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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-08-30
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR THE
U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Monday, August 30, 2010
SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF CLIMATE CHANGE PANEL
Secretary-General welcomes the independent review of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) conducted by the InterAcademy Council, which was released this morning.
The Secretary-General expresses his gratitude to the InterAcademy Council for conducting this fully independent review of the working practices of the IPCC, which he co-commissioned with the Chairman of the IPCC in March. Given the gravity of the climate challenge, the Secretary-General believes it is vital that the world receives the best possible climate assessments through an IPCC that operates at the highest levels of professionalism, objectivity, responsiveness, and transparency. He looks forward to reading the reviews recommendations and urges the 194 member governments of the IPCC to study the IAC review carefully and to take appropriate action as soon as possible.
The Secretary-General firmly maintains that the fundamental science on climate change remains sound. He continues to support the conclusions of the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC, which have been repeatedly upheld and endorsed by numerous professional review boards across the globe.
In response to questions, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General had asked for an independent review so that the IPCC can provide the world with the best possible climate assessments, which we need, given the gravity of the climate challenge.
The Secretary-General, he added, has just received this report and has not had time to read it. The Secretary-General urges the governments who have authority over the IPCC to carefully review it and take appropriate action as soon as possible.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO VISIT AUSTRIA, LIECHTENSTEIN; TO HOST ANNUAL RETREAT OF SENIOR OFFICIALS
On Tuesday, the
Secretary-General will begin a week-long visit to Liechtenstein and Austria.
He will first travel to Liechtenstein for an official visit. He will meet with several senior officials there, including Prince Hans-Adam II, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He will deliver a speech on global governance to parliamentarians, politicians, business leaders and members of civil society.
The Secretary-General will then travel to Vienna, Austria, where he will also meet with senior officials. He will give opening remarks at the Conference: From Vision to Reality: A New and Holistic Approach to Fighting Corruption.
In Alpbach, also in Austria, the Secretary-General will address the European Forum 2010 as well as the
Security Council Retreat. He will then host the annual retreat for UN senior officials.
SECRETARY-GENERAL HAS CONFIDENCE IN SURVIVAL OF CHILEAN MINERS
Asked about the miners who are trapped underground in Chile, the Spokesperson said that the
Secretary-General has been closely following this dramatic story, and he has been deeply moved by it.
Like so many people, not least the families, the Secretary-General was amazed and delighted when he heard that all 33 miners were safe.
Nesirky said that their ordeal is far from over, but the Secretary-General wants the miners to know that his thoughts will be with them during the difficult time ahead. He is confident they will endure and keep their hearts strong. He also notes that the Chilean authorities are doing all they can to support the miners and rescue them. He remembers from his own
trip to Chile in March just days after the earthquake that the Chilean people are strong and resourceful.
With the rest of the world, the Secretary-General is looking forward to the day when he hears that the men are all once again reunited with families and loved ones.
SECURITY COUNCIL TO DISCUSS MANDATE OF U.N. MISSION IN LEBANON
At 3:00 p.m., the
Security Council will hold consultations, followed by a formal meeting, on the
UN Iinterim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL).
Secretary-General, in a
letter to the President of the
Security Council, recommended that the Forces mandate be extended by one year, until the end of August 2011.
In that letter, the Secretary-General also expressed his deep concern at the exchange of fire that took place in the vicinity of El Adeisse earlier this month. That exchange of fire, he wrote, shows how quickly the relatively stable and secure environment in southern Lebanon that UNIFIL has helped to establish, in cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces, can change.
U.N. CONDEMNS LATEST KILLINGS IN RUN-UP TO ELECTIONS IN AFGHANISTAN
UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned the killing of a fourth parliamentary election candidate in
Herat on Saturday. It also condemned the killing of five men supporting the electoral campaign of a female candidate, also in Herat province. At this stage it is not clear who is responsible for the separate killings. But these killings constitute violent intimidation of all electoral candidates and their supporters and this is unacceptable.
UNAMA calls upon the Afghan security forces to be on heightened vigilance over the coming weeks leading to the parliamentary elections.
FOOD PROVIDED FOR 2.5 MILLION PEOPLE AFFECTED BY FLOODS IN PAKISTAN
In the month since floods began to devastate
World Food Programme (WFP) has
reached over 2.5 million people with life-saving rations. WFP says that it will begin delivering 1,500 metric tonnes of rice per day this week.
At the same time, WFP says that it needs about 40 additional helicopters to move food and other relief items into areas that have been cut off by flooding. It also needs at least 30 cargo flights to move nutrition supplements into Pakistan over the next two months.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that the $459 million response plan for Pakistan has now received $291 million in commitments and an additional $21 million in pledges.
WFPs Executive Director,
Joseette Sheeran, will visit Pakistan between 31 August and 1 September, as part of a fact-finding mission to evaluate how WFPs operations are meeting the needs of millions of people affected by the floods, ensure coordination with the efforts of the Pakistani authorities and push for continued robust international support for the aid effort.
The Executive Director of the
UN Childrens Fund (UNICEF),
arrives in Pakistan today to tour flood-hit areas and see UNICEF operations to assist the millions of flood-affected people, especially the most vulnerable, the children and women.
The Director-General of the
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO),
Irina Bokova, will also
visit flood-stricken zones and meet with national and regional authorities during a visit to Pakistan on Tuesday. She will meet with the countrys prime minister and various other senior officials, as well as other national authorities, to discuss ways in which UNESCO can most effectively support the national rescue and relief effort in the short, medium and long term.
Asked whether there would be a meeting on Pakistans humanitarian needs in mid-September, the Spokesperson said that it was likely that there would be a meeting around the same time as the General Assemblys general debate, which could look at the immediate and long-term challenges there.
Asked about the problems facing pregnant women in Pakistan, Nesirky said that it will likely be many months before the clinics and health centres, schools and other public infrastructure that people rely on can return to some degree of functionality and many affected people are able to become self sufficient again.
Asked about the role of the Special Envoy for Assistance to Pakistan,
Jean-Maurice Ripert, in UN efforts regarding Pakistan, the Spokesperson said that Ripert has been the Special Envoy for assistance to Pakistan and has worked with all UN players on the ground while advising the Secretary-General on the latest crisis. He recently visited Pakistan and played a key role in the Secretary-Generals visit, which he accompanied.
QUARTET REPRESENTATIVE TONY BLAIR TO ATTEND MIDDLE EAST MEETING: Asked whether the
Secretary-General would travel to Washington, D.C. this week for the meeting on the
Middle East, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General was already travelling in Europe this week. Tony Blair, the Quartet representative, would be present in Washington.
U.N. MISSION READY TO HELP DARFUR PILOTS IF REQUESTED: In response to questions, the Spokesperson said that three Russians, from a helicopter crew working for a private Sudanese aviation company, were abducted on Sunday by unknown armed assailants near their accommodation in Nyala,
South Darfur. The Government of Sudan is investigating the incident. The
United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) is ready to provide advice and assistance in this case if requested.
RWANDAN CONTRIBUTION TO U.N. PEACEKEEPING GREATLY APPRECIATED: Asked about reports that Rwanda is threatening to pull out peacekeepers from UN operations, the Spokesperson said that
UN peacekeeping operations very much appreciate Rwandas troop contribution as well as their performance under UN command. Rwanda currently contributes (as of 31 July) 3,485 soldiers, 143 police officers and 24 staff officers to UN operations. Asked further about a report that Rwanda had cited as a concern, the Spokesperson recalled that the final report has not yet come out.
COURT ISSUES ADMISSIBILITY DECISIONS FOR CIVIL PARTIES IN KHMER ROUGE TRIALS: The Co-Investigating Judges of the
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia have started issuing admissibility decisions, regarding nearly 4,000 applications to join the Courts second case as Civil Parties. The Extraordinary Chambers provides an active role for victims as Civil Parties to criminal proceedings, being the first international body of its kind to do so.
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