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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, 20 OCTOBER 2011

REPORTED DEATH OF QADHAFI MARKS ‘HISTORIC’ TRANSITION FOR LIBYA, SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL

  • Speaking at a panel on global sustainability, the Secretary-General noted the reports of the death of Col. Muammar Qadhafi and the end of fighting in Sirte and other cities.

  • He said that this day marks an historic transition for Libya, but added that this is only the end of the beginning. The road ahead for Libya and its people will be difficult and full of challenges. He added that combatants on all sides must lay down their arms in peace. This is the time for healing and rebuilding, for generosity of spirit — not for revenge.

  • The Secretary-General added that he had spoken to his Special Representative for Libya, Ian Martin, and asserted that the new United Nations Mission in Libya is on the ground and ready to assist Libya and its people along the path ahead.

TOP U.N. LEGAL OFFICIAL MEETS WITH CAMBODIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

  • The Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia, Sok An, and Patricia O’Brien, Under-Secretary General for Legal Affairs, the Legal Counsel, met on Thursday afternoon to discuss recent developments at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). 

  • The Legal Counsel referred to the Secretary-General’s strong support for the work of the Extraordinary Chambers. The Legal Counsel expressed concern regarding recent developments at the Extraordinary Chambers.  She reiterated the United Nations’ consistent call upon all persons to respect and support the integrity and independence of the ECCC judicial process.

  • The Legal Counsel strongly urged the Royal Government of Cambodia to refrain from statements opposing the progress of Cases 003 and 004 and to refrain from interfering in any way whatsoever with the judicial process.  She emphasised the obligation of the Royal Government of Cambodia to cooperate fully with the Extraordinary Chambers.

SECRETARY-GENERAL REASSURES NOBEL LAUREATE OF U.N. HELP FOR YEMENI PEOPLE

  • Asked about the Secretary-General’s meeting on Wednesday with Tawakkul Karman, a Nobel Peace Prize winner for 2011, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General reassured Ms. Karman that the United Nations was doing everything possible to help the Yemeni people resolve the current political standoff and to promote an orderly, inclusive and Yemeni-led transition process.

  • Asked about the Secretary-General’s view on an amnesty in Yemen, the Spokesperson noted that, under international law, there can be no impunity for war crimes or gross violations of human rights. He added that reconciliation can take place while ensuring that those who are found guilty of gross human rights violations are held to account.

U.N.D.P. CHIEF WRAPS UP MONGOLIA VISIT

  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark wrapped up a three-day visit to Mongolia today, noting that the revenue generated from the country’s abundant natural resources should benefit all of its citizens.

  • At an international conference co-hosted by UNDP and Mongolia on extractive industries, she said she is convinced that natural resources can drive human development if they are managed in transparent, inclusive and sustainable ways.

  • During her visit, which coincided with the 50th anniversary of Mongolia’s UN membership, the Administrator met with Prime Minister Sukhbaataryn Batbold, Minister of Finance S. Bayartsogt, senior government officials, and members of civil society.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS ATTACKS IN TURKEY WERE UNACCEPTABLE: Asked about a note to correspondents issued on Wednesday concerning Turkey, the Spokesperson said that there was no intended difference or softening of the UN position in yesterday's statement.  The Secretary-General promptly expressed his concern and said these PKK attacks are clearly unacceptable. He condemns the attacks and once again expresses his deepest sympathies with the Government and people of Turkey in the face of terrorist violence.

LETTERS RECEIVED FROM IRAN, SAUDI ARABIA AND UNITED STATES: Asked about letters from the United States, Iran and Saudi Arabia concerning an alleged plot on United States soil, the Spokesperson said that the letters had been received and transmitted to the Security Council and the General Assembly.

SECURITY COUNCIL MEETS ON CÔTE D’IVOIRE: The Permanent Representative of Brazil, H. E. Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti,in her role as Chair of the 1572 Sanctions Committee on Cote d'Ivoire, briefed the Security Council on Thursday morning in a closed session.

***The guest at the Noon Briefing was Ian Martin, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Libya. He spoke with reporters via videoconference from Tripoli.

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