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

THURSDAY, 13 OCTOBER 2011

U.N. RELIEF ARM REPORTS VOLATILE HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN YEMEN

  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that the situation in Yemen continues to be extremely volatile.

  • The price of bread is 50 per cent higher than it was a few months ago, which is very damaging for the food security for the poorest families.

  • The World Food Programme (WFP) is increasing its assistance to help 3.5 vulnerable people in the countries.

  • Earlier this week, the Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said that for far too long, the international community has failed to give enough attention to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES INVESTMENT IN DISASTER REDUCTION

  • In a message marking the International Day for Disaster Reduction, the Secretary-General said that when disasters strike, we rarely consider human actions that increase risk and turn danger into catastrophe.

  • While investments in early warning and other measures are paying dividends, the economic burden of technological disasters continues to grow.

  • Yet much can be gained from spending wisely rather than spending more, the Secretary-General emphasized.

  • Disaster risk reduction should be an everyday concern for everybody, he said. Let us all invest today for a safer tomorrow.

U.N. RIGHTS CHIEF HAILS COMPLETION OF FIRST-EVER REVIEW OF ALL MEMBER STATES

  • The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, congratulated the Human Rights Council for completing a peer review of the rights records of all 193 UN Member States.

  • The review has proven to be an innovative, transparent, collaborative instrument for change and has made it possible – for the first time ever – for all Member States to be reviewed on an equal basis, she said.

  • Some 80 per cent of government delegations were led by ministers who traveled to Geneva for the review, and Ms. Pillay noted that this demonstrates the importance attached to the process by States.

U.N., EDUCATION MINISTRY JOIN FORCES FOR SCHOOL FEEDING SCHEME

  • The World Food Programme (WFP), together with Iraq’s Ministry of Education, has launched a school feeding programme that aims to reach more than 550,000 children in the most vulnerable districts of the country.

  • Under this programme, children will receive a fortified mid-day snack, with the aim of improving their school attendance and retention and ability to concentrate in class.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

U.N. LIBYA ENVOYS BRIEFS CLOSED SECURITY COUNCIL SESSION: On Thursday morning, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Libya, Ian Martin, briefed the Security Council by video-link in closed session.

U.N. CLARIFIES ROLE OF SECRETARY-GENERAL’S SPECIAL ADVISER: Asked about Jeffrey Sachs’ participation in the “Occupy Wall Street” protests, the Spokesperson said that Mr. Sachs was a Special Adviser for the Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He added that Mr. Sachs’ role was to advise the UN system on ways to accelerate implementation of these Goals.

U.N. CONFIRMS RECEIPT OF LETTERS FROM IRAN, U.S.: In response to a question, the Spokesperson confirmed that the Secretary-General has received a letter from the Iranian Mission and also from the US authorities. Both letters have been sent to the General Assembly and Security Council.

***The guest at the noon briefing was Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous.

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