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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-08-19

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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

Thursday, August 19, 2010

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO ADDRESS GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING ON PAKISTAN

The Secretary-General will address the General Assembly at 3:00 this afternoon about the humanitarian needs in

Pakistan.

The Secretary-General will say that Pakistan is facing a slow-motion tsunami, with needs expected to grow, even as 15 to 20 million people currently need shelter, food and emergency care. At least 160,000 square kilometers of land is under water.

The Secretary-General will thank the international community for the generosity it has shown so far, while underscoring that the needs are great, and this disaster is far from over. And he will ask nations to respond urgently to the UN emergency appeal for $460 million to cover the next 90 days.

SECRETARY-GENERAL MEETS WITH PAKISTANI, CANADIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS

The Secretary-General met with a number of the participants at the General Assembly meeting on Pakistan, many of whom are Foreign Ministers.

Earlier today, he met today with Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi of Pakistan to review the current humanitarian situation following the monsoon flooding in Pakistan, directly affecting over 15 million people. The Foreign Minister welcomed the leadership and commitment of the United Nations in the response to this natural disaster. The Secretary-General in turn thanked the Government for its support during his recent trip to the flood affected-areas.

The Secretary-General and the Foreign Minister discussed the response of the international community to date and considered next steps. They noted that to date $438 million had already been disbursed (in cash or kind) or pledged, and welcomed the international community's steadily increasing solidarity with the Pakistani people. They discussed further steps and meetings over the coming months to bolster the relief and recovery efforts, including a working group in Islamabad, lead by the Government and co-chaired by the United Nations Special Envoy to Pakistan, Mr. Jean-Maurice Ripert, which would include relevant Government ministries as well as key donors.

Later, the Secretary-General met with Lawrence Cannon, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada. The two discussed the current humanitarian crisis in Pakistan, the recovery and reconstruction efforts in Haiti, and the situation in Afghanistan.

In particular, the Secretary-General thanked Canada for its generous and urgent assistance to the humanitarian efforts in Pakistan, stressing the need for international assistance to be available for the longer-term to help the full recovery of affected populations.

The Secretary-General added that todays meeting at the United Nations would provide an important opportunity for the international community to discuss continued support to Pakistan, including ways to speed up the delivery of assistance.

BAN KI-MOON OBSERVES WORLD HUMANITARIAN DAY

The Secretary-General marked World Humanitarian Day by

speaking out about the United Nations commitment to life-saving relief efforts and our remembrance of those who died while serving this cause.

He paid tribute to those who have perished while working on humanitarian causes, including in Haiti, where January's earthquake had a devastating impact on aid workers. The United Nations, he said, lost some of its most dedicated staff on that day.

Before delivering an address for World Humanitarian Day, the Secretary-General laid a wreath in honour of the 22 people who died in the bombing of the UN offices at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, which happened seven years ago today.

A

short film was produced for the occasion by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

SECRETARY-GENERAL HAS CONSISTENTLY CALLED FOR EASING ON GAZA CLOSURES

Asked about criticism by Human Rights Watch that the Secretary-Generals

report on follow-up to the work of the Fact-Finding Commission on the Gaza Conflict had not assessed responses by the parties, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General had not been requested to express his views on the responses received. The Secretary-General conformed to the request of the General Assembly, he added, by transmitting the responses of the parties to the General Assembly.

In response to further questions, Nesirky said that the Secretary-General has consistently asked for an easing in the measures imposed on Gaza, including on the transport of goods in and out of Gaza and the movement of people there. He supports efforts to ensure that Gaza can function as a normal economy.

  • The guest at the noon briefing was the humanitarian coordinator for Pakistan, Martin Mogwanja, who spoke by phone from Pakistan.

    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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