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

WEDNESDAY, 30 NOVEMBER 2011

SCALING BACK ON AID WOULD HURT WORLD’S MOST VULNERABLE, SECRETARY-GENERAL TELLS FORUM

  • On Wednesday, the Secretary-General spoke at the formal opening session of the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, in Busan in the Republic of Korea.

  • He said the forum was being held at a critical time with aid under pressure everywhere. He said cutting aid would not balance budgets. But it would hurt the most vulnerable people in the world.

  • The Secretary-General urged new and emerging donors to contribute more, and he asked aid recipients to set clear priorities and strategies.

  • The Secretary-General later spoke at a private-sector forum, urging business leaders to further expand partnerships with donor agencies to help make aid more effective.

  • While in Busan, the Secretary-General held a range of bilateral meetings with leaders from both the public and private sectors.

  • The Secretary-General and Mrs. Ban also visited the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea to pay tribute to those who lost their lives fighting for the United Nations during the Korean War.

  • The Secretary-General noted that he was the first Secretary-General to visit the cemetery, where 2,300 soldiers from 11 countries are buried in ornate and carefully manicured gardens. He said he left the cemetery all the more determined to carry forward the cause of peace for which those soldiers gave their lives six decades ago. The Secretary-General met several South Koreans who fought in the war, and representatives from troop-contributing countries.

IRAN: BAN KI-MOON OUTRAGED BY INCIDENT INVOLVING U.K. EMBASSY

  • During his meeting with Andrew Mitchell, the Secretary of State for International Development for the United Kingdom, on Wednesday in Busan in the Republic of Korea, the Secretary-General said that he was shocked and outraged to hear of the incident in Tehran in which demonstrators entered the British embassy, briefly abducted embassy staff and damaged property.

  • He said he welcomed the Security Council's swift statement condemning the incident and shared its views.

  • He said the Iranian authorities should investigate how such an incident could have happened and take measures to avoid any repeat there or at any other diplomatic missions.

  • Asked about the repercussions of attacks against embassies, the Deputy Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General expects Member States to fulfill their obligations to protect diplomatic presences in their capitals. They must respect the inviolability of diplomatic presences and persons, the Deputy Spokesperson added.

TOP U.N. PEACEKEEPING OFFICIAL CONCLUDES AFGHANISTAN VISIT

  • Under-Secretary-General for Peackeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous wrapped up a visit to Afghanistan today, his first to the country.

  • He held talks with the Foreign Minister, the National Security Advisor, the Speakers of the Upper and Lower Houses and other senior Afghan officials, as well as with representatives of civil society, media, the diplomatic corps and the military.

  • Mr. Ladsous also visited Mazar-i-Sharif, where he met with the Provincial Governor and staff of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

STEPPED UP ACCESS TO HIV SERVICES HAS LEAD TO DROP IN INFECTIONS – NEW U.N. REPORT

  • Increased access to HIV services has led to a 15 per cent reduction in new infections in the past decade as well as to a 22 per cent drop in AIDS-related deaths in the last five years, according to a new United Nations report.

  • Advances in HIV innovations in the past year add hope for future progress, says the publication by the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

  • Global progress in both preventing and treating HIV underscores the benefits of sustaining long-term investment in HIV/AIDS.

U.N. OFFICIAL VISITS HEADQUARTERS OF AFRICAN UNION-U.N. MISSION IN DARFUR

  • Under-Secretary-General for Field Support Susana Malcorra visited the headquarters of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) in El Fasher, North Darfur, to meet with the mission’s leaders and assess the situation on the ground.

  • Addressing UNAMID staff, Ms. Malcorra said that as the situation in Darfur shifts towards peace and development, there will be a need for a readjustment in the way the Mission’s personnel deliver their mandate, making sure they are closer to where they are needed most.

  • Ms. Malcorra expressed her concern for any possible impunity for those who attacked UNAMID peacekeepers and urged the Government to bring the perpetrators to justice.  

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES WORKING METHODS: On Wednesday morning, the Security Council met in open debate on working methods.

SECRETARY-GENERAL SUPPORTS INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: Asked about the arrest of Laurent Gbagbo by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Deputy Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General supports the Court and its activities. He added that the ICC has taken the decision to bring him to justice and that the United Nations does not condone impunity. On the potential impact of this arrest on the upcoming elections in Côte d’Ivoire, the Deputy Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General calls on all parties to refrain from violence and seek legal means to address any protests or disputes they may have.

UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME SERVER NOT COMPRIMISED: On reports of hacking of United Nations websites, the Deputy Spokesperson said that current server of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has not been compromised.  The hackers compromised an old server that goes back to 2007. There are no active passwords listed for those accounts.  UNDP found the compromised server and took it offline.

U.N. RIGHTS CHIEF TO BRIEF PRESS: The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, will hold a press conference in Geneva on Thursday at 3 p.m. (9 a.m. in New York) regarding the social media campaign to promote Human Rights Day on 10 December.

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

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