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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-08-17

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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

FARHAN HAQ, ACTING DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

U.N. MISSION CONDEMNS ATTACK ON ARMY RECRUITMENT CENTRE IN BAGHDAD

The

UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) strongly condemns todays terrorist attack on an Iraqi army recruitment centre in

Baghdad, which claimed the lives of dozens of military recruits and left over a hundred injured. UNAMI extends its condolences to the families of the victims and to the people and the Government of Iraq and wishes a speedy recovery to those who were wounded.

The Mission expresses concern at the continued acts of violence targeting the Iraqi people, including those perpetrated during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

UNAMI reiterates that agreement on the formation of the government will greatly contribute to strengthening Iraqs ability to protect its citizens and respond effectively to those who aim at perpetuating instability and insecurity in the country and reversing its path towards peace and prosperity.

SECURITY COUNCIL TOLD THAT MIDDLE EAST IS NEARING A TURNING POINT

The Assistant Secretary-General for

Political Affairs,

Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, briefed the

Security Council on the

Middle East this morning, telling Council members that we are nearing a turning point in the efforts to promote direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

The parties are currently holding internal discussions with a view to deciding on whether they will enter into direct talks, he said, adding that we urge them to be forthcoming in their deliberations and are hopeful that leaders on both sides will seize this opportunity and engage in a path of decisive progress towards a sustainable, mutually acceptable two-state solution, within a realistic timeframe. To support them in taking this step, the United Nations remains in close contact with Quartet partners to promote the start of meaningful direct negotiations as soon as possible.

Fernadez-Taranco added that, for these negotiations to succeed, it is crucial to maintain an enabling climate on the ground. Parties should adhere to their Roadmap commitments and obligations under international law, as reemphasized by the Quartet on 19 March in Moscow.

Meanwhile, he added, the

UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) warned yesterday that it is running an $84-million deficit that could soon force it to shut schools and clinics in the

Gaza Strip. He called on the international community to help UNRWA fulfill its important mission in health, education and social services in Gaza and elsewhere in the region.

U.N. MISSION WELCOMES RELEASE OF TWO ABDUCTED PEACEKEEPERS IN SOUTH DARFUR; IMPROVEMENTS IN KALMA CAMP

The

United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has

welcomed the release earlier today of its two police advisers who were abducted on Saturday in Nyala,

South Darfur.

The Jordanian peacekeepers underwent a medical examination. They appeared to be unharmed and in good health. UNAMID says that the two were released following meetings between its senior staff and a joint taskforce it had set up with the Sudanese Government to resolve this matter.

Also, further to the

statement issued on Monday afternoon, the

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that an inter-agency assessment team visited the Kalma camp for internally displaced persons on Monday. The team reported that camp residents confirmed improvements in the overall security situation and thanked UN peacekeepers for increased patrols and other efforts to protect civilians.

Yesterday a humanitarian team delivered urgently needed medicines and enough fuel to operate water pumps and meet current needs for water in the camp.

Today, however, humanitarian access was again denied, affecting plans to further assess additional humanitarian needs and determine the required assistance.

Asked about the problems with access to the Kalma camp, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General, in his

statement on Monday, called upon the Government of Sudan to take all possible measures to ensure that humanitarian access to all Sudanese remains open and that humanitarian space is protected.

Asked whether some UN personnel in Sudan had been asked to leave the country, Haq said that no one had formally been asked to depart.

MORE THAN 15 MILLION PEOPLE AFFECTED BY PAKISTAN FLOODS SO FAR

The

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in the latest situation report for

Pakistan, says that 15.4 million people have been affected, with close to 900,000 houses damaged or destroyed.

Flood waters continue to swell in the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan, which will likely result in additional assistance needs in both provinces.

The

World Food Programme (WFP) has distributed one-month rations to more than 840,000 people, and it expects that by the end of the day, one million people will have been reached with a one-month food ration.

The

World Health Organization says the latest data indicates that the leading causes of illness in affected communities are skin diseases, acute watery diarrhoea and respiratory tract infections.

OCHA says that the

Pakistan Emergency Response Plan, which was launched last week, is now 35 per cent funded, having received $161 million out of the $459 million requested.

Asked about the Thursday meeting of the General Assembly on Pakistan, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General had encouraged that meeting to underscore the urgency of the needs on the ground in Pakistan and to push for nations to contribute funding and humanitarian assistance as quickly as possible.

At the same time, he added, the Thursday meeting is not a pledging conference, although Member States are welcome to take the opportunity to describe what they intend to contribute.

The meeting, under the auspices of the General Assembly President, may include high-level representation from some Member States.

Asked whether the United Nations would appoint a high-level envoy on Pakistan, Haq said that Jean-Maurice Ripert was already serving as Special Adviser on Pakistan. Riperts visit to Pakistan last week and subsequent report to the Secretary-General had convinced the Secretary-General of the need to visit the country, and Ripert had accompanied the Secretary-General on that weekend visit.

Asked about humanitarian access to Pakistan, the Spokesperson noted that the flooding of roads had made access to parts of the country difficult. The United Nations has been using air assets, including those provided by the UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA), during its aid effort.

UNITED NATIONS ATTENDS HAITI RECONSTRUCTION COMMISSION MEETING

The Associate Administrator of the

UN Development Programme (UNDP),

Rebeca Grynspan, is representing the United Nations at the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission meeting taking place in

Port-au-Prince today.

Haitis President René Préval invited the UN to take part in the Commission as a full voting member.

This is the second board meeting of the Commission. It will be presented with a set of priorities through a total of 29 projects, enabling it to focus and vote on initiatives that are aligned with and advance both the immediate and the long-term responses of the Haitian Government to the needs of the Haitian people.

WORLD HUMANITARIAN DAY, ANNIVERSARY OF BAGHDAD BOMBING TO BE OBSERVED ON THURSDAY

The second

World Humanitarian Day and the

seventh anniversary of the attack against the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad will be observed this Thursday, at 10:30 a.m., in the

General Assembly Building public lobby.

The

Secretary-General will lay a wreath in front of the memorial plaque located outside the Meditation Room, in remembrance of the 22 United Nations staff members killed in the truck bomb attack of 19 August 2003. The wreath-laying ceremony shall be followed by a moment of silence.

The

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator,

John Holmes, will make remarks at a separate event that day.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

UNIFIL INVESTIGATION INTO 3 AUGUST INCIDENT NOT YET COMPLETED: The Spokesperson, in response to a question, said that the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) had not yet completed its investigation into the incident that took place near El Adeisse on 3 August. Once it is completed, UNIFIL expects to share the findings with the respective parties, and the Security Council will likely also receive a briefing.

U.N. AFGHANISTAN MISSION AWARE OF TALIBAN PROPOSAL: Asked about a proposal by the Taliban for a joint commission to investigate civilian deaths in Afghanistan, the Spokesperson said that the UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) was aware of the proposal, but had no detailed comment on it at this time.

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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