HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
THURSDAY, 11 OCTOBER 2012
MARKING FIRST DAY OF GIRL CHILD, BAN URGES END TO CHILD MARRIAGE
- Today is the first International Day of the Girl Child, and the Secretary-General will mark the occasion by speaking at a high-level panel on child marriage this afternoon.
- At that event, he will say that child marriage can disrupt girls’ education, increase their exposure to abuse, jeopardize their health and result in early and unwanted pregnancies – an often life-threatening risk.
- He will also mention the shooting in Pakistan earlier this week of 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai and two other schoolgirls. With their cowardly attack, he will say that the terrorists showed what frightens them most: a girl with a book.
ON 10TH ANNIVERSARY, SECRETARY-GENERAL COMMENDS CAMEROON, NIGERIA FOR HONOURING WORLD COURT RULING
- In a statement marking the 10th anniversary of the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the border between Cameroon and Nigeria, the Secretary-General commended the commitment of the governments of both countries to honour the obligations of the ruling.
- He also congratulated the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission for the commendable efforts it has made in implementing that ruling.
- By peacefully resolving their border dispute, Cameroon and Nigeria have provided a positive example for countries around the world facing similar challenges.
PAKISTAN: BAN OUTRAGED BY SHOOTING OF GIRLS
- In a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon, the Secretary-General expressed his outrage and strong condemnation of the shooting of the three girls, including Malala Yousufzai, in Pakistan.
- The Secretary-General, like many around the world, has been deeply moved by Malala Yousufzai’s courageous efforts to promote the fundamental right to education, which is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
U.N.: RAPE STILL USED AS WEAPON OF WAR
- Asked about a recent report concerning the incidence of rape during wartime, the Spokesperson said that the report highlights the need for deeper, evidence-based research and rigorous analysis on the serious scourge of conflict-related sexual violence. Because of the shame and hidden nature of this crime, data collection on conflict-related sexual violence remains a challenge. There are ongoing efforts, however, to improve consistent and comprehensive reporting.
- Nesirky said that there is overwhelming evidence that rape has been and continues to be used as a weapon of war – Rwanda during the genocide was a case in point, and so was Bosnia and Herzegovina, where rape camps were established. More recently, there have been incidents of mass rape in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
- The Spokesperson added that we welcome research on sexual violence in conflict, because we do not yet know enough about this phenomenon, and we cannot effectively prevent what we do not adequately understand.
U.N. SHARES SORROW OF VICTIMS OF BOSNIA WAR: Asked about killings in Srebrenica and throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war, the Spokesperson noted that the United Nations has supported projects to help people who had suffered during the Bosnia war. The Secretary-General and the United Nations as a whole fully share the sorrow of all those who suffered from the brutal killings and other violence in Bosnia during the war.
U.N. CONTINUES WORK ON INTERNAL SRI LANKA REPORT: Asked about the UN internal review concerning lessons learned in Sri Lanka, the Spokesperson said that the report is still being worked on.