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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-07-19
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Monday, July 19, 2010
BAN KI-MOON TO CO-CHAIR KABUL CONFERENCE ON AFGHANISTAN
The Secretary-General has traveled to
Afghanistan, where he will co-chair the International Conference on Afghanistan with President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday -- the first international conference on Afghanistan to be held in the country, organized by the Afghan government for the Afghan people.
He will deliver the opening statement for that Conference, in which he will appeal to the Afghan people to come together to achieve peace through reconciliation and build a future based on economic development and mutual cooperation, with full respect for their nations sovereignty. He will deliver a message to the Afghan people to unite in the national interest.
While in Kabul, the Secretary-General will also meet with President Karzai and other senior officials attending the Conference. He will also participate in a joint press conference with President Karzai.
Asked whether NATO and other forces in Afghanistan should talk to the Taliban, the Spokesperson said that reconciliation among the Afghans is indispensable and inevitable.
Nesirky added that insurgents who take part in the reconciliation process need to make sure that they adhere to the Constitution, foreswear violence and lay down their arms.
Asked about the case of Louis Maxwell, the Spokesperson affirmed that UN efforts are ongoing to determine what happened in the death of Maxwell, a UN staff member who died trying to save the lives of his colleagues.
BAN KI-MOON CALLS ON WORLD SPEAKERS OF PARLIAMENT TO ACT ON TODAYS KEY CHALLENGES
In Geneva this morning, the Secretary-General
opened the Third World Conference of Speakers of Parliament. He told the more than 140 gathered speakers that they were the ones who had to act on the great challenges of our times, since they must ratify treaties on climate change, nuclear non-proliferation and economic development, and also fund these commitments. On non-proliferation, he called on them to keep up the pressure for change.
The Secretary-General met with a number of officials on the sidelines of the meeting, including Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Islamic Parliament of Iran. The Secretary-General discussed the Iranian nuclear issue with the Speaker, and stressed the importance of an early resolution to this issue, through dialogue and full compliance with all relevant Security Council resolutions. They also discussed the situation in Iraq, in Afghanistan and in Gaza, as well as combating terrorism and drug trafficking.
Speaking to the press, the Secretary-General was asked about the freeing of a number of Cuban prisoners, which he said is welcome news and encouraging. He said he expects more measures to be taken by the Cuban authorities to achieve reconciliation.
IRAQ: FOOD AID FOR PREGNANT WOMEN, SCHOOLCHILDREN SUSPENDED FOR LACK OF FUNDING
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
says that many of
Iraq's humanitarian needs remain unaddressed six months after the latest humanitarian action plan for that country was launched. So far, only 12 percent of new funding has been received from donors to Iraq for that humanitarian plan so that only $22.3 million was received, out of the required $187.7 million.
As a result, the World Food Programme (WFP) reports that food distributions to 800,000 pregnant and nursing women and malnourished children have had to be suspended. Food distribution to 960,000 school-going children has also been suspended.
Meanwhile, the livelihoods of 500,000 drought-affected people in the Suleymaniyah and Dahuk governorates are threatened, and some have started to become displaced.
ISRAELI INFORMATION ON GOLDSTONE REPORT HAS BEEN RECEIVED
In response to a question, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has received information from Israel that relates to the recommendations of the Goldstone Commission.
Asked about new laws being put forward in Israel, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations wants to see movement in the right direction in Israel, and supports the proximity talks between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders. He said that it is important to avoid any actions that could undermine the proximity talks and the efforts to bring the parties together.
Asked about the inquiry into the 31 May flotilla incident, Nesirky said that the Secretary-General is in frequent contact with the concerned parties, and wants a positive response from them to his proposals for an international inquiry.
CONSULTATIVE FORUM CALLS ON SUDAN TO MAKE OPERATIONAL REFERENDUM COMMISSIONS
The first meeting of the
Sudan Consultative Forum was held over the weekend in Khartoum. The meeting was co‐chaired by the head of UN Peacekeeping, Alain Le Roy, and the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security.
In its final communiqué, the Forum called on the Sudanese parties to urgently work toward an agreement on the outstanding processes of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, including setting in place the structures needed to make fully operational the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission and the Abyei Referendum Commission.
AIDS PROGRAMMES SUFFER FUNDING SHORTAGE, LIMITING THEIR EFFECTIVENESS
Overall support for global AIDS efforts from donor nations flattened during last years global economic crisis. Thats according to a new analysis of 2009 funding levels from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
The study says that last year, the Group of Eight nations, the European Commission and other donor governments provided $7.6 billion for AIDS relief in developing nations slightly down from $7.7 billion disbursed in 2008.
Michel Sidibé, the UNAIDS Executive Director, said, Reductions in investment on AIDS programs are hurting the AIDS response. At a time when we are seeing results in HIV prevention and treatment, we must scale up, not scale down.
Meanwhile, over the weekend, the Secretary-General delivered a video address to the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, in which he warned, Some governments are cutting back on their response to AIDS. This should be a cause for great concern to us all. We must ensure that our recent gains are not reversed.
PEACEKEEPING, FIELD SUPPORT DEPARTMENTS RELEASE NEW DATA ON SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND ABUSE
There were a total of 21 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in field missions in the second quarter of this year, according to the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and Field Support (DFS). In 8 of these cases, the allegations concerned minors.
DPKO and DFS jointly released these statistics earlier today, noting that there were 24 such allegations in the first quarter of 2010, of which ten concerned minors. Overall, the number of allegations during the first half of this year is roughly the same as that of the first half of 2009.
The United Nations employs around 120 staff members in the field dedicated to addressing conduct and discipline in 14
Conduct and Discipline Teams covering 19 peacekeeping and special political missions. They handle more than 1,000 allegations per year for all types of misconduct and for all categories of UN personnel civilian, military and police.
PEACEKEEPING MISSION IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC ENSURES PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS: Asked about the activities of the UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), the Spokesperson noted that, although the UNs peacekeeping departments had stated their preferences for that Missions mandate, its mandate had been revised by the Security Council. He said that the Mission must still ensure that civilians are properly protected and that aid workers can do their job.
MEMBER STATES DECIDE ON N.G.O. PARTICIPATION IN ARMS TREATY MEETINGS: Asked about non-governmental organizations participation in the Arms Trade Treaty meetings in New York, the Spokesperson noted that decisions on NGO participation are taken by Member States. At the same time, he noted the importance of having a wide range of views presented at the meetings.
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, SA-1B15
New York, NY 10017
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