HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY FRED ECKHARD
SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
December 23, 2003
ANNAN CONDEMNS ISRAELI INCURSION INTO
Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in a statement
issued through his Spokesman, strongly condemns the latest military
incursion in the
Dozens more have been wounded,
including many children, and several houses destroyed. He sends his
condolences to the families of the victims.
The Secretary-General reiterates
He strongly urges the Government of Israel to refrain from such violent actions and return to peaceful negotiations with its Palestinian partners according to the Quartetís Road Map.
SECURITY COUNCIL WELCOMES LIBYA'S WMD ANNOUNCEMENT
The Security Council issued
a press statement late Tuesday welcoming the announcement made on December 19 by the Libyan Government
that it will abandon voluntarily its
programmes for developing weapons of mass destruction and their means of
delivery, and that it will fulfill and enhance its commitments under
the relevant non-proliferation regimes. The Security Council said
it looked forward to the early implementation of all the commitments made in
the announcement including the subjection to urgent international
There are no meetings or
consultations of the Security Council scheduled today. As of today, there is
also nothing on the Council programme for the rest of the month.
Published today as Security
Council document is a letter
Then, the Council adopted a presidential statement on Burundi in which members requested the Secretary-General to undertake the appropriate preparatory work and assessment on how the United Nations might provide the most efficient support for the full implementation of the Arusha peace agreement.
IRAQ MEETING MAY BE HELD LATER THAN JANUARY 15, 2004
Asked for an update on the meeting the Secretary-General had proposed to hold on January 15th with the Iraqi Governing Council and the Coalition Provisional Authority, the Spokesman said that January 15th may not be the most convenient date for the Governing Council so dates later in January are also being looked at.
Asked if the Coalition Provisional Authority had accepted the invitation from the Secretary-General, the Spokesman said that he had nothing further to add beyond the conversations the Secretary-General had had with senior American officials during which they had reacted positively to the idea of this meeting.
The Spokesman went on to add that the Secretary-Generalís preference would be to hold a trilateral meeting but, if a suitable date can not be found, sequential meetings could achieve the same results.
Asked if the Secretary-General was directly involved in the current round of talks between the Coalition Provisional Authority and the Iraqi Governing Council on the political transition, the Spokesman said that he was not aware of direct involvement and that the United Nations was staying informed of the situation through indirect contacts.
if the UN refugee agency (UNHCR)
had been involved in dealing the fate the Iranian Mujahadeen who are being
expelled from Iraq, the
Spokesman later told the correspondent that UNHCR and the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) discussed the issue and the ICRC advised that
it considers these people to be of concern to the ICRC. UNHCR agreed, and
advises that questions be directed to the ICRC.
As large numbers of Sudanese
refugees continue arriving in eastern Chad,
the UN refugee agency (UNHCR)
plans to move an initial group of 10,000 from the volatile border to a safer
site further inland.
This month alone, an estimated
25,000 Sudanese refugees have fled fighting in western
UNHCR says some estimates place
the number of internally displaced Sudanese in the
This displacement is the latest
in 20 years of civil conflicts that have uprooted more than 4 million people
inside Sudan, and driven another 570,000 into neighbouring countries.
NORTH EAST DR
A UN humanitarian mission
which recently visited the region of Haut-Uele in north-eastern Democratic
Republic of Congo found that peopleís lives are being held together by
only a ďdesperate threadĒ.
According to the mission, the
inhabitants of the main town of
The mission also says that the
town bears the traces of one of the most ferocious rebellions in the DRCís
The local population complains of
harassment by the army and the police, the levying of irregular taxes, and
continued military recruitment, especially of children.
ANNAN HONORS FORMER SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO THE
UNITED NATIONS: In a statement
issued through his Spokesman, the Secretary-General said he was saddened to
learn of the death of Oleg Alexandrovich Troyanovsky, the veteran Russian
diplomat and former Permanent Representative of the
2004 IS YEAR
2004 has been designated by
the General Assembly as ďInternational
Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its AbolitionĒ. The
Director General of the UN
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Koichiro Matsuura, has
issued a message to ensure universal awareness of the tragedy of slavery, which
he says constitutes one of the darkest chapters in the history of the world.
of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
Tel. 212-963-7162 - press/media only
All other inquiries to be addressed to (212) 963-4475 or by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Back to the Spokesman's Page