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United Nations Daily Highlights, 06-01-09
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SPOKESMAN'S NOON BRIEFING
BY FARHAN HAQ
ASSOCIATE SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Monday, January 9, 2006
[U.N. Headquarters will be closed on Tuesday in observance of Eid al-Adha.
The noon briefing will resume on Wednesday.]
HAITI: FORCE COMMANDERS DEATH WILL NOT DETER U.N. MISSION
The Secretary-General was shocked and
saddened to learn of the death on Saturday of Lt. Gen. Urano Teixeira da Matta Bacellar, the Force Commander of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). A full investigation is under way.
The UN mission in Haiti, in a statement over the weekend, said that General Bacellars unexpected death leaves us all bereft and said he had done his utmost to uphold the right of the Haitian people to freely and fairly elect a President and Government of its own choosing.
His death, the Mission said, will not weaken the resolve of the UN Mission and the international community to ensure that the will of the Haitian people prevails and that Haiti joins the democratic community of nations.
The Deputy Force Commander has assumed command of all MINUSTAH force elements.
Asked if there had been an altercation between the Secretary-Generals Special Representative in Haiti,
Juan Gabriel Valdés, and General Bacellar the day before the latters death, the Spokesman said that the United Nations was not going to engage in any speculation about what might have happened prior to the Generals death. At this stage, the UNs Department of Safety and Security was on the ground, investigating the matter.
SECRETARY-GENERAL ACCEPTS RESIGNATION OF MYANMAR ENVOY
Secretary-General Kofi Annan has
accepted with regret the resignation of
Tan Sri Razali Ismail, his Special Envoy for Myanmar since April 2000.
The Secretary-General expresses his warm appreciation and gratitude for Mr. Razalis more than five years of service as his Special Envoy, during which he helped the Secretary-Generals good offices aimed at facilitating national reconciliation and democratization in Myanmar.
Mr. Razalis resignation was effective on 4 January, upon the expiration of his contract.
SECURITY COUNCIL FOCUSES ON ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA
The Security Council held consultations today on the latest
report of the Secretary-General on Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Jean-Marie Guehenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, briefed on the report and also on his visit to the region last month.
Out as a Security Council
document today is a note by the President listing the chairs and vice-chairs of sanctions committees, and other subsidiary bodies of the Council for the year ending December 31, 2006.
U.N. ENVOY TO SUDAN TO BRIEF COUNCIL ON FRIDAY
The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Sudan,
Jan Pronk, is on his way to New York following a three-day visit to Abuja, Nigeria. There he discussed with the parties, the mediators and the international observers the progress of the negotiations on Darfur and the way forward. He urged the parties to speed up the pace of negotiations to ensure that the seventh round of talks is the final one.
Pronk is scheduled to brief the Security Council on Friday.
Meanwhile, the UN mission in Sudan reports that the security situation in West Darfur remains highly volatile following last weeks ambush on an African Union convoy. Banditry continues in South Darfur.
QAZI REGRETS ABUSE AT IRAQI HOLY SITE
Ashraf Qazi, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq, today expressed regret at the incident on Sunday at the Umm al-Qara mosque. Qazi called for the authorities to investigate the matter quickly and transparently.
Qazi stressed that this incident should serve as a reminder of the need to eschew violence and build mutual trust and confidence.
ANNAN CALLS CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC SECURITY PRECARIOUS
Available today is the Secretary-Generals latest
report on the Central African Republic. In it, he says that the security situation in that country has remained precarious, especially in the western and northeastern regions. And although the overall human rights situation is slowly improving since the return to constitutional legality, human rights are still often flagrantly violated.
On a more positive note, the UN country team has established a system for distributing safe water to those hit by last Augusts floods. Also, the United Nations has done much to revitalize press institutions and supply them with technical equipment, which has helped to calm the socio-political climate.
MONGOLIAN PEACEKEEPERS TO GUARD SIERRA LEONE COURT
A battalion of some 250 Mongolian peacekeepers has taken over the protection of the
Special Court for Sierra Leone.
The unit, which was previously stationed in Liberia, relieves a Nigerian battalion of Blue Helmets which will return home.
The courts security was previously under the command of the UN peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone, which was disbanded last month.
HELICOPTER OPERATIONS ARE RESUMED TO AID QUAKE VICTIMS IN PAKISTAN
The United Nations is restarting helicopter operations to the quake-hit Leepa Valley, following last week's insecurity. This Saturday, however, Pakistan's quake zone is expecting heavy snow, which will again inhibit air and land operations and increase the risk of avalanches and landslides.
In related news, the World Food Programme today
welcomed a $10 million contribution from the UKs Department for International Development, to help operate a relief helicopter fleet.
ANNANS MILLENNIUM PROJECT ENVOY STARS AFRICAN TOUR
Jeffrey Sachs, the Secretary -Generals Special Adviser on the
Millennium Development Goals, is currently in Kenya, at the start of an African tour, which will also take him to Malawi, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali and Senegal.
Speaking to reporters today, he said that, whereas 2005 had been "the year of promises," world leaders should make 2006 the year of real action. He said that billions more could enjoy the fruits of the global economy, and tens of millions of lives could be saved if commitments and pledges by donors were fulfilled.
Sachs went on to say that practical solutions existed and insisted that the cost of alleviating extreme poverty was utterly affordable.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO RESUME SUMMIT FOLLOW-UP
General Assembly President Jan Eliasson is back at Headquarters today, and is preparing for the resumption of the world summit follow-up process on Wednesday. Informal consultations on the Human Rights Council will be held that day both in the morning and in the afternoon; the consultations will continue on the afternoon of Friday, 13 January. Consultations on development and ECOSOC reform are also scheduled for the mornings of Friday, 13 January, and Monday, 16 January.
Tomorrow marks the 60th anniversary of the very first meeting of the
General Assembly, which was held at Westminster Central Hall, in London. There will not be any special event (as tomorrow is Eid Al-Adha, and therefore a UN Holiday). However, Eliasson is issuing a statement this afternoon in observance of the anniversary.
U.N. LEBANON BOMB PROBE HAS RECEIVED ANSWERS FROM SYRIA: Asked to comment about reports that the Syrian President would not cooperate with the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC), dealing with the
assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the Spokesman noted that the IIIC had received a response from Syria to its interview request late last week. The Commission did not provide details about that response. The Spokesman reiterated that all those who were asked to cooperate with the IIIC must do so.
SPOKESMAN REFERS TO U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS COMMENTS ON CAMBODIA: Asked if it was felt that Cambodia was turning into a totalitarian state, the Spokesman noted the
concerns recently expressed by High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour on the arrests of human rights activists in that country.
U.N. CHILD PROTECTION SPECIALIST DIES IN HAITI: The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) today reports the death of Andreas Brandstatter, a Child Protection Advisor. Brandstatter, who arrived in August of 2004 for a second tour in Haiti, was a long-time UN employee. He died of natural causes on Saturday.
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