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United Nations Daily Highlights, 04-11-01

United Nations Daily Highlights Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

ARCHIVES

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SPOKESMAN'S NOON BRIEFING

BY FRED ECKHARD

SPOKESMAN FOR THE

SECRETARY-GENERAL

OF THE UNITED NATIONS

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Monday, November 1, 2004

MIDDLE EAST: ANNAN CONDEMNS SUICIDE BOMBING, KILLING OF CHILDREN

Secretary-General Kofi Annan strongly endorses the statement of his special envoy, the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Terje Roed-Larsen, condemning todays suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. He reiterates his long-standing and adamant opposition to all terrorist attacks, from whatever quarter. The Secretary-General sends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims of todays attack.

Roed-Larsen had expressed his abhorrence at the suicide attack that hit the Carmel Market in

Tel Aviv. He condemned the attack in the strongest terms. Larsen reiterated his firm belief that nothing can justify terror. He said he expected the Palestinian Authority to act without delay against those organizing and perpetrating terror and to bring them to justice.

The Secretary-General was

distressed to learn of the deaths of two Palestinian children over the last few days during the continuation of Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) operations in the occupied

Palestinian territory. He is even more disturbed as they follow the killing of two Palestinian children earlier in October.

On Thursday, 9-year-old Rania Iyad Aram was killed by gunfire on her way to school in Khan Younis in Gaza Strip. On Saturday morning, 12-year-old Ibrahim Mohammed Kmileh was killed in a refugee camp in the West Bank town of Jenin, while two other boys were wounded.

The Secretary-General expects that the Government of Israel will launch a rigorous investigation into these incidents and that the results will be made public.

The Secretary-General renews his calls on the Government of Israel to take effective measures to avoid any harm to Palestinian civilians, and to have special care for the protection of the children.

He calls on both parties to exercise maximum restraint and responsibility during this critical period.

IRAQI PRIME MINISTER, U.N. ENVOY DISCUSS U.N. ROLE IN IRAQ

The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Iraq,

Ashraf Qazi, today met in Baghdad with Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.

The two had a general discussion of the situation in Iraq and the role of the United Nations in helping

Iraq through the transitional process.

Qazi has been meeting with a number of Iraqi officials and representatives of various civil society organizations and political entities. The meetings are intended to explore means through which the United Nations can work with these groups in advancing the political process through the broadening of an inclusive political dialogue.

Asked whether the meeting with the Prime Minister included a discussion of whether Iraqi elections might be delayed, the Spokesman said he had received no report that the matter was even discussed.

ABDUCTED U.N. WORKERS ARE COMMITTED TO SERVE AFGHAN PEOPLE

The

UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan is concerned about the three abducted UN staff members Shqipe Hebibi, Annetta Flanigan and Angelito Nayan and called on those holding them not to harm them.

Manoel de Almeida e Silva, the Missions spokesman,

said the three have come from different backgrounds, but had at least one thing in common: their commitment to serve people who can benefit from their knowledge and expertise. That is why, he said, they volunteered to work in

Afghanistan.

We miss them, he said. The best response to such a situation is their immediate release.

Asked what urgency the

Secretary-General is giving to the release of the staff members, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General over the weekend had spoken with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Following standard practice, he said, the Afghan Government has taken the lead in this matter.

He added that the Secretary-General is concerned about the welfare of the staff members. He is keeping in close contact with the Afghan Government in its efforts to resolve the matter.

Asked whether there were any demands concerning the staff members, the Spokesman said he was only aware of those televised.

INSECURITY IN DARFUR FORCES AID AGENCIES TO SCALE BACK ACTIVITIES

The UN Mission in

Sudan reports security incidents in West, North and South Darfur today. In some cases, agencies have been forced to scale back aid operations and relocate staff due to insecurity.

Meanwhile, in Southern Sudan, the mission reports that crops are being harvested in many areas due to improved rains since August. This will lead to improved food security over the next three months, the mission says.

The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Sudan,

Jan Pronk, is in New York to submit his 30-day report to the Secretary-General. Jan Pronk is expected to brief the

Security Council on Thursday.

FRENCH CIVILIAN ACCUSED OF PAEDOPHILIA IN DR CONGO;

HANDED OVER TO FRANCE

A French civilian employed by the

UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the town of Goma, has been accused of paedophilia and is now in the hands of the French justice system.

This development was made public yesterday in a

press release issued jointly by the UN Mission in the DRC and the French Embassy in Kinshasa.

UNITED STATES ASSUMES PRESIDENCY OF SECURITY COUNCIL FOR NOVEMBER

Today is the first day of the U.S.

Presidency of the

Security Council for the month of November.

There are no meetings or consultations scheduled for today.

Security Council President, U.S. Ambassador John Danforth, is holding bilateral meetings to discuss the programme of work for the month.

The program of work is expected to be approved in consultations tomorrow morning.

RELATIVE CALM RETURNS TO MONROVIA, LIBERIA

The

UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) today

said relative calm has returned to Monrovia, where violence erupted last Thursday.

The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Liberia,

Jacques Klein, said close coordination and communication with the government, the Liberian National Police, and religious leaders ensured that wanton looting and arson was brought to a stop.

He also said robust UN military and police patrols have responded to incidents throughout the day and have enforced the curfew effective each day from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. until further notice.

The UN Mission says the violence has claimed 16 lives and hospitals have reported 208 injuries.A total of 250 arrests have been made for offences ranging from murder, arson and breaking of the curfew.

In a statement issued Friday evening, the Secretary-General had appealed to all traditional and political leaders in the country, as well as the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to urgently intervene and support the UN effort to restore calm.

NUCLEAR WATCHDOG CHIEF CALLS ON IRAN TO RESUME

VOLUNTARY SUSPENSION OF ENRICHMENT-RELATED ACTIVITIES

Mohamed ElBaradei, the Director-General of the

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today called on Iran to do its utmost to build confidence by resuming its voluntary suspension of enrichment-related and reprocessing activities.

In his annual report to the

General Assembly, Mohamed ElBaradei said that he has asked Iran to pursue a policy of maximum transparency, so that the outstanding issues can be resolved.

He told the Assembly that the most disturbing lesson from the Agencys recent work in Iran and Libya may be the existence of an extensive illicit market for the supply of nuclear items, which clearly thrived on demand.

The relative ease with which an illicit network could operate, he said, demonstrates clearly the inadequacy of the present export control system.

He also discussed the IAEAs work concerning North Korea, Libya and Iraq.

SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC CAN TAKE LEAD IN PRESENTING HIS CASE

The Appeals Chamber of the

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia today

ruled that former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic can take the lead in presenting his case, when he is physically capable of doing so.

However, the Appeals Chamber added, it is left to the Trial Chambers discretion to steer a clear course between allowing Milosevic to exercise his fundamental right of self-representation and safeguarding the Tribunals basic interest in a reasonably expeditious resolution of the case.

In practice, the Appeals Chamber said, if all goes well, the trial should continue much as it did when Milosevic was healthy, with the defendant playing the principal courtroom role at the hearings.

ANNAN DID NOT INTERFERE IN RECOMMENDATION ON U.N. OFFICIAL

Asked whether the

Secretary-General interfered with an

Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) recommendation on

UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Ruud Lubbers, the Spokesman said that he had not.

The OIOS, the Spokesman said, is independent, and reports its recommendations to the Secretary-General.

He said that, when the OIOS makes a recommendation to management, UN management may choose to reject their advice. In that case, he said, the OIOS could report to the General Assembly that management did not take up their recommendation.

Asked about the reasons for the Secretary-Generals decision on Lubbers, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General made his decision after studying the OIOS report, studying Lubberss reaction to that report and seeking legal guidance.

He added, in response to another question, that there had been no change in the Secretary-Generals position since he made his decision over the summer.

Asked whether the matter could come before the Joint Appeals Board, the Spokesman said that every staff member has the right to bring a case to that Board. He could not predict how long it would take for the Board to come to a decision.

He declined to speculate on what course of action the Joint Appeals Board would take.

Asked whether the Secretary-General had taken a decision that should have been taken by a joint disciplinary committee, the Spokesman said he was not aware that anything that had departed from standard procedure had taken place in this case.

Asked whether the Secretary-General would address the matter in a meeting with Rosemarie Waters of the staff union, Eckhard said that the Secretary-General wanted to discuss staff security at that meeting.

AFRICAS SHARE OF PRIVATE CAPITAL FLOWS, TRADE IS STILL TOO SMALL

In a

message to the Asia-Africa Investment and Trade Conference, being held in Tokyo today and tomorrow, the

Secretary-General said that while Africa today is significantly more open to international trade and investment, its share of private capital flows and trade is still far too small.

This is partly due to institutional and technical barriers, which Africas governments, in close cooperation with their development partners, must continue to tackle, the Secretary-General said. The perception of prohibitive risk, often exacerbated by the mistaken view that the whole of Africa is a continent engulfed in violence, must change.

The Secretary-Generals message was delivered on his behalf by Ibrahim Gambari, the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Africa.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

AID WORKERS TACKLE CHOLERA OUTBREAK IN NORTHERN UGANDA: The

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has been reporting over the past week on efforts to rebuild the oldest camp housing

internally displaced persons in

northern Uganda, where thousands were left homeless after a severe rain storm. Now, aid workers are tackling a cholera outbreak that has killed three people in the camp. An update from OCHA draws attention to the fact that at least 1.6 million people in northern Uganda have been displaced by the 18-year long conflict in the north.

COMPANY BOARDS ARENT DISCLOSING ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS: A new international study, co-authored by the

UN Environment Programme,

finds that company boards are failing to disclose to investors how environmental and social issues pose strategic risks and opportunities for their businesses. The international review of corporate sustainability entitled Risk & Opportunity: Best Practice in Non-Financial Reporting adds that this failure to disclose comes despite this information being increasingly important to analysts, investors, lenders, insurers and re-insurers.

TURKMENISTAN ACHIEVES UNIVERSAL SALT IODISATION: Turkmenistan has

become the fourth country in the world and the first in central Asia to achieve

universal salt iodisation. Salt

iodisation is the most effective way to protect children from iodine deficiency the worlds leading cause of preventable mental retardation and brain damage.

UNICEF, the UN Childrens Fund, is helping countries work towards the goal of achieving the sustainable elimination of iodine deficiency disorders by 2005; and it has congratulated the Government of Turkmenistan on its success.

INTERNATIONAL HEALTH REGULATIONS TO BE REVISED: Member States of the

World Health Organization have begun a two-week meeting in Geneva to revise the

International Health Regulations. The Regulations are a code of practices and procedures to prevent the spread of disease. Theyre legally binding and were originally intended to help monitor and control six serious infectious diseases today, only cholera, plague and yellow fever are notifiable diseases. The revisions aim to bring the Regulations up to date, and to increase controls on the international spread of infectious diseases.

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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