HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
MONDAY, 28 JANUARY 2013
SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS IN ADDIS ABABA THAT HE SEES AFRICA ON THE RISE
- The Secretary-General wrapped on Monday his visit to Addis Ababa, where he attended the African Union Summit. In a press conference before his departure, the Secretary-General said that he sees Africa on the rise and welcomes progress on development, good governance and human rights.
- The Secretary-General noted that leaders had planned to sign a political Framework on the Democratic Republic of the Congo this morning. There were no fundamental differences over the content of the Framework. Some procedural issues, however, did arise, and the Secretary-General said that the parties have agreed to postpone the signing. The United Nations remains committed to help foster greater stability in the country.
- The Secretary-General said that, in Mali, the welcome contribution and decisive action of the French Government, alongside Malian and other African forces, has allowed significant advances in the restoration of Malian territorial integrity. The United Nations stands ready to undertake a major system-wide effort for peacebuilding, governance and security sector reform, physical reconstruction and regional cooperation.
- The Secretary-General also commended the authorities of Sudan and South Sudan for taking positive steps to resolve their differences.
- He held several bilateral meetings and attended an event on combating malaria in Africa.
- He then departed for Kuwait, where he will convene the Syria Humanitarian Conference on Wednesday.
SECRETARY-GENERAL IS CONCERNED ABOUT VIOLENCE IN EGYPT
- Asked about recent clashes in Egypt, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General is concerned about the violence in Egypt and laments the deaths that have taken place.
- In a statement last week, the Secretary-General encouraged Egyptians to remain committed to universal principles of: peaceful dialogue and non-violence, inclusiveness, respect for human rights and the independence of institutions, and democratic processes which are accommodating of the diversity of viewpoints. He underscored the importance of the active participation of women in decision-making.
- Asked about demonstrations, the Spokesperson added that the Secretary-General has encouraged peaceful demonstration. It is up to all sides to ensure that demonstrations remain peaceful.
U.N. MISSION IN SOUTH SUDAN CONFIRMS FIGHTING IN PIBOR
- The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) confirmed that on Sunday, fighting erupted in Pibor market between the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and unidentified armed elements. At this stage, the UN Mission has not been able to confirm the identity of the armed elements or any casualty figure.
- As a result of the fighting, around 2,500 civilians have sought refuge in the Mission's camp in Pibor. The Mission is providing medical help to the injured and has helped evacuate two injured to Juba, South Sudan’s capital.
- The UN Mission is actively providing protection to civilians and is in contact with the SPLA and authorities to defuse the situation and ascertain facts. UNMISS remains committed to protecting civilians, but underscores that the Government of South Sudan is primarily responsible for the maintenance of security and the protection of civilians.
- The Mission reiterates its call to all parties in Pibor to avoid further violence and urges the authorities to take the necessary measures to ensure security.
ECOSOC ELECTS ITS PRESIDENT FOR 2013
- The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) elected Ambassador Néstor Osorio of Colombia this morning as its 69th President for 2013.
- Four countries were also elected as Vice-Presidents: Austria; Albania; Pakistan and Sudan.
*** The guest at the Noon Briefing was John Ging, the Operations Director of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. He briefed reporters on his recent visit to Syria.