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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, 26 OCTOBER 2011

U.N. ENVOY WELCOMES LIBYAN ANNOUNCEMENT OF INVESTIGATION INTO QADHAFI’S DEATH

  • On Wednesday morning, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Libya, Ian Martin, briefed the Security Council.

  • In his briefing Mr. Martin said that Muammar and Motassim Qadhafi were mistreated and killed in circumstances which require investigation, and there are other disturbing reports that killings amounting to war crimes were committed on both sides in the final battle for Sirte. Such killings were contrary to the orders of the National Transitional Council, and he welcomed their announcement of an investigation. He said they also are within the scope of the International Commission of Inquiry mandated by the Human Rights Council.

  • Mr. Martin noted that the flow of weapons across borders is naturally a major anxiety for Libya’s neighbours and beyond. The implications of events in Libya for the region also include the outflow of people – not just migrant workers, but also armed elements from the former regime – and concerns for those third country nationals who remain. Together with the African Union, the United Nations will work with Libya’s neighbours to support them in addressing these matters.

  • After Mr. Martin’s briefing, the Security Council held closed consultations on the situation in Libya.

  • On Wednesday afternoon, it will meet in closed session for consultations on Western Sahara.

  • Asked about an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Muammar Qadhafi's death, the Spokesperson reminded media that the Special Representative for the Secretary-General, Ian Martin, commented on this at the Security Council this morning, and said that we had hoped Qadhafi and others with the heaviest responsibility for crimes such as war crimes and other grave violations would be captured and brought to justice. He went on to note that primary responsibility for accountability rests with the national authorities, and that we welcomed the National Transition Council announcement that it would investigate allegations of mistreatment.

  • Asked about the flow of Libyan weapons across porous borders, the Spokesperson reported that the UN will work with Libya's neighbours to address the issue of the flow of weapons and people inside and outside the country. Nesirky went on to say Mr. Martin had noted increasing concerns about the looting of munitions in his address to the Security Council, and that this has serious potential local and regional implications.

SECRETARY-GENERAL APPRECIATIVE OF STRONG COMMITMENT OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

  • On Wednesday morning, the Secretary-General met with the non-governmental organization community.

  • He expressed his strong appreciation for their strong commitment and willingness to work with the United Nations in addressing many of the important challenges we are facing.

  • The Secretary-General said that the world needs to forge a common agenda for sustainable peace, prosperity, freedom and justice.
  • The three areas in which non-governmental organizations’ efforts will be especially important are: sustainable development, disarmament and helping countries in transition.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

U.N. MISSION IN AFGHANISTAN CONSISTENTLY REPORTS NUMBERS OF CIVILIAN DEATHS: Asked about the number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan, the Spokesperson said there has been consistent reporting from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) about casualties over the years and that these figures are widely respected.

U.N. FOCUS OF GLOBAL POPULATION REACHING 7 BILLION TO CENTRE ON SUSTAINABILITY: Asked whether the Secretary-General and the United Nations planned to identify an individual as the seven billionth person on the planet, the Spokesperson said this is much more about 7 billion people as a whole and how the world can sustain a population of that size and allow them to live in dignity. The Secretary-General would participate in symbolic events, but would not focus on identifying who the seven billionth child might be.

***The guests at the Noon Briefing were Barbara Crossette and Richard Kollodge, who are among the authors of the report, “The State of the World Population 2011.”

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