|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Martin Nesirky, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
Good afternoon, everybody.
**Guests at Noon
We have here Alain Le Roy, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations; and immediately to my right, Yury Fedotov, who is the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and also the Director-General of the United Nations Office in Vienna (UNOV); and also to my far right, Ann-Marie Orler, who, as you know, is the United Nations Police Adviser in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). And they are here to sign a new UNODC/DPKO Joint Plan of Action and brief you on this new initiative.
I can tell you also that at 12:30 sharp, Ambassador Li Baodong, the Permanent Representative of China and President of the Security Council for the month of March, will brief on the programme of work of the Council for the month.
But just before we start, I would just like to very briefly update you on Libya.
The head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), who visited the border of Tunisia and Libya yesterday, says that it is clear that the world must step up action to prevent a disaster inside Libya.
Josette Sheeran calls for safe humanitarian access to the country, stressing that cutting off food supplies must not be used as a weapon. Ms. Sheeran had an audience with Pope Benedict today and was able to brief him on the Libya crisis.
WFP is launching a nearly $40 million emergency operation to provide food aid to 2.7 million people in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia. And it is also planning a three-month programme to help shore up the food safety nets of Egypt and Tunisia, and will also purchase food from the region to help ensure that the recovery from the disruption can begin immediately.
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are urgently appealing to Governments for a massive humanitarian evacuation of tens of thousands of Egyptians and other third-country nationals who have fled into Tunisia from Libya.
More than 75,000 people — mostly Egyptian nationals — have crossed into Tunisia since late last month. Some 40,000 more are waiting to enter, and the organizations are concerned that the overcrowding at the border is worsening by the hour. I expect to have more for you on the United Nations humanitarian response when I brief you tomorrow.
So, with that, I would like to, first of all, hand the floor over to Mr. Fedotov, to make some remarks, and then on to Mr. Le Roy. Please, Mr. Fedotov.
[Press Conference by Mr. Fedotov and Mr. Le Roy issued separately]
Okay, so, thank you very much for that. And I would like to thank, once again, Mr. Le Roy, Ms. Orler and Mr. Fedotov for coming to the briefing today. Thank you.
As you know, the President of the Security Council will be with you just in a second.
* *** *For information media • not an official record