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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

WEDNESDAY, 12 OCTOBER 2011

SECRETARY-GENERAL PAYS TRIBUTE TO DAG HAMMARSKJOLD IN SWEDEN

  • The Secretary-General travelled on Wednesday morning from Copenhagen to Sweden. Upon arrival, he went straight to Uppsala, where he visited the grave of his predecessor, Dag Hammarskjöld, marking 50 years since he died in an air crash.

  • The Secretary-General was greeted by three former soldiers who had served with the United Nations Mission in the Congo in 1961, and members of the Hammarskjöld family also joined in the ceremony.

  • Paying tribute to Dag Hammarskjöld’s great legacy, the Secretary-General said, “the anniversary of his death has given us a valuable chance to remember these accomplishments. Even more important, to share them with succeeding generations.”

  • The Secretary-General then travelled to Stockholm, where he went to Parliament for talks with the Speaker, Per Westerberg.

  • At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Secretary-General attended a lunch hosted by Gunilla Carlsson, the Minister for Development Cooperation, who also serves on his High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability.

  • Later, he held talks with Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

  • At a joint press conference following their meeting, the Secretary-General said they had discussed developments in the Middle East and Libya, women’s empowerment, the Millennium Development Goals, and next year’s Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. He also thanked Sweden for its steadfast support for the United Nations.

  • The Secretary-General is on his way back to New York.

SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS AFHGANISTAN FORCE, DISCUSSES AFRICAN SECURITY

  • The Security Council on Wednesday morning extended the authorization of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan for 12 months.

  • The Council also discussed security sector reform in Africa. Herve Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, noted that security sector reform is a crucial preventive tool, as previously underscored by the Security Council.

YEMEN: U.N. AGENCY WARNS OF WORSENING FOOD INSECURITY

  • The World Food Programme (WFP) warns that more people in Yemen are slipping into hunger as the country faces a serious humanitarian situation.

  • Rising prices, fuel shortages and political instability are severely straining the people’s ability to feed their families, the Programme notes.

  • It is scaling up its programmes in Yemen to feed 3.5 million vulnerable people who have been pushed into hunger in the country’s northern and southern regions.

            NEARLY HALF OF QUAKE DEBRIS REMOVED IN HAITI – U.N. DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says that more than 40 percent of the 10 million cubic metres of rubble resulting from last year’s earthquake in Haiti has now been removed in one of the largest scale clearance operations of its kind by the United Nations and partners. Homeowners and private enterprises have cleared an additional 10 percent of the debris.

  • Together with the Haitian government, UNDP coordinates the activities of nearly 50 in-country partners to map all debris-related initiatives in affected areas.

  • Meanwhile, in and around Les Cayes, the UN Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has helped evacuate some 300 people as heavy rains continue in the area. The Mission remains on stand by to help the authorities, if necessary.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL HIGHLIGHTS AFRICA’S ECONOMIC POTENTIAL:

The Deputy Secretary-General spoke at the World Knowledge Forum in Seoul, Republic of Korea. She spotlighted that there are reasons to believe that Africa is on the eve of an economic renewal, with the high level of growth there expected to continue.

U.N. CONFIRMS COMPLAINT BY FORMER EMPLOYEE: Asked about the case of a former UN employee in Kosovo, James Wasserstrom, the Deputy Spokesperson confirmed that Mr. Wasserstrom had brought a complaint against the Secretary-General.  He said that this complaint was currently before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal and, as such, could not be discussed further.

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