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United Nations Daily Highlights, 06-01-11

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

ARCHIVES

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SPOKESMAN'S NOON BRIEFING

BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC

SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

ANNAN APPOINTS SERGE BRAMMERTZ OF BELGIUM AS

HEAD OF PROBE INTO ASSASSINATION OF EX-PRIME MINISTER HARIRI

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today sent a letter to the President of the Security Council informing the Council of his intention to appoint Serge Brammertz of Belgium as the Commissioner of the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Brammertz succeeds Detlev Mehlis.

Brammertz is currently the Deputy Prosecutor for Investigations of the International Criminal Court. Before his election to that position he was the first Federal Prosecutor of the Kingdom of Belgium.

He will proceed to Beirut to take up his assignment as soon as is practicable.

The Secretary-General wishes to thank Mehlis for his excellent work in establishing the investigation and setting it on a firm and professional footing. He reiterates his unwavering commitment to support the work of the Commission to fulfill its mandate to assist the Lebanese authorities to bring to justice the perpetrators of this crime.

In particular, the Secretary-General has taken steps to fulfill the mandate of Security Council resolution 1644 (2005) to help the Lebanese Government identify the nature and scope of the international assistance needed for those charged with the crime to be tried by a tribunal of an international character.

In near future, he will dispatch a mission to Lebanon for this purpose. In addition, the Secretary-General will consult with Brammertz and the Lebanese authorities regarding the most effective manner of expanding the work of the Commission to assist the Lebanese authorities to investigate other terrorist attacks since 1 October 2004.

Asked about the period of time that Brammertz will serve as head of the investigation, the Spokesman said that his appointment is for six months, as is the mandate for the investigation.

Asked whether Brammertz would stay on longer than that if needed, the Spokesman said that the focus for now is on the next six months, and on the task at hand for the investigators.

ANNAN CONCERNED BY IRANS DECISION TO RESUME NUCLEAR RESEARCH

Asked about the Secretary-Generals reaction to the latest developments in Iran, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General is very concerned by Irans decision to resume nuclear research.

He noted that the Secretary-General is in close touch with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei, with whom he has spoken in the past few days.

The Secretary-General, Dujarric said, is mindful and appreciative of the efforts of the three European states France, Germany and the United Kingdom and Russia to find a diplomatic solution to this issue. He noted that the IAEA, the three European states and Russia remain clearly in the lead on this issue.

Meanwhile, Mohamed ElBaradei

expressed his serious concern about Irans decision to unravel the suspension of enrichment-related activities, before the Agency has clarified the nature of Irans nuclear program.

Dr. ElBaradei said in a statement that maintaining the suspension, resuming the dialogue with all concerned parties, and providing the necessary cooperation and transparency to the IAEA are conditions for a comprehensive and equitable solution that ensures Irans right to peaceful nuclear activities, while assuring the international community of the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.

IAEA inspectors confirmed yesterday that Iran started to remove IAEA seals on enrichment-related equipment and material at Natanz. Based on the information currently available, the removal of Agency seals at the enrichment site of Natanz and at two related storage and testing locations will be completed by today.

The activities at the Natanz facility will continue to be covered by IAEA containment and surveillance measures.

HEAVY RAINS WORSEN FOOD INSECURITY IN MALAWI

Heavy rains, strong winds and flooding in Malawi have

worsened the food security situation there, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In light of growing malnutrition among children, the UN Childrens Fund (UNICEF) is supporting nearly a hundred nutritional rehabilitation centers throughout the country. And the World Food Programme has almost doubled the outreach of its school feeding program to reach more than 400,000 children in seven districts.

Last August, the United Nations launched a six-month $74 million

flash appeal for Malawi, to help improve the food situation there. As of now, that appeal remains only 56 per cent funded.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

CONSULTATIONS ON HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL TAKING PLACE TODAY: The World Summit follow-up process resumes today, with informal consultations on the Human Rights Council taking place this morning and this afternoon at UN Headquarters; those consultations will continue on Friday afternoon. In addition, consultations on Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) reform and on development are scheduled for Friday and Monday morning. Meanwhile, General Assembly President Jan Eliasson will take part tomorrow morning in a ceremony to mark the formal handover of the chairmanship of the Group of 77 from Jamaica to South Africa.

BIRD FLU IN TURKEY COULD SPREAD THROUGH REGION: The Food and Agriculture Organization today

warned that bird flu could become endemic in Turkey and poses a serious risk to neighbouring countries. The agency called upon neighbouring countries, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iraq, Iran and Syria to be on high alert. Meanwhile, the World Health Organizations Regional Director for Europe, Marc Danzon, has

flown to Ankara to assure the Government of Turkey of WHO's support in containing the outbreak and to learn first hand from national health authorities about the assistance the country needs.

U.N. MISSION IN SUDAN GETS NEW FORCE COMMANDER: The Secretary-General, in an exchange of

letters with the Security Council, appointed Lt. Gen. Jasbir Singh Lidder of India as the Force Commander of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS). The general replaces Maj. Gen. Fazle Elahi Akbar of Bangladesh.

UNAIDS CONCERNED BY ARRESTS OF MEN WHO HAVE SEX WITH MEN IN INDIA: The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has

expressed concern at the recent arrest of a number of men who have sex with men in Lucknow, India and warns that the criminalization of people most at risk of HIV infection may increase stigma and discrimination, ultimately fuelling the AIDS epidemic. UNAIDS underlines that in India, as in other countries where sex between men is criminalized by law, fear of prosecution often prevents men who have sex with men from accessing information and services they need to protect themselves from HIV infection.

U.N. ENVOY URGES ROMA TO MOVE TO NEW LEAD-FREE CAMP IN KOSOVO: The Secretary-Generals Special Representative in Kosovo, Søren Jessen-Petersen, yesterday urged Roma to take advantage of the better conditions offered by

Camp Osterode, a temporary new camp that, unlike the Romas current facilities, is not plagued by unhealthy lead levels. Listening to views and concerns expressed by Roma leaders, he said, Of course, this is not the permanent solution, but there is no doubt that conditions are much, much better in the new camp.

  • * Speaking to the press after the noon briefing was Dr. David Nabarro, Senior UN System Coordinator for Avian and Human Influenza.

    [

    Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General

    United Nations, S-378

    New York, NY 100178

    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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