Department of Political Affairs so that it is capable of effectively carrying out its lead role in this area. In the last year alone, the United Nations has supported, often in partnership with others, more than twenty peace processes, and responded to many more disputes that did not reach that level.

Migiro said that we have improved our ability to detect warning signs of impending crises, and have at our disposal a growing range of tools and instruments to address them. We must now set our sights on building our capacity for international preventive diplomacy, so that when called upon, we can respond reliably and promptly.

CENTRAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE FUND ALLOCATES $41 MILLION TO UNDER-FUNDED OPERATIONS

The

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator,

John Holmes, today

allocated some $41 million to under-funded humanitarian operations in nine countries across the globe, where people are suffering the effects of hunger, malnutrition, disease, and conflict.

The funds made available today will be granted to United Nations humanitarian agencies and the International Organization for Migration, and through them to partner organizations, including non-governmental organizations, to cover funding gaps in key humanitarian projects in the affected countries. Countries were selected to receive grants based on an analysis of the funding levels of their aid programmes, and the severity of the humanitarian needs.

Humanitarian actors in Chad and the

Democratic Republic of the Congo received the largest individual portions of the allocation, of some $8 million apiece.

SOME 75,000 PEOPLE STILL DISPLACED IN SOUTHERN KYRGYZSTAN

The

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

estimates that, one month after the crisis in southern

Kyrgzstan, there are some 75,000 people who are still displaced, with thousands affected by uncertain security, problems arising from the loss of personal documents, and a shortage of shelter.

The agency says that in the cities of Osh and Jalalabad, the situation is calm, but there are scores of police check-points, and the two cities remain under night-time curfew. This in turn is presenting difficulties for people without personal papers, and there are frequent allegations of police harassment.

The agency and its NGO partners are counselling people on their rights and on procedures for restoring documentation. Theyre also discussing with the authorities ways to enhance the capacity to reissue documents, such as establishing mobile teams to visit affected communities.

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY DEPLORES FORCED RETURNS OF RWANDANS FROM UGANDA

The

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

deplored this weeks forced returns of Rwandan refugees from

Uganda. Ugandan police on Wednesday rounded up some 1700 Rwandans from two refugee camps in southwestern Uganda.

The refugees were asked to assemble at a designated location under the false pretext that they be would be receiving the results of their asylum applications. UNHCR staff present at the camps were ordered to leave the premises.

Police then proceeded to force the Rwandans onto trucks, firing warning shots, when panic began to spread among the crowd. Twenty-five people were wounded in the ensuing melee, including pregnant women. Two Rwandans later died when they jumped out of a moving truck.

While UNHCR was broadly aware of an agreement between

Rwanda and Uganda to return refugees whose asylum applications were denied, it says it had not been informed of the timing of this operation, which it condemned.

NEPAL MAOIST PARTY URGED TO RESPECT RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF LAWYERS AND HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS

The

UN Human Rights Office in Nepal is urging Maoists to respect the rights and the professional freedoms of lawyers and other human rights defenders in the country.

The head of the Human Rights Office in Nepal, Richard Bennett, met today with Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda). He reiterated the UNs strong message that the Maoists must honour the commitments made in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in full cooperation with Nepals justice system, as well as respect the rule of law and uphold commitments to put an end to impunity.

Expressing serious concern on recent news that some lawyers and human rights defenders have been publicly castigated by Maoists, Bennett stressed the importance of lawyers and human rights defenders carrying out their professional work without any fear or hindrance and with confidence that the rule of law will be respected.

U.N. RESIDENT COORDINATOR TO RETURN TO SRI LANKA

In response to previous questions, the Spokesperson said that the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sri Lanka, Neil Buhne, will conclude his visit to New York this week and return to Colombo. It is important to continue UN efforts to assist the people of

Sri Lanka, particularly with regard to reconstruction and rehabilitation in the North.

Obviously, the functioning of UN operations in Sri Lanka will require positive cooperation and Mr. Buhne will also convey the

Secretary-Generals strong expectations for a better treatment of the UN family in Sri Lanka, as well as for progress on the range of commitments covered in the Joint Statement of May 2009 including resettlement of

internally displaced persons, political reconciliation and accountability, Haq said.

Asked why Buhne was returning to Sri Lanka after being recalled last week, Haq noted the changing circumstances in the country, which had allowed UN staff to return to work without the

hindrance that they had faced earlier.

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONTINUES CONTACTS ON FLOTILLA INQUIRY

Asked about the

Secretary-Generals proposal for an international inquiry into the 31 May flotilla incident, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General continues to contact leaders to secure their positive response to his proposal. This week, he recalled, the Secretary-General had spoken with the Israeli Prime Minister and Turkish Foreign Minister.

Asked about the Secretary-Generals report to the

General Assembly on the implementation of the recommendations of the

Goldstone Report, Haq said that

Israel had a deadline of Monday for its reply, after which the Secretary-General was expected to prepare his report for the General Assembly.

BAN KI-MOON MARKS NELSON MANDELA DAY

In a message to mark the first

Nelson Mandela Day, the

Secretary-General marking the day, in which he says that he has been lucky enough to have met Nelson Mandela, and that the Secretary-General was most impressed by his humility.

Mandela, the Secretary-General notes, preferred to talk not about himself but about what other people had done in the struggle for human rights and dignity. That is just one reason why Nelson Mandela is such an inspiration to millions, the Secretary-General says. He was not backed by money or power. As he constantly reminds us, he is an ordinary man. But he has achieved extraordinary things.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS[1]

18-23 July 2010

Sunday, 18 July

The Secretary-General will deliver remarks to the Inter-Parliamentary Union

World Conference of Speakers of Parliament in Geneva.

Monday, 19 July

Tuesday, 20 July

The Security Council will hold a briefing and consultations on the resolution 1907 report (Eritrea sanctions).

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, in partnership with humanitarian organizations, will have a special briefing on the food and malnutrition crisis affecting the entire Sahel region. This will take place at 3:00 p.m. in Conference Room 3 in the North Lawn Building of UN Headquarters.

Wednesday, 21 July

The Security Council will hold an open debate on the Middle East.

The UN Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator for Somalia, Mark Bowden, will be the guest at the Spokespersons Noon Briefing, at the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium. He will also be available for media interviews throughout the week.

Thursday, 22 July

The International Court of Justice will publish its advisory opinion of Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence.

Friday, 23 July

[1]This document is for planning purposes only and is current as of DATE \@ "HH:mm" 13:12 DATE \@ "dddd, dd MMMM, yyyy" Friday, 16 July, 2010.

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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