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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

 

FRIDAY, 18 OCTOBER 2013

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR MEASURABLE CHANGE IN LIVES OF WOMEN AND GIRLS IN CONFLICTS

  • The Secretary-General spoke at the Security Council meeting on women, peace and security on Friday morning. In his remarks, the Secretary-General called for the Security Council’s continued support for making measurable change in the lives of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict settings.
  • He said that women must be involved at every stage of efforts to reaffirm the rule of law, and their needs for security and justice must be addressed.
  • The Secretary-General also said that the United Nations is working to ensure that women are represented on all UN mediation support teams. He noted that for the first time in history, five UN peacekeeping operations are led by women – in South Sudan, Liberia, Cyprus, Haiti and Côte d’Ivoire.
  • Following the Secretary-General’s remarks, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka briefed the Council on the Secretary-General’s report. She said that although the report shows good practice over the past year, the progress in women’s participation is not consistent.

SYRIA: INSPECTION ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED IN 14 SITES, SAYS O.P.C.W-U.N. JOINT TEAM

  • The advance team in Syria from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations reports that inspection activities have been conducted at a total of 14 sites so far.
  • The Special Coordinator for the Joint Mission, Sigrid Kaag, is scheduled to visit The Hague soon for briefings and discussions.

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY CONCERNED OVER DIFFICULTIES SYRIAN REFUGEES FACE

  • The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is concerned about the severe difficulties faced by growing numbers of Syrians seeking safety in Europe during their passage and at borders. This includes cases of hundreds of Syrians drowning at sea and incidents where Syrians have been dangerously hindered in their journeys.
  • UNHCR is working with governments, the European Union and other partners to put in place a comprehensive response to saving lives of refugees and migrants at sea. The Agency is calling for a number of measures to prevent further tragedies and increase responsibility-sharing.

MEMBERSHIP IN THE SECURITY COUNCIL IS DECISION BY MEMBER STATES, SAYS U.N. SPOKESPERSON

  • In response to questions on a reported announcement by Saudi Arabia that it would not take up a seat on the Security Council, the Spokesperson said that membership in the Security Council is a decision by Member States.
  • He noted that the Secretary-General had earlier said that he had taken note of the media reports but that he had cautioned that he had not received any official notification in this regard.
  • Nesirky added that the Secretary-General encourages all Member States to fully engage with the principal organs of the United Nations while advancing their efforts to improve their working methods. He noted that while there is a consensus on the need to reform the Security Council, the shape of these reforms were a matter for Member States to decide.
  • In response to a question on Saudi Arabia’s contribution to the UN, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General had underlined that he looked forward to continue working closely with Saudi Arabia in addressing important challenges, such as bringing an end to the war in Syria, helping Palestinian people achieve a viable State, helping the current transition in Yemen, extending humanitarian assistance to people in need and combating terrorism and nuclear proliferation.
  • Nesirky added that the Secretary-General would closely follow the discussions among Member States on Saudi Arabia’s decision.
  • Asked if the reported decision by Saudi Arabia showed lack of unity in the Security Council, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General had himself pointed to a lack of unity over the Syrian crisis in the past. However, Nesirky added that when that unity was present such as with the adoption of the resolution on chemical weapons in Syria or the Presidential Statement on humanitarian access in Syria, the Secretary-General had noted that he was encouraged and called for further unity in the Council.
  • Regarding humanitarian access in Syria , he said that both the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General wished to see greater access inside the country so that humanitarians could deliver aid to people who desperately need it.

JOINT SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR SYRIA TO TRAVEL TO EGYPT

  • Asked about a visit by Lakhdar Brahimi, the Joint Special Representative for Syria, to the region, the Spokesperson said that Mr. Brahimi would start his tour tomorrow, travelling to Egypt as his first stop. He will meet the Egyptian Foreign Minister tomorrow and will be in the country until Sunday.
  • He added that arrangements are being made for his subsequent stops, which will be announced as his trip proceeds.
  • Nesirky also said that Mr. Brahimi’s deputy, Nasser al-Kidwa, was also travelling in the region. He noted that both of them were engaging with regional governments to ensure that the Geneva II conference could take place as soon as possible and would be successful.
  • Asked if these travels would delay Geneva II, the Spokesperson said that, on the contrary, these trips aimed to move the process along. He said it was not an easy task but that the Secretary-General remained determined to convene this conference in Geneva in mid-November.

D.R.C: U.N. MISSION’S HELICOPTER FIRED AT NEAR GOMA

  • Asked about a helicopter from the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) that was fired at today, the Spokesperson said that a MONUSCO helicopter was indeed fired at by armed individuals near Goma, in North Kivu, while carrying out the Mission's mandated activities. There was no damage to the helicopter and no injuries to personnel, he added.
  • Nesirky also noted that last week, when another helicopter was fired at, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Martin Kobler, condemned this act and said that the Mission would continue with its mandated activities, including helicopter flights.
  •  

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
19 – 25 OCTOBER 2013

(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)

 

Saturday, 19 October

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Sunday, 20 October

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Monday, 21 October

In the morning, the Security Council will be briefed on the Security Council mission and the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO)/Great Lakes, followed by consultations on MONUSCO/Great Lakes.

At 11:00 a.m., in the Economic and Social Council Chamber in the Conference Building (CB), there will be a high-level panel discussion on “Africa’s innovation in governance through 10 years of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM)” on the occasion of the Africa-New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) Week 2013, co-organized by the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA), the Permanent Observer Mission of the African Union to the United Nations, the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency and the APRM Secretariat.

At 1:15 p.m., in the Press briefing room, there will be a press conference by Mr. James Anaya, Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples; Mr. Paul Kanyinke Sena, Chair of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; and Ms. Myrna Cunningham, Member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 7 in the North Lawn Building (NLB), there will be a Lecture Series on Women, Peace and Security on “Accountability – An essential element of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda”, organized by the Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein, in cooperation with the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination (LISD), Princeton University, and the PeaceWomen Project of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

At 1:15 p.m., in the Economic and Social Chamber (CB), there will be a special event on “Youth and migration”, co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Colombia and

Honduras, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See, Caritas Internationalis, and the Salesians of Don Bosco.

At 3:00 p.m., in Conference Room 6 (NLB), there will be a panel discussion on “Our Harsh Logic – Israeli Soldiers’ Testimonies from the Occupied Territories 2000–

2010”, organized by the Working Group of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

In Geneva, there will be the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women Pre-sessional Working Group for the 58th Session. It will end on 25 October.

In Geneva, there will be the 17th session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review. It will end on 1 November.

Tuesday, 22 October

In the morning, the Security Council will hold an Open Debate on the Middle East.

At 10:00 a.m., the Economic and Social Council Chamber (CB), there will be a special commemorative event on the occasion of World Energy Day, organized by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka, in collaboration with the World Energy Forum.

At 1:15 p.m., in the Press briefing room, there will be a press conference by Mr. Juan E. Mendez, Special Rapporteur on torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 7 (NLB), there will be a briefing on “Public financial management and its emerging architecture”, organized by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In Geneva, there will be a press conference by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on the humanitarian situation in West Africa’s Sahel region (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, The Gambia and northern parts of Cameroon and Nigeria). 

Wednesday, 23 October

In the morning, the Security Council will be briefed on the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), followed by consultations.

At 10 a.m., in Conference Room 6 (NLB), there will be a briefing on two reports of the Secretary-General, entitled “New Partnership for Africa’s Development: eleventh consolidated progress report on implementation and international support” (A/68/222), and “Causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa” (A/68/0–S/2013/47522); and thematic discussions on “Promoting the African Renaissance through the Post-2015 Development Agenda” and “An Integrated Approach to Promoting the Post-2015 Development Agenda: The APRM Perspective”, co-organized by the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA), the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency and the APRM Secretariat.

At 11:30 a.m., in the Press briefing room, there will be a press conference organised by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, the World Future Council and the Inter-Parliamentary Union to announce the Future Policy Award 2013 for the world’s best disarmament policies.

At 12:30 p.m., in the Press briefing room, there will be a press conference to mark Africa Week (21 - 25 October 2013). Speakers will be:  Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer, The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD); Mr. Maged Abdelaziz, Special Adviser on Africa; and Ambassador Fatuma Ndagiza Nyirakobwa, Vice Chair, African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Panel of Eminent Persons. The moderator will be Margaret Novicki of the Department of Public Information.

In Geneva, there will be a press conference by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the launch of the 2013 WHO Global Tuberculosis Report.

Thursday, 24 October

Today is United Nations Day.

Today is World Development Information Day.

In the morning, the Security Council will hold consultations on Sudan/South Sudan and Cote d’Ivoire sanctions.

In the afternoon, the Security Council will hold consultations on the 1559 report concerning Lebanon.

At 11:15 a.m., in the Press briefing room, there will be a press conference by Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran.

At 12:30 p.m., in the Press briefing room, there will be a press conference by Ms. Sheila B. Keetharuth, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea.

At 1:15 p.m., in the Press briefing room, there will be a press conference by Mr. Ariel Dulitzky, Chair of the Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances and Mr. Chaloka Beyani, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons.

Friday, 25 October

At 11:00 a.m., in the Press briefing room, there will be a press conference by Mr. Abdelhamid El Jamri, Chair of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families and Mr. Tomás Ojea Qunintana, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.

At 1:15 p.m., in the Press briefing room, there will be a press conference by Mr. Olivier De Schutter, Special Rapporteur on the right to food.

At 3:00 p.m., in the Press briefing room, there will be a press conference by Mr. Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and Mr. Ben Emmerson, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism.