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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
FRIDAY 8 JUNE 2012


SERBIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ELECTED AS NEXT GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT

• The General Assembly voted on Friday morning to elect Vuk Jeremic, who is the Foreign Minister of Serbia, to be the President of the 67th session of the General Assembly.
• Mr. Jeremic received 99 of the 185 valid ballots cast.

SYRIA: U.N. OBSERVERS CONDUCTING FACT-FINDING MISSIONS

• The UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) has sent teams of observers to the villages of el-Qubeir and el-Rastan today to conduct a fact finding mission.
• The United Nations is not in a position to give further details until the teams have returned with their findings.
• Asked about attacks on UNSMIS, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has been clear about the dangers that UN observers have faced. They have been shot at, and there has been evidence suggested deliberate targeting of observers in some incidents. It is for all parties to allow the UN military observers to carry out the tasks that they are mandated to do.

SECRETARY-GENERAL WARNS OF IMMINENT DANGER OF FULL-SCALE CIVIL WAR IN SYRIA

• The Secretary-General and the Joint Special Envoy, Kofi Annan, briefed the Security Council on Syria on Thursday afternoon and they spoke to the press afterward, along with the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States.
• The Secretary-General said that the danger of a full-scale civil war is imminent and real, with potentially catastrophic consequences for Syria and the region.
• He added that the Annan plan remains at the centre of our efforts, but that, in view of the deteriorating situation, he would welcome further international discussions on the way forward. 
• The Secretary-General plans to discuss the matter when he attends the G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico.
• He added, in response to questions, that his sense after the briefings yesterday to the General Assembly and the Security Council was that all Member States, without exception, are united in saying that all violence must stop and in supporting the six-point peace plan.
• The Secretary-General will be presenting options shortly to the Security Council on the way ahead.

U.N. PROVIDING FOOD FOR 20,000 NEWLY-UPROOTED IN EASTERN D.R. CONGO

• A monthly food ration for around 20,000 newly displaced people and host families in Beni, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), has been provided by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
• The Programme said that concerns remain about the effect of violence on the civilian population in the region.
• It added that continued violence will lead to more people requiring help.
• Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes in recent months, many seeking refuge near the city of Goma or elsewhere in the east of the DRC.
• Thousands more have made the trek across the Rwandan and Ugandan borders in search of security.
• Taking earlier population movements into account, the Programme is providing assistance to more than 530,000 Congolese refugees and internally displaced people in the Great Lakes region.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO HOST RETREAT WITH HEADS OF REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

• On Saturday, the Secretary-General will host a retreat with heads of regional organizations in Greentree, Long Island.
• This retreat is the second of its kind and will bring together 15 regional, sub-regional and other organizations that are active in the area of peace and security.
• It will provide an opportunity for an informal and frank exchange of views and experiences between the United Nations and its regional partners.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

BAN KI-MOON TO TAKE PART IN BIKE EVENT TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: On Friday afternoon, the Secretary-General will attend the United Nations Bike Ride to promote Sustainable Low Carbon Urban Transport, in light of the forthcoming Rio+20 conference on sustainable development. He will be present at the start of the event and ring a large bicycle bell to send the riders off.

SETTLEMENT CONSTRUCTION CONTRAVENES INTERNATIONAL LAW, SAYS U.N. MIDDLE EAST ENVOY: Asked about reports on settlement construction by Israel, the Spokesperson noted that Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, reiterated the international community’s view that all settlement construction is contrary to international law.

U.N. RELIEF ARM IN TALKS ON ENSURING NEEDS IN EASTERN SUDAN COVERED: Asked about letters received from the Government of Sudan by seven non-governmental organizations, asking for those groups to end their programmes, the Spokesperson said that the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is aware of the issue and is discussing with concerned parties how to ensure that the humanitarian needs in eastern Sudan are covered.


THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
9 - 15 JUNE 2012

(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)

Saturday, 9 June

Today, the Secretary-General and the heads of regional and other organizations will hold a one-day retreat at Greentree, Long Island.

Sunday, 10 June

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Monday, 11 June

Today, at 1:15 p.m., a panel discussion on “Achieving 2015 Targets through Strategic AIDS Financing” will be held in Conference Room 7 of the North Lawn Building (NLB). It is co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Luxembourg and Malawi, with the support of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

Today, in Geneva, Maher Nasser, Acting Head of the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI), and Ambassador Jean-Daniel Ruch, Special Representative for the Middle East of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, will brief on the United Nations International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East, organized by DPI, in cooperation with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, on 12-13 June.

Tuesday, 12 June

Today is the World Day Against Child Labour.

This morning, the Security Council will adopt a resolution on the Panel of Experts on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). It will hear a briefing on the United Nations Organization Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) which will be followed by closed consultations. In the afternoon, the Security Council will hear a briefing on the 1737 Committee (DPRK).

At 12:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, will be the guest at the Noon Briefing.

Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) will issue a report on health impact of fuel, exhaust, etc.

Today, the high-level segment of the International Labour Conference will start in Geneva.

Today, the United Nations International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East, organized by DPI, in cooperation with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, will begin in Geneva, ending on 13 June.

Today, in Geneva, there will be a press conference by Supachai Panitchpakdi, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Secretary-General and Taffere Tesfachew, UNCTAD Director for the Division on Africa, on the Economic Development in Africa Report 2012: Structural Transformation and Sustainable Development in Africa (under embargo until 13 June at 5:00 pm GMT).

Wednesday, 13 June

At 11 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference on the Economic Report on Africa 2012. The speaker will be Robert Vos, Director of the Development Policy and Analysis Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

Thursday, 14 June

Today is World Blood Donor Day

This morning, in the Security Council, troop-contributing countries will meet on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). In the afternoon, the Council will have consultations on Sudan/South Sudan.

At 10:30 a.m., in Conference Room 3 (NLB), the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2012 will be launched. It will be followed, at 1 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, by a press conference.

Friday, 15 June

There are no major events scheduled for today.