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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-09-01
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
FARHAN HAQ, ACTING DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR THE
U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS WEST BANK KILLINGS; REJECTS ATTEMPT TO UNDERMINE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN TALKS
condemns the killing of four Israeli citizens in the West Bank on 31 August. He extends his condolences to the families of the victims and calls for the perpetrators of this crime to be promptly brought to justice.
This attack must be recognized for what it is: a cynical and blatant attempt to undermine the direct
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations starting tomorrow. Negotiations are the only way for the parties to resolve all final status issues.
The Secretary-General calls upon both sides to show leadership, courage, and responsibility to realize the aspirations of both peoples.
Asked whether the United Nations needs to be present at the Washington talks, the Spokesperson said that Tony Blair would be present as the envoy of the Middle East Quartet, which includes the United Nations.
Asked about reported comments made by an Israeli rabbi concerning the Palestinians, Haq noted that the Secretary-Generals statement had said, with regard to actions that could undermine the direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, that negotiations are the only way for the parties to resolve all final status issues.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONGRATULATES LIECHTENSTEIN ON 20 YEARS OF U.N. MEMBERSHIP
Secretary-General is in Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, where he has congratulated the people of Liechtenstein for 20 years of membership in the United Nations -- an anniversary that the country will mark in less than three weeks.
He delivered a speech on global governance, telling officials there, Yours may be one of the worlds smaller countries, but its role is large. If all nations were as committed to the United Nations and its noble causes, the world would be a far, far better place.
He also held talks with Government ministers. Among other topics, they discussed the
Millennium Development Goals, the International Criminal Court, Security Council reform and global governance. The Secretary-General thanked Liechtenstein for its contribution to humanitarian assistance through the United Nations particularly to the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
The Secretary-General is to meet with Prince Hans-Adam II this evening.
U.N. PEACEKEEPING OFFICIAL TRAVELS TO EASTERN D.R. CONGO FOLLOWING RAPES THERE
The Assistant Secretary-General for
Atul Khare, who was dispatched by the
Secretary-General to the
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) last week, left Kinshasa on Tuesday to go to Goma, Kirumba, Kibua, Bukavu and Uvira, in the eastern DRC.
He spent his first days in the DRCs capital, where he met with various officials, including the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Vice Prime Minister and the Presidents security advisor. He also met with representatives of civil society and non-governmental organizations.
Earlier this week, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative in the country, Roger Meece, called for the Congolese authorities, the
United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the international community to work together to put an end to the crimes committed by illegal armed groups in the DRC.
Asked about reports indicating that some UN personnel were aware of rapes in the Walikale area earlier than mid-August, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General had dispatched Atul Khare to the DRC specifically to learn more about the rapes in Walikale and about the UN response.
Khare was expected to return to New York next week, when he would brief the Secretary-General and the
Security Council about his visit. Haq said that there was the possibility that Khare and the Special Representative dealing with Sexual Violence in Conflict,
Margot Wallström, would brief the Security Council in an open meeting, although the scheduling of such a meeting was up to the Security Council.
Asked whether more than 154 people had been raped in the attacks in eastern Congo, the Spokesperson said that MONUSCO personnel now had more access to the area in question and were looking into reports of any other attacks. As they obtain more information, he said, the numbers would be adjusted accordingly.
Asked about the leak of a mapping report on the DRC, Haq reiterated that the leak was regrettable. He said that the report was expected to come out soon, although no date has been fixed.
Asked whether the Secretary-General had spoken to Permanent Representatives to the United Nations about the report, the Spokesperson confirmed that he had. He added, in response to a further question, that the report had gone through the regular process of editing and approval.
SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS ATTACK IN SOMALIA; TURKEY ASSUMES PRESIDENCY FOR SEPTEMBER
Turkey has assumed the
Security Councils rotating
presidency for the month of September, replacing Russia.
Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, the new Council President, will brief the press at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday on the programme of work for the coming month.
On Tuesday afternoon, the members of the Security Council issued a press statement in which they
condemned in the strongest terms the attack on the Presidential Palace in Mogadishu, Somalia, on 30 August, which resulted in the death of four peacekeepers from the African Union Mission, AMISOM.
The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the recent increased fighting in Somalia and reiterated their full support for the Transitional Federal Government and for the work of AMISOM.
NEW ASSISTANT SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR LEGAL AFFAIRS APPOINTED
Secretary-General has appointed D. Stephen Mathias of the United States of America as Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs. He succeeds
Peter Taksøe-Jensen of Denmark.
The Secretary-General is grateful to Mr. Taksøe-Jensen for his dedication and commitment to the Organization while serving in this position.
Mr. Mathias will be, inter alia, the head of the
Office of Legal Counsel and will assist in the overall supervision of each of the units of the Office.
SECRETARY-GENERAL THANKS GOODWILL AMBASSADORS FOR FOCUS ON MILLENNIUM GOALS
Secretary-General today thanked a group of 26 Goodwill Ambassadors and
Messengers of Peace for agreeing to focus their efforts on championing theMillennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Antonio Banderas, Mia Farrow, Angelique Kidjo, Annie Lennox, Carl Lewis, Ricky Martin, Ronaldo and Maria Sharapova are among the celebrities who already have a track record in speaking out about one or more of the Goals. They will use every opportunity to raise awareness for the Goals and the September
As household names, they can bring the message of global justice and solidarity to homes and communities around the world, the Secretary-General said.
DISABILITIES CONFERENCE STARTS IN NEW YORK: The
Third Conference of States Parties to the
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, begins today under a theme of inclusion. The three-day Conference, between 1-3 September, will discuss implementation of the Convention, which entered into force in 2008. To date, there are 146 signatories and 90 ratifications. The Under-Secretary-General of the
Department of Economic and Social Affairs,
Sha Zukang, which serves as Secretariat for the Conference, will address the opening.
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME SEEKS 40 HELICOPTERS TO GIVE OUT FOOD IN PAKISTAN: Asked about the need for air assets in
Pakistan, the Spokesperson recalled that the
World Food Programme had asked for 40 helicopters to help food distribution. He noted that the
Secretary-General supported the idea of a further high-level meeting on Pakistans humanitarian needs.
U.N. ENVOY FOR WESTERN SAHARA CONTINUES WORK WITH PARTIES: Asked about the work of the Personal Envoy of the Secretary General for Western Sahata,
Christopher Ross, the Spokesperson said that Ross continues to work with the parties and the neighboring states with the objective of entering into substantive negotiations to find a mutually agreed political solution for the conflict of
Western Sahara. Ross has stated on many occasions that the positions are still far apart and he has asked the parties to show more flexibility so that progress can be made, he added later.
U.S. REQUESTED TO REMOVE TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS ON U.N. STAFF: Asked about restrictions on the movements of UN staff in the United States, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations Secretariat has indicated to the US Government its position of principle concerning the treatment of its staff solely on the basis of their nationality and has requested that all travel restrictions be removed by the host country as soon as possible.
DECISION OF U.N. DISPUTE TRIBUNAL BEING STUDIED: Asked about a
UN Dispute Tribunal ruling on the case of Anton Shkurtaj, the Spokesperson said that the decision is being studied.
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