HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
WEDNESDAY, 3 OCTOBER 2012
SECRETARY-GENERAL APPALLED BY ATTACK ON NIGERIAN PEACEKEEPERS IN DARFUR
- In a statement issued today, the Secretary-General said he was appalled and deeply saddened by the latest attack on peacekeepers in Darfur, which occurred during the evening of 2 October when unidentified armed assailants ambushed a UNAMID patrol in El Geneina, West Darfur. Four Nigerian peacekeepers were killed and eight were wounded.
- The Secretary-General urges the Government of the Sudan to conduct a full investigation and to ensure that the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice.
- The Secretary-General expresses his condolences to the Government of Nigeria and to the families of the fallen peacekeepers and UNAMID.
SECRETARY-GENERAL SPEAKS WITH TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER AFTER SYRIAN SHELL KILLS CIVILIANS IN TURKEY
- The Spokesperson, in response to questions, confirmed that the Foreign Minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu, called the Secretary-General this morning to express his Government's deepest concern at the incident today in Turkey where a shell apparently emanating from Syria killed a number of civilians.
- The Secretary-General expressed his condolences at the tragic loss of life and encouraged the Minister to keep open all channels of communication with the Syrian authorities with a view to lessening any tension that could build up as a result of the incident.
- The Minister had also spoken earlier to the UN-League of Arab States Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, on the same subject.
- Asked about the bombing in Aleppo, the Spokesperson said that today’s loss of life was another example of the daily violence, which underscored a need to put an end to the bloodshed. He said that, as the Deputy Secretary-General made clear during a Tuesday press conference, there needs to be a path toward dialogue.
- Asked about other initiatives, Nesirky said that Lakhdar Brahimi was in contact with leaders in the region to ensure that all peace efforts can be carefully coordinated. The need for such coordination was one reason that Mr. Brahimi would be locating his office in Cairo in the coming days.
U.N. HAITI ENVOY BRIEFS SECURITY COUNCIL, STRESSES NEED FOR CONSENSUS AMONG HAITIANS
- The Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Haiti, Mariano Fernandez, briefed the Security Council this morning.
- He said that after eight years of work by the UN Mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH, security gains were obvious -- but that efforts to consolidate the rule of law had to be maintained to see the full dividends of stability.
- He stressed the need for dialogue and for consensus among Haitians to address the challenges currently facing the country.
- He said that the Mission was now working to establish a permanent Electoral Council which would be widely accepted.
HEAD OF U.N. MISSION IN COTE D’IVOIRE ON TWO-DAY VISIT TO GHANA
- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Côte d'Ivoire, Bert Koenders, today met with Ghanaian President John Mahama, in Accra, Ghana.
- His two-day visit, which ends tomorrow, 4 October 2012, is being carried out within the framework of his good offices and in support of the cordial relations between the countries in the West Africa sub-region.
- Mr. Koenders is due to meet other officials in the Ghanaian capital before returning to Abidjan tomorrow.
BAHRAIN: SECRETARY-GENERAL HAS MADE CLEAR HIS CONCERN ABOUT DUE PROCESS
- Asked about recent court decisions in Bahrain, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has repeatedly made clear his concerns about due process in Bahrain, including in the case of the doctors.
- The Secretary-General has repeatedly appealed to the Bahraini authorities to ensure the application of international human rights norms, including the right to a fair trial, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. He has also called on the Bahraini Government to complete the full implementation of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry’s recommendations.
- The Spokesperson added that the Secretary-General believes that there needs to be an all-inclusive and meaningful national dialogue that addresses the legitimate aspirations of all Bahrainis, as this is the only way to promote peace, stability and justice in the country.
PAKISTAN: U.N. AGENCIES ASSIST FLOOD VICTIMS IN BALOCHISTAN AND SINDH PROVINCES
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that the United Nations and its humanitarian partners have so far distributed 655 tons of food to more than half of the 20,000 families affected by flooding in Pakistan’s Balochistan and Sindh provinces.
- Similarly, life-saving medicines have been given to more than 440,000 people in the hardest-hit districts in Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh.
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs adds that more than 300,000 people in the flood-affected districts in Pakistan urgently require help for their nutrition needs.
SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION IN LAOS, AFTER VISIT TO EUROPE
- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, is today in Lao People’s Democratic Republic where she was expected to meet senior officials and attend a national consultation on the post-2015 disaster risk reduction.
- Earlier this week, Ms. Wahlström attended the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
- In her remarks, she said that Europe has a major role to play in shaping the post-2015 international framework agreement on disaster risk reduction. She added that Europe’s experience in implementing the Hyogo Framework for Action will be vital to the consultations on the post-2015 disaster risk reduction framework.
SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS DAVID MALONE OF CANADA AS RECTOR OF U.N. UNIVERSITY
- Following consultations with the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, and with her concurrence, the Secretary-General has appointed David M. Malone of Canada as Rector of the United Nations University (UNU) in Tokyo.
- Dr. Malone will succeed Prof. Konrad Osterwalder of Switzerland who has served as UNU Rector since 2007.