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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, 14 NOVEMBER 2011

IN BANGLADESH, SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR GLOBAL SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE

  • The Secretary-General arrived in Bangladesh yesterday evening. This morning, he met with the Foreign Minister and senior Government officials before opening the Climate Vulnerable Forum with the Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina.

  • He told participants that climate change is a global problem requiring a global solution. We are in the middle of a serious economic crisis, he said. But even in these difficult times, we cannot afford delay.

  • Later, he held a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister and they jointly inaugurated the “One Stop Service Centre,” an e-governance initiative. He said at that event that Digital Bangladesh is becoming a reality, adding that modern electronic systems have replaced century-old, heavily bureaucratic manual administrative practices.

  • The Secretary-General also met with Khaleda Zia, the leader of the opposition, and he also visited the International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research.

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES RESOLUTION ON SYRIA

  • The Secretary-General welcomed the resolution adopted over the weekend by the Council of Ministers of the League of Arab States, who have taken a strong and courageous stance regarding the situation in Syria. He takes note of the decision to suspend Syria from participating in the League's council meetings and activities starting from 16 November until Syria implements all its commitments under the work plan agreed on 2 November.

  • The Secretary-General urges the Syrian authorities to heed the call from the League to stop violence by the Army against civilians immediately, and to implement the work plan fully and speedily. He welcomes the League's intention to provide protection for the civilians, and expresses his readiness to provide the relevant support when requested. He is encouraged by the League's efforts to promote a genuine and inclusive political dialogue, starting with the League's call for a meeting by the Syrian opposition in the coming days.

  • The Secretary-General reiterates that all violence must stop immediately to open the way for a credible Syrian-led process of comprehensive political change that will address the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people.

  • Asked whether the Security Council should take up the Syria dispute, the Spokesperson said that was a matter for Council members to consider.

SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFED ON L.R.A, CENTRAL AFRICAN REGION

  • This morning the Special Representative of the Secretary-General Abou Moussa briefed the Security Council on the situation in the Central African region. He also delivered the Secretary-General’s report on the Lord’s Resistance Army and on the Activities of the United Nations Office for Central Africa.

  • Mr Moussa reported that the establishment of the United Nations Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) underscored the willingness of Central African leaders to find appropriate solutions to the conflicts that have affected a number of countries in the sub-region in the past.

  • He identified a number of key challenges facing the sub-region, including cross border security and the activities of armed groups such as the Lord’s Resistance Army, the circulation of small arms and light weapons, and drugs and human trafficking. He also noted that piracy in the region remains of great concern.

  • This afternoon the Council will meet in closed consultations on Myanmar.

MIDDLE EAST QUARTET ENVOYS AND REPRESENTATIVE CALL FOR CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT TO RESTART TALKS

  • Quartet Envoys and Quartet Representative Tony Blair met separately in Jerusalem today with representatives of the parties. Those meetings followed up on the Quartet statement from 23 September 2011 and the meetings from 26 October 2011.

  • Envoys continued to encourage the parties to resume direct bilateral negotiations without delay or preconditions. They discussed with the parties their development of proposals on territory and security in the context of the shared commitment to direct talks on the basis of the Quartet statement of 23 September 2011.

  • Envoys called upon the parties to create a conducive environment for restarting talks and urged the parties to refrain from provocative actions.

  • Envoys will remain in close contact with each other and the parties and intend to have a follow-on meeting in December.

SPECIAL COORDINATOR FFOR LEBANON MEETS WITH PRIME MINISTER

  • Robert Watkins, the acting Special Coordinator for Lebanon, met with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati today. He noted the overall stability in southern Lebanon in recent weeks, as well as progress in marking the Blue Line.

  • At the same time, he expressed concern about the security of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). And he also voiced concern about border management issues, particularly on the border with Syria, where a number of incursions of the Syrian military into Lebanese territory have been noted.

  • Asked about the report on the implementation of Resolution 1701, the Spokesperson noted that Mr Watkins had said that it is going to be sent off on Tuesday to the Security Council and it is going to be discussed at the Security Council on 29 November.

  • He noted, in response to a question, that Mr. Watkins had said about the Syria-Lebanon border situation, “We are very concerned about these developments and what this implies about the lack of control that the Lebanese government has over the borders with Syria and how important it is for those borders to be demarcated so that there is clarity about those issue.”

ON WORLD DIABETES DAY, SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS MEDECINE SHOULD BE MORE AVAILABLE AND AFFORDABLE

  • In a message to mark, World Diabetes Day, the Secretary-General noted that just two months ago, the United Nations General Assembly held its first-ever High-level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases, producing a strong Political Declaration with time-bound commitments. Among these was a pledge to make it possible for more people to get quality medicines for diagnosing and treating diabetes by the year 2013.

  • He called on governments and pharmaceutical companies to give real meaning to the commemorations by developing joint strategies to make essential medicines more available and affordable in developing countries, especially for the poorest people who need them.

U.N. SPECIAL ADVISER FOR YEMEN TO HELP FOSTER DIALOGUE IN WEEK-LONG VISIT

  • Asked about the activities of the Special Adviser for Yemen, the Spokesperson said that Jamal Benomar was staying in Yemen for a week, and the expectation is that he would return to New York at the end of this week to brief the Secretary-General and for the Security Council to be briefed. He is meeting various players from the concerned parties and is working with them to foster dialogue.

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