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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-06-12

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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

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

BAN KI-MOON CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE CESSATION

OF ALL INTRA-PALESTINIAN VIOLENCE

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is deeply concerned at the resurgence of violence in Gaza, which has reportedly left at least 20 people dead.

The intensity of this latest round of fighting and the heightened public rhetoric marks a serious deterioration of the situation, placing the civilian population in Gaza in grave peril, jeopardizing the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and threatening the future of the Palestinian Government and Authority.

The Secretary-General calls for the immediate cessation of all intra-Palestinian violence, including attacks against the Palestinian Authority and its institutions.

At this extremely difficult moment for the Palestinian people and their cause, the Secretary-General calls for all parties to give their full support to the efforts of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to restore law and order.

The Secretary-General this morning spoke to President Abbas to convey his concern.

GAZA: DELIVERY OF HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE IN JEOPARDY

As violent clashes between Hamas and Fatah loyalists enter their sixth day in the Gaza Strip, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

expressed its alarm at the number of people killed and injured and has warned that delivery of humanitarian assistance is in serious jeopardy.

Three of UNRWAs five Food Distribution centers and seven of UNRWAs 18 health clinics were forced to close as fighting raged in their immediate vicinity and in some cases spilled over into the premises today.

John Ging, Director of UNRWAs Operation in Gaza, said the Agency cannot deliver humanitarian aid in the crossfire, and said the Agency calls on all Palestinian leaders to use their influence to resolve their disputes through peaceful means.

SUDAN ACCEPTS U.N.-A.U. PROPOSALS ON HYBRID OPERATION IN DARFUR

The conclusions of the high-level African Union-United Nations technical consultations in Addis Ababa with the Government of Sudan on the hybrid operation for Darfur were released a short while ago.

In view of the explanations and clarifications provided by the AU and the UN as contained in the presentation, the Government of Sudan accepted the joint proposals on the Hybrid Operation, according to the conclusions.

The participants underlined the need for the resolutions/decisions authorizing this Operation to be adopted by the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council.

They also further agreed on the need for an immediate comprehensive cease-fire accompanied by an inclusive political process, and stressed the need for troop and police contributing countries, as well as donors, to facilitate the early and successful implementation of the hybrid operation.

BAN KI-MOON LOOKS FORWARD TO SPEEDY IMPLEMENTATION OF PEACEKEEPING APPROACH IN DARFUR

The Secretary-General welcomes todays positive conclusions of the high-level African Union-United Nations consultations with the Government of Sudan on the hybrid operation, and looks forward to expeditiously implementing the three-phase approach to peacekeeping in Darfur.

He also stresses the need for an immediate comprehensive cease-fire accompanied by an inclusive political process as essential steps toward a lasting solution to the crisis in Darfur.

Asked whether the acceptance by Sudan of the hybrid force was unconditional, the Spokeswoman noted Khartoums call for African troops. She said that the United Nations had always planned to deploy a large number of African troops in Darfur, but added it would depend on the availability of such troops.

In addition, Montas said, there had been issues raised about land, water and deployment that would still need to be worked out.

She later said the United Nation was awaiting a full report from Addis Ababa and the Security Council is expected to hear a briefing on the outcome of the talks tomorrow.

Asked about the precedent set by Sudan asking for troops to come from Africa, the Spokeswoman noted that the Government of Sudan was not asking for troops to come from any specific country.

UNITED NATIONS STANDS READY TO ASSIST BANGLADESH AFTER FLOODS

The Secretary-General is deeply saddened by the reported loss of more than 100 lives, injuries of more than 100 people, destruction and loss of livelihoods caused by the landslide and flooding that hit Chittagong City, the second-largest city in Bangladesh.

He extends his deepest condolences to the families of those who have been killed or injured in the disaster.

The United Nations stands ready to assist as required.

CROATIAN SERB LEADER SENTENCED TO 35 YEARS IN PRISON

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia today sentenced former Croatian Serb leader Milan Martic to 35 years in prison for crimes committed against Croats and other non-Serbs, including persecution, murder, torture, deportation and attacks on civilians.

Martic, who had presided over the self-proclaimed Republic of Serbia Krajina, was convicted, among other things, of ordering rocket attacks on downtown Zagreb in May 1995.

Asked about whether the Secretary-General would favour renewing ICTY Prosecutor Carla Del Pontes mandate, the Spokeswoman said that matter was being discussed now.

SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES DISENGAGEMENT FORCE IN GOLAN HEIGHTS

The Security Council held consultations today on the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights. It received a briefing on that mission by Lisa Buttenheim, Director of the Asia and Middle East Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

After that, Council members received an update on the implementation of sanctions in Sudan by the Chairman of the 1591 Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Marcello Spatafora of Italy.

LEBANON: SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS ONGOING ATTACKS,

URGES PARTIES TO RE-LAUNCH NATIONAL DIALOGUE

Terje Roed-Larsen, the Secretary-Generals Special Envoy for the implementation of resolution 1559, which concerns Lebanon, yesterday afternoon briefed the Security Council in its closed consultations.

Following his briefing, the Security Council adopted a Presidential Statement, in which it urged the Lebanese parties to re-launch their National Dialogue, and condemned the ongoing criminal and terrorist attacks in Lebanon, including those perpetrated by Fatah al-Islam.

Council members also looked forward to the conclusions of the Lebanon Independent Border Assessment Team sent by the Secretary-General to examine the situation at the Lebanese-Syrian border.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: U.N. EMERGENCY RELIEF COORDINATOR CONDEMNS KILLING OF AID WORKER

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes has strongly condemned the killing of a Médeçins sans Frontières staff member in Northwest Central African Republic yesterday. The aid worker was killed while on an assessment mission on the border with Cameroon and Chad.

The United Nations has suspended all movements in the region for the time being.

Holmes said he was very concerned by the recent deterioration of the security situation in the northwestern part of the country. He called on the parties to the conflict to protect humanitarian workers and provide safe access to people in need.

U.N. AGENCIES RUSH SUPPLIES TO REFUGEES FROM DARFUR

IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

Also in the Central African Republic, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), along with other UN agencies, is rushing supplies to some 2,500 newly arrived refugees from South Darfur. These refugees are in desperate condition in the east of the country and are quickly running out of food.

In response, UN agencies including World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and UNICEF sent, among other things, food, water purification sets and medical supplies, which should reach the refugees within a few days.

RWANDAN TRIBUNAL INDICTS WITNESS FOR FALSE TESTIMONY

Turning to Rwanda, the International Criminal Tribunal has for the first time in its history indicted a witness for giving false testimony.

The testimony was given during the trial of former Rwandan Minister for Higher Education, Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda, who was convicted of genocide and extermination during the countrys 1994 genocide.

The witness who is facing the indictment has not been identified.

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL HEARS REPORTS

ON BELARUS, CUBA, CAMBODIA, SOMALIA AND HAITI

From Geneva, the Human Rights Council today heard reports from experts on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Cuba, Cambodia, Somalia and Haiti.

Before that, the Council concluded its dialogue with the rapporteurs on the right to food, the adverse effects of toxic wastes, adequate standards of living, and human rights and extreme poverty.

Tomorrow the Council will hear reports resulting from its special sessions, including on Gaza and Darfur.

NEW PARTNERSHIP LAUNCHED TO END CHILD WORK IN AGRICULTURE

Today is World Day Against Child Labour.

The International Labour Organization (ILO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have launched a new

partnership with three other international organizations to tackle child labour in agriculture.

It aims among other things-- at promoting child labour laws in agriculture and youth employments opportunities in agriculture. According to the ILO, of the estimated 218 million children working worldwide, 70% can be found in the agricultural sector.

Also on this occasion, the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, is calling on the international community to stop the recruitment of child soldiers, saying it is one of the worst forms of child labour.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

GREATER U.N. INVOLVEMENT IN IRAQ WOULD DEPEND ON SECURITY: In response to questions about UN involvement in Iraq, the Spokeswoman noted that the United Nations is currently involved in a number of major issues involving Iraq, from the International Compact for Iraq, which the Secretary-General helped to launch recently in Sharm el-Sheikh, to work on the countrys electoral and constitutional processes. At the same time, Montas said, there was no consideration at present of any UN troops in Iraq. And any greater UN involvement on the ground, she added, would depend on the security situation, with security concerns not resolved yet.

BAN KI-MOON TAKES UP NEXT BUDGET WITH GENERAL ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE: Asked about the Secretary-Generals meeting with the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) on Monday, the Spokeswoman said they had discussed the 2008-9 budget, which was now in the hands of the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly.

SECURITY COUNCIL TO BE BRIEFED ON SENIOR OFFICIAL TRIP TO SOMALIA: In response to a question on Somalia, the Spokeswoman noted that Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe was returning to New York after visiting Somalia and other countries, and he would brief the Security Council on Somalia on 14 June.

LESOTHO FACES FOOD SHORTAGES AFTER WORST DROUGHT IN 30 YEARS: Nearly one fifth of the population of Lesotho is facing severe food shortages, following the most severe drought to strike the southern African country in the last 30 years. Thats according to a new report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP). Several million more people in the region are also at risk, says the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) regional office for Southern Africa. Its calling for the international community to provide food and other assistance.

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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