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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

 

MONDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2013

 

TYPHOON HAIYAN: SECRETARY-GENERAL SPEAKS BY PHONE WITH FOREIGN MINISTER OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • The Secretary-General spoke by telephone with the Foreign Minister of the Philippines about Typhoon Haiyan on Monday morning.
  • The Secretary-General offered his condolences for all those who have suffered as a result of the disaster and re-affirmed the support and solidarity of the United Nations.
  • He also told the Foreign Minister that he is dispatching the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, to the Philippines.
  • On Tuesday, the Foreign Minister, Ms. Amos and the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator are expected to launch a Typhoon Haiyan Action Plan.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO BRIEF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN AFRICA, SYRIA

  • On Monday afternoon, the Secretary-General was due to brief the General Assembly on a number of recent developments following his return from last week’s travel to the Sahel. It was the first ever joint trip by the heads of the United Nations, the World Bank and the African Union, as well as the European Union Commissioner for Development and head of the African Development Bank. He was expected to tell the Member States that the delegation to the Sahel carried a clear message: that security and development must go hand-in-hand.
  • The Secretary-General was also due to discuss developments in other key areas, including the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Syria. And he was expected to talk about the follow-up to the work of the Internal Review Panel that issued a report last year assessing UN action in the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka.
  • The Spokesperson added, in response to questions about the briefing, that it would be up to Member States to respond to the Secretary-General’s remarks.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO TRAVEL TO LATVIA, ESTONIA AND LITHUANIA THIS WEEK

  • The Secretary-General will depart New York on Wednesday, 13 November, for a trip which will take him to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.
  • In Latvia, the Secretary-General will meet President Andris Berzinš, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics and Solvita Aboltina, Speaker of Parliament.
  • While in Riga, he will also speak at the “Latvia-95” Conference, commemorating the 95th anniversary of the country’s establishment.
  • The next stop on the Secretary-General’s visit will be Estonia, where he will hold talks with President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, and Ene Ergma, President of Parliament.
  • He will visit the Robotex 2013 Technology Exhibition and Robotics Competition and give a public lecture at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • The last stop on the Secretary-General’s visit will be Lithuania, where he will meet with President Dalia Grybauskaite, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius, Foreign Minister Linas Antanas Linkevicius and Loreta Graužiniene, Speaker of Parliament.
  • While in Lithuania, the Secretary-General will visit a sustainable energy project. He will also receive an Honorary Doctorate at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas.
  • The Secretary-General will wrap up his visit to the Baltic region on Monday, 18 November.

U.N.: IT IS CRUCIAL FOR BOTH SYRIAN GOVERNMENT AND OPPOSITION TO BE PRESENT AT GENEVA II CONFERENCE

  • Asked about the decision by Syria’s opposition on participating in a Geneva II conference, the Spokesperson said that it is crucial for both a Syrian Government delegation and a Syrian opposition delegation to be present for such a conference.
  • No date for a Geneva II conference has been set so far, he added.
  • Asked about humanitarian access to Syria, Nesirky noted recent statements, including recently by Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos, about the continuing need for humanitarian access. He said that there has been some access, but not to the levels that are required.

U.N. MISSION CONCERNED ABOUT ESCALATION OF FIGHTING IN PARTS OF DARFUR IN RECENT WEEKS

  • The joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping operation in Darfur, UNAMID, is gravely concerned about the escalation of inter-tribal fighting in some parts of Darfur in the recent weeks.
  • The Mission has received reports of tribal fighting amongst Misseriya, Taisha and Salamat in different locations in the south-western part of Central Darfur in the past days. The Mission is in the process of verifying the scale of these clashes, including casualties.
  • The Mission also reported that, on Monday, a committee comprising Native Administration of various tribes and prominent tribal leaders, including Misseriya and Salamat, met in Central Darfur aiming to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the current conflict.

U.N. CLIMATE CONFERENCE BEGINS IN WARSAW

  • The UN Climate Conference, also known as COP 19, began in Warsaw, Poland, on Monday. At the opening of the conference, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, said that the conference must make progress toward an agreement in 2015.
  • In her remarks, Ms. Figueres also said that we need to work together to clarify options for climate finance and construct a mechanism to help people deal with climate change effects.

INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE SAYS CAMBODIA HAS SOVEREIGNTY OVER PREAH VIHEAR TEMPLE’S PROMONTORY

  • In the case concerning the temple of Preah Vihear, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rendered its judgment on Monday that Cambodia had sovereignty over the whole territory of the temple’s promontory.
  • The Court also said that Thailand was obliged to withdraw from that territory its military or police forces stationed there.

 

*** The Guest at the noon briefing was John Ging, the Director of the Operational Division at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). He briefed reporters on the Philippines typhoon as well as the situation in Sudan and South Sudan.