HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
FRIDAY, 29 NOVEMBER 2013
[There was no noon briefing during the US Thanksgiving holiday. The following are items of interest throughout the UN system for Friday:]
SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR SUPPORT TO PARTIES ON INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINIANS
- The Secretary-General issued a message to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, saying that this year’s observance takes place as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators work together towards the agreed objective of a peaceful, comprehensive settlement on all permanent status issues.
- He called on the international community to support the parties in this ambitious endeavour to fulfil the two-State solution, bringing about an end to the conflict. All parties must act in a responsible way and refrain from actions that undermine the prospects for successful negotiations.
SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBERS CONDEMN SHELLING OF RUSSIAN EMBASSY IN DAMASCUS
- In a press statement issued on Thursday night, the members of the Security Council expressed their outrage and strongly condemned the mortar shelling on 28 November against the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Damascus, Syria, which killed one and wounded 9 people including among the Embassy security personnel.
- The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring the perpetrators to justice. They recalled the fundamental principle of the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises.
U.N. MISSION IN MALI CONDEMNS VIOLENCE IN KIDAL
- The UN Mission in Mali, MINUSMA, strongly condemned the violence that took place on Thursday in Kidal prior to the scheduled arrival of the Prime Minister and a Government delegation.
- MINUSMA calls for restraint and a return to the negotiating table to continue discussions toward a solution, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2100 (2013) and the commitments made, including on security and investigation arrangements, in the Ouagadougou Preliminary Agreement.
U.N. HUMANITARIAN CHIEF IN SUDAN CONDEMNS KILLING OF HEALTH WORKERS IN WEST DARFUR
- The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Ali Al-Za’tari, strongly condemned the killing of two Sudanese Ministry of Health staff, who were part of a team vaccinating vulnerable children against measles in West Darfur.
- He called on all parties to ensure the protection of all personnel working to deliver assistance to populations in need throughout Sudan.
- The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are helping to ensure that every child in Sudan is getting vaccinated, whoever they are and wherever they live.
U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE CONCERNED BY EXECUTIONS IN SOUTH SUDAN
- The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) says it has received reports indicating that South Sudan has carried out at least four executions since the beginning of this month.
- The Office says that South Sudan's justice system is struggling to establish itself after decades of civil war. It adds that it is particularly concerned about the limited access to legal representation during trials, including for people sentenced to death.
- According to the Human Rights Office, the overwhelming majority of individuals in prison in South Sudan do not have legal representation or the right to free legal aid in serious criminal, civil, land and family matters. As a result, they are often unable to mount an adequate defence or to contest the use of forced confessions in court.
- The Office says that, in these circumstances, the high threshold set by international law for the use of the death penalty fails to be met.
U.N. ENVOY IN HAITI WELCOMES VOTE ON ELECTORAL LAW
- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Haiti, Sandra Honoré, welcomed the vote on the electoral law by the Haitian legislature.
- In a joint statement along with several other representatives of the international community, Ms. Honoré said that this vote marks a significant milestone for the organization of inclusive, transparent and democratic elections.
- The statement urges all stakeholders to continue to work together to strengthen democracy and stability in Haiti, both of which are essential to socio-economic development.
U.N. CHILDREN’S FUND WARNS ABOUT ALARMING TRENDS AMONG ADOLESCENTS REGARDING HIV
- In a new report released today, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says that great progress has been made to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, with more than 850,000 new childhood infections averted between 2005 and 2012 in low- and middle-income countries.
- However, the report raises the alarm on adolescents, citing the need for increased global and national efforts to address HIV and AIDS among this vulnerable age group.
- AIDS-related deaths amongst adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19 increased by 50 per cent between 2005 and 2012, rising from 71,000 to 110,000. There were approximately 2.1 million adolescents living with HIV in 2012.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
30 NOVEMBER – 6 DECEMBER 2013
(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)
Saturday, 30 November
There are no major events scheduled for today.
Sunday, 1 December
Today is World AIDS Day.
Today, France will assume the rotating Presidency of the Security Council for December.
Monday, 2 December
Today is International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.
At 12:00 p.m., the guest at the daily press briefing will be Haoliang Xu, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific at UNDP. He will be speaking about the ongoing relief efforts and the recovery planning process in the Philippines, following Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.
At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 1 in the Conference Building (CB), there will be a panel discussion on the “Twenty-second International Conference on Health and Environment: Sustainability risks”, organized by the Permanent Mission of Ukraine.
At 1:00 p.m., in Conference Room A (CB), there will be a workshop on “Democratic Governance and the post-2015 Development Framework”, co-organized by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).
At 3:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a commemorative event on “Remembering those who perished in the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine and victims of all other artificial famines of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries”, organized by the Permanent Mission of Ukraine).
In Geneva, at 9:30 a.m., the World Health Organization (WHO) will hold a press conference on a new report on the international perspectives on spinal cord injuries.
In Geneva, at 12:00 p.m., the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) will hold a press conference by Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
In Geneva, the States Parties to the Mine-Ban Convention will begin its 13th session. It will end on 5 December.
In Geneva, OHCHR will hold the 52nd session of the Committee of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Pre-sessional Working Group. It will end on 6 December.
Tuesday, 3 December
Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
At 9:50 a.m., in Conference Room 6 in the North Lawn Building (NLB), there will be special events on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, co-organized by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the Permanent Mission of Japan and Leonard Cheshire Disability.
At 12:45 p.m., in the Press briefing room, there will be a press conference by Ambassador Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations and President of the Security Council for the month of December.
In Geneva, at 1:30 p.m., OHCHR and the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights will hold a press conference on the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights.
In Geneva, there will be the 2nd session of the Forum of Business and Human Rights. It will end on 4 December.
Wednesday, 4 December
At 12:00 p.m., in the Press briefing room, Kang Kyung-wha, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, will be the guest at the Noon Briefing. She will brief on her recent visit to South Sudan.
At 1:15 p.m., in the Economic and Social Council Chamber (CB), there will be a special event on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), organized by UNITAR.
At 3:00 p.m., in Conference Room 3 (CB), there will be a forum on “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls – The road ahead”, organized by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), in preparation for the fifty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
At 3:00 p.m., in the Economic and Social Council Chamber (CB), there will be a briefing on “Activities of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF)”, organized by the CTITF Office in the Department of Political Affairs.
At 3:15, in Conference Room 1 (CB), the United Nations Headquarters Accessibility Centre will be inaugurated.
In Geneva, there will be a screening of documentaries on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, organized by the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) in Geneva.
Thursday, 5 December
Today is International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development.
In Geneva, at 9:30 a.m., OHCHR will hold an event to mark Human Rights Day (10 December) at the Palais des Nations.
In Geneva, at noon, OHCHR will hold a press conference on Human Rights and World Wide Web.
In Geneva, at 2:00 p.m., there will be a press conference on the 13th meeting of the States Parties of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (Ottawa Convention or Mine Ban Treaty).
Friday, 6 December
In Geneva, there will be the First Preparatory Meeting for the Third Review Conference of the States Parties to the Mine-Ban Convention.