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United Nations Daily Highlights, 04-11-11
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SPOKESMAN'S NOON BRIEFING
BY FRED ECKHARD
SPOKESMAN FOR THE
OF THE UNITED NATIONS
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Thursday, November 11, 2004
[Tomorrow is an official UN holiday - Eid Al Fitr, the end of Ramadan.
The noon briefing will resume on Monday, November 15]
ANNAN DEEPLY MOVED BY DEATH OF PRESIDENT YASSER ARAFAT
Secretary-General Kofi Annan was deeply
moved to learn of the death of President Yasser Arafat.
President Arafat was one of those few leaders who could be instantly recognized by people in any walk of life all around the world.
For nearly four decades, he expressed and symbolized in his person the national aspirations of the Palestinian people.
President Arafat will always be remembered for having, in 1988, led the Palestinians to accept the principle of peaceful coexistence between Israel and a future Palestinian state. By signing the Oslo accords in 1993 he took a giant step towards the realization of this vision.
It is tragic that he did not live to see it fulfilled. Now that he has gone, both Israelis and Palestinians, and the friends of both peoples throughout the world, must make even greater efforts to bring about the peaceful realization of the Palestinian right of self-determination.
The Secretary-Generals deep-felt condolences go to his wife Suha and his young daughter Zahwa and to the Palestinian people.
When he spoke to reporters at UN headquarters, the
Secretary-General said that now that President Yasser Arafat is gone, the best legacy that his people can live by is to engage constructively and peacefully with the international community and the Israeli government and people to make his dream, a dream of two states living side by side in peace, a reality.
"I would urge that we all get to work and really press for the achievement of that goal," he said. He also noted the smooth transition of the Palestinian leadership.
U.N. ENVOY FOR MIDDLE EAST PEACE TO REPRESENT ANNAN AT ARAFAT FUNERAL
The Secretary-General has asked
Terje Roed-Larsen, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative to the Palestinian Authority, to represent him at President Arafats funeral in Cairo.
At UN Headquarters,. the UN flag has been lowered at half mast.
At 2:30 p.m. today, the Secretary-General will speak in the
General Assembly for special tribute to President Arafat.
Asked why the Secretary-General was not going to Arafats funeral, the Spokesman said that it was not possible for him to make the travel arrangements on such short notice.
The Secretary-General, he noted, travels commercially; to get to Cairo by Friday would probably have required a private plane. He asserted that the Secretary-General was not sending any kind of message by not attending.
Asked about efforts to push forward the
Road Map, the Spokesman said that, as the Secretary-General had previously noted, the diplomatic Quartet anticipated that, once the U.S. presidential elections were out of the way, it could take a fresh initiative on the Middle East. That could take place by early next year, Eckhard said, and Yasser Arafats death would likely not change that possibility, or might even accelerate it.
The Spokesman added, Lets wait for the new Palestinian leadership to settle in.
Asked how long the UN flag would remain at half mast, he said it would be for one day.
He noted that the
General Assembly, in a series of rulings over the years, had accorded Yasser Arafat a status equivalent to that of a Head of State.
The Secretary-General decided that he should be accorded the same status in death as he obtained during his life, and the
General Assembly President had agreed.
ANNAN CONDEMNS USE OF HATE MEDIA IN COTE DIVOIRE
regrets the loss of life that has occurred in the wake of the recent violent events in Côte dIvoire. The Secretary-General reiterates his call to all parties to ensure an end to violence in the country. In this regard, he condemns the use of hate media which is fuelling the tensions, xenophobia and inciting violent acts.
He reminds all concerned that they may be held accountable for their acts, in conformity with international criminal, human rights and humanitarian law.
The Secretary-General reiterates his appeal to the authorities to do everything possible to prevent the devastating resurgence of ethnic conflict and urgently take all necessary measures to put an end to violence against innocent civilians and destruction of property.
POWER RESTORED IN PARTS OF BOUAKE IN NORTHERN COTE D'IVOIRE
As UN humanitarian agencies and their partners worked to deliver as much assistance as possible in a precarious environment, the
UN Operation in Cote dIvoire (UNOCI) has reported that electricity in some districts in Bouake in the north was restored a short while ago thanks to collaboration between UN engineers and the state-run technicians. The engineers say they hope that electricity could be restored all over Bouake as early as tomorrow.
UNOCI has issued an appeal for calm. While the situation in Abidjan remains volatile, it reports the city is quieter, and that businesses are reopening and more traffic was seen on the roads.
UN peacekeepers haves been monitoring borders, mainly with Liberia to check if there are cross border movements. None have been reported so far, with the exception of a few Liberian refugees leaving Cote d'Ivoire.
Department of Peacekeeping Operations report that government troops continue to withdraw to their positions south of the UN-patrolled Zone of Confidence. Following isolated incidents, the situation has improved somewhat and is being reported as relatively calm.
The UN mission continues to monitor if hate media trends are changing one way or another.
SECURITY COUNCIL TO VOTE ON COTE DIVOIRE RESOLUTION ON MONDAY
Security Council met in closed consultations, which ended in the early evening yesterday.
Members decided to vote on the Cote dIvoire resolution on Monday.
UNITED NATIONS SEEKS $1.7 BILLION FOR FORGOTTEN CRISES
requested $1.7 billion to help people survive a web of forgotten humanitarian crises, mainly in Africa.
"We are here today to sound an alarm on behalf of 26 million people struggling to survive the ravages of war and other emergencies," the Secretary-General told North American, European and Japanese donor governments in New York today.
ANNAN TO LEAVE FOR AFRICA MEETINGS NEXT WEEK
Next week, the
Secretary-General will attend a High Level meeting of the
Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Arusha, Tanzania.
He will then attend the first day of the
Security Councils meeting on the
Sudan which will be held in Nairobi.
Following Nairobi, the Secretary-General will travel to Tanzania to attend the International Conference on the Great Lakes region.
The Secretary-General is then attending the International Conference on Iraq, hosted by the Egyptian government.
Afterwards, the Secretary-General will travel to Burkina Faso for an official visit to that country. Following the visit the Secretary-General will attend the Summit Meeting of the Organization of the Francophonie, also in Burkina Faso.
Asked whether the Secretary-General would travel to Cote dIvoire, the Spokesman said he would not. Eckhard explained that the international conference on Iraq had caused the United Nations to re-jig the Secretary-Generals program, so it would not be possible for him to visit UN peacekeeping missions in Africa.
U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY WITHDRAWING STAFF FROM SOUTH DARFUR
UN High Commissioner for Refugees
said today it is temporarily withdrawing some key international staff from
South Darfur because Sudanese authorities are preventing them from carrying out vital protection work on behalf of thousands of internally displaced people in
The Representative of the Secretary-General on the human rights of internally displaced persons today
voiced his grave concern over continuing reports of forced relocation and other serious human rights violations against displaced persons in Darfur. Walter Kaelin also called on the Government of Sudan to fulfill its responsibilities to protect and assist its own people.
The statement comes a day after it was reported yesterday that, for the second time in one week, Sudanese authorities stormed the Al Geer camp in South Darfur to forcibly move people who had sought refuge there.
Meanwhile, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Sudan,
Jan Pronk, was in Nyala, South Darfur for a second day today. The situation as of late afternoon was reported to be stable.
The UN mission also reports increased harassment of internally displaced persons at two camps in North Darfur.
And finally, the
International Commission of Inquiry continued their work and flew to Darfur after holding two days of meetings in and around Khartoum.
U.N. ENVOY DISCUSSES POLITICAL PROCESS WITH IRAQI PRIME MINISTER
Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi today received the Secretary-Generals Special Representative,
Ashraf Qazi, to discuss the latest developments in
Qazi is continuing contacts with Iraqi officials and representatives of civil society and political entities to explore means through which the UN can help advance the political process.
Yesterday, he also met with Deputy Iraqi Prime Minister Barham Saleh.
In response to a question on the kidnapping of three relatives of Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General was appalled by the kidnapping, which he saw as another element of the lawless situation in Iraq.
The Spokesman noted the Secretary-Generals recommendation to the Iraqi interim government to bring in as many elements of Iraqi society as possible, which the Secretary-General believes could help to reduce lawlessness.
U.N. MISSION IN AFGHANISTAN APPRECIATES SUPPORT
RECEIVED IN WAKE OF ABDUCTIONS OF UN STAFF MEMBERS
UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan today expressed its appreciation for the many expressions of support and solidarity that it has received throughout
Afghanistan since the abduction two weeks ago of three UN staff members.
UN spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva described the past two weeks as the longest 14 days in the three staff members lives, and reiterated the request to those who are holding them to release them unharmed.
Referring to the Muslim holiday that takes place this weekend, he said, Eid is a time of happiness, compassion, forgiveness and friendship among people. We hope that the spirit of peace and understanding shown by all during Eid will be extended to Annetta, Lito and Shqipe.
SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS OPEN DEBATE ON BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Security Council today is holding an open debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina, starting with a briefing by the High Representative dealing with that country, Paddy Ashdown.
The Council intends to suspend its open meeting briefly and then resume it at 3:30 p.m., with a further briefing on Bosnia by NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.
Then, once the Bosnia meeting ends, at about 5:00 p.m., the
Secretary-General has invited Council members to a briefing on
Sudan. Asked about the afternoon meeting on Sudan, the Spokesman later said that the meeting will focus on next week's Council meeting in Nairobi on Sudan.
PAKISTANI POLICE UNIT ARRIVES IN HAITI
A 250-strong formed-police unit from Pakistan has
Haiti to join the
UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). The 214 police who arrived in Haiti yesterday, join an advance party of 36 colleagues from Pakistan who were already there.
The new police, who are trained in crowd control, will assist the United Nations and the interim Government of Haiti to implement public security and protect the population. They will be deployed in Port au Prince and Gonaïves.
Also from Haiti, the spokesman for MINUSTAH reports that humanitarian assistance in Gonaives is now in transition between the emergency phase and the rehabilitation phase. From now on aid in the city will be provided through ration cards, rather than through mass distribution.
U.N. MISSION IN GUATEMALA DONATES PEACE PROCESS DOCUMENTS
In a ceremony held this morning in Guatemala Citys San Carlos University, the UN Verification Mission in Guatemala, which is soon to wrap up its activities, donated all the documents pertaining to its 10-year verification of the peace process to new Library of Peace.
Also deposited this morning at the new library were the papers of the Historical Clarification Commission which documented the human rights abuses committed in Guatemala during its 30 year war.
In addition, the UNs audiovisual material was given to Guatemalas Channel 33 and the Universitys film and radio library.
It is hoped that all Guatemalans will be guaranteed full access to this material, so that they can better understand their countys recent history and the positive steps taken since the peace accords were signed in 1996.
FRANCE TO LEAD SECURITY COUNCIL MISSION TO CENTRAL AFRICA
The French Ambassador to the United Nations, Jean-Marc de La Sabliere, is scheduled to brief the press at U.N. Headquarters on Monday morning on the upcoming
Security Council mission to Central Africa that he will lead. The timing of the briefing depends on when the Security Council decides to vote on the resolution on Cote dIvoire, which is also expected for Monday.
Meanwhile, a letter from the
Security Council President informing the Secretary-General of the Central African mission including its composition and terms of reference has been circulated to Council members.
DEPUTY-SECRETARY-GENERAL ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO DENMARK
The Deputy Secretary-General,
Louise Fréchette is on an official visit to Denmark. This morning she addressed the staff of the United Nations in Copenhagen. With over 700 staff, Copenhagen is the sixth largest UN centre in the world.
Tomorrow, Fréchette will address the Danish Council for International Development Cooperation, an advisory body to the Government comprising of civil society representatives.
She will also have meetings with the Danish Ministers responsible for Foreign Affairs, Defense and Integration and Development. In addition she will hold a dialogue with the members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Danish Parliament.
WORKING GROUP ON INTERNET GOVERNANCE ESTABLISHED: The
Secretary-General today announced the establishment of a Working Group on Internet Governance. That body will be chaired by Nitin Desai, the Secretary-Generals Special Adviser for the
World Summit on the Information Society, and will include 40 members from Governments, the private sector and civil society. The Working Group is intended to facilitate the negotiations that will take place in the second phase of the World Summit, which is to be held in Tunis in November 2005. Desai said that the group will strive to establish a dialogue of good faith among all participants.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONSIDERS SEXUAL HARASSMENT MATTER CLOSED: Asked about the sexual harassment case concerning
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers, the Spokesman said that the most recent development was that the complainant had withdrawn her action from the UN Joint Appeals Board. He said that the only investigation of the case had been by the
Office of Internal Oversight Services; after reviewing that bodys work and Lubberss response, the
Secretary-General concluded that the allegations against Lubbers could not be sustained, and he considers the matter to be closed.
REPORT ON DILEEP NAIR HAS GONE TO THE SECRETARY-GENERAL: Asked about a report concerning the head of the
Office of Internal Oversight Services, Dileep Nair, the Spokesman said that the report had gone to the
Secretary-General on Wednesday and we await his reaction.
DISCUSSIONS ONGOING BETWEEN U.N. LEGAL STAFF AND VOLCKER TEAM: Asked about discussions with the head of the independent inquiry committee on the
Paul Volcker, the Spokesman said that discussions were taking place today between UN legal staff and members of Volckers staff. Once he learned about the outcome of that meeting, the Spokesman added, he hoped to clarify the UN position on documents and witnesses, which was brought up by a U.S. Senate subcommittee.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
Monday, November 15
In the early part of the week, the Secretary-General will attend a high-level meeting of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria that will take place in Arusha, Tanzania.
The Security Council has scheduled a public meeting on Timor-Leste. It has also scheduled an open briefing, followed by consultations, on the Middle East. The Council is also expected to hold a formal meeting on Cote dIvoire.
A new study by the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the UN University will be launched in New York, dealing with ideas to cover the cost of the Millennium Development Goals. The launch will take place at 3:00 p.m. at the German Permanent Mission to the UN.
At 10:30 a.m., French Ambassador Jean Marc de la Sabliere will brief the press on the Security Council mission to the Great Lakes region.
UNEP's Eighth High-Level International Seminar on Sustainable Consumption and Production will be held in Monterrey, Mexcio on Monday and Tuesday. For more details, see
Tuesday, November 16
The Security Council has scheduled a formal meeting to consider an extension of the mandate of the UN Mission in Timor-Leste. It has also scheduled consultations on Burundi.
At 11:15 a.m., there will be a press briefing on the UN Capital Development Fund.
Wednesday, November 17
At 11:00 a.m., the World Health Organization, Health Canada and the Nuclear Threat Initiative will hold a press conference to launch the Global Public Health Intelligence Network.
The guest at the noon briefing will be UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown, who will discuss the Year of Microcredit.
Thursday, November 18
The Security Council is expected to hold meetings in Nairobi, Kenya, with the parties to the Darfur conflict, among other officials. The Secretary-General is scheduled to attend the first day of those meetings, and, in the following days, he is to visit Tanzania, Egypt and Burkina Faso.
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