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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

 

 

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

MONDAY, 15 NOVEMBER 2010

 

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL EXPECTS NO FURTHER RESTRICTIONS TO BE PLACED ON AUNG SAN SUU KYI

  • In a statement issued on Saturday, the Secretary-General expressed his heartfelt best wishes to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi following her long-awaited release from detention. Her dignity and courage in the face of injustice have been an inspiration to many people around the world, including the Secretary-General, who has long advocated her freedom.
     

  • Notwithstanding the welcome news of her release, it is deeply regrettable that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was effectively excluded from participating in the recent elections. The Secretary-General expects that no further restrictions will be placed on her, and he urges the Myanmar authorities to release all remaining political prisoners. Democracy and national reconciliation require that all citizens of Myanmar are free to participate as they wish in the political life of their country. The United Nations will continue to uphold the cause of human rights and to support genuine efforts by the Government and people of Myanmar to move their country towards peace, democracy and prosperity.

 

HEAD OF A.U.-U.N. DARFUR MISSION SAYS LASTING SETTLEMENT REQUIRES AGREEMENT BASED ON CONSENSUS OF ALL DARFURIS

  • Ibrahim Gambari, the Joint Special Representative of the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has warned that a lasting settlement in Darfur requires a comprehensive, all-inclusive agreement based on the consensus of all Darfuris.
     

  • Gambari told a press conference in Khartoum Sunday that he has met with all stakeholders to convince them to join the peace process.
     

  • He expressed deep concerned at renewed violence between the Government of Sudan and the armed movements, most notably the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Army-Abdul Wahid (SLA-AW).
     

  • He called upon all parties to refrain from further offensive military action and respect international humanitarian law. This includes the need for UNAMID and the humanitarian community to gain unimpeded access to all areas of recent fighting, in order to assess the needs of the displaced and war-affected population and provide assistance where required.

 

SUDAN REFERENDA PANEL VISITS CENTRES ON FIRST DAY OF REGISTRATION

  • The Secretary-General's Panel on the Referenda in the Sudan visited voter registration centres today in Khartoum on the first day of registration for next year's referendum on Southern Sudan.
     

  • President Benjamin Mkapa, the chairperson of the Panel, spoke after visiting sites near the Mayo (Mandela) camp on the outskirts of the Sudanese capital, saying the visits were aimed at getting a sense of how voter registration is progressing on the first day.
     

  • He said that, so far, the number of people who have registered is extremely small, but he hoped that would change in the days ahead. President Mkapa said the panel will continue to monitor developments on the ground.
     

  • Later this week, they are scheduled to travel around the country, including to Juba and Abyei, to talk with key stakeholders and see more voter registration sites.
     

  • Voter registration began today and is scheduled to conclude on 1 December.

 

PANEL OF EXPERTS ON D.P.R.K. SANCTIONS SAYS COUNTRY STILL INVOLVED IN NUCLEAR ACTIVITIES

  • The latest report to the Security Council by the Panel of Experts dealing with UN sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is out as a document today.
     

  • In it, the seven-member Panel emphasizes the importance of the cooperation of all States in sharing information at their disposal.
     

  • The report encourages Member States to take further steps to enhance their ability to interdict proscribed exports by the DPRK.
     

  • The Panel writes that it has reviewed government assessments, reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other documents indicating the DPRK’s continued involvement in nuclear and ballistic-missile-related activities in certain countries, including Iran, Syria and Myanmar.
     

  • It stresses that Member States must give special attention to inhibit such activities.

 

CLIMATE CHANGE CHIEF SAYS CANCUN CONFERENCE CAN BE AN ‘ESSENTIAL STEP’

  • The Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, said today in a press briefing in Bonn, Germany, that the Conference of the Parties (COP-16) in Cancun next month had to be “the next essential step on the road to a solution to the climate challenge.” She added that Cancun would be a success if Parties compromise.
     

  • Figueres also said she did not underestimate the political gaps that still need to be bridged - mostly on how to move forward with emission reductions, deciding what to do about the Kyoto Protocol and how to anchor the many national targets and actions that governments have put forward.
     

  • She said that action had to be undertaken now, as it was in no one’s interest to delay it.

 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION MEETING FOCUSING ON URBAN HEALTH UNDER WAY IN JAPAN: In an unprecedented demonstration of global cooperation, city and national leaders from around the world are gathering in Kobe, Japan, for a World Health Organization (WHO) forum on improving the health of city-dwellers. WHO Director-General Margaret Chan underlined that providing safe public transport, investing in public utilities and reducing air pollution by banning smoking in public can lead to a marked improvement in public health.

 

SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS DEBATE ON ITS 3 COUNTER-TERRORISM COMMITTEES: The Security Council today is holding an open debate on the work of its three committees dealing with counter-terrorism. The Ambassadors of Austria, Mexico and Turkey briefed the Security Council on the work of the respective committees that they chair.

 

*** The guests today at the Noon Briefing were Nigel Fisher, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ad Interim, and UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator, Ad Interim, for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, (MINUSTAH), who briefed by video link on cholera in Haiti; and Valerie Amos, Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, also briefed in person on her recent visit to Sudan.

 

  

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