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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-08-27
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR THE
U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Friday, August 27, 2010
SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES RELEASE OF U.S. NATIONAL IN THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF KOREA
● The Secretary-General
welcomes the release of a US national during the visit to Pyongyang by former US President Jimmy Carter. He appreciates the decision of the
● Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to release Mr. Aijalon Mahli Gomes on humanitarian considerations. The Secretary-General commends former President Carter for his humanitarian mission.
● Taking this opportunity, the Secretary-General encourages emergency humanitarian aid to the DPRK which has been affected by the recent flooding. He has been closely following with concern on the flood situation in the DPRK and its possible impact on the already vulnerable humanitarian situation there and the funding gaps faced by the UN Humanitarian Country Team.
SECRETARY-GENERAL COMMENDS PEOPLE OF THE SOLOMON ISLANDS FOR ELECTIONS
● The Secretary-General
commends the people of Solomon Islands for participating in peaceful, orderly parliamentary elections this month, leading to the election of the Prime Minister by Parliament on 25 August. This demonstrates the commitment of Solomon Islanders to peace and democracy.
● The Secretary-General is pleased that the United Nations was able to respond positively to the request of the Government of Solomon Islands for assistance in this process, and contributed to the conduct of the elections by successfully coordinating the deployment of international observers.
● The Secretary-General notes the statements of observer groups detailing both the successes and the areas that require attention in any proposed electoral reforms in Solomon Islands. He encourages the Government to address and implement these recommendations in order to improve the electoral process for the future.
BAN KI-MOON CONGRATULATES KENYANS FOR NEW CONSTITUTION
● The Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe, is in Nairobi today where he
represented the Secretary-General at the historic promulgation of Kenyas new constitution.
● Under-Secretary-General Pascoe conveyed the Secretary-Generals heartfelt congratulations to the Kenyan people and leaders for their vision, statesmanship and achievement as they open a hopeful new chapter in the democratic life of their nation.
● Following these ceremonies, Pascoe will travel to Cairo for a meeting of Special Envoys, Representatives and other officials involved in African peacemaking, as part of events marking the African Unions Year of Peace celebrations. He will then travel to Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and back to Kenya for discussions on peace and security issues in the Horn of Africa, including the situation in Somalia.
● Concluding his trip in Burundi, Under-Secretary-General Pascoe will hold discussions on the peace consolidation process in that country.
Asked about the presence of President Bashir of Sudan in Kenya, the Spokesperson said that all State Parties to the Rome Statute had an obligation to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Court (ICC). He added that the Secretary-General urges all states parties to cooperate with the Court, in accordance with Security Council 1593.
FRESH FLOODS CAUSE ONE MILLION NEWLY DISPLACED IN PAKISTAN
● Pakistanis is marking one month from the gradual onset of
floods that have devastated the country since late July. More areas are being freshly
● Over the last two days, an estimated one million people have been displaced in Sindh Province by new flooding.
● We are working day and night to bring relief to millions of women, men, and children, but the floods appear determined to outrun our efforts, said Martin Mogwanja, Humanitarian Coordinator for Pakistan, We have been scaling up, but must scale up even further.
The Indus River is raging at 40 times its normal volume, with the largest sea surge of water now in the Thatta District of Pakistans southern Sindh Province. Since Wednesday, an estimated one million people were forced to leave their homes by the advancement of raging waters.
D.R.CONGO: HUMAN RIGHTS MAPPING REPORT IN LAST STAGES OF BEING FINALIZED
In response to a question on a possible pullout of troops from Rwanda in peacekeeping missions following the leak of a Human Rights mapping report in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Spokesperson said this report was a draft one and that a final version of the report would be published soon. He added that the UN was surprised and disappointed that the French newspaper Le Monde decided to publish this draft report although it knew that the final version was coming.
Nesirky said that, contrary to what was reported by Le Monde, President Kagamé had not threatened to withdraw peacekeepers in a tête-à-tête meeting with the Secretary-General in Madrid. He said there had been correspondence but not involving the President.
Asked further about the report, the Spokesperson said that this report was an important and significant one that had taken years to bring to fruition. He added that the report, which spanned a ten-year period and totaled over 500 pages, had been initiated by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) with more than 30 people deployed across the DRC for months. He said that its aim was to help the people of the region in establishing transitional judicial systems and assist in the fight against impunity.
Nesirky said that the report was now in the last stages of being finalized and that it was following a normal process for any document of this type, including consultations with various people within the Secretariat. He also said that a draft was shared with the
U.N. INVESTIGATION TEAM TO BE DEPLOYED TO D.R. CONGO
In response to a question from yesterday, the Spokesperson said that the joint MONUSCO/human rights office investigation team had been deployed in Walikale territory and is expected to finish its work around 2 or 3 September.
Asked about the UNs response concerning the rape incidents in Walikale territory, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations had expressed deep concern about this. Thats precisely why Assistant Secretary-Geneal Atul Khare is on his way to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and why the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict, Margot Wallström will be looking into the response and follow up, he said.
GAZA FLOTILLA FACT-FINDING MISSION CONCLUDES VISIT TO TURKEY
● The international, independent fact-finding mission of high-level experts appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council to inquire into the Gaza flotilla incident has
concluded a one-week visit to Turkey.
● During the week, the three high-level experts interviewed witnesses and government officials who provided first hand information on the incident that took place on 31 May 2010. In addition, technical and legal experts accompanying the mission held meetings with forensic and judiciary officials and also inspected the ship Mavi Marmara.
● The fact-finding mission will start a visit to Jordan (29 August - 4 September) to interview witnesses based in Jordan and in neighboring countries.
● As requested by the Human Rights Council resolution, the Mission is taking steps to present a report at the next session of the Council in September.
U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF CALLS FOR URGENT MEASURES IN WAKE OF LATEST MEXICO KILLINGS
● The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Friday strongly
condemned the killing of 72 migrants in the North of Mexico. I am deeply shocked about these killings, which highlight the critical situation of migrants in the country, she said.
● Last year, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants indicated that an estimated 400,000 migrants transit through Mexico each year, most of them victims of trafficking by transnational gang networks also involved in smuggling and drugs.
● I recognize the Government of Mexico has made strong efforts to curb the growing climate of violence," Pillay said. "Nevertheless, due to the dire circumstances I call on the authorities to undertake all necessary steps to protect the life and integrity of migrants, in particular women and children, in line with Mexicos international obligations.
● The High Commissioner also called on the authorities "to conduct as a matter of urgency a thorough, transparent and independent investigation into these killings, and to preserve the dignity of the victims by ensuring their identification and return to their families." She also urged them to prosecute and punish those responsible and adopt preventive measures. "Ensuring that there is no impunity is crucial to avoid a repetition of such a heinous crime," she said.
SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS TIME TO CLOSE NUCLEAR TEST SITES AND SEEK WORLD WITHOUT NUCLEAR WEAPONS
● The first observance of the International Day against Nuclear Tests will be on 29 August 2010, marking the anniversary of the day in 1991 when the President of Kazakhstan closed the test site at Semipalatinsk, where 456 nuclear tests conducted during the Cold War era. In the 64th session of the General Assembly in 2009, the Government of Kazakhstan proposed the establishment of the Day, backed by unanimous support for resolution 64/35.
● In his
message to the High Level Thematic Conference on the International Day against Nuclear Tests which is taking place in Astana, Kazakhstan, the Secretary-General asked the entire international community to reflect deeply on the consequences of the nuclear weapons tests that occurred in Semipalatinsk and around the world.
● The Secretary-General said its time to close all nuclear test sites and address the harm they have caused and to bring the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty into force, and a time for all to seek the security of a world without nuclear weapons.
DR.C. MISSION PROVIDED GOOD OFFICE IN HOSTAGE CASE: In answer to a question regarding the reference made by Special Representative Meece to a hostage situation on August 1, the Spokesperson said the Special Representative was referring to an Indian pilot with a commercial airline which had been taken hostage and MONUSCO was providing good offices.
GENERAL GAYE COOPERATING WITH JUDICIAL PROCEEDING: Asked about the appointment of General Babacar Gaye as military advisor for peacekeeping operations despite an international warrant for arrest issued in France against him, the Spokesperson said that General Gaye has and will continue to cooperate on any and all judicial proceedings where his participation is useful and relevant.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
This document is for planning purposes only and is current as of 12:28
Friday, 27 August, 2010.
28 August-3 September 2010
Sunday, 29 August
Today is the International Day against Nuclear Tests.
Starting today and until 7 September, the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, will visit the Syrian Arab Republic in what will be the first mission to the country by an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council.
Monday, 30 August
Today, the Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution on the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
At 10:00 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorum, there will be a press conference by the InterAcademy Council (IAC) about the independent review of the processes and procedures of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Participants include: Robbert Dijkgraaf, IAC Co-Chair and President, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science; Harold Shapiro, Chair of IAC Committee to Review IPCC and economist/former president, Princeton University (USA); Roseanne Diab, Vice-Chair of IAC Committee to Review IPCC and executive officer, Academy of Science of South Africa; Peter Williams, Member of IAC Committee to Review IPCC and treasurer/vice-president of The Royal Society, London (UK). The Press Conference will be moderated by Dan Shepard, Department of Public Information. The report, Climate Change Assessments: Review of the Processes and Procedures of the IPCC, will be publicly released at a press conference at 11:00 a.m. today.
At 11:00 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference about the report "Climate Change Assessments: Review of the Processes and Procedures of the IPCC". Participants include: Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, IPCC Chairman; Professor Thomas Stocker, co-chair Working Group 1 (the physical science basis), based in Bern Switzerland; Professor Chris Field, co-chair Working Group 2 (Impacts, adaptation, vulnerability), based in Standford (California), USA; Professor Youba Sokona, co-chair Working Group 3 (Mitigation of climate change), based in Bamako, Mali. Moderators will be Dan Shepard, Department of Public Information in New York, and Corinne Momal-Vanian, United Nations Information Center Geneva.
Tuesday, 31 August
The General Assembly will hold a high-level meeting will be held, at 10 a.m. in Conference Room 3 (NLB), to launch the United Nations Global Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons.
The guest at the Noon briefing will be Noon Guest Ms. Margot Wallström, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.
Today, UNCTAD will launch its report on Assistance to the Palestinian People.
Wednesday, 1 September
Today, Turkey will assume the monthly rotating Presidency of the Security Council.
The third session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be held on today, tomorrow and Friday, in Conference Room 4 (NLB).
Thursday, 2 September
There are no major events scheduled for today.
Friday, 3 September
In Geneva, the UNRISD will launch its flagship report, Combating Poverty and Inequality.
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, SA-1B15
New York, NY 10017
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