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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

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

MONDAY, 17 JANUARY 2011

  SECRETARY-GENERAL REAFFIRMS STRONG SUPPORT FOR WORK OF SPECIAL TRIBUNAL FOR LEBANON

 

·        The Secretary-General reaffirms his strong support for the work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).

 

·        The filing of an indictment today by the Prosecutor of the STL is in pursuit of its mandate to end impunity for the terrible crimes that took the life of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others in the attack of 14 February 2005, and related attacks.

 

·        The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is an independent court of law established at the request of the Government of Lebanon, with a clear mandate from the United Nations Security Council. The Secretary-General reiterates his call on all parties to refrain from any interference or influence in its work, but to allow it to proceed in accordance with the highest legal principles and standards applied by all United Nations-assisted international tribunals.

 

·        The independent judicial process should not be linked with any political debate. It is important not to prejudge the outcome of the work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

 

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL VISIT ABU DHABI; VOICES CONCERN OVER CONTINUED VIOLENCE IN TUNISIA

 

·        The Secretary-General is in the United Arab Emirates where he spoke to reporters earlier today.

 

·        On Tunisia, the Secretary-General said he was encouraged by the dialogue between the caretaker government and a large array of political parties and civil society organizations. But he added he remained extremely concerned about the continued violence in the country. He called for a prompt restoration of the rule of law and urged the international community to support efforts to restore genuine democracy in Tunisia.

 

·        Earlier today in Abu Dhabi, the Secretary-General delivered opening remarks at the Fourth World Future Energy Summit saying that we need a global clean energy revolution – a revolution that makes energy available and affordable for all.

 

·        He also spoke to the Young Future Energy Leaders and encouraged them to make a difference. He said that energy solutions will play a big role, in combating climate change, in relieving poverty and in laying the foundations for sustainable prosperity for all.

 

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES END OF POLLING PERIOD FOR SOUTHERN SUDAN REFERENDUM

 

·        In a statement issued over the weekend, the Secretary-General welcomed the end of the polling period for the Southern Sudan referendum.

 

·        He called on the people and institutions of Sudan to exercise patience and restraint until the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission announces the final result of the referendum.

 

·        In a separate statement, the Secretary-General’s Panel on the Referenda in Sudan said that based on its observations, as well as those of its staff in the field, it is satisfied that the process allowed the people of Southern Sudan to express their will freely.

 

·        It also urged Government authorities and the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission to make every effort to ensure that all citizens are kept well-informed of progress toward the final results.

 

 

AUSTRIAN OFFICIAL NAMED AS SECRETARY-GENERAL’S DEPUTY SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR SOMALIA

 

·        The Secretary-General has appointed Christian Manahl of Austria as his Deputy Special Representative for Somalia.

 

·        Mr. Manahl has headed the Political Affairs Division in the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) since February 2007.

 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL’S TASK FORCE MONITORING FOOD SECURITY SITUATION: Asked about food security, Nesirky said the Secretary-General had addressed this issue at his press conference last Friday. He added that High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis (HLTF), established by the Secretary-General, had been monitoring the situation. He said that the HLTF’s Senior Steering Group was expected to meet this week to review current developments and advise the HLTF on any necessary steps.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL CLOSELY FOLLOWING SITUATION ON KOREAN PENINSULA: In response to a question on the possibility of sending a UN envoy to the Korean Peninsula, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General was following the situation there closely. He noted that, last year, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs had visited Pyongyang, as parts of the UN’s efforts to intensify the dialogue with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Nesirky added that the Secretary-General was ready to provide his good offices should the parties concerned request it.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL SADDENED BY LOSS OF LIFE IN BRAZIL MUDSLIDES: Asked about the mudslides in Brazil, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General was extremely concerned and saddened by the loss of life there. He noted that the Government of Brazil was in contact with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian (OCHA), which would look into a request for assistance, if it was made.

 

SPOKESPERSON UNDERSCORES U.N.’S IMPARTIALITY IN DARFUR MEDIATION EFFORTS: Asked about the United Nations’ partiality in the Darfur mediation efforts, the Spokesperson said that there was no question about the UN’s impartiality, whether through the efforts of Djibril Bassolé, the Joint AU-UN Chief Mediator for Darfur, or the work of the staff of the AU-UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

 

U.N. MISSION IN CÔTE D’IVOIRE UNDETERRED FROM FULFILING ITS MANDATE: Asked about the situation in Côte d’Ivoire, the Spokesperson said that the UN Mission there, UNOCI, was working under difficult circumstances but would not be deterred from fulfilling its mandate. He added that the Secretary-General remains concerned about the impasse in the country and that, to resolve it, he continues to reach out to regional and international figures, including Jean Ping, the Chairman of the African Union Commission, who he spoke with over the weekend.

 

 

 

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