HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
WEDNESDAY, 27 JUNE 2012
SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES STRONG OUTCOME FROM RIO+20 ON FOOD SECURITY
- The Secretary-General chaired a meeting of the High Level Task Force on Global Food Security on Wednesday.
- He welcomed the strong outcome from Rio+20 on food and nutrition security.
- Following the launch of the Zero Hunger Challenge last week, the High Level Task Force will be reoriented to focus on the Challenge’s five objectives as a guide for a coherent UN System approach to food and nutrition security.
- The Secretary-General noted that since it was established in 2008, the Task Force had made progress in devising a common comprehensive framework for action for the UN system in food and nutrition security, particularly during recent food crises.
- It helped forge united positions among its member agencies in Rio and at the G8 and G20 summits.
- The High Level Task Force also supports the Committee on World Food Security as the primary governance body for food and nutrition.
- But with close to one billion people still experiencing chronic hunger, he urged agencies, governments, businesses, civil society organizations and the scientific community to eliminate hunger in our lifetimes.
ACTION GROUP FOR SYRIA TO MEET IN GENEVA ON SATURDAY, SAYS JOINT SPECIAL ENVOY
- The Joint Special Envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan, announced on Wednesday that the Action Group for Syria will convene at the Ministerial level this Saturday, 30 June, in Geneva.
- Mr. Annan said that he looks forward to a productive meeting this weekend, where all can agree on concrete actions to end the cycle of violence and bring peace and stability to the Syrian people.
- Also, Deputy Joint Special Envoy Jean-Marie Guéhenno spoke to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday, telling them that, at the moment, all sides appear to not believe in the possibility of a political solution.
- He said the Syrian people have not had adequate opportunity to engage with outsiders or with each other on sensitive political issues, and they have been rightfully fearful to do so.
- Political goals, he said, are being pursued with military means.
- In response to questions, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General will go to the 30 June meeting in Geneva.
- The meeting has the full support of the Secretary-General, Nesirky added.
- The objectives of the Action Group for Syria, he noted, are to identify steps and measures to secure full implementation of the six-point plan and Security Council resolutions 2042 and 2043, including an immediate cessation of violence in all its forms.
- The Action Group for Syria should also agree on guidelines and principles for a Syrian-led political transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people; and agree on actions that will make these objectives a reality on the ground.
- Asked about the decision not to invite Iran, the Spokesperson said that the Joint Special Envoy has been clear about the need for Iran to be part of the solution. The Joint Special Envoy will brief Iran after the meeting of Action Group for Syria and ensure their continued engagement.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR NEW APPROACHES TO COUNTER TERRORISM
- The Secretary-General spoke on Wednesday at a symposium on promoting dialogue and understanding and countering terrorism.
- The Secretary-General said that it takes more than traditional security approaches to counter terrorism.
- We must also work together to extinguish the flames of hate and intolerance that breed terrorist violence.
- In response to questions about non-traditional means of counter-terrorism, the Spokesperson noted other strands of the effort against terrorism, including de-radicalising young people and encouraging tolerance.
PROGRESS MADE DURING CONFERENCES ON AFGHANISTAN IN KABUL AND CHICAGO, SECURITY COUNCIL TOLD
- The Security Council discussed Afghanistan in an open meeting on Wednesday.
- Hervé Ladsous, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, told Council members that significant progress was made during two international conferences in Kabul and in Chicago, with a third to take place next month in Tokyo.
- Mr. Ladsous added that a strategic decision has been made to reshape the provincial footprint of the UN Mission in Afghanistan, in line with a comprehensive review undertaken last year.
- Earlier Wednesday morning, the Security Council extended the mandates of the United Nations Mission in the Golan Heights, by six months, and of the one in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, by one year.
U.N. AND MYANMAR SIGN PLAN TO PREVENT CHILD RECRUITMENT IN ARMED FORCES
- The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict witnessed on Wednesday the signing of an action plan for the release and reintegration of children associated with the Government forces in Myanmar.
- The signing took place in the capital, Naypyitaw.
- Radhika Coomaraswamy said that the new action plan is both a testament and a test of Myanmar’s engagement with children.
- She also met with President Thein Sein on Wednesday.
U.N. LEGAL COUNSEL IN MOSCOW
- The Legal Counsel of the United Nations, Patricia O'Brien, is in Moscow where she is participating in the Annual Meeting of the Russian Branch of the International Law Association at the invitation of Kyrill Gevorgian, the Legal Adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
- Ms. O'Brien delivered opening remarks and a speech on the concept of the "responsibility to protect".
REPORT ON ERITREA WITHDRAWN TO MAKE IT MORE RESPONSIVE TO REQUEST BY SECURITY COUNCIL
- Asked on Tuesday about the Secretary-General’s report to the Security Council on Eritrea and whether it had been withdraw, the Spokesperson said the Security Council Resolution 2023 (2011) requested the Secretary-General to submit a report on Eritrea's compliance with the provisions of the resolution.
- After again reviewing the report, the Secretariat concluded that it had not adequately responded to the requests in Resolution 2023 (2011).
- The Secretariat decided to withdraw the report to make it more responsive to the request by the Security Council.