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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 EDUARDO DEL BUEY, DEPUTY-SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

MONDAY, 10 OCTOBER 2011

SECRETARY-GENERAL DEEPLY SADDENED BY LOSS OF LIFE IN EGYPTIAN CAPITAL

  • In a statement, the Secretary-General says that he is deeply saddened by the loss of life in Cairo last night.   He appeals to all Egyptians to remain united and to preserve the spirit of the historic changes of early 2011.  He calls on the transitional authorities to guarantee the protection of human rights and civil liberties for Egyptians of all faiths. 

  • The Secretary-General reiterates his call for a transparent, orderly and peaceful transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Egyptian people and includes free, fair and credible elections leading to the establishment of civilian rule.


 ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE TRIP OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL TO SWITZERLAND (BERNE AND GENEVA) 16-18 SEPTEMBER

·        The Secretary-General will travel to Switzerland from 16 to 18 October 2011. His first destination in Switzerland will be Berne where he will attend the inaugural ceremony of the 125th Assembly of the Inter- Parliamentary Union (IPU). While in Berne, the Secretary-General will also meet with Ms. Micheline Calmy-Rey, President of the Swiss Confederation, as well as with the Swiss Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee and senior representatives of the Swiss Federal Administration.   

·        From Berne, the Secretary-General will travel to Geneva, where he will participate in the Executive Committee Meeting of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). While in Geneva, he will also visit the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue.


IN NORWAY, BAN KI-MOON ADDRESSES SUSTAINABLE ENERGY CONFERENCE, MEETS WITH SENIOR OFFICIALS

·        The Secretary-General arrived on Monday morning in Oslo, where he delivered the keynote address at the “Energy for All: Financing Access for the Poor” Conference. He said energy is at the centre of the sustainable development agenda and called for universal access by 2030.

·        The Secretary-General then participated in a high-level debate on "Energy and the Road Towards Rio +20,” together with Prime Minister Raila Amollo Odinga of Kenya, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia. He later attended a working lunch on Rio+20 with those leaders, as well as the Deputy Prime Minister for Energy of Iraq.

·        The Secretary-General also held bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg before the two addressed the press at the launch of Norwegian Government initiative ”Energy +." Speaking to reporters, the Secretary-General thanked Norway for helping to bring energy for all to the top of the political agenda.

·        In press remarks following other meetings with senior Norwegian officials, the Secretary-General praised the Government's commitment to multilateralism and lauded the entire country for safeguarding its open society after the attacks of 22 July.

·        The Secretary-General then paid a solemn visit to the Oslo site of the 22 July bomb attack, where he expressed condolences and solidarity.

·        The Secretary-General later went to the Norwegian Parliament where he addressed members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs.

·        In the early evening, he is scheduled to attend a commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Fridtjof Nansen in the presence of their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja as well as other top government officials. He is expected to praise Nansen as a great explorer who “helped map the way to a better world” and urge all to continue along this journey.

·        In the evening, the Secretary-General will attend a dinner at the Oslo City Hall for participants at the “Energy for All” conference.

AS JUDGE STEPS DOWN, U.N. STRESSES NEED FOR CAMBODIA TRIBUNAL TO OPERATE WITHOUT INTERFERENCE

  • The Secretary-General has received the resignation of Judge Siegfried Blunk as the international Co-Investigating Judge at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), and thanks him for his service.

  • The United Nations is working urgently to ensure that the reserve Co-investigating Judge, Mr. Laurent Kasper-Ansermet (Switzerland), is available as soon as possible to replace Judge Blunk, so that the important work of the ECCC is not disrupted.

  • The Secretary-General has stated his strong support for the work of the ECCC on a number of occasions. The United Nations has noted the reason stated by Judge Blunk for his resignation. 

  • The United Nations has consistently emphasised that the ECCC must be permitted to proceed with its work without interference from any entity, including the Royal Government of Cambodia, donor States or civil society.  The United Nations will continue to monitor the situation at the ECCC closely, including in consultation with the Royal Government.

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL SPOTLIGHTS TOURISM’S POTENTIAL IN MEETING DEVELOPMENT TARGETS

  • The Deputy Secretary-General is in the Republic of Korea, where she spoke at an event on promoting the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) though tourism, culture and sports.

  • She stressed that the potential of tourism has yet to be fully realized, noting that it can help to create jobs, eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, and empower women.

  • The Deputy Secretary-General urged governments and the tourism to work as partners and to engage with local communities to develop tourism that is pro-poor, community-oriented and sustainable.

FOOD PRICES WILL REMAIN HIGH AND VOLATILE, U.N. WARNS

  • Food prices are likely to remain high and volatile, making poor farmers, consumers and countries more vulnerable to poverty and food insecurity.

  • That’s according to an annual report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) issued today.

  • The heads of the three bodies said that crises, including the one in the Horn of Africa, are challenging the efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of reducing the proportion of people who suffer from hunger in half by 2015.

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