HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
TUESDAY, 16 OCTOBER 2012
SOMALIA U.N. ENVOY STRESSES NEED TO STABILIZE NEWLY-LIBERATED AREAS
- The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, briefed the Security Council this morning on the latest developments in the country.
- He said that Somalia was now in the process of forming the first post-transition Government.
- He also said that the security situation had vastly improved and that the fall of Kismaayo – the last stronghold of the extremist Al-Shabaab insurgents - in late September, marked a decisive turning-point in the conflict.
- Mr. Mahiga said that the new administration in Mogadishu must now move with speed to stabilize the newly-liberated areas. The immediate challenge is to establish of local and district administrations, justice and rule of law, as well as to provide basic services to the population.
- Mr. Mahiga said that civilian activities had to come in quickly behind military operations to establish local administrations and to provide humanitarian and development-related activities.
- On the humanitarian front, he noted the persisting dire situation despite great political and security strides. He urged the international partners to sustain and expand assistance to Somalia, saying that they had a promising partner in the new Somali leadership.
- Mr. Mahiga also noted that the UN Political Office in Somalia, UNPOS, had begun a consultative process to review the future presence of the United Nations in Somalia. He said that this would be led by the needs and expectations of the Somalis.
- This afternoon, the Security Council will hold consultations on the situation between Sudan and South Sudan.
- Asked about any possible changes to the African Union Mission in Somalia, the Spokesperson said that would be a matter for the Security Council to consider.
SYRIA: JOINT SPECIAL ENVOY IN EGYPT AFTER MEETINGS IN IRAQ
- The Joint Special Envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, is today in Cairo where he has met the Egyptian Foreign Minister.
- Tonight he will have a working dinner with the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Nabil ElAraby.
- And yesterday, Mr. Brahimi was in Iraq where he met the President, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister as well as the Foreign Minister.
NEW U.N. REPORT WARNS THAT ‘EDUCATION FOR ALL’ GOALS ARE NOT ON TRACK
- In a report launched today, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) says that 20 per cent of young people in developing countries fail to complete primary school and lack skills for work.
- The tenth Education for All Global Monitoring Report says that despite significant progress in some regions, few of them are on track to meet the six Education for All goals set in 2000, and some are a long way behind.
- The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, said that the best answer to the economic downturn and youth unemployment is to ensure that young people acquire the basic skills and relevant training they need to enter the world of work with confidence.
- This report follows the launch on 26 September of “Education First”, an initiative driven by the Secretary-General who stressed the importance of rallying all stakeholders to overcome the obstacles to achieving “quality, relevant and transformative education”.
ON WORLD FOOD DAY, SECRETARY-GENERAL STRESSES ROLE OF AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVES
- The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, spoke today at a ministerial meeting on food price volatility attended by some 20 ministers in Rome, as World Food Day is observed in 150 countries.
- He said that continuing food price volatility requires improved global governance of food security. He added that in the globalized world we live in, it's not possible to have food security in one country alone.
- In a message on World Food Day, the Secretary-General says that agricultural cooperatives will be crucial in meeting the Zero Hunger Challenge that he launched at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June.
- He adds that the great expertise of agricultural cooperatives will be invaluable in achieving one of the initiative’s primary aims of doubling the income and productivity of smallholder farmers. He urges all partners to join the Zero Hunger Challenge.
U.N. HELICOPTER MAKES EMERGENCY LANDING IN AFGHANISTAN DUE TO MECHANICAL PROBLEMS
- Asked whether the abrupt landing of a UN aircraft had been forced by Taliban activity or another factor, the Spokesperson said that a helicopter belonging to the UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) was involved in an emergency landing due to technical problems in the afternoon of 14 October 2012, near Yakawolang district in Bamyan province in the central highlands in Afghanistan.
- All passengers on board were safe; some had minor injuries. They were all immediately evacuated from the area and taken to the UN office in Bamyan.
- Nesirky added that, during the flight, the helicopter developed mechanical problems and the crew was forced to make an emergency landing. The cause of the incident is under investigation.
SECRETARY-GENERAL MEETS SRI LANKA SPECIAL ENVOY ON HUMAN RIGHTS
- Asked about the Secretary-General’s meeting with the Special Envoy for Human Rights of Sri Lanka, the Spokesperson said that the main focus was on the recommendations of Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission. The Special Envoy briefed on the follow-up to the recommendations, and the Secretary-General encouraged further progress. They also discussed climate change.
- Asked about a UN review on lessons learned in Sri Lanka, Nesirky said that the report was still being worked on.