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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General

SPOKESPERSON’S DAILY HIGHLIGHTS

BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY, DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

TUESDAY 17 JANUARY 2012

SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFED ON IRAQ AND SUDAN

  • This morning the Security Council met in closed consultations. They discussed the Development Fund for Iraq and its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention. Afterwards, the Council was briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos on her recent visit to Sudan and the situation there.

GREECE/FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA

  • The Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for the talks between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ambassador Matthew Nimetz, met yesterday and today with the Representatives of the Parties, Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis of Greece and Ambassador Zoran Jolevski of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. 

  • He said that at his request, he met with each of the Representatives separately, in each case several times. Both sides presented the positions of their respective Governments on the “name” issue as they stand at the present time. 

  • Mr. Nimetz added that the discussions were helpful and focused on the optimal way to move the process forward in a constructive manner.  He also said that he was given firm assurances that each Government is sincere in its interest in finding a solution and that they fully respect the United Nations process.

  • Given these assurances, the Personal Envoy says he will consult further with the two Representatives with the view of arranging a visit to the two capitals to continue the discussions.  

  • “As we move forward, I have asked the Parties to demonstrate their commitment to the resolution of their difference by promoting a positive atmosphere through their actions and public statements,” he added.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY-GENERAL VISITS COTE D’IVOIRE

  • The Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Catherine Bragg, is in Côte d’Ivoire for a three-day visit.

  • Yesterday, Ms. Bragg launched the 2012 Appeal for Côte d’Ivoire which seeks more than US$ 173 million to cover the needs of over 3 million people this year.

  • Today, she met with the Minister of Planning and Development, the United Nations Country Team and humanitarian organizations.

  • And tomorrow, Ms. Bragg is scheduled to travel to the western part of the country where she will visit displacement areas.

UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY LAUNCHES EMERGENCY APPEAL

  • According to UNRWA officials, the continuing blockade and the restrictions on exports have far reaching consequences which increase poverty and aid dependency and the demand for UNRWA’s emergency services.

  • The Appeal focuses on three strategic priorities – food security, protection and emergency response capability. 80% of the requested funds will be used to promote food security. In addition, a sizeable portion of the appeal also aims to protect the rights of refugees and improve their access to basic emergency health, water, sanitation, education, and temporary shelter.

  • The Appeal also seeks to further strengthen the Agency’s emergency response capacity, positioning the Agency to better respond to emergency needs despite the decrease in overall funds sought.

  • We have a press release with more details in my office.

COUSIN APPOINTED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME

  • The appointment is at the Under Secretary-General level and Ms. Cousin will succeed Ms. Josette Sheeran.  The WFP Executive Board has confirmed its concurrence with this appointment.

  • We have Ms. Cousin’s bio in my office.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

U.N. AGREES TO ASSIST LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES: Asked about the training of observers from the League of Arab States, the Deputy Spokesperson said that the United Nations had a team of people ready to provide the requested technical assistance.

U.N.’S ROLE IN SOUTH SUDAN: In response to question on violence in Jonglei state, in South Sudan, the Deputy Spokesperson said that the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) responded flexibly and vigorously to the growing threat there while still carrying out its peacekeeping responsibilities elsewhere in the country. He added that the Mission mobilized 1,000 of its troops for deployment to the area, a figure that represents nearly half of the mission's 2,100 combat-ready personnel. Del Buey also said that the Mission was working closely with the Government of South Sudan and was engaging national and community leaders, urging them to end the cycle of violence and peacefully settle their longstanding grievances and differences. Asked about the lack of helicopters to deploy to Pibor, the Deputy Spokesperson said that peacekeepers did reach Pibor despite the limited airlift assets.

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

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