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 THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

 UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Monday,
December 21, 2009
 

COPENHAGEN CONFERENCE MARKS ADVANCE IN FIGHT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE

  • Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in remarks to reporters this morning, said that the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change was a success that marked several advances, including by committing countries to work to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius.
     

  • He also noted the Copenhagen Accord’s inclusion of mid-term mitigation targets by developed countries and mid-term mitigation actions by developing countries, and the agreement to provide comprehensive support to the most vulnerable to cope with climate change. 
     

  • In addition, he said, the deal is backed by money and the means to deliver it. 
     

  • The Secretary-General urged countries to ensure that the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund becomes fully operational as soon as possible.
     

  • And he urged all governments to formally sign on to the Copenhagen Accord by registering their support through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
     

  • “The faster we have all the signatures, the more momentum we can build,” he said.
     

  • The Secretary-General added that he is aware that the outcome of the Copenhagen conference, including the Copenhagen Accord, did not go as far as many would have hoped.
     

  • Nonetheless they represent a beginning - an essential beginning, he said, adding, “We have taken an important step in the right direction.”
     

  • Asked who were the additional states that approved the climate change Accord, beyond the existing 192 UN Member States, the Spokesperson said that they were Niue and the Cook Islands.

 

PEACE PROCESS IN DARFUR HAS REACHED A CRITICAL POINT

  • The Security Council held an open meeting this morning to hear a briefing on Sudan by the African Union High Level Panel.
     

  • In his remarks, the Secretary-General noted that the panel’s report provides a frank assessment and insightful analysis of the situation in Sudan and also offers numerous proposals for the way forward. 
     

  • On Darfur, the Secretary-General said the peace process has reached a critical point. 
     

  • He urged Council members to give unequivocal support to the Chief Negotiator, Djibril Bassolé, to send a strong signal to all the parties concerned to become more engaged in the negotiations.
     

  • The Secretary-General also commended the panel for its efforts to develop creative and pragmatic proposals for dealing with the difficult issues of justice and reconciliation in Sudan. But he stressed that there must be compliance with the Security Council Resolution 1591, which refers the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court.
     

  • The Council’s public meeting was followed by a private meeting, also on Sudan.
     

  • Following that meeting, the Security Council intends to hold consultations concerning the International Commission of Inquiry report on Guinea.
     

  • Earlier today, the Security Council approved a resolution extending the arrangements regarding the Development Fund for Iraq until 31 December 2010.
     

  • And the Council adopted a Presidential Statement welcoming the establishment of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic on 1 January 2010, for a one-year period.

 

UGANDAN REBEL GROUP MAY HAVE COMMITTED CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY

  • Two reports released today by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, regarding attacks by the Ugandan rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army, (LRA), in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Southern Sudan says these attacks and the systematic violations of human rights may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.
     

  • The report on the DR Congo  says the LRA attacks resulted in the killing of at least 1,200 people.  The LRA also abducted 1,400 people in the D.R. Congo– including some 600 children and 400 women – and displaced a total of around 230,000 people.
     

  • On the D.R. Congo, the report covers the period from September 2008 to June 2009, concerns attacks on various villages and towns in northern Orientale Province.
     

  • The report urges the Congolese government and its foreign military allies to “conduct a realistic assessment of their capacities to defend and protect civilian populations.”  The government must also work with the international community, to implement “a military operation that takes into account the duty to protect civilians.”
     

  • Among other recommendations, it also urges the international community “assist the DRC to establish a vetting system to improve the quality of its security forces and their ability to protect civilians” and to “cooperate with the ICC in investigating, arresting, and transferring all LRA leaders accused of international crimes covered by the Rome Statute.”
     

  • The report on Southern Sudan covers attacks carried out by LRA groups between December 2008 and March 2009, resulting in the killing of at least 81 civilians were killed, with many others injured, mutilated, raped and abducted, including women.

 

UNITED NATIONS PROVIDES DETAILS OF WINTER RELIEF EFFORT IN AFGHANISTAN

  • In a briefing in Kabul today, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) detailed its efforts to assist some 400,000 Afghans who are seriously affected by natural disasters.
     

  • The Office also says that there are about 275,000 Internally Displaced People in the country who are in constant need of medical care, food, shelter, protection and other assistance. And there are more than six million people who are in need of assistance to be able to supplement to reach their food requirement.
     

  • OCHA has been able to dispatch 80 per cent of the food and assistance required to continue its winter aid efforts, but it faces major difficulties, including insecurity and the need for the timely flow of information.
     

  • The Office adds that, despite great improvement, corruption and malpractices continue to have a negative impact on its ability to serve communities.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL TRANSMITS REPORT BY COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON GUINEA

  • The Secretary-General has transmitted the report of the International Commission of Inquiry on the 28 September 2009 events in Guinea to the Government of Guinea, the Security Council, the Commission of the African Union, and the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

  • The report flows from the work of the Commission in Conakry, Guinea, from 15 November to 5 December 2009.
     

  • In a statement issued over the weekend, the Secretary-General said he took this opportunity to remind the government of Guinea of its obligation to protect victims and witnesses, including those who cooperated with the Commission.
     

  • He also underscored the imperative need for the government of Guinea to seize this opportunity to break definitively with the violence that characterized the tragic events of 28 September.

 

CÔTE D’IVOIRE: U.N. EXTREMELY CONCERNED OVER ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL ABUSE

  • The UN Mission in Côte d’Ivoire, ONUCI, says that it is extremely concerned over allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by military personnel.
     

  • The mission is taking all possible measures to ensure that the matter is investigated urgently.
     

  • The Mission received the allegations last October and conducted an assessment visit to the area where the allegations reportedly occurred in November.
     

  • The Investigation Division of the Office of Internal Oversight (OIOS) was immediately apprised of the matter.
     

  • These allegations refer to incidences that may have occurred as early as 2006 and appear to include minors.
     

  • The authorities of the country concerned have been informed by UN Headquarters and requested to carry out an investigation.  The personnel against whom the allegations have been made have returned to their country of origin on regular rotation. 
     

  • As you know, the United Nations is committed to a zero tolerance policy with respect to sexual exploitation and abuse. And the Mission in Côte d’Ivoire has already taken additional preventative measures to reinforce adherence to this policy.

 

CYPRUS LEADERS WILL INTENSIFY NEGOTIATIONS IN JANUARY

  • Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat met today under UN auspices in Nicosia.
     

  • Following the meeting, the Coordinator of Good Offices Mission, Yasser Sabra, read a joint statement drafted by leaders in which they reconfirmed their earlier decision to intensify their efforts by meeting on 11, 12, 13 and 18, 19, 20 of January 2010.
     

  • In these meetings, the Leaders will aim at more convergences on Governance and Power-Sharing, the Economy and EU Matters.
     

  • They also will continue their discussion on the Property issue, according to the joint statement.
     

  • This weekend, in remarks to the press, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, said that the two leaders had showed “a very strong commitment to achieve a successful negotiation and they have made good progress” throughout the last year.
     

  • He also said that the next year would be a pivotal point, noting that the two leaders had made a strong commitment to intensive negotiations in January.
     

  • The next meeting of Leaders will take place on January 4th at 4 p.m. And they will discuss EU matters.

 

NEPAL: U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE SERIOUS CONCERNED ABOUT VIOLENCE DURING PROTEST IN THE CAPITAL

  • The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal has expressed serious concern about the violence that erupted on Sunday  on the first day of the general strike called by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (UCPN-M), especially at New Baneshwor, Katmandu in the context of the Prime Minister’s return to the country.
     

  • A number of policemen and Maoist cadres were injured when police used force to remove the protesters, who were trying to obstruct Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, at New Baneshwor.
     

  • While recognizing the right of the Police to keep clear the public highways and the right of demonstrators to protest peacefully, OHCHR called on all groups to exercise restraint, to avoid provocation and to reduce tension through dialogue.
     

  • The Office also stressed that further violence must not be repeated and those responsible should be held to account.
     

U.N. CONVOY ATTACKED IN EASTERN CHAD

  • A logistics convoy of the UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) composed of three civilian vehicles was attacked yesterday by four unidentified armed men in southeastern Chad.
     

  • The MINURCAT military force quickly deployed an armed convoy including emergency medical personnel to retrieve the staff members and the damaged vehicles.

 

PHILIPPINES:  U.N. ASSISTS GOVERNMENT TO PREPARE FOR IMMINENT ERUPTION OF MAYON VOLCANO

  • With the alert level of the Mayon Volcano in the Philippines raised from 3 to 4 – meaning an eruption is imminent within hours to days – the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, (OCHA), is working with the national and regional government on the humanitarian and early recovery needs for people that may be affected.
     

  • The new alert level also means evacuation of vulnerable population has been extended to the 8 km danger zone and includes approximately 120,000 + people.
     

  • Some stockpiles have already been pre-positioned, and preparedness assessment was undertaken 4 weeks ago.
     

  • Meanwhile, UNICEF and WFP are also preparing to provide some targeted assistance. 

  1. Detailed evacuation plans, evacuation maps and assessment recommendations are available online at www.un.org.ph/response.

 

U.N. CAMERAS REMOVED FROM MEDIA SWING SPACE AREA

  • The Spokesperson said that he had been informed by the Capital Master Plan office that the cameras that had been placed on the second floor of the UN library, in the media swing space area, were moved over the weekend.
     

  • Asked why the cameras were moved, he said that the decision was taken because the cameras were deemed to be obtrusive and were moved to unobtrusive locations. They had been in position before the media was moved to the area, he explained, and were relocated in response to concerns that they were not appropriately located once the press had moved into the area.
     

  • Nesirky reiterated that the cameras did not rotate and focused on fixed positions at doorways.

 

 

 

  Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
Tel. 212-963-7162
Fax.
212-963-7055

Back to the Spokesperson's Page