HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

BY FARHAN HAQ
OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
OF THE UNITED NATIONS
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

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UN ENVOY CONDEMNS LATEST VIOLATION OF THE BLUE LINE

  • Monday evening, The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Terje Roed Larsen, issued a statement in New York, strongly deploring the latest violation of the Blue Line which had taken place earlier on Monday.
  • According to the UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the hostilities began with Hizballah firing rockets and mortars at Israeli military positions in the Shebaa Farms area.   The Israeli army then responded across the Blue Line using artillery and aerial bombs.
  • Those events, Larsen said, underscore yet again the acute need for the Government of Lebanon to exert full control over the use of force from its territory.  He urges all parties to exercise maximum restraint and respect fully the Blue Line.
  • Asked if the Secretary-General’s meeting this afternoon with retired Israeli Admiral Ayalon and Palestinian Professor Sari Nusseibeh meant that the Secretary-General was going to officially adopt the ‘Geneva Accords’ for peace developed by Israeli and Palestinian civil society representatives, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General was always encouraged by Palestinian and Israeli members of civil society getting together to try to find a solution, as a real and lasting peace will be made as much by people working together for reconciliation as it will be by official parties reaching agreement. However, the Spokesman later added, there is no substitute for government officials speaking to one another and he encouraged both parties to return to the negotiating table.

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OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

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ARAB HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT PRESENTED TO ARAB LEAGUE: The UN Development Programme today presented the Arab Human Development Report 2003 to Amr Mousa, the Secretary-General of the Arab League, in Cairo today. Moussa welcomed the work, saying that "the direction of the report is a very important one, and the League will be studying it carefully."

 

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