HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
MONDAY, 30 JANUARY 2012
SECRETARY-GENERAL RECEIVES GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY REPORT, CALLS ON ALL TO WORK FOR “A FUTURE WORTH CHOOSING”
In Addis Ababa today, the Secretary-General received the report of his High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability from the co-chairs of the Panel, President Zuma of South Africa and President Halonen of Finland.
The Secretary-General said that sustainable development was a top priority for his second term. He added that we needed to chart a new, more sustainable course for the future, one that strengthens equality and economic growth while protecting our planet.
The 22-member Panel was established by the Secretary-General in August 2010 to formulate a new blueprint for sustainable development and low-carbon prosperity. Its final report is entitled “Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing.” It contains 56 recommendations to put sustainable development into practice and to incorporate it into economic policy as quickly as possible.
The Secretary-General noted that he already moved ahead on two of the Panel’s recommendations -- strengthening the Sustainable Development Strategy for the UN system and launching the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.
He also said that the report was a valuable input in the lead-up to the Rio+20 Conference in June and called on government ministers and policy makers, business and civil society leaders, and young people to work together to create a future worth choosing.
BAN KI-MOON HEADS FOR MIDDLE EAST AFTER ATTENDING AFRICAN UNION SUMMIT
On Sunday the Secretary-General attended the African Union Summit.
Addressing the leaders at the opening ceremony, he said he saluted the leaders’ efforts to build African prosperity. He said the challenge was to transform Africa’s potential into progress for all.
He said 2011 had been a year of high drama. He told leaders there had been operational and strategic differences in how the United Nations had addressed the situations in Cote d’Ivoire and Libya. He saw this as natural in an organisation as varied in its membership as the United Nations., but that differences had been handled through dialogue, engagement, and collaboration.
On human rights, the Secretary-General noted that one form of discrimination had been ignored or even sanctioned by many States for too long — discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This has prompted some governments to treat people as second-class citizens, or even criminals. He said confronting this discrimination is a challenge but we must live up to the ideals of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
He held a press conference and had bilateral meetings with several African leaders while in Addis Ababa.
The Secretary-General leaves for Jordan this evening at the start of his latest visit to the Middle East.
SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES SOUTH SUDAN AND 1988 TALIBAN COMMITTEE
This morning the Security Council held consultations on South Sudan.
It also met on the report of its 1988 Committee which deals with on measures in connection with any individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with the Taliban.
Asked about the latest violence in South Sudan, the Spokesperson said that the UN was aware of an attack by an unknown armed group that took place in Tonj East County in Warrap State on 28 January.
He added that the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has dispatched an integrated team along with the Governor and other State officials to the location and is in the process of assessing the incident.
He said that the UN was not in a position to confirm any details about the casualty figures at this stage.
REPRESENTATIVES ON PEACEKEEPING ADVISER GROUP SELECTED BY MEMBER STATES
In response to a question on a senior adviser group on peacekeeping, the Spokesperson said that the General Assembly instructed the Secretary-General to establish the Senior Adviser Group. He added that the General Assembly stipulated that its membership should comprise five representatives nominated by the troop-contributing countries, five representatives nominated by the financial contributors, and one representative named by each of the five regional groups.
Nesirky said that Major General Shavendra Silva of Sri Lanka had been selected by the group of Asian States as their representative.
He added that the Secretary-General's responsibility related only to the nomination of the five eminent persons that he was asked to select himself.
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