|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Daily Press Briefing by the Offices of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
and the Spokesperson for the General Assembly President
The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Martin Nesirky, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, and Jean Victor Nkolo, Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly.
Briefing by the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
So, good afternoon, everybody, and welcome to the briefing.
**Guest Today and Media Opportunities
As you can see, we have with us Filippo Grandi, the newly appointed Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). And just very shortly I will hand the floor to him.
And as you also know, the Secretary-General and Dr. Rajendra Pachauri will be at the stakeout position in the new building, in the North Lawn Building, at 12:30 p.m. So we are going to keep this to schedule so that you will be able to follow that, either by running over there or on the webcast. And at 1 p.m., we have Professor Robbert H. Dijkgraaf, who is Co-Chair of the Inter-Academy Council, will come here to brief correspondents on the result of the stakeout, which is talking about, as you know, a review of the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change].
**Guest at the Noon Briefing Tomorrow
And then just briefly, tomorrow there will also be, at the noon briefing, our guest, and that is John Holmes, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. He will be here to brief you on his recent trip to the Middle East.
So, I will pass the floor over to you, Filippo, and please, the floor is yours.
[Press conference by Mr. Grandi issued separately.]
Briefing by the Spokesperson for the General Assembly President
Good afternoon. We start earlier today because of the busy schedule.
**General Assembly President’s Travel
The President of the General Assembly, His Excellency Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki, travelled to [the Republic of] Korea. He left yesterday. In Seoul, he will meet with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, National Assembly Speaker Kim Hyung-O and Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan.
After his visit to Korea, President Treki will travel to Manila, where he will attend the Special Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue for Peace and Development. President Treki will be in the Philippines from 14 to 18 March.
**President Treki Meets with President Bongo Ondimba of Gabon
On his meeting yesterday with the President of Gabon. Dr. Treki met with Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of the Republic of Gabon. President Bongo Ondimba was accompanied by Paul Toungui, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and Laure Olga Gondjout, Minister of Communications, Posts, Telecommunications and New Information Technologies, and other senior officials from Gabon.
They exchanged views on important issues on the agenda of the sixty-fourth session of the General Assembly, including peace and security, development and climate change. President Bongo reiterated the full support of Gabon for the United Nations Organization, which, in the view of both Presidents, is the best framework to promote multilateral and effective solutions to global challenges.
They discussed the situations in Africa and the Middle East, prominent on the agenda of the Security Council. President Treki also noted the priority accorded to Africa’s interests in the General Assembly, referring in particular to the importance of the September 2010 high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals. President Bongo Ondimba accepted President Treki’s invitation to attend the September summit.
President Treki also briefed President Bongo Ondimba on the thematic debates to be held in the General Assembly. They also discussed United Nations reform, including reform of the Security Council, revitalization of the General Assembly and efforts for enhanced coordination and interaction among the principal organs of the United Nations.
**President Treki Meets the Commissioner-General of UNRWA
Also yesterday, President Treki met with the newly appointed Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Filippo Grandi, to discuss the situation of Palestine refugees in the Middle East. The President thanked UNRWA for its vital support to nearly 4.7 million Palestine refugees and congratulated Mr. Grandi on his appointment.
President Treki noted that, after more than 60 years, the question of Palestine refugees was still awaiting a just and durable solution, based on United Nations resolutions. Mr. Grandi expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, where UNRWA continues to provide health and educational services to refugees. Mr. Grandi emphasized that UNRWA was a voluntarily funded Agency whose needs grew steadily each year. He stressed the importance of providing UNRWA with the necessary financial and human resources to fulfil its mandate.
**Landslides in Uganda
Following the landslides in Uganda, President Treki wrote to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Deeply saddened by the news of the landslides that have claimed many lives and destroyed some rural areas in Uganda last week, Dr. Treki stated in his letter of condolences to the people and Government of Uganda that he is encouraged by the solidarity and goodwill shown by the United Nations system and the international community in supporting Uganda. He praised the resolve and perseverance of the Ugandan leadership and people.
**Earthquake in Eastern Turkey
Following the earthquake in eastern Turkey, President Treki wrote to President Abdullah Gül. In his letter of condolences to the people and Government of Turkey, Dr. Treki stated that President Gül’s resolve and leadership, and the strength and perseverance of the people, have motivated the solidarity and goodwill shown by the United Nations system and the international community in supporting Turkey in this difficult hour.
That’s what I have for you. Questions? No? Thank you so much, and have a good afternoon. Martin will join you soon, thank you.
* *** *For information media • not an official record