Posted by: APO | 20 November 2007

UN – HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING


HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

BY MICHELE MONTAS
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

Monday, November 19, 2007

 DARFUR MEDIATORS CONTINUE PUSH FOR PEACE PROCESS

  • The Chief Mediators for the Darfur peace process, Taye-Brook Zerihoun for the United Nations and Sam Ibok of the African Union, are in Juba, south Sudan today.
     

  • They are meeting with the Movements that have been engaged in the unification process under the aegis of the Sudan Liberation Movement.
     

  • Starting Wednesday, they will then travel to Darfur, where they will also engage some of the non-signatories to the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) that were not present in Sirte.

 POLICE COMMISSIONER IS NAMED FOR U.N.-A.U. DARFUR FORCE

  • Michael J. Fryer of South Africa has been named as the Police Commissioner of the AU-UN Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID).
     
  • The decision was made by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission in consultation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
     
  • The Police Commissioner will have responsibility for the implementation of all police aspects of the mandate of UNAMID. 
     
  • Asked about complaints from Member States about a sole-source procurement deal involving UNAMID, the Spokeswoman reiterated that the decision for that deal had been made on an exigency basis. Other procurement transactions for UNAMID, she said, would follow regular procedures, as had been previously announced.

 SECURITY COUNCIL IS BRIEFED ON SOMALIA

  • The Security Council this morning received a briefing on recent developments in Somalia from Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Haile Menkerios.
     
  • Today is the first day that the incoming members of the Security Council for its 2008 and 2009 sessions are able to sit in Council meetings and observe the Council’s work, prior to taking up their seats formally in January. Those incoming members are Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Croatia, Libya and Vietnam.
     
  • Asked whether the Department of Peacekeeping Operations would send an assessment mission to Somalia, the Spokeswoman said that would be up to the Security Council to decide.
     
  • Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed the safe arrival in Somalia today of two humanitarian cargo ships, the first to be escorted by a French military vessel assigned to protect them from pirate attacks.
     
  • The French Navy vessel left the Kenyan port of Mombasa on Friday, accompanying WFP-contracted ships carrying some 3,000 tons of food, and arrived in Somalia on Monday.
     
  • WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said the operation comes at a critical time for the Somali people, who have been devastated by some of the worst conflict and drought seen in years. She thanked the Government of France and the French Navy for providing naval escorts to the humanitarian cargos.
     
  • The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Somalia today paid tribute to the memory of Madina Mohamud Elmi, a prominent relief worker who was killed in crossfire on Friday. Eric Laroche said. Ms. Madina “was present at the epicentre of the unfolding emergency, assisting in aid distribution to her displaced compatriots, when she was hit by a stray bullet in a tragic accident.”

 UNITED NATIONS WELCOMES NEW GOVERNMENT IN BURUNDI

  • In a statement today, the UN Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB) and members of the international community in that country have expressed satisfaction at the recent consensus among local political actors that led to the establishment of a new government and head of state.
     
  • They appealed to the country’s leadership to persevere in strengthening democracy. They also urged all concerned, including the PALIPEHUTU-FNL party, to pursue the implementation of the Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

U.N. FLOOD RELIEF EFFORTS CONTINUE IN TOGO: In Togo, which is still recovering from the flooding that hit more than a dozen West African nations in August, the slow receding of flood waters has allowed U.N. aid agencies to access some 60,000 affected people, and to provide them with food for the next two months. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) notes that the most urgent needs have been almost completely covered through the projects of several U.N. agencies, as well as with the help of a $1.5 million dollar grant from the Central Emergency Response Fund. 


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