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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General

SPOKESPERSON’S DAILY HIGHLIGHTS

BY MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

WEDNESDAY, 11 JANUARY 2012

SECRETARY-GENERAL PARTICPATES IN HANDING OVER OF G-77 CHARMAINSHIP

  • The Secretary-General spoke at the chairmanship handover ceremony of the Group of 77 and China this morning. Argentina handed the chairmanship of the Group over to Algeria.

  • The Secretary-General thanked the Group for its commitment and support.

  • He said that we have a historic opportunity to address one of the main challenges facing humanity: building a sustainable world.

  • He said that G77 leadership is fundamental in ensuring that concrete measures are adopted at the Rio+20 conference in June.

  • Asked about the relationship between sustainable development and the resolution of regional conflicts, the Spokesperson said that peace and security are fundamentally important if development is to occur.

HEAD OF PEACEKEEPING TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL THAT LATEST STEPS TAKEN BY PARTIES PROVIDE REASON FOR OPTIMISM

  • This morning the Security Council heard a briefing on Darfur by the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous.

  • He said that the initial steps taken by the parties in implementing the Doha Document provide reason for optimism.

  • However, Mr. Ladsous noted that the Government and non-signatory movements still needed to return to the negotiating table. He said they had not met since the signing of the Doha Document. No movement had signed the Document in the allotted time frame.

  • Mr. Ladsous said that the United Nations would continue to work with the African Union for a comprehensive and lasting settlement.

  • The Under-Secretary-General also noted that the increase in manoeuvres and clashes between Government and movement forces in recent weeks was accompanied by a sharp increase in restrictions of movement imposed on African Union-UN Mission in Darfur, UNAMID. He added that this had seriously impeded the Mission’s ability to implement its mandate

  • The Security Council then held consultations on Darfur.

  • It was also hearing a briefing on the situation in Somalia in the afternoon.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECRETARY-GENERAL SADDENED BY DEATH OF FRENCH JOURNALIST IN SYRIA: Asked about the French journalist killed in Syria, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General is aware of this death and is very saddened by the news and by all of the other deaths that have occurred in Syria. Nesirky said that the Secretary-General remains very concerned about violence from any quarter, and that this violence has to stop. He reiterated the Secretary-General's call on President Assad to listen to all the people of Syria so that differences and reforms can be addressed peacefully.

LACK OF HELICOPTERS MAKES IT HARD TO ASSESS SOUTH SUDAN DEATH TOLL: Asked about reports of recent casualties in South Sudan, the Spokesperson said that it was difficult to determine the number of dead but that large figures reported by media last week were too high. One factor that made it difficult to assess exact numbers was the lack of helicopters needed to reach these remote areas.

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