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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

TUESDAY, 4 JANUARY 2011

 

PAKISTAN: SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS ASSASSINATION OF PROVINCIAL GOVERNOR

  • The Secretary-General strongly condemns the assassination today of the Governor of Punjab Province in Pakistan, Mr. Salman Taseer, a prominent politician whose death is a heavy loss for Pakistan.
     

  • The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the family of Mr. Taseer and to the Government and people of Pakistan.

 

IN TALKS WITH IVORIAN PRESIDENT, SECRETARY-GENERAL REAFFIRMS U.N. POSITION ON ELECTION OUTCOME

  • On New Year’s Day, the Secretary-General called the President of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, and reaffirmed the UN’s principled and unwavering position on upholding the election outcome based on the will of the people of Côte d’Ivoire. The Secretary-General told President Ouattara that he was alarmed by the reports of egregious human rights violations. He said that the UN Mission, UNOCI, had been instructed to do everything possible to gain access to the affected areas, both for prevention and to investigate and record the violations so that those responsible will be held accountable.
     

  • Meanwhile, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is providing supplies of supplementary and therapeutic foods for the treatment of more than 20,000 children suffering from acute malnutrition in Côte d’Ivoire.
     

  • A small number of Ivorian asylum-seekers have arrived in Mali, Burkina Faso and in Ghana, where they are being registered and protected by partners of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
     

  • The Secretary-General continues to follow extremely events closely in Côte d’Ivoire. He has just completed another video conference call with the Mission involving the senior leadership of the mission and senior officials and advisers in New York.
     

  • He is obviously disappointed that the latest visit by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)-African Union (AU) delegation didn’t produce the desired result, but he continues to believe that ECOWAS and AU are playing an important role.
     

  • Asked about the UN response, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General spoke today with Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, and hopes to speak with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to discuss their assessment on the way forward on Côte d’Ivoire. He noted the UN’s support for the efforts being made by ECOWAS.
     

  • Asked about rumours that the blockade around the Golf Hotel had been lifted, Nesirky said that the blockade has not been lifted.
     

  • As far as the United Nations is aware, he said, Alassane Ouattara will not be meeting with Laurent Gbagbo.
     

  • Asked about a raid on a political party headquarters in Cocody, the Spokesperson said that UNOCI was looking into that report. He appealed once more for calm.
     

  • Asked about the sustainability of the UN force on the ground, Nesirky said that the UN peacekeepers were working hard under difficult circumstances. The Secretary-General has been in close contact with the Mission by videoconference to show support for the Mission’s work and ensure that it can carry out its mandate to the best of its ability.

 

U.N.-AFRICAN UNION MISSION VERIFYING REPORTS OF INTER-TRIBAL CLASHES IN WEST DARFUR

  • The UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) is verifying reports of inter-tribal violence between the Misseriya and Rizeigat communities in the village of Treij, in West Darfur.
     

  • Meanwhile, the security situation in all areas affected by fighting last month is reported to be calm, with the resumption of public transportation to some locations. At the same time, aid continues to reach thousands of people displaced by the clashes, many of whom had sought shelter outside UNAMID team sites.

 

ONE WEEK FROM SOUTH SUDAN REFERENDUM, U.N.-BACKED TRAINING SEMINARS FOR POLLING CENTRE STAFF WRAP UP

  • With the referendum on South Sudan less than a week away, the South Sudan Referendum Commission, in cooperation with the two UN Missions in Sudan, is concluding a series of training seminars for staff at the 20 polling centers in the three Darfur states.
     

  • There are an estimated 23,000 people registered to vote on the referendum in the Darfur states. During the referendum, UNAMID will work to ensure the swift transportation of polling materials and the peaceful completion of the voting process.
     

  • In a continuing effort to reach areas inaccessible by road, the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) airlifted voting materials to the Central Equatoria State payam of Tali this week. The materials included ballot papers, kits and boxes along with voting screens, stationery and banners.

 

NEW MEMBERS OF SECURITY COUNCIL TAKE THEIR SEATS

  • With the onset of the New Year, five new elected members of the Security Council are taking up their seats: Colombia, Germany, India, Portugal and South Africa.
     

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina is assuming the rotating Presidency of the Security Council for the month of January. Bosnian Ambassador Ivan Barbalic will brief reporters on Wednesday regarding the Council’s programme of work for the month.

 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS EGYPTIAN CHURCH ATTACK: In response to questions, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General strongly condemned the recent attack at a Coptic Church in Egypt in a statement. The Secretary-General conveys his sincere condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

 

U.N. STANDS READY TO PROVIDE HUMANITARIAN AID TO AUSTRALIA IF ASKED: Asked about Australia, the Spokesperson noted the Secretary-General’s growing alarm at the humanitarian situation, but noted that so far, Australia has not requested humanitarian assistance. The United Nations is ready to help should its help be requested. He said that the Secretary-General intends to write a letter to the Prime Minister of Australia.

 

IRAN SHOULD COMPLY WITH SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS AND COOPERATE WITH IAEA: The Spokesperson, in response to questions, reiterated that Iran should comply with existing Security Council resolutions and cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

 

NO UPDATE ON POSSIBLE VISIT TO SRI LANKA BY SECRETARY-GENERAL’S PANEL: Asked whether the Secretary-General’s advisory panel will visit Sri Lanka, the Spokesperson said that, at the moment, there is no information to provide on a potential visit to Sri Lanka.

 

 

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