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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

WEDNESDAY, 23 JANUARY 2013

THIS IS A CRUCIAL YEAR FOR TWO-STATE SOLUTION, MIDDLE EAST ENVOY TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL

  • Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, briefed the Security Council this morning on the situation in the region.
  • He said that, following Tuesday’s Israeli elections, the United Nations looks forward to engaging the new Israeli Government in the pursuit of peace. He said that the Secretary-General has repeatedly highlighted that 2013 will be a decisive year for the two-state solution.
  • At the same time, he noted the dramatic increase in Israeli settlement announcements, including in the E-1 area. Mr. Serry urged both sides to abstain from actions that will make efforts to resume meaningful negotiations even harder in the critical period ahead.
  • On Syria, he underscored the deep disappointment and anguish, expressed by the Secretary-General and by Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi, at the appalling levels of killing and destruction carried out by both the Government and the opposition.
  • Asked about the new Israeli Government, the Spokesperson said that we should not prejudge the outcome of Israeli elections but see what government emerges. He added that the hope is that there will be an environment that will be more conducive to negotiations.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TALKS TO HEAD OF LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES AND JOINT REPRESENTATIVE FOR SYRIA

  • The Secretary-General and the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, spoke today on the telephone with the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Mr. Nabil Elaraby, for an in-depth discussion on the deteriorating crisis in Syria. 
  • The two Secretaries-General expressed total support for the efforts of Mr. Brahimi in his exceptionally difficult task in helping to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria.

U.N. HUMANITARIAN CHIEF SAYS MORE AID EFFORTS NEEDED FOR SYRIANS

  • The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, said today that ordinary people are paying a terrible price for the failure of the international community to agree on steps to resolve the political crisis in Syria.
  • Speaking to reporters in Davos, Switzerland, she said that despite the insecurity and limited access, UN agencies and humanitarian partners have reached millions of people with essential relief supplies.
  • But Ms. Amos also said that the aid efforts are not enough as the number of people in acute need continues to rise.
  • As you know, on 30 January, representatives of Member States, UN agencies and NGOs will gather in Kuwait City for the International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria, which is hosted by the Emir of Kuwait and chaired by the Secretary-General.
  • This will be an opportunity for donors to pledge their financial support for the 2013 Syria Humanitarian Response Plan of $519.6 million and the Syria Refugee Response Plan of $1 billion to help more than 4 million people affected by the conflict over the first six months of 2013.

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES SECURITY COUNCIL TEXT ON D.P.R.K., CALLS FOR DIALOGUE

  • The Secretary-General welcomes the Security Council’s unanimous decision to adopt resolution 2087 (2013) which condemns the launch conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) of 12 December 2012. Speaking with one voice, the Security Council reiterated its firm stance that the DPRK’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, including means of delivery, is unacceptable.
  • The Secretary-General urges the DPRK to fully abide by all relevant resolutions. In particular, he calls upon the DPRK to refrain from taking any measures that can exacerbate tensions on the peninsula, including any further launches that use ballistic missile technology or a nuclear test.
  • The Secretary-General remains firmly convinced that dialogue is the only way to achieve the de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula as well as durable peace in the region. In this regard, he hopes that all parties concerned spare no effort to resume their diplomatic engagement, including through the six-party talks.
  • The Secretary-General renews his call on the DPRK authorities to work towards building confidence with neighbouring countries and improving the life of its people. He reaffirms his commitment to working for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and helping the people, in particular vulnerable group in DPRK

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL TO START CHILE VISIT

  • The Deputy Secretary-General will travel to Santiago, Chile, later today. He will attend the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin America and the Caribbean States (CELAC) and the European Union.  He will also hold bilateral meetings with the President of Chile, as well as other Heads of State and high-level government officials from Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe. 
  • During his visit the Deputy Secretary-General will also chair the Meeting of the Regional Coordination Mechanism (RCM) organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).  He will hold a town-hall meeting with the United Nations Staff in Chile, and a meeting with the United Nations Country Team.
  • The Deputy Secretary-General will arrive back in New York next Monday.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

PEACEFUL RESOLTUION NEEDED FOR PAKISTAN AND INDIA: Asked about threats made regarding the situation between India and Pakistan, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations calls for all sides to ratchet down rhetoric and seek a peaceful resolution. 

SECRETARY-GENERAL STANDS BY MOBILITY INITIATIVE: Asked about remarks made by the Secretary-General in his Tuesday press conference on UN staff mobility, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General stands firmly by what he said.