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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-08-13

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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

MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Friday, August 13, 2010

SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES MYANMAR AUTHORITIES TO ENSURE THAT FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS ARE UPHELD

The

Secretary-General has taken note of the announcement by the Union Election Commission of Myanmar that general elections will be held on 7 November 2010.

The Secretary-General reiterates his call on theMyanmar authorities to honour their publicly stated commitments to hold inclusive, free and fair elections in order to advance the prospects of peace, democracy and development for Myanmar.

As essential steps for any national reconciliation and democratic transition process, the Secretary-General strongly urges the authorities to ensure that fundamental freedoms are upheld for all citizens of Myanmar and to release all remaining political prisoners without delay so that they can freely participate in the political life of their country.

Asked further about voting in the elections, the Spokesperson underscored that the Secretary-General has been a leading voice in expressing the UNs and the international communitys concerns, expectations and encouragements around this process, including the need for Myanmar to take steps to ensure that the countrys first elections in 20 years are credible and inclusive. He has also been very clear that the UN respects the decisions of all parties with regards to the election.

He added that the Secretary-General and his Special Adviser,

Vijay Nambiar, remain closely engaged with the Myanmar authorities, but they feel that this process requires more cooperation from Myanmar and all concerned. As the Secretary-General mentioned on Monday, he will further elaborate the UN position in the annual report to the

General Assembly.

SPOKESPERSON: SECRETARY-GENERAL INTENDS TO VISIT PAKISTAN

In response to questions, the Spokesperson confirmed that the

Secretary-General intends to travel to

Pakistan, to see for himself the flood-hit areas and demonstrate the support of the United Nations and the international community for the people and Government of Pakistan.

However, the arrangements for that trip have not been finalized.

MORE FUNDING REQUIRED TO HELP PAKISTAN FLOOD VICTIMS QUICKLY

Humanitarian organizations in Pakistan are working round the clock to deliver life-saving assistance to at least six million people in need, but far more funding is required in order to do this in a timely manner.

Martin Mogwanja, Humanitarian Coordinator for Pakistan, said that relief supplies must reach women, men, and children as soon as possible, in order to avoid further deaths caused by waterborne diseases and food shortages. The death toll has so far been relatively low compared to other major natural disasters, and we want to keep it that way, he added.

Meanwhile, the

Word Food Programme (WFP) as of Thursday night, had

reached 430,000 people in

Pakistan with a one-month food ration. Today, distributions would start to be rolled out in the provinces of Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan.

The

UN Childrens Fund has

helped to vaccinate nearly 13,000 children, pregnant women and lactating women vaccinated against measles, polio and tetanus in different places affected by the floods, over the past three days.

Meanwhile, the

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has found that 78 refugee camps across 17 districts in the province have been overwhelmed by flooding, erasing more than 12,500 homes and leaving 85,500 refugees homeless. Over the coming weeks and months UNHCR will help refugee families and affected Pakistani communities return to their homes.

SECURITY SITUATION IN KALMA CAMP SEEMS TO BE RETURNING TO NORMAL

In response to a question, the Spokesperson said that the number of people seeking protection near the

United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) police camp appears to be decreasing, suggesting that the overall security situation in the camp is normalizing. The main market of the camp started resuming activity.

Nesirky said that the humanitarian situation continues to worsen since the interruption of aid 13 days ago. Acute shortages of water persist due to a lack of sufficient fuel to power pumps. The rainy season and poor sanitation are root causes of the spread of disease. The two remaining clinics in the camp are functioning, but both are facing severe shortages of medicine.

He added that UNAMID held a meeting with envoys of the Shura Council representing various ethnic groups, on a goodwill mission from

Khartoum to discuss the political and humanitarian situation in Kalma.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECRETARY-GENERAL HAS CALLED FOR GUARANTEES OF SARATH FONSEKAS SAFETY: The Spokesperson declined to comment on the trial process of General Sarath Fonseka in

Sri Lanka, but he recalled that, following Fonseka's arrest, the

Secretary-General urged the authorities to follow due process of law and provide all the necessary protections and guarantees to his safety.

ACTING DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON NAMED: The

Secretary-General has decided to appoint Farhan Haq as Acting Deputy Spokesperson ad interim, to replace Marie Okabe, who was assigned to the UN Information Centre in Washington, D.C.

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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