HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
MONDAY, 14 OCTOBER 2013
SECRETARY-GENERAL SPEAKS AT INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT FINANCE CLUB MEETING
- The Secretary-General was back at UN Headquarters on Monday, following his visits to Hungary and Brunei Darussalam last week.
- On Sunday, he also visited Washington, D.C., where he spoke at the annual meeting of the International Development Finance Club (IDFC).
- He said that climate change is the single greatest threat to sustainable development; but at the same time, addressing climate change is one of our greatest opportunities. With enlightened action, we can create jobs, improve public health and protect the environment.
- The Secretary-General said that the climate clock is ticking. The longer we delay, the greater the costs – to communities, to businesses, to economies and to the planet.
SYRIA: U.N. REPRESENTATIVE MEETS WITH U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE IN LONDON
- Lakhdar Brahimi, the Joint Special Representative for Syria, met in London on Monday with the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman participated also in the hour-long meeting.
- The meeting discussed preparations for the International Conference on Syria. Mr. Brahimi and Secretary Kerry both reiterated at the conclusion of the meeting their conviction that only a political solution could bring an end the Syrian crisis.
- They urged all parties to prepare in earnest for the Geneva II Conference.
- Speaking to reporters afterwards, Mr. Brahimi said that he would go to the region after the Eid holiday to hear from Governments in the region on what they can contribute to make the Geneva II Conference a success.
- In response to questions about the Geneva II conference, the Spokesperson noted the difficulties in getting an opposition delegation to that conference but added that work is being done to make sure that there will be two delegations, one from the Government and one from the opposition, appearing at that conference.
- Asked about Syria’s joining the Chemical Weapons Convention, Nesirky said that it was long overdue but welcome. He noted the tight deadlines that would need to be kept.
DARFUR: U.N. MISSION PEACEKEEPERS KILLED IN ATTACKS
- Two statements were issued over the weekend on attacks against personnel from the African Union–United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, UNAMID.
- On Sunday, a UNAMID convoy was attacked in West Darfur, killing three peacekeepers and wounding another. And on Friday, a UNAMID military observer was killed in an attack in North Darfur.
- The Secretary-General said that these attacks were unacceptable and called on the Government of Sudan to bring those responsible to justice.
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL TO MEET WITH U.S. GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
- The Deputy Secretary-General will travel to Washington D.C. later on Monday for meetings with representatives of the United States Government.
- While in Washington, he will also speak at the Brookings Institution and address the Executive Council on Diplomacy.
- The Deputy Secretary-General will be back in New York on 17 October.
GUINEA: U.N. CALLS UPON ELECTORAL COMMISSION TO PUBLISH RESULTS OF 28 SEPTEMBER ELECTIONS
- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa, who is the International Facilitator of the Inter-Guinean dialogue, has been in Conakry for the past four days, where he joined the efforts deployed towards the publication of the provisional results of the 28 September legislative elections.
- In that regard, Said Djinnit issued a statement on Sunday on behalf of the international community which called upon the electoral commission to make every effort to complete the tabulation of preliminary election results for publication before Eid al-Adha.
U.N. PEACEKEEPING CHIEF TO SPEAK AT MEETING ON PEACEKEEPING TRAINING IN CHINA
- The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, is in China to deliver a keynote speech to the 6th Asian Regional Summit on Peacekeeping Training in Beijing.
- While in China, he will visit both the military and police peacekeeping training centres, and will travel to Harbin, where he will meet with troops that are preparing to be deployed to the UN Mission in Mali.
- Mr. Ladsous will also meet with the Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister and Minister of Public Security, and deliver a speech to the National Defence University.
U.N. MISSION IN KOSOVO CONDEMNS BOMBING IN NORTHERN KOSOVO
- The Special Representative and Head of the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) strongly condemned the bombing that occurred on Monday morning in northern Kosovo.
- Farid Zarif has called for a swift and thorough investigation into this incident and said that these acts of violence must stop.
U.N. STUDIES OUTCOME OF AFRICAN UNION MEETING ON INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
- Asked about the African Union meeting on cooperation with the International Criminal Court, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations was carefully studying the outcome of that meeting.
- He said that the International Criminal Court plays a central role in the efforts of the international community to ensure accountability and to end impunity for the most serious crimes of international concern.
- Asked whether the Secretary-General had spoken in recent days with the President of Kenya, the Spokesperson said that he had not.
U.N. COORDINATOR MEETS WITH HAITIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN HAITI
- Asked about cholera in Haiti, the Spokesperson said that the UN’s special coordinator on that topic has been in Haiti and has met with Haitian Government officials.
- He said that the United Nations remains committed to do all that the Organization can do to help the people of Haiti overcome the cholera epidemic.
The United Nations is working on the ground with the Government and people of Haiti both to provide immediate and practical assistance to those affected, and to put in place better infrastructure and services for all.
With regard to possible claims against the Organization, Nesirky added that, as has been stated with regard to other cases that are subject to litigation, it is not the United Nations’ practice to discuss in public claims filed against the Organization.