UN Radio Highlights Dire Myanmar Situation
UN Radio Highlights Dire Myanmar Political Situation
UN Human Rights Chief Concerned about Political Situation in Myanmar
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Rapporteur for Myanmar have jointly expressed concern over the recent political developments in Myanmar. They expressed particular worry about the Myanmar Government's detention of opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and other leaders of the National League for Democracy (NLD). Spokesman for the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Jose Luis Diaz, says the UN is doing all it can about the situation in Myanmar:
"What they can do is offer their assistance but also point out problems so that Myanmar primarily can do something about the problems and also so that Myanmar's partners can also look at the situation, and see what support they could offer."
The Office of High Commissioner and the Special Rapporteur urged the Myanmar Government to renew its commitment to political reform and human rights, starting with the immediate and unconditional release of Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners.
UN Special Representative Arrives In Iraq
The UN's newly-appointed Special Representative for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, has arrived in Baghdad and pledged that the United Nations will do all it can to help the people of Iraq out of what has been a terrible period in their long and noble history. According to UN spokesman Fred Eckhard, the Special Representative expressed the desire to see Iraqis governing themselves soon:
"Speaking to journalists on his arrival, de Mello said that the task ahead is huge: 'We should all come to it with a keen sense of humility and a strong sense of determination.' De Mello explained that one of the most important tasks that the UN will seek to assist in is the critical effort to establish representative governance. "
Meanwhile the WFP has re-launched Iraq's Public Distribution system to distribute much needed food to nearly 27 million Iraqis.
UN Mission in D R Congo Reports Abductions and the Rape of Young Girls
The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MONUC, says that even though fighting has died down around the town of Bunia, there is still much insecurity with regular reports of abductions and rape. According to MONUC Spokesperson, Patricia Tome, some militia fighters have been targeting young girls in the town.
"What is reported is continued looting and rape, rape of young girls mainly, young girls kid for several days and escaping and telling us their stories. In Bunia we're aware because we are there and at night we know that there are some girls kidnapped for sexual abuses".
The MONUC report comes as accounts emerge of another massacre of between 100 and 300 people - mainly from the Hema community - in the village of Kyomna. Meanwhile, Secretary-General Kofi Annan, has thanked France for assuming the role of lead nation and for contributing half the number of extra troops expected in the Congo within days.
WHO Reacts Cautiously to China's Reported Success Against SARS
The World Health Organisation has reacted cautiously to reports by the authorities in China that there have been no new cases of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome since April. The WHO has cautioned against complacency and said more will have to be done. Here's WHO spokesperson Maria Chang.
"Well it does appear that we're getting dramatically fewer cases of SARS each day. We're very optimistic that this could possibly signal that the outbreak has peaked but we're not yet ready to say that it has and we're also concerned about some of the reporting standards used by the Chinese."
So far, there have been more than 8,000 cases of SARS worldwide and 764 people have died from the disease - with the majority in China.
Annan Calls On G-8 Leaders to Help Poor Countries Achieve Millennium Development Goals
The UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has called on leaders of the Group of Eight (G-8) countries currently meeting in Evian, France, to support developing countries in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Mr. Annan told the world leaders to offer deeper and faster debt relief, access to global markets, lower agricultural subsidies and also the lowering of trade barriers.