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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 EDUARDO DEL BUEY, DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

FRIDAY, 28 OCTOBER 2011

WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION IN CONFLICT PREVENTION STILL LOW, SECRETARY-GENERAL TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL

  • The Secretary-General addressed the Security Council’s open meeting on women, peace and security today, and he said that women’s participation in conflict prevention and resolution remains low.  This has to change, he said, adding that he is determined that the UN system should lead by example. In the past year, the Secretary-General noted, the number of women leading UN peacekeeping, political and peace building missions has gone up to 6 in 33 missions.

  • The Secretary-General reiterated his deep concern about the persistence of serious abuses of women’s rights. We must respond swiftly and effectively to such crimes wherever and whenever they occur and hold those responsible to account, he said.

  • Michelle Bachelet, the Executive Director of UN Women, added that the UN system is working to increase post-conflict spending on women’s empowerment and gender equality. The UN wants that spending to reach a level of at least 15 percent of post-conflict financing within a few years.

NIGER: ONE MILLION PEOPLE NEED FOOD AID, SAYS U.N. PROGRAMME

  • Around one million people are in urgent need of food after a poor harvest in drought-hit Niger. The figure is likely to rise as the country moves towards the April-September lean season. Crop assessment results confirm a national cereal deficit of around 500,000 metric tons, worse figures than for the crisis years of 2005 and 2010.

  • The World Food Programme (WFP) is planning to scale up its operations in Niger urgently, increasing the numbers of people reached by cash and food-for-work projects, and boosting nutrition for children under age two, pregnant women and nursing mothers. The Programme already reaches an average of 500,000 vulnerable people per month.

  • The increasing frequency of droughts in the Sahel means that communities have not had time to recover from the last food crisis. Vulnerable families have had no time to replenish their household food stocks and build up their herds of livestock.

  • The return of around 200,000 migrant workers who used to send remittances to their families from Libya and Ivory Coast has not only hit the local economy but has created an additional burden on communities already struggling to find food.

  • WFP estimates it needs an additional US$60 million to provide food assistance to the most vulnerable groups for the next six months.

  • It is closely monitoring the situation in other countries in the region and is concerned about the situation in Chad, Mauritania, and Burkina Faso. In Mauritania, it estimates that some 700,000 people are facing severe food insecurity, compared to 500,000 in previous years.

NEARLY TWO MILLION FLOOD-AFFECTED PEOPLE HAVE RECEIVED FOOD, U.N. RELIEF ARM REPORTS

  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that some 1.8 million people have been provided with food since the beginning of the floods in Pakistan. Another 700,000 people have received essential medicines, 870,000 people have received clean water and 375,000 people have obtained emergency shelter.

  • The Rapid Response Plan, which was launched on 18 September, is only 23 percent funded, so far, with only 80 million dollars received by now. If additional funding is not found, UN agencies estimate that most relief stocks will run out soon.

U.N., NICARAGUA CALL FOR FUNDS TO HELP FLOOD VICTIMS

  • The United Nations and the Government of Nicaragua launched a flash appeal of $ 14.3 million to assist 134,000 people affected by the floods over the next six months on Wednesday.

  • Priority projects are in water and sanitation, shelter, health, food aid, agricultural livelihoods and early recovery. Those projects will complement and support national efforts.

  • Access to remote and heavily affected areas in Estreli and Chinandega is still limited due to blocked roads or landslides and flooding.

U.N. CHILDREN’S FUND AND PARTNERS RAMPING UP EFFORTS TO PREVENT SECOND WAVE OF DEATHS IN SOMALIA

  • One hundred days since famine was declared in parts of southern Somalia, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and its partners are doing their utmost to prevent a second and potentially more devastating wave of deaths from disease against a background of conflict.

  • UNICEF says that the current rains will bring some relief to drought-affected areas but will also increase the risk of disease outbreaks and hamper the distribution of aid. In addition, the escalating fighting across the South of Somalia is making it even more difficult to deliver life-saving support to children and their families.

  • UNICEF says it will expand its efforts to reach children wherever they are and minimize the impact of the deteriorating situation.

  • The Children’s Fund is urging all parties to the conflict to meet their moral and legal obligation to provide safety and security to children and women already facing a disaster.

  • Since the declaration of famine on July 20, almost 110,000 severely malnourished children were treated at UNICEF-supported centres across the region. More than 2.6 million people were provided with access to safe water and over 1.5 million were reached with hygiene awareness and supplies. Since July, 8,700 metric tons of life-saving supplies were delivered by air, land or sea to South and Central Somalia.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO MEET WITH LEADERS OF GREEK, TURKISH COMMUNITIES: The Secretary-General will be meeting with the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities this weekend in Greentree, Long Island. The two-day meeting will begin on Sunday morning, 30 October, and end in the evening of Monday, 31 October.

ARREST WARRANT AGAINST SAIF AL-ISLAM SHOULD BE RESPECTED: Asked about the whereabouts of Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, the Spokesperson noted that there is an International Criminal Court indictment against him and that the United Nations expects States to respect the arrest warrant against him.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

29 OCTOBER – 4 NOVEMBER 2011

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

Saturday, 29 October

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Sunday, 30 October

Today, a meeting with the Secretary-General and the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities will begin in Greentree, Long Island. It will end on 31 October.

Monday, 31 October

This morning, the Security Council will be briefed on post-conflict peacebuilding.

At 10:30 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, the Secretary-General; H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, President of the United Nations General Assembly; Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); and Slagjana Soklova, UNFPA Special Youth Fellow from The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; will speak to reporters regarding the world’s population reaching seven billion. Juju Chang, Special Correspondent, “Nightline,” ABC News, will moderate.

At 12:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), will be guests at the noon press briefing.  They will launch a joint plan of action between UNODC and UNHCR.

At 1:15 p.m., there will be a special event on “Agricultural cooperatives: A means to achieving food security” on the occasion of the launch of the International Year of Cooperatives, in Conference Room 6 of the North Lawn Building (NLB). This event is being co-organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

At 2:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference on the “Financial Crisis and Cooperative Banks”.  Speakers will include Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA); Monique Leroux, Board Chair, President and CEO, Desjardins Group, Canada; Pauline Green, President, International Co-operative Alliance; and Piet Moerland, Chairman of the Executive Board of Rabobank, Netherlands.

Today, in Geneva, the International Labour Organization (ILO) will sponsor a press conference on “The World of Work Report 2011 – Jobs and Markets.”

Tuesday, 1 November

Today, Portugal assumes the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of November.

At 11:15 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by Faiza Patel, Chairperson of the Working Group on Mercenaries.

Today, High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will begin her first official visit to the Republic of Moldova to discuss a broad range of rights issues with the Government, the Centre for Human Rights, as well as civil society organizations. Her visit will end on 4 November.

Today, in Geneva, there will be a press conference on the “Human Development Report 2011 – Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All”, with Jeni Klugman, lead author and former Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Report Office in New York, and Adam Rogers, Senior Strategic Communication Advisor of UNDP.

This evening, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro will deliver the keynote speech at the United Nations Association’s Kansas Chapter Annual “UN Day Dinner”, hosted by the Mayor of Kansas City.

Wednesday, 2 November

At 10:30 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference on the “2011 Human Development Report—Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All?” UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt will take part in the report’s global launch today in Copenhagen.

At 12:45 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, Ambassador José Filipe Moraes Cabral, President of the Security Council for the month of November, will present the Programme of Work of the Security Council for the month.

At 5:30 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by Luis Moreno Ocampo, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Thursday, 3 November

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Friday, 4 November

At 3:00 p.m., in Conference Room 1 (NLB), there will be a panel discussion on “The impact of Aid for Trade and trade facilitation measures for the effective participation of landlocked developing countries in the international trading system.” This event is being co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Paraguay and the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS).

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