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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 MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

WEDNESDAY, 9 NOVEMBER 2011

ADDRESSING SECURITY COUNCIL, SECRETARY-GENERAL STRESSES NEED TO PROTECT CIVILIANS

  • On Wednesday morning, the Secretary-General addressed the Security Council’s open meeting on civilians and armed conflict, which was chaired by Portugal’s President, Anibal Cavaco Silva.

  • The Secretary-General emphasized five priorities in protecting civilians: enhanced compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law; compliance by non-State actors; pro-active, well-trained and appropriately resourced peacekeepers; improved humanitarian access to affected populations; and enhanced accountability.

  • The Secretary-General added that, while protection is essential, we must not lose sight of dealing with the causes of conflict.

  • Asked about Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Catherine Bragg’s remarks at the meeting about air strikes in Somalia, the Spokesperson noted that she was looking at the situation in Somalia in a humanitarian capacity. Other UN offices look at political and other aspects of the situation in the country.

NEW U.N. REPORT CATALOGUES RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN D.R. CONGO

  • A new UN report catalogues a worrying number of human rights violations during the pre-electoral period in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  • The UN Joint Human Rights Office documented 188 human rights violations linked to the electoral process between 1 November last year and 30 September this year. The violations most frequently infringed individuals’ freedom of expression, the right to physical integrity and the right to liberty and security of the person, and also the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.

  • The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said that the Government and leaders of political parties must make it clear that there is to be zero tolerance against any such actions which seriously limit the exercise of the right to vote.

  • The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Roger Meece, added that it was that it is incumbent on all candidates, political leaders, and their followers to do all possible to ensure appropriate conditions for peaceful, open, and democratic elections. 

  • On Tuesday, the Security Council heard a briefing from Roger Meece.

  • Afterwards, in a press statement, Council members reiterated their call for credible and peaceful elections in that country.

BAN KI-MOON SPOTLIGHTS IMPORTANCE OF MEDIATION

  • On Wednesday afternoon, the Secretary-General will speak at an informal General Assembly event on United Nations mediation.
  • He is expected to say that he is pleased to note how far we have come in recognizing mediation as an invaluable tool for conflict management and resolution.

  • The Secretary-General will highlight the advances made in enhancing our capacity and in establishing effective partnerships with regional organizations and civil society.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

FORMER HEAD OF ARAB LEAGUE TO MEET WITH U.N. CHIEF: Asked about the Secretary-General’s meeting with Amre Moussa on Wednesday, the Spokesperson noted that the meeting was in Moussa’s capacity as the former Secretary-General of the League of Arab States.

 

U.N. REITERATES IMPORTANCE OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION MEDIA: Asked about the reported arrest of a journalist in South Sudan, the Spokesperson re-affirmed the right of journalists to go about their work unhindered. Freedom of expression and of the media is a universal principle.

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

United Nations, SA-1B15

New York, NY 10017

Tel. 212-963-7162