Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General
Daily Briefing
Secretary-General --> Deputy Secretary-General --> Press Conferences Backgrounders --> News Links

 



 

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

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

FRIDAY, 21 JANUARY 2011

 

CÔTE D’IVOIRE: SEARCH OF U.N. VEHICLES BY FORCES LOYAL TO LAURENT GBAGBO UNACCEPTABLE

  • On Cote d’Ivoire, the Spokesperson made clear that the call, by the Ivorian defence and security forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, to stop and search United Nations vehicles is a serious violation of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and Security Council resolution 1962 (2010) and therefore unacceptable.
     

  • The United Nations condemns the continuing use of the State broadcasting corporation, RTI, to disseminate false information about the United Nations and its Mission (UNOCI), as well as continued obstruction of the United Nations peacekeeping mission’s legitimate actions to implement its mandate from the Security Council.
     

  • Nesirky also reiterated that attacks on civilians or international peacekeepers constitute crimes under international law, as does incitement to commit such crimes. Those engaged in such activity, will be held responsible.
     

  • Asked about comments from the President of South Africa, the Spokesperson noted that the United Nations and the African Union, which includes South Africa, has called for Laurent Gbagbo to step down.

 

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY PLEASED BY CONSTRUCTIVE COOPERATION BY NATIONS ON IVORIAN REFUGEES

  • Given continued instability in Côte d’Ivoire, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says that it is pleased to note the constructive cooperation by the country’s neighbours towards Ivorian refugees.
     

  • Guinea and Liberia have formally declared that they will recognize people fleeing Côte d’Ivoire on a prima facie basis; while in Europe, several nations have halted returns, including those of failed asylum-seekers.
     

  • The Agency urges all governments to follow suit and suspend returns to Côte d’Ivoire, pending improvements in the security and human rights situation there.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL HIGHLIGHTS DIFFICULTY OF BUILDING EFFECTIVE INSTITUTIONS IN POST-CONFLICT SITUATIONS

  • The Secretary-General addressed the Security Council’s open meeting on institution building this morning, and he told Council members that building effective and legitimate institutions is a difficult task, even under the most favourable circumstances.  It presents even greater challenges in post-conflict situations.
     

  • Unfortunately, he said, the track record of international support to institution building is mixed and we can do better.  The Secretary-General emphasized the importance of reinforcing national ownership and leadership and build on existing institutions; avoiding one-size-fits-all solutions; and sustaining institution-building not only for years, but decades.
     

  • More than 40 speakers took the floor at the meeting, and the Council is expected to adopt a Presidential Statement.

 

PROSPECTS OF RETURNS OF UPROOTED PEOPLE PICKNG UP PACE, REPORTS U.N. ENVOY

  • The Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative in Sudan, Georg Charpentier, said there are areas of Darfur where security conditions are allowing the return of internally displaced persons (IDPs), as seen in the recent movement of displaced people from Kalma camp back to their areas of origin in West Darfur.
     

  • He said the prospect of returns and resettlements picking up pace is encouraging and is playing a crucial role in ongoing efforts to seek a political and peaceful solution to the conflict.
     

  • The commitment by all humanitarian actors, including the Federal Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs and the Government's Humanitarian Aid Committee (HAC), to ensure principled returns or resettlements is testament to the existence of positive developments in Darfur.
     

  • Mr. Charpentier said the Mission remains concerned by the outbreaks of violence in some areas, and will continue to assist vulnerable persons. The Mission must also seize all opportunities to build on positive trends in order to allow displaced populations to regain a sense of normality in their lives and move beyond aid dependency.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL VOICES CONCERN OVER LACK OF PROGRESS TOWARDS PEACE BETWEEN ISRAEL, PALESTINIANS

  • The Secretary-General spoke at the opening session of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People this morning.
     

  • He said he is very concerned at the lack of progress towards peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The Secretary-General said that we need to move beyond the current stalemate and return the parties to meaningful negotiations aimed at resolving all permanent status issues and achieving a historic agreement.

 

AFGHANISTAN: U.N. MISSION CONCERNED BY POSSIBLE DELAY OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY’S INAUGURATION

  • The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has expressed its deep concern and surprise at the recent call to delay the inauguration of the National Assembly. It further recalls the position of the members of the Security Council, in their meeting on 22 December 2010, including on the timely inauguration of the Wolesi Jirga.
     

  • The Mission says that it, along with other concerned members of the international community, continues to support a reasonable, enduring and peaceful resolution to this issue by the relevant Afghan stakeholders, with full respect for the Afghan Constitution and democratic principles, so that Parliament can convene as soon as possible.
     

  • Afghanistan’s peaceful future lies in the building up of robust democratic institutions based on the rule of law and clear respect for the separation of powers.

 

U.N. HUMANITARIAN ARM CALLS FOR $250 MILLION TO CARRY OUT RELIEF COORDINATION ACTIVITIES

  • The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) launched its annual appeal document today.
     

  • With the vast majority of the Office’s funding being extra-budgetary, it is asking for $250 million this year to allow it to carry out its job of coordinating humanitarian assistance.
     

  • To put this into context, last year, the Office called for $11 billion for 19 crises affecting 71 million people. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs believes that its appeal for $250 million to coordinate relief is an economical investment.
     

  • With 250 disasters having occurred in 2010, the Office seeks to find new and better ways of carrying out humanitarian work. It also aims to improve its understanding the affects of global challenges, such as climate change.

 

U.N. ENVOY FOR PAKISTAN ASSISTANCE WRAPS UP VISIT TO SINDH

  • Rauf Engin Soysal, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Assistance to Pakistan, has just concluded a two-day visit to Sindh Province, where more than seven million people were affected during the height of the flood crisis.
     

  • He said that during his visit, he was pleased to see that the humanitarian community is continuing its effort to help the people in Pakistan. Mr. Soysal said the United Nations and non-governmental organisations are providing emergency relief as well as early recovery assistance, which is urgently needed for the long-term recovery of the country.

 

CYPRIOT LEADERS MEET UNDER U.N. AUSPICES

  • The leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders met in Nicosia today and discussed governance, power-sharing and European Union matters.
     

  • They also conferred on their meeting with the Secretary-General next week in Geneva.
     

  • Speaking to reporters after today’s talks, Alexander Downer, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser, stressed the need for the negotiations to maintain good momentum.

 

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL TO TRAVEL TO GENEVA, PARIS AND AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

  • The Deputy Secretary-General will depart on Monday for Geneva, where she will attend the first meeting of the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health.  The Commission, chaired by President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada, will lead a process to propose a framework for global reporting, oversight and accountability on women's and children's health. The Deputy Secretary-General serves as a Commissioner.
     

  • She will then travel onto Paris where she will participate in events for the Commemoration of Holocaust victims. From Paris, she will travel to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where there are a number of commemorative events planned, returning to New York on 2 February.

 

D.R. CONGO: U.N. MISSION CONFIRMS CONGOLESE AUTHORITIES’ ARREST OF ALLEGED RAPIST

  • The UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) has told us that the Congolese authorities have confirmed today the arrest of Lieutenant Colonel Kibibi Mutware in Fizi.
     

  • Lt. Col Mutware was the commander of the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) soldiers who perpetrated the raping and looting incident in Fizi on 1-2 January. Victims interviewed by a MONUSCO Joint Protection Team have alleged that Lt. Col Mutware participated in the attacks.
     

  • The Congolese authorities have further informed the Mission that that they are currently transporting Lieut. Col. Mutware and the other FARDC personnel in custody in connection with the incident to Uvira for trial. MONUSCO’s Force Commander has been dispatched to Fizi to liaise with the FARDC command and monitor the situation.

 

U.N. RIGHTS CHIEF CALLS ON MEXICO TO STEP UP SEARCH FOR MISSING MIGRANTS

  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is urging Mexican authorities to step up their search for some 40 missing migrants who have been missing since they were abducted in Mexico last month.
     

  • She also voiced concern over death threats received by a prominent human rights defender who has been helping other migrants in the same group.
     

  • Ms. Pillay urged Mexican authorities to carry out a thorough and transparent investigation of the alleged ill-treatment and abuse of the migrants by the Federal Police and the National Institute of Migration Staff.

 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL APPEALS FOR BROAD-BASED CONSULTATIONS IN TUNISIA: Asked about Tunisia, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has appealed for broad-based consultations in Tunisia to establish an inclusive interim government leading to the holding of timely and credible elections through which the citizens of Tunisia can freely choose their leadership. The Secretary-General has also expressed his concern about violence.

 

DELEGATIONS SET TO ARRIVE FOR WESTERN SAHARA TALKS: Asked about expectations from the Western Sahara talks in Manhasset, the Spokesperson said that the delegations are expected to arrive tonight and we expect a communiqué to be issued at the end of the talks on Sunday. Asked about air travel between the Saharawi communities, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General supports such confidence-building measures.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONCERNED ABOUT DEVELOPMENTS IN LEBANON: Asked about Lebanon, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General is concerned about developments there and is following the situation. The Secretary-General has emphasized the need for a government to be formed, through open dialogue. He added that the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has been reviewing security as needed.

 

POTENTIAL SANCTIONS ON BELARUS UP TO SECURITY COUNCIL: Asked whether sanctions should be imposed on Belarus, the Spokesperson said that sanctions are a matter for the Security Council to consider.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS[1]
22-28 January 2011

 

Saturday, 22 January

 

There are no major events scheduled today.

 

Sunday, 23 January

 

There are no major events scheduled today.

 

Monday, 24 January

 

Today, the Deputy Secretary-General arrives in Geneva, where she will attend the first meeting of Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health.

 

At 10:00 a.m., the ninth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests will begin in Conference Room 2 of the NLB. It will wrap up on Friday, 4 February. The Forum will also launch the 2011 International Year of Forests.

 

Today in Geneva, the International Labour Organization (ILO) will launch its report entitled “The Global Employment Trends 2011: the challenge of a jobs recovery.”

 

A three-day workshop, organized by UN counter-terrorism experts, on countering the appeal of terrorism on the Internet, begins today in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

 

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is holding a two-day conference in Rome, beginning today, on “New Directions for Smallholder Agriculture.”

 

The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Jorge A. Bustamante, begins a nine-day visit to South Africa today.

 

Tuesday, 25 January

 

Today and tomorrow, the Secretary-General will be in Geneva where he will address the Human Rights Council, the Conference on Disarmament and meet with the International Olympic Committee.

 

This morning, the Security Council will hear a briefing on piracy in Somalia.

 

 

At 12:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, the guest at the Noon Briefing will be Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), who will speak to reporters on her priorities for the new body.

 

At 3:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, Jack Lang, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Legal Issues related to Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, will hold a press conference.

 

At 4:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, Luis Moreno Ocampo, Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC), will speak to reporters.

 

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Marzuki Darusman, will begin a four-day official visit to Japan.

 

Wednesday, 26 January

 

Today, the Secretary-General will meet with the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders in Geneva.

 

This morning, the Security Council will hear a briefing and hold consultations on the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).

 

A United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) international symposium on the status of press freedom worldwide, freedom of expression on the internet and the safety of journalists will be held in Paris.

 

Thursday, 27 January

 

Today and tomorrow, the Secretary-General will be in Davos, Switzerland, to take part in the World Economic Forum.

 

Today is the International Day of Commemoration to honour the victims of the Holocaust. The Deputy Secretary-General will travel to Paris to take part in events commemorating the Day.

 

A United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) conference on “Journalism ethics and self-regulation in Europe: New media, old dilemmas” will be held in Paris.

 

Friday, 28 January

 

There are no major events scheduled today.

 

 


 

[1]This document is for planning purposes only and is current as of  DATE \@ "HH:mm" 13:05  DATE \@ "dddd, dd MMMM, yyyy" Friday, 21 January, 2011. 

 

 

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, SA-1B15
New York, NY 10017
Tel. 212-963-7162
Fax. 212-963-7055