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not an official record 

 

 



 

 

For updates and e-mail alerts, 



visit UN NEWS CENTRE at

 

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Issue DH/5655

  

Thursday, 20 May 2010 

 

  



  

  

     



In the headlines: 

• 

Darfur: Security Council warned of ‘significant 



challenges’ to peace process

 

• 



Results of probe into Korean navy ship sinking 

‘deeply troubling,’ Ban says

 

• 

Secretary-General urges expanded understanding 



of human security

 

• 



Insecurity will not deter UN’s work in southern 

Afghanistan, says top envoy

 

• 

Ban voices concern at recent unrest in southern 



Kyrgyzstan

 

• 



Actress Nicole Kidman helps raise funds for UN 

work in support of women in China

 

 

• 



Boosting agricultural biodiversity could pay 

dividends for rural poor – UN

 

• 

UN experts link World Day for Cultural Diversity 



with human rights

 

• 



UNESCO sounds alarm on murders of journalists in 

Somalia and Pakistan

 

• 

Western Asia: Ban urges greater efforts to reduce 



inequality and create jobs

 

• 



Renovation of UN headquarters to be completed on 

schedule in 2012 – official

 

 

  



   

 

Darfur: Security Council warned of ‘significant challenges’ to 



peace process 

 

20 May - Despite some progress in Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region, violent clashes 

between Government and rebel forces persist, civilians are still dying or being displaced 

and humanitarian workers are still coming under attack, the top United Nations official in 

the region said today.  

“Results have been mixed despite our best efforts,” the head of the joint African Un ion- UN 

Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Ibrahim Gambari, told the Security Council, presenting 

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s latest report on the region, where seven years of conflict 

have killed an estimated 300,000 people and driven 2.7 million others from their homes.  

“In the area of security and the protection of civilians some progress has been made, but pockets of instability remain. The 

peace process, which I have been proactively supporting under the leadership of the Joint Mediation team, has progressed 

but a deep sense of mistrust remains and some parties are not engaging in the process,” he said, referring to UN-AU-

sponsored talks in Doha, Qatar, between the Government and various rebel groups.  

The plusses he cited include framework agreements signed between the Government and the Justice and Equality Movement 

(JEM) and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), a coalition of two groups merged to give greater cohesion to the 

peace talks.  

But the parties could not agree on a final peace accord by the 15 March deadline and the JEM suspended its participation in 

the talks earlier this month due to alleged violations of the ceasefire agreement and attacked Government positions and 

commercial truck convoys. Renewed fighting has also been reported between the Government and another group, the Abdul 

Ibrahim Gambari briefs Security Council

 

 



 

UN Daily News 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

- 2 - 


 UN News Centre • www.un.org/news   

UN Daily News             

20 May 2010 

 

 



 

Wahid faction of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), as well as between tribes in South Darfur.  

“These clashes have caused substantial civilian casualties, the displacement of communities, and hampered the delivery of 

humanitarian assistance,” Mr. Gambari said, calling on all parties to facilitate access for UNAMID and the humanitarian 

community to the sites of recent fighting.  

“In this context, it is with grave concern that I must report that UN and humanitarian personnel continue to be a target of 

attacks and criminal acts,” he added, citing attacks against UNAMID peacekeepers, abductions and carjackings.  

“To thwart future recurrences of such incidents I have given firm instructions to our troops and police contingents to 

respond more robustly to attacks. I have also made it clear in all my engagements that such attacks constitute war crimes.”  

In a statement yesterday, Mr. Ban deplored the military build-up and clashes, urging all parties to respect the ceasefire and 

return to the negotiating table in Doha. In his report he noted that even though UNAMID is moving towards full capacity, it 

still lacks crucial equipment required to enhance the capability of its military and police units, a point Mr. Gambari stressed 

today.  

The mission’s overall unformed strength has increased to nearly 22,000 personnel out of the 26,000 mandated and tactical 

helicopters have arrived but “critical enabling units such as military utility helicopters and aerial surveillance units have not 

yet been pledged,” he said.  

He also highlighted the importance of creating an environment for the voluntary return of internally displaced persons 

(IDPs) and refugees to their homes. “The retention of an estimated 2.3 million inhabitants in IDP camps in Darfur 

constitutes a time-bomb as experience elsewhere, such as in Lebanon and Gaza, have demonstrated,” he said, noting that it 

is the Government’s responsibility to provide the significant resources needed to rehabilitate and develop the region.  

In a meeting with reporters, Mr. Gambari underscored the need for Darfurians overall to enjoy the benefits of the “peace 

dividends,” which require early recovery, reconstruction and development projects, a point he stressed in his briefing to the 

Council.  

 

Results of probe into Korean navy ship sinking ‘deeply 



troubling,’ Ban says 

 

20 May - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced serious concern over the results of 

the investigation into the sinking of a navy ship off the coast of the Republic of Korea, 

alleged by the country to have been carried out by its northern neighbour, the Democratic 

People’s Republic of Korea (DRPK).  

A report issued by the Republic of Korea in its capital, Seoul, on Thursday morning 

reportedly found that the Cheonan was hit by a DRPK torpedo in late March.  

The explosion killed 46 Republic of Korea sailors.  

“The facts laid out in the report are deeply troubling,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the Secretary-

General, a national of the Republic of Korea, learned of the findings with a “heavy heart.”   

Mr. Ban voiced his appreciation for the Republic of Korea’s Government for its “restrained and patient efforts” to look into 

the Cheonan incident in an “objective and scientific manner by both domestic and international experts.”  

He reiterated his deep sadness over the loss of the sailors’ lives, extending his sympathy to their families as well as to the 

people and Government of the Republic of Korea.  



Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

  


 

 

 



 

 

 



 

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 UN News Centre • www.un.org/news   

UN Daily News             

20 May 2010 

 

 



 

 

 



Secretary-General urges expanded understanding of human 

security 

 

20 May - The protection and empowerment of people worldwide must form the basis of 

government actions, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed today as he called on 

Member States to accept a broadened understanding of the concept of human security.  

Mr. Ban told a General Assembly debate and panel discussion on human security, held at 

United Nations Headquarters in New York, that the interconnected nature of the world 

meant crises and catastrophes today can transcend borders and threaten the lives and 

livelihoods of millions of people as never before.  

Pointing to the recent food, economic and financial crises, Mr. Ban said “no region has 

been left untouched. No country is immune.”  

Last year alone, more than 200 million people were affected by natural disasters, while violent conflicts drove a record 42 

million people from their homes.  

The landmark 2005 World Summit referred to the concept of human security, recognizing that “that all individuals, in 

particular vulnerable people, are entitled to freedom from fear and freedom from want, with an equal opportunity to enjoy 

all their rights and fully develop their human potential.”  

Presenting his report on human security to the Assembly, Mr. Ban stressed that “we must ensure that the gains of today are 

not lost to the crises of tomorrow,” calling for actions focusing on “people-centred, comprehensive, context-specific and 

preventive strategies at every level.”  

Such an approach, the publication said, helps address both current and emerging threats, as well as their causes. It would 

also help to support early warning systems that offset the impact of such hazards.  

“The advancement of human security requires strong and stable institutions,” the report pointed out, with governments 

retaining “the primary role in providing a rules-based system where societal relations are mutually supportive, harmonious 

and accountable.”  

Mr. Ban said today that “the focus is on building government and local capacities by identifying concrete needs of 

populations under stress; developing solutions that are rooted in local realities; and building partnerships that are targeted, 

cost-effective and capitalize on comparative advantage.”  

The concept of human security, he said, underpins the work of the UN, which seeks to help war-torn societies rebuild; to 

prevent and respond to natural disasters; and to bolster health care and education.  

It also is a critical tool in increasing the cohesion of the world body’s efforts, “instead of adding layers to the work of the 

United Nations,” the Secretary-General said, exhorting the international community to press ahead in strengthening “the 

political, social, environmental, economic and cultural systems that are the building blocks of stability, security and human 

dignity.”  



General Assembly Holds panel discussion 

on human security

  


 

 

 



 

 

 



 

- 4 - 


 UN News Centre • www.un.org/news   

UN Daily News             

20 May 2010 

 

 



 

 

 



Insecurity will not deter UN’s work in southern Afghanistan, 

says top envoy 

 

20 May - The United Nations is committed to having an active presence in the southern 

part of Afghanistan, despite the insecurity in the region, the top United Nations envoy to the 

country pledged today.  

“The UN has been here in this country and, particularly in the southern region, for a long 

time, and will continue to be there in support and by the side of the people of Kandahar 

even when times get difficult,” said Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General’s Special 

Representative for Afghanistan.  

Mr. de Mistura, who also serves as head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan 

(UNAMA), paid a one-day visit to the area to assess the situation on the ground, as well as meet with local leaders and 

authorities and UN staff.  

The Special Representative had constructive discussions with Governor Tooryalai Wesa and the Chairman of Kandahar’s 

Provincial Council, Ahmad Wali Karzai.  

He also met with tribal elders and heard their concerns on the security situation and access to humanitarian relief.  

The world body has an active presence in the southern region, where UNAMA has a number of field offices and several UN 

agencies are working to assist local communities and provide vital humanitarian assistance.  



Special Representative Staffan de Mistura 

(fourth left) with UN staff in Kandahar

  

 



Ban voices concern at recent unrest in southern Kyrgyzstan 

 

20 May - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced his concern about recent unrest in 

southern Kyrgyzstan, where at least two people were reportedly killed in ethnic clashes 

yesterday and a regional governor was attacked today.  

“The Secretary-General urges calm and restraint. He underlines the need to respect the rule 

of law and to resolve issues peacefully through dialogue,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a 

statement.  

The attack on Governor Bektur Asanov of Jalalabad follows deadly clashes yesterday 

between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in the region, as well as last week’s violence in the southern 

region which reportedly killed one person and wounded nearly 60 others.  

The latest incidents are part of a wave of unrest that has hit the country since the violent ouster last month of former 

president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who later left Kyrgyzstan for neighbouring Kazakhstan.  

Mr. Ban’s Special Representative for Central Asia, Miroslav Jenca, has regularly visited Kyrgyzstan and is keeping the 

Secretary-General informed of developments, according to today’s statement.  

The Secretary-General also welcomed the decision by the Kazakh authorities to lift the restrictions on their border with 

Kyrgyzstan.  



Protesters outside the office of the 

governor in Talas, Kyrgyzstan

  


 

 

 



 

 

 



 

- 5 - 


 UN News Centre • www.un.org/news   

UN Daily News             

20 May 2010 

 

 



 

 

 



Actress Nicole Kidman helps raise funds for UN work in support 

of women in China 

 

20 May - The Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman, who serves as a Goodwill 

Ambassador for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), today 

raised more than $175,000 for projects to promote gender equality and women’s 

empowerment in China.  

Ms. Kidman raised the money at a fund-raising event during her first trip to Hong Kong for 

the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). The event was organized in 

conjunction with the luxury watchmaker Omega, and also featured a private concert by Ms. 

Kidman’s husband, the Grammy Award–winning singer Keith Urban.  

“I feel passionately about support for UNIFEM because the work to empower women and advance their human rights is so 

important,” said Ms. Kidman. “Together with Omega we are in Hong Kong to raise awareness and also vital funding for 

UNIFEM’s projects in China.”  

Joan Libby-Hawk, UNIFEM’s head of public affairs, said the fundraiser in Hong Kong highlighted what could be done to 

build support for programmes that helped women live without violence and enjoy their fundamental rights. “Together we 

can show what an impact a global community can make,” she said.  

The proceeds from the event will be used to strengthen UNIFEM’s work in China, mainly through ending violence against 

women. The funds will support shelter and legal protection for survivors of violence, and address the challenges faced by 

HIV-positive women.  

Some of the funds will also support programmes that focus on the economic empowerment of migrant and domestic workers 

through training and education, and women’s political participation at the local level, according to UNIFEM.  

Through the partnership with Ms. Kidman, Omega has also supported UNIFEM’s programmes in the past. Last year, for 

example, at the launch of the Say No UNiTE online platform, whic h showcases actions towards ending violence against 

women, and for which Ms. Kidman is a spokesperson, the company announced a challenge grant of $50,000 for the first 

50,000 actions.  



UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole 

Kidman

  

 



Boosting agricultural biodiversity could pay dividends for rural 

poor – UN 

 

20 May - Enhanced investment in protecting fragile agricultural biodiversity is vital to 

sustaining the livelihoods of the rural poor, the head of the United Nations rural 

development arm said today.  

“Agricultural biodiversity can improve productivity and nutrition, enhance livelihoods, 

respond to environmental challenges and deliver food insecurity,” said Kanayo F. Nwanze, 

President of the UN International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD).  

His agency, he said, has “long recognized that poor rural people and their communities are 

not only dependent on agricultural biodiversity, but also they are important custodians of it.”  

The UN has designated 2010 as the International Year of Diversity, and a week-long celebration in Rome is capping off on 

Saturday, which is International Biodiversity Day.  

Human beings share the planet with as many as 13 million different living species, including plants, animals and bacteria, 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

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 UN News Centre • www.un.org/news   

UN Daily News             

20 May 2010 

 

 



 

according to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).  

Focus is intensifying on biodiversity and natural resources – central to the lives of many, especially indigenous peoples – 

due to their contributions to food supply, shelter, medicines and others.  

Biodiversity is also essential, IFAD said, for boosting poor farmers’ and indigenous peoples’ resilience to climate change, 

pests, diseases and other threats.  

“We can help protect and enhance biodiversity if we draw on the generations of knowledge accumulated by farming 

communities and indigenous peoples because these people are best placed to recognize their local needs and understand 

their local conditions,” Mr. Nwanze said.  

IFAD said today that biodiversity and natural resources are central to lives of many, especially indigenous peoples.  

 

UN experts link World Day for Cultural Diversity with human 

rights 

 

20 May - Defending cultural diversity goes hand in hand with respect for the individual, a 

group of United Nations independent human rights experts said today as they also warned 

that cultural diversity should not be used to infringe on human rights.  

“Cultural diversity can only thrive in an environment that safeguards fundamental freedoms 

and human rights,” the group said in a joint statement to mark World Day for Cultural 

Diversity for Dialogue and Development, highlighting the importance of freedom from 

discrimination and freedom of expression, information and communications.  

The group, which reports to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council, reminded Member States of their responsibility 

under international law to create an environment conducive to cultural diversity and the enjoyment of cultural rights.  

“All persons, including national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and those based on other attributes, as well as 

indigenous peoples, have the right to express themselves,” according to the statement.  

That includes that creation and dissemination of their work in the language of their choice; access to quality education and 

training that fully respect their cultural identity; and to participate in the cultural life of their choice and conduct their own 

cultural practices, subject to respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.  

The group added, however, that cultural diversity should not be used to support segregation and harmful traditional practices 

which run counter to the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights.  

“Universal values of human rights should serve as a bridge among all cultures and should not be subservient to social, 

cultural or religious norms.”  

The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development will be officially commemorated tomorrow.  



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

- 7 - 


 UN News Centre • www.un.org/news   

UN Daily News             

20 May 2010 

 

 



 

 

 



UNESCO sounds alarm on murders of journalists in Somalia and 

Pakistan 

 

20 May - The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 

(UNESCO) today condemned the recent killings of journalists in Somalia and Pakistan, 

underscoring the necessity of press freedom.  

A veteran Somali radio journalist, Sheikh Nur Abkey was abducted on 4 May as he made 

his way home from the State-run station, Radio Mogadishu, and was shot dead the same 

day. He also trained young journalists at the station, which is regarded as  being critical of 

Islamic insurgents in the war-ravaged country.  

“His brutal killing is a heinous crime against a brave journalist and against Somali society as a whole,” said UNESCO 

Director-General Irina Bokova.  

“Nothing good will come to the people of Somalia from those seeking to deprive citizens of the right to know and journalists 

of the basic human right of freedom of expression,” she continued. “Those working for the oppression of Somalia must be 

thwarted.”   

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a non-governmental organization (NGO), since 1993, 33 journalists have 

been killed in the country, which has had not had a functioning central government in nearly two decades.  

Also slain this month was Ghulam Rasool Birhamani, a Pakistani newspaper reporter, who is said to have received death 

threats after reporting on the forced marriage of an under-age girl in a tribal community.  

The body of the journalist, 30, was found bearing head injuries and signs of torture near the city of Dadu, in southern 

Pakistan, on 10 May.  

“No society can allow violence to muzzle journalists while aspiring to uphold human rights and liberties, democracy and 

rule of law,” Ms. Bokova underscored.  

Journalists, she stressed, are committed to report the truth as they see it. “No effort must be spared to bring to justice those 

who seek to deprive us of our right to know what journalists have to say, and to agree or disagree with it.”  

In March, a UNESCO report found that rising numbers of journalists are being killed worldwide, mostly in countries that are 

at peace, and called for an end to impunity in the murders of media professionals.  

Last year set a new record, with 77 murders reported by the agency. The high number is due in part to the murder of some 

30 journalists in one day during an ambush in the Philippines on 23 November 2009, the publication said.  

“Sadly, the frequency of acts of violence against journalists is increasing,” it noted. “In most cases, impunity precludes the 

way of justice, and if this trend prevails, journalists will remain easy targets. Needless to say this represents a severe threat 

to freedom of expression and to our ability to seek the truth.”  



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

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 UN News Centre • www.un.org/news   

UN Daily News             

20 May 2010 

 

 



 

 

 



Western Asia: Ban urges greater efforts to reduce inequality 

and create jobs 

 

20 May - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for concerted efforts to accelerate 

efforts to reduce social inequalities in Western Asia through the boosting of decent job 

opportunities especially for the region’s youth.  

“The recession continues to affect every part of the world. Now more than ever, we must 

boost decent work, foster social inclusion, and reduce inequalities,” Mr. Ban said in a 

message to the 26th ministerial session of the United Nations Economic and Social 

Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), which got under way in the Lebanese capital, 

Beirut, yesterday.  

“We must make a special effort to expand hope and possibilities for young people,” the Secretary-General in the message, 

which was delivered by Bader Omar Al Dafa, the Executive Director of ESCWA.  

Mr. Ban said the session was taking place at a time when climate change, the scarcity of water and the effects of the food 

crisis continue to threaten the region. He said he was encouraged by the fact that discussions in the meeting would focus on 

youth and promoting opportunities for them.  

“The UN International Year of Youth begins on 12 August. Through this effort, we hope to recognize the contributions and 

advance the full and effective participation of youth in all aspects of society,” the Secretary-General said.  

He also welcomed discussions on improving human and institutional capacity in the region, saying public sector 

modernization and administrative reform are central for the attainment of national development goals.  

“I count on you to provide credible policy options that are tailored to local needs and will lead to more effective 

government, stronger communities and brighter future for all in the ESCWA region,” Mr. Ban added.  

Mr. Al Dafa said ESCWA remained committed to tackling development challenges in Western Asia by finding practical 

solutions that were compatible with the specific demographic, social and economic realities in the region.  

The Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, Nabih Berri, also urged delegates to focus on finding effective development 

strategies that would benefit the youth.  

The Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Abdulrahman Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, praised the role 

ESCWA was playing in facilitating constructive interaction among Member States by providing institutional framework for 

closer cooperation.  

Headquartered in Beirut, ESCWA is one of the five regional commissions under the administrative direction of the UN 

Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The Member States are Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, 

Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.  



Opening of ESCWA 26th Session

  


 

 

 



 

 

 



 

- 9 - 


  

UN Daily News             

20 May 2010 

 

 The UN Daily News is prepared at UN Headquarters in New York by the News Services Section  



of the News and Media Division, Department of Public Information (DPI) 

 

 



 

Renovation of UN headquarters to be completed on schedule in 

2012 – official 

 

20 May - The ongoing renovation of the United Nations Secretariat building and the 

conference building at the UN’s New York headquarters will be completed in 2012 as 

scheduled, the official overseeing the project said today, adding that significant time-saving 

opportunities in the entire plan had been identified.  

“We have identified significant time savings in the Secretariat construction planning that 

will now bring us back to our original schedule for the Secretariat,” Michael Adlerstein, the 

Executive Director of the so-called Capital Master Plan (CMP), told reporters in New York. 

Some time was lost in the first phase of the plan, which involved the relocation of almost 6,000 UN staff from the 

Secretariat building, Mr. Adlerstein said.  

“At this time we project that the Secretariat building will be completed on schedule and the departments will commence the 

reoccupation back into the renovated secretariat building more or less in two years from now, within 2012,” he said. “The 

work on the conference building will also be completed in 2012,” he added.  

The completion of the Secretariat building and the conference building will allow the office of the Secretary-General and 

conference services to move back to their old offices from the temporary North Lawn building, which will then 

accommodate the General Assembly.  

Work on renovating the General Assembly will commence in 2012 and be completed a year later, Mr. Adlerstein said, 

adding that the entire project was “close to being on budget.”  

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pledged two years ago to make the UN complex “a model of environmental stewardship” 

by reducing electricity and water usage, and by removing harmful materials that were used in the original construction.  



Michael Adlerstein

  

 




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