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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, 21 OCTOBER 2011

SECRETARY-GENERAL VOICES HOPE THAT E.T.A. COMMITTED TO ENDING VIOLENCE

  • In a statement, the Secretary-General says that the Spanish people have endured over 40 years of violence at the hands of ETA. The Secretary-General shares in the hope that ETA is committed to bringing this tragic chapter for Spain to an end.  There should be an end to violence and a permanent laying down of arms.  The Secretary-General pays tribute to the memory of the over 800 victims of ETA violence over the years. They and all who have fallen victim to any form of terrorism around the world should not be forgotten.

SECURITY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER YEMEN RESOLUTION

  • The Security Council will meet on Friday afternoon to discuss the situation in the Middle East. Council members will consider a resolution on Yemen.

  • Asked about an amnesty for Yemen’s leaders, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has made it clear that there should be no impunity for gross violations of human rights.

SECRETARY-GENERAL ISSUES CALL FOR LIBYAN UNITY

  • Yesterday afternoon, the Secretary-General issued a statement on the end of Muammar Qadhafi’s regime in Libya in which he called on the people of Libya to come together, as they can only realize the promise of the future through national unity and reconciliation.

  • He paid tribute to the Libyan people for their steadfastness and courage through all the pain they endured, and emphasized once more that this is the time for healing and rebuilding, and not for revenge.

  • The road ahead is full of challenges, but also opportunities, the Secretary-General said. He added that the United Nations Support Mission in Libya is ready to assist and support the Libyan people and their leadership at their request.

LIBYA: U.N. RIGHTS OFFICE URGES ACCOUNTABILITY FOR PAST CRIMES

  • With a new era beginning in Libya, human rights must be the cornerstone of all policies and actions, the UN Human Rights Office said on Friday.

  • A key aspect that would enable closure on the legacy of Muammar al-Qadhafi’s rule and on this year’s conflict will be to ensure that justice is done.

  • It will be essential for alleged perpetrators to be brought to trials in proceedings which adhere to international standards, and for victims to see that accountability has been achieved.

  • Asked about the circumstances of Muammar al-Qadhafi’s death, the Spokesperson said that the UN Human Rights Office said today that it believes there is a need for an investigation and more details are needed to ascertain whether he was killed in the fighting or after his capture.

  • Nesirky added that there is already an independent Commission of Inquiry for Libya, set up by the Human Rights Council, which is very likely to look into this.

U.N. RELIEF CHIEF WRAPS UP D.P.R. KOREA VISIT

  • The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, wrapped up a five-day mission to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Friday.

  • Ms. Amos told reporters in Beijing that in the DPRK, she saw a country and people coping despite some really tough conditions, adding that people freely explained to her problems they face.

  • She said that it was clear that a large number of children in the country are stunted, warning that chronic malnutrition will have long-term implications for generations to come even if drastic action is taken today.

  • Ms. Amos also noted that although the Government has sought to improve access to fertilizer and quality seeds, the DPRK does not have enough arable land to produce all the food that it needs.

  • The most vulnerable people are victims of a situation that they have no control over, and find themselves in distress through no fault of their own, she said. For this reason, we are not in a position to turn our backs on the people of the DPRK, despite the many difficulties.  

CYPRIOT LEADERS HOLD LAST MEETING BEFORE SEEING SECRETARY-GENERAL

  • The leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities held their last meeting before their encounter with the Secretary-General in New York on the 30th and 31st of October.

  • Today’s talks focused on the questions of the executive and citizenship, as well as on the forthcoming meeting with the Secretary-General.

  • At that meeting, the Secretary-General will be able to examine the differences that still exist on some of the issues and explore how resolve them, his Special Adviser, Alexander Downer, told reporters.

WORSENING CONDITIONS IN SOMALIA HAVE SENT THOUSANDS INTO YEMEN

  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says that the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Somalia has forced more than 318,000 Somalis to flee their country so far this year. Some have taken the risk to cross the Gulf of Aden, and 20,000 new Somali refugees have reached Yemen since this January.

  • In Yemen's reception centres, new arrivals have been telling the staff of the Refugee Agency that drought, famine, conflict and forced conscription are the main reasons for their flight from Somalia.

  • Most new arrivals say that they were unaware of the situation in Yemen and the conditions they would be facing. The deteriorating security situation in Yemen has curtailed their movement, and work opportunities for refugees in Yemen are rapidly shrinking. For these reasons some of the refugees are now considering returning to Somalia.

U.N. REFUGEE ARM REPORTS SHARP DROP IN NEW ARRIVALS AT KENYAN CAMP

  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reports a sharp drop in the number of new arrivals from Somalia at Kenya’s Dadaab refugee complex, the world’s largest.

  • It says that this could be due to military operations at the border or the onset of heavy rains in the area.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

22 – 28 OCTOBER 2011

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

 Saturday, 22 October

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Sunday, 23 October

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Monday, 24 October

Today is United Nations Day.

Today is World Development Information Day.

This morning, the Security Council will hold an open briefing on the Middle East.

At 1:15 p.m., there will be a panel discussion and launch of e-learning courses on the “Implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean” in Conference Room E of the North Lawn Building (NLB). This event is being co-organized by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) and the Permanent Mission of Norway.

At 1:15 p.m., there will be a panel discussion on “2013: International Year of Quinoa and its contribution to food security and nutrition” in Conference Room 7 (NLB). This event is being co-organized by the Permanent Mission of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

At 1:15 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food.

At 2:30 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference on the International Launch for the Annual Report 2011 for The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (OMCT-FIDH). Speakers will include Tawakkul Karman, President of Women Journalists Without Chains (WJWC) and Nobel Peace Prize laureate this year, and Margaret Sekaggaya, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

Today, the fourth Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption will begin in Marrakech, Morocco. Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will be speaking at the opening session. The Conference wraps up on 28 October.

Today, Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, will be in Seoul, where he will open the High-Level Forum on Global Geospatial Information Management. This Forum will be followed by the first meeting of the United Nations Committee of Experts, established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to enhance global cooperation and coordination of geospatial information. Mr. Sha will then travel to Israel, where he will open a preparatory meeting for Rio + 20.

Today, in Geneva, there will be a press conference on the theme, “Global Mercury Instrument and Health,” by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Today, in Geneva, there will be a press conference on the food security and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen, including the situation of children. Daly Belgasmi, Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia for the World Food Programme (WFP), and Geert Cappelaere, Yemen Representative for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), will brief reporters.

Tuesday, 25 October

This morning, the Security Council will hold a private meeting on the International Court of Justice (ICJ). In the afternoon, it will be briefed and hold consultations on the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

At 11:30 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on “Secondary Education – The Next Great Challenge.”

Wednesday, 26 October

This morning, the Security Council will adopt a resolution on Côte d’Ivoire sanctions. It will also be briefed and hold consultations on Libya. In the afternoon, the Council will hold consultations on Western Sahara.

At 12:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will launch the report, “State of the World Population 2011,” at the Noon Briefing. Its lead reporter, Barbara Crosette, and editor, Richard Kollodge, will be the guests at the Noon Briefing.

At 12:45 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, who will brief reporters on her recent trip to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Today, in Geneva, there will be a press conference on the launch of “Re:Search,” an initiative of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Participants will include Francis Gurry, WIPO Director General.

Thursday, 27 October

Today is the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (UNESCO).

This morning, the Security Council will adopt its annual report. It will also be briefed and hold consultations on Somalia. In the afternoon, the Council will meet in consultations on the 1559 report.

At 12:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, Juan Somavia, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO); Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women; and Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), will be guests at the Noon Briefing regarding the launch of a new report on the Social Protection Floor Initiative.

At 1:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by the Permanent Mission of Mongolia and UNESCO on the “2011 UN Day Concert: Celebrating Cultural Diversity.”

Friday, 28 October

At 9:00 a.m., the Security Council will hold an open debate on women and peace and security (resolution 1325).

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