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[Dehai-WN] Undispatch.com: Syria; Somalia; Iran; Yemen elections; and more

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2012 19:45:39 +0100

Syria; Somalia; Iran; Yemen elections; and more

February 23, 2012

Syria: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has
<http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=41330&Cr=&Cr1=> asked the
United Nations relief chief, Valerie Amos to visit Syria to assess the
humanitarian situation in the Middle Eastern country, where a deadly
Government crackdown continues against a pro-democracy uprising. Mr. Ban has
asked Valerie Amos "to visit Syria to assess the humanitarian situation and
renew the call for urgent humanitarian access," the Secretary-General's
spokesperson told reporters today.

The Secretary-General was also scheduled today to meet with Nabil el-Araby,
the Secretary-General of the Arab League, in London, where they are expected
to discuss the latest developments in Syria and the way forward, including
the appointment of a joint UN-Arab League envoy to handle the crisis.

Meanwhile, Russia
0HW20120222> said Wednesday it was working with the Syrian authorities, the
opposition and regional powers to secure safe passage of humanitarian

Somalia: The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Wednesday to
.html> authorize an increase in the African Union force in Somalia from
12,000 to about 17,700 and expand its areas of operation in an effort to
intensify pressure on al-Shabab militants who recently joined al-Qaida. As
part of its strategy to weaken al-Shabab, the council also ordered a ban on
the export and import of charcoal from Somalia, calling the fuel "a
significant revenue source" for the militant group.

The council adopted the resolution on the eve of a conference on Somalia on
Thursday in London, where senior representatives from more than 40
governments and international organizations are expected to adopt a new
approach to the country's myriad problems.

Iran: The United Nations atomic energy watchdog has
voiced disappointment at the lack of progress made during a two-day visit to
Iran aimed at clarifying possible military dimensions to the country's
nuclear programme.

The agency had requested access to the military site at Parchin during both
the first and second round of discussions. However, Iran did not grant
permission for this visit to take place. In addition, "intensive" efforts
were made to reach agreement on a document facilitating the clarification of
unresolved issues in connection with Iran's nuclear programme, particularly
those relating to possible military dimensions. "Unfortunately, agreement
was not reached on this document," stated the agency.

Yemen: The Security Council today
<http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=41333&Cr=yemen&Cr1=> welcomed
the holding of presidential elections in Yemen and encouraged the country's
leaders to move on to the next stage of transition process as set out in the
implementation mechanism of last year's agreement designed to end civil
strife. The Council congratulated the people of Yemen for the overall
peaceful manner in which the elections were held and the encouraging levels
of participation.

The Secretary-General said his Special Adviser on Yemen, Jamal Benomar, and
his team are in the country "working closely with all Yemeni sides and
international partners to support the implementation of the next steps of
the transition roadmap, including the National Dialogue Conference and the
subsequent constitution-making process."

Warring factions in Yemen signed an agreement in November on a transitional
settlement under which President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed to hand over
power to Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour al-Hadi, the sole candidate in
yesterday's presidential election.

New senior appointments: SG Ban Ki-moon has
appointed several senior officials to the United Nations agencies
spearheading efforts on the development and population fronts. Kate Gilmore
of Australia has been appointed as one of the two Deputy Executive Directors
of UNFPA, succeeding Purnima Mane.

Sima Sami Bahous will replace Amat Alsoswa as Assistant Administrator and
Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States at UNDP. Jens Wandel of
Denmark has been appointed as UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of
the Bureau of Management, replacing Akiko Yuge. Meanwhile, fellow UNDP
veteran Ayse Cihan Sultanogu of Turkey has been appointed as Assistant
Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the
Commonwealth of Independent States at the agency. She will replace Kori

Lebanon: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has
extended the mandate by another three years of the United Nations-backed
independent tribunal set up to try suspects in the 2005 assassination of
former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

Mr. Ban extended the mandate of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL),
which is based in The Hague in the Netherlands, by three years from 1 March
this year, according to information released by Mr. Ban's spokesperson. The
spokesperson also noted that the Secretary-General reaffirms the UN's
commitment to support the efforts of the STL to uncover the truth behind the
bombing so as to bring those responsible to justice and to send a message
that impunity for such major crimes will not be tolerated.


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