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

THURSDAY, 26 JANUARY 2012

ON FIRST DAY IN DAVOS, SECRETARY-GENERAL STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN AND GIRLS IN ACHIEVING THE M.D.G.s

The Secretary-General arrived in Davos today to attend the World Economic Forum.

At a luncheon with The Elders, the Secretary-General spoke about efforts to deliver a better life for women and girls around the world.

The Elders is an independent group of global leaders initially brought together by Nelson Mandela to work for peace and human rights

The Secretary-General s said the “Every Woman, Every Child” campaign is uniting a vast array of partners who are improving the health of women and children, and bringing us closer to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

He also said the Elders’ own “Girls, Not Brides” campaign was also important in this context.

He said that the private sector was uniquely positioned to help in these international efforts.

The Secretary-General met with the President of Switzerland, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, and Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter.

The Secretary-General will also meet Prime Minister Raila Odinga of Kenya. Later on this afternoon he will have meetings with the Danish Prime Minister and Brazilian Foreign Minister.

This evening, the Secretary-General will co-host a dinner with Bill Gates to mark the 10th anniversary of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Asked about the Secretary-General’s message in Davos, the Spokesperson said that he would stress the importance of social justice and equality, in these times of economic crisis. He added that the Secretary-General would voice the need to look at the difficulties faced by many people and particularly young people.

Nesirky also said that the Secretary-General would meet with many leaders taking part in the World Economic Forum and  would seek to provide some details about his action agenda for the coming five years, as he had done yesterday in New York.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION INTO THE KILLING OF THE HEAD OF SYRIAN RED CRESCENT

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by the killing yesterday of Dr. Abd-al-Razzaq Jbeiro, Secretary-General of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, and extends his condolences to his family and colleagues.  The Secretary-General condemns the attack that killed him, which targeted a vehicle clearly marked with the Red Crescent emblem. He calls on the Syrian government to investigate this crime and bring the perpetrators to justice. The Secretary-General reminds all of their obligation to respect and protect humanitarian workers as they perform their duties and impartially serve all those who are in need.

 

COTE D’IVOIRE: U.N. ENVOY SAYS COUNTRY HAS MADE SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Côte d’Ivoire, Bert Koenders, briefed the Security Council this morning.

He said that Côte d’Ivoire had made significant progress towards restoring normalcy. He added that the holding of legislative elections was a major step forward in restoring constitutional order and completing the peace process.

Mr. Koenders added that it was now important to focus attention on other priorities including national reconciliation, disarmament and security sector reform. Equally important, he said, was the need to address the root causes of the Ivorian crisis as well as the question of impunity.

The Security Council then held consultations on Côte d’Ivoire.

Thursday afternoon, the Council will hear a briefing about the assessment mission on the impact of the Libyan crisis on the Sahel region.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONCERNED BY RECENT FIGHTING IN LIBYA

In response to a question on recent violence in Libya, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General had expressed his concern about the fighting in the country.

He added that yesterday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Libya, Ian Martin, had briefed the Security Council on the situation in the country. Nesirky said that both had voiced their concern that the protests had spilled over into violence. Ms. Pillay and Mr. Martin also addressed the reports on the use of torture and condemned these alleged activities, said Nesirky, adding that the Secretary-General shared this concern.

 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

RUSSIA DECIDED TO WITHDRAW HELICOPTERS IN DECEMBER: Asked when the Russian Government informed the United Nations that it would withdraw its helicopters from the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the Spokesperson said that after Russian utility helicopters were attacked by South Sudanese forces last autumn, Russia decided in December to withdraw four of its helicopters and ground the remaining four.

 

SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE WAS NOT CONNECTED TO U.N.: Asked about a suspicious package found on UN premises, Nesirky said that the package was not a diplomatic pouch and was not connected to the United Nations. He added that the city authorities were handed the package.

 

ANNUAL HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL CEREMONY TO BE HELD TOMORROW: All this week the United Nations has been holding events to remember victims of the Holocaust. Tomorrow the annual Holocaust Memorial Ceremony takes place in the General Assembly Hall, starting at 11 a.m. Tonight, two photo exhibits on the theme “Children and the Holocaust” will open in the Visitors' Lobby of the United Nations headquarters at 6 p.m.

 

 

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