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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-07-28

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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

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

BAN KI-MOON TO VISIT HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI, ATTEND PEACE MEMORIAL CEREMONY

The Secretary-General is planning to visit Japan next week.

In Tokyo, his first stop, the Secretary-General plans to hold meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada.

He is then scheduled to visit Nagasaki and Hiroshima. In Hiroshima, he plans to attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony, and he will be the first UN Secretary-General to attend the ceremony. In both cities, the Secretary-General will visit memorials to Korean atomic bomb victims.

The Secretary-General hopes that his visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki will draw attention to the urgent need to achieve global nuclear disarmament.

While in Japan, he will also meet with UN Goodwill Ambassadors in the country, Japanese business leaders, academic leaders and students.

Asked whether the Secretary-General would travel to other countries, the Spokesperson said that the trip would be to Japan and back to New York.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY APPROVES SECRETARY-GENERALS CHOICE TO LEAD INTERNAL WATCHDOG

The Secretary-General welcomes todays action by the General Assembly to quickly approve his nominee for Under-Secretary-General for the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), Carman Lapointe-Young of Canada.

Carman Lapointe-Young possesses the breadth and depth of experience and expertise required for this demanding position. Since February 2009, she has been the director of the Office of Audit and Oversight at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). From 2004 to 2009, she was the Auditor General of the World Bank Group. Transparency and accountability are essential to the work of the Organization, and the Office of Internal Oversight is critical to advancing this effort. That is why the Secretary-General acted as quickly as possible to propose an experienced, high-profile and able successor to this important post.

The new chief will be expected to build up the OIOS team, filling vacancies and taking on responsibilities of the department that in recent years have unfortunately gone unmet. The staff of OIOS have been working under difficult circumstances. We are all committed to taking prompt action that will help the office carry out its vital work.

The Secretary-General and the senior management team will continue to put the highest priority on strengthening the United Nations from within a stronger UN for a better world.

Asked about the search for an OIOS chief, and why a candidate for the developing world hadnt been chosen, the Spokesperson said that the General Assembly had approved the nomination today of Carman Lapointe-Young, demonstrating the Member States support for her.

The Secretary-General, he said, had explained to regional groups how his search to find the right person was conducted. It was a merit-based search, Nesirky said. At the same time, the Secretary-General understands the importance of regional diversity and had explained how he came to his decision to the Member States.

Asked who might be hired by Lapointe, the Spokesperson said that she has a chance now to build her own team, and reiterated that the United Nations is committed to take prompt action to help OIOS go about its work.

Asked about a report from Inga-Britt Ahlenius, the previous OIOS head, suggesting that the Secretary-General had not been willing to meet her, the Spokesperson said that was false and that the Secretary-General had made himself available to Ahlenius from the start and had met her often.

Asked about Ahleniuss end-of-assignment report, Nesirky said that, where there are constructive ideas, they will be examined and acted on. Lapointe, he said, would want to be part of the discussion on finding areas for improvement.

PILOT OF DARFUR MISSION HELICOPTER STILL UNACCOUNTED FOR

On 26 July, the UN-African Union mission in Darfur,

UNAMID, lost contact with one of their helicopters after they landed in Aborjo, South Darfur.

Three Liberty and Justice Movement (LJM) commanders who were on board the plane and the pilot were beaten at the scene. Subsequently, the crew and passengers (with the exception of the pilot) were taken to a Government military camp overnight.

Following further contacts with the Government and security officials, the crew and LJM commanders returned to Nyala on Tuesday.

However, the pilot is still unaccounted for. The United Nations remains deeply concerned about his welfare. UNAMID is working with the Government of Sudan to locate him.

Asked who had been behind the incident, the Spokesperson said that UNAMID and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) were working to establish the facts, with their priority being the safe return of the pilot.

DARFUR: HUMANITARIAN INFORMATION-SHARING MECHANISM IS LAUNCHED

Today marks the official launch of the North Darfur Human Rights Sub-forum, which brings together representatives from the state government and the humanitarian community. According to the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), the sub-forum seeks to improve the exchange of information between the Darfur state government and the humanitarian community. It will focus on human rights and the rule of law, and provide assistance in probing cases of human rights violations, among other tasks.

Meanwhile, a library containing over 500 legal references opened today in El Fasher, in North Darfur, courtesy of UNAMID. The books were donated by the Missions Human Rights section and are available to the general public, as well as legal professionals and students.

CYPRIOT LEADERS RESUME TALKS ON PROPERTY ISSUES

The

Cypriot leaders met today in the UN-protected area in Nicosia, in what Special Adviser Alexander Downer described as a very good atmosphere.

They continued the discussions about property, and the Cypriot Representatives will meet again this Friday to continue with those discussions. The leaders next meeting will be on 4 August, followed by one on 10 August.

UNDP CHIEF BEGINS TWO-DAY VISIT TO BRAZIL

UNDP Chief Helen Clark today

begins a two-day official visit to Brazil, meeting with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as well as other Government officials.

During her visit, she will also sign a strategic partnership framework agreement between UNDP and the Brazilian Government. South-South cooperation initiatives and continued action for achievement of the

Millennium Development Goals are among the top priorities for the agreement.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

BAN KI-MOON SADDENED OVER LOSS OF LIVES IN PAKISTAN PLANE CRASH: The Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General expresses his sadness over the loss of life in todays plane crash in Pakistan, and he has written to the Government expressing his condolences.

REPORT ON GOLDSTONE FOLLOW-UP IS BEING TRANSLATED: Asked about the reports received concerning follow-up to the Goldstone Fact-Finding Missions report, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General had sent requests for information to the Israeli and Swiss Missions and Palestinian Observer Mission. The amount of information received had exceeded 380 pages, requiring more time for translation.

ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER IS AMONG U.N. DEVELOPMENT PRIORITIES: Asked about the General Assemblys vote today to make access to clean water a human right, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General regards access to water as fundamentally important, and water and sanitation are among the

Millennium Development Goals.

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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