HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY
SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
MONDAY, 5 NOVEMBER 2012
JOINT SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR SYRIA MEETS RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER AND HEAD OF LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES
- The Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, met on Sunday night in Cairo with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Nabil ElAraby.
- Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mr. Brahimi said that there was no military solution to the Syrian crisis. He said that the only possibility was a political solution, with a political process agreed upon by everyone.
- Mr. Brahimi also said that the Geneva Communiqué should be turned into a Security Council resolution and he encouraged Council members to continue talks to reach such a resolution.
- Asked about Lakhdar Brahimi’s views about China’s proposals on Syria, the Spokesperson said that Mr Brahimi is listening to all ideas and proposals that can help to shape a peaceful solution.
HEAD OF WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME TO VISIT SYRIAN REFUGEES IN LEBANON AND JORDAN
- The Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), Ertharin Cousin, will be in Lebanon and Jordan, starting Tuesday until the end of the week, to meet Syrian refugees and to see the increasing humanitarian needs firsthand.
- Cousin will meet senior Government officials in both countries and visit WFP food distributions in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon and in Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.
- Ms. Cousin will hold one press conference each in both Lebanon and Jordan.
U.N. WESTERN SAHARA ENVOY CONTINUES REGIONAL TOUR IN MAURITANIA
- The Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, is in Nouakchott, Mauritania, today, as part of his trip to North Africa and Europe.
- Over the weekend, the Personal Envoy was in Tindouf, Algeria, where he visited refugee camps. He began his visit to North Africa and Europe on 27 October in Rabat. He later went to Laayoune.
- In a press statement issued on Sunday, Mr. Ross said he has come to the region to join in assessing the past five years of direct negotiations, to solicit ideas on the best way to make real progress in the negotiating process, and to review the impact of recent developments in the region on the Western Sahara dossier.
- He said the dispute over the final status of Western Sahara has gone on long enough, and people of good will, wherever they may be, must rally urgently around a solution that is honourable for all.
U.N. HAS HAD NO OFFICIAL COMMUNICATION FROM UGANDA ON D.R.CONGO CONCERNS: Asked about a visit by Ugandan officials to New York to discuss concerns on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations has seen the media reports. However, he confirmed that the United Nations has had no official communication from the Government of Uganda in relation to this matter.
SITUATION OF U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICER IN SOUTH SUDAN TAKEN UP BY OFFICIALS: Asked about the situation of a UN human rights officer in South Sudan, the Spokesperson said that the Special Representative for South Sudan, Hilde Johnson, had spoken about the matter over the weekend. Officials in New York, including the Deputy Secretary-General, have also taken up the matter.
PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATIONS MUST BE ALLOWED IN BAHRAIN: Asked about demonstrations in Bahrain, the Spokesperson noted that, in a statement last week, the Secretary-General made clear that the Secretary-General believes that demonstrations must be allowed but also calls on protesters to ensure that any demonstrations are, in fact, peaceful.
SECRETARY-GENERAL SPOKE TO AFFECTED LEADERS IN AFTERMATH OF HURRICANE SANDY: On Hurricane Sandy, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has spoken by phone in recent days with the Presidents of Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the Governor of New York State and the Mayor of New York City. He is expected to talk to the Prime Minister of Jamaica today. The Secretary-General has offered the help of the United Nations if it is needed.
*** The guest at the Noon Briefing today was John Ging, the Director of Operations for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), who briefed on the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.