HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY
SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
THURSDAY, 10 JANUARY 2013
U.N. AGENCIES WORKING IN JORDAN SYRIAN REFUGEE CAMP TO MITIGATE EFFECTS OF WEATHER CONDITIONS
- The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, says that the Za’atri camp has been affected by the weather conditions in Jordan. Some areas have become very muddy and some tents have been affected. But the agency reports that the vast majority of the camp has withstood the effects of the rainfall.
- The UN agency and its partners are working to drain the section of the camp affected and mitigate the effects of further rainfall. It has also relocated some affected and vulnerable families to pre-fabricated housing.
- UNHCR also continues its efforts to provide protection to new arrivals, including registration.
- Meanwhile, the UN Children’s Fund says that it is working around the clock with its partners to sustain the provision of services to the camp where some 55,000 children are living. UNICEF is working to ensure that all refugees have access to water, latrines and showers. It has also distributed warm clothing along with sleeping mats to replace mattresses soaked by the rain. Heaters have been distributed to families now living in prefabricated buildings within the camp.
- UNICEF says that lack of funding is a major constraint. It adds that the funds raised for 2012 have been exhausted and that no new funds have come for this year.
MALI: U.N. URGES GROUPS TO ADHERE TO DECLARED CESSATION OF HOSTILITES
- Asked about recent signs of further conflict in Mali, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations is concerned about the reported military movements of rebel groups along the front line in northern Mali and the resulting tensions.
- He said that the United Nations asks the Malian rebel groups to abide by Security Council resolutions 2071 and 2085, calling for them to cut off all ties with terrorist organizations.
- And it urges the Malian groups to adhere to the cessation of hostilities declared on 4 December 2012 in Ouagadougou and continues to call on the parties to engage in dialogue to address the situation.
- The United Nations is supporting the mediation efforts of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, and looks forward to the resumption of negotiations which are now scheduled for 21 January.
- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa, Said Djinnit, continues his contacts to support the political track in Mali, including negotiations and the establishment of an inclusive national dialogue and the development of a roadmap for transition.
- The Special Envoy for the Sahel, Romano Prodi, is in Bamako today.
U.N. MISSION DISPATCHES VERIFICATION PATROL, MOBILIZES MEDICAL TEAMS AFTER CLASHES IN NORTH DARFUR
- The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) says that it received reports earlier this week of fighting between Beni Hussein and Aballa tribes that took place on 5 and 6 January in Jabel Amer area, North Darfur.
- An undetermined number of casualties are reported as a result of the fighting. Several injured persons have been admitted at the Mission’s hospital in Kabkabiya for medical treatment. The clashes have also forced thousands of civilian to flee the area.
- Upon receiving these reports the Mission dispatched a verification patrol to Jabel Amer.
- The Mission has also mobilized its medical teams and three special flights and has evacuated a number of injured persons.
- In efforts to defuse tension the mission’s acting chief held talks with the Wali of North Darfur and offered UNAMID’s assistance in facilitating humanitarian aid as well as mediation and reconciliation efforts. The Mission has provided air support to a high-level delegation led by the Wali in the Jabel Amer area.
IN ELECTION RUN-UP, U.N. URGES KENYANS TO EXERCISE THEIR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS IN PEACEFUL MANNER
- The Office of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Kenya has conveyed its condolences to the Government of Kenya and to families and relatives of the communities affected by the current insecurity resulting from violent clashes in Tana River and other parts of the country.
- The Office joined with other humanitarian and development partners in condemning these inhumane acts, which have, since the beginning of 2012, claimed the lives of more than 450 people, including women and children, and displaced nearly 112,000 people.
- The Office also expressed its continued willingness to provide additional assistance in support of the Government and other humanitarian actors on the ground.
- In the run-up to the March 2013 elections, the United Nations would like to urge Kenyans to exercise their democratic rights in a peaceful manner with respect for the rights and dignity of all concerned.
HEAD OF PEACEKEEPING IN HAITI AS COUNTRY ABOUT TO MARK 3RD EARTHQUAKE ANNIVERSARY
- The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, is visiting Haiti.
- He met with Haitian President Michel Martelly upon arrival yesterday afternoon.
- His visit to Haiti takes place as the country is about to mark the third anniversary of a devastating earthquake of 12 January 2010.
- Speaking to the press in Port-au-Prince, the Under-Secretary-General said this commemoration is an opportunity to remember those who died during this tragedy, including friends and colleagues. He noted that three years after the earthquake the focus is now moving from emergency to stabilization.
- During his visit, Mr. Ladsous is scheduled to meet a number of government officials, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He will also meet with officials and staff from the UN Mission there, MINUSTAH.
- Mr. Ladsous will be returning to New York over the weekend.
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL TO MEET WORLD BANK OFFICIALS TOMORROW
- The Deputy Secretary-General will travel to Washington D.C. for meetings with senior officials at the World Bank on Friday. The purpose of the visit is to discuss further collaboration between the United Nations and the World Bank.
- The Deputy Secretary-General will hold meetings with Mr. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group, and take part in a roundtable discussion with the members of the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank.
- He will also meet with Mr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, Special Envoy and Representative on Millennium Development Goals and Financial Development; Ms, Caroline Anstey, Managing Director; and Ms. Rachel Kyte, Vice-President of Sustainable Development, as well as other senior World Bank officials.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONCERNED BY PLIGHT OF PALESTINIAN REFUGEES IN SYRIA: Asked about reports that the Secretary-General may be acting as an intermediary between Israeli and Palestinian officials over the fate of Palestinian refugees in Syria, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has expressed his deep concern on the plight of Palestinians displaced and uprooted by the violence in Syria. He has called for countries in the region to help the refugees.
U.N. MONITORS HAVE RECEIVED OFFICIAL COMPLAINT FROM PAKISTAN, WILL CONDUCT INVESTIGATION: In response to questions on a 6 January alleged incident in Kashmir, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan, UNMOGIP, has received an official complaint from the Pakistan Army and will conduct an investigation as soon as possible in accordance with its mandate. Regarding an alleged incident on 8 January, no official complaint has been received either from the Pakistan Army or Indian Army.