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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

FRIDAY, 02 DECEMBER 2011

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO DEPART FOR GERMANY, SOUTH AFRICA

  • The Secretary-General will travel to Bonn this weekend to attend the International Afghanistan Conference hosted by the German Government and chaired by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.  The Secretary-General is expected to meet with President Karzai and with Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as with many Foreign Ministers who will be present at the Conference.

  • The Secretary-General will then travel to Durban, South Africa, for the opening of the High-Level segment of the Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP-17.  There, he will meet with President Jacob Zuma and with representatives of Governments attending the conference.  He will also attend some events organized on the margins of COP-17, on long-term climate finance for developing countries, International Forest Protection, as well as the Launch of the Momentum for Change Initiative.

BAN KI-MOON MARKS 25th ANNIVERSARY OF U.N. DEVELOPMENT DECLARATION

  • The Secretary-General has issued a statement to mark the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development.

  • The twenty-fifth anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development, he says, is an occasion to celebrate its visionary promise of people-centred development and to recommit to making this a reality.

  • Today we are at a decisive moment in history.  As calls for change echo across the world, we cannot take refuge in silence. Leaders must respond to the demands of people who seek to build their own future. They should especially work to help women and youth enjoy lives of dignity, equality and opportunity.

  • Global challenges and crises are interconnected. Economic, social and environmental concerns are inseparable. And human rights are integral to them all. That is why we are placing sustainable development at the top of the international agenda. Next year’s United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, will offer a critical opportunity to chart a course to the future we want.

SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES PROGRAMME OF WORK, LIBYA AND D.R. CONGO

  • On Friday morning, the Security Council met to discuss its programme of work for December. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin of Russia, which hold the Council’s rotating presidency for December, briefed reporters.

  • On Friday afternoon, the Security Council will discuss the Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, which will be delivered by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Libya, Ian Martin.

  • There will also be consultations on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

U.N. RIGHTS CHIEF URGES GLOBAL ACTION TO PROTECT SYRIAN PEOPLE

  • Speaking at a special session of the Human Rights Council on Friday, the High Commissioner for Human Rights said that Syrian authorities’ ruthless repression – if not stopped now – can drive the country into a full-fledged civil war.

  • In light of the manifest failure of the Syrian authorities to protect their citizens, the international community needs to take urgent and effective measures to protect the Syrian people, she said.

  • The recent report issued by the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Human Rights Council concluded that Syrian forces have committed crimes against humanity against civilians.

  • That report, Ms. Pillay said, reinforces the need for international accountability.

  • The Human Rights Council also passed a resolution urging the Syrian Government to meet its responsibility to protect its populations and calling for an immediate end to all violence in the country.

***The guest at today’s noon briefing was Catherine Bragg, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator. She discussed Yemen and the Philippines following her recent travels.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SENIOR LEVEL STAFFING CHANGES: Asked about the time frame of announcements for staff changes at the senior level, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General will provide further information as the time comes. The Spokesperson also reiterated the statement made by Chef de Cabinet Vijay Nambiar on Thursday that there will be the right mix of change and continuity and that the five-year rule will apply across the board.

SECRETARY-GENERAL’S YEAR-END PRESS CONFERENCE: Asked about when the Secretary-General will next brief journalists, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General will hold a year-end press conference in mid-December. That event will also provide an opportunity for the Secretary-General to review his entire first term.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

3 - 9 DECEMBER 2011

(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)

Saturday, 3 December

Today is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

This weekend, the Secretary-General will travel to Bonn, Germany, to attend the International Afghanistan Conference hosted by the German Government and chaired by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Sunday, 4 December

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Monday, 5 December

Today is the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development.

This morning, the Security Council will adopt a resolution on peace and security in Africa.

In Geneva, the Seventh Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention will begin in the Palais des Nations. It will run until 22 December.

Tuesday, 6 December

Today, the Secretary-General will arrive in Durban, South Africa, where he will take part in the opening of the High-Level segment of the Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-17).

This morning, the Security Council will receive a briefing and hold consultations on the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

At 4 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, there will be screening of the film “The Vision of a Secretary-General: Dag Hammarskjöld and the UN, 1953-1961.”

Wednesday, 7 December

Today is the International Civil Aviation Day [International Civil Aviation Organization].

This morning, the Security Council will hold a meeting of troop-contributing countries on the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). At 11 a.m., it will receive a briefing, followed by consultations, on the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB). In the afternoon, it will hold a debate on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

Thursday, 8 December

This morning, the Security Council will be briefed and hold consultations on the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). In the afternoon, it will hold consultations on the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI).

Friday, 9 December

Today is International Anti-Corruption Day.

This morning, the Security Council will hold consultations on the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and on Liberia sanctions.

At 12 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will be the guest at the Noon Briefing.

At 3 p.m., in Conference Room 6 (NLB), there will be a briefing by the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF). This event is being organized by the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF).

In Geneva, there will be an event with the theme “Social Media and Human Rights.” It will be moderated by Kyung-wha Kang, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights. The President of the Human Rights Council, Laura Dupuy Lasserre, and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, will also take part.

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