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United Nations Daily Highlights, 06-01-18
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SPOKESMAN'S NOON BRIEFING
BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC
SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
ANNAN CONFERS WITH LEADERS ON ENDING DEFUSING CRISIS IN COTE DIVOIRE
Secretary-General Kofi Annan has been on the phone dealing with the current crisis in Cote dIvoire. He spoke several times to President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, the current chair of the African Union. He also spoke to Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo.
Obasanjo travelled Cote dIvoire where he is expected to meet and he may already have met with the President, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of Parliament and the head of the UN Mission, Pierre Schori.
The Secretary-General is hopeful that during these discussions, President. Obasanjo will be able to find a way forward and defuse the situation.
It is urgent that the parties stay the course in the interest of the people of Cote dIvoire and the region.
Meanwhile, on the ground, the
UN Operation says the situation there continues to be volatile.
Violence continues in a number of locations including Abidjan and Guiglo. The situation has calmed somewhat in San Pedro and Daloa, but last night, elements of the Bangladeshi Battalion in Guiglo were forced to open fire to repel attackers trying to overrun the UN compound. A number of attackers were killed and others wounded.
UN forces are exercising maximum restraint in dealing with these attacks. Non-lethal methods are being used to disburse crowds and deter against attacks.
Particularly disturbing is the use of propaganda by hate media that continue to broadcast messages inciting Ivorians to arm themselves and attack the United Nations. This is unacceptable and must cease immediately.
The Secretary-Generals Special Representative,
Pierre Schori, has postponed his trip to New York, where he had been scheduled to brief the Security Council.
Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, spoke to the Security Council yesterday and said the violence was orchestrated because it broke out in several places at the same time. He called upon all parties who agreed to peace arrangements to stick to their promises.
Guéhenno will brief the Security Council and the press again tomorrow.
Asked what the Secretary-General wants President Obasanjo to encourage the Ivorian President to do, the Spokesman said that the United Nations would like to see an immediate halt to the orchestrated violence and a recommitment by the Ivorian parties to the peace process endorsed by the African Union and the Security Council. An end to the violence, he said, is paramount.
SECURITY COUNCIL FOCUSES ON WESTERN SAHARA
The Security Council held consultations today on Western Sahara.
Peter van Walsum, the Secretary-Generals Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, briefed the Council on his trip to the region late last year.
INT'L ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY TO HOLD MEETING ON IRAN NEXT WEEK
A special meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be held on Thursday, 2 February 2006, at 10:30 a.m., in Vienna.
The meeting was requested by the Permanent Missions of France, Germany and the United Kingdom in a letter on 18 January 2006 to the Chair of the Board to discuss the implementation of IAEA Safeguards in Iran and related Board resolutions, according to an IAEA media advisory.
U.N. MISSION REPORTS CONCERNS WITH RIGHTS ISSUES IN IRAQ
UN Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), in its latest bi-monthly report on human rights, expresses concern that the persistent conflict in Iraq and weaknesses in its law enforcement continue to have serious and adverse effects on human rights in the country.
The Mission expresses alarm at the repeated bombing campaigns and killings, targeting civilians, religious leaders and mosques. Political and community leaders should continue to work towards countering such practices and improving community relations, the report said.
The report expressed particular concern at the discovery of detainees in detention centers run by the Ministry of Interior, who had reportedly been systematically abused while in detention. The identification of problems related to unofficial detention centers in all of Iraq must result in bringing to justice those found to have committed crimes at all levels of responsibility, the report concluded.
PLEDGES AT BIRD FLU CONFERENCE EXTRAORDINARY
The International Pledging Conference on Avian and Human Influenza, which opened yesterday in Beijing, has managed to raise $1.9 billion to fight bird flu.
David Nabarro, the UN Systems Influenza Coordinator, who is in Beijing, today called that amount "brilliant" and "quite extraordinary." As youll recall, he had previously called for $1.4 billion.
Nabarro also said, What we've seen today is that the world really does care and wants to respond effectively to the threat of avian influenza and a possible human pandemic.
For his part, the Secretary-General, in a video
message to the gathering, said that to be truly prepared for the
bird flu, the world would need to mount a massive effort -- from upgrading veterinary systems and launching vaccination drives, to encouraging change in the ways people co-existed with animals.
Stressing that the amount that had been asked for was small compared to the human and economic cost of a pandemic that the world was not ready for, he also encouraged all Governments to have bird flu contingency plans in place.
Meanwhile, in related news, the Food and Agriculture Organization today
warned that the bird flu virus could become entrenched in the Black Sea, Caucasus and Middle East regions through trade and the movement of people and animals. It could also be further spread by migratory birds coming from Africa in the spring.
COMPACT FOR AFGHANISTAN TO BE LAUNCHED IN LONDON NEXT WEEK
The outgoing head of the UN
Mission in Afghanistan, Jean Arnault, yesterday afternoon told the Security Council that consultations about post-electoral Afghanistan have been going on since September, with the outcome of these consultations the Compact for Afghanistan to be launched in London on 31 January.
Speaking at an open briefing of the Security Counciil, Arnault said that the Compact is a comprehensive and strong blueprint for what will be, in the next five years, an intensive exercise in peacebuilding.
After the Council held an open meeting and a private meeting on Afghanistan, Security Council President Augustine Mahiga of Tanzania told reporters that Council members looked forward to the launching of the new Compact. He added that the members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks in the province of Kandahar, for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility.
.SECRETARY-GENERAL TO RECEIVE PEACE OPERATIONS REPORT
Tomorrow, the Foreign Minister of Sweden will present the Secretary-General with a major report on peace operations.
The report, entitled Meeting the Challenges of Peace Operations: Cooperation and Coordination is the result of an eight-year study compiled by 14 countries and partner organizations.
It analyses some of the difficulties encountered in contemporary peace operations, and offers recommendations for action by governments, international and regional organizations, training centres and all involved in peace operations.
PALESTINE MAP ISSUE TO BE RESOLVED
Asked whether the Secretary-General had appeared at an event at which a map was shown that displayed Palestine, but not Israel, the Spokesman said that the event took place late last year, when the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Security Council, among others, attended the yearly observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
At that event, he said, a historical map that showed Palestine at the end of the British Mandate in 1948 was shown; that map consequently did not show Israel.
The map was displayed because of a decision by the events organizers, the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to do so. The Committee, Dujarric noted, is a body of the General Assembly.
The Spokesman said that it was unfortunate if the impression was given that the United Nations favors the replacement of Israel by a single Palestinian state. That is not the case, he asserted.
Dujarric said the Secretary-General has clearly and repeatedly called for an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, with the aim of enabling the two peoples to live in peace with each other and their neighbors, within secure and recognized boundaries.
The Spokesman said that Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari has been in touch with the Chairman of the Committee, to prevent the 1948 map from being displayed in the future. He voiced confidence that the issue would be resolved.
WEST DARFUR REMAINS TENSE: The UN
mission in Sudan reports that the security situation in West Darfur remains tense, and that the reinforcement of Chadian and Sudanese forces on both sides of the border is continuing. In South Darfur there is continuing banditry. Buses and commercial vehicles contracted to humanitarian agencies have been attacked.
NEW FORCE COMMANDER IN HAITI TO BE NAMED SOON: Asked whether a Brazilian general has been appointed as UN Force Commander in Haiti, the Spokesman said that a letter of appointment would have to go to the Security Council before any announcement could be made.
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