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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
 
BY MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
 
MONDay, 9 APRIL 2012
 
SECRETARY-GENERAL PRAISES MEDIATION EFFORTS BY WEST AFRICAN REGIONAL BLOC IN MALI
 
  • Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commended the continued efforts by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to facilitate the restoration of constitutional order in Mali, and called on the country's military junta to immediately implement the accord it signed on Friday with the regional bloc.
  • In a statement issued over the weekend, the Secretary-General called on the junta “to expeditiously implement the terms of the Framework Agreement which provides for the transfer of power back to the constitutional authorities, as consistently called for by the Security Council and the international community as a whole.”
  • The Secretary-General urges the junta to ensure the safety and security of all Malian officials, to immediately and unconditionally release all detainees and to refrain from any actions that might undermine the effective implementation of the provisions of the Framework Agreement,” the statement said.
  • Asked about the situation in north of Mali, the Spokesperson said we should not prejudge the outcome since the regional organization ECOWAS continued to work on this and would be meeting to discuss what further steps may be necessary.
 
BAN KI-MOON CONDEMNS LATEST ESCALATION OF VIOLENCE IN SYRIA
 
  • In a statement issued last Friday night, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the latest escalation of violence in Syria despite the Government's commitments to withdraw troops, and called on authorities to immediately cease all military action against the Syrian people.
  • Asked about developments in Syria over the weekend, the Spokesperson said the agreement is clear to all, and must be implemented completely and unconditionally according to the timetable agreed. The 10 April timeline to fulfill the Government’s implementation of its commitments, as endorsed by the Security Council, is not an excuse for continued killing.
  • The Secretary-General has been active on the diplomatic front in recent days. After a conversation with the Turkish Foreign Minister, he spoke with the High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres. As a result, Nesirky reported that an initial shipment of humanitarian goods to Turkey had been sent to supplement the already generous assistance Turkey has provided displaced Syrians over the past few months.
  • The Secretary-General continues to insist that the Syrian authorities remain fully accountable for grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. These must stop at once, from whatever quarter. However, until a ceasefire is in place, it will not be possible to monitor compliance.
 
UN CHIEF: BAHRAIN SHOULD CONSIDER TRANSFERING JAILED ACTIVIST WHO IS ON HUNGER STRIKE
 
  • Asked about the situation in Bahrain, the Spokesperson said the Secretary-General has consistently urged authorities throughout the region, including Bahrain, to respect the right of their people to peaceful protest.
  • He is aware that one of the detainees in Bahrain, who was reportedly convicted to life imprisonment for his role in last year's protests, is now on hunger strike. The Secretary-General would expect due process to be respected in any appeal of the conviction.
  • The Secretary-General also understands there is a proposal for the detainee, who is also a Danish citizen, to be transferred to Denmark for medical treatment.
  • The Secretary-General hopes this would be duly considered on humanitarian grounds. In any case where there is a hunger strike, the health and well being of the person should be the foremost concern.
 
UN CHIEF WELCOMES PEACEFUL TRANSITION OF POWER IN MALAWI
 
  • In a statement issued over the weekend, The Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon mourned the death of the President of Malawi, Bingu Wa Mutharika.
  • The Secretary-General said he was saddened by Mr. Mutharika's death, and offered his condolences “to the bereaved family, the Government and the people of Malawi.”
  • The Secretary-General also welcomed the peaceful transition in the country, and said he looks forward to working with the Government under acting President Joyce Banda, who had served as Malawi's Vice President since 2009.
 
 
OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS
 
U.N. CONDEMNS THE KILLING OF A JOURNALIST BY SYRIAN FORCES: Asked about the killing of a journalist in an attack by Syrian forces on Lebanon, the Spokesperson said that any attack on journalists performing their duties is to be condemned. He noted we are still awaiting further details of this reported attack.
 
U.N. SAYS SOCIAL MEDIA IMPORTANT IN GALVANISING CHANGES: Asked about the Secretary-General's views on the impact of social media, the Spokesperson said tweeting has become a phenomenon in the political sphere and, in some countries, social media have played an important role in galvanising change.
 
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