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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-07-23
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Friday, July 23, 2010
SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS WORDS MUST BE FOLLOWED WITH DEEDS AFTER KABUL CONFERENCE
The Secretary-General briefed the
Security Council this morning in closed consultations to discuss his visit to Afghanistan earlier this week, in which he participated in the
Kabul Conference that took place on Tuesday. That meeting, he said, marked the official launch of the Kabul Process, which will see a transition to greater Afghan responsibility and ownership, in both security and civilian areas.
We know this process will be long and challenging, the Secretary-General told the Council. The Conference took important decisions, which will help get the transition process off to a good start.
The Secretary-General said that he was encouraged by the outcome of the conference. But he added that words must be followed up with deeds by the Afghan authorities and by the international community. We can only move from vision to action with greater resolve and more goodwill and hard work, he asserted.
The Council President, Ambassador Joy Ogwu of Nigeria, said in a press statement after consultation ended that the members of the Security Council welcomed the Kabul Conference communiqué, which recognized the conference as an important milestone in the Kabul process. Council members welcomed the commitments made by the Afghan Government and looked forward to their timely implementation.
Council members also acknowledged the intention of the Afghan Government to engage with Council members and the international community in a transparent process of de-listing individuals from the Consolidated List under Resolution 1267. They expressed their support for the leadership shown by Staffan de Mistura and the staff of the UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA).
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL APPOINTS MEMBERS OF FACT-FINDING MISSION LOOKING INTO GAZA FLOTILLA INCIDENT
The President of the United Nations
Human Rights Council has appointed three pre-eminent experts to an independent international fact-finding mission to investigate violations of international law in relation to the 31 May flotilla incident. The experts are: Judge Karl T. Hudson-Phillips of Trinidad and Tobago, Sir Desmond de Silva of the United Kingdom, and Mary Shanthi Dairiam of Malaysia.
The establishment of this independent international fact-finding mission was decided on 2 June 2010 by the Human Rights Council, by resolution 14/1. The Council had previously held an urgent debate on the raid on the Flotilla by Israeli Defense Forces.
The experts will now define their plan of action and make contact with all relevant parties prior to traveling to the region. They are expected to report on their findings to the Human Rights Council at its fifteenth session this September.
Asked whether this panel would be in place of the Secretary-Generals proposed inquiry on the flotilla incident, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General hopes that the Human Rights Council fact-finding mission will enjoy full cooperation from all concerned so that it can make a positive contribution.
At the same time, Nesirky said, the Secretary-Generals discussions continue with all relevant parties on his proposal for an international panel. His proposal is still on the table.
Asked about the Secretary-Generals reaction to reports of further flotillas coming to Gaza, from Lebanon and elsewhere, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General has repeatedly said that it is important, particularly as proximity talks proceed, to avoid provocations.
Nesirky said that there are established routes for needed humanitarian supplies to enter Gaza by land, and the Secretary-General has made clear the preference to use those routes, so that aid can go to the people who need it.
He added that, although the United Nations believes that Israel has taken a good first step by shifting its policy to allow more aid into Gaza, much more needs to be done, and it is vital that more goods be allowed to enter Gaza.
PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS NEEDS TO BE A PRIORITY IN EASTERN D.R. CONGO
The head of the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They said they hoped that more people displaced by years of conflict in the eastern region of the country would soon find the security they need to return to their homes and re-start farming their land.
Josette Sheeran and António Guterres
said that, for this to happen, protection needed to be both a national and international priority.
WFP and UNHCR are supporting populations that have been forced from their land and villages by fighting, as well as preparing them for a better future if peace and stability endures.
U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY ALARMED AT TREATMENT OF UPROOTED SOMALIS
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is alarmed that the treatment of uprooted Somali civilians has deteriorated, both inside Somalia and in the surrounding region. Against the background of recent terrorist attacks, the Agency cites growing numbers of incidents of xenophobia, round-ups and deportations of displaced Somalis.
UNHCR says it is receiving frequent reports of verbal and physical harassment in communities, as well as arrests, arbitrary detention, extortion and even push-backs of Somali refugees.
It is particularly worried by the action by the local authorities of Somalia's Puntland region in pushing back more than 900 internally displaced people (IDPs) to conflict-stricken central Somalia this past Tuesday and Wednesday.
SLOW RETURNS OF DISPLACED AS SITUATION STILL VOLATILE IN NORTHERN YEMEN
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reports that the situation in northern Yemen remains volatile, more than five months into a ceasefire between the Yemeni Government and Al-Houthi forces.
The Agency estimates that, so far, only around 14,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) have returned to their areas of origin out of Yemen's displaced population of more than 324,000. Many fear retaliation or have no place to return to due to the destruction of houses and infrastructure.
SECRETARY-GENERAL WILL FORWARD WORLD COURTS ADVISORY OPINION ON KOSOVO TO GENERAL ASSEMBLY
In response to a question, the Spokesperson recalled that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has delivered its
advisory opinion on the question Is the unilateral declaration of independence by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government of Kosovo in accordance with international law?
The Secretary-General will be forwarding the advisory opinion to the General Assembly, which had requested the Court's advice and which will determine how to proceed on this matter.
STABILITY ON KOREAN PENINSULA IS CRUCIAL: The Spokesperson, in response to questions, said that the Secretary-General was aware of recent remarks from the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) and reiterated that stability in that region is crucial. He stressed the importance of avoiding any provocative actions, including comments that could escalate tensions.
U.N. CONTINUES TO CALL FOR CREDIBLE ELECTIONS IN MYANMAR: Asked about the work being done by the UN good offices mandate for Myanmar, the Spokesperson said that such work is continuing, and he noted that the United Nations continues to call for the forthcoming elections in Myanmar to be credible.
NEW INTERNAL OVERSIGHT HEAD TO BE NAMED: Asked about a replacement for departed Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) head Inga-Britt Ahlenius, the Spokesperson said that a successor was to be named in the coming days.
NO APPOINTMENT TO ANNOUNCE FOR FORMER AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: Asked whether former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd would be named to a UN post, the Spokesperson said he had no announcement to make concerning any such appointment.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
24-30 July 2010
Sunday, 25 July
Starting today and until 27 July, the Deputy Secretary-General will be in Kampala, Uganda for the 15th ordinary session of the Assembly of the African Union.
Monday, 26 July
In New York, the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries will hold its 10th session meeting until Friday.
Tuesday, 27 July
Today, the Security Council will hear a briefing and then hold consultations on the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).
The twelfth round of the Geneva International Discussions will take place in Geneva.
Wednesday, 28 July
There are no major events scheduled for today.
Thursday, 29 July
This morning, the Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution on UNAMID. It will then hold consultations on the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS).
Friday, 30 July
At 12:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, Susana Malcorra,
Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Field Support, will be the guest at the Noon Briefing.
This document is for planning purposes only and is current as of DATE \@ "HH:mm" 13:04 DATE \@ "dddd, dd MMMM, yyyy" Friday, 23 July, 2010.
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, SA-1B15
New York, NY 10017
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