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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, 10 NOVEMBER 2011

SECRETARY-GENERAL BRIEFS GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON RECENT G20 SUMMIT

  • The Secretary-General spoke at an informal plenary of the General Assembly on Thursday morning and discussed his participation last week in the Group of 20 Summit in Cannes.

  • He said that the repercussions of the Greek crisis, and the threat of contagion to other eurozone economies, had dominated the event. He said that he nonetheless gave a consistent message to leaders: Do not overlook the most vulnerable people. Live up to past pledges. And recognize that investment in the poor is smart investment, for all.

  • The Secretary-General noted that the G20 leaders welcomed his Sustainable Energy For All initiative. He also called on the G20 countries to ensure that disagreements on the design of the new Green Climate Fund are resolved before the climate conference in Durban, so it can be launched.

  • The Secretary-General will shortly also discuss with the Assembly his recent visit to Libya, along with the General Assembly President. During that trip, the Secretary-General assured everyone of the commitment of the United Nations to assist as requested in holding elections. He also affirmed the UN’s commitment to assisting in efforts to promote transitional justice and national reconciliation, and to ensure public security, respect for human rights and the rule of law.

  • Asked about UN support for the reconstruction of Libya, the Spokesperson noted the mandate of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and added that the question of Libya’s infrastructure will need to be dealt with by the international community as a whole. He recalled the Secretary-General’s efforts to help unfreeze the country’s foreign assets, adding that more will need to be done.

BAN KI-MOON SET TO TRAVEL TO SOUTH-EAST ASIA

  • On Saturday, 12 November, the Secretary-General will depart for a three-country visit to South-East Asia, which will take him to Bangladesh, Thailand and Indonesia.

  • A key purpose of his visit is to showcase the progress and leadership of these countries in advancing women’s and children’s health in the context of the “Every Woman Every Child” effort he initiated in 2010.

  • He will conclude his trip in Bali with the fourth summit between the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

  • The Secretary-General will return to New York on Sunday, 20 November.

SECRETARY-GENERAL EXPRESSES CONCERN FOLLOWING I.A.E.A. REPORT ON IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAMME

  • Asked about a report on Iran’s nuclear programme, the Spokesperson said that the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has circulated an updated report on the Islamic Republic of Iran for consideration at the meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors. A copy has also been submitted to the Security Council. The Secretary-General has received a copy of the report.

  • The Secretary-General notes with serious concern information that indicates Iran has carried out activities that point to a possible military dimension to its nuclear programme. He emphasizes again that the onus is on Iran to prove the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme. He reiterates his call for Iran’s compliance with all the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and IAEA Board of Governors.

  • The Secretary-General reiterates his belief that a negotiated rather than a military solution is the only way to resolve this issue.

KOSOVO: U.N. ENVOY SPEAKS OUT AGAINST SHOOTINGS

  • The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Kosovo, Farid Zarif, strongly condemned the shooting incidents that occurred on Wednesday in the northern part of Mitrovica. One person died and two other people were wounded in the violence.

  • Mr. Zarif said that the violence was completely unacceptable and should not be tolerated, adding that it could threaten Kosovo’s peace and security.

  • He called on the competent authorities, as well as the European Union mission EULEX, to launch a full investigation into all of the circumstances relating to the incident and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

U.N. SPECIAL ADVISER ARRIVES IN YEMEN

  • The UN Special Adviser on Yemen, Jamal Benomar, arrived in Yemen on Thursday and is continuing his efforts aimed at encouraging an inclusive transition process that meets the needs and aspirations of all Yemenis.

  • Mr. Benomar is expected to remain in the country for a week.

  • He will report back to the Secretary-General, who has been requested to inform the Security Council on the implementation of resolution 2014 (2011).

SECURITY COUNCIL, GENERAL ASSEMBLY ELECTS JUDGES FOR INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE

  • On Thursday morning, the General Assembly and the Security Council met to elect five judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Giorgio Gaja of Italy, Hisashi Owada of Japan, Peter Tomka of Slovakia, and Ms. Xue Hanqin of China have been elected so far, and voting is taking place for the remaining judge.

  • In the afternoon, the Security Council will meet in closed consultations to discuss Sudan and South Sudan.

U.N. RELIEF ARM CONCERNED OVER IMPACT OF UPTICK OF VIOLENCE IN SOUTHERN SOMALIA

  • In Somalia, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that humanitarian organizations are deeply concerned over the potential impact of the recent escalation in the conflict in southern Somalia.

  • The Office reports that that people have started fleeing their homes in Afgooye, Kismayo, Baidoa, Marka and other towns in southern Somalia, following declarations that they will soon face aerial strikes.

  • It adds that the number of Somali refugees arriving in Ethiopia in October is nearly double that recorded in September.

FLOODING STILL DIRE IN SOUTH-EAST ASIA, U.N. SAYS

  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that flooding in many parts of Southeast Asia remains dire.

  • It says that nearly 1,000 people have died since the crisis began four months ago.

  • Nearly nine million people have been affected by torrential rains and overflowing rivers.

SOUTH SUDAN: U.N. RIGHTS OFFICERS FOLLOWING UP ON JOURNALIST’S ARREST

  • On the arrest of a journalist working for the Sudan Tribune, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) says that its Human Rights officers are currently following up on that arrest.

  • The Mission also notes that the transitional constitution of South Sudan clearly states that it protects freedom of the press.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

U.N. EFFORTS TO HELP UPROOTE IN PAKISTAN NEED FUNDING: Asked about internally displaced people in Pakistan, the Spokesperson noted the efforts by the UN system to help those people but underscored the low level of funds for the UN appeal for Pakistan.

 

DEVELOPMENTS IN MIDDLE EAST TOP BAN KI-MOON’S TALKS WITH FORMER ARAB LEAGUE CHIEF: Asked about the Secretary-General’s meeting with Amre Moussa, the former Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, the Spokesperson said that they discussed current developments in the Middle East and North Africa, including in Egypt.

 

U.N. STUDYING LETTER ON HAITI CHOLERA CLAIM: Asked about a claim filed concerning cholera victims in Haiti, the Spokesperson said that a letter has been received and is being studied by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Office for Legal Affairs and other relevant offices.

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