HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY
SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
FRIDAY, 14 DECEMBER 2012
UN AND HUMANITARIAN PARTNERS LAUNCH US$8.5 BILLION APPEAL TO HELP 51 MILLION PEOPLE IN NEED IN 2013
- The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, called today for US$8.5 billion to help an estimated 51 million people who will need urgent humanitarian relief next year.
- Ms. Amos was in Rome to launch this Humanitarian Appeal 2013 on behalf of the United Nations and international humanitarian organizations working in 16 crisis-affected countries around the world.
- She said that humanitarian needs continue to grow around the world and that there are millions of people in need as a result of the impact of disasters and conflicts.
- The global appeal includes 16 national appeals for Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, occupied Palestinian territory, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
- It is the culmination of a process in which 520 aid organizations including United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations and other international organizations have come together to coordinate operational plans and funding requests to meet ongoing needs in a strategic and comprehensive way.
CHILDREN AND ARMED CONFLICT: U.N. SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE VISITS SYRIA
- The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Leila Zerrougui, arrived today in Damascus. She is there to assess first-hand the impact of the armed conflict on children.
- During her visit, --which she is undertaking at the invitation of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic--, she will meet with Government officials, United Nations partners and civil society representatives to engage them in the protection of girls and boys.
- She will also travel to Lebanon where she will hold a press conference in Beirut on Tuesday 18 December.
AFGHANISTAN: U.N. MISSION VERIFYING MONITORING OF CHILD DETAINEES
- In answer to a question from yesterday on the incarceration of children in Afghanistan, the Spokesperson said that the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, was aware of the report. The document raises serious issues regarding the situation of children, he said.
- Nesirky added that the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission has been visiting detainees and that UNAMA is verifying the extent to which they have monitored the disposition of these child detainees.
- The Mission is of the view that the cases of these children or detainees who were children at the time of their capture and incarceration should be reviewed carefully and they should be held in compliance with international standards for detention of minors, he said. Additionally, all of these individuals should have full access to due process of law.
UNITED NATIONS STANDS BEHIND GOAL OF AN OPEN INTERNET
- Asked about the Secretary-General's views on the Internet, the Spokesperson said the United Nations system stands behind the goal of an open internet. The overall objective is to ensure universal access to the benefits of information and communication technology – including for the two-thirds of the world’s population currently not online. The management of information and communication technology should be transparent, democratic and inclusive. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees freedom of expression across all media and all frontiers.
- The Spokesperson noted that as the World Summit on the Information Society affirmed, the free flow of information and ideas is essential – for peace, for development, for our common progress. These freedoms are not up for negotiation. We shall promote how to most effectively keep cyberspace open, accessible, affordable and secure.
- Nesirky encouraged correspondents to review the statement by the Secretary-General's of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) at the conclusion of the World Conference on International Communications meeting.
COUNTRIES FROM EVERY REGION PLEDGE NEW ACTIONS TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Responding to a call by UN Women under its initiative COMMIT, countries from every region have pledged actions ranging from improved services for survivors to national advocacy and educational campaigns. Twelve countries have announced new, concrete initiatives to address this gross human rights violation.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CLOSELY MONTIORING EVENTS IN EGYPT: Asked about the referendum in Egypt this weekend, the Spokesperson said the United Nations is not in the observation business unless it is specifically mandated to do so. The Secretary-General is closely monitoring developments there, and his main concern is that there should be dialogue and that any protests that occur should be peaceful.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
15 – 21 DECEMBER 2012
(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)
Saturday, 15 December
There are no major events scheduled for today.
Sunday, 16 December
There are no major events scheduled for today.
Monday, 17 December
This morning, the Security Council will adopt a resolution on the International criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), a resolution on 1267/1989 sanctions (Al Qaeda) and another one on 1988 sanctions (Taliban). Then, the Council will hold closed consultations on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) and on Iraq-Kuwait. In the afternoon, the Council will hold closed consultations on Syria.
At 12:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, Ray Chambers, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Malaria and Dr. Fatoumata Nafo-Traore, Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (participating via video link), will be guests at the Noon Briefing.
At 1:00 p.m., in Conference Room 4 of the North Lawn Building (NLB), there will be a round-table discussion on “Reclaiming multilateralism”. It will be co-organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS).
At 6:00 p.m., at the Delegates’ Entrance of the General Assembly Building, there will be the opening of the photo exhibit entitled “Twenty years in retrospect” on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the Collective Security Treaty. It will be co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation and Tajikistan.
In Geneva, there will be a press conference to launch the World Malaria Report 2012. Speakers will include Dr Richard Cibulskis, lead author and coordinator for strategy, economics and elimination in the WHO Global Malaria Programme and Dr Nafo-Traoré Fatoumata, Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership.
In Geneva, the 17th session of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries will begin. It will end on 20 December.
Tuesday, 18 December
Today is International Migrants Day
This morning, the Security Council will hold closed consultations on Sudan and South Sudan. In the afternoon, the Council will hear a briefing on the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 4 (NLB), the Fourteenth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child will be held.
At 11:00 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference on the launch of World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013.
At 12:40 p.m., in the Visitors’ Lobby of the General Assembly Building, there will be the inauguration of a display entitled “The United Nations and the Olympics”, related to the Secretary-General’s participation in the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games. It will be co-organized by the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, the United Nations Office of Sport for Development and Peace and the Department of Public Information (DPI).
In Geneva, there will be a press conference by the Working Group on the use of mercenaries on their return from their mission to Somalia. Speakers will include Working Group’s members Faiza Patel (Chair) and Anton Katz.
Wednesday, 19 December
Today is United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation.
This morning, the Security Council will adopt a resolution on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) and another one on Timor-Leste. Then, it will hear a briefing on the Middle East, followed by consultations on the same topic. In the afternoon, the Council will have a debate on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 2 (NLB), the Meeting of States Parties to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea will be held.
At 11:00 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a year’s end press conference by the Secretary-General.
At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 6 (NLB), there will be a presentation of the report “The Regions of Russia and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals”, organized by the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation.
Thursday, 20 December
Today is International Human Solidarity Day.
This morning, the Security Council will have an open debate on post conflict peacebuilding.
At 12:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, Zainab Hawa Bangura, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, will be the guest at the Noon Briefing.
At 12:45 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference on the General Assembly Resolution entitled "Intensifying global efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilations". This event is sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Burkina Faso to the United Nations.
Friday, 21 December
There are no major events scheduled for today.