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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General

 

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

 

 

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

FRIDAY, 10 DECEMBER 2010

 

 

MARKING HUMAN RIGHTS DAY, SECRETARY-GENERAL UNDERLINES NEED TO DECRIMINALIZE HOMOSEXUALITY

  • Today is Human Rights Day, and the Secretary-General spoke at a number of events, including one on ending violence and criminal sanctions based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
     

  • He said that, although many nations have modern constitutions that guarantee essential rights and liberties, homosexuality is considered a crime in more than 70 countries. This is not right. And he talked about the need to decriminalize homosexuality.
     

  • On Thursday, the Secretary-General attended an event at the Ford Foundation and took the occasion to praise the work of human rights defenders, whom he described as courageous women and men striving to protect their rights and the rights of others, determined to make human rights a reality for all.
     

  • He called on governments everywhere to uphold the rights of these brave individuals. And he called on every nation to embrace the freedoms that they stand for – in particular the freedoms of thought, expression and peaceful assembly.

 

HAITI: TOP U.N. PEACEKEEPING OFFICIAL TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL OF PROPOSED COMMISSION TO REVIEW ELECTION TALLY

  • The Security Council received an update this morning on the latest developments in Haiti from Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy.
     

  • Le Roy informed the Security Council that Haiti’s electoral commission on Thursday proposed the establishment of a tripartite commission to review the tabulation process with regard to the votes garnered by the three leading presidential candidates. We are awaiting clarification about the commission’s terms of reference and membership.
     

  • The Council issued a press statement in which it stressed the importance of holding peaceful and credible elections as a critical element of Haiti’s ongoing recovery, reconstruction and development.
     

  • Council members also expressed their deep concern at violent incidents following the announcement of preliminary election results. They called on all candidates, their supporters, political parties and other political actors to remain calm, refrain from violence or other provocations, and to resolve any electoral disputes through established legal mechanisms.
     

  • Council members also received a briefing this morning on the work of the sanctions committee operating under Resolution 1737, which concerns non-proliferation and Iran.

 

SENIOR U.N. OFFICIAL IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH ALL STAKEHOLDERS IN HAITI

  • Despite the difficult conditions, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Edmond Mulet, and his team have been in close contact with all the stakeholders in Haiti. In particular, Mulet has had regular meetings and consultations with President René Préval, presidential candidates and members of the international community.
     

  • During these exchanges, the Special Representative has reiterated the United Nations’ strong commitment to support free and fair elections that reflect the will of the Haitian people. He has underlined that the results announced on 7 December are not final and are subject to the provisions stipulated in the electoral law and has urged all candidates to exhaust the formal remedies and legal procedures.
     

  • In response to questions, the UN Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) reports that non-lethal means were used by uniformed personnel in the capital after a mission patrol was targeted by stone-throwing protesters.

 

NEXT ROUND OF INFORMAL MEETINGS ON WESTERN SAHARA SET FOR NEXT WEEK

  • Delegations of the parties to the Western Sahara conflict Morocco and the Frente Polisario – and the neighbouring states, Algeria and Mauritania – will gather again in Greentree, Long Island, for informal meetings from 16 to 18 December, 2010. These meetings will take place at the invitation of the Personal Envoy of the Secretary General for Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, within the mandate given by the UN Security Council for UN-led negotiations.
     

  • The parties agreed that at the next meeting they will explore innovative approaches in order to create an environment for progress.
     

  • At their last talks, each party continued to reject the proposal of the other as a basis for future negotiations.
     

  • Mr. Ross is expected to issue a communiqué at the end of these informal discussions.

 

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY REPORTS 2,000 IVORIAN REFUGEES HAVE CROSSED INTO LIBERIA, GUINEA

  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says that some 2,000 Ivorians have crossed into Liberia and Guinea following the post-electoral crisis in the country.
     

  • The refugees fled from villages located in western Côte d'Ivoire and told UNHCR their movement was precautionary, prompted by fears of instability and violence as the political deadlock persists.
     

  • A first group of 300 refugees reached Liberia on 29 November, a day after the second round of presidential elections. Guinea started registering arrivals on Wednesday.
     

  • UNHCR teams are visiting the refugees in both countries.

 

VOTER REGISTRATION FOR UPCOMING SUDAN REFERENDUM WRAPS UP

  • The Secretary-General’s Panel on the Referenda in the Sudan notes that voter registration inside the country for the forthcoming southern Sudan referendum concluded on Thursday, although an extension was granted to some out-of-country registration sites to accommodate the late start of registration in these locations.
     

  • The Panel said it welcomed the peaceful and orderly conduct of the registration and the timely organization of the process

 

U.N.-A.U. MISSION REPORTS ON RECENT CLASHES IN DARFUR

  • Asked about remarks made on Thursday by the International Criminal Court Prosecutor concerning the reporting made by the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), the Spokesperson said that UNAMID regularly reports on security incidents including reporting to Headquarters and frequent press briefings.
     

  • For example, on 8 December, the Mission stated that clashes were reported by the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Sudan Liberation Army-Minni Minawi in southern South Darfur. Today, UNAMID reported on fighting between the same parties in the village of Khor Abeche, located 80 km southeast of Nyala.

 

U.N. REPORT SPOTLIGHTS HUMAN RIGHTS CHALLENGES FACING EASTERN CHAD

  • The UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have published a new report on the human rights situation in eastern Chad over the last year and a half.
     

  • The report highlights the main challenges concerning human rights, such as problems linked to the administration of justice, sexual violence and the recruitment of child soldiers by armed groups.
     

  • The report also makes a series of recommendations to the Government in order to improve the protection and promotion of human rights in Chad.

 

REGISTRAR APPOINTED FOR SPECIAL TRIBUNAL FOR LEBANON

  • The Secretary-General has appointed Herman von Hebel to the post of Registrar of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.  Mr. von Hebel is a Dutch national with decades of experience in international law at three tribunals, including the Special Tribunal, as well as for the Government of the Netherlands.
     

  • “Herman von Hebel has served international criminal justice for many years with competence and independence,” said the President of the Court, Judge Antonio Cassese. “I am sure that in his position he will continue to show great professionalism and integrity.”

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS SPECIAL ADVISOR ON HUMAN SECURITY

  • The Secretary-General has appointed Yukio Takasu of Japan as Special Advisor on Human Security.
     

  • Mr. Takasu has played a pivotal role in advancing a greater understanding on the notion of human security both within the United Nations and outside for more than 10 years.
     

  • On 16 July 2010, the GA resolution on human security was adopted by consensus, recognizing the need to continue the discussion on human security and to achieve an agreement on the definition thereof in the General Assembly.
     

  • Mr. Takasu has now been requested by the Secretary-General to conduct close consultations with Member States, UN system organizations and other stakeholders to facilitate the achievement of a common understanding on this issue.

 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

NEGOTIATORS SEEKING AGREEMENT AT CANCÚN TALKS: Asked about the climate change talks in Cancún, the Spokesperson said that negotiations are continuing. The Secretary-General remains closely in touch with key players. Nesirky added that, while an overall framework agreement is unlikely, progress can be made on a number of fronts, and that is what the negotiators are trying hard to achieve.

 

U.N. MOBILIZES NEARLY $6 MILLION TO RESPOND TO HUMANITARIAN EMERGENCY IN COLOMBIA: As part of its first phase of the response to the emergency triggered by heavy rains in Colombia, the United Nations system has mobilized nearly $6 million to complement the efforts of the country’s Government for the next three months. UN Humanitarian Coordinator Bruno Moro noted that the recently deadly mudslide in north-west Colombia “symbolizes the drama of all victims of this rainy season and presents us the most tragic side of the disaster.”

 

BORDER MANAGEMENT IN EUROPEAN UNION MUST BE PROTECTION-SENSITIVE: In its efforts to stem illegal migration, Europe should not forget that among those seeking to enter the European Union are people who need international protection and are at risk, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). UNHCR said that while it recognizes the need for border management, this must be protection-sensitive. Border control policies that indiscriminately block arrivals encourage asylum-seekers to resort to ever riskier and more desperate routes to safety.

 

*** The guests at the noon briefing today were Mark Bowden, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, and Kiki Gbeho, who heads the Somalia Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS[1]
11-17 December 2010

 

Saturday, 11 December

 

Today is International Mountain Day.

 

Sunday, 12 December

 

There are no major events scheduled today.

 

Monday, 13 December

 

Today, the Security Council will visit Washington, D.C.

 

From 3 to 6 p.m. in Conference Room 1 (NLB), the Annual High-level Conference on the Central Emergency Response Fund, organized by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), will be held. It will resume the following day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the Secretary-General is expected to make remarks.

 

Tuesday, 14 December

 

Today, the Security Council will hear briefings and hold consultations on the Middle East, the UN Mission in Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT). It is also expected to adopt resolutions on UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA), the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

 

At 9:30 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, Ray Chambers, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Malaria, will hold a joint press conference, by teleconference, with Margaret Chan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization (WHO), to launch the 2010 World Health Organization Malaria Report.

 

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 to 6 p.m. in Conference Room 2 (NLB), there will be consultations on “Enhanced cooperation on international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet” convened by Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Sha Zukang.

 

At 1:30 p.m., Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, will hold a press conference following the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) pledging conference.

 

Today in Piraeus, Greece, UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane will mobilize their team from across Europe to take on an all-star team from Olympiacos in a friendly match to raise awareness and funds for the nearly 25 million people affected by the Haiti earthquake in January and the Pakistan floods that started in July.

 

Wednesday, 15 December

 

This morning, the Security Council will hold a high-level event on Iraq.

 

From 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Conference Room 4 (NLB), there will be a briefing by the Co-chairs of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, John W. Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) and In-kook Park (Republic of Korea), together with the Secretary-General of the Conference, Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, on the preparatory process leading up to the Conference, as well as its first intersessional meeting and other relevant issues.

 

Thursday, 16 December

 

This morning, the Security Council is expected to adopt resolutions on UN Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB), Liberia sanctions and the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and will hold consultations on Sudan. In the afternoon, it will hold an open debate on women and peace and security.

 

At 12:00 p.m., Yuri Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), will be the guest at the noon briefing to brief correspondents on the launch of the UNODC programme of work for West Africa.

 

At 1:00 p.m., the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will hold a press conference to launch the 2010 World Migration Report. Michelle Klein Solomon, Head of the IOM Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations, will present the report.

 

Friday, 17 December

 

This morning, the Security Council will continue its open debate on women and peace and security. In the afternoon, it will hear a briefing and consultations on the United Nations Office in West Africa (UNOWA) and will also hold consultations on Iraq/Kuwait.

 

From 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Conference Room 7 (NLB), there will be a panel discussion on the occasion of the International Migrants Day and in observance of the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

 

At 10 a.m., there will be a press conference by Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting, Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations, to brief correspondents on the end of Austria’s term in the Security Council.

 

At 11 a.m., the Secretary-General will hold his end-of-year press conference.


 

[1]This document is for planning purposes only and is current as of  DATE \@ "HH:mm" 14:57  DATE \@ "dddd, dd MMMM, yyyy" Friday, 10 December, 2010. 

 

 

 

 

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