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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

FRIDAY, 22 NOVEMBER 2013

PRAISING RESPONSE TO TYPHOON HAIYAN, U.N. RELIEF CHIEF STRESSES MUCH REMAINS TO BE DONE

  • Addressing reporters in New York, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos, who just wrapped up her second visit to the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, said that she saw first-hand how the authorities in the country pulled together with the international community to respond to the disaster.
  • She stressed that a massive disaster requires a massive response, noting that the Philippines has one of the best disaster management systems in the world.
  • Ms. Amos said that two weeks after the disaster, 2.5 million people have been reached with food supplies, but that much more needs to be done, with food, clean water and shelter as the top priorities.

U.N. CHILDREN’S FUND SOUNDS ALARM AT “TRAGIC” SITUATION IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

  • The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said today that the situation in the Central African Republic is tragic and that the international community should address this crisis sooner rather than later.
  • UNICEF said that the entire population of 4.6 million people is either directly or indirectly affected by the crisis and that the Central African Republic is among the countries with the worst social indicators in the world, including maternal and infant mortality rates.
  • UNICEF delivers help to children and women across the country and is conducting immunization and back-to-school campaigns under very difficult circumstances. 
  • In his latest report to the Security Council on the situation in the Central African Republic, the Secretary-General says that he is increasingly concerned by the deepening crisis in the country and that there is an urgent and growing need to address the crisis before it spirals out of control.
  • The Secretary-General also says that he is particularly concerned by growing tensions between communities and that these tensions might lead to uncontrollable sectarian violence with untold consequences for the country, the sub-region and beyond.

U.N. MALI ENVOY URGES PEACEFUL WEEKEND POLLS

  • In Mali, the first round of legislative elections will be held this Sunday, November 24.
  • The Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Mali, Bert Koenders, is engaging with political parties to promote a peaceful vote, encourage adherence to the electoral Code of Conduct and promote the participation of women.
  • The UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) are providing technical and logistical assistance for the first and second round of legislative elections as they did for the Presidential elections this summer. Nearly 3 tons of electoral material was transported by mission aircraft to remote areas in Kayes, Mopti, Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal.
  • The Mission will support the Malian security authorities to secure main voting areas and will provide escorts to the transport of electoral material in Kidal.
  • In accordance with its mandate, MINUSMA’s Human Rights Division is also monitoring violations of human rights before, during and after the elections. A call center was created to report allegations of human rights violations.

SYRIA: U.N., ARAB LEAGUE ENVOY TO HOLD TALKS WITH SENIOR RUSSIAN, U.S. OFFICIALS IN GENEVA

  • The Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, and Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman will meet at the Palais des Nations in Geneva next Monday with Russian Deputy Foreign Ministers Mikhail Bogdanov and Gennady Gatilov and United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman. They will discuss further preparations for an international conference on Syria.
  • Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) says that it has helped to assist 10,000 people who have recently fled the fighting in Syria and traveled into Lebanon by giving them food parcels for a month.
  • Asked whether the Secretary-General was close to announcing a conference on Syria, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General did not have an announcement to make so far. He added that the Monday meeting was intended to take stock of preparations for the Geneva II conference, with the Secretary-General and Mr. Brahimi working hard to hold that conference soon.

U.N. TRUST FUND TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN UNVEILS $8 MILLION IN GRANTS

  • The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women announced $8 million grants for 18 countries and territories. First-time grant recipients include organizations from Antigua and Barbuda, Mauritania, Myanmar and Kosovo (under UN Security Council Resolution 1244). These new grants are expected to reach 2.3 million beneficiaries between 2014 and 2017.
  • The Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka has said that the Fund can support concrete action toward a world free of violence. There are more details on the UN Women website.
  • On Monday, a play entitled “Wounded to Death,” a series of monologues that give voice to women who have died as a result of murder based on gender, will be put on in commemoration of the International Day to End Violence Against Women.

 MEETING J.F.K. A ‘TURNING POINT,’ BAN KI-MOON SAYS ON 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF ASSASSINATION

  • Fifty years ago, US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The Secretary-General, in an opinion piece in USA Today, reflected on how important it was to have met President Kennedy while Ban Ki-moon was visiting the United States on a tour organized by the Red Cross.
  • He writes that nothing could remove the imprint the American president made on his life. Meeting him was a turning point. The Secretary-General writes that President Kennedy’s words sparked his decision to become a diplomat and dedicate himself to public service. He added that he hopes to continue to spread the messages of a man who held fast to high ideals and placed such faith in the United Nations.

YEMEN: U.N. ENVOY’S CONVOY NOT ATTACKED

  • In response to questions, the Spokesperson later said that reports that a convoy carrying the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Yemen, Jamal Benomar, had been shot at were inaccurate.

 ***The guest at the noon briefing was Jean-Paul Laborde, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), who spoke to reporters on what the UN is doing to combat terrorism and to counter violent extremism.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
23 – 29 NOVEMBER 2013


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

Saturday, 23 November

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Sunday, 24 November

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Monday, 25 November

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

This morning, the Security Council will adopt a statement on Central Africa and LRA-affected areas and a resolution on the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). Then, the Council will hear a briefing on the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), followed by consultations on the same topic and on Iraq-Kuwait. In the afternoon, the Security Council will hear a briefing on the Central African Republic, followed by consultations on the same topic.

At 10:00 a.m., in the Economic and Social Council Chamber of the Conference Building (CB), the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will hold a special meeting, in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

At 11:15 a.m., in the Press briefing room, there will be a press conference by UN Women and the Mission of Italy to the United Nations entitled “UN Commemoration of the International Day to End Violence Against Women with Performance of Play: Wounded to Death”.  Speakers will include: Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women; Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations; and Author Serena Dandini.

At 3:00 p.m., in the General Assembly Hall (North Lawn Building), there will be a plenary meeting of the General Assembly on the question of Palestine and on the situation in the Middle East.

At 6:30 p.m., in the Economic and Social Council Chamber (CB), there will be a special event featuring Palestinian singers. It will be co-organized by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

In Geneva, the Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi and Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman will meet with Russian Deputy Foreign Ministers Mikhail Bogdanov and Gennady Gatilov and United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman to further preparations for an international conference on Syria.

In Geneva, the 6th session of the Working Group on the Issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises will begin. It will end on 29 November.

In Panama, the Fifth Session of the Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption will begin. It will end on 29 November.

Tuesday, 26 November

This morning, the Security Council will hold consultations on the report of the Secretary-General on resolution 1701 (Lebanon) and on the Somalia and Eritrea 751/1907 Sanctions Committee. In the afternoon, the Security Council will hear a briefing on Guinea-Bissau, followed by consultations on the same topic.

At 11:00 a.m., in the Press briefing room, there will be a press conference by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (29 November). Speakers will include Mohammed Assaf, UNRWA Regional Youth Ambassador.

At 12:00 p.m., in the Press briefing room, Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, will be the guest at the Noon Briefing.  She will brief on her recent visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

At 12:45 p.m., in the Press Briefing Room, there will be a press conference by Simon Bland, Director of the New York Liaison Office of UNAIDS, on the forthcoming World AIDS Day (1 December).

At 1:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a panel discussion on “The Ark of Return” (winning design for the Permanent Memorial at the United Nations in Honour of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade). It will be organized by the Outreach Division of the Department of Public Information.

At 6:30 p.m., in the Trusteeship Council Chamber (CB), there will be a panel discussion on and screening of the documentary entitled “The Battle of amfAR”, in observance of  World AIDS Day (1 December). It will be co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Australia, the Department of Public Information, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), HBO and the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR).

In Geneva, the 6th session of the Forum on Minorities Issues will begin. It will end on 27 November.

Wednesday, 27 November

This morning, the Security Council will hear a briefing on 1267/1989 (Al Qaida sanctions), 1373 (counterterrorism), 1540 (non-proliferation) Committees. In the afternoon, the Council will hold consultations on Yemen.

At 12:30 p.m., in the Press Briefing room, there will be an end-of-presidency press briefing by Ambassador Liu Jieyi, Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations and President of the Security Council for the month of November.

At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 2 (CB), there will be a special event on the Sustainable Development Goals. It will be organized by the Permanent Mission of Colombia.

Thursday, 28 November

Today is an official holiday at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

In Geneva, there will be a press conference by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) to launch its Landmine Monitor Report 2013.

In Geneva, there will be a press conference by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to launch WIPO GREEN, a new interactive marketplace that promotes innovation and diffusion of green technologies.

Friday, 29 November

Today is the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.