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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

THURSDAY, 22 DECEMBER 2011

LIBYAN GOVERNMENT MUST ADDRESS PEOPLE’S IMMEDIATE NEEDS, U.N. ENVOY TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL

  • The Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Libya, Ian Martin, briefed the Security Council on the situation in that country on Thursday morning.

  • Mr. Martin noted that Libya’s interim government faces a dual challenge: first, it has to address the most immediate needs of the Libyan people, amid high expectations. Secondly, it also has to begin to reform and build accountable institutions that will meet the aspirations for change and modernity.

  • He reported that the Mission’s electoral team has been working intensively with the National Transitional Council’s Elections Committee, and that the Mission has made progress in supporting the Libyan authorities in coordinating bilateral and multilateral assistance to rehabilitate the Libyan police force and a strengthened border security and management service. 

  • The Mission has continued to monitor the situation of detainees, Mr. Martin said, and it is pressing upon the authorities the need to bring all places of detention within a framework of law.  

  • In the afternoon, the Council will discuss the Secretary-General’s report on the situation in Abyei.

IRAQ: U.N. CONDEMNS BAGHDAD ATTACKS

  • The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Martin Kobler, has strongly condemned Thursday’s deadly explosions in Baghdad.

  • He said that these horrendous crimes being committed against the Iraqi people need to stop and violence must end if the country is ever to achieve the prosperous and secure future its people deserve.

  • Mr. Kobler said that it is the duty of all leaders in Iraq to act swiftly, responsibly and in unity to shoulder their responsibilities to end the violence.

  • He also reaffirmed the United Nations’ commitment to assist in building a peaceful, democratic and prosperous Iraq.

U.N. URGES PROTECTION OF WOMEN, CHILDREN IN EGPYT

  • Michelle Bachelet, the head of UN Women, has expressed great concern about reports of direct attacks on women for exercising their political and civil rights to public assembly and expression in Egypt.

  • She called on the Egyptian authorities to guarantee women’s political and civil rights and to protect them from violence from any side.

  • Ms. Bachelet also urged authorities to ensure women’s full freedom to play their essential role in building the new political institutions of Egypt.

  • For its part, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) appealed to Egyptian authorities to protect children involved in demonstrations.

  • The Fund’s Representative in the country said that in the last six days, the numbers of killed, injured and detained children have reached alarming levels.

U.N., PARTNERS LAUNCH $30 MILLION APPEAL FOR PHILIPPINES FLOODS

  • The United Nations and its humanitarian partners appealed on Thursday for nearly $30 million to help flash flood victims in the south of the Philippines.

  • The funds are intended to provide clean water, food, shelter and other items to more than 470,000 people.

  • The acting UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator has wrapped up a two-day visit to the area and said he was shocked by the scale of destruction.

  • More than 1,000 people have died or are missing, while some 28,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

U.N. CONTINUES TO URGE END TO SYRIA KILLINGS: Asked about the situation in Syria, the Spokesperson noted the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navi Pillay, recently said that civilians and members of the security forces had been killed. The Secretary-General has also repeatedly said that the killing, from whatever quarter, must stop immediately. Nesirky also said the Syrian Government should cooperate fully with the League of Arab States mission to Syria.

U.N., D.R. CONGO POLICE AGREE TO LOOK INTO RIGHTS VIOLATIONS: Asked about the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Spokesperson said he understood the UN Mission (MONUSCO) and the DRC Police Commissioner had jointly agreed to investigate allegations of human rights violations by some members of the national police service. He also reiterated a call for restraint from all sides.

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