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United Nations Daily Highlights, 09-11-19
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MICHELE MONTAS
SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Thursday, November 19, 2009
BAN KI-MOON WELCOMES PRESIDENT KARZAIS COMMITMENT
TO FIGHT CORRUPTION AND SERVE ALL AFGHANS
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wishes to congratulate President Hamid Karzai on his inauguration today as the elected President of Afghanistan for a second term. He welcomes the commitment of President Karzai to serve all Afghans, to fight corruption and to bring increased good governance, security and services to the country, as expressed in the Presidents inaugural speech.
In pursuance of realizing these goals concretely, the United Nations looks forward to working with President Karzai and his government, the people of Afghanistan, and Afghanistans international partners.
The Secretary-General sends his best wishes to the President and to the people of Afghanistan at this critical juncture in their history and reaffirms the determination of the United Nations to support Afghanistans progress towards peace, stability and development.
BAN KI-MOON TO ATTEND COMMONWEALTH LEADERS IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
The Secretary-General will travel next week on Friday, 27 November 2009 to Trinidad and Tobago to participate in the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
During his two-day visit, the Secretary-General will participate in special sessions on climate change, as well as hold bilateral meetings with Heads of State and Government on issues of mutual interest.
The Secretary-General expects to focus the attention of these leaders on key issues that require their engagement in the climate change negotiations, in particular, concerning mitigation and finance.
This Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is an important gathering of political leaders in the run-up to next months Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change. The Secretary-General hopes to boost momentum for an ambitious outcome in Copenhagen that will advance international action on climate change.
SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS CONSULTATIONS ON
D.P.R.K. SANCTIONS AND D.R. CONGO
Security Council this morning is holding consultations to receive an update about the work of the
Sanctions Committee dealing with the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. That committee is chaired by Turkey.
Under other matters, Council members received a briefing on the Democratic Republic of the Congo by Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet.
UNITED NATIONS AND IRAQ TO EMBARK ON MAJOR NEW DEVELOPMENT EFFORT
The United Nations and
Iraq have agreed on an initial framework for a major new development partnership to strengthen Iraqi governance, social services and economic growth over the next five years.
An action plan for Iraqs first UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), for 2011 to 2014, was discussed at a meeting involving more than 120 representatives from the Government of Iraq, parliamentarians, civil society organizations, academia, international donors and UN agencies.
Christine McNab, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, said that the Framework is the UNs most comprehensive tool to help countries meet their international development commitments, primarily the Millennium Development Goals.
DARFUR: SENIOR U.N. OFFICIAL HIGHLIGHTS CHILD SOLDIER RECRUITMENT, VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN
The Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, has concluded a two-day visit to Darfur, as part of a wider visit to Sudan. In Darfur, she met a cross-section of stakeholders in the peace process in El Fasher in the North and El Geneina, South Darfur. The personalities she met included the Walis or Governors - of the two states, religious and community leaders and internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Coomaraswamy expressed satisfaction that efforts were being made to establish institutions to monitor and address problems of the recruitment of child soldiers as well as sexual abuse and violence against children. She appealed to religious leaders to raise awareness in their different constituencies about these issues.
During meetings with youth and with sheikhs and umdas (traditional leaders) in the Riyad camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in El Geneina, the IDPs highlighted challenges they were facing, especially the lack of security, food and medicines.
Coomaraswamy is currently on a 10-day visit in the Sudan, which is expected to end on Monday 23 November.
CHAD/CAR: U.N. MISSION WELCOMES CAMBODIAN PEACEKEEPERS
The UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) says that 42 Cambodian troops have arrived in Abeche -- where they will assist in the movement control of UN personnel and logistic assets.
This arrival brings the number of troops to 2,749 representing a 52.61% of the required strength of the Mission.
MINURCAT adds that it is the second UN mission in which Cambodians are taking part, after participating in a demining exercise in Sudan in 2006.
SOME 400,000 PAKISTANIS FLEE MILITARY OPERATIONS IN SOUTH WAZIRISTAN
It has been nearly three weeks since the military operations in Pakistans region of South Waziristan intensified.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, (OCHA) reports that some 400,000 people have fled the area to seek safety in two neighbouring districts. Of the total registered, approximately 300,000 people have fled the area since mid-October, and most of these are poor people who desperately need humanitarian assistance.
Despite the tough security situation, the humanitarian community is on the ground to assist the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons, or IDPs, to make their lives away from home as comfortable as possible.
Since 9 November, the UN Refugee Agencys implementing partner has distributed around 9,000 tents in D.I. Khan District. Most of these tents are set up in the gardens of host families, to relieve the burden on the hosts.
Also, UN agencies and their humanitarian partners have helped to register IDPs and provide monthly food rations, hygiene kits and household items, as well as provide vaccinations for children and improve community water supplies.
Asked about the numbers of people staying with host families after the latest departures from South Waziristan, the Spokeswoman said that it is clear that many people stay with host families. During earlier displacements, with people fleeing Pakistans Malakand Division, about 90 percent of the 2.7 million IDPs were staying with host families.
UNICEF LAUNCHES STATE OF WORLDS CHILDREN REPORT
The UNs Children Fund
released today a special edition issue of its flagship report: The State of the World's Children. It focuses this year on the impact of the Convention on the Rights of the Child -- as the Convention marks the 20th anniversary of its adoption by the General Assembly, tomorrow Friday.
UNICEFs Executive Director, Ann Veneman, said that the Convention had transformed the way children are viewed and treated throughout the world.
According to the report, in the last 20 years, considerable progress has been made concerning child mortality, primary school enrolment, recruitment of child soldiers and trafficking, among others.
But UNICEF also says that childrens rights are still far from assured. Veneman said it was unacceptable that children were still dying from preventable causes. Many of the worlds children will never see the inside of a school room, and millions lack protection against violence, abuse, exploitation, discrimination and neglect, she added.
And tomorrow, there will be an event to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child at 10 a.m. in the Trusteeship Council Chamber. The Secretary-General is scheduled to make opening remarks.
BAN KI-MOON CALLS FOR MORE EFFECTIVE EFFORTS TO ADDRESS GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS
This morning, here at Headquarters, the Secretary-General
addressed an event organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Office of the General Assembly President.
The theme of the 2009 Parliamentary Hearing was: The way forward Building political support and implementing effective responses to the global economic crisis.
In his remarks, the Secretary-General said the global frameworks and bodies created generations ago must be made more accountable, more representative and more effective.
With concerted action, he added, we can move from recession to recovery to renewal.
SECRETARY-GENERAL REMAINS POSITIVE ON COPENHAGEN CLIMATE CHANGE SUMMIT
And this afternoon, the Secretary-General will address the General Assemblys Informal Meeting on Climate Change.
He is expected to say he remains positive about the prospects for the Copenhagen climate change meeting, especially in light of recent announcements and commitments by countries.He will emphasize the need for the leadership and engagement of heads of State and government in the run-up to the conference, and their presence at the conference.
The Secretary-General still believes we can achieve an agreement in Copenhagen that is operational, ready to be immediately implemented, and which will provide the foundation for a legally binding climate treaty that can be signed as early as possible in 2010.
LEBANON: U.N. FORCE COMMANDER MEETS TOP LEADERS
Major General Claudio Graziano, Force Commander of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), today met separately in Beirut with Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. He briefed both men about the security situation in south Lebanon and the activities of UNIFIL.
He said afterward that he had told the Prime Minister of UNIFILs readiness to continue to work together with the Lebanese Armed Forces, the Government and the authorities in Lebanon on common objectives towards the implementation of resolution 1701.
SPOKESWOMAN EXPLAINS BREACHES OF SECURITY BY NGO MEMBER
We were asked about the situation of a pass card belonging to Anne Bayefsky yesterday. We have received some information from the Department of Safety and Security (DSS) about the matter, and Id like to make the following clarification:
On Thursday, 5 November 2009, at approximately 1800 hours, Ms. Anne Bayefsky, an accredited member of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Non-Govermental Organization (NGO) Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, utilized her UNHQ-issued building pass in an unauthorized manner at the security turnstiles to grant access to Mr. Joel B. Pollak into restricted areas of the headquarters complex. Further, Ms. Bayefsky transferred her Geneva issued UN building pass to Mr. Pollak, in whose possession it was discovered.
Based on these breaches of security protocol, both passes were retrieved. The outcome of the security inquiry will be forwarded by DSS (the Department of Safety and Security) to DESA/ECOSOC for their determination as to final disposition.
Asked about an incident in which Bayefsky tried to speak at a media stakeout position, the Spokeswoman recalled that, in accordance with UN policy, speakers at those stakeouts would need to be introduced or accompanied by representatives from Member States or the United Nations.
GUINEA COMMISSION OF INQUIRY WILL HAVE FOLLOW-UP: In response to a question, the Spokeswoman said that the Secretary-General has made it clear that there will be follow-up to the investigation by the Commission of Inquiry set up to look at the 28 September violence in Guinea. That investigation has just begun.
NEW ISRAELI SETTLEMENT ACTIVITY UNDERMINES PEACE EFFORTS: Asked about settlement activity in east Jerusalem, the Spokeswoman noted the Secretary-Generals strong
statement on that matter, which was issued on Wednesday.
RECOGNITION OF A NEW STATE IS DECISION OF U.N. MEMBER STATES: Asked about UN reaction to a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood, the Spokeswoman said that the United Nations has not received a formal letter on that matter. Recognition of states, she said, is an issue for Member States.
SPOKESPERSONS OFFICE HAS FRENCH SPEAKERS: Asked in French, whether the next Spokesperson speaks French, one of the two working languages of the Organization, the Spokeswoman said that the Office of the Spokesperson includes French speakers.
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
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