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United Nations Daily Highlights, 00-04-06
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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: firstname.lastname@example.orgHIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARIE OKABE
ASSOCIATE SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Thursday, April 6, 2000
ANNAN OPENS UN COORDINATION MEETING IN ROME
Secretary-General Kofi Annan continued his visit to Rome today by chairing the opening of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), attended by more than two dozen heads of UN agencies, funds and programs.
These top leaders of the UN system first met in closed session, without their aides, for a review of the Secretary-General's Millennium Report, which they strongly endorsed.
They then broke up into two sub-groups for focused discussion. Mike Moore, the head of the World Trade Organization, chaired one sub-group that dealt with trade, human rights, labor standards, and environmental protection. The second sub-group, on information technology, was chaired by G.O.P. Obasi, the head of the World Meteorological Organization.
The twice-a-year meeting was co-hosted by the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and it took place at the WFP headquarters.
Over lunch, WFP Executive Director Catherine Bertini presented the Secretary-General with a birthday cake. He turns 62 on Saturday.
In the afternoon, principals and aides got together for a round on globalization and the UN system, drawing on the reports of the two sub-groups.
The Secretary-General also gave a press conference in the late morning, at which he presented Bertini, whom he had appointed as his Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa. Together they took questions on the developing famine in that region.
Annan also took questions on the planned Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, the Middle East peace process and Chechnya, among other topics.
Friday, the Secretary-General and members of the ACC will have an audience with Pope John Paul II before resuming their meeting.
ANNAN PAYS HOMAGE TO LATE TUNISIAN PRESIDENT
The Secretary-General, in a statement issued through his Spokesman, said that he has "learned with great sadness of the passing today of Habib Bourguiba, the founder and first President of the Republic of Tunisia."
Annan paid homage to the late President's memory "as a great statesman and a man of peace," as Tunisia's founder and as one of the architects of the Organization of African Unity. "President Bourguiba personified the hopes and aspirations of generations of men and women, both in Tunisia and in Africa," the statement said, noting the Secretary-General's "hearfelt condolences" to his family and all Tunisians.
SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES AGREEMENT ON EAST TIMOR
In a statement issued through his Spokesman on the first anniversary of the massacre at Liquica, the Secretary-General was pleased to learn of an agreement between the UN Transitional Authority in East Timor (UNTAET) and the Indonesian Government on mutual cooperation concerning judicial and human rights matters.
The Memorandum of Understanding agreed to Wednesday will facilitate the cooperation of the United Nations and Indonesia on investigations and prosecutions of those responsible for last year's violence in East Timor.
"The Secretary-General wishes to express his appreciation to Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid and Attorney General Marzuki Darusman for taking this important step in meeting their obligations to bring about justice for the crimes committed in East Timor," the statement said.
The Memorandum covers mutual assistance between Indonesia and UNTAET on a number of important procedures. These include making detained persons available to give evidence or assist in investigations; ensuring that judicial documents are served; carrying out arrests, searches and seizures; facilitating the transfer of people from one jurisdiction to another; allowing for forensic experts to participate in exhumations; ensuring that representatives of the authorities can participate in legal proceedings; and providing information and evidentiary items.
ANNAN CONDUCTS SERIES OF MEETINGS ON LEBANON
In response to questions, the Spokesman noted that the Secretary-General informed the President of the Security Council on the series of meetings he had held on the subject of Israel's planned withdrawal from Lebanon.
The Secretary-General noted his meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy on April 4, and also spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak on Wednesday. He told Barak that an obligation to fulfill the mandates contained in Security Council Resolutions 425 and 426, while noting that many questions still had to be addressed.
The Secretary-General also instructed his Special Envoy, Terje Roed Larsen, to meet with Lebanese President Emile Lahoud to brief him on developments. Larsen met with Lahoud and other Lebanese officials on Wednesday, while the Secretary-General also spoke to the Lebanese President by telephone today.
Annan has instructed Larsen to meet with Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Charaa later this week, as well as other concerned parties, to brief them on the situation and to seek their views.
The Secretary-General noted that he expects that the United Nations would receive formal notification of Israel's intentions, the Spokesman said.
Asked about the Secretary-General's response to a memorandum sent to him by the President of Lebanon, the Spokesman added that he was studying it and would respond in due course.
SECURITY COUNCIL TO MEET ON AFGHANISTAN FRIDAY
There is no meeting of the Security Council today.
On Friday, the Council will hear a briefing on Afghanistan, which will be chaired by Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy. The open meeting will include a briefing by John Renninger, Officer-in-Charge of the Asia and Pacific Division for the Department of Political Affairs. The Council will also consider the adoption of a Presidential Statement on Afghanistan.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Council's Sanctions Committee on Angola met and informally discussed a draft resolution on Angolan sanctions. The Council's next scheduled date for consultations on Angola is next Wednesday, April 12.
YUGOSLAVIA PROSECUTOR TO APPEAL DECISION ON RELEASE OF SUSPECTS
On Wednesday evening in The Hague, Prosecutor Carla del Ponte informed the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia that she would file an appeal against the Trial Chamber's orders, issued last Tuesday, that Bosnian Serb suspects Miroslav Tadic and Simo Zaric should be granted provisional release.
Following this, according to the rules of the Tribunal, the accused will not be released unless the Appeals Chamber decides to the contrary.
On Tuesday, the Trial Chamber had decided to grant provisional release to the two accused, based on the fact that they had voluntarily surrendered to the custody of the Tribunal, and that they had provided the guarantees required by the Trial Chamber.
Asked about the Secretary-General's comments on Elián Gonzalez, the Spokesman noted that the Secretary-General said today in Rome that he hoped the law would take its course, and that he understood that Gonzalez's father was on his way to the United States. "I personally believe it is not a UN matter; we are not engaged," the Spokesman quoted Annan as saying, "I personally believe the child belongs with his father." The Spokesman noted that the comments were Annan's first on the subject.
In a press release, the Food and Agriculture Organization warns that current crop prospects in North Africa for 2000 are unfavorable because of prolonged dry conditions since January. It adds that parts of Morocco and northern Algeria have received little rain since January, while dry conditions have also affected parts of northern and central Tunisia and northern Libya.
The World Health Organization issued an updated fact sheet on tuberculosis.
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