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Question:  I also remember Michèle said something like “the clock is ticking”.  So it’s ticking.  Yesterday, we had a meeting of the Committee to Protect Journalists and they made a list of the 10 backsliding countries.  Number 3 was the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where obviously the UN has had a big presence for many years.  So a question that was raised, and obviously they didn’t know because they just did the report, what is the UN, DPKO and other parts of the UN system doing in countries where they have a big presence to actually actualize and implement freedom of the press?  If incidents take place in countries where they have a big presence, do they speak to the Government?  Just in DRC for example -- where they were almost running the country -- how does the UN itself actually implement freedom of press on the ground, in countries like Haiti, where journalists are killed, or like the DRC?

Spokesperson:  I’ll check in the DRC for you.

[The correspondent was later told that, in the case of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Mission there, as part of its general mandate, monitors human rights conditions and protests violations of press freedom.]

Question:  On Kosovo, the members of the UN mission to Kosovo returned and it seemed that they came back with different ideas or different concepts about the problem in Kosovo.  I was wondering about the position of the Secretary-General.  Does he still believe in Mr. Ahtisaari’s plan?

Spokesperson:  Yes, he does.  Okay, now the General Assembly Spokesperson.

Briefing by Special Assistant to the Spokesperson for the General Assembly President

I am going to be very brief.  I don’t have much.

**World Press Freedom Day

Regarding World Press Freedom Day, this morning at the Department of Public Information (DPI) conference held on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, Assembly President Sheikha Haya Al Khalifa had a statement delivered on her behalf by a Vice-President of the Assembly, Ambassador Christian Wenaweser of Liechtenstein.

In her statement, the President made a special plea for the immediate and safe release of the BBC’s correspondent, Alan Johnston.  “Not just Alan Johnston, but every reporter unlawfully imprisoned must be set free,” she emphasized.

**Security Council Reform

The other two items are just things that I would like to flag again.  We announced them before.

This afternoon, the Assembly President will chair an informal meeting of the General Assembly’s Open-ended Working Group on Security Council Reform.

**Thematic Debate

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