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United Nations Daily Highlights, 08-03-12
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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: email@example.comARCHIVES
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARIE OKABE
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
BAN KI-MOON BEGINS VISIT TO DAKAR, SENEGAL
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived today in Dakar, Senegal, where this evening he is scheduled to participate as an observer in the mini-summit hosted by President Abdoulaye Wade that brings together the Presidents of Chad and Sudan, Idriss Deby and Omar al-Bashir.
Also this afternoon, he was expected to meet with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, one of the leaders who have come to Dakar for the Organization of the Islamic Conferences (OIC) summit, and with President Wade.
Asked whether the Secretary-General would deal with Islamophobia while in Dakar, the Spokeswoman noted that, in addition to tonights mini-summit, the Secretary-General was in Dakar to attend the Organization of the Islamic Conference summit, which he would address on Thursday. The OIC Summit has Islamophobia on its agenda, she added.
She later said the Secretary-General met with the OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and they discussed terrorism, Islamophobia, freedom of expression, Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory and Kosovo.
BAN KI-MOON TO ATTEND INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON AFGHANISTAN
The Secretary-General will be in Bucharest, Romania, on 3 April to attend an international meeting on Afghanistan.
This meeting will be attended by the President of Afghanistan and key international stakeholders, including high-level representatives of the NATO membership, of non-NATO contributing nations, of the International Security Assistance Force, and also representatives of key international organizations, such as the European Union and the World Bank.
AFGHANISTAN INSURGENCY MORE RESILIENT THAN EXPECTED
Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno briefed the Security Council today on the UNs work in Afghanistan, at the start of an open debate.
Guéhenno said that Afghanistan faces an insurgency that has proven to be more resilient than expected and more ruthless than imagined, while a massive illegal drug economy thrives in the vacuum of state authority.
Guéhenno said that the UN Mission in Afghanistan does not need additional powers, but in the face of the evolved situation, its mandate must be sharpened. In the Secretary-Generals most recent report to the Security Council on Afghanistan, he proposes six areas to focus on: enhanced coordination, political outreach, subnational governance, humanitarian coordination, elections and strengthened cooperation with the International Security Assistance Force.
The new Special Representative for Afghanistan, Kai Eide, attended todays debate but did not address the Council.
GREEK AND TURKISH CYPRIOT LEADERS TO MEET
UNDER U.N. AUSPICES ON MARCH 21
Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will
meet under UN auspices on 21 March. Senior aides from the two sides agreed on the date during a meeting hosted by the Secretary-Generals Special Representative in Cyprus, Michael Moller.
The meeting will take place in the UN Protected Area in Nicosia.
Mr. Møller said todays encounter between the senior aides was cordial and constructive and showed a great degree of convergence on several issues, including on the possible future opening of Nicosias Ledra Street crossing.
U.N. ENVOY MEETS WITH SENIOR RELIGIOUS OFFICIALS IN NAJAF
Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Iraq, yesterday met with Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Al-Sistani in the city of Najaf, and later held meetings with other senior religious officials there.
In their two-hour meeting, de Mistura and Ayatollah Sistani discussed the UN Mission in Iraqs increasing activities in both the political and humanitarian spheres.
They also spoke about Iraqi national reconciliation, and the need for the Iraqi people to be able to participate in fair, free and inclusive elections.
SOME GOODS ENTER GAZA THROUGH THREE OPEN CROSSINGS
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that three crossings in Gaza are open today. UNICEF has been able to import a refrigerator truck into Gaza for transporting vaccines, and ten transformers have reached Gazas electricity supply company.
Although these developments represent very small successes, they did not seem likely a few weeks ago, according to OCHA.
OCHA also reports that, because of the warm weather in Gaza, power cuts there are down to around three hours a day. That will lead to a reduction in the amount of sewage being pumped into the sea and will allow the health services to conserve fuel.
U.N. RWANDA TRIBUNAL INCREASES SENTENCE
FOR FORMER CATHOLIC PRIEST CONVICTED OF GENOCIDE
The appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has raised the prison sentence for a former Catholic priest from 15 years imprisonment to life imprisonment.
In its ruling today, the appeals chamber overturned Athanase Serombas conviction for aiding and abetting genocide and extermination and revised it to committing genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity.
Seromba was found guilty of taking an active role in destroying a church in the Kibuye region, an attack that resulted in the death of some 1,500 ethnic Tutsi who had sought the priests protection from killing mobs.
INJURY IS LEADING KILLER FOR CHILDREN IN ASIA: For children in five Asian countries, injury is the greatest cause of death or disability. Thats according to a groundbreaking seven-year study by UNICEF and the Alliance for Safe Children, which interviewed more than two million people in Bangladesh, China, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. It found that children aged one to four were at greatest risk of drowning, while road accidents posed the greatest threat to school-aged children between five and nine years old. Intentional injury such as homicide and suicide was the leading cause of death among those 10 to 17 years of age.
U.N. TEAM REMAINS ENGAGED IN KENYA POWER-SHARING EFFORTS: Asked about problems in the power-sharing deal reached in Kenya, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General has supported former Secretary-General Kofi Annans efforts and has provided whatever assistance he can to support those efforts. A team continues to remain at work in Kenya, she added.
U.N. AGENCIES SUPPLYING RELIEF SUPPLIES IN WAKE OF CYCLONE IVAN: In Madagascar, where nearly 200,000 people have been displaced since cyclone Ivan struck last month, UNICEF is providing medicine, mosquito nets, blankets and hygiene kits to tens of thousands of people. The World Food
Programme has distributed three tons of enriched flour and high energy biscuits and plans to deliver more than 22 tons of vegetables to more than 11,000 people over the next two weeks.
U.N. GIVES EMERGENCY GRANTS TO KAZAKHSTAN AFTER FLOODING: In southern Kazakhstan, where heavy rains and rapidly melting snow have displaced more than 13,000 people, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has provided an emergency grant of US$40,000 to the UN Resident Coordinator in that country for the procurement of nearly two thousand hygiene kits. UNICEF has made US$50,000 available for water purification tablets, water reservoirs, filters, disinfectants and other sanitation needs.
MEMBER STATES MUST ADDRESS DECREASE IN RESOURCES FOR DEVELOPMENT: Asked about reasons for the decrease in resources for development, the Spokeswoman said that was an issue for Member States. The Secretary-General, Okabe said, has tried to galvanize international attention on the importance of development and the need to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including a meeting he convened earlier this week on MDG African Steering Group.
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