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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, 15 DECEMBER 2010

 

 

 

 

BAN KI-MOON WARNS IVOIRIAN POLITICIANS AND SUPPORTERS AGAINST VIOLENCE

  • The Spokesperson issued a statement on Cote d’Ivoire, saying that the Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the continuing political stalemate in Côte d’Ivoire. The situation is taking a worrying turn with unfolding events that could lead to widespread violence.
     

  • These include the recent threats by some commanders of the national security forces to resort to military options, the standoff between elements of the Forces nouvelles and national security forces near the Golf Hotel on 13 December, and the marches planned by supporters of the Rassemblement des Houphouëtistes pour la Démocratie et la Paix.
     

  • The Secretary-General reiterates his call on all the Ivorian parties and their supporters to exercise patience and refrain from any actions that could, accidentally or deliberately, provoke violence. He stresses that in the currently charged political environment such actions could have unpredictable consequences, including reigniting civil war. The Secretary-General therefore reminds those who incite or perpetrate violence and those who use the media for this purpose, that they will be held accountable for their actions. 
     

  • The Secretary-General, once again, calls upon Mr. Gbagbo to respect the will of the Ivorian people, democratically expressed through the run-off presidential election, and to step down to allow President-elect Ouattara to assume his mandate. The Secretary-General remains in close contact with the Ivorian stakeholders, as well as regional and international leaders who stand firm in their demand for a peaceful end to the crisis and for respect for the will of the people.

 

IRAN: BAN KI-MOON STRONGLY CONDEMNS DEADLY SUICIDE BOMBING

  • The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest possible terms the suicide bombing at a mosque in Chabahar, Iran, which has reportedly left scores of people dead and many more injured.  He is shocked and dismayed by this abhorrent terrorist act directed at mourners commemorating the Holy Day of Ashura.
     

  • The Secretary-General conveys his sincere condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

 

SECURITY COUNCIL ENDS MAJOR SANCTIONS ON IRAQ

  • The Security Council met earlier today in an open meeting in which Council members voted to approve three resolutions, closing several major Chapter VII mandates relating to Iraq, including on weapons of mass destruction and the oil-for-food programme. That meeting is being chaired by Vice President Joseph Biden of the United States.
     

  • The Secretary-General addressed the Council meeting, saying that today’s events are a milestone for Iraq, in which we recognize how far the country has come in key aspects of its journey to normalize its status in the community of nations.
     

  • He commended Iraq’s leaders for their recent agreements ending months of political deadlock, and he urged Iraq’s political blocs to honour their agreements and move swiftly to conclude the process. A new government, he said, will face many challenges, including normalizing Arab-Kurd relations in the disputed areas, and ensuring the protection of all minorities, including Christians.
     

  • The Secretary-General paid tribute to the resilience of the Iraqi people, and said that the United Nations will continue to stand with them as an impartial partner.

 

CYPRUS: LATEST TALKS RESULT IN PROGRESS ON ECONOMIC ISSUES

  • The leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities met today in Nicosia. Alexander Downer, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser, said that further progress was made on the issue of the economy.
     

  • The Secretary-General met with the leaders last month in New York, and is slated to hold another meeting with them in late January in Geneva.

 

WESTERN SAHARA INFORMAL TALKS TO BEGIN ON THURSDAY

  • Asked why the informal talks on Western Sahara will be held from 16 to 18 December in Manhasset, the Spokesperson noted the need to have an atmosphere for the parties to speak freely without distractions. He noted that the Secretary-General is pleased that his Personal Envoy, Christopher Ross, is working with the parties.
     

  • Asked about areas where progress could be made, Nesirky noted the efforts to move forward on confidence-building measures.

 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

REFUGEE AGENCY SADDENED BY LOSS OF LIVES IN SINKING OF BOAT OFF CHRISTMAS ISLAND: The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has expressed its shock and sorrow at the loss of lives after the sinking of a vessel presumed to be carrying asylum-seekers off Christmas Island. The Agency says that far too many people are tragically losing their lives as they take desperate measures to escape conflict, persecution and poverty.

 

AID GROUPS NOT BEING DISCONTINUED IN SOMALIA: Asked about reports that Somalia may discontinue UN humanitarian work in the country, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations had looked into the reports, which have been overtaken by events; humanitarian work is continuing as normal.

 

** The guest at the noon briefing today was Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, who discussed recent peacekeeping challenges.

 

 

 

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