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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

 

TUESDAY, 3 DECEMBER 2013

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL HIGHLIGHTS EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON LAST DAY OF PERU VISIT

  • The Secretary-General is wrapping up his visit to Lima, Peru, today and is expected back in New York tonight.
  • This morning, he visited El Agustino, an area of Lima which is situated next to a major river and has been vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including flooding, soil erosion and landslides.
  • The Secretary-General spotlighted the important role played by Peru on the issue of climate change. The country will host the 20th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) next year.
  • The Secretary-General also met with former Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar.

HUMANITARIAN CHIEF BRIEFS SECURITY COUNCIL ON SYRIA

  • The Security Council, in its first consultations for December, agreed on its programme of work for the month.
  • The Security Council also received a briefing this morning from Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos about the humanitarian situation in Syria.
  • She talked to reporters after those consultations and said she had told the Council that there had been modest progress in the granting of visas and the opening of a few additional humanitarian hubs in Syria. But she added that there has not been any progress in humanitarian access to hard-to-reach areas.

D.R. CONGO: U.N. MISSION CONDUCTS INAUGURAL LAUNCH OF UNARMED UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES

  • This morning in Goma, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Mission, MONUSCO, conducted the inaugural launch of its unarmed unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, travelled to Goma for the launch, together with the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in the country, Martin Kobler. Senior Government officials also attended the launch, including the Minister of Defence.
  • Speaking to media following the launch, Mr. Ladsous said that this was the first time that the United Nations has deployed such an advanced technological tool in peacekeeping operations.
  • He added that the United Nations had entered the 21st Century from a technological point of view and that peacekeeping operations needed these tools so that the United Nations could do an even better job of fulfilling its mandates, especially protecting civilians.

WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME TO CUT OPERATIONS IN D.R. CONGO DUE TO LACK OF FUNDING

  • The World Food Programme (WFP) says that it will have to reduce or interrupt some of its activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo due to serious resource constraints.
  • The World Food Programme, which is funded entirely by voluntary contributions, says it urgently needs US$75 million to continue its operations through May 2014.
  • In North and South Kivu and in Orientale provinces, some 500,000 food-insecure displaced people will be affected by the funding crisis. The provision of daily hot meals to thousands of schoolchildren is also in jeopardy, as is life-saving nutritional support to some 180,000 malnourished children, pregnant women and nursing mothers across the country.
  • In the last six months, funding shortages have already forced the World Food Programme to cut by half the rations distributed to displaced people in North Kivu province.
  • The World Food Programme says that one out ten children suffers from acute malnutrition and 6.3 million people are facing hunger and need food assistance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

U.N. CONCERNED OVER KILLINGS IN BOALI IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

  • The United Nations Integrated Peacebuidling Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) expressed its deep concern today following incidents in Boali, 95 km from Bangui, where at least 12 people were killed and 30 wounded by armed groups.
  • The UN Mission urges the transitional authorities to uphold their duties to protect the population.
  • It also calls on the transition authorities to bring to justice those responsible for all acts of violence.

U.N. AGENCIES DISTRIBUTES FOOD TO FLOOD-HIT COMMUNITIES IN NIGER

  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today that more than 15,000 people urgently needed humanitarian aid in south-east Niger after the Komadougou River flooded their communities.
  • OCHA said that the Government of Niger is leading the emergency relief operation, with the support of UN agencies and other humanitarian partners. More than 90 tonnes of food have already been distributed.

SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS TO BREAK BARRIERS FOR ALL PERSONS WITH DISABILITY

  • In a message on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Secretary-General called on Governments, members of the UN system, businesses and civil society to break barriers and open doors of opportunity for all persons with disability.  More than 1 billion people live with disabilities.
  • The Secretary-General also said that we must change attitudes that fuel stigma and institutionalize discrimination and that we need to work harder to ensure that infrastructure and services support inclusive, equitable and sustainable development for all.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECRETARY-GENERAL MONITORING EAST CHINA SEA SITUATION: Asked about the situation in the East China Sea, the Spokesperson noted that, where there are disputes, they need to be resolved in a diplomatic way through negotiations. He added that the Secretary-General is monitoring the situation.

RESIDENT COORDINATOR TO REPRESENT U.N. AT KENYA CELEBRATION: Asked about the 12 December Jamhuri Day celebration in Kenya, the Spokesperson said that he understood that the Resident Coordinator for Kenya would represent the United Nations at that event.