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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-08-12
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Thursday, August 12, 2010
MORE THAN 14 MILLION PEOPLE AFFECTED BY PAKISTAN FLOODING
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that more than 14 million people almost one in every 10 Pakistanis - have so far been affected by the flooding in that country. At least 1,200 people have been killed. The monsoon season could last for at least another month, worsening the flooding that has been seen so far, including in parts of country not so far affected.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that at least 6 million people are currently in desperate need of emergency aid. The priorities for the response are food, clean drinking water, tents and other shelter and non-food items, and medical supplies.
initial floods emergency response plan launched yesterday requests $460 million to help address the needs of flood-affected families for the immediate relief period. We will be revising the appeal in 30 days, to include early recovery requirements and to reflect more refined needs assessments.
Asked about UN efforts to motivate Governments to contribute aid to Pakistan, the Spokesperson noted the presentation of the response plan by Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes on Wednesday, which attracted widespread media coverage. The Secretary-General, he said, has been working continuously to raise attention to the catastrophe in Pakistan and will continue to do so.
AFGHANISTAN: SEPTEMBER LEGISLATIVE ELECTIONS ON TRACK
Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Afghanistan, issued a statement today, saying that, operationally and logistically, the September legislative elections in that country are on track. He highlights the challenges ahead, including security, on which he called upon the Afghan security forces to show heightened vigilance over the coming two months.
He says that the UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) agrees with the Independent Election Commission on the need to make the list of polling stations public by 18 August. Making the list public one month in advance of the elections is essential for the transparency of the electoral process, he says. De Mistura also encourages both international and national election observation missions.
De Mistura calls on all Afghan voters to make an informed vote on 18 September, telling them, Your vote is the final decision maker in this important process in determining your countrys future.
BAN KI-MOON TO YOUTH: ENGAGE WITH THE WORLD, AND BE GLOBAL CITIZENS
addressed a gathering at the General Assembly Hall this morning that was marking the
International Day of Youth, and he took the occasion to launch the International Year of Youth. That year was proclaimed by the General Assembly to promote peace, human rights, solidarity, progress and development. The highlight will be a Youth Conference one year from now.
The Secretary-General said that almost nine out of every ten people between the ages of 15 and 24 live in developing countries. Many of these young people are bearing the brunt of the global economic crisis. As economies slowly begin to stabilize, he said, we must focus on the needs of these young people.
The Secretary-General also urged young people everywhere to look beyond the borders of their own countries. He told the youthful participants at todays commemoration: Engage with the world, and be a global citizen.
SECURITY AT DARFUR KALMA CAMP REMAINS TENSE; QUIET DIPLOMACY CONTINUES IN BID TO DIFFUSE TENSIONS
The situation in the South Darfur Kalma camp for internally displaced persons remains tense and insecure, according to the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). There were no incidents of shooting reported overnight. DPKO also says that the number of people seeking refuge around the UN Community Police Centre appear to be decreasing.
Meanwhile, the UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) says that heavy rains, stagnant water, and the lack of shelters and mosquito nets at the camp could cause an outbreak of infectious diseases, especially malaria.
Some 5,000 people who sought refuge near and around the Missions Community Policing Center are now without adequate shelter for the rainy season. The Mission has been able to deliver them large tents.
There is no working health facility as the medical aid workers are still waiting to be authorised to enter the premises. The same is true for aid workers who are waiting to hand out food rations, according to the Mission.
MISSION IN DARFUR WILL NOT HAND OVER SIX PEOPLE IN KALMA CAMP WITHOUT ASSURANCES ON THEIR RIGHTS
The Spokesperson, in response to questions, denied earlier press reports and asserted that, contrary to those reports, Joint AU-UN Special Representative for Darfur Ibrahim Gambari did not "threaten" the internally displaced people (IDPs) at Kalma Camp in Darfur with the possibility of handing over six people in that camp.
UNAMID, the UN-AU Mission, will not hand over the six IDP leaders in question without a reassurance that certain preconditions as to their rights are met, Nesirky said.
The Joint Special Representative stressed the Protection of Civilians mandate of UNAMID and emphasized the need for sustainable peace in Darfur for all its populations. Nesirky added that he highlighted that IDP camps are designed to provide shelter for vulnerable populations. Criminality and proliferation of weapons is not acceptable in Kalma and or any other IDP camp.
Gambari met with the displaced people in Kalma on Wednesday, on a joint visit with Government of Sudan officials with whom he has been holding consultations on issues related to recent developments in Kalma.
He reassured the IDPs that all issues related to the Kalma incident are being discussed with a view to mutually-acceptable solution.
UNITED NATIONS NOT IN POSITION TO VERIFY DEPLOYMENT OF MISSILES IN ABKHAZIA
Asked about reports on the deployment of missiles in Abkhazia, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations was aware of the reports but is not in a position to verify whether this has been the case.
Following the closure of the UN Mission in the area, he said, the UN's efforts have been focused on reducing tension and furthering dialogue among the involved parties, primarily through the Geneva discussions. These efforts, undertaken in cooperation with the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), are directed at improving security and stability, reducing the risk of tensions, and contributing to the implementation of agreements reached following the conflict of August 2008.
U.N AGENCY, GADAFFI FOUNDATION SIGN AGREEMENT FOR PALESTINE REFUGEES: Asked about Libyas work in the Middle East, the Spokesperson noted that the Gaddaffi Foundation, one of the leading charitable foundations in the Middle East and North Africa, has signed with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) three agreements, supplementing the two agreements signed on 9 August in Amman. The new agreements provide for a mobile health clinic in the West Bank, a support programme for the Bani Suhaila School in the south of Gaza and a microfinance project to support 800 families and approximately 4,800 dependants in Gaza.
MISSION IN D.R. CONGO STRETCHED THIN AS UGANDA REBELS ATTACK, ABDUCT CIVILIANS: Asked about Lords Resistance Army activity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Spokesperson underscored that the area affected by bands of LRA is vast (overall, roughly the size of Belgium inside the DRC) and that MONUSCOs resources continue to be stretched to the limit.
NO REQUEST RECEIVED FOR CAMBODIA/THAILAND MEDIATION: Asked about a role for UN mediation between Cambodia and Thailand, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations has not received a request from either nation for mediation.
SECRETARY-GENERAL HAS NOT COMMITTED TO BOOK PROJECT: Asked whether the Secretary-General had agreed to participate in a book project by author Tom Plate, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has not made a commitment to any book project by any author.
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, SA-1B15
New York, NY 10017
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