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

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

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

FRIDAY, 27 JANUARY 2012

SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES LEADERS IN DAVOS TO LISTEN TO THEIR PEOPLE

This morning in Davos, the Secretary-General held a press conference at which he said revolution had swept across North Africa and the Middle East, bringing new freedoms, and democracy, but new challenges as well.

He said that from North Africa to New York, and Athens to Abidjan — people everywhere are demanding change. The global debate is focused on economic inequality and social justice, including the discussions at the World Economic Forum.

He said during the events of the Arab Spring he had consistently called for leaders to listen to their people. The Secretary-General urged leaders gathered in Davos to do the same.

The Secretary-General has held a number of bilateral meetings, including with the Swedish Foreign Minister and Nigerian Minister for Finance.

The Secretary-General also spoke at a discussion on sustainable energy and at a meeting on "Catalyzing Transformational Partnerships between the United Nations and Business". He said that private sector engagement is increasingly recognized as a strategic way to deliver profound change.

The Secretary-General is also participating in a session on this June’s Rio+20 sustainable development summit.

U.N. EMPLOYEE HELD IN YEMEN IS RELEASED

The United Nations confirms that a UN staff member, who had been held since the 15th of January, arrived in a UN safe haven in Sana’a today.

He is in good health and is receiving standard medical examinations and psychological counseling.

The employee is a 34-year-old Norwegian, who has worked as a Governance Team Leader in the United Nations Development Programme.  He will recuperate in his home country before resuming his duties with UNDP.

UNICEF LAUNCHES GLOBAL APPEAL TO ASSIST VULNERABLE CHILDREN

The UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, appealed today for US$1.28 billion to fund its humanitarian operations in 2012, assisting children in more than 25 countries globally this year.

The crisis in Somalia and in other countries in the Horn of Africa accounts for nearly one-third of the total amount needed, but UNICEF says it is also important not to forget the long-standing emergencies around the globe.

The Fund says that while some of these emergencies attract significant attention, others never reach international awareness, and many become ‘silent emergencies’.

The 2012 Humanitarian Action for Children report is available online.

U.N. AGENCY GIVES GREATER ROLE TO REFUGEES IN DADAAB CAMP

The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, is looking at new ways to ensure uninterrupted assistance and services at Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camps -- despite insecurity and reduced humanitarian access.

The measures include giving a greater role to refugees in the day-to-day running of the camp.

The Agency says that refugees have always had a role in making camps work but that this role is being expanded in Dadaab. Hospitals, for example, have remained open, staffed by refugees, nationals, and a limited number of international staff.

UNHCR also says that more than 30 camp schools remain open and are run by refugee teachers.

SCREENING SYSTEM AT HEADQUARTERS WORKED, SUSPICIOUS BAGS NOT INTENDED FOR UNITED NATIONS

Asked about suspicious bags found last week at UN headquarters, the Spokesperson said that an investigation by the U.S. authorities was under way. He said that the Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security, Gregory Starr, had made clear to reporters yesterday evening that the two bags were not intended for the United Nations and were not UN diplomatic pouches.

Nesirky also said that the incident showed that the screening system at the United Nations worked. He added that this appeared to be an isolated incident but that UN offices around the world had been alerted to be on the lookout.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECRETARY-GENERAL HOPES INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WILL SPEAK IN ONE VOICE ON SYRIA: Asked about a forthcoming Security Council briefing on Syria by the League of Arab States, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General had said, today in Davos, that he hoped the international community would speak in one voice. The Secretary-General also reiterated that the violence must stop as well as his support for the diplomatic initiatives that are under way, Nesirky noted.

REPRESENTATIVES ON PEACEKEEPING ADVISOR GROUP SELECTED BY MEMBER STATES: In response to a question on a senior adviser group on peacekeeping, the Spokesperson said that Major General Shavendra Silva of Sri Lanka had been selected by the group of Asian States as their representative. He added that he had not been selected by the Secretary-General.

SECRETARY-GENERAL MARKS HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY: The annual Holocaust Memorial ceremony was held today in the General Assembly Hall. This year’s observance is dedicated to the children who were victims of the Holocaust.

In a message, the Secretary-General said children are uniquely vulnerable to the worst of humankind and that we must show them the best the world has to offer. He called on all nations to protect the most vulnerable, regardless of race, colour, gender or religious beliefs.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

28 JANUARY – 3 FEBRUARY 2012

(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)

Saturday, 28 January

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Sunday, 29 January

Today and tomorrow, the Secretary-General will attend the 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Monday, 30 January

This morning, the Security Council will hold consultations on the UN Mission in South Sudan as well as on the Security Council Committee established pursuant to paragraph 30 of resolution 1988 (2011) which oversees the implementation by States of the three sanctions measures (assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo) imposed by the Security Council on individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with the Taliban.

Tuesday, 31 January

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Wednesday, 1 February

Today, Togo assumes the monthly rotating Presidency of the Security Council.

Thursday, 2 February

At 11 a.m., Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, will hold a press conference in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium.

At 12:30 p.m., the President of the Security Council, Amb. Kodjo Menan of Togo, will brief on the Programme of Work for February.

Friday, 3 February

At 12:30 p.m., H.E. Mr. Johnson Toribiong, President of the Republic of Palau and H.E. Mr. Stuart Beck, Permanent Representative of Palau Mission to the UN, will give a press conference entitled "Rethinking Climate Change: Towards an Advisory Opinion from the International Court of Justice".

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

United Nations, SA-1B15

New York, NY 10017

Tel. 212-963-7162