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United Nations Daily Highlights, 08-06-09
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MICHELE MONTAS
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Monday, June 9, 2008
WORLD LEADERS MEET AT UN HEADQUARTERS
TO DISCUSS HIV/AIDS AND TUBERCULOSIS
On the eve of a two-day high-level General Assembly meeting on AIDS, the first-ever HIV/Tuberculosis Global Leaders Forum is taking place today at Headquarters. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to address this afternoons meeting.
Meanwhile, this morning the Secretary-General took part in the launch of the report of the Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa, entitled Securing Our Future.
Addressing the high-level panel, he noted that there has been an international movement towards universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support, but that serious challenges remain, including rising prevalence among women and young people.
Africa has multiple AIDS epidemics, and one-size-fits-all policies will not work across the region, he said. He stressed the importance of grasping how cultural norms and attitudes increase the risk of infection, enforcing laws to eliminate violence against women and girls and taking action to improve the lives of AIDS orphans.
SUDAN: BAN KI-MOON WELCOMES AGREEMENT ON ABYEI DISPUTE
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomes the agreement reached on 8 June between the National Congress Party and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, in which the parties have agreed on a roadmap to resolve the Abyei dispute, including through arbitration.
The Secretary-General particularly welcomes the commitment of the two parties to allow the UN Mission in Sudan unrestricted access and freedom of movement in the Abyei area.
The Secretary-General assures the parties and the people of Sudan that the United Nations will continue to provide assistance to the tens of thousands of people displaced after fighting broke out in Abyei last month. It also stands ready to assist their return to Abyei, once security arrangements are put in place to enable a safe and dignified return.
The Secretary-General congratulates the two parties and urges them to implement this agreement in full and in good faith to ensure a final resolution of this most serious challenge to Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
SECURITY COUNCIL MISSION ARRIVES IN CÔTE D'IVOIRE,
ON LAST LEG OF VISIT TO AFRICA
The Security Council delegation traveling in Africa is today in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, where it arrived this morning on the last leg of its 10-day mission.
Upon arrival, the delegation, led by Ambassador Michel Kafando of Burkina Faso, received a briefing by Choi Young-Jin, the Secretary-General's Special Representative, and other senior officials of the UN peacekeeping mission (ONUCI).
Meetings were also conducted with a cross-section of Ivorian civil society, with opposition figure Alassane Ouattara, with the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission and with military officials, including the UN Force Commander and the Chief of Staff of the Ivorian Army.
The delegation also met with the team in charge of the logistical preparations for the planned November presidential election and with the Special Representative of the Facilitator of the Ivorian peace process.
The delegation is scheduled to meet with President Laurent Gbagbo and we will have a readout of that meeting for you as soon as it is completed.
Before Côte d'Ivoire, the delegation was in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it met on Saturday with President Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa.
They discussed the reform of the security and judicial sectors, the disarmament and national reconciliation processes, and the implementation of the Goma agreement between the government and various armed groups. They also touched on continued UN-DRC cooperation, sexual violence and issues related to war crimes investigations by the International Criminal Court.
On Sunday, the delegation visited a UN-run camp for internally displaced persons in the northeastern town of Goma and held discussions with the displaced persons and with UN humanitarian staff working in the camp. It also met with the Mixed Commission on the follow-up mechanism to the Goma Agreement and with representatives of female victims of sexual violence.
The Security Council delegation is expected back in New York tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon.
SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFED ON SITUATION IN CYPRUS
This morning, Taye-Brook Zerihoun, the Secretary-Generals new Special Representative for Cyprus, briefed the Security Council in closed consultations on the Secretary-Generals recent report on Cyprus.
In that report, youll recall, the Secretary-General says that a window of opportunity to finally resolve the Cyprus problem is clearly open. He also recommends a six-month extension of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus, UNFICYP. The Council expects to take up that matter this Friday.
LATEST ROUND OF TALKS OVER FYROM NAME ISSUE
TO TAKE PLACE THIS WEEK IN NEW YORK
The Secretary-Generals Personal Envoy on the talks between Greece and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Matthew Nimetz, will be meeting with representatives of the two Parties in New York this week, with a formal meeting to be held at the United Nations on Thursday, June 12th.
Representing Greece will be Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis and representing the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will be Ambassador Nikola Dimitrov.
Asked how often the Secretary-General hears from Nimetz, the Spokeswoman said that he receives regular reports from Nimetz.
U.N. WARNS OF PRECARIOUS SECURITY SITUATION
IN VARIOUS PARTS OF SOMALIA
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that security in various parts of Somalia, particularly the south, remains precarious.
Incidents of carjacking targeting humanitarian aid organizations are on the increase along the Afgooye-Mogadishu road, hindering efforts to deliver aid to 300,000 internally displaced persons who have fled from violence in Mogadishu. Some 22 humanitarian vehicles have been hijacked in Somalia so far in 2008.
Meanwhile, the World Food Programme has managed to secure six ships to transport 40,000 metric tonnes of food aid from the Kenyan port of Mombasa to Mogadishu. The Dutch naval mission to escort vessels along the pirate-infested Somali coastline ends on 22 June, and WFP is urgently seeking other navies to provide escorts.
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL BEGINS SECOND STEP
OF UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW PROCESS
In Geneva, the Human Rights Council began the second phase of its Universal Periodic Review process today. The Council has started considering the outcome of the reviews for States who have already had their human rights records examined under this new mechanism.
This week the Council will consider the outcome of the Universal Periodic Reviews Working Group review of the 32 States who underwent reviews during its first and second session, which took place in April and May.
Today, five country reviews were adopted: for Bahrain, Ecuador, Tunisia, Morocco and Finland.
D.R. CONGO: REFUGEES RETURNING TO SOUTH KIVU FACE LAND ISSUES
Relative stability in the border province of South Kivu is encouraging Congolese refugees to return home, but some face problems once they get back especially over land.
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says land is at the heart of many disputes and confrontation between returnees and those who never fled.
UNHCR, in a bid to ease the reintegration process and avert conflict over land, has been working with its partners to promote dialogue and mediation in the areas of return, and has conducted a comprehensive review on the issue of land disputes in major return zones.
HEAD OF NEW REGIONAL CENTRE IN CENTRAL ASIA ASSUMES DUTIES
Miroslav Jenca , the Secretary-Generals Special Representative and Head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia (UNRCCA), arrived in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, over the weekend to take up his duties and to have consultations with authorities around the region over the coming weeks.
The UN Regional Center was established at the initiative of the UN and all five Central Asian governments. Its mandate is to assist them in peacefully and cooperatively managing an array of common challenges and threats, including terrorism, drug trafficking, organized crime, and environmental degradation.
It will cooperate closely with the existing UN programmes and agencies in Central Asia, as well as with regional organizations including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
PASSING OF PRESIDENT JOSEPH KABUI,
AUTONOMOUS GOVERNMENT OF BOUGAINVILLE
The Secretary-General mourns the passing of President Joseph Kabui, the first President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Papua New Guinea.
President Kabui was known as a skilled mediator and peacemaker who had a genuine interest in the future of his people.
He played a crucial role in bringing peace to Bougainville, following the years of conflict, achieving autonomy for the province in 2005.
The late President Kabui enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the United Nations, through the peace negotiations and the years of the UN Observer Mission to Bougainville and the Political Office that followed.
The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the family of President Kabui and to the people of the province of Bougainville.
BAN KI-MOON WANTS AS OPEN A SELECTION PROCESS AS POSSIBLE FOR TOP HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICIAL: Asked whether candidates from non-governmental organizations or other entities besides Member States will be considered for the position of High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Spokeswoman later said that non-governmental organizations have written to the Secretary-General providing their recommendations and suggestions. These are being considered in the course of the short-listing process. She added that the Secretary-General wants as open a selection process as possible.
PANEL ON SECURITY AND SAFETY TO TURN OVER REPORT: In response to questions, the Spokeswoman confirmed that the Secretary-General expects to receive the report from the Independent Panel on the Security and Safety of UN Personnel and Premises this afternoon. She said that the head of the panel, Lakhdar Brahimi, was willing to meet with the press once the Secretary-General has reviewed the report and dealt with its recommendations.
BAN KI-MOON TO MEET WITH FRENCH PRESIDENT THIS WEEK: Asked about the Secretary-Generals upcoming meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the Spokeswoman said that they would meet when the Secretary-General visits Paris later this week.
UN SPEAKS OUT AGAINST KILLING OF JOURNALISTS IN AFGHANISTAN AND SOMALIA: The United Nations expressed its sorrow at the killing of two BBC journalists over the weekend, with reporters being murdered in Afghanistan and Somalia. In Somalia, the UN Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator expressed today shock and disappointment that Nasteh Dahir Farah was brutally murdered by unknown gunmen in Kismayo on Saturday. Mr. Farah has been working for the BBC and the Associated Press. With nine journalists killed in 2007-2008, Somalia is the second-most dangerous country in the world for the media to work. Also, the UN Mission in Afghanistan said today that it was saddened to learn of the death yesterday of Abdul Samad Rohani, a BBC journalist working in Helmand Province.
* The guests at the noon briefing were Jorge Sampaio, the UN Special Envoy to Stop TB, and Winstone Zulu, an HIV and TB activist, who will brief on the first HIV/TB Global Leaders Forum.
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