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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-07-27

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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

MARTIN NESIRKY

SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

DARFUR: A.U-U.N. MISSION FINALIZING PREPARATIONS FOR INTERNAL POLITICAL DIALOGUE

The Joint Special Representative of the UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Ibrahim Gambari, briefed the

Security Council in an open meeting this morning on the situation in that region of Sudan.

He said that the Mission is now finalizing its preparations for a process of internal political dialogue in Darfur, to support the Doha peace process. The peace process, he said, has received an important boost with the recent signing of an agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement.

Meanwhile, the Mission is nearing full deployment for its military, police and civilian personnel. However, Gambari also noted with grave concern a sharp increase in criminal acts and attacks against UN and humanitarian personnel.

The Council then held closed consultations on the same subject.

Also on Darfur, the Secretary-Generals latest

report is now available as a document.

U.N. LAUNCHES $96.4 MILLION APPEAL FOR KYRGYZSTAN

The United Nations and humanitarian partners in Kyrgyzstan today

launched a revised Flash Appeal seeking $96.4 million for humanitarian assistance in the southern regions of the country, where last months violence affected some 400,000 people.

The revised Flash Appeal, based on the findings of assessments in areas such as education, food security, agriculture, health, protection, community restoration and shelter, is to help ensure the protection and well-being of the 400,000 people who have been directly affected by the violence. The original appeal for $73 million was launched in early June to mobilize life-saving assistance.

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) today is also

calling on local and central authorities in Kyrgyzstan to improve the situation and the return conditions for some 75,000 remaining internally displaced persons who had been uprooted during the violence.

Meanwhile, UNICEF

said that an estimated 100,000 children had been displaced by the violence. UNICEF has airlifted about 200 metric tonnes of health, nutrition, water, sanitation and education supplies. UNICEF has so far raised 40 per cent of the approximately $11.8 million needed to cover childrens needs.

AFGHANISTAN: U.N. MISSION VOICES DEEP CONCERN FOR CIVILIAN DEATHS IN HELMAND PROVINCE

The UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) is deeply concerned about reports of civilian casualties in Rege, in Helmand Province, on 23 July. It is essential that the current investigations by the International Stabilization Assistance Forces and the Afghan Government are completed in a thorough, transparent and timely manner, and that the findings are made public as soon as possible. UNAMAs human rights office is also gathering information on this matter.

Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Afghanistan, once again highlighted the need for all sides to meet their obligations to protect civilians.

The UN Mission in Afghanistan emphasizes that all parties to an armed conflict have responsibilities under international law to protect civilians and minimize the impact of their actions on the civilian population and civilian objects such as schools and hospitals.

SECRETARY-GENERAL HAS SUBMITTED FOLLOW-UP TO GAZA FACT-FINDING MISSION REPORT TO GENERAL ASSEMBLY

The Secretary-General on Monday submitted to the General Assembly his

second follow-up to the report of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. In it, he notes that he received documents from the Israeli, Palestinian and Swiss Missions, following requests for written information from each of them.

The submissions received from those parties, the Secretary-General says, total approximately 382 pages. For technical reasons, he is unable to issue the documents or his observations at the present time. He will report further as soon as the technical process of translation is completed.

SECRETARY-GENERAL BELIEVES MORE MUST BE DONE TO IMPROVE CONDITIONS IN GAZA

Asked about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General understands and shares the desire of many people around the world to help the people of Gaza. He has consistently expressed his deep concern at unsustainable and unacceptable conditions in Gaza and called for an end to the blockade and the full implementation of Security Council resolution 1860.

While he is pleased that progress has recently been made in easing Israels closure of the Strip, the Secretary-General stresses that much more needs to be done to revive the economy, enable civilian reconstruction, restore exports, and ensure the movement of people in and out of the Strip. The United Nations is at the forefront of efforts to bring these changes about, Nesirky said.

The Secretary-General remains fully committed to ensuring respect by all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law.

He added that the Secretary-General wishes to see Gazans and all Palestinians have normal relations with the outside world, including routine access to and from their territory by land, sea and air. To this end, he believes that all parties should work urgently for a restoration of Palestinian unity and for a two State solution.

Asked about the Secretary-Generals proposal for an international inquiry into the 31 May flotilla incident, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-Generals proposal remains on the table and that he continues to be in touch with Israeli, Turkish and other leaders on it.

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL STRESSES NEED TO IMPROVE MATERNAL HEALTH AND FIGHT MALARIA

On Monday, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro

addressed the gala dinner of the African Union summit in Kampala on the subject of maternal health, the summits main topic. She said that maternal health is a barometer of a nations state of development, and of its future.

She also said that the stigma associated with HIV is still causing many deaths across Africa, even though there is enough medical knowledge to prevent mother-to-child transmission. Of the 430,000 babies expected to be born with HIV this year, 90 per cent will be in Africa. We must prevent this, she urged. What we need is the moral and political will.

Prior to that, the Deputy Secretary-General

spoke at the working session of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance. She told the assembled dignitaries that the United Nations is their partner in the effort to rid Africa of the deadly disease.

The fight against malaria, she stressed, is an integral element of the Secretary-Generals Joint Action Plan for womens and childrens health, which will be finalized for the

Millennium Development Goal summit in September.

U.N. PEACEKEEPING OFFICES WORKING TO ENSURE RELEASE OF CARGO HELD UP BY INDIA

In response to a question, the Spokesperson recalled that a UN-contracted ship carrying surplus Pakistani and Bangladeshi military equipment and Nepalese military vehicles belonging to UN peacekeeping troops, sailed from Monrovia, Liberia on 18 May. The cargo was being returned upon completion of their deployment in the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). All cargo on board had UN markings and was being shipped under the authority of the United Nations.

Upon arrival in India, Nesirky said, the ship was held by the Indian customs authorities, claiming suspicious military cargo.

The Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and of Field Support are working closely with Indian authorities to ensure the release of the cargo and to review the procedures that caused the confusion.

The Spokesperson added that the ship, the Aegean Glory, was scheduled to sail from Liberia and arrive in Pakistan (Karachi), India (Calcutta), and then proceed to Bangladesh (Chittagong).

A unilateral decision to alter the route was taken without consultation with the UN; it therefore arrived in Bangladesh first and then proceeded to India. This resulted in the Pakistani cargo still being on board the ship upon arrival in India, contrary to the original plan.

The situation was apparently further complicated due to inadequate communication between the ship's Captain and the Indian authorities, Nesirky added.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECRETARY-GENERAL ENCOURAGES SUPPORT FOR AFRICAN UNION MISSION IN SOMALIA: Asked about the African Unions decision to increase the troop strength of its mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has consistently said that stability in Somalia is crucial. He has encouraged countries that have sent troops to Somalia and those that propose to deploy them.

APPEAL TO BE FILED IN BERTUCCI CASE: In response to a question on a case concerning former staff member Guido Bertucci, the Spokesperson said that an appeal of a Dispute Tribunal judgment will be filed shortly. Accordingly, he declined further comment.

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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