Bahai News - United Nations Daily Highlights, 01-02-21
United Nations Daily Highlights, 01-02-21
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NOON BRIEFING
BY FRED ECKHARD
SPOKESMAN OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Wednesday, February 21, 2001
ANNAN URGES FORCES TO WITHDRAW FROM CONGO, PARTIES TO START TALKS
Secretary-General Kofi Annan opened a meeting of the Security Council with
the Political Committee on the Democratic Republic of the Congo and outlined
the outcomes expected from the two-day meeting.
The parties should be given a clear message today, the Secretary-General said
in a statement. Let the disengagement of forces and the inter-Congolese
dialogue begin. Draw up plans to bring all foreign forces home from DRC
territory. Work with your neighbors and with us to find innovative and
creative ways to resolve the problems of armed groups and border security.
The meeting of the Security Council and signatories of the Lusaka Cease-Fire
Agreement began with an open meeting featuring statements by the President
of the Security Council, Ambassador Said ben Mustapha of Tunisia, the
Secretary-General and the Chairman of the Political Committee, Zimbabwe
Foreign Minister Stanislaus Mudenge.
A private meeting with the same participants on the same subject followed
and was expected to last the rest of the day.
The Security Council-Political Committee meeting will continue Thursday,
when a draft resolution endorsing the Secretary-Generals new concept of
operations will be considered.
ANNAN REPORTS NO PROGRESS IN NEW REPORT ON WESTERN SAHARA
The Secretary-General's latest report on Western Sahara has been given to the
Security Council and it is expected to be out as an official document today.
In the report, the Secretary-General noted the deterioration in the
relations between the two parties in recent months
"Regrettably, the Secretary-General said, I cannot report any progress towards
overcoming the obstacles to the implementation of the settlement plan, or
towards determining whether the Government of Morocco, as administrative Power
in Western Sahara, is prepared to offer or support some devolution of
authority for all inhabitants and former inhabitants of the Territory that
is genuine, substantial and in keeping with international norms."
The Secretary-General recommended that the Council extend the mandate of the
UN Mission by two months, until April 30, and the Council is likely to
discuss his report and recommendations in its consultations on Friday.
UN ENVOY AND U.S. OFFICIALS MEET ON PALESTINIAN ECONOMY
Terje-Roed Larsen, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace
Process (UNSCO), is wrapping up the second day of talks in Washington, D.C.,
with meetings with officials from the U.S. State Department.
In speaking to reporters afterwards, Larsen said that he and the U.S.
officials saw eye to eye on the dire economic and fiscal situation of the
The U.S. officials, however, told him that they could not directly release
funds for the Palestinian authority. Such funds, they say, would have to come
through international organizations like the World Bank and the International
Monetary Fund, of which the United States is a contributing member.
ASIAN RACISM CONFERENCE CONCLUDES IN IRAN
The Asian Regional Meeting for the World Conference Against Racism wrapped up
its three-day meeting in Tehran today by adopting a declaration and a program
The declaration and Plan of Action adopted by the Asia regional preparatory
meeting in Tehran expressed solidarity with the peoples of Africa in their
struggle against racism. In the context of globalization, the meeting also
drew attention to the growing plight of migrants, particularly women, and
trafficking in persons.
During the course of the meeting Mary Robinson, the High Commissioner for
Human Rights (OHCHR), while appreciating the efficient arrangements of the
Tehran meeting and the decision to facilitate World View Internationals
participation, expressed her dismay at the procedural and technical
difficulties that prevented the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Bahai
International Community from attending the regional meeting.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center was granted an entry visa only in the last hours
before the meeting and the application by the Bahai International Community
was not considered.
The High Commissioner reiterated her full and unequivocal support for the
participation of all accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the
preparatory process and in the World Conference itself.
UN LEGAL EXPERT EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE
The UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers,
DatoParam Cumaraswamy, reiterated today his concern over the further
deterioration of the situation in Zimbabwe in a letter sent to the Government.
Harassment, intimidation, attacks and threats against an independent
judiciary and its judges, the Special Rapporteur wrote, will in fact be
seen as a direct assault on the rule of law.
He goes on to say: "If these further threats and intimidation are true,
then the earlier assertion of the Government on 12 February 2001 that the
'judiciary is alive and thriving in Zimbabwe' cannot possibly be sustained."
In the Trusteeship Council Chamber, the Secretary-General opened this
year's session of the so-called Committee of 24, which deals with the
granting of independence to colonies. He noted the accomplishments of
the Committee over the past year -- including its discussions involving
American Samoa and Pitcairn. The Committee agreed unanimously on the
election of its officers, selecting Ambassador Julian Robert Hunte of
Saint Lucia as its new chairman.
An open debate of the Security Council will now be held on Thursday at 3
p.m., in the Security Council Chamber, in connection with the item entitled
"The situation in Angola." The debate is on the monitoring mechanism on
Today and Thursday the College of Commissioners of the UN Monitoring,
Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) will be meeting in
Vienna. The Commissions Executive Chairman, Dr. Hans Blix, will discuss
with the 16 commissioners his fourth report on UNMOVICs activities,
which is due to the Security Council on March 1.
The Office of the Iraq Programme (OIP) in its weekly update, covering
the period February 10 to 16, noted that Iraqi oil exports were up
considerably. It reported that 10.8 million barrels of oil were lifted
through six loadings raising an estimated 254 million (euros) in
revenue. In current phase IX, running from December 6, 2000 to June 3,
2001, Iraq so far has exported 66.1 million barrels of oil, earning
over 1.47 billion (euros) at current prices.
The World Food Programme (WFP) said it will launch a $168 million
relief operation for Angola that will benefit about one million people
for a 15-month period, beginning on April 1.
Carla Del Ponte, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for
the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), has decided not to seek the deferral of
the case in Croatia of former Croatian Gen. Mirko Norac to the
Tribunal. Instead, she says, the relevant judicial authorities in
Croatia can take responsibility for trying Norac over crimes committed
in Gospic, Croatia, in 1991.
Honduras paid more than $41,000 becoming the 51st Member State to
have paid its regular budget dues in full for 2001.
In response to a question on a possible trip by the Secretary-General
to Washington D.C., to meet with President George W. Bush, the
Spokesman said no date had yet been set by the White House for the meeting.
Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
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