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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY, DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

MONDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2011

SECRETARY-GENERAL STRONGLY CONDEMNS SEIZURE OF PROPERTY IN SOMALIA

  • In a statement, the Secretary-General condemns, in the strongest possible terms, Al-Shabaab’s seizure of property and equipment belonging to several non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies earlier today. This brazen act prevents these organizations from providing life-saving assistance.

     
  • The Secretary-General demands that Al-Shabaab vacate the premises and return seized property to the affected agencies and NGOs.  He calls for the ban imposed today by Al-Shabaab against these humanitarian organizations to be lifted immediately.  He further calls on all parties in Somalia to respect international humanitarian law.

     
  • Also speaking out against the incident, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, says that any disruption to ongoing humanitarian efforts threatens to undermine the fragile progress made this year and could bring back famine conditions in several areas.  Humanitarian organizations working in Somalia remain strictly neutral, and their only task is to save lives, she says.

BAN KI-MOON WELCOMES PEACEFUL POLLS IN MOROCCO

  • In a statement, the Secretary-General said that he welcomes the peaceful conduct of the legislative elections in Morocco on 25 November pursuant to the constitutional reforms proposed by King Mohammed VI and approved by referendum on 1 July 2011.

     
  • He encourages the Government to be formed in the coming weeks to pursue the implementation of these reforms and to respond concretely to the legitimate aspirations of the people of Morocco in close consultation with all national stakeholders, including the women and the youth.

SECRETARY-GENERAL DEPARTS FOR REPUBLIC OF KOREA

  • The Secretary-General left New York on Monday morning for a visit to Busan in the Republic of Korea.

     
  • The main purpose of his visit is to participate in the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness on Wednesday. The forum is an important element in the discussions around the emerging aid architecture leading up to 2015, the deadline year for the Millennium Development Goals.

     
  • The meeting will also contribute to the discussions on international development cooperation at next year's Rio+20 Conference.

     
  • While in Busan, the Secretary-General will have a range of bilateral meetings with leaders from both the public and private sectors. He will also visit the UN Memorial Cemetery in Korea to pay tribute to those who lost their lives during the Korean War. This will be the first visit to the cemetery by a UN Secretary-General.

     
  • The Secretary-General will return to New York on Thursday.

SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFED ON YEMEN, LIBYA

  • The Security Council received a briefing on Yemen this morning from the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser, Jamal Benomar. Mr. Benomar discussed the agreement reached last week in Yemen.

     
  • In a statement last week, the Secretary-General called on all sides to honour their commitments made in the Agreement in good faith with a view to its full implementation, immediately ceasing all violent acts, refraining from any further provocations, and working towards a fully inclusive transition process that is responsive to the legitimate demands of the Yemeni people.

     
  • On Monday afternoon, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Libya, Ian Martin, will brief the Security Council on that country, in an open meeting followed by consultations.

D.R. CONGO: SECRETARY-GENERAL VOICES U.N. SUPPORT FOR POLLS

  • In a statement issued on Sunday, the Secretary-General underlined the United Nations’ support for the elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

     
  • He called on all political leaders and the people of the country to exercise restraint throughout the process to ensure that the elections are held in a peaceful and secure environment.

     
  • He also appealed to them to address any disputes that may arise through the established mediation and legal channels.

     
  • The Secretary-General stressed that primary responsibility of the Government for maintaining a secure environment for the elections.

     
  • Asked about restrictions on and arrests of members of political parties at the start of the voting process, and any role played by the UN Mission (MONUSCO), the Spokesperson said that the Bulk of MONUSCO forces are deployed in the east. A higher percentage was deployed to the west and urban areas to support formed police units and MONUSCO operations.

  • He added that maintaining a secure environment for the elections is the primary responsibility of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And he noted that the Secretary-General expressed his support for the work of MONUSCO in a recent statement.

U.N. COMMISSION OF INQUIRY CONCERNED THAT CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY COMMITTED IN SYRIA

  • The Commission of Inquiry established on Syria by the Human Rights Council presented its report today, documenting patterns of summary execution, arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance, torture, including sexual violence, as well as violations of children’s rights.

     
  • The commission said it was gravely concerned that crimes against humanity have been committed in different locations in Syria and it called upon the Government to put an immediate end to the ongoing gross human rights violations, to initiate independent and impartial investigations of these violations, and to bring perpetrators to justice.

     
  • The commission reiterates its call for immediate and unhindered access to the Syrian Arab Republic.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL STRESSES COMMONALITIES BETWEEN U.N., INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION: The Deputy Secretary-General spotlighted how the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) share the same goals: promoting democratic governance and translating international commitments into national realities. The United Nations, she said, is proud of its strong relationship with the IPU and stands to work closely with the body for greater political accountability.

GREEK CYPRIOT, TURKISH CYPRIOT LEADERS CONFER ON GOVERNANCE: The leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities discussed governance and power-sharing today in Nicosia. Following their next meeting this Thursday, the leaders will meet every Monday until mid-January of 2012.

***The guests at the noon briefing was Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, who briefed reporters on her recent missions to the Central African Republic and Somalia. She was joined by Rima Salah, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s (UNICEF).

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