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United Nations Daily Highlights, 04-11-22

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 22, 2004

ANNAN ARRIVES IN EGYPT IN ADVANCE OF IRAQ CONFERENCE

Secretary-General Kofi Annan arrived today in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, where he is to attend the International Conference on Iraq, which opens tomorrow.

On the sidelines of that meeting, he will meet tomorrow evening with the members of the Middle East diplomatic Quartet.

This evening, after meeting with his senior advisers Lakhdar Brahimi, Terje Roed- Larsen and Ashraf Qazi the Secretary-General will attend an official dinner hosted by Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the Foreign Minister of Egypt.

ANNAN PRAISES COMPROMISE AND DIALOGUE IN GREAT LAKES OF AFRICA

The Secretary-General traveled to Egypt from Tanzania where, on Saturday, he praised the final document put out by the International Conference on the Great Lakes as the product of compromise and dialogue.

He

told the assembled heads of state and government, No one has got everything they wanted from this process, but everyone has got what they need: a real chance for peace, stability, democracy and development in a vast region.

The Secretary-General told journalists at a press conference afterward that, today, at last, we can glimpse a better future on the horizon. The real test, he added, starts now, as leaders design the framework for implementing their commitments.

SECURITY COUNCIL SPENDS MONDAY IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

The Security Council is in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today on the second leg of a Central African mission led by the French Ambassador to the United Nations, Jean-Marc de La Sabliere.

In a press statement after a meeting with DRC President Joseph Kabila, Ambassador de la Sabliere noted the importance of holding elections as planned.

The mission began Sunday with a visit to Kigali. At a joint press encounter with Rwandan President Paul Kagame following their meeting, the French ambassador said that among the many issues discussed had been cooperation in the region, the Great Lakes Conference, the verification mechanism that was set up between the countries of the region and how it will operate. They also discussed the situation in DRC, the situation in the east and the question of disarmament and repatriation of the various forces there.

Also on the Council agenda today is a meeting with the Speaker of the DRC National Assembly and Senate President, as well as various political and civil society leaders and local and international NGOs.

Tomorrow, the Security Council travels to Burundi.

ANNAN SAYS BURUNDI MUST AVOID DELAYS IN TRANSITION PROCESS

In the latest report by the Secretary-Generals Report to the Security Council on the UN Operation in Burundi, he welcomes the unity of vision through which the Burundian parties averted a constitutional crisis.

But, the Secretary-General says, major political and social tensions remain. It is therefore imperative, he says, to urgently address the outstanding tasks of the transition, so as to avoid any further delays beyond the current extension of the transition process.

The Security Council is scheduled to discuss the report next Monday.

U.N. ENVOY MEETS WITH IVORIAN LEADERS;

LIBERIANS HOSTING IVORIAN REFUGEES RUNNING LOW ON FOOD

The situation in Abidjan and the rest of the country remains calm, but unpredictable, reports the

UN Operation in Cote DIvoire. Economic activities are more brisk in Yamoussoukro due to a relatively calm situation.

This morning, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Cote dIvoire, Albert Tevoedjre, met with Prime Minister Seydou Diarra on his return from his trip to South Africa. South African President Thabo Mbeki over the weekend met with Diarra and Guillaume Soro, Secretary General of the Forces Nouvelles, in Pretoria as part of the continuing consultations on the way forward in the Ivorian crisis.

Also over the weekend, the new Joint Chief of Staff of Cote d'Ivoire, Philippe Mangou, met UN military personnel. He reiterated the governments commitment to restore confidence by providing security and protection for all communities; to hold negotiations aimed at recovering unity and national reconciliation; and to rebuilding and restructuring the armed forces.

UN civilian police community outreach activities have re-commenced, with teams fanning out into villages countrywide to promote dialogue and reconciliation.

Meanwhile, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said host families in Liberia are accommodating up to nine or ten refugees from Cote dIvoire in each house, and food is now in very short supply.

Even before the influx of refugees, there was little available for the local population, as Liberia struggles to get back on its feet after 14 years of civil strife. To remedy this situation, UN agencies and the Liberian government have agreed that food distribution will now target the population of the host community as well as the refugees. Helicopters of the

UN Mission in Liberia are flying over the area to airlift consignments of emergency relief along the border.

WFP SENDS U.S. AID TO SUDAN THROUGH LIBYA;

U.N. MISSION REPORTS NEW ATTACKS IN DARFUR

The

World Food Programme says it is for the first time channeling food aid from the United States through Libya.

The U.S. supplies will travel across Libyas humanitarian corridor in the Sahara, to reach nearly 200,000 refugees from Darfur, who are now in eastern Chad.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Mission in

Sudan reports that the African Union is investigating new attacks in South and North Darfur over the weekend.

SECURITY COUNCIL AUTHORIZES EUROPEAN UNION FORCE

IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

In a meeting this morning, the Security Council unanimously decided to authorize the establishment of a stabilization force, led by the European Union, in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The force will succeed the NATO-led operation on December 2.

ANNAN ASKS COUNTRIES TO STICK TO TROOP DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULES IN HAITI

The Secretary-General has called on countries contributing troops and personnel to the

UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti to do so by the deployment schedules that have been agreed to.

The appeal is in the Secretary-Generals latest report to the Security Council on the Mission in

Haiti.

In it, he notes that a framework has been set up to receive and allocate funds from donors- but the disbursement of those funds has been slow in coming,

He also recommends that the Council extend the UN Missions

mandate for another 18 months, until May 2006.

SECRETARY-GENERAL RESPONDS TO OIL-FOR-FOOD ALLEGATIONS

Late last week, the Secretary-General wrote letters to two U.S. Senators, Norm Coleman and Carl Levin, responding to their letters to him about the investigation into the Iraq Oil-for-Food program.

He said he is committed to acting decisively on the findings of the Independent Inquiry Committee, headed by Paul Volcker.

GENEVA U.N. STAFF COUNCIL STANDS BEHIND ANNAN

The Executive Bureau of the Staff Coordinating Council in Geneva, which says it represents some 4,000 staff, at its extraordinary meeting held today adopted a resolution, by which it expressed alarm at the media's incorrect interpretation of the New York Staff Union's position concerning the issue of integrity and accountability.

The Council also expressed its full confidence in and support of the Secretary-General.

Asked whether the Secretary-General would resign following last Fridays UN Staff Council resolution expressing dissatisfaction with senior management, the Spokesman responded, Lets not get ridiculous, adding that a resignation was out of the question.

The Secretary-General, he said, is the chief executive officer of the United Nations, and will have to deal with complaints about management. Does the buck stop with him? Of course it does, Eckhard said. But, he added, the Secretary-General will not resign.

He said, in response to questions about the Friday vote, that it had been misreported by some media. The draft resolution had said that the Staff Council wanted to draw the Secretary-Generals and General Assemblys attention to their lack of confidence in management, he noted, not that they lacked confidence in the Secretary-General.

Furthermore, the Spokesman said, the resolution that was adopted deleted all of that language, and the President of the Staff Council, Rosemarie Waters, later told a television crew that she had the utmost confidence in the Secretary-General. Todays statement from the Geneva staff offered a similar sentiment, he noted.

Asked whether the resolution had been watered down because of pressure from UN management, the Spokesman said that allegation was false. The Staff Council, he said, represents a diversity of views. He said that Chef de Cabinet Iqbal Riza spoke to Waters on Friday about discussing the Staff Councils grievances, and added that there was no pressure on Waters to change the resolution.

Asked whether Riza would meet with the Staff Council this week, the Spokesman said that management would provide people to meet with the Council if they wanted a meeting this week. He noted that Under-Secretary-General for Management, Catherine Bertini, would not be available this week.

Asked how representative the Staff Council is, the Spokesman said that they are accepted as the legal representatives of the staff, and are nominated by their peers.

Asked how the Secretary-General would address the Councils concerns, the Spokesman said that he is listening to whatever they have to say. He underscored that management was willing to talk to the Staff Council.

Asked whether the Secretary-General would re-examine his decision to exonerate several senior officials, the Spokesman said, Absolutely not. The Secretary-General, he said, considers those matters closed, although he and other officials are willing to discuss them with the Staff Council. The Secretary-General, he added, has already expressed his views about each case. He said, in response to a further question, that the reasons for the Secretary-Generals decisions in each case were not related to the other cases.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

MISSION TO LOOK INTO ALLEGATIONS OF FORCED LABOR IN MYANMAR: The Governing Body of the International Labour Organization decided that a high-level mission should be sent to Myanmar, to determine whether that country will effectively respond to allegations concerning the use of forced labor. The decision came as the Body

wrapped up its session on Friday.

SPOKESMAN SAYS U.N. INVOLVED IN PALESTINIAN ELECTIONS: Asked about UN assistance for the Palestinian elections, the Spokesman said that the United Nations has been involved in the preparations for such elections. More recently, he said, a European official has been placed in charge of that work.

  • **The guest at the noon briefing was Jane Holl Lute, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, on the investigations into sexual abuse and exploitation findings in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    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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