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United Nations Daily Highlights, 07-06-19
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
BAN KI-MOON WELCOMES BEGINNING OF SECOND STAGE OF REGISTRATION IN NEPAL
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomes the beginning of the second stage of registration by the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) of the Maoist army personnel who were registered earlier this year. This is a crucial stage of the implementation of the Agreement on Monitoring of the Management of Arms and Armies.
The Secretary-General reiterates to all parties the need to cooperate in the creation of a conducive environment to holding the Constituent Assembly Election later this year in Nepal.
SECRETARY-GENERAL SPEAKS TO PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT AND PRIME MINISTER
The Secretary-General spoke early this morning with Prime Minister Salam Fayyad of the Palestinian National Authority. He also spoke to Foreign Minister Daoud Khattab of Jordan and a few minutes ago to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The Secretary-General expressed his concerns about the humanitarian situation in
Gaza, where a large segment of the population depends on international assistance.
He also spoke about security and political issues, reiterating his support for President Abbas and the need for a two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security.
SERIOUS HUMANITARIAN CRISIS DEVELOPING IN GAZA, SAYS WFP
The World Food Programme (WFP) this afternoon sent its first shipment of food aid to Gaza after the latest wave of unrest. Two trucks carrying 51 metric tonnes of food have crossed the southern border with Israel and more are expected to follow later today.
WFP says that there is a serious humanitarian crisis developing in Gaza as a result of the closure of goods crossings to Gaza. Commercial food stocks in Gaza are quickly depleting and are expected to run extremely low within two weeks, with the panic buying of staple goods. Commercial food stocks have already run out in some areas.
SECRETARY-GENERAL WILL MEET WITH MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
On Wednesday, the Secretary-General will travel to Washington, D.C., for the day.
This brief visit will allow him to further broaden his contacts with members of Congress.
In his discussions, the Secretary-General will raise issues of mutual interest, including the UN-US relationship, the Middle East, Sudan, climate change, peacekeeping and UN reform.
The Secretary-General will be back in New York on Wednesday night.
Asked whether the Secretary-General would raise the issue of US non-payment of its dues, the Spokeswoman said that he would take up the question of dues in his talks with the members of Congress. She clarified that this trip would not include a meeting with President George W. Bush.
SECURITY COUNCIL TO DISCUSS MIDDLE EAST SITUATION
The Security Council on Monday received a briefing in closed consultations from Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hédi Annabi, on the rocket attack launched on Sunday from Southern Lebanon into Israel.
The Councils President, Ambassador Johan Verbeke, read out a press statement afterward, saying that Council members strongly condemned the rocket attack, and commended the determination and commitment of the Lebanese Government to bring its perpetrators to justice.
On Wednesday, the Security Council has scheduled an open meeting, followed by consultations, on the
Middle East, on which Council members are to hear a briefing from the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Michael Williams.
COUNCILS MISSION TO AFRICA DISCUSSES U.N.S ASSISTANCE TO IVORIAN ELECTORAL PROCESS
The Security Councils mission to Africa is wrapping up its visit to Côte dIvoire, and the leader of the Council delegation to that country, Ambassador Jorge Voto-Bernales of Peru, just gave a press conference in Abidjan about the results of the visit.
He said that the Council mission had met with President Laurent Gbagbo and with Prime Minister Guillaume Soro, both of whom stressed that the United Nations should remain involved in the country, to certify the identification process, elections and other measures to implement the Ouagadougou Peace Agreement. The mission also met with the representative of the facilitator of that agreement, Foreign Minister Michel Bassolet of Burkina Faso.
In their discussions, Ambassador Voto-Bernales said, the Council delegation and Ivorian officials discussed the modalities of how the United Nations can assist the process leading up to elections, as well as the elections themselves. The United Nations and Ivorian officials will begin discussions on how to maintain the functions of High Representative for Elections Gerard Stoudmanns office, and whether it would be included in the office of the Secretary-Generals Special Representative.
U.N. SPECIAL ADVISOR CONSULTS IN WASHINGTON ON MYANMAR
The Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, Mr. Ibrahim Gambari, is in Washington today and Wednesday for consultations on Myanmar in the context of the Secretary-Generals good offices mandate.
He has meetings scheduled at the White House, State Department and on Capitol Hill.
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL CONCLUDES ITS FIFTH SESSION
The Human Rights Council today concluded its fifth
session, following the adoption just before midnight of a package of measures put forward by the President to Members of the Council.
The package includes a framework for the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, which will examine the fulfillment of the human rights obligations of all Member States. The framework allows for 48 Member States (a mix of Council members and observer States) to be reviewed each year, with members of the Council elected for one or two year terms to be reviewed first.
The Council's agenda was also part of the package adopted. In addition to the Universal Periodic Review and among other items, the Council's agenda will include an item on "Human rights situations that require the Council's attention". The Special Rapporteurs will be reviewed and will continue to report to the Council.
Asked about the Secretary-Generals reaction to the developments at the Council, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General would wait for the Council to finish its work before responding. She noted that the Council was due to continue its meetings later today, and to hold a press conference in Geneva once its work was concluded.
Asked about the decision not to renew the human rights mandates for Belarus and Cuba, she noted that those two mandates were each six years old and were not renewed.
AFGHANISTAN: SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR CHILDREN AND ARMED CONFLICT STRESSES NEED TO PROTECT CHILDREN
The Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy,
expressed her concern about the impact on children of the worsening security situation in Afghanistan.
She noted that schools had been targeted and that anti-government forces were suspected of using children as human shields. The Special
Representative urges all sides to take all necessary steps to protect children in Afghanistan.
NUMBER OF REFUGEES WORLDWIDE REACHES HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE 2002
The UN Refugee Agency reports that the number of refugees in the world has increased to almost 10 million the highest level since 2002. According to the UNHCRs 2006 Global Trends report, released today, the number of refugees under the Agencys mandate rose by 14 percent last year largely as a result of the crisis in Iraq.
However, the main group of refugees assisted by UNHCR in 2006 continued to be Afghans, with 2.1 million, followed by Iraqis with 1.5 million then Sudanese and Somalis.
The report also states that the number of internally displaced persons has reached a record high of almost 13 million twice as much as the figure for the previous year.
WESTERN SAHARA TALKS RESUME FOR SECOND DAY
Talks carried out under UN auspices on Western Sahara are continuing for a second day near New York City. Representatives of the parties and the neighbouring countries met all day on Monday.
The talks are being facilitated by the Secretary-Generals Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Peter van Walsum. The discussions are scheduled to wrap up today.
Asked about what the Secretary-Generals next report on Western Sahara would reflect, the Spokeswoman said she did not know what would be included in that report.
On Western Sahara, Montas said, we are at the beginning of a long process, with difficult negotiations taking place. It was too early at this point to assess the talks.
BRAMMERTZ TO CONTINUE TO HEAD U.N. INVESTIGATION COMMISSION ON LEBANON
On 14 June 2007, Serge Brammertz, Deputy Prosecutor for Investigations, submitted his resignation from the International Criminal Court. It was made public last night.
At the request of the Secretary-General, Brammertz will continue to serve as the Commissioner of the United Nations International Independent Investigation Commission in Lebanon.
PLANNING IS NEEDED TO ADJUST TO POPULATION AGEING: A UN report, launched today, stresses the importance of advance planning in order to adapt to the impact of population ageing on economic and social development worldwide. The World Economic and Social Survey 2007 notes that, as the proportion of older persons continues to increase at unprecedented rates, the working age population will shrink and the labour force itself will grow older. The report also says that developing countries that still have a growing youth population may have a unique window of opportunity for economic development if required policies are put in place.
U.N. TO TAKE COMMAND OF HYBRID FORCE IN DARFUR: Asked about comments attributed to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, which denied that the United Nations would take control over the hybrid force in
Darfur, the Spokeswoman said that the reports did not correspond to what has been agreed.
SECRETARY-GENERAL WAITING FOR NUCLEAR INSPECTIONS IN DPRK TO TAKE PLACE: Asked whether the Secretary-General was satisfied with the progress concerning inspections of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Koreas nuclear programme, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General would first wait for those inspections to become a reality.
Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General
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