Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.

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

FRIDAY, 18 NOVEMBER 2011

SECRETARY-GENERAL PARTICIPATES IN U.N.-A.S.E.A.N. MEETING IN BALI, INDONESIA

  • The Secretary-General is in Bali today.

  • This morning, he met with representatives of the main UN agencies in Indonesia: the UN Children's Fund, the UN Population Fund, the World Health Organization, the World Bank and the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS.

  • He then addressed the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) business and investment summit, where he urged private sector leaders to support global efforts to improve women's and children's health.

  • The Secretary-General then held a series of meetings with the Indonesian Health Minister, the Foreign Minister of the Philippines and the Prime Minister of Cambodia.

  • The Secretary-General will attend the fourth summit between the UN and ASEAN on Saturday.

  • He will be returning to New York over the weekend.

AFTER ELECTIONS, SECURITY COUNCIL CALLS ON LIBERIANS TO REMAIN COMMITTED TO LEGITIMATE POLITICAL PROCESS

  • In a press statement issued this morning, the members of the Security Council commended the people of Liberia on the completion of their presidential election of 8 November, which the Council said was free, fair and transparent.

  • Security Council members expressed their concern about the violent events of 7 November and welcomed the Liberian Government’s establishment of a Special Independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate the events. They encouraged all Liberians to remain committed to the legitimate political process, to exercise maximum restraint, and to work together to promote enduring peace and stability.

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL TO START VISITS TO ETHIOPIA

  • The Deputy Secretary-General departs over this weekend on a visit to Ethiopia.

  • On 21 and 22 November, the Deputy Secretary-General will be in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to chair the 12th Session of the Regional Coordination Mechanism of United Nations agencies and organizations working in Africa in support of the African Union and its New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). She will meet with representatives of the African Union, as well as with United Nations staff based in Addis Ababa.

  • The meeting of the Regional Coordination Mechanism will have a strong focus on regional preparations leading up to next year’s Rio+20 Conference on sustainable development. 

  • The Deputy Secretary-General will return to New York on 27 November.

SOMALIA: DESPITE IMPROVEMENTS, HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE MUST CONTINUE AS FAMINE PERSISTS

  • The Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Mark Bowden, says that increased humanitarian assistance has had a significant impact in the famine affected parts of Bay, Bakool and Lower Shabelle regions, bringing these areas out of famine.

  • However, he adds that any improvement can only be sustained if the current level of humanitarian assistance continues. Famine persists in parts of the Middle Shabelle region and in the areas hosting internally displaced people in Mogadishu and along the Afgooye corridor. Malnutrition and mortality rates in many parts of southern Somalia continue to be the highest in the world.

  • Bowden says that if humanitarian activities are interrupted or reduced in southern Somalia, many areas will fall back into famine. He says that humanitarian assistance covers about half of the needs of the population and must be increased.

  • In early December, the humanitarian community will launch an appeal for crucial funding for Somalia in 2012.

ARRIVALS IN YEMEN FROM HORN OF AFRICA AT RECORD HIGH

  • The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, says that last month has seen the highest number refugees and migrants from the Horn of Africa arriving in Yemen by boat, since it began compiling such data in January 2006.

  • More than 84,000 people have arrived by sea since January; that’s more than the earlier annual record in 2009. UNHCR adds that it expects the number for 2011 to grow further.

  • UNHCR says it is concerned about an increasing trend of abductions, extortions, kidnappings and sexual assaults targeting refugees, and particularly Ethiopian migrants.

U.N. AGENCIES WORKING TO MOVE REFUGEES AWAY FROM SOUTH SUDAN BORDER

  • The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, says it is working to move refugees away from the border and to safer areas of South Sudan because of concerns about security.

  • In Unity State, between 60 and 200 Sudanese refugees have been arriving daily at Yida camp. This is despite last week’s air strikes around Yida.

  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that the deterioration of the security situation along South Sudan’s border this week is severely restricting relief operations. It adds that an assessment of the security situation in Yida is expected to take place at the end of the week before humanitarian actors can resume relief operations.

  • The UN Refugee Agency has prepared a site for refugees further south in Unity State. It is ready to assist in moving refugees who are willing to relocate as soon as roads affected by heavy rainfall become passable again. But it adds that some refugees are reluctant to move and prefer to stay closer to their homes.

  • Asked about reports of bombing in southern Kordofan, Sudan, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations does not have a mandate or a presence on the ground there and is not able to verify the reports.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

U.N. EXPECTS U.S. ROLE WILL CONTINUE: Asked about comments made about the United Nations during the US elections, the Spokesperson noted that the United States is an important UN Member State and it is expected that its role at the United Nations will continue.

U.N. READY TO ASSIST ELECTORAL PROCESS IN EGYPT:  Asked about elections in Egypt, the Spokesperson said that democratic transitions are not easy, but change is under way in Egypt, with the United Nations ready to assist as requested. He added that electoral processes can be complex.

PEACEFUL PROTEST IS A UNIVERSAL RIGHT: Asked about the protests in the United States, the Spokesperson said that peaceful protest is a universal right. The rule of law, he added, is equally important. Nesirky noted that the Secretary-General has pointed repeatedly to the frustrations and anxiety being felt around the world and has asked for G20 leaders and others to deal with the underlying crises.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

19 – 25 NOVEMBER 2011

(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)

Saturday, 19 November

The Secretary-General will attend the fourth summit between the UN and ASEAN.

Sunday, 20 November

Today is the Universal Children’s Day.

Today is Africa Industrialization Day.

Today is the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

Monday, 21 November

This morning, the Security Council will hear a briefing and hold consultations on the Middle East. In the afternoon, the Security Council will hold consultations on Yemen and on sanctions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

At 11:00 a.m.., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference to launch a joint MTV-UNICEF campaign on Trafficking, Exploitation and HIV.  Speakers will include: Sofia Ioannou, President of MTV Latin America and Bernt Aasen, UNICEF’s Region Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

At 12:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, Bertil Lindblad, Executive Director of the New York Office of Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, to be the guest at the noon briefing. 

At 1:15 p.m., in the ECOSOC Chamber, the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) and the Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) will launch the publication of “The Criminal Justice Response to Support Victimes of Acts of terrorism” with Yury Fedotov, UNODC Executive Director; Robert Orr, CTITF Chair; Carie Lemack, Global Survivors Network Co-Founder; and Mira Sorvino, UNODC Goodwill Ambassador.

Today and tomorrow, the Deputy Secretary-General will be in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to chair the 12th Session of the Regional Coordination Mechanism of United Nations agencies and organizations working in Africa in support of the African Union and its New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

Tuesday, 22 November

This morning, the Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution on Somalia piracy. It will then hold a debate on Timor-Leste. In the afternoon, the Security Council will hold elections for the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

At 10 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, the Secretary-General and Sha Zukang, Secretary-general of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, will launch a Global Conversation, “The future we want,” in the lead-up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)

At 4:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by H.E. Ms. Roza Otunbayeva, President of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Wednesday, 23 November

This morning, at 9:30 a.m., the Security Council will hear a briefing on “New Challenges to Security.”

At 12:30 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, the Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), Ambassador Dessima Williams, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Grenada, will brief journalists on the current state of climate change negotiations from a small island developing states (SIDS) perspective. Professor Al Binger who is the expert advisor to the AOSIS group on climate change will accompany Ambassador Williams.

Thursday, 24 November

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

Friday, 25 November

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

United Nations, SA-1B15

New York, NY 10017

Tel. 212-963-7162