Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.

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, 14 DECEMBER 2010

 

 

 

BAN KI-MOON SADDENED BY DEATH OF RICHARD HOLBROOKE

  • The Secretary-General has written to the family of Richard Holbrooke, who died last night, to say how very sad he was to hear the news and to express his sympathy.
     

  • The Secretary-General said that Mr. Holbrooke was a giant and a legend in his time. He wrote that Mr. Holbrooke’s desire to do good in the world was fierce, and he pursued all he set out to do with a resolution and tenacity that were second to none. His legacy will be his works, an inspiration to so many around the world.

 

U.N. ENVOY: SHIFT IN MIDDLE EAST STRATEGY IS NEEDED

  • Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, told the Security Council today that, following recent developments in the region, the need to shift strategy is evident.
     

  • He said that we understand that the United States will now engage both sides in indirect talks on all the final status issues, and the Secretary-General expects the parties to engage seriously. He added that Quartet envoys are preparing a meeting of the Quartet principals, which we expect to take place soon in the coming year.
     

  • Serry added that the parties should show discipline and responsibility in refraining from provocative actions. In this regard, he expressed his worry that there has been a rise in demolitions of Palestinian-owned structures in recent months.
     

  • Asked about the recognition of Palestine by different States, the Spokesperson declined to comment, saying that such recognition is a matter for Member States.

 

MANDATES ARE EXTENDED FOR CYPRUS MISSION, RWANDA AND FORMER YUGOSLAVIA TRIBUNALS

  • In addition to the briefing on the Middle East, the Security Council, by a vote of 14 to 1, adopted a resolution expressing its support for the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and extending its mandate by six months, until 15 June next year.
     

  • The Council also adopted resolutions to ensuring adequate staffing of the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia over the coming months.
     

  • And in a Presidential Statement, the Security Council welcomed the extension of the Peace-Building Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) by one year, until the end of 2011. Council members called on the political-military groups in that country that have not joined the political peace process to do so.

 

UNITED NATIONS, COTE D’IVOIRE TROOPS JOINTLY MAN HOTEL HOUSING PRESIDENT-ELECT

  • The UN Mission in Côte d’Ivoire, ONUCI, reports that tensions have eased slightly since Monday near the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, following a UN-brokered agreement whereby two positions near the hotel are now manned jointly by the Forces de défense et de sécurité (FANCI) and ONUCI troops.  Forces Nouvelles personnel are within hotel premises.
     

  • The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, is reporting that more Ivorians have gone to northeastern Liberia, due to the continuing political uncertainty in Côte d’Ivoire.
     

  • As of this weekend, an estimated 3,500 people had entered Liberia, with new arrivals reported in villages along the border at a rate now of around 150 people per day.
     

  • Asked further about UN efforts to resolve the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General continues to explore all possible avenues to help resolve the situation in Côte d’Ivoire, in a manner that respects the democratically expressed will of the Ivorian people.
     

  • He is emphasising that Laurent Gbagbo must respect the will of the Ivorian people and heed the unified voice of the entire international community by stepping down and allowing the democratically elected candidate to take office.

 

SECURITY SITUATION IMPROVING AROUND DARFUR’S KHOR ABECHE REGION

  • The United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) reports that the current security situation in Khor Abeche is improving but still tense. This follows clashes between Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Sudan Liberation Army/Minni Minawi (SLA/MM) forces in Khor Abeche, which is 83 km northeast of Nyala, South Darfur.
     

  • The Tanzanian Battalion, accompanied by the village Umda or traditional leader, visited the village on Monday to assess the situation.
     

  • According to the Mission, some of the displaced civilians taking refuge outside the UNAMID camp are from neighbouring Kalaka village, which is approximately16 km north of the UNAMID camp and they fear further Sudanese Armed Forces attacks.
     

  • Some combatants remain in the general area. There are reports of ongoing discussions between different groups in Khor Abeche village to avoid further clashes.

 

BAN KI-MOON TO MEET WITH SOUTH SUDAN REFERENDA PANEL

  • The UN Secretary-General’s Panel on the Referenda in the Sudan arrived in New York on Monday for meetings with UN officials over the next two days.
     

  • The Panel will be meeting the Secretary-General on Wednesday to present their views on the preparations for the referenda.  They are scheduled to brief the Security Council in informal consultations on 16 December, after which they are expected to speak to reporters.
     

  • The Panel will be undertaking its third visit to Sudan from 18 until 22 December.
     

  • Asked about problems in holding the Abyei referendum, the Spokesperson said that we have requested the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) parties to quickly resolve this impasse and agree on a mutually acceptable way forward in the interest of the people of Abyei. In the meantime, the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) is conducting daily patrols in the Abyei area and has appealed to the residents of Abyei to remain calm.    

 

D.R. CONGO MISSION CONCERNED ABOUT REBEL ATTACKS ON CIVILIANS AS HOLIDAY SEASON NEARS

  • The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) says it shares the concerns of aid groups about the possibility of renewed attacks on civilians by the Lord’s Resistance Army. The end-of-year holiday season has usually been a period of increased LRA activities, the Mission notes.
     

  • In response, the Mission says it is working with aid groups to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and UN peacekeepers have also increased their presence in LRA-affected northeastern Congo.
     

  • Even so, the Mission warns, a broader approach is needed to deal with the threat posed by the LRA presence in the DRC and indeed, the region at large. In that regard, it welcomes the call by the African Union for a joint mechanism by countries in the region to help further the fight against the LRA.
     

  • Asked about UN activities against the Lord’s Resistance Army, the Spokesperson said that, based on lessons learned from the previous years, MONUSCO has been reinforcing its positions in the areas where LRA rebels operate. It has recently established operation “Rudia Umbrella” centred on the Duru-Niangara-Bangara triangle in the Dungu area of Haute Uele. The number of reinforcements for the LRA operation by MONUSCO is 900.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL APPEALS FOR GENEROUS DONATIONS TO CENTRAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE FUND

  • This morning, the Secretary-General appealed to countries to continue to give generously to the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), so that it can meet its $450 million target for the coming year.
     

  • The Secretary-General was speaking at the replenishment conference for the Fund—also known as the CERF – which he called one of the world’s leading tools for disaster response.
     

  • The Secretary-General said that in 2010, the Fund has been an important part of the humanitarian response to nearly every major crisis. “It is helping us to ensure that those who need our assistance receive it – quickly, effectively and efficiently,” he added.

 

REFUGEE AGENCY MARKS SIXTY YEARS HELPING THE WORLD’S FORCIBLY DISPLACED PERSONS

  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) marked its 60th anniversary today with a renewed appeal for bolstered global commitment to help the world’s forcibly displaced.
     

  • It was originally created by the General Assembly to address the post-World War II refugee situation in Europe, but its work quickly expanded, and the agency has twice been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
     

  • “We have many reasons to be proud, but we also have much more reasons to be concerned with the challenges we face at the present moment,” said High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres.
     

  • Also marking a milestone today is the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which celebrated the 65th anniversary of the adoption of its Constitution.
     

  • In a video message, the Secretary-General underlines that “UNESCO’s mandate is as relevant as ever,” noting that its ability to broker new ideas and bring people together are vital today and for the century ahead.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS DECOLONIZATION PROCESS IS NOT COMPLETE

  • The Secretary-General addressed the General Assembly today on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, which he said had been a light of hope. In 1960, he said, the General Assembly had just ninety-nine members. Today, we have one hundred and ninety two.
     

  • Still, the Secretary-General added, the process of decolonization is not complete. There are sixteen Non-Self-Governing Territories on the list of the Special Committee on Decolonization. The United Nations is committed to fulfilling the Declaration’s great promise, he said.

 

**The guest today at the noon briefing was Robert Orr, the Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Planning, who reported on the outcome of the Cancun climate conference.

 

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, SA-1B15
New York, NY 10017
Tel. 212-963-7162
Fax. 212-963-7055