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

SPOKESPERSON’S DAILY HIGHLIGHTS

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

TUESDAY, 3 JANUARY 2012

SECRETARY-GENERAL COMMENDS PALESTINIAN AND ISRAELI NEGOTIATORS FOR JORDAN MEETING

  • The Secretary-General commends the Palestinian and Israeli negotiators for meeting in Jordan today and expresses his appreciation to his Majesty the King of Jordan as well as Foreign Minister Judeh for facilitating this meeting in the framework of the 23 September Quartet statement.  Special Coordinator Robert Serry joined other Quartet Envoys and the Quartet representative in Amman for this occasion.

  • The Secretary-General encourages the parties to build on this meeting and to continue working to establish forward momentum toward a lasting peace.

IRAQ: AS PROMISING CHAPTER STARTS THIS YEAR, SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR DIALOGUE TO ADDRESS OUTSTANDING ISSUES

  • Iraq this year begins a promising new chapter in its history.  The Secretary-General believes that this is an opportunity for Iraq to further strengthen its democratically-elected institutions and to promote peace and stability for the benefit of the Iraqi people.

  • At the same time, the Secretary-General wishes to express his concern about recent political tensions that could contribute to further insecurity in the country.  He therefore strongly supports calls for political dialogue to address outstanding issues in a spirit of partnership and national unity.  The Secretary-General urges all parties to work to resolve their differences peacefully through meaningful dialogue and compromise. It is essential that pending political issues are resolved in a way that respects the constitution and its provisions for the separation of powers, the rule of law and an independent judiciary.

  • In accordance with its mandate, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), under the leadership of Special Representative Martin Kobler, will continue to consult Iraqi leaders and is ready to provide any assistance they require at this critical juncture.

BAN KI-MOON EXPRESSES DEEP APPRECIATION FOR WORK OF HEAD OF WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME AS SHE LEAVES POST

  • The Secretary-General was informed by Ms. Josette Sheeran of her decision to accept a position with the World Economic Forum as Vice-Chairman upon completion of her term, in April, as Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP).

  • The Secretary-General expressed his deep appreciation for her leadership over the last five years. “Josette Sheeran has been an outstanding advocate for the United Nations and a champion of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people,” the Secretary-General said. “She has brought enormous energy and dedication to a difficult and immensely important job.” Last year, the World Food Programme helped feed more than 90 million people in 73 countries.

  • The Secretary-General wishes Ms. Sheeran a great success in her new assignment and looks forward to her continued engagement in the work of the United Nations family.

SECRETARY-GENERAL’S PERSONAL ENVOY FOR GREECE-F.Y.R.O.M. INVITES PARTIES TO MEETING ON 16-17 JANUARY

  • The Secretary General’s Personal Envoy for the talks between Greece and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Matthew Nimetz, has invited the representatives of both Parties – Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis of Greece and Ambassador Zoran Jolevski of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – to meet with him in New York on January 16 and 17.

  • Both sides have accepted the invitation. Ambassador Nimetz will initially meet with both Representatives separately and will seek to develop a mutually acceptable approach to re-invigorate the talks and to make meaningful progress toward resolving the “name” issue.

NEW F.A.O. DIRECTOR-GENERAL SAYS ENDING HUNGER RERQUIRES EVERYONE’S COMMITMENT

  • The new Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today that the total elimination of hunger and undernourishment will be his top priority.

  • He said that the Organization will scale up its support to low-income countries, especially those facing prolonged crises.

  • Jose Graziano da Silva told reporters in Rome that ending hunger requires the commitment of everyone and that neither FAO nor any other agency or government will win this war alone.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SYRIAN AUTHORITIES SHOULD COOPERATE WITH LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES MISSION: Asked about the mission by the League of Arab States to Syria, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has for some time called for access to Syria by international observers. What is crucial now is that the Syrian authorities cooperate fully with the mission, and that the mission be given time to do its work and report.

YEMEN AGREEMENT SHOULD BE FOLLOWED THROUGH ON: Asked about reports that Yemen's President Saleh has said he will stay in Yemen, the Spokesperson said that there is an agreement in force and that it must be followed through.

SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLED FOR HUMAN RIGHTS TO BE UPHELD DURING EGYPTIAN TRANSITION: Asked about recent government raids in Egypt against some non-governmental organisations, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has called for human rights to be upheld during Egypt's transition, and that those who seek to help the transition should be allowed to do their work.

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT TO BRIEF ON PROGRAMME OF WORK FOR JANUARY: Ambassador Baso Sangqu of South Africa, the President of the Security Council for January, will speak to the press tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. after the Council adopts its programme of work for the month.

*** The guest at the Noon Briefing today was Ms. Lise Grande, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, who briefed on the situation in Jonglei State via videolink.

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

United Nations, SA-1B15

New York, NY 10017

Tel. 212-963-7162