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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

TUESDAY, 30 NOVEMBER 2010

 

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL DISCUSSES U.N.-O.S.C.E. COOPERATION IN KAZAKHSTAN

  • The Secretary-General is in Astana, Kazakhstan today, where he met with President Nursultan Nazarbayev in advance of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit. He and the President discussed the ongoing cooperation between the United Nations and the OSCE in reinforcing stability in Kyrgyzstan, among other topics. The Secretary-General told reporters afterward that he commended the President’s cooperation and contribution to peace and stability in Afghanistan, and they also discussed how to empower women in Central Asia, among other topics.
     

  • The Secretary-General also met today with Roza Otunbaeva, the President of the Kyrgyz Republic. The Secretary-General congratulated the President on the peaceful parliamentary elections in October and the important progress in strengthening democratic institutions in the country that should include the swift formation of a coalition government. They also discussed the security situation in Kyrgyzstan and the importance of protecting the rights of refugees and reinforcing the rule of law there.
     

  • And the Secretary-General met with Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). They discussed a range of topics, including the OSCE Summit, UN-OSCE cooperation and the protection of human rights, as well as a number of regional matters, including Kyrgyzstan, the South Caucasus, Moldova and Afghanistan.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR ADHERENCE TO CONVENTIONS PROTECTING U.N. IMMUNITIES AND PRIVILEGES

  • In response to a question, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General was asked today by Radio Free Europe about the allegations reported by WikiLeaks, and he said, “I do not believe that anybody would be happy when somebody knows that he or she is under watch by somebody.”
     

  • However, the Secretary-General added that his job and his performance are transparent and under constant scrutiny by the international community. And he reiterated that all UN Member States should adhere to existing conventions and treaties respecting and protecting the immunities and privileges of the United Nations.

 

SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS CONSULTATIONS ON SOMALIA, HAITI AND CYPRUS

  • The Security Council held consultations this morning on Somalia. Council members then heard from Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Atul Khare, who provided an update on the situation in Haiti following the Sunday elections.
     

  • Then, at 3:00 this afternoon, Council members have scheduled consultations on Cyprus and the UN Good Offices there. The Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Cyprus, Alexander Downer, will speak to reporters following the briefing.
     

  • Today is the last day of the UK Presidency of the Security Council. Ambassador Susan Rice of the United States will assume the Council’s rotating Presidency tomorrow.

 

HUMANITARIAN APPEAL FOR 2011 CALLS FOR $7.4 BILLION

  • The Secretary-General, on behalf of international humanitarian organizations, is calling for $7.4 billion to provide urgent humanitarian aid to 50 million people in 28 countries worldwide.
     

  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that the 2011 Humanitarian Appeal is the biggest one yet in dollar terms since the creation of the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) in 1991.
     

  • It comprises appeals for the West Africa region, as well as Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Haiti, Kenya, Niger, the occupied Palestinian territory, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

 

MYANMAR: MUCH REMAINS TO BE DONE AFTER CYCLONE GIRI

  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that assessments of Myanmar’s humanitarian needs in the wake of Cyclone Giri show that much remains to be done. Logistical constraints are hampering relief efforts, and roads and bridges damaged by the cyclone are still being repaired.
     

  • OCHA cites Government figures which place the number of dead at 45, with 20,000 houses destroyed and more than 100,000 people made homeless. OCHA estimates that some $53 million are needed to address this emergency, but so far only $18 million have been mobilized.
     

  • Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) and its partners are finalising plans for food distribution, to benefit some 200,000 people, starting next month.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNED REBEL ATTACK ON BIRAO

  • In response to a question, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General had condemned the recent attack on the town of Birao in the North-East of the Central African Republic by rebels of the “Convention des patriotes pour la justice et la paix” (CPJP).
     

  • The Secretary-General calls on all concerned to exercise maximum restraint to ensure the safety of civilians, as efforts are being made by the national authorities to restore normalcy, and ensure peace and reconciliation among all the parties concerned.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL WARNS AGAINST DISRUPTIONS TO IVORIAN ELECTORAL PROCESS

  • Asked about rumours concerning election results in Côte d’Ivoire, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations was aware of rumours that have been used at times to create panic or unrest. He recalled that, in a statement on Monday, the Secretary-General urged candidates and parties to abide by the law in the resolution of any disputes related to the electoral process.
     

  • The Secretary-General, he added, stresses that any disruption in the electoral process would not be in the interest of the people of Côte d’Ivoire, who have waited many years to reach a successful conclusion to the crisis, of which these elections are a critical step.
     

  • The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Choi Young-jin, will continue, in the context of his certification mandate, all his efforts to safeguard the electoral process so that the will of the Ivorian people will be respected. The United Nations will provide its full support to the completion of the electoral operations and to the Ivorian peace process as a whole.

 

NEW U.N. REPORT SAYS AIDS-FREE GENERATION IS POSSIBLE

  • An AIDS-free generation is possible if the international community ramps up its efforts to provide universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and social protection. That’s according to a new UN report, issued ahead of World AIDS Day on Wednesday.
     

  • Achieving this goal hinges on reaching the most marginalized members of society, it stresses.
     

  • Although children in general have benefited enormously from strides made in the AIDS response, millions of women and children have fallen through the cracks due to inequities rooted in gender, economic status, geographical location, education level and social status.

 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

MORE THAN 3 MILLION PEOPLE SIGN U.N. PETITION AGAINST HUNGER: More than 3 million people have taken a stand against hunger, with a petition containing their signatures being presented to governments today by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The petition is part of the agency’s ‘1billionhungry’ project, supported by international celebrities, renowned athletes, actors, singers, intellectuals, and European football stars.

 

U.N. OFFICIALS CAN USE FREQUENT FLIER MILES: Asked about frequent flier miles accrued by UN officials, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations has no policy on frequent flyer miles programme because only individuals can accrue them and since they are not transferable, they cannot be recovered or converted by the Organization for official travel.  Therefore, using mileage accrued as a result of official travel is not a violation of the Organization’s rules.

 

*** The guest at the noon briefing today was John Ging, Director of Operations for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza (UNRWA) who briefed on the current situation in Gaza.

 

 

  

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