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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General

 

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

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

FRIDAY, 28 JANUARY 2011

 

CLIMATE CHANGE EXPOSES DANGER OF OLD MODEL OF ECONOMIC GROWTH, SECRETARY-GENERAL TELLS WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

  • The Secretary-General spoke at a session of the World Economic Forum in Davos today, and he said that climate change is showing us that the old model for economic growth, which was based on an abundance of natural resources, is not just obsolete, but extremely dangerous. Over time, he said, that model is a global suicide pact.
     

  • The Secretary-General called for a free market revolution for global sustainability, and he urged leaders to send the right signals to build the green economy.
     

  • He also addressed the press in Davos and discussed the efforts to foster progress on climate change and sustainable development.
     

  • Asked about Egypt, he said that all concerned people and leaders should ensure that the situation does not lead to further violence. He emphasized that freedom of expression and association should be fully respected.
     

  • On Côte d’Ivoire, he urged Laurent Gbagbo and his camp to fully respect the will of the Ivorian people, which has been expressed through the election.
     

  • Asked about African Union views on Côte d’Ivoire, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General had said he was concerned that some difference of opinion had now surfaced among the African Union. He said such a difference of views is not desirable at this time and noted the importance of preserving the integrity and fundamental principle of democracy.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONCERNED OVER HUMANITARIAN IMPACT OF DARFUR HOSTILITIES

  • The Secretary-General expresses his concern over the humanitarian impact of continued hostilities between Government and belligerent forces in Darfur.  He calls on them to respect international humanitarian law and the rights of individuals. He reminds the parties that hostilities will directly affect the peace process in Doha and Darfur, where the efforts of the international community are concentrated to help the Sudanese build long-term peace and security in Darfur.
     

  • The Secretary-General calls on the Government and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) to step up their efforts to conclude a cease-fire in the coming days. He calls on other belligerent forces to enter immediately into discussions with the Government on security arrangements and a final settlement of the conflict.
     

  • The Secretary-General calls on the Government to ensure its security elements fully cooperate with UNAMID and humanitarian workers in the delivery of humanitarian assistance and the protection of civilians.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO TRAVEL TO UNITED KINGDOM, GERMANY

  • Next week, the Secretary-General will travel from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to London, where he will meet with senior United Kingdom officials, including Prime Minister David Cameron and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague.
     

  • While in the UK, the Secretary-General will deliver the Cyril Foster Lecture at Oxford University and he will also give an address at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
     

  • He will then travel to Berlin, where he will hold talks with senior German officials and speak at Humboldt University.
     

  • The last leg of the Secretary-General’s trip will be in Munich, where he will address the Munich Security Conference. As previously announced, he will attend a meeting of the Middle East Quartet while he is Munich. He will return to New York on 6 February.

 

IN FACE OF PROTESTS, U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF URGES EGYPTIAN GOVERNMENT TO EXERCISE RESTRAINT

  • High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today urged the Government of Egypt to exercise restraint and to protect the rights of its citizens to freedom of expression, information and assembly.
     

  • Ms. Pillay noted reports of police confronting protestors with rubber-coated bullets, tear gas, water cannons and batons since the street protests erupted.
     

  • While maintaining law and order are important, the responsibility of the Government to protect the rights to life, liberty and security is paramount, she stressed.
     

  • The High Commissioner called on the Government to initiate investigations into reports of the use of excessive force, particularly the killing of at least five civilians.
     

  • Asked about the Secretary-General’s view on the reports of excessive use of force, the Spokesperson said that, where there are such reports, they should be investigated. He noted that the Secretary-General had talked to the press today and said that he had been closely following the situation in the region, including what is happening in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen.
     

  • He voiced his hope that leaders should ensure that the situation does not lead to further violence, and added that leaders should see these situations as “an opportunity to engage in addressing the legitimate concerns and wishes of their peoples.” The Secretary-General added that he believes that “one of the ground principles of democracy is to protect and ensure the freedom of speech of the people.”

 

U.N. ENVOY MEETS WITH LEBANESE PRIME MINISTER-DESIGNATE

  • Michael Williams, the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, met with Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati today.
     

  • He said afterward that he had underlined the importance of maintaining calm and stability in Lebanon during this period. Mr. Williams reiterated the position of the United Nations that all sides need to engage in dialogue to resolve differences, no matter how sensitive.
     

  • In that respect, he said, he is sure that the new government, when it is formed, will maintain good relations with the United Nations and will fully abide by its international obligations.

 

AFGHANISTAN: U.N. MISSION CONDEMNS ATTACK ON KABUL SUPERMARKET

  • The UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) has condemned an attack on a supermarket in the centre of Kabul today, which has reportedly killed at least six civilians, including a child.
     

  • The Mission says that this terrible attack comes on the heels of a number of attacks on Afghan civilians across the country in the first weeks of the year. There can be no credible claim that this or other attacks involve legitimate targets, when these attacks indiscriminately kill and injure civilians.

 

NUMBER OF IVORIAN REFUGEES FLEEING TO LIBERIA TOPS 31,000, U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY REPORTS

  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reports that the number of Ivorian refugees who fled post-election violence to eastern Liberia has exceeded 31,000.
     

  • The Agency is planning for a second airlift of relief supplies – including blankets and kitchen sets – for Monrovia this weekend.
     

  • It also notes that the influx of refugees from Côte d’Ivoire to other neighbouring countries, such as Guinea and Togo, has been small and slow to date.

 

DR CONGO: U.N. MISSION CONCERNED BY INCREASE IN NORTH, SOUTH KIVU RAPES

  • The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) is concerned about a steady increase in rapes in North and South Kivu, allegedly perpetrated by members of foreign and Congolese armed groups, as well as elements of the Congolese Armed Forces, since the beginning of this year.
     

  • Some of the worst offences took place in early January in Fizi, where Congolese Armed Forces elements were alleged to be involved in a number of violent incidents and rapes.  The Mission welcomes the promptness with which the Government of the DRC arrested 11 Armed Forces personnel, including the officer in charge of the operation in the incidents.
     

  • Since then, at least 53 additional rapes were committed in the Moyens Plateaux, with members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda believed to be involved. The Mission has increased its protection activities in several areas to respond to the rapes, including through stepped up patrolling activities and dispatches of joint protection teams.
     

  • On Thursday, MONUSCO peacekeepers from the Indian contingent successfully rescued seven women taken hostage by Mai Mai fighters in the North Kivu village of Ntoto. Reports about the hostage taking were made to the North Kivu Brigade by villagers in the region. The North Kivu brigade acted swiftly, cordoned off the village and negotiated the release of the women with any fight. The negotiation lasted about two hours.
     

  • Asked about further steps to deal with rapes, the Spokesperson said that MONUSCO is considering establishing a strengthened military presence in these areas.

 

U.N. AIDS AGENCY VOICES CONCERN OVER KILLING OF UGANDAN ACTIVIST

  • The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has expressed its grave concern over the killing of David Kato, a prominent Ugandan gay activist and human rights defender.
     

  • Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, urged the Ugandan Government to carry out a thorough investigation into Mr. Kato’s death and to ensure adequate security for the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.
     

  • Mr. Kato’s death came days after the High Court of Uganda ruled that the country’s constitution protects the rights to dignity and privacy for all Ugandans regardless of their sexual orientation.

 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL WILL CONTINUE TO PLAY LEADERSHIP ROLE ON CLIMATE CHANGE: Asked whether the Secretary-General will disengage from leadership during climate change negotiations, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General is continuing to have a leadership role, as he did during the Cancún talks, while Christiana Figueres will also continue her role in encouraging leaders to negotiate. Meanwhile, he said, he was also going to focus on smaller, incremental gains while we push for progress on a climate change deal.

 

MORE FUNDS NEEDED FOR PAKISTAN HUMANITARIAN APPEALS: Asked about the appeals for Pakistan, the Spokesperson said that a little more than 50 percent of the appeal has been funded. He said the United Nations was grateful for the funding given so far, but added that more money is needed. The Secretary-General appeals to all countries and donors to contribute.

 

SEVERAL MEMBERS OF GABONESE OPPOSITION REMAIN IN U.N. COMPOUND: Asked about the situation in Gabon, the Spokesperson said that a number of opposition figures remain in the UN compound and the Resident Coordinator is trying to resolve the matter.

 

U.N. ENVOY FOR CHILDREN AND ARMED CONFLICT TO VISIT AFGHANISTAN: This weekend, Under-Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy will be visiting Afghanistan to sign an agreement with the Afghan Government to stop the use and recruitment of children in the Afghan National Security Forces.

 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS[1]
29 JANUARY – 4 FEBRUARY 2011

 

Saturday, 29 January

 

There are no major events scheduled for today.

 

Sunday, 30 January

 

Today, the Secretary-General will address the 16th Ordinary Session of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

 

Monday, 31 January

 

Today, Gay McDougall, UN Independent Expert on minority issues, will begin a visit to Rwanda, which will wrap up on 7 February.

 

The first 2011 regular session of the Executive Board of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) begins today in Conference Room 3 of the North Lawn Building (NLB). It will end on 3 February.

 

Tuesday, 1 February

 

At 11:00 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference on a new report from IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) on the “True Economic Value of Forests” with participants Gill Shepherd, Report Author; Lucy Emerton, Report Author; and moderator Stewart Maginnis, IUCN Director of Development and Environment.

 

Wednesday, 2 February

 

This evening, the Secretary-General will give the Cyril Foster Lecture at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

 

At 2:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference on the announcement on saving forests organized by Rwandan Government and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Participants will be Stewart Maginnis, IUCN Director of Development and Environment; Carole Saint-Laurent, Senior Forest Policy Advisor of IUCN; Jan McAlpine, Director of the UNFF and moderator Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General of IUCN.

 

Thursday, 3 February

 

Today, the Secretary-General will speak at an event at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London.

 

At 12:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, the guest at the Noon Briefing will be Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.

 

Friday, 4 February

 

Today, the Secretary-General will give a speech at Humboldt University in Berlin.

 

Today is World Cancer Day.

 


 

[1]This document is for planning purposes only and is current as of  DATE \@ "HH:mm" 13:21  DATE \@ "dddd, dd MMMM, yyyy" Friday, 28 January, 2011. 

 

 

 

 

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