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United Nations Daily Highlights, 06-01-17
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SPOKESMAN'S NOON BRIEFING
BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC
SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
ANNAN CONCERNED OVER DISTURBANCES IN COTE DIVOIRE
Secretary-General Kofi Annan
expresses his deep concern at the continuing disturbances in
Côte dIvoire, in particular in Abidjan, Daloa, San Pedro and Guiglo as well as other areas of the country.
He condemns the orchestrated violence directed against the United Nations, the population as well as the inaction of some national authorities in responding to the situation.
The Secretary-General demands an immediate end to these attacks which contravene Ivorian law and seriously endanger the peace process as set out by the African Union and the
The Secretary-General reminds all Ivorian leaders of their individual responsibility to end acts of violence carried out by their supporters and for keeping the peace process on track.
He calls on all Ivorian parties to fully cooperate with the Prime Minister, the Head of the UN Mission and the international community in working to implement the road map to bring an end to the crisis.
FIREBOMBS THROWN INTO U.N. POLICE OFFICE IN COTE DIVOIRE
UN Mission in Cote dIvoire (UNOCI) reports today that demonstrations are continuing in front of its offices in
Abidjan, the western coastal town of San Pedro and the central Ivorian city of Daloa.
UNOCI said firebombs had been thrown into the UN Police office in San Pedro, which had been badly damaged. Roadblocks throughout Abidjan have prevented some UN personnel from getting to work.
The Secretary-Generals Special Representative there, Pierre Schori, met today with President Laurent Gbagbo, and expressed his concern with the security situation.
TWO JORDANIAN PEACEKEEPERS KILLED IN HAITI
UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) says that two Jordanian peacekeepers have been killed and another was wounded in
Port-au-Prince this morning.
The trio was manning a check point in the Cité Soleil neighbourhood when they came under fire.
One of the peacekeepers was reportedly killed on the spot, and the other two were taken to hospital, where one of them died of his wounds shortly after. The third peacekeepers condition is said to be serious.
In response to a question, the Spokesman said that the United Nations was not yet ready to announce a new force commander for MINUSTAH.
ANNAN PLEASED BY RELEASE OF JAILED RIGHTS ACTIVISTS IN CAMBODIA
pleased to learn of the release earlier today of the four human rights activists who were being held in jail in Cambodia for defamation, including Mr. Kem Sokha, President of the Cambodia Centre for Human Rights, and his deputy, Mr. Pa Nguon Tean.
The Secretary-General further expresses the hope that Prime Minister Hun Sen will ensure freedom of expression and respect by Cambodia for its human rights obligations and the rule of law.
U.N. ENVOY DISCUSSES DECEMBER ELECTIONS WITH IRAQI PRESIDENT
Ashraf Qazi, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for
Iraq, met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and with Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari today.
They discussed, among other things, the 15 December elections, the preliminary results of which will be announced by the Independent Electoral Commission for Iraq later this week.
Qazi also exchanged views with President Talabani regarding the meeting for the Iraqi National Accord Conference, to be held in Baghdad next month. They both agreed on the importance of national reconciliation in Iraq.
In his meeting with Prime Minister al-Jaafari, Qazi discussed the impact of the elections on the composition of the next government and the potential for participation by different political groups.
SECURITY COUNCIL SCHEDULES MEETING ON AFGHANISTAN
On Tuesday afternoon, the
Security Council will hold an open meeting on
Afghanistan, and will receive a briefing on that country from the departing head of the
UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, Jean Arnault.
The Security Councils open meeting will be followed by a closed meeting, also on Afghanistan.
U.N. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR SOUTH ASIA EARTHQUAKE ENDS VISIT
The UN Special Envoy for the
South Asia Earthquake, former U.S. President
George H. W. Bush, today
ended his two-day visit to Pakistan.
After spending time with quake survivors at a camp in Pakistans capital, Islamabad, Bush said he admired their spirit and noted their desire to rebuild their lives. He also sat in on a class being held at the camps school tent, where UNICEF school-in-a-box kits were being used.
Bushs planned helicopter trip to one of the worst-hit areas in Pakistan-administered Kashmir was cancelled this morning because of bad weather.
U.N. ENVOY FOR SUDAN IN BRUSSELS TO BRIEF NATO OFFICIALS
Secretary-Generals Special Representative for
Jan Pronk, is in Brussels today where he is briefing NATO officials on Sudan, including the situation in Darfur.
UN Mission in Sudan reports that a joint mission, including the United Nations, was in eastern Sudan today, where skirmishes were reported last week. Today, the situation was reported to be calm there.
LIBERIAN PRESIDENT TO WORK WITH U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY
ON REINTEGRATING REFUGEES
UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
said that Liberias new president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, has urged tens of thousands of Liberian refugees to consider returning home now to join in the rebuilding of their country.
The President has pledged that her government would work with UNHCR and other partners to reintegrate them into their communities.
The filmed message would be part of a UNHCR mass information campaign for some 190,000 Liberian refugees scattered across West Africa.
ANNAN APPOINTS NEW ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR
FOR U.N. DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
appointed Ad Melkert of the Netherlands to serve as Associate Administrator of the
United Nations Development Programme, at the rank of Under-Secretary-General.
Melkert, who succeeds Zéphirin Diabre of Burkina Faso, will begin on 1 March 2006.
W.H.O. WELCOMES DONATION OF BIRD FLU TREATMENT COURSES
World Health Organization (WHO) today
welcomed the donation by pharmaceutical company Roche of 2 million
bird flu treatment courses, for use in the developing countries that would most likely be affected by avian influenza in humans but are unable to afford the drugs.
The medicines will be stored at different regional locations, from where they can then be shipped as quickly as possible to the countries in greatest need. This donation is separate from the 3 million treatment courses that Roche provided last August, which are stored centrally at WHO and are part of a "rapid response stockpile" to be used at actual outbreak sites.
INTERNAL OVERSIGHT OFFICE IS COMPLETING AUDIT OF U.N. PROCUREMENT
Asked when the audit of UN procurement will be finished, the Spokesman said that the
Office for Internal Oversight Services was completing work on the audit. He hoped that the work would be finished as soon as possible.
The Spokesman, in response to a question, corrected the false impression that peacekeepers were being placed on leave, saying that four civilian employees of the
Department of Peacekeeping Operations had been placed on special leave to help with the work to finish the audit.
Asked how the United Nations would respond to any company that is found to have violated UN rules, the Spokesman said that the United Nations would not do business with companies that have been determined to have engaged in fraudulent activities, which, he added, is the biggest penalty that the United Nations can enact as a buyer. Dujarric noted that there was a formal process on how vendors are notified and taken off the UN list of vendors.
TUNISIAN IS ELECTED PRESIDENT OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
This morning the
General Assembly President, Jan Eliasson, spoke at the first meeting of the organizational session of the
Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), where Ambassador Ali Hachani of Tunisia was elected the President for 2006, and the Ambassadors of Haiti, Iceland, Lithuania and Sri Lanka were elected as Vice-Presidents, according to the Spokeswoman for the General Assembly President.
President Eliasson stated that one of the General Assemblys urgent tasks is to conclude soon negotiations on the resolutions on ECOSOC reform and development follow-up, and that it is important that ECOSOC has a clear mandate for reform before it holds its main organizational session in early February.
He added that a reformed ECOSOC will be a vital mechanism for ensuring that we meet all development commitments made in 2005 and before, including the
Millennium Development Goals.
On that subject, the Assembly consultations on ECOSOC reform and development met yesterday afternoon to consider the elements of two draft resolutions.
On the Human Rights Council, the Spokeswoman said that the President is continuing today to hold intensive bilateral consultations.
NO COMMENT ON OPERATIONAL WORK OF HARIRI PROBE: Asked whether
Serge Brammertz, the newly-appointed Chair of the
International Independent Investigation Commission, had been involved in the questioning of Syrian suspects in Vienna, the Spokesman said he would not comment on the operational work being done by the investigators. However, he noted that Brammertz would not take over the leadership of the Commission investigating the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri for another few days, when he is to go to Beirut and formally have the responsibilities handed over to him by his predecessor, Detlev Mehlis.
ANNAN IN CONTACT WITH I.A.E.A OVER IRAN NUCLEAR ISSUE: Asked about the
Secretary-Generals views on the situation in Iran, the Secretary-General noted that the Secretary-General had spokenextensively about Iran last week. He said that the Secretary-General remains in touch with the
International Atomic Energy Agency and urged Iran to cooperate with that Agency. Asked whether the Secretary-General had made any phone calls on Iran since he spoke last week with Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, the Spokesman said he had not.
REPLY BEING DRAFTED FOR U.S. AMBASSADOR: Asked whether the
Secretary-General has responded to a letter by U.S. Ambassador John Bolton concerning the display of a map of Palestine, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General had received a letter from Bolton, and the UN Secretariat is in the process of drafting a reply.
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