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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

WEDNESDAY, 19 OCTOBER 2011

PIRACY TRANSCENDS NATIONAL BOUNDARIES, SECRETARY-GENERAL TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL

  • The Secretary-General on Wednesday morning addressed the Security Council on the topic of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

  • In his address, he commended the States in the Gulf of Guinea and their partners for working together to tackle this security threat.

  • He noted that the forthcoming UN assessment mission will examine the scope of the threat, as well as the capacity of Benin and of the West African sub-region as a whole to ensure maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea.  It will also make recommendations on fighting piracy, including in the broader context of organized crime and drug trafficking.

  • The Secretary-General said piracy transcends national boundaries and economic interests.

  • He said the recent deployment of naval vessels to support anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Guinea attests to the readiness of the region’s States and their partners to address this threat.

  • The Secretary-General called upon other Member States to join these efforts.

LEADERS OF GREEK, TURKISH CYPRIOT COMMUNITIES DISCUSS GOVERNANCE, POWER-SHARING

  • The leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities held a long meeting, during which they discussed governance, power-sharing, European Union matters and the property issue.

  • They will hold talks again on Friday, their last meeting before their encounter with the Secretary-General in New York on the 30th and 31st of October.

U.N. RELIEF ARM REPORTS SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS REMAIN ON HIGH FLOOD ALERT

  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that Southeast Asian countries are still on high alert, with heavy rains causing further flooding.

  • The Office reports that the total number of deaths in the region has reached 745, while at least eight million people have been affected by the flooding.

  • In Thailand, the UN Refugee Agency is supporting the national response and monitoring the need for temporary shelter. The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with the Public Health Ministry on mosquito control.

  • In Cambodia, humanitarian partners have identified food, clean water and emergency medical assistance as urgent needs.

  • The World Food Programme (WFP) aims to supply 12,000 households there with enough rice for the next month.

  • For its part, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has made 1,000 ceramic water filters available in the worst-affected areas of Cambodia.

U.N. LABOUR AGENCY WARNS OF ‘SCARRED’ GENERATION OF YOUNG WORKERS

  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) is warning of a “scarred” generation of young workers, who face a mix of high unemployment, increased inactivity, and precarious work in developed countries.

  • According to a new report by the Organization, collective frustration among young people has contributed to protest movements around the world this year, as it becomes increasingly difficult for them to find anything other than part-time or temporary work.

  • While the number of unemployed young people fell slightly since its peak in 2009, the report says this is due to them withdrawing from the labour market rather than finding jobs.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

U.N. AIMS FOR DIRECT MIDDLE EAST NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN THE PARTIES: Asked if the Secretary-General has any indications that the parties may return to negotiations, the Spokesperson said the aim is to have direct negotiations between the two parties in the context of the Quartet's statement of 23 September. He noted that both sides will engage in separate discussions with the Quartet envoys in Jerusalem on 26 October.

MEMBER STATES MUST LIVE UP TO FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS: Asked about a United States presidential candidate's statement yesterday that the US should reduce its funding for the UN, the Spokesperson said it is incumbent on all Member States of the UN to live up to their obligations to provide funding for the UN to carry out the life-saving work the UN undertakes worldwide every day.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO MEET NOBEL LAUREATE: Asked about the request by this year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkul Karman from Yemen to meet the Secretary-General, the Spokesperson later said the meeting will take place on Wednesday afternoon.

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