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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-08-04

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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, August 4, 2010

BAN KI-MOON MEETS WITH JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER IN TOKYO, ADDRESSES STUDENTS ON DISARMAMENT

The Secretary-General

spoke to students this morning, one day before he is to visit Nagasaki, and said that he hoped the younger generation of Japanese will become leaders for disarmament. He told students at Waseda University in Tokyo that they should tell the stories of the survivors of the nuclear bombs, the hibakusha, since their testimony is the most graphic argument against the nuclear threat.

The Secretary-General had his first official meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, and they

spoke to reporters afterward.

He also met with the Minister of Defense, Toshimi Kitazawa, and with a number of other officials, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the House of Councillors and other members of Parliament. In addition, he met with the Chairman of the Japan Business Federation (or Keidanren).

The Secretary-General also met with UN staff at a town hall at UN University and had a working luncheon with the Universitys rector.

PEACEKEEPING MISSION IS PROBING DEADLY EXCHANGE OF FIRE BETWEEN ISRAELI AND LEBANESE ARMIES

The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has responded to the exchange of fire between the Lebanese army and the Israeli army across the Blue Line in El Adeisse on Tuesday, by commencing investigations on the ground. The investigations are still ongoing and the findings will be disclosed once they have finished.

UNIFIL has established, however, that the trees being cut by the Israeli army are located south of the Blue Line on the Israeli side.

Both Lebanon and Israel have confirmed to the Secretary-General that, notwithstanding their reservations about the location of the Blue Line, identifying the Line was solely the responsibility of the United Nations. They have said that they will respect the Line as identified. The UN position is that the Blue Line must be respected in its entirety by all parties.

Also today, the UNIFIL Force Commander, Major-General Alberto Asarta Cuevas, called an extraordinary tripartite meeting with senior representatives of the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Israel Defense Forces. The meeting is to address the serious situation that developed in the last two days, with the aim of preventing any recurrence.

BAN KI-MOON REGRETS LOSS OF LIFE IN LEBANON BORDER CLASH; URGES MAXIMUM RESTRAINT

A

statement issued Tuesday afternoon expressed the Secretary-Generals deep concern at the exchange of fire between the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Israel Defense Forces across the Blue Line in southern Lebanon earlier that day.

He regretted the tragic loss of life in what he noted was the most serious incident between the Israel Defense Forces and the Lebanese Armed Forces since the adoption of Security Council resolution 1701 (2006).

The Secretary-General has urged the parties to exercise maximum restraint and to work with

UNIFIL and the

UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon in taking steps to consolidate the calm now restored in the area. He welcomes engagement between UNIFIL and the parties through the tripartite forum and hopes that this will help to constructively address the situation.

SECURITY COUNCIL URGES IRAQIS TO FORM INCLUSIVE GOVERNMENT

Ad Melkert, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Iraq, briefed

the Security Council in an open meeting this morning on the Secretary-Generals latest

report on the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI). He told the Council that Iraq has made considerable progress since 2003, but we cannot underestimate the challenges that it still faces.

Melkert noted the importance of forming a government following the successful elections in March. He reiterated the Secretary-Generals call for Iraqi leaders to show a higher sense of urgency and work together to forge an agreement through an inclusive process, without further delays.

Once the government formation process has been completed, he added, it is imperative that Iraqi leaders continue to make national reconciliation a priority and address the many outstanding political and constitutional challenges facing the country. Melkert noted the serious efforts by the UN Mission to promote dialogue in the governorate of Ninewa.

The Security Council President, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, read a press statement following closed-doors consultations on Iraq. The statement said that the members of the Security Council strongly urged Iraqs newly elected members of the Council of Representatives to act in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution and in support of the national interest and form, as quickly as possible, a government that is inclusive and represents the will of the Iraqi people and their hope for a strong, independent, unified and democratic Iraq.

BAN KI-MOON DISPATCHES SPECIAL ENVOY TO FLOOD-HIT PAKISTAN

In response to the tragic flood disaster in Pakistan, the Secretary-General

has asked his Special Envoy for Assistance to Pakistan, Jean-Maurice Ripert, to travel to the country as soon as possible.

Ripert will arrive in Pakistan on Thursday. He will join the United Nations Country Team already engaged in the relief operations and jointly assess the situation with the UN team and Pakistani agencies on the ground.

The Special Envoy, along with the UN Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Coordinator, will help mobilise support from the international community to assist the Government of Pakistan in addressing the urgent, immediate needs of the population in the affected areas and in planning for the early recovery and reconstruction period. The Special Envoy will report to the Secretary-General on the situation and the ongoing relief efforts.

CLOSE TO ONE MILLION PAKISTANIS DISPLACED BY FLOODS

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that a rapid assessment of the situation in

Pakistan has found that close to a million people in four districts have been temporarily displaced by the flooding, with unconfirmed estimates of two to three million displaced in other parts of the country.

Thats on top of the more than 1,000 people killed by the floods and many more trapped or still missing; with nearly 100,0000 homes destroyed, and around 50,000 damaged, in those four districts, in the countrys northwest.

Relief work by UN agencies is picking up pace, but challenges remain. OCHA says there are still people who have not received any assistance, as lack of road access and communications networks continues to hamper relief efforts.

Relief workers are working round the clock to speed up the delivery of help, and looking into options for reaching those who are cut off as a result of collapsed roads and bridges.

Another factor is that this is the start of the monsoon season, and monsoon rains will continue until early September, which means that the situation in the affected areas could worsen further, and new areas might still be affected.

BAN KI-MOON CONGRATULATES TANZANIA ON PEACEFUL HOLDING OF ZANZIBAR REFERENDUM

The Secretary-General

congratulates the people of the United Republic of Tanzania, particularly of Zanzibar, for the peaceful holding of their recent referendum in Zanzibar. He also welcomes the inter-party agreement between the two main political parties, Chama Cha Mapinduzi and Civic United Front, that led to the referendum, aimed at paving the way for a long-term reconciliation.

The Secretary-General is encouraged by the determination of the people of Zanzibar to build a peaceful and united future, and reiterates the readiness of the United Nations to assist them.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

U.N. DEPUTY HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF IS VISITING MEXICO: The UN Deputy High Commissioner for

Human Rights,

Kyung-wha Kang, is visiting Mexico, from 4-7 August, to participate to the 30th Triennial conference of the International Federation of University Women, which will focus, among other things, on the advancement of women through lifelong learning, and the challenges to womens empowerment in the 21st century. She will also meet with high-ranking members of the Mexican Government, civil society representatives and others.

RESTRICTIONS REMAIN ON SPOKESPERSONS ACCESS TO SECURITY COUNCIL CONSULTATIONS: Asked about how the Spokespersons Office is informed of Security Council developments, the Spokesperson noted a recent

note by the Security Council President, which said: Unless otherwise decided, the Security Council Affairs Division of the Department of Political Affairs will be responsible for keeping the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General informed of matters which may require its action.

  • * Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, and Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Atul Khare, were the guests at the noon briefing.

    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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