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United Nations Daily Highlights, 06-01-13
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SPOKESMAN'S NOON BRIEFING
BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC
SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Friday, January 13, 2006
U.N. ENVOY FOR SUDAN SAYS BIGGER FORCE NEEDED IN DARFUR
The Security Councils program began today with a briefing in an open meeting on
Sudan by the Secretary-Generals Special Representative
In his remarks, Pronk said the implementation of Sudans Comprehensive Peace Agreement, though slow, remains on track and is moving forward. He noted, however, that the sense of optimism in the people of the South is low.
On Darfur, he said, Looking back at three years of killings and cleansing in Darfur, we must admit that our peace strategy so far has failed. All we did was picking up the pieces and muddling through, doing too little too late.
Regarding the force on the ground in Darfur, Pronk said a much bigger force should be in place and be present everywhere where people may be attacked. It should be strong, able to defend itself, able to deter attacks on civilians and able to disarm militias and the Janjaweed, which should have been disarmed by the Government in the first place, he said, adding that it should be supported by sanctions.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan attended the open meeting on Sudan a day after he spoke with reporters following a Security Council luncheon that focused on Darfur.
High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), meanwhile, has signed together with Sudan and Kenya a milestone tripartite
agreement that sets out the roles and obligations of each side in helping South Sudanese refugees go home from Kenya, where they have received protection for the past 14 years. The agreement, signed in Nairobi yesterday, is the first of seven tripartite agreements UNHCR expects to sign with countries neighboring Sudan that will clear the way for up to 70,000 refugees to return to South Sudan in the first half of this year.
Asked whether the situation in Darfur has reached the point where the world should invoke the responsibility to protect and not wait for decisions by the African Union, the Spokesman said that the responsibility to protect was everyones business. At the same time, he stressed the need to support the African Unions work, under circumstances in which it may not be able to continue in Darfur beyond March.
Dujarric noted that contingency planning had been taking place at the United Nations if a UN force were needed. Such a force, he said, would need the support of Member States, including the tactical air support that the African Union is not currently getting.
ANNAN URGES IRAN TO COOPERATE FULLY WITH THE I.A.E.A.
Asked whether the Secretary-General, in his comments on Thursday, was sending a message that negotiations had not reached the end of the road, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General feels that the IAEA discussions should be supported.
The Secretary-General, he added, did not want to prejudge what the IAEA Board of Governors might do, or what actions individual Member States might take.
The Secretary-General, he said, also urged Iran to cooperate fully with the IAEA.
Asked whether the Secretary-General would be holding discussions on Iran, the Spokesman noted that he would be briefing the Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations today, along the lines of the briefing he had on Thursday with the three European Union states, Russia and the United States.
Asked whether the Secretary-General planned to travel to Washington, D.C. on this issue, the Spokesman said he did not.
SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES ACTION ON COTE DIVOIRE PEACE PLAN
The Secretary-Generals latest
report on Cote dIvoire is out today on the Security Council website. In it he expresses deep concern about political bickering that he says has delayed the election process.
He says the African Union has taken the highly commendable and timely step to develop a road map for a transmission period, and he urges the Prime Minister to finalize the plan expeditiously.
He also urges the Security Council to consider imposing targeted measures against anyone found to be obstructing the peace process.
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL TO ATTEND LIBERIAN INAUGURATION
On Monday 16 January,
Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette is scheduled to attend in Monrovia the inauguration of the President and Vice President of Liberia.
This historic event, which will be attended by Heads of State and Government as well as a number of diplomatic missions and international organizations, will mark the end of a two year transition process and the installation of the newly elected Government of Liberia.
NEW CHIEF OF PROTOCOL IS NAMED
The Secretary-General has decided to appoint Alice Hecht of Belgium as his new Chief of Protocol, to succeed Aminata Djermakoye, who will be taking up a new post in Geneva.
Ms. Hecht comes to New York from heading the Division of Administration of the UN Mission in Kosovo.
The Secretary-General is very grateful for the very able and dedicated work carried out by Ms. Djermakoye as Chief of Protocol. Ms. Djermakoye performed her duties and responsibilities with poise, grace and elegance combined with a strong commitment to excellence. The Secretary-General wishes her every success in her new assignment.
REFUGEE AGENCY APPOINTS TWO NEW ASSISTANT COMMISSIONERS
High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres has announced the
appointment of two new Assistant High Commissioners to oversee the agency's field operations and its international protection work for millions of refugees and others of concern.
Judy Cheng-Hopkins was named Assistant High Commissioner for Operations. A Malaysian national, she replaces Kamel Morjane, who left UNHCR in late 2005 to assume a government ministerial position in his native Tunisia. Also, Erika Feller, an Australian national, has been appointed to the new post of Assistant High Commissioner for Protection. Both appointments were approved by the Secretary-General and will become effective Feb. 15.
PLEDGES TO UNDER-FUNDED HUMANITARIAN APPEALS REMAIN LOW
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that more than 130 participants representing 80 Member States attended the Programme Kick-off for the 2006 Humanitarian Appeal, which was held yesterday in Geneva.
However, although a substantial number of pledges had been made -- including towards Pakistan, for example -- it was regrettable that pledges of no more than $1 million had been made for countries that were historically under funded, such as Central African Republic, Côte dIvoire and Guinea.
REFUGEE AGENCY TO WINTERIZE RELIEF CAMPS IN PAKISTAN
refugee agency, or UNHCR,
says that it is intensifying its winterization drive in relief camps for Pakistan quake victims, by replacing low quality tents, distributing heating stoves and relocating people to camps that are better equipped to cope with the bad weather.
UNHCR is currently helping the Pakistani government and non-governmental organisations run those camps, which house nearly 140,000 people left homeless by the quake.
Communal heating tents have been set up in the North West Frontier Province. In Pakistan-administered Kashmir, where there is not enough space for communal tents, UNHCR will start distributing stoves to individual tents this weekend.
Meanwhile, in terms of both commitments and pledges, the UN flash appeal for the South Asia quake is now 58% funded.
MILLIONS AT RISK IN HORN OF AFRICA
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) today
said that unless food aid is provided urgently, the drought stricken horn of Africa faces a humanitarian catastrophe involving millions of people.
In sounding the alarm WFP joins other UN agencies that have warned that as many as 11 million people in the area are in need of immediate assistance.
Childrens heath and nutrition are deteriorating and livestock are already dying, WFP said.
The agency is appealing for funds to help it expand its operations in the area.
TWO NEW U.N. TREATIES READY FOR SIGNING
Two UN treaties will be opened for signature at UN Headquarters, starting next Monday. They are the
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel, and the
Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts.
Last month, the Secretary-General urged Member States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Convention on the Safety of UN and Associated Personnel and to become party to the new Optional Protocol. He said, Without security, our work for your people suffers.
DISCUSSIONS ON DISABILITIES TREATY BEGIN MONDAY
Discussions on a first-ever treaty on the rights of persons with disabilities will be going on in this building, starting on Monday.
Participants will discuss issues such as equality and non-discrimination, accessibility and personal mobility, and equal recognition before the law.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY WORKS ON MANAGEMENT REFORM
The Co-Chairs on Secretariat and Management Reform, Ambassadors Munir Akram of Pakistan and Allan Rock of Canada, submitted to member states yesterday a comprehensive progress report outlining what has been achieved and what lies ahead on this part of the summit follow-up process.
Informal consultations of the plenary are scheduled for the morning of Wednesday, 25 January, to hear progress in the preparation of the Secretary-Generals report on mandate review. Another meeting will be held on the morning of Monday, 30 January, at which the Deputy Secretary-General will give a briefing on progress in the preparation of the report on human resource and financial rules and regulations.
Informal consultations of the plenary on ECOSOC reform are being held this morning; and consultations on development are scheduled for Monday morning.
Regarding the Human Rights Council, as announced yesterday, following Wednesdays positive conclusion of the informal plenary consultations, the Co-Chairs, as well as General Assembly President Jan Eliasson, will now proceed to hold consultations with individual member states. Plenary consultations are to resume subsequently at a date to be determined; therefore there will be no formal meeting on the Human Rights Council this afternoon as announced this week.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
Monday, January 16
The Deputy Secretary-General will attend the inauguration ceremony of the President and Vice President of Liberia in Monrovia today.
The chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will address the Security Council this morning in an open briefing.
The guest at the noon briefing will be Margareta Wahlstrom, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and the UNs Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, who will provide a humanitarian update on the 100th day after the earthquake in Pakistan.
The General Assembly will hold informal consultations on development reform, as part of the World Summit follow-up process.
The UN Ad Hoc Committee drafting the first-ever convention on the rights of disabled persons will meet from 16 January to 3 February in Conference Room 4 to start a second full reading of the draft treaty.
The Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts and the Optional Protocol to the 1994 Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel will open for signature today.
The 34th Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women will meet from 16 January to 3 February in Conference Room 1.
The Commission on Human Rights meets today in Geneva to elect its Bureau for its upcoming session in March 2006.
Tuesday, January 17
The Security Council will hold an open briefing and consultations on Afghanistan this afternoon.
Wednesday, January 18
The Security Council will hold consultations this morning on Western Sahara.
At 11:15 in S-226, Jose Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, and Mary Chamie, Chief of the UNs Demographic and Social Statistics Branch, will launch The Worlds Women 2005: Progress in Statistics.
Thursday, January 19
Countries that contribute troops to the UN Mission in Cote dIvoire will hold a private meeting this morning. That will be followed by Security Council consultations on Cote dIvoire.
Friday, January 20
The Security Council will hold consultations this morning on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
At 11:15 in S-226, President Xanana Gusmao of Timor-Leste and Sukehiro Hasegawa, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Timor-Leste, will brief the press.
Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General
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