UN Radio: Iran and Atomic Energy
UN Radio: Iran and Atomic Energy – Security Council Mission to Central Africa – Int Criminal Court Prosecutor Sworn In – UN Envoy To Iraq Meets Groups…
Atomic Agency Denies Placing Special Demands On Iran
The International Atomic Agency, IAEA, has rejected Iranian accusations that the agency's demands for more open co-operation were politically motivated. The Head of the IAEA, Dr. Mohammed ElBaradei told the opening session of the Agency's Board of Directors today that Iran had failed to report certain nuclear materials and activities, and that corrective action was being taken in cooperation with the Iranian authorities. The Iranian authorities denied the IAEA claims and declared that they will not sign a protocol allowing IAEA inspectors to conduct short-notice or flash inspections of suspected nuclear sites. IAEA spokesperson Melissa Fleming says the required protocol is not specially targeted at Iran:
"It's a protocol established in 1997 and IAEA called on all countries to sign the protocol. What it does is that it strengthens the IAEA's safeguards system, it enables us to have more intrusive inspection, to have access to any kinds of sites or information, which we believe it's important for us to check out. Countries, such as Iran, which has ambitious nuclear power plants, are being called on to sign this additional protocol, as the world wants the assurance that these countries are only using nuclear power programs for peaceful purposes."
UN Security Council Mission To Central Africa Concludes Visit
The UN Security Council Mission to Central Africa has concluded its trip, with three separate meetings over the weekend, with the Presidents of Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The Mission, led by the French Ambassador to the United Nations, Jean-Marc de la Sabliere, returned to New York a short while ago. UN spokesman Fred Eckhard highlights the details of their meeting with President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, whose government has been accused of still being involved in the eastern DR Congo.
"They discussed the political process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, fighting in Eastern DRC and Ituri, the deployment of the interim Multinational Force in Bunia, allegations on Rwandan presence in eastern DRC territory, the role of neighboring countries in DRC peace process, and the possibility of holding a Conference on the Great Lakes."
The leader of the mission, Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sablière of France is scheduled to brief the Security Council on the six-nation Central African visit.
ICC Special Prosecutor Is Sworn In
The First Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, has been sworn in today at The Hague. The court was established last July to try cases of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, and other human rights related cases. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has welcomed the swearing-in of the first prosecutor. Its spokesman, Jose Luis Diaz, says it paves the way for the ICC to start hearing cases.
"I think it's extremely significant. Today with the swearing-in of the Special Prosecutor, we're seeing the realization of a great aspiration of the international community. We're actually giving form and giving flesh to the fight against impunity at the international level."
UN Envoy to Iraq continues to meet with Iraqi political parties
The UN Secretary-General's Special Representative to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, has been holding more consultations with a number of important groups and personalities of Iraqi society, including jurists and journalists. Mr. De Mello met today with the head of the Iraqi Constitutional Monarchists Movement, Sherif Ali Bin Hussein, who called for the UN to play an active role in the political and reconstruction spheres in Iraq. UN Spokesman Fred Eckhard says a group of Iraqi jurists also made an urgent appeal to Mr. De Mello:
"They stressed that the current effort undertaken by the Authority did not provide for consultations; they believe that major decisions are made about the legal framework and the judiciary with no Iraqi participation. De Mello assured them that the UN would make every effort to raise their concerns with the Authority and pledged UN support for the rebuilding of the justice in Iraq, in the context of resolution 1483."