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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 FARHAN HAQ, ACTING DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

THURSDAY, 23 DECEMBER 2010

 

 

 *U.N. Headquarters will be closed on Friday, 24 December. The noon briefings will resume on 4 January 2011.

 

CÔTE D’IVOIRE: U.N. MISSION REPORTS SEVERE RIGHTS VIOLATIONS, ACTS OF INTIMIDATION

  • The UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) reports that severe violations of human rights and acts of intimidation continue to be noted in many neighbourhoods of Abidjan and in the west of the country. These acts include identifying dwellings by marking them with distinctive signs.
     

  • As the violence goes on, the number of dead, wounded and missing persons is increasing rapidly. UNOCI will continue to do all in its power to ensure the protection of the population, while documenting the facts so as to help the competent bodies to take measures to ensure that those responsible will be held accountable.
     

  • Meanwhile, the UN Mission reports that the heavily armed forces of Laurent Gbagbo’s camp, supported by masked individuals armed with rocket launchers, continue to block the road to Anyama, around N’Dotre, the village just outside Abidjan where allegations point to the existence of a mass grave. At times this obstruction is backed up by masked individuals armed with rocket launchers.
     

  • Impediments to UNOCI’s activities persist, particularly in Abidjan and in the west of the country. UN supply trucks and patrols continue to be blocked. Similarly, UN patrols continue to be followed by armed men travelling in vehicles.
     

  • Asked about the marking of homes, the Spokesperson said that this was alarming since homes seemed to be marked differently depending on the ethnicity of the inhabitant. The Secretary-General was particularly concerned about this, Haq said.
     

  • Asked who was behind this, he indicated signs that this was being done by forces linked to Laurent Gbagbo’s side.

 

U.N. RIGHTS OFFICIAL VOICES CONCERN OVER VIOLATIONS IN CÔTE D’IVOIRE

  • Meanwhile, in a special session of the Human Rights Council on the situation in Côte d’Ivoire, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang expressed her deep concerns over the violations of rights in the West African nation.
     

  • Following the proclamation of election results, the political stalemate has been characterized by the excessive use of force by Laurent Gbagbo’s supporters to repress public gatherings and carry out extrajudicial killings, among other violations.
     

  • Ms. Kang emphasized that these acts are blatant violations of obligations under international human rights law.
     

  • She also repeated the UN’s call on Ivorian leaders to prevent violations of all human rights and to refrain from any incitement to violence and hatred.

 

U.N. WORKING TO DE-ESCALATE TENSIONS IN GAZA, SOUTHERN ISRAEL

  • Following the recent escalation of tensions in Gaza and southern Israel, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, and his team have been engaged in efforts to help de-escalate the situation.
     

  • Serry said that the UN does not want to see any renewed intensification of conflict and has been sending a message of utmost restraint and concern for the protection of civilians in Gaza and Israel. Serry was encouraged to hear a clear desire from all concerned to de-escalate the situation and respect calm and he appeals for an end to acts of violence.

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES U.S. VOTE TO SUPPORT RATIFICATON OF NEW START TREATY

  • In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, the Secretary-General welcomed the vote of the United States Senate to support the ratification of the new START Treaty. This sends a firm and clear message in support of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
     

  • The Secretary-General believes that the United States’ ratification will help maintain the hard-won momentum in recent years for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. The Secretary-General reaffirms his full commitment to working toward achieving nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

 

URUGUAYAN APPOINTED HEAD OF U.N. MISSION IN INDIA AND PAKISTAN

  • The Secretary-General has decided to appoint Major General Raul Gloodtdofsky Fernandez of Uruguay as Chief Military Observer and Head of Mission of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).
     

  • Major General Gloodtdofsky will replace Major General Kim Moon Hwa of the Republic of Korea, who completed his assignment on 27 November 2010.

 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

NO ANNOUNCEMENT YET ON TRIP BY SRI LANKA ADVISORY PANEL: Asked whether the Secretary-General’s Advisory Panel on Sri Lanka would visit that country, the Spokesperson said that the Panel was discussing possible arrangements, but there was no trip to announce at present.

 

WORK PROCEEDING ON HAITI CHOLERA OUTBREAK PANEL: Asked whether a panel looking into the cholera outbreak in Haiti would be announced soon, the Spokesperson said that work was proceeding to ensure that experts in epidemiology, microbiology and water and sanitation would be on that panel.

 

 

  

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