Annan selects two envoys to fill posts in GuineaBissau and Côte dIvoire

In an exchange of letters with the Security Council, Mr. Annan has announced the appointment of Mozambique’s João Bernardo Honwana as his Representative in Guinea-Bissau and head of the UN Peace-building Support Office in that country (UNOGBIS).Mr. Honwana, who succeeds David Stephen in the post, is Chief of the Conventional Arms Branch in the UN’s Department of Disarmament Affairs. A security and defence specialist, he has worked for the UN since February 2000 in various positions in this field.Mr. Annan has also named Abdoulaye Mar Dieye of Senegal as his Deputy Special Representative for Côte d’Ivoire, where he will work under Special Representative Albert Tévoédjrè and specialize in humanitarian affairs, development and the country’s disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme.Mr. Mar Dieye, 52, is currently the UN’s Humanitarian Affairs Coordinator for Côte d’Ivoire and has also worked extensively for the UN Development Programme (UNDP). read more

UN rights chief calls on Thailands coup leaders to restore basic freedoms

“The forcible and unconstitutional replacement of Thailand’s freely-elected Government on 19 September, the establishment of martial law, the abolition of the 1997 Constitution, the dissolution of Parliament and the Cabinet as well as the disbanding of the Constitutional Court, have raised important human rights concerns,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said in a statement.She called on the leaders of the Council for Democratic Reform under Constitutional Monarchy (CDRM) to ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and reinstate the country’s human rights commission.“The various decrees issued by the CDRM restrict a number of basic human rights, such as the right to freedom of assembly, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention,” Ms. Arbour said, urging the new authorities to restore the maximum exercise of such rights. Expressing concern over the disbanding of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), she recalled that Thailand is party to a number of international human rights instruments, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. She urged the CDRM to take all necessary measures to ensure that the country’s international obligations are respected and to reinstate the NHRC. read more