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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 FARHAN HAQ, ACTING DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

FRIDAY, 12 NOVEMBER 2010

 

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL: AGREEMENT OF GOVERNMENT FORMATION PROCESS A ‘MAJOR STEP’ FORWARD IN IRAQ’S DEMOCRATIC PROCESS

  • The Secretary-General welcomes the agreement of the government formation process in Iraq which represents a major step forward in the country’s democratic process. He commends all political parties and their leaders for reaching a compromise that will serve the collective of the Iraqi people. The Secretary-General congratulates President Jalal Talabani on his re-election, and welcomes the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speakers of the Parliament and the nomination of the designate Prime Minister. The Secretary-General calls on Iraqi leaders to continue demonstrating the same spirit of partnership in moving swiftly to conclude the formation of a new government. The United Nations is committed to assisting the people and Government of Iraq in their efforts to achieve national reconciliation and build a strong and prosperous country.
     

  • Asked about the difficulties concerning government formation, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations was well aware of the problems encountered over the past eight months.
     

  • However, he said, it was a hopeful sign that there had been an Iraqi-led process in which representatives from Iraq’s different political parties and ethnic groups had come together to bring us to the formation of a government. The Secretary-General, he said, now wanted the Iraqi parties to show the same spirit so that they can conclude the formation of a government.
     

  • Asked about violence in Iraq, Haq said that the Secretary-General had recently issued a statement condemning the violence, and that he and his Special Representative for Iraq, Ad Melkert, had urged Iraqis to avoid having such attacks divide them along ethnic or religious lines.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES G20 LEADERS TO KEEP PROMISES MADE TOWARDS ACHIEVING MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

  • The Secretary-General addressed the Group of 20 leaders gathered in Seoul today, telling them that the promises made at the Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) must be promises kept. Our words must translate into action on the ground.
     

  • He said that the G20 leaders could chart a way forward by keeping the focus on the MDGs, by demonstrating strong political will; by making strategic investments that multiply progress across all Millennium Development Goals; and by following through on our funding commitments. Economic uncertainty, he said, should not be an excuse to do less.
     

  • He later spoke to the G20 leaders about climate change at a working lunch, saying that we need to make progress on all fronts. We need to move forward on efforts to protect forests, finance, adaptation and technology cooperation.
     

  • The Secretary-General said that climate finance is crucial for unlocking progress in the negotiations and closing the gap in trust. He asked the G20 developed countries to contribute fairly and transparently to fast-start funding for the 2010-2012 period. Developing countries are looking for new and additional funds, he told them -- not repackaged development aid.
     

  • The Secretary-General will be back at UN Headquarters on Monday.

 

CÔTE D’IVOIRE: U.N. ENVOY CERTIFIES FIRST-ROUND PRESIDENTIAL POLLS

  • The Secretary-General has received from his Special Representative in Côte d'Ivoire, Choi Young-Jin, the statement certifying the first round of presidential elections in the country.
     

  • Choi says that after a thorough analysis and evaluation of the final results of the first round of the presidential elections, which took place on 31 October, he has concluded that the process leading to the proclamation of the final results was as a whole peaceful and democratic, and that the results of the elections were determined through a fair and transparent process.
     

  • He calls on all stakeholders to remain committed to the holding of an open, free, fair and transparent second round of the presidential elections, with a view to bringing the Ivorian crisis closer to a conclusion. That second round is scheduled for 28 November.

 

U.N., PARTNERS LAUNCH NEW CHOLERA PLAN FOR HAITI

  • The United Nations and its partners are launching a new cholera plan for Haiti. More than $163 million are requested for the Cholera Inter-Sector Response Strategy for Haiti – which aims to support the Government of Haiti’s response to the current cholera epidemic.
     

  • The Humanitarian Coordinator in the country, Nigel Fisher, says that although a major effort has already been made, the sheer quantity of relief items that need to be delivered in the days and weeks ahead is going to require more logistical and financial support by all humanitarian agencies and donors.
     

  • According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 12,000 Haitians have been hospitalised so far and more than 800 people have died during the cholera outbreak. That office adds that a total of 200,000 people are expected to show symptoms of cholera, ranging from cases of mild diarrhea to the most severe dehydration.
     

  • It also says that, according to epidemiologists, the epidemic will continue to spread throughout the country and resources will need to be mobilized for at least six months.
     

  • Asked about the estimate that as many as 200,000 people could be affected to some degree, the Spokesperson said that this number was calculated based on other countries’ experiences, and calculations by the Pan-American Health Organization/World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Centers for Disease Control.
     

  • He noted that medical interventions supported by the UN system had helped to deal with cholera cases to keep down the number of deaths from cholera. But more support is needed, he added, given the scale of the problem.
     

  • Asked about donor fatigue, he noted that there had been an outpouring of support for Haiti following the 12 January earthquake and voiced the hope that the urgency of the cholera crisis could prompt renewed pledges.

 

SECURITY COUNCIL TO MEET ON KOSOVO

  • The Security Council will hold an open meeting this afternoon on Kosovo.
     

  • The discussions are expected to focus on the Secretary-General’s latest report to the Security Council on Kosovo, in which he welcomes the resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 9 September and the readiness of the European Union to facilitate a process of dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade. He encourages Pristina and Belgrade to engage in it in good faith, in close consultation with the European Union.
     

  • The Secretary-General is concerned over the recent report by the Kosovo authorities and the subsequent media commentaries against the presence of the UN Mission (UNMIK) in the north, which have risked placing United Nations staff in danger. UNMIK would be prepared to hand over its functions in northern Kosovo to a structure which is legitimate and acceptable to all communities, in accordance with the United Nations policy of status neutrality. Until then, the Secretary-General strongly urges all sides to continue their cooperation with UNMIK in delivering its mandate.

 

U.N. CALLS FOR MORE TIME FOR MYANMAR REFUGEES BEFORE RETURNING HOME FROM THAILAND

  • The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is reporting that most of the 15,000 refugees who fled into northern Thailand have returned to Myanmar.
     

  • The refugees escaped across the border when fighting broke out between ethnic Karen rebels and Government troops in eastern Myanmar, the day after last weekend’s elections. But some refugees have crossed back into Thailand due to resumed clashes.
     

  • Together with the Thai Government, UNHCR is advocating for refugees to be given more time before being encouraged to return home.
     

  • The agency said that it cannot assess the voluntary nature of all returns at this time.

 

SPECIAL TRIBUNAL FOR LEBANON IS FAIR AND IMPARTIAL

  • Asked about the impartiality of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General believed that the Tribunal would do a fair and impartial job as it fulfils its mandate, provided under resolutions of the Security Council.
     

  • He noted that the Secretary-General had urged all parties to cooperate with the Tribunal.
     

  • Asked about the country’s stability, Haq said that, by dealing with the issue of impunity and providing a sense of justice, the Tribunal could help to provide stability to Lebanon.

 

U.N. REFUGEE CHIEF WELCOMES ADOPTION BY LATIN AMERICAN NATIONS OF DECLARATION TO PROTECT THE DISPLACED

  • UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres applauded yesterday’s adoption of a declaration on the protection of refugees and stateless persons by 18 Latin American countries. He said the declaration, adopted in Brazil’s capital, Brasilia, is a model for other regions of the world to follow.
     

  • It is also a very significant show of political will, he said, stressing that by taking a unified approach to displacement issues, Latin America is at the forefront of efforts to enhance the protection of refugees, the internally displaced and the stateless.

 

RETURN OF UPROOTED TO PAKISTAN’S SOUTH WAZIRISTAN WILL BEGIN NEXT MONTH, U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY REPORTS

  • With a recent survey finding that the majority of people uprooted by the October 2009 Pakistani army offensive against militants want to return home, UNHCR is gearing up to help the displaced return voluntarily to South Waziristan next month.
     

  • Currently, some 8,000 families – or 56,000 people – are displaced and living in South Waziristan.
     

  • Nearly half of the 2,000 uprooted families surveyed said they would like to return immediately, citing improved security, cultivating their land and sending their children to school as reasons for wanting to go back.
     

  • UNHCR will provide transportation, tents and other supplies for those who return, and will also support ‘go-and-see’ visits to allow people to make informed decisions about whether to return to South Waziristan.

 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

U.N. HUMANITARIAN CHIEF HAS CALLED FOR INVESTIGATION INTO RAPES AMONG CONGOLESE MIGRANTS IN ANGOLA: Asked about the rapes that had occurred among Congolese migrants in Angola, the Spokesperson recalled that Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos had called for a prompt investigation by the national authorities.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS ALL TERRORIST ATTACKS: Asked about an attack in the Pakistani city of Karachi, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General condemns all such terrorist attacks, regardless of cause.

 

INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION, STAFF UNION HOLD REGULAR MEETINGS: Asked about reported labour disputes at the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Spokesperson noted that ILO has said that the ILO Administration and the Staff Union hold regular meetings and have reached agreement on a number of matters relating to the working conditions of ILO staff. Nevertheless, there is one area on which the parties differ: the procedures concerning recruitment and selection.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS[1]
13 November-19 November 2010

 

Saturday, 13 November

 

There are no major events scheduled for today.

 

Sunday, 14 November

 

Today is World Diabetes Day.

 

Monday, 15 November

 

Today, the Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution on piracy off the coast of Somalia. It will also hold an open debate on its 1276, 1373 and 1540 Committees.

 

At 12:30 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, will brief journalists on her recent trip to Sudan.

 

From 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. in Conference Room 7 (NLB), the United Nations University will organize a UNU Midday Forum with Justin N. Seruhere, Minister Plenipotentiary at the Permanent Mission of the United Republic of Tanzania to the UN, entitled “The Role of Entrepreneurship in the Attainment and Sustainability of MDGs”.

 

Starting today and until 17 November, the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Forum on Urbanization and Health will bring together city mayors and government leaders with experts from around the world to address the links between cities and health.

 

Tuesday, 16 November

 

This morning, the Security Council will hold a debate on Sudan. The Secretary-general is expected to address this meeting. In the afternoon, the Security Council will hold consultations on Western Sahara.

 

At 11:00 a.m. in the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, Mr. Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Affairs will hold a press conference about the appointment of actress Monique Coleman as UN Youth Champion for the International Year of Youth. Participants include: Ms. Monique Coleman, and Mr. Jean-Pierre Gonnot, Acting Director for the Division for Social Policy and Development, who will moderate the press conference.

 

A Candlelight Vigil will be held from 6:00 to 7:00 pm in Times Square as an urgent call to action on behalf of all the children and youth who suffer from exploitation and abuse worldwide. The event is sponsored by Covenant House International, Religions for Peace, UNICEF, and the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children.

 

Today is the International Day for Tolerance.

 

Wednesday, 17 November

 

Today is an official UN holiday. UN Headquarters in New York will be closed.

 

Thursday, 18 November

 

Today, the Secretary-General will meet with the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, in the framework of the on-going negotiation process to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, conducted by the two communities under the auspices of the United Nations.

 

This morning, the Security Council is expected to adopt resolutions on Bosnia and Herzegovina and the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS). It will also hold consultations on its 1701 report.

 

Today is World Philosophy Day.

 

Friday, 19 November

 

At 12:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, the United Nations Industrialization Organization (UNIDO) will hold a press conference to brief on Africa Industrialization Day. Participants include George Assaf, Director and UNIDO Representative to the United Nations; Ambassador Tete Antonio, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations; and Ambassador Oumar Daou, Permanent Representative of Mali to the United Nations.

 

At 1:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, the Outreach Division of the Department of Public Information will hold a press conference on the launch of UN Academic Impact. Participants include Mr. Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for the Department of Public Information; Michael Adams, President-elect of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP); and Madame Guo, Alliance of Asia-Pacific Region Orchestras and China Symphony Development Foundation.

 


 

[1]This document is for planning purposes only and is current as of  DATE \@ "HH:mm" 13:24  DATE \@ "dddd, dd MMMM, yyyy" Friday, 12 November, 2010. 

 

 

 

 

  

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