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United Nations Daily Highlights, 04-11-02

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

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

ANNAN NOTES UNPRECEDENTED SECURITY RISKS FOR UNITED NATIONS

Secretary-General Kofi Annan addressed the Fifth Committee on Monday to outline his proposals for improving security for UN staff, as set out in the $97 million security package that was recently presented to the General Assembly.

In his remarks, he said that the United Nations faces a security environment of unprecedented risk where the United Nations has become a target of political violence, and is no longer protected by its flag and its status as an impartial, benevolent actor.

Typical peacekeeping operations today take place in conflict zones, and often amid a collapsed society, where in some cases, non-state actors have little or no respect for the rules of war. He said that this new security environment provides a compelling rationale for security reform.

He added that his plan addresses all the shortcomings of current security arrangements, which are fragmented at present.

The Secretary-General said that security for UN staff is his first priority, and that the proposed security package is one of the most important proposals if not the most important that he has ever put forward to the Committee during his time as Secretary-General.

DARFUR: UNITED NATIONS CONTACTS SUDANESE GOVERNMENT

OVER RELOCATIONS OF DISPLACED PERSONS

The United Nations is receiving reports that at least two camps housing internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Nyala area of South Darfur, Sudan, were surrounded by units of the Sudanese army and police earlier today.

According to preliminary reports, at one site within Nyala town, at approximately 3:00 a.m., Government forces surrounded the Al Geer IDP camp and started forcing the residents out.

Between 3:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., a proportion of the population of this camp was relocated to another site north of Nyala town. It is estimated that 15 trucks were used to relocate the displaced persons. The remainder of the population was dispersed into the surrounding area of Nyala town as a direct result of this action.

The site is currently not able to cater for any additional influx and as such is not suitable for any relocation, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Operational agencies in South Darfur have been coordinating to discuss how best to respond to the needs of the newly arrived IDPs.

There have been extensive contacts between the UN Mission and the Government of Sudan, which has been reminded of its obligation to ensure only the voluntary movement of IDPs.

Asked about the UNs views on the relocations, the Spokesman said that the United Nations was still trying to establish what was taking place, and what was the Sudanese Governments motive in taking this action.

Asked about a reaction from the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Sudan, Jan Pronk, the Spokesman noted that Pronk was in New York today to meet with the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions.

IRAQIS CAN VERIFY PROPER REGISTRATION ON VOTER ROLLS

A significant step towards the holding of elections in Iraq got underway on Monday.

For the next six weeks, Iraqis will able to check if their names are properly registered on the voter rolls that were prepared by the Independent Electoral Commission for Iraq, with assistance from UN electoral experts.

CLERGY CONDEMNS ABDUCTION OF U.N. STAFF IN AFGHANISTAN

The UN Mission in Afghanistan is continuing its contacts with the Afghan authorities who are trying to obtain the release of the three UN staff members abducted last week.

Today, the All Afghanistan Clergy Council, a coalition of Afghan religious authorities, condemned the abducting of the three staff members as an action contrary to Islamic principles. They said that Afghanistan is a UN Member State, and that the three individuals had come to the country to serve the Afghan people.

The Clergy Council strongly demanded the release of the three staff members.

SECURITY COUNCIL APPROVES PROGRAM OF WORK FOR NOVEMBER

The Security Council is holding consultations on its program of work for November, which has been approved, and on a draft program of the planned Security Council meeting in Nairobi on November 18 and 19.

Then, under other matters, Council members heard a briefing on recent developments on Liberia.

The President of the Security Council for November, U.S. Ambassador John Danforth,

then read out a Presidential Statement following the end of consultations, in which the Council expressed its deep concern at developments in Guinea-Bissau that led to the killings of the Armed Forces Chief of Staff and the Chief of Human Resources on October 6. The Council condemned in the strongest terms such use of force to settle differences or address grievances.

UN ENVOY: LIBERIA VIOLENCE WONT POSE SERIOUS THREAT

In an interview with UN Radio, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Liberia, Jacques Klein, described the recent violence in Monrovia as a spontaneous incident, which wont pose a serious threat to the peace process in the country.

Klein noted that 95,000 people had been disarmed and more than 6 million rounds of ammunition destroyed.

The hard job now will be reintegrating these people into Liberian society, which already has 85 percent unemployment. He outlined the challenges ahead in a country whose capital is still without running water, without electricity and without sewerage.

Meanwhile, the UN Mission in Liberia says that rivals within a former Liberian rebel group were responsible for the violence that was calmed after United Nations forces deployed throughout the area. A mission spokesman said that some members of Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) wanted to hold onto their weapons while others are ready to go forward with the political process.

INT'L CRIMINAL COURT DEPUTY PROSECUTOR SWORN IN

Fatou Bensouda of The Gambia was sworn in as Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in an open session held in The Hague Monday.

According to Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo,the timing of Bensoudas election could not be better. The Prosecutors Office is expected to begin courtroom activities soon in support of the investigations which are underway in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda.

Also present at the ceremony were Prosecutor Hassan Jallow of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR COMMITMENT

TO COLLECTIVE SECURITY

Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette delivered the inaugural address at the new School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa on Monday.

Fréchette called on the international community to rally around a commitment to collective security, and to make a real dent in the problems of extreme poverty and hunger, unsafe drinking water, environmental degradation and endemic or infectious disease. She also called on the world to update the institutions of global governance to make them more legitimate.

Nations that truly believe in collective solutions to common problems must not be scared off by the difficulties besetting multilateralism, she said. Nor must they allow themselves to believe that the best days of the UN are past. The UN is doing better than people think, and it is changing with the times.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

TRAFFICKING RAPPORTEUR APPOINTED: The UN Commission on Human Rights has appointed Sigma Huda of Bangladesh as Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children. Huda is the founder and current president of the Bangladesh Women Lawyers Association, and the founding secretary of the Institute for Law and Development.

SPORTS YEAR 2005 TO BE LAUNCHED FRIDAY: Swiss tennis great Roger Federer and New York City Marathon record-holder Margaret Okayo will be at UN Headquarters on Friday, to take part in the launch of the International Year of Sport and Physical Education, which takes place in 2005. The aim of the year is to encourage the use of sports to promote education, health, development and peace. The Secretary-General will provide opening remarks at the 12:30 p.m. launch, which will also be attended by Adolf Ogi, the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace.

  • The guest at the briefing was Under-Secretary-General for Management Catherine Bertini, who discussed the financial situation of the Organization.

    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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