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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-08-20

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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

Friday, August 20, 2010

STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE MIDDLE EAST QUARTET

The Middle East

Quartet (United Nations, Russian Federation, United States, and European Union) issued a

statement today, which says:

The representatives of the Quartet reaffirm their strong support for direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians to resolve all final status issues. The Quartet reaffirms its full commitment to its previous statements, including in Trieste on 26 June 2009, in New York on 24 September 2009, and its statement in Moscow on 19 March 2010 which provides that direct, bilateral negotiations that resolve all final status issues should "lead to a settlement, negotiated between the parties, that ends the occupation which began in 1967 and results in the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbors."

The Quartet expresses its determination to support the parties throughout the negotiations, which can be completed within one year, and the implementation of an agreement. The Quartet again calls on both sides to observe calm and restraint, and to refrain from provocative actions and inflammatory rhetoric. Welcoming the result of the Arab Peace Initiative Committee in Cairo on July 29, the Quartet notes that success will require sustained regional and international support for the negotiations and the parallel process of Palestinian state-building and the pursuit of a just, lasting and comprehensive regional peace as envisaged in the Madrid terms of reference, Security Council resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative. The Quartet Principals intend to meet with their colleagues from the Arab League in September in New York to review the situation. Accordingly, the Quartet calls on the Israelis and the Palestinians to join in launching direct negotiations on September 2 in Washington, D.C. to resolve all final status issues and fulfill the aspirations of both parties.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and US Presidential Envoy George Mitchell also extended an oral invitation to the Parties to join in launching direct negotiations on 2 September in Washington. We are now awaiting the reaction of the Parties, which we hope will be positive.

Asked about how the statement was written, the Spokesperson said that it was agreed to by the four members of the Quartet: the European Union, the Russian Federation, the United Nations and the United States. He said that the statement speaks for itself.

Asked about reports that the parties have accepted the proposal for direct negotiations, Haq said that the Secretary-General was expected to have something further to say once acceptance by the parties was confirmed.

SECRETARY-GENERAL THANKS DONORS FOR AID PLEDGES, APPEALS FOR CONTINUED ATTENTION TO PAKISTAN

In a

statement, the Secretary-General said that, on Thursday and today, countries from around the world joined in solidarity and support for the people of Pakistan.

He adds, I want to thank governments for pledging more than $200 million to boost relief efforts. The generosity of countries and individuals will make a real difference in the daily lives of millions of people.

We must keep it up. This is not just Pakistans hour of need Pakistan is facing weeks, months and years of need. Now is our chance to turn the tide towards hope and a better day for all of the people of Pakistan.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE TO PAKISTAN

Late Thursday, the

General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for international assistance in support of the Pakistani Governments efforts to address the crisis. The resolution urged the international community to extend full support and assistance to Pakistans Government in its efforts to cope with the impacts of the worst rains and floods to hit the country in decades and to meet medium- and long-term needs.

UN agencies have increased their operations and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has reinforced its coordination and assessment teams. The number of people needing aid as of today includes 7 million child victims. This morning,

UNICEFs Executive Director, Anthony Lake, issued a statement, declaring that the humanitarian tragedy in Pakistan has reached tragic proportions.

Also, the

World Food Programme says it has now reached 1.2 million people with a one-month ration of food. WFP says it is facing a constantly shifting picture. Roads are passable one day and impassable the next. Helicopters could take off one day and then be grounded the next.

Asked about the Secretary-Generals assertion on Thursday that the Pakistan floods had affected more people than the Indian Ocean tsunami, the Haiti earthquake and the South Asia earthquake combined, the Spokesperson said that the number of people estimated to be affected by the floods was between 15 million and 20 million more than the combined total of the other three humanitarian emergencies. He added that each of the situations had different needs, beyond the issue of total numbers of people affected.

Asked about access to different parts of Pakistan, Haq said that the main problems in obtaining access relate to those caused by the floods, including difficulty in using roads or in flying helicopters to certain areas. He noted standard UN policy to ensure that security conditions are in place for humanitarian deliveries.

EFFECTIVE RULE OF LAW REMAINS PROBLEMATIC IN LIBERIA

The Secretary-General says in his latest

report on Liberia that the country continues to make significant progress in consolidating its peace and security. There remain potentially destabilizing factors, however. These include persistent political and social divides, limited progress on national reconciliation, and the widespread perception that impunity is prevalent.

The Secretary-General also notes that more must be done to boost the states ability to ensure safety and security and administer justice. While he is encouraged by donors indications of financial support for the 2011 elections, the Secretary-General says that more clarity is required to ensure the legitimacy of the vote.

SECRETARY-GENERAL RELEASES REPORT ON POSSIBLE OPTIONS TO COMBAT PIRACY OFF SOMALIA

Following up on a request by

Security Council, the Secretary-General today released a

report on how to further the aim of prosecuting persons arrested for piracy and armed robbery at sea off the Somali coast.

The report presents seven options, including setting up special domestic chambers, possibly with international components, a regional tribunal or an international tribunal. It also provides corresponding imprisonment arrangements for each option.

The Security Council will now consider these options and decide on the way forward.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECRETARY-GENERAL HOPES CAMBODIA AND THAILAND WILL RESOLVE BORDER DISPUTE THROUGH DIALOGUE: In response to a question, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General hopes that Cambodia and Thailand will resolve the dispute along their border amicably through dialogue. He stands ready to help the parties.

SECURITY COUNCIL TO DISCUSS LEBANON, NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS: Next week, the Security Council is scheduled to hold consultations on the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and its

1718 Committee on Tuesday and then on Wednesday, it is scheduled to hold an open debate on Somalia piracy.

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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