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United Nations Daily Highlights, 02-08-07

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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: unnews@un.org

HIGHLIGHTS

OF THE NOON BRIEFING

BY FRED ECKHARD

SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Wednesday, August 7, 2002

ANNAN NOTES PALESTINIAN HUMANITARIAN CRISIS, APPOINTS ENVOY

Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a statement today, noting that "Times New Roman";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-ansi-language: all parties in the Middle East agree that the civilian population of the West Bank and Gaza is facing a severe and mounting humanitarian crisis. Three weeks ago the Quartet (United Nations, United States, European Union, Russian Federation), meeting in New York, expressed their deep concern about this crisis, and agreed that the United Nations should lead a concerted international effort to alleviate the plight of the Palestinian people.

"Times New Roman";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-ansi-language: The Secretary-General said, "I have therefore appointed Ms. Catherine Bertini, former head of the World Food Programme, as my Personal Humanitarian Envoy. She will be travelling to the region this weekend to assess the nature and the scale of the humanitarian crisis, and to review humanitarian needs in the light of recent developments. She will consult with UN officials in the area, as well as those of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement and the donor and non-governmental community, to review assistance activities already under way, or planned, and identify any new measures that are needed. She will also meet the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to discuss with them what needs to be done. She will report to me, and through me to the Quartet, on what needs to be done to respond to the humanitarian situation and to prevent it from deteriorating further."

ANNAN SENDS LETTER TO IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER

The Secretary-Generals letter to Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri, which replied to the Foreign Ministers letter inviting chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix to Iraq, went out Tuesday afternoon; in addition to the Iraqi Foreign Minister, members of the Security Council also received copies of that letter.

The Secretary-General was asked this morning upon entering the building whether he had received any response from the Iraqis, and he replied, The letter was sent to the Iraqis only yesterday, and I think we have to give them some time to respond. I think my letter makes it quite clear how the UN expects them to proceed.

SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES CHANGES FOR UN IN ANGOLA

The Security Council held a private meeting this morning on Angola. The Special Advisor of the SecretaryGeneral on Africa, Ibrahim Gambari, introduced and highlighted key features of the Secretary-Generals recent report on Angola, which proposes the establishment of a new mission, which will be better coordinated and more integrated, to succeed the current UN Office in Angola.

The Council also heard from the Vice-Minister for External Relations of the Republic of Angola Jorge Chicote. The private meeting was followed by consultations, also on Angola.

Gambari spoke to reports after the consultations ended, and said the new UN Mission for Angola, under the Secretary-Generals proposals, would contain two pillars: a humanitarian pillar, headed by a deputy Special Representative; and a pillar dealing with political, military and human rights issues, headed by a Special Representative of the Secretary-General. The next steps, he added, were in the Councils hands.

Asked about the present and future levels of the UN presence in Angola, the Spokesman said that the current UN Office comprised more than 100 staff, including more than 40 international staff. The numbers for the proposed UN Mission have not been specified, but the Secretary-General noted the possibility of adding 11 military liaison officers.

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS MILITARY MUTINY IN NIGER

The Secretary-General is very concerned by the upsurge of violence in Niger, resulting from a spate of mutinies by segments of the armed forces in different parts of the country in recent days.

He firmly condemns any attempt to seize power by force, or the use of violence to address grievances.

The Secretary-General calls for full and unconditional respect for the constitutional order in Niger. He supports the Governments determination to pursue dialogue with a view to restoring peace, stability and democratic governance throughout the country.

ANNAN SAYS HONOR VIOLENCE SHOULD BE CRIMINALIZED

The Secretary-General, in a report available today, notes the actions taken within the UN system and by certain States to deal with crimes against women that have been committed in the name of honor, and he says that elimination of such acts requires greater and concerted efforts.

The Secretary-General writes, All forms of violence against women and girls committed in the name of honor should be criminalized, and those deliberately participating in, facilitating, encouraging or threatening violence against women and girls in the name of honor should be penalized. He also calls for special training and resources to be given to law enforcement and other relevant personnel to address the issue effectively.

Also today, the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) announced today more than a million dollars in grants for 18 programs in 22 countries. The grants, ranging from $25,000 to $120,000, will go to programs on domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, rape and honor crimes.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

At noon today, the Secretary-General met the members of the Real Madrid and Roma football teams, who will play each other Thursday in a match that will benefit the United Nations fight against AIDS. The Spanish team was introduced to the Secretary-General by Spanish Ambassador Inocencio Arias and the Italian team by Italian Ambassador Pier Benedettto Francese.

A global review of disaster reduction, called Living with Risk, will be launched on Friday in Tokyo.

Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General

United Nations, S-378 New York, NY 10017 Tel. 212-963-7162 - press/media only Fax. 212-963-7055

All other inquiries to be addressed to (212) 963-4475 or by e-mail to: inquiries@un.org


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