HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
MONDAY 11 JUNE 2012
SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS PREVENTION CRITICAL TO CUT NEW HIV/AIDS INFECTIONS
• The Secretary-General addressed a General Assembly meeting on HIV/AIDS on Monday.
• He reiterated that prevention is critical if the number of new HIV infections is to be cut by one million by 2015.
• He said that goal would only be realised if people at risk were reached. That includes sex workers, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs and also women and youth.
• The Secretary-General also said that funds are needed to reach prevention and treatment targets adding that international investment for the fight against AIDS dropped by 13 per cent from 2009 to 2010.
NEW UNDER SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS APPOINTED
• The Secretary-General has appointed Jeffrey D. Feltman of the United States as Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. Mr. Feltman will replace Lynn Pascoe.
• Mr. Feltman recently served as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs with the rank of Career Minister.
• The Secretary-General has also appointed Major General Young-Bum Choi of the Republic of Korea as Chief Military Observer and Head of Mission of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).
• Major General Choi succeeds Major General Raul Gloodtdofsky Fernandez of Uruguay, who will complete his assignment on 15 June 2012.
• In response to a question, the Spokesperson clarified that all officials who join the United Nations relinquish any national responsibilities when they serve the United Nations. All senior officials bring their experience from different fields to their jobs at the United Nations but do not serve in a national capacity.
U.N. SAYS SITUATION IN COTE D’IVOIRE REMAINS CALM BUT TENSE
• The situation in Côte d’Ivoire remains relatively calm but tense. No further incidents have been reported after Friday’s ambush in which seven peacekeepers and a number of civilians were killed.
• The UN peacekeeping missions in Côte d’Ivoire, (UNOCI), and in Liberia, (UNMIL), have taken a series of immediate measures, including the mission in Côte d’Ivoire deploying additional uniformed elements to the border area.
• Both missions have increased patrols and undertaken air reconnaissance missions. Even before the attack, the mission in Côte d’Ivoire had already increased its presence in the area and we understand that Ivorian and Liberian security agencies are increasing their presence as well.
• The leaders of both peacekeeping missions have also been in constant contact with the Ivorian and Liberian authorities, respectively.
• The Secretary-General called on Friday for the Government of Côte d’Ivoire to do its utmost to identify the perpetrators and hold them accountable for the attack. Four individuals have reportedly already been taken into custody by Ivorian security agencies but their identities remain unconfirmed.
• The mission in Côte d’Ivoire in collaboration with the mission in Liberia is launching a full investigation.
• And the Security Council is scheduled to meet this afternoon to discuss Côte d’Ivoire in consultations.
U.N. CONCERNED OVER DELAY TO RELOCATE RESIDENTS OF CAMP NEW IRAQ
• Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, has expressed his concern about the delay in the relocation of the residents of Camp New Iraq, also known as Camp Ashraf, to Camp Hurriya.
• He urges the remaining residents of Camp Ashraf to relocate to Camp Hurriya without delay. The relocation process should not be stalled.
• Mr. Kobler said he was concerned that there will be violence if the relocation doesn’t recommence.
• He also called on the Government of Iraq to avoid any forceful relocation, underscoring that each relocation must be voluntary.
• So far, two thirds of the residents have already moved to Camp Hurriya, a temporary transit location near Baghdad prior to resettlement in third countries.
• At Camp Hurriya, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has a dedicated team determining the residents’ eligibility for refugee status, thus paving the way for a long-term solution which would be their resettlement outside Iraq.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF ELECTION DATE IN LIBYA WELCOMED BY U.N.
• Ian Martin, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Libya, welcomed the announcement on Sunday by that country’s High National Election Commission that the National Congress elections will be held on 7 July 2012.
• He said the announcement of the date was an important step in Libya’s road to recovery and democracy, and it will enable essential preparations to be completed prior to voting.
• Mr. Martin commended the Election Commission for the progress made in organizing a credible process consistent with the legal framework determined by the National Transitional Council.
• And he emphasized that the United Nations is committed to supporting the Libyan people achieve results which clearly reflect the will of voters.
HEAD OF U.N. FOOD AGENCY STARTS VISIT TO CARIBBEAN AND CENTRAL AMERICA
• The head of the World Food Programme (WFP), Ertharin Cousin, has begun a five-day visit to the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Nicaragua on Monday.
• During her visit to the three countries, she will reinforce the World Food Programme’s partnerships with governments and communities in their quest to improve food security and nutrition.
JOINT SPECIAL ENVOY FOR SYRIA WORRIED ABOUT SHELLING IN HOMS
• Asked about reported shelling in the city of Homs in Syria, the Spokesperson said that Kofi Annan, the Joint Special Envoy for Syria, is particularly worried about the recent shelling in Homs, as well as reports of the use of mortar, helicopters and tanks in the town of Al-Haffa, Latakia.
• Asked how the Secretary-General would prepare a list of options to the Security Council on the way forward for Syria, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General would consult widely within the system, including with the Joint Special Envoy and with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. The Secretary-General has said that he would provide those options soon.
U.N. STAFF IN RAKHINE STATE, MYANMAR, TEMPORARILY RELOCATED: Asked about disturbances in Rakhine State in Myanmar, the Spokesperson noted a statement by the Resident Coordinator in Myanmar, saying that the United Nations had voluntarily decided to relocate some non-essential UN staff and associated international non-governmental staff temporarily. The Resident Coordinator has requested full Government support for the safety and security of all UN and international NGO staff and their families in the affected areas and for their relocation to Yangon.
U.N. INTERNAL REVIEW ON SRI LANKA UNDER WAY: Asked about the UN’s internal review of its actions in Sri Lanka, the Spokesperson said that the review was under way. It is being headed by Charles Petrie. Thoraya Obeid was unable to head that review because of personal reasons.