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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-08-18

United Nations Daily Highlights Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS KILLING OF PEACEKEEPERS IN D.R. CONGO, CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION

The

Secretary-General is saddened by the deaths of three Indian peacekeepers serving with the

United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), who were killed early this morning following a surprise attack by a group of unidentified armed men on an operating base in Kirumba in the eastern province of North Kivu. At least six additional UN military personnel were injured in the attack, three of them critically.

The Secretary-General conveys his sincere condolences to the Government of India and to the families of the three soldiers. The Secretary-General condemns the assault and calls on the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to launch an immediate investigation into this incident and ensure that the perpetrators are swiftly identified and brought to justice.

The Secretary-General would like to take this opportunity to commend the men and women serving in MONUSCO in various capacities, for their efforts to protect civilians, facilitate humanitarian assistance and bring peace to the

Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Asked about the attack, the Spokesperson said that, earlier today at about 0150 hours (local time), a MONUSCO company operational base in Kirumba, North Kivu (28 km north of Kanyabayonga), manned by Indian peacekeepers, was attacked by a group of 55 to 60 unidentified persons armed with machetes and spears.

A number of peacekeepers engaged the attackers, forcing them to retreat, Nesirky said. However, during the attack, three Indian soldiers were killed and at least six injured, some critically. The attackers also stole two MONUSCO weapons during the attack.

The motives of the attackers are unclear, he added. A UN investigation would be conducted, in addition to the one requested of the Congolese authorities.

SECOND FOLLOW-UP REPORT ON GAZA CONFLICT ISSUED

The second follow-up

report of the

Secretary-General to the report of the

United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict was issued on Tuesday.

The report contains inputs received from the

Israeli and Palestinian side on the efforts which they have undertaken so far to investigate allegations of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law during the Gaza Conflict. It also contains a summary of the consultations conducted by the Government of Switzerland regarding the convening of a Conference of the High Contracting Parties.

As he states in the report, the Secretary-General believes that international human rights and humanitarian laws need to be fully respected. It is his hope that resolution 64/254 has served to encourage investigations by the Government of Israel and the Palestinian side that are independent, credible and in conformity with international standards.

In his report, the Secretary-General recalls that in its resolution 13/9, the

Human Rights Council decided to establish a committee of independent experts to monitor and assess any domestic, legal or other proceedings undertaken by both the Government of Israel and the Palestinian side, in the light of

General Assembly resolution 64/254.

Consistent with the request made by this resolution, the Secretary-General is conveying today to the

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights the documents received from the State of Israel and the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations, for transmittal to the committee of independent experts.

Asked why the Secretary-General had not assessed the information received by the parties, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General conformed to the request of the General Assembly. He asked the parties to report to him on their implementation of resolution 64/254, and transmitted their responses to the General Assembly.

The Secretary-General, Nesirky added, has not been requested to express his views on the responses received.

He further noted that, as obligated by the Human Rights Council resolution, the Secretary-General is passing the required information to the Human Rights Councils committee of independent experts.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO BRIEF GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON PAKISTAN ON THURSDAY

The

Secretary-General will brief the

General Assembly on Thursday afternoon on his recent visit to

Pakistan as well as its humanitarian needs.

The

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that the funding response to the floods is improving, but much more is needed. The effort must be sustained in the days and weeks ahead in order to have the resources to reach the people who desperately need help.

The Office says that the scale of the response is still not commensurate with the scale of this disaster of almost unprecedented magnitude. OCHA estimates that at least six to eight million people are currently in desperate need of emergency aid, among them 3.5 million children.

Many affected communities are still waiting to receive basic assistance with food, clean water, basic sanitation, and healthcare.

OCHA says a second wave of deaths caused by waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea and hepatitis can still be prevented, but only with the financial and material resources that are needed. Even as flood waters are receding from some areas, new floods are affecting others, particularly in the south, and rains could continue for another month.

Asked about the lack of food and medicine for Pakistan, the Spokesperson said that was part of the challenge that the entire international community was facing, and was one reason why the Secretary-General would address the General Assembly, to underscore the needs on the ground.

Nesirky said that there has been an increase in the pace of pledges, but we still need more funds, tents, food, water and medical supplies. Challenges are expected to vary over time as the crisis continues to unfold.

At the same time, he added, the Secretary-General is aware of the enormous generosity that has been shown so far and wants to see more aid delivered on the ground.

U.N. MISSION: AID GROUPS ALLOWED INTO KALMA CAMP IN DARFUR

The

UN-African Union mission in Darfur (UNAMID)

reports that aid groups were allowed into the

South Darfur Kalma camp for internally displaced persons, after being denied access on Tuesday by local authorities who had cited security concerns.

UNAMID also

says that it is dispatching a team to the region around the town of Kass, in South Darfur, to look into reports of deadly tribal clashes. The fighting is believed to have occurred on 16 August, and reports suggest that at least 25 people were killed.

Asked about reports that UN personnel in Darfur are being expelled, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations has still received no official notification of any expulsions or reasons for them, and discussions with the Government are continuing. Some issues have already been resolved, and others are being pursued.

SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS NEW HEAD OF U.N. OFFICE TO THE AFRICAN UNION

The

Secretary-General has appointed Mr. Zachary Muburi-Muita of Kenya as the Head of the

United Nations Office to the African Union, based in Addis Ababa. This office was established by the

General Assembly on 1 July 2010.

Since 2006, Mr. Muburi-Muita has served as Kenyas Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. He brings to this position many years of considerable diplomatic, political, civil-military and management skills and experience from his work with the Kenyan Government, which he joined in 1982.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

MEETINGS OF U.N. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR HAITI FOCUSED ON ENERGY, EDUCATION AND DEBRIS: The UN Special Envoy for Haiti, former US president

Bill Clinton, is presently in

Haiti and this morning held meetings with Government ministers and representatives of UN bodies, partner NGOs, and private sector donors. The meetings focused on education, energy, and debris management initiatives. The Special Envoy also met with the leadership of the

UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti.

PANEL OF EXPERTS ON SRI LANKA TO START WORK SHORTLY: Asked about the advisory

Panel of Experts on

Sri Lanka, the Spokesperson said that the Panel is expected shortly to start its work officially.

LEBANESE PARLIAMENTS RATIFICATION OF CLUSTER MUNITIONS BAN WELCOMED: The

UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon,

Michael Williams, warmly welcomed the

Lebanese Parliaments decision on Tuesday to approve the ratification of the

Oslo Convention (2008), which bans the use and production of cluster munitions. This is a very important signal of Lebanons commitment to international law and will reinforce the international will to ban these deadly devices, he said today.

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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