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[09 June, 2008]
FIRST BATCH OF CHADIAN POLICE AND GENDARMERIE GRADUATE FROM UN TRAINING COURSE
New York, Jun 3 2008 7:00PM The first 71 Chadian police and gendarmerie commanders graduated today from a United Nations programme aimed at ensuring the safety and security of an estimated 250,000 refugees and 180,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in the east of the country. The commanders who will form part of a new unit known as the Détachement Integré de Sécurité (DIS) took part in a graduation ceremony today after completing more than six weeks of training in the Chadian capital, NDjamena. The group received training from staff with the nascent UN mission in Chad and Central African Republic in law and order, respect for human rights, humanitarian law and other policing techniques. In a speech at the ceremony, Victor Angelo, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative, said the training system was part of an integrated security system that is new to UN peacekeeping. Under the Security Council resolution which established MINURCAT last year, the mission is tasked with selecting, training, advising and facilitating support to the DIS, which is mandated to provide security inside the 12 refugee camps, many IDP sites and nearby towns in eastern Chad... For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news
[02 June, 2008]
BLUE HELMETS HAVE SAVED COUNTLESS LIVES, UN PEACEKEEPING CHIEF SAYS
New York, May 30 2008 6:00PM United Nations peacekeepers can claim credit for saving numerous lives over the past six decades by stabilizing countries that were previously engulfed by protracted war or unrest, the head of the world bodys peacekeeping operations said today. Awarding the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal to the 90 military, police and civilian personnel who died last year while serving in UN operations, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno said staff at UN missions work tirelessly and courageously to resolve conflict and pave the way to a lasting peace. The medals, received by representatives of the 42 countries from which the 90 personnel hailed, were presented at UN Headquarters in New York a day after the world body observed the International Day for UN Peacekeepers. This year the Day coincided with the sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of the first-ever UN peacekeeping operation, the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), to monitor an armistice between Israel and its neighbours. After 60 years of peacekeeping, we cannot claim victory in the pursuit of peace, Mr. Guéhenno said. But we can take credit for stabilizing societies that were once the scenes of intractable conflict, saving countless lives in the process.... For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news
[26 May, 2008]
SECRETARY-GENERAL DEPLORES AMBUSH OF UN PEACEKEEPERS IN DARFUR
New York, May 23 2008 7:00PM Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly condemned this weeks ambush of four United Nations peacekeepers in West Darfur by a group of 60 armed men. The attack happened yesterday on the outskirts of El Geneina, the state capital, when 60 men armed with machine guns, rifles and rocket-propelled grenades ambushed the four Nigerian peacekeepers serving with the hybrid United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur. The assailants stole rifles ammunition, telephones and cash. The Secretary-General strongly condemns the attack and urges once again all parties to cease military action and commit themselves to negotiations and a peaceful solution, Mr. Ban said in a statement by a spokesperson. Mr. Ban also said that he was deeply saddened by the tragic deaths in a traffic accident on 21 May of 45 Nigerian peacekeepers who had served with UNAMID.... For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news
[20 May, 2008]
UN AGENCIES INCREASE AID RELIEF IN QUAKE-AFFECTED SOUTH-WESTERN CHINA
New York, May 19 2008 5:00PM The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Food Programme (WFP) are stepping up their support to authorities in China as they deal with relief efforts in the wake of last Mondays devastating earthquake in Sichuan province. UNDP has allocated $100,000 for emergency relief activities, which will be used in part to help coordinate the relief response and make needs assessments, the agency announced today in Beijing. It is also providing tents, quilts, clothing, food, drinking water and medicines to some of the most affected areas. UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters that the WFP is also distributing some $100,000 worth of noodles, joining the support already provided by the UN Childrens Fund and World Health Organization. The UN Environment Programme is expected to procure and supply water purifying and testing equipment, while the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization will supply emergency telecommunications... For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news
[12 May, 2008]
UN PEACEBUILDING COMMISSION DELEGATION KICKS OFF VISIT TO BURUNDI
New York, May 10 2008 7:00PM A delegation from the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) established in to help countries recovering from war from sliding back into conflict began a six-day mission to Burundi to assess how to help the small Central African nation rebuild. Led by Ambassador Johan L. Lovald, Permanent Representative of Norway, the seven-member team will meet with Government authorities and representatives of regional groups including the African Union (AU) and the Conference on the Great Lakes Region, civil society, womens group, the private sector, religious leaders and journalists. The mission, the PBCs second visit following its first last April, seeks to examine first-hand the situation on the ground, in particularly the resumed fighting between the National Defence Forces and the rebel Palipehutu-FNL forces. A comprehensive ceasefire agreement was signed in 2006 in Burundi after a brutal civil war between its Hutu majority and the Tutsi minority, but sporadic violence has continued... For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news
[04 May, 2008]
UN-AU PEACEKEEPERS AID DARFUR VILLAGERS ATTACKED BY SUDANESE FORCES
New York, May 3 2008 11:00AM The United Nations-African Union hybrid peacekeeping operation has evacuated North Darfur villagers wounded in recent attacks by Sudanese forces that have left three dead and at least eight injured. The joint operation -- known as UNAMID -- said it carried out successfully airlifted wounded civilians, "following SAF [Sudanese forces] air attacks on the village of Umm Sidir in North Darfur" on Thursday, according to a statement issued yesterday in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur and the mission's headquarters. A UNAMID medical team flew to Umm Sidir to provide initial medical care to the victims of the attack -- which left two men dead and eight seriously injured. In El Hashim and Heles, one woman was killed, while property and live-stock were destroyed. The wounded, ranging in age from 17 to 40, were later flown by UNAMID forces to El Fasher where they were admitted to hospital. For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news
[28 April, 2008]
RENEWED UN MANDATE AIMS TO STOP SPREAD OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
New York, Apr 25 2008 6:00PM The Security Council today issued a three-year extension to the mandate of a United Nations committee which works to halt the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Set up under a 2004 Security Council resolution, the committee is part of a regime imposing binding legal obligations on all States to establish domestic controls aimed at preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. All States are also obliged to refrain from supporting non-State actors to develop, acquire, manufacture or transport nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. States are also required to establish laws to prevent any of these activities by non-State actors, in particular for terrorist purposes. The committee also promotes better cooperation between countries on measures to block the spread of such weapons, and promotes universal adherence to existing international non proliferation treaties... For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news
[21 April, 2008]
DELEGATION FROM UN PEACEBUILDING COMMISSION BEGINS VISIT TO BURUNDI
New York, Apr 19 2008 6:00PM A delegation from the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, set up to help prevent post-conflict countries from sliding back into war and misrule, travels today to Burundi on a six-day mission to examine how to help the struggling African nation move forward. The eight-member delegation is expected to meet with Burundian Government officials, representatives of regional groups such as the African Union and the Conference on the Great Lakes Region, civil society, women's groups, the media, religious leaders, human rights advocates, members of the private sector and others. In a statement the commission said the team aims to make a first-hand assessment of the situation on the ground by Burundi, where a comprehensive ceasefire agreement was signed in 2006 after years of civil war but sporadic fighting has continued... For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news
[14 April, 2008]
SECRETARY-GENERAL SETS OUT FOUR OPTIONS FOR UN MISSION IN ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA
New York, Apr 11 2008 7:00PM Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has outlined four options for the future of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea including the possibility of axing the mission, because of restrictions imposed by Eritrea on its side of the disputed border. In a special report on UNMEE, released today, Mr. Ban warns that none of the options are ideal as they all bear serious risks and would not resolve the impasse created by the Eritrean restrictions. Ending the mission could result in a return to open hostilities, for example, he says. Yet the prevailing circumstances seriously limit the available courses of action, the Secretary-General writes. One option is for the mission to resume unchanged, so long as Eritrea lifts all restrictions, resumes fuel supplies to UNMEE and allows it to perform the tasks envisaged in the cessation of hostilities agreement in 2000 that ended the last border war. A second option is to terminate the mission altogether, while another option would be to deploy a small observer mission to only the border area to try to defuse tensions between the armed forces of Ethiopia and Eritrea. The final option would be to set up liaison offices in the two capitals, Addis Ababa and Asmara, to allow the UN to remain ready to help the parties implement their peace agreement from 2000, including the demarcation of the border... For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news
[07 April, 2008]
FINAL UN REPORT BEFORE HISTORIC POLLS IN NEPAL WARNS OF VIOLENCE, INTIMIDATION
New York, Apr 6 2008 9:00PM Momentum continues to build ahead of this Thursday's historic Constituent Assembly elections in Nepal, but violent clashes and acts of intimidation involving supporters of political parties are marring the campaigning, the United Nations says today in its final assessment ahead of the polls. The joint report by the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR-Nepal) finds that while campaigning has been peaceful in many constituencies, in others there have been incidents -- frequent, in some cases -- of election-related violence and intimidation. "The Young Communist League and other Maoist cadres continued to be involved in the largest proportion of these incidents," the report notes, urging the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) to stop the intimidatory behaviour of its members and supporters. "The CPN-M leadership should ensure that its stated readiness to abide by the outcome of the election authenticated through the established procedures is not undermined by contradictory statement," the report recommended... For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

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