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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-06-01

United Nations Daily Highlights Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

ARCHIVES

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

BY MICHELE

MONTAS

SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

U.N.

HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Friday, June 1, 2007

BAN KI-MOON BRIEFS SECURITY COUNCIL ON MIDDLE EAST

Today is the first day of the Belgian presidency of the Security Council.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefed the Security Council this morning, expressing concern at the volatile and tense situation in the

Middle East as evidenced by the intra-Palestinian violence in Gaza and violence between the Israelis and Palestinians.

On northern Lebanon, the Secretary-General noted that heavy fighting resumed this morning. He expressed his concern about the threat posed to Lebanese sovereignty and stability as a result of these clashes. He said he has spoken to several regional leaders to help alleviate the situation. He then briefed on the Quartets meeting, the fourth he attended since taking office.

The Secretary-General said the Quartet had also addressed the bilateral and regional tracks. The Quartet, he said, expressed support for the ongoing bilateral meetings between President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert.

In order to continue the momentum, the Quartet decided to meet on June 26 and 27 in the region, and take the important steps of meeting with Israelis and Palestinians and then to hold a separate meeting with members of the Arab League to continue to follow up on the Arab Peace Initiative.

The Secretary-General then engaged in a question and answer session with Security Council members and spoke with reporters afterwards .

On Monday morning, the Security Council President, Belgian Ambassador Johan Verbeke, will chair the Councils closed-door consultation on the programme of work for the month of June.

HEAVY FIGHTING IN U.N.-RUN PALESTINIAN REFUGEE CAMP

PREVENTS UN AGENCY FROM ASSESSING CONDITIONS INSIDE

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has confirmed that fighting has resumed between the Lebanese Army and Islamist fighters entrenched in the UN-run Nahr al-Bared camp for Palestinian refugees near Tripoli in northern Lebanon.

UNRWA says that the shelling today has been heavier than on previous days, and some 5,000 refugees are believed to still be in the camp.

Because of the heavy fighting UNRWA has been unable to obtain first-hand information on developments inside the camp and to assess conditions for civilians.

BAN KI-MOON LEAVES TOMORROW FOR PANAMA, SPAIN, GERMANY

The Secretary General will depart this Saturday for Panama City, Panama, where he will attend the opening of the Organization of American States General Assembly.

During his two day stay in Panama, the Secretary General will meet with the President of Panama and current chairman of the OAS, Martín Torrijos Espino, and other Latin American officials.

The Secretary General will be in Madrid next Tuesday for an official visit. He will have an audience with His Majesty The King of Spain, and meet with the Prime Minister José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero, as well as other Spanish officials. The Secretary-General will also visit the Headquarters of the World Tourism Organization in Madrid.

On the 7th and 8th of June, the Secretary General will attend the G8 Summit at Heiligendamm and will hold a number of bilateral meetings during his two day stay in Germany. The Secretary General will be back at headquarters next weekend.

U.N. AUDIT BOARD HANDS IN REPORT ON

FUNDS AND PROGRAMMES ACTIVITIES IN DPR KOREA

The UN Board of Auditors has handed in their report on the activities of the UN Development Programme, the UN Childrens Fund and the UN Population Fund in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. The Secretary-General has also received a copy.

The report does point to some of the difficulties UN Funds and Programmes have had in operating in DPRK.

On independence of staff hiring, foreign currency transactions and access to local projects, the report identifies practices not in keeping with how the UN operates elsewhere in the world.

It should be noted that the report does not indicate that large-scale UN funding has been systematically diverted, as has been alleged. However, the Secretary-General does expect the agencies to act upon the findings in the audit as quickly and transparently as possible.

As the report also indicates, there are a number of areas that the Secretary-General feels would require follow-up in a subsequent audit phase.

The Secretary-General will write to the Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions asking that the Committee consider requesting the Board of Auditors to continue their work, including a visit to the DPRK.

The Secretary-General had called for this audit in January 2007 as the top priority in a systematic world-wide probe of United Nations activities in the field. Todays report represents the first results of this on-going effort.

SPECIAL COURT FOR SIERRA LEONE TO OPEN TRIAL OF CHARLES TAYLOR

On Monday, the Special Court for Sierra Leone will open the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor in a courtroom at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Taylor was indicted in March 2003 on a 17-count indictment for crimes against humanity, war crimes and other serious violations of international humanitarian law. The indictment was ordered kept under seal until June 2003. Then in March 2006, the Special Court approved an amended indictment reducing the number of counts to 11, including acts of terrorism, unlawful killings, looting and pillaging, sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers.

HAITIAN AUTHORITIES CAUGHT IN MAJOR DRUG BUST

The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti says that Haitian police, working with UN Police, yesterday seized some 420 kilograms of cocaine and detained 10 suspected drug smugglers and traffickers. Among those detained are 5 Haitian police officers, 2 Colombian and 2 Haitian nationals.

The Mission says that the cocaine shipment was en route to the capital Port-au-prince from the town of Petit Goave.

It was handed over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency while the detained individuals were rendered into the custody in the Haitian police in Port-au-Prince.

SOME 1,500 SUDANESE REFUGEES ARRIVE IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

In Central African Republic, a team from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has arrived in the town of Sam Ouandja to begin registering roughly 1,500 Sudanese refugees. They fled on foot from their village in Sudan, some 200 kilometers away, following attacks there. UNHCR is preparing to deliver 600 rolls of plastic sheeting for temporary shelters, while other agencies are arranging the delivery of food, water and sanitation supplies.

Meanwhile, in Somalia, UNHCR says roughly one quarter of the nearly 400,000 Somalis displaced from Mogadishu have now returned. Living conditions in the capital, however, remain difficult, with no electricity or running water and sanitation a major concern, UNHCR says.

SECRETARY-GENERAL ADDRESSES

STUDENT OBSERVANCE OF WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY

This morning, the Secretary-General addressed the annual student observance of World Environment Day which is next Tuesday.

Speaking to those gathered in the Dag Hammarskjold Library auditorium, as well as students video-linked from around the world, the Secretary-General stressed that the world cannot continue with business as usual when it comes to the grave and growing effects of climate change.

He urged developed countries to do much more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to support clean development in fast-growing economies and to help countries facing the greatest threats from climate change.

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES POSITIVE MOVE

BY U.S. PRESIDENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Asked for a Secretary-General reaction to U.S. President Bush's declared intention to work toward a reduction of greenhouse gases emission by leading developed nations, Montas said that Ban Ki-moon welcomes the positive engagement by President Bush.

This is perhaps the defining issue of our time. We need the positive engagement of all leaders, which is why the Secretary-General also welcomes recent announcements by leaders around the globe, including the European Union, the United Kingdom, Japan and Mexico and the declared intentions by leaders in China and India to come forward with their own strategies.

"This is the kind of high-level mobilization that we need to see," Montas stressed.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

STAFFING ISSUES CONSIDERED: When the vacant post of Special Advisor for Africa would be filled, the Spokeswoman said that the question was being considered along with staffing issues for other vacant senior-level positions.

  • The guest at the briefing today was Atul Khare, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT).

    THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

    [This document is for planning purposes only and is subject to change.]

    Sunday, June 3

    The Secretary-General is in Panama City, Panama, to attend the General Assembly of the Organization of American States.

    Today through Saturday in Heiligendamm, Germany, the Junior 8 Summit, sponsored by UNICEF and the Morgan Stanley International Foundation, brings together 74 children and young people for a youth conference that parallels the G8 summit.

    From today through 15 June, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora holds its triennial conference in The Hague.

    Monday, June 4

    In The Hague, the prosecution begins presenting its case in the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor.

    At 12:30 p.m. in Room 226, Johan Verbeke, the Permanent Representative of Belgium, which holds the Security Council presidency for June, will deliver the monthly briefing on the Councils programme of work.

    In Conference Room 1, the 19th Annual Information Security Meeting on Promoting Global Security, will focus on the importance of building confidence and trust in the Internet, the web and IT.

    In Geneva, the Human Rights Council holds a special meeting to hear an address by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on the importance of strengthening the system of the promotion and protection of human rights.

    Today and tomorrow in Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency hosts a high-level meeting on science and technology and nuclear research in the 21st century.

    In Norway, the UN Environment Programme is expected to launch its Global Outlook for Ice and Snow.

    From today through 15 June, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief will visit the United Kingdom at the invitation of the Government.

    Tuesday, June 5

    The Secretary-General is in Spain to meet with Spanish Government officials and visit the Headquarters of the World Tourism Organization.

    Today is World Environment Day. Several events are scheduled at Headquarters. Starting at 11 a.m. on the Plaza at the Visitors Entrance, elementary school children from P.S. 124 will present a multimedia performance looking at the state of the worlds marine resources through the eyes and ears of children. That will be followed at noon by the launch of a world youth initiative on reducing greenhouse gases.

    From 11 a.m. to noon in the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, there will be a meeting of the Womens International Forum on the role of women in an emerging Central Asia (sponsored by the Executive Office of the Secretary-General).

    From today through Thursday in Geneva, the first session of the new Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction takes place.

    Wednesday, June 6

    In Vienna, the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space opens its 50th session with a high-level panel on space exploration activities and the opening of an exhibit on the past 50 years of space achievements.

    Thursday, June 7

    The Secretary-General is in Heiligendamm, Germany, to take part in the meeting of the G8 heads of State and Government.

    All day in Conference Room 4, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will hold a special meeting to mark 40 years of occupation by Israel of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

    Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General

    United Nations, S-378

    New York, NY 10017

    Tel. 212-963-7162

    Fax. 212-963-7055


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