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

THURSDAY, 19 JANUARY 2012

SECRETARY-GENERAL ENCOURAGES SECURITY COUNCIL TO PROMOTE TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE

  • This morning the Secretary-General addressed the Security Council on the rule of law and transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict settings.

  • He said that never has the UN’s rule of law sector faced such great challenges – or such historic opportunities. Our task is to usher in an era of respect for the law in every field: from peace and security to trade and development, from the high seas to local communities.

  • He noted that our approach has three basic components.

  • First, to promote accountability and reinforce norms through transitional justice.

  • Second, to build justice and security institutions to promote trust.

  • Third, to focus on justice for women and girls to foster gender equality.

  • He encouraged the Council to include the promotion of transitional justice measures more broadly in the mandates of peacekeeping and political missions.

  • He also called on the Council to reject any endorsement of amnesty for genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity or gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

U.N. SOUTH SUDAN ENVOY CALLS FOR END OF VIOLENCE, PEACE PROCESS IN JONGLEI STATE

  • The Secretary-General’s Special Representative in South Sudan, Hilde Johnson, called for an immediate end to the cycle of violence in Jonglei state.

  • She condemned the use of violence by communities and urged their political, traditional and youth leaders to do their utmost to end the killings and confrontations. She said she was particularly concerned about continued statements that could incite ethnic violence.

  • Ms. Johnson also urged the Government to deploy additional forces and further strengthen its forces in the key areas to stop further violence. She said that this would also provide the basis for a peace process between the Jonglei communities.

  • The Special Representative welcomed the Government’s decision to establish a peace team to lead the peace process. She said it was urgent to appoint this dedicated team and get the process moving forward.

  • Ms. Johnson said that the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) had been relocating its military forces to areas most at risk. The peacekeepers have provided medical aid and helped evacuate a number of people from the village of Duk Padiet, where the latest attack took place on Monday night.

  • Looking back on the new country’s first six months of independence, she also underscored the importance of relations between Sudan and South Sudan. And she welcomed the political and security reforms that were introduced in South Sudan.

GAZA STRIP CONTINUES TO BE REGARDED AS PART OF OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY

  • Asked about the status of Gaza, the Spokesperson said that under resolutions adopted by both the Security Council and the General Assembly on the Middle East Peace Process, the Gaza Strip continues to be regarded as part of the occupied Palestinian Territory. He said the United Nations would accordingly continue to refer to the Gaza Strip as part of the occupied Palestinian Territory until such time as either the General Assembly or the Security Council take a different view.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

OFFICIAL TRAVEL MOSTLY DONE ON COMMERCIAL OR U.N. FLIGHTS: In response to a question about the Secretary-General’s most recent rip, the Spokesperson said that the United Arab Emirates Government provided an aircraft to fly the Secretary-General from Beirut to Abu Dhabi because of time constraints. National governments have provided similar assistance in the past to this Secretary-General and to his predecessors, he said adding that most of the Secretary-General's official travel is on commercial flights or peacekeeping aircraft.

PARTIES SHOULD DEFUSE TENSIONS IN STRAIT OF HORMUZ: Asked about the situation in the Strait of Hormuz, Nesirky said that the Secretary General has spoken publicly, stating that the parties concerned should defuse the tensions in the region, that the Iranian Government must satisfy the international community that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes, and that free passage of the Strait of Hormuz must be protected according to the Law of the Sea.

EVENTS IN 2011 PROVIDED OPPORTUNITY FOR CHANGE: Asked about the Secretary-General's view of the events of 2011, the Spokesperson said these events have been remarkable and have provided an opportunity for change by people who have longed for change. The Secretary-General has said that the United Nations will support countries in transition, as well as people in other states who still seek change.

AGREEMENT IN YEMEN SHOULD BE IMPLEMENTED: Asked about Yemen, Nesirky said the agreement is not with the United Nations, but that it needs to be implemented.

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELL BRIEFED ON NIGERIA SITUATION: Asked about the situation in Nigeria, the Spokesperson said the Secretary-General is well briefed about the situation there and had issued a statement.

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