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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General

 

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

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

FRIDAY, 7 JANUARY 2011

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR FREE, FAIR AND SECURE POLLING FOR SOUTHERN SUDAN REFERENDUM

  • On the eve of the referendum for the self-determination of the people of Southern Sudan, the Secretary-General commends the Government of National Unity of Sudan and the Government of Southern Sudan for their leadership, wisdom, and concerted efforts in ensuring that the referendum is held, as scheduled, on 9 January 2011, in an atmosphere of peace and cooperation.
     

  • The Secretary-General also commends the work of the South Sudan Referendum Commission in Khartoum and its bureau in Juba, and expresses his gratitude to all international partners, including those that have deployed observer missions, for their support to this process.
     

  • The Secretary-General urges the parties to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement to continue to do everything necessary to ensure free, fair, and secure polling.  The United Nations will continue for its part to provide full support to the referendum process and to the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
     

  • The Secretary-General calls on all the people of Sudan to observe this occasion in the spirit of brotherhood and peace.

 

SECURITY, HUMANITARIAN SITUATION TOP TALKS BETWEEN AFRICAN UNION-U.N. ENVOY AND SUDANESE OFFICIAL

  • Ibrahim Gambari, the Joint Special Representative of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), met Thursday with the Sudanese Presidential Adviser in charge of the Darfur File, Ghazi Salah Al-Deen.
     

  • They discussed the security and humanitarian situation following recent fighting and heightened tensions between the Government of Sudan and Darfur movements in areas of North and South Darfur states.
     

  • Following that meeting, the Mission was informed of a commitment by Sudanese security authorities in Sector South to allow air and road movements unless there are specific security threats, which will be communicated to UNAMID.

 

DARFUR: ARAB-AFRICAN BODY RENEWS SUPPORT FOR PEACE PROCESS LED BY QATAR AND AFRICAN UNION-U.N. MEDIATOR
  • The Arab-African Ministerial Committee on Darfur and the Darfur Mediation Team held a meeting in Doha on Thursday. In a communiqué issued afterwards, the Ministerial Committee renewed its support for the Doha Peace Process led by Qatar and the African Union-UN Joint Chief Mediator, Djibril Bassolé, as the only platform for the settlement of the Darfur conflict.
     

  • They observed that the Doha Peace Process has reached a critical stage and called for the convergence of all peace initiatives and efforts into one single track in the Doha forum with all the support it needs to succeed.

 

U.N. MISSION IN COTE D’IVOIRE IS SENDING TEAM TO DUEKOUE

  • Asked about the response to the situation in Duekoue, in Côte d’Ivoire, the Spokesperson said that the UN Mission is sending a humanitarian team to the area to assess the situation. He said that UNOCI peacekeepers are present in the area and are working to protect civilians.
     

  • Asked about food aid to displaced people fleeing Côte d’Ivoire, Nesirky said that UN humanitarian bodies are keenly aware of the needs of the people who have fled to Liberia or other countries. The World Food Programme (WFP) is providing food aid, he noted.
     

  • He added that there are also some 12,000 internally displaced people in the country.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL UNVEILS INDEPENDENT PANEL TO FIND SOURCE OF HAITIAN CHOLERA OUTBREAK

  • In a statement issued Thursday, the Secretary-General announced the establishment of an independent panel of experts to seek to determine the source of the cholera outbreak in Haiti.  The panel will review all of the information and data available to date and travel to Haiti to conduct investigations on the ground.   The panel will operate completely independently from the United Nations and will have access to all UN records, reports, facilities, and staff members as required.  It will present a written report of its findings to the Secretary-General and to the Government of Haiti.
     

  • The panel will be chaired by Dr. Alejandro Cravioto (Mexico) of the International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh. The other three members of the panel are Dr. Claudio Lanata (Peru) of the Instituto de Investigacion Nutritional in Peru, Daniele Lantagne of Harvard University in the United States, and Dr. Balakrish Nair of the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases in India.
     

  • Asked about reports saying that Nepalese peacekeepers may have been the source of the cholera outbreak, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General believes it is important to determine the source of the outbreak, as he showed by forming the panel and asking for it to begin its work immediately. He added that we should not prejudge what the panel might find; the findings will be made public in due course.

 

HAITI: CHILDREN CONTINUE TO SUFFER ONE YEAR AFTER EARTHQUAKE, UNICEF WARNS

  • The UN Children’s Agency (UNICEF) is released a report marking next week’s one-year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake.
     

  • It says that relief and recovery efforts have been extraordinary but that children in Haiti continue to suffer from inequitable access to basic water, sanitation, healthcare, and education services and protection from disease, exploitation, and unsanitary conditions.
     

  • UNICEF says that Haiti poses huge institutional and systemic challenges that predated the earthquake, and that require more than an emergency response to resolve.
     

  • Also, the UN Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti (OSE) has released a new analysis of pledges made for post-earthquake recovery activities, showing a 2010 disbursement rate among public sector donors of 63.6 percent.
     

  • This is an update from 55 public sector pledge-makers who were present at the 31 March 2010 international donors’ conference last year. These donors pledged approximately $2.01 billion for recovery activities in 2010. Of the $2.01 billion pledged, $1.28 billion – 63.6 percent – was disbursed by year-end.

 

WESTERN SAHARA: U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY ANNOUNCES RESUMPTION OF FLIGHTS BETWEEN REFUGEE CAMPS

  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) announced that flights between refugee camps in Tindouf and the Western Sahara Territory were expected to resume today. This is part of the agency’s Confidence Building Measures programme to facilitate visits of Sahrawi families that have been separated for more than 34 years.
     

  • UNHCR is also planning to host a meeting in Geneva in February this year with all the parties to discuss the implementation of other components of the Confidence Building Measures programme which, when implemented, will benefit a larger number of Sahrawi families.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES SOMALI TRANSITIONAL FEDERAL INSTITUTIONS TO FINISH DRAFTING NEW CONSTITUTION

  • The Secretary-General’s latest report on Somalia is out as a document today. In it, he urges the transitional federal institutions to complete the drafting of a new constitution and to work toward meeting the August 2011 deadline for the political transition.
     

  • He says that security remains the single most critical challenge confronting the country, with the presence of foreign extremist fighters rapidly turning it into the next front for the fight against international terrorism.
     

  • The Secretary-General therefore appeals to the international community to provide urgent military, financial, logistical and other support to the Transitional Federal Government. He also acknowledges the call from the African Union Peace and Security Council to the UN Security Council to reaffirm its commitment to deploy a UN peacekeeping operation in Somalia in replacement of the current AU Mission (AMISOM).
     

  • Also available is the Secretary-General’s periodic report on the work of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).

 

U.N. URGES NIGERIA TO STEP UP ACTION TO HALT LEAD POISONING

  • In a new report, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) are urging Nigerian authorities to prevent further lead poisoning in northern Nigeria.
     

  • The publication calls for polluted villages to be cleaned up as soon as possible to ensure that children suffering from lead poisoning can return to their villages for recovery and follow-up care after treatment.
     

  • To date, more than 18,000 people have been affected in northern Nigeria, with 200 children reportedly having died. Joint investigations by OCHA and UNEP have revealed that the cause is acute lead poisoning from the processing of lead-rich ore for gold extraction taking place inside homes and compounds.

 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

TIMING OF NEXT MIDDLE EAST QUARTET MEETING DEPENDS ON PRINCIPAL MEMBERS: Asked about the timing of the next meeting of the Quartet, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General spoke with European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton on Thursday, and they discussed the possibility of a meeting of the Middle East Quartet. The timing of such a meeting would be up to the principal members of the Quartet.

 

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY WARNS FLOOD VICTIMS IN BALKANS NEED CONTINUED ASSISTANCE: With Bosnia and Herzegovina, and neighbouring Montenegro, having experienced the worst flooding in decades, the UN Refugee Agency (UNCHR) has warned that those hit hard by the rains will continue to need assistance during the winter months. Flash floods last month uprooted some 40,000 people, one quarter of whom were displaced by violence in the region in the 1990s. To date, UNHCR has helped to distribute food and other items to more than 2,000 people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, while in Montenegro, it has assisted authorities in moving 600 people to communal shelters after their settlements were threatened by floodwaters.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS[1]
8-14 January 2011

 

Saturday, 8 January

 

There are no major events scheduled today.

 

Sunday, 9 January

 

There are no major events scheduled today.

 

Monday, 10 January

 

This morning, the Security Council is scheduled to be briefed by the Department of Political Affairs (DPA).

 

At 12:00 p.m., Nigel Fisher, Deputy Special Representative for Haiti, will be the guest at the Noon Briefing.

 

At 12:45 p.m., Cheick Sidi Diarra, UN Special Adviser on Africa and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, will hold a press conference to discuss recent developments concerning these states, ahead of a week-long meeting at UN Headquarters.

 

Tuesday, 11 January

 

There are no major events scheduled today.

 

Wednesday, 12 January

 

At 2:00 p.m., Héctor Marcos Timerman, Foreign Minister of Argentina and Incoming Chairman of the Group of 77, will hold a press conference.

 

Today is the one-year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake. At 4:45 p.m., the Secretary-General will take part in a wreath-laying ceremony in the General Assembly public lobby. Participants will be asked to solemnly observe silence for a period of 47 seconds, which was the duration of the earthquake.

 

Thursday, 13 January

 

This morning, the Security Council will hold consultations on the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA).

 

At 11:30 a.m., the Secretary-General will hold his first press conference of the year.

 

Friday, 14 January

 

Today, the Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution on the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI). It will also hear a briefing and hold consultations on Somalia.

 

 


 

[1]This document is for planning purposes only and is current as of  DATE \@ "HH:mm" 13:12  DATE \@ "dddd, dd MMMM, yyyy" Friday, 07 January, 2011. 

 

 

 

 

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