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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

FRIDAY, 6 JANUARY 2012

SOUTH SUDAN: U.N. LAUNCHES HUMANITARIAN EMERGENCY OPERATION IN JONGLEI

  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Friday that United Nations agencies, with the support of the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, have launched a major humanitarian emergency operation in Pibor in Jonglei state.

  • During the last 72 hours, assessments were carried out in several areas and more are scheduled. The requirements already reported are already significant and around 50,000 people are estimated to be in need. A rapid response plan is being finalized.

  • The World Food Programme (WFP) also says it is concerned about food insecurity. The Programme has already delivered emergency rations in Pibor to feed 1,000 people for 2 weeks and expects to reach 7,000 more people in the coming days. It has also distributed food packages for 2,000 internally displaced people at Boma.

  • The High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, will travel to South Sudan this weekend. He will be in the capital, Juba, on Saturday, and will visit a refugee site in Mabaan on Sunday.

  • The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations has conducted a videoconference call on Friday morning with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The Mission is aware of unconfirmed individual reports on the number of casualties following last week’s events, including the media reports on Friday. At this stage, it is very difficult to get an accurate picture. The United Nations is not in a position to confirm any such figures. The Mission is in the process of assessing their validity.

  • The Spokesperson noted that it is also important to examine the scope and nature of human rights violations that may have been perpetrated and to support national authorities in establishing accountability for crimes committed. The Mission remains actively engaged to support the Government of South Sudan to discharge its primary responsibility to protect civilians. The Mission has reinforced its peacekeepers’ presence in key areas of Jonglei and is conducting daily land and air patrols to deter potential violence.

  • In response to questions, Nesirky said that there was a UN appeal of $763 million, which was to date eight per cent covered.

  • Asked about the number of casualties following the violence in Jonglei state, the Spokesperson said that it was very difficult to get an accurate picture at this point. He said that UNMISS was not in a position to confirm the various reports but was in the process of assessing their validity.

  • In response to questions on the current security situation, Nesirky said that the violence had for now dissipated. He noted that the UN Mission had reinforced its presence in Jonglei and was conducting daily land and air patrols to deter potential violence.

  • He also said that the Mission had an early warning role regarding inter-communal violence but that the primary responsibility to address these incidents rests with the Government.

MORE THAN 1.2 MILLION LIBYAN CHILDREN SET TO RETURN TO SCHOOL – U.N. CHILDREN’S FUND

  • The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says that more than 1.2 million children in Libya will return to school on Saturday, ten months after classrooms were evacuated due to the fighting in the country.

  • With support from UNICEF and other partners, the Government worked around the clock to rehabilitate buildings and clear rubble, landmines and unexploded ordnance from schools.

  • Nearly 30 million revised textbooks are being printed, 10 million of them are already being distributed by the Ministry of Education throughout the country.

NO AMNESTIES FOR GROSS VIOLATIONS IN YEMEN – U.N. RIGHTS CHIEF

  • The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, called on decision-makers in Yemen on Friday to respect the prohibition in international law against amnesties for gross human rights violations.

  • Ms. Pillay stressed that both international law and UN policy are clear: Amnesties are not permissible if they prevent the prosecution of individuals who may be criminally responsible for international crimes including war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and gross violations of human rights.

  • She said that based on information the Office has gathered, there is reason to believe that some of these crimes were committed in Yemen during the period for which an amnesty is under consideration.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

TEAM FROM U.N. MISSION IN D.R. CONGO LOOKING INTO REPORTS OF SOUTH KIVU KILLINGS: Asked about the reported killing of 26 people in South Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Spokesperson said that the UN Mission in the country, MONUSCO, had dispatched a team to the area and was looking into these reports.

ONLINE GAME TO RAISE FUNDS FOR U.N. BODY REACHES ONE MILLION PLAYERS: Freerice.com, the online game that allows players to improve their vocabulary while fighting global hunger by making donations to the UN World Food Programme (WFP), has reached one million registered players.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

7 – 13 JANUARY 2012

(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)

Saturday, 7 January

This weekend, High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres will begin a visit to South Sudan and Sudan.

Sunday, 8 January

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Monday, 9 January

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Tuesday, 10 January

This morning, the Security Council will be briefed by the Department of Political Affairs in closed consultations. In the afternoon, it will hold consultations on children and armed conflict.

Wednesday, 11 January

This morning, the Security Council will receive a briefing and hold consultations on the African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID). In the afternoon, it will receive a briefing on Somalia.

At 12:30 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, Mourad Medelci, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria, will hold a press conference to discuss the Presidency of the G77+China, as well as the situation in Algeria – political, economic and social.

Thursday, 12 January

This morning, the Security Council will hold an open debate on the United Nations-African Union partnership.

At 12 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, Mark Bowden, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, will be guest at the noon briefing.

At 1 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference on the Investor Summit on Climate Risk and Energy Solutions.

Friday, 13 January

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

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Tel. 212-963-7162