HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WORK OF THE U.N. SYSTEM
FROM THE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
Thursday, 27 December 2012
[There are no noon briefings provided by the Office of the Spokesperson during the final week of the year. Attached below are recent developments in the UN system.]
JOINT SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE BRAHIMI SAYS SYRIA NEEDS REAL CHANGE
- The Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said on Thursday in Damascus that Syria and the Syrian people need, want and look forward to real change.
- In remarks to the press at the end of a five-day visit, Mr. Brahimi said that a government with full executive powers should be established to assume power during a transitional period, which would end with elections.
- The Joint Special Representative said that the transitional period should not be allowed to lead to the collapse of the State and its institutions. He said that, on the contrary, everyone should cooperate to preserve these institutions and to rebuild and strengthen them.
- Mr. Brahimi said that the violence must stop and that there must be strong observation which can be provided by a peacekeeping mission. He said that there will be full guarantees that this is not an occupation and that the countries that will contribute to the peacekeeping force must be approved by the Syrian parties.
- Mr. Brahimi arrived on Sunday in Damascus for meetings with Syrian officials. On Monday, he met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Joint Special Representative said he will go to Moscow in the coming days.
UNICEF CHIEF URGES RUSSIA TO LET BEST INTERESTS OF CHILDREN DETERMINE ITS ACTIONS
- The Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Anthony Lake, urged the Russian Government to let the best interests of children determine its actions.
- In a statement issued on Wednesday, Mr. Lake said that while welcoming Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev’s call for the improvement of the child welfare system, UNICEF urges that the current plight of the many Russian children in institutions receives priority attention.
- The U.N. Agency asks that the Government of Russia, in its design and development of all efforts to protect children, let the best interests of children – and only their best interests – determine its actions. The Agency also encourages the government to establish a robust national social protection plan to help strengthen Russian families.
- Mr. Lake said that alternatives to the institutionalization of children are essential, including permanent foster care, domestic adoption and inter-country adoption.