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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

TUESDAY, 2 NOVEMBER 2010

 

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO WRAP UP ASIA TRIP WITH ROUND-TABLE DISCUSSION IN CHINA

  • The Secretary-General will complete his Asia trip on Wednesday with a round-table discussion organized by China’s Central Party School in Beijing.
     

  • He is expected back in New York on Wednesday afternoon.
     

  • Asked about the Secretary-General’s discussions on human rights while he has been in China, the Spokesperson said that the subject of human rights was discussed in the Secretary-General's meetings with Chinese leaders, although he acknowledged that it did not come up during his talks with President Hu Jintao.
     

  • Nesirky said that the Secretary-General has consistently raised human rights issues with concerned Member States at an appropriate opportunity.
    In this case, he said, the Secretary-General did discuss human rights issues with the Chinese authorities on this visit. It is wrong to conclude that because this was not raised at any one of several meetings, that the matter had not figured at all in his discussions.
     

  • Asked about a possible second term for the Secretary-General, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General continues to focus on his work over his current term.

 

INFORMAL TALKS ON WESTERN SAHARA WILL BE HELD NEXT WEEK

  • At the invitation of the Personal Envoy of the Secretary General for Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, and with support from the Security Council, delegations of the parties to the Western Sahara conflict – Morocco and the Frente Polisario – and the neighboring states – Algeria and Mauritania – will gather in Greentree, Long Island, for two days of informal meetings on 8-9 November.
     

  • This continues the informal discussions begun in Austria, in August 2009 and in Armonk, New York, in February of this year. Solving the conflict in Western Sahara remains a priority for the United Nations, and we hope that this next meeting will be productive and will help the parties to move beyond the impasse.

 

U.N. CONTINUES PREPARATIONS FOR HURRICANE TOMAS IN HAITI

  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that the UN and its humanitarian partners continue to dispatch supplies to key areas across the country to deal with the possible tropical storm that is heading in the direction of Haiti, while working to ensure that measures are taken to enable a response in Port-au-Prince.
     

  • It adds that supplies are being pre-positioned notably in Jérémie, Les Cayes, Jacmel and Léogane which are expected to experience the storm more severely.
     

  • On Monday, Nigel Fisher, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti, led an inter-agency mission to these cities, as well as to Miragoane, to evaluate the emergency preparedness measures implemented in preparation for the approaching storm. Preparations are also being made in camps for internally displaced persons.
     

  • OCHA says that one of the challenges after the storm will be the distribution of supplies due to any damaged roads, bridges, landslides, and flooding.

 

HAITI: LATEST CHOLERA TESTS IN MISSION CAMP PROVE NEGATIVE

  • Following additional tests of water samples from the military camp of Mirebalais conducted last Wednesday, the UN Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) can now confirm that the tests were analyzed by an independent laboratory and proved negative.
     

  • These tests follow previous ones conducted on Friday, 22 October, and Tuesday, 26 October, which also proved negative.
     

  • MINUSTAH says it will continue to constantly test its installations in the interest of protecting Haitian people and its own personnel.
     

  • The Mission remains committed to acting quickly, with complete transparency, and in close coordination with the Government in all efforts to fight this epidemic and other issues in Haiti.
     

  • Asked about UN efforts to determine whether its peacekeepers have cholera, the Spokesperson said that all the soldiers in the Nepalese contingent underwent all necessary medical tests. If they had diarrhea or any other cholera-related symptom, they would have undergone further tests, including for cholera. But none of them had to do that, as they were all healthy, and remain that way now.
     

  • Asked about reports of water seepage near the base, Nesirky noted an adjacent soak from a pit that is under construction. During a recent period of rain, the contractor had agreed to come as many times as necessary to totally empty the soak pit and avoid overflowing because of rain.
     

  • He added that what the media saw coming from the Nepalese base is not human waste, but water from their kitchen and showers, coming from a soak that had overflowed overnight because of heavy rains.  

 

U.N. CONTINUES PROVIDING ESSENTIAL RELIEF TO FLOOD-STRICKEN BENIN

  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says UN aid agencies and partner organizations are providing essential humanitarian aid to people affected by floods in Benin over the last month, as rainfalls continue across the country, causing the Niger River in the north of Benin to rise, worsening the situation.
     

  • At least 680,000 people have already been affected by the floods, with more than 200,000 in need of shelter.
     

  • The World Food Programme (WFP) and its partners distributed food to approximately 2,400 vulnerable people living with host families in Zangnanado, one of the worst-affected areas of the country.
     

  • The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has provided more than 200,000 water purification tablets and hygiene material for 150,000 people.
     

  • To support the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) has provided a health kit for treating 1,000 cholera cases over a period of three months.

 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

SECURITY COUNCIL APPROVES NOVEMBER PROGRAMME OF WORK: In its first consultations for this month, the Security Council approved its programme of work for November.

 

U.N. CONCERNED ABOUT CLOSURE OF SUDANESE RADIO STATION: Asked about the closure of Radio Dabanga in Sudan, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations is concerned by reports regarding the closure of a radio station and arrests of journalists. He said the United Nations calls on the Government to ensure that the rights of the journalistic community under Sudanese law are fully respected.

 

  

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
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