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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

TUESDAY, 16 NOVEMBER 2010

 

 

**U.N. Headquarters in New York will be closed on Wednesday, 17 November, for the Eid holiday. The noon briefing will resume on Thursday, 18 November.

 

SUDAN: SECRETARY-GENERAL CONCERNED OVER DELAYS IN REFERENDA PREPARATIONS

  • The Secretary-General addressed this morning’s Security Council meeting on Sudan, saying that he remains concerned by delays in the preparations for the referenda, partly resulting from considerable national funding shortfalls.  All remaining obstacles should be removed so that the Referendum Commission can finance its operations; appoint, train and deploy the necessary personnel; and take key decisions without delay.
     

  • He added that the United Nations is working with both parties on options for a possible augmentation of additional UN troops, to increase referendum and post-referendum security as well as UN capacity to verify and monitor possible cease-fire violations and to protect civilians throughout the mission area.  However, the presence of UN troops will not be enough to prevent a return to war should wide-spread hostilities erupt, he said. To this end, negotiations on post-referendum arrangements are vital in order to address the apprehensions of the Sudanese population.
     

  • The Secretary-General also discussed Darfur, where there remains an urgent need to reach a comprehensive and inclusive settlement. He expressed his concern at the impact of recent hostilities on innocent civilians, which is completely unacceptable, and stressed again the urgent need for full access to eastern Jebel Marra, where the humanitarian situation is reportedly dire.
     

  • Today’s Council meeting was at the ministerial level. The Council adopted a Presidential Statement at the outset on its support for the full and timely implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO ADDRESS GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON G20 SUMMIT IN SEOUL

  • The Secretary-General will speak at an informal plenary meeting of the General Assembly this afternoon, and he will discuss with them the Group of 20 (G20) Summit that he participated in last week in Seoul.
     

  • At the Summit, he tried to represent the views of the Member States and emphasized the importance of development and of implementing the Millennium Development Goals.

 

HAITI: U.N. MISSION DEPLORES DEADLY VIOLENCE IN CAP HAITIEN AND HINCHE

  • In Haiti, the UN Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) deplores the Monday violence in Cap Haitien and Hinche.
     

  • The Mission confirms that one demonstrator died in Quartier Morin, in the Nord Department, after an armed attack against peacekeepers. MINUSTAH says an investigation was opened to determine the precise circumstances of the incident.
     

  • The Mission is also expressing its concern over a climate of insecurity ahead of the elections. It reiterates its readiness to assist the Haitian National Police in maintaining security and order to ensure the progress of the electoral process and the reconstruction of Haiti.
     

  • Asked further about the situation on the ground, the Spokesperson said that the situation in Cap Haitien is now calm, and that calm has returned to Hinche. Reinforcements were deployed in both Cap Haitien and Hinche.
     

  • Asked about violence before the start of elections, Haq said that the UN Mission had deplored the violence and was working with the Haitian authorities to ensure a peaceful atmosphere for the elections.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS ON ALL GUINEANS TO ACCEPT RESULTS OF PRESIDENTIAL RUN-OFF

  • The Secretary-General took note of the provisional results of the 7 November 2010 presidential run-off elections in Guinea, which were announced on Monday by the Independent Electoral Commission. He calls once again on all Guineans, in the national interest, to accept the results of the election and to resolve any differences through legal means. He congratulates the Guinean people for conducting a peaceful and orderly poll and appeals to them to work for a peaceful and prosperous Guinea.
     

  • The Secretary-General calls on the international community to provide Guinea with concrete support as the country embarks on a new phase towards peace consolidation and development. He reaffirms the full support of the United Nations to Guinea in the post-electoral period.
     

  • Asked about the recent violence in Guinea, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General had commended the people of Guinea for the patience that they had shown earlier in the electoral process and encouraged them to respect the electoral process and maintain calm. His Special Representative for West Africa, Said Djinnit, had traveled to Conakry to talk to the parties on the ground and call for calm.

 

U.N. MISSION IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC AND CHAD CONTINUES COMPLETION EFFORTS

  • The Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) has handed over to the Chadian authorities three of its former offices, along with some equipment. This is part of the Mission’s completion effort ahead of the end of its mandate on 31 December.
     

  • The handover of the third office took place this past Sunday, while the previous two were given to Chad in July. The Mission says the transfer of facilities and equipment will strengthen the Chadian Government’s ability to provide security and protection for civilians in the east.
     

  • Meanwhile, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has confirmed that it and the Government of the Central African Republic have begun the relocation by air of 3,500 Sudanese refugees. The refugees are being flown from the Sam Ouandja camp, in the northeast, to the south-central region. That operation is expected to last at least one month.

 

MILLIONS IN DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA FACING FOOD SHORTAGES, U.N. REPORT FINDS

  • Despite a relatively good harvest and slight increase in the food supply, some five million people in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will continue to face food shortages. This is according to a new joint report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) released today.
     

  • The country’s cereal imports this year are more than 500 million tonnes short of what is needed to feed its people.
     

  • The report also warned that children, pregnant women, nursing mothers and the elderly are among those most vulnerable to food shortages.

 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

KASHMIR REMAINS ON SECURITY COUNCIL AGENDA: Asked about media reports suggesting that Kashmir had been removed from a list of Security Council agenda items, the Spokesperson said that the authors of the media articles may have only looked at the most recent addendum to the Summary statement of matters on which the Security Council is seized, which publishes only the list of matters which have been considered in a formal meeting since 1 Jan. 2007. They missed in that addendum a paragraph explaining that the full list appears in Add.9 of Mar. 2010. That list continues to include the agenda items which the Council has taken up, including Kashmir, which, by a decision of the Council, remains on the list for this year.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL HAS CALLED FOR ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS IN MYANMAR TO BE RELEASED: Asked about the UN response to the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Spokesperson said that the situation is being evaluated. He noted that the Secretary-General, in his recent statement, had called for the release of all political prisoners and further steps towards democratization by the Myanmar authorities.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL HAS ASKED FOR STEPS TO LIMIT CIVILIAN CASUALTIES: Asked about drone attacks in Pakistan, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has in the past made clear his concern about civilian casualties and has asked for steps to be taken to limit them.

 

  

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