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

SPOKESMAN’S DAILY HIGHLIGHTS

BY MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

TUESDAY, 27 DECEMBER 2011

*U.N. Headquarters will be closed on Monday, 26 December. The noon briefings will resume on 3 January 2011.

SECRETARY-GENERAL’S STATEMENT ON GUINEA-BISSAU

  • The Secretary-General has condemned the use of force to settle differences in Guinea-Bissau.  The primacy of the lawful civilian authorities according to the constitution must be respected. The Secretary-General also encourages the authorities of Guinea-Bissau to respect due process in the investigation of the reported events.
  • The Secretary-General is following the situation in Guinea-Bissau and reaffirms the support of the United Nations to the peacebuilding process in the country.   

UNMISS URGES GOVERNMENT TO ACT NOW TO PROTECT CIVILIANS IN JONGLEI STATE

  • The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) today urged the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to take all measures necessary to protect civilians in Jonglei state. Over the weekend UNMISS air patrols identified thousands of armed Lou Nuer youth preparing to attack Murle communities near Likuangole in Jonglei State. 
  • UNMISS calls on all communities in Jonglei State to put an end to the inter-communal violence that has afflicted so many civilians, and to actively and immediately engage in a reconciliatory peace process.
  • The Special Representative for the Secretary General to South Sudan, Hilde F. Johnson "I am deeply concerned to learn of reports of this imminent large scale attack on civilians in Jonglei State. The Government must act now if we are to avert a major tragedy.
  • “The primary responsibility for protecting civilians lies with the Government of South Sudan. In support, UNMISS has reinforced our own presence of peacekeepers in key areas of Jonglei State and is conducting continuous air patrols to deter potential violence. We are doing what we can within our mandate and capabilities, but our resources and capacity are limited. We remain firmly committed to acting with neutrality, impartiality and integrity for the safety of all communities.”
  • Over recent months UNMISS has consistently deployed its limited resources to reinforce efforts to prevent and mitigate conflict in Jonglei State, including to Lou Nuer, Murle and Dinka communities. The Mission also continues to support and promote reconciliation between the various communities, and in particular the inclusive peace process led by the Sudan Council of Churches.

  • SRSG Johnson pointed out that “Time is now running out and the Government needs to redouble its efforts to prevent a tragedy and avert large-scale violence. All South Sudanese people must now put peace and stability in their new and independent country above any other concerns and interests", Johnson said.

AGREEMENT REACHED ON CAMP NEW IRAQ (FORMERLY CAMP ASHRAF)

  • The Secretary-General issued a statement 26 December welcoming the signing on 25 December of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the United Nations and the Government of Iraq for the voluntary relocation of the residents of Camp New Iraq (formerly Camp Ashraf).
  • He believes that the agreement lays the foundation for a peaceful and durable solution to the situation, respecting both the sovereignty of Iraq and its international humanitarian and human rights obligations. The MoU is the result of intense negotiations between his Special Representative for Iraq, Mr. Martin Kobler, and representatives of the Iraqi government. The residents of the camp have also been consulted.
  • The Secretary-General welcomed the decision of the Government of Iraq to extend the deadline for the closure of the camp to provide more time and space for the peaceful voluntary relocation of the residents. As reflected in the MoU, the Government of Iraq has a clear and exclusive responsibility to ensure the safety and security of the residents. At the same time, the residents of camp New Iraq have to abide by the laws of Iraq.
  • The Secretary-General appealed to all concerned to continue to demonstrate flexibility and good faith and move towards the swift implementation of the relocation plan. The Secretary-General reminded all concerned that any violence or attempt at a forcible solution would be unacceptable. The Secretary-General also reiterated his call to Member States to accept the residents who are eligible for voluntary return or resettlement as soon as possible.
  • The United Nations has been involved in this issue from a purely humanitarian perspective and has played the role of an impartial facilitator. Under the leadership of Special Representative Martin Kobler, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees remain committed to continue supporting a peaceful and durable solution to the situation of the residents of the camp.

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS NIGERIA BOMBING

  • The Secretary-General has condemned in the strongest terms the attacks targeting churches in Madala, on the outskirt of the Nigerian capital, Abuja and the north-eastern city of Jos, which have left many dead and injured.
  • The Secretary-General has expressed his sympathy and condolences to the people of Nigeria and to the bereaved families who have lost loved ones.
  • The Secretary-General has called once again for an end to all acts of sectarian violence in the country and reiterated his firm conviction that no objective sought can justify this resort to violence.

SECRETARY-GENERAL ADDRESSES GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON THE PASSING OF THE BUDGET

  • On December 24 the Secretary-General expressed his appreciation to the General Assembly for passing the 2012 budget, and solidifying with him the compact to cut fat and to continue fulfilling every one of the critical global mandates entrusted to the United Nations.
  • He noted that we have fulfilled the compact between the Member States and the Secretariat, but that it is also a compact with all United Nations staff.
  • He expressed his gratitude to all staff for their hard work and dedication, even at grave risk, to ensure that UN delivers for the world's people.
  • Noting it is a time of global financial austerity, he commended all concerned for rising to this challenge with energy, creativity, and the indispensible willingness to make hard choices.
  • He underscored the fact that we found savings while protecting our ability to get the job done.
  • He said the budget approved by the Fifth Committee is lower than the one from the previous biennium, and that this was an achievement of all of the Member States.
  • He pledged to instruct all managers to continue finding new ways to make the most of our precious resources, ensuring contributions are optimised, and that all mandates given to the Secretariat will be delivered in full and with efficiency

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

United Nations, SA-1B15

New York, NY 10017

Tel. 212-963-7162