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United Nations Daily Highlights, 08-06-13
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MICHELE MONTAS
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Friday, June 13, 2008
BAN KI-MOON KOSOVO PROPOSALS REPRESENT A WAY FORWARD
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon started the day in London with a working breakfast meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
They discussed the upcoming 25 September High-Level Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, the Middle East, Kosovo and the rise in food and oil prices.
Speaking to reporters afterward, the Secretary-General said that he was aware that the proposals he presented to the Security Council a day earlier on Kosovo may not fully satisfy all sides, yet he fully believes that what he proposed will prove to be the least objectionable course to all and can offer us a way forward.
The Secretary-General and his wife, Ban Soon-taek, later had an audience with Queen Elizabeth II. He also addressed the UN Association of the United Kingdom, discussing the central role of the United Nations in world affairs and highlighting the UN's work on climate change, global health, terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation.
The Secretary General plans to fly to Jeddah tomorrow for talks with Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.
He will be back in London on Sunday evening for further talks with British officials. He is scheduled to attend the International Maritime Organizations 60th Anniversary Event in London on Monday.
ZIMBABWE: UNICEF CALLS FOR RESUMPTION OF HUMANITARIAN PROGRAMS
In his remarks to reporters in London earlier today, the Secretary-General recalled his meeting with President Robert Mugabe last week in Rome, saying he emphasized the importance of ensuring that there would be no further violence, and that this forthcoming Presidential run-off election should be held in a most transparent and fair and convincing and credible way.
The Secretary-General said he had urged President Mugabe to take all necessary measures to ensure that. And he also said he had urged the President that humanitarian assistance should be allowed to be delivered to those in need.
Meanwhile, UNICEF, on the eve of the Day of the African Child, expressed its deep concern at the Zimbabwe Governments suspension of access for non-governmental organization (NGO) workers, who are now prevented from reaching the countrys most vulnerable children.
The UN Childrens Fund called for a full and immediate resumption of programmes run by NGOs that are critical for the countrys children.
URGENT STEPS NEEDED TO BROADEN NATIONAL RECONCILIATION IN IRAQ
The Security Council met this morning on non-proliferation. It was briefed by the Belgian Ambassador, in his capacity as chair of the Security Council Committee dealing with resolution 1737, which concerns Iran.
The Council then met on Iraq.
Briefing Council members earlier today, Ibrahim Gambari, the Secretary-Generals Special Adviser on the International Compact with Iraq and Other Issues, said that, now more than ever, urgent steps are needed to broaden national reconciliation.
Addressing such fundamental issues as the sharing of resources, the future federal nature of the Iraqi State, and the resolution of disputed internal boundaries, requires wisdom, patience and strong political will, he added.
UN Controller Warren Sach also briefed Council members in his capacity as the Secretary-Generals representative on the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB).
Meanwhile, the Secretary-Generals latest report on Kosovo, which went to Security Council members yesterday, is now available as a public document.
SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS ERITREAN ACTION IN DJIBOUTI
Yesterday evening, the Security Council adopted a Presidential Statement on Djibouti and Eritrea.
The Council condemned Eritreas recent military action against Djibouti, called on both parties to commit to a ceasefire, and urged Eritrea in particular to show maximum restraint and withdraw its forces from the area.
U.N. POLITICAL CHIEF TO HEAD TO CYPRUS NEXT WEEK
The Security Council today adopted a resolution on Cyprus, extending the mandate of the UN Mission there until 15 December 2008.
Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe, will be visiting Cyprus on 17 June for consultations about the ongoing political process on the island with the Greek Cypriot leader, Mr. Dimitris Christofias, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Mehmet Ali Talat.
ETHIOPIA HUMANITARIAN APPEAL INCREASES
FOLLOWING DROUGHT & CROP FAILURE
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has
drawn attention to the revised appeal for Ethiopia, which represented a considerable increase in the amount previously asked for from $68 to more than $325 million.
The majority of that money some $268 million is needed for food, after drought and crop failure caused the number of people in need of emergency humanitarian aid to more than double, from 2.2 million to 4.6 million Ethiopians.
The worst-affected areas were in south and south-eastern Ethiopia, including Oromia, where livestock had already died from lack of water.
Assistance was urgently needed to avert loss of life and further deterioration of the health of an estimated 75,000 children who were already suffering from acute malnutrition and illness.
John Holmes, the UNs Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, urged donors to respond immediately and generously to prevent a recurrence of previous disasters.
TIMOR-LESTE: U.N. TO SUPPORT SECURITY SECTOR REFORM
Timor-Leste, Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão signed an agreement today between the Government of Timor-Leste and the United Nations Development Programme in support of the UN Missions mandate to formalize support for reform of the security sector in the country.
The agreement, outlined in the Security Sector Review Project, details the technical assistance and advice that the United Nations will provide to the Government. The objective is to strengthen the nations ability to protect itself, both internally and externally.
According to Atul Khare, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Timor-Leste, The review, reform and development of the security sector are vital to strengthening institutions that can weather future crises without external assistance and that will help Timor-Leste establish itself as a strong democracy, upholding the rule of law and promoting human rights.
The Review will be finalized by early to mid-2009.
DIESEL FUEL NEEDED IN MYANMAR
Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), has called on donors to help meet Myanmars urgent needs for one million gallons of diesel fuel.
According to Heyzer, diesel is needed to operate some 5,000 tillers, which will help rice farmers to prepare for the June/July growing season.
Cyclone Nargis destroyed livestock and buffaloes, which are the traditional animals used for plowing, ESCAP says.
Heyzer visited Myanmar this week.
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME APPROVES NEW STRATEGIC PLAN
TO ADDRESS SOARING HUNGER NEEDS
The Executive Board of the World Food Programme (WFP) has approved a new four-year strategic plan that will be critical to addressing soaring hunger needs due to the global food crisis.
The strategic plan emphasises life-saving emergency aid, such as the 3 million vulnerable served in Darfur with emergency food aid. But it also emphasises prevention, local purchase of food, and using targeted cash and voucher programs when food is available locally but not accessible by the hungry.
The approval of WFPs 4-year strategic plan follows last weeks High-Level Conference on World Food Security in Rome, where world leaders gathered to discuss hunger and agriculture development issues against the backdrop of high global food and fuel prices. Recent market shocks and climate change make the challenges of feeding some 90 million people even greater.
CLIMATE CHANGE MEETING WRAPS UP
WITH CLEARER UNDERSTANDING ON POSSIBLE AGREEMENT
The latest round of UN-sponsored global climate change negotiations
concluded today in Bonn, Germany.
The conference, which drew more than 2,000 participants from 170 countries, was part of a series of meeting designed to negotiate a UN climate change deal in Copenhagen in 2009.
It was the second major UN climate change meeting this year following the launch of negotiations in Bali in 2007.
Three important workshops on adaptation, finance and technology took place in Bonn, designed to deepen the understanding of the issues related to the building blocks of the Copenhagen agreement.
Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said there was now a clearer understanding among Governments on what countries would ultimately like to see written into a long-term agreement to address climate change.
The next meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will take place in Accra, Ghana, at the end of August and will focus on reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries and sector-specific approaches - for example for steel or cement sectors - when tackling climate change.
CHINA, U.A.E. MAKE IMPRESSIVE PROGRESS
IN ENSURING SAFE BLOOD DONATION
China and the United Arab Emirates have made impressive strides in tackling the risk of contamination from unsafe blood, the World Health Organization (WHO)
said today. They have done that by reaching close to 100% voluntary blood donation.
Their efforts to increase their safe blood base will be promoted as models for other countries to follow on the occasion of World Blood Donor Day, which will be observed tomorrow.
According to WHO, access to safe blood is a key component of effective health care and voluntary donors are the cornerstone of a safe blood supply.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE NEEDS TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY
In 100 days, the world will take part in the International Day of Peace.
The Secretary-General, in a video message out today, says the world needs to take this day of ceasefire and non-violence very seriously. We need to start planning for it now, he says.
He adds, That is why today, I am asking Governments, communities and individuals to start preparing concrete activities for the International Day of Peace and beyond. On 21 September, let us send a real signal of our universal desire for peace.
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ADOPTS REVIEW OUTCOMES FOR 32 STATES: The Human Rights Council
concluded today its adoption of the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review on the reports of 32 countries. Those countries had been the first to undergo the review process over the course of the first two sessions of the Working Group, held in April and May this year. Today, the Universal Periodic Review covered the reports on Sri Lanka, France, Tonga, Romania, and Mali
TOURISM CHIEF TO STEP DOWN: The Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organization, Francesco Frangialli,
announced that he would be stepping down at the beginning of 2009 to allow for a smooth transition before the end of his final term of office. He noted that the membership of his agency had expanded to 153 States during his tenure.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
Saturday, June 14
Today is World Blood Donor Day.
The Secretary-General leaves for an official visit to Saudi Arabia.
Sunday, June 15
The Secretary-General leaves for an official visit to the United Kingdom.
Monday, June 16
The Security Council expects to hold consultations on Liberia, following a briefing on the recent Security Council mission to Africa.
The Secretary-General is scheduled to attend the International Maritime Organizations 60th Anniversary Event in London.
In Geneva, Richard Falk, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, presents a report to the Human Rights Council.
Today through 30 June, Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, undertakes a country visit to the U.S.
Chiefs of Public Information and Spokespersons from some twenty peacekeeping, peacebuilding and special political missions will meet at UN Headquarters in New York for an annual workshop organized by DPI and DPKO.
Tuesday, June 17
Today through tomorrow, the Executive Secretaries of the five UN Regional Commissions meet in Addis Ababa to coordinate their analytical, normative, advocacy and operational activities.
In London, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), António Guterres, marks World Refugee Day (20 June) by opening UNHCRs Experience Darfur refugee camp in Trafalgar Square.
At 10.30 a.m. in Geneva, UNHCR launches its Global Trends Report for 2007.
Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe, leaves for Cyprus for consultations on the ongoing political process on the island with the Greek Cypriot leader, Dimitris Christofias, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat.
At 11.15 a.m. in S226, UN System Influenza Coordinator Dr. David Nabarro provides an update on avian influenza and pandemic preparedness.
From 1.15 p.m. to 2.45 p.m., the United Nations University Office at the UN in New York (UNU-ONY) holds a UNU Midday Forum entitled Preventive Diplomacy at the UN.
Wednesday, June 18
The Security Council is expected to extend the mandate of the Panel of Experts on Liberia.
Thursday, June 19
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, is expected to chair a Security Council Debate on women, peace and security.
In Geneva, the third annual cycle of the Human Rights Council begins with an organizational meeting at which the new Bureau and President take office.
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