HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
There are no noon briefings
planned until January 4, 2010.
Developments within the UN system will be posted daily on this website daily throughout this period.
BAN KI-MOON REGRETS DEPORTATIONS OF LAO HMONG DESPITE APPEALS BY TOP REFUGEE OFFICIAL
- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is concerned that the Government of
Thailand has gone ahead with the deportation of 158 Lao Hmong refugees to
the Lao People's Democratic Republic.
- He is also concerned about the expulsion of a larger group of Lao Hmong,
which included individuals the Thai Government had reportedly assessed to be
in need of protection.
- The Secretary-General regrets that these deportations have taken place
in the face of appeals from the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees and despite the availability of third country resettlement
solutions for those recognized as refugees.
- He urges the Governments of Thailand and the Lao People's Democratic Republic to take all necessary steps to respect the rights of those concerned and to facilitate humane solutions.
UN REFUGEE AGENCY APPEALS FOR ACCESS TO RETURNED LAO HMONG
- The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
has today formally approached the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic
Republic seeking access to Lao Hmong who were deported from Thailand on
Monday. Among those people sent back are individuals recognized by UNHCR as
being in need of international protection.
- UNHCR is also calling on the Government of Thailand to provide details
of assurances received from the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic
Republic within the framework of a bilateral agreement between the two
governments concerning the treatment of the returned Lao Hmong. UNHCR has
asked to be informed of steps taken by the Government of Thailand to ensure
that commitments made under this framework are effectively honoured.
- Thailand has a long history as a country of asylum. However, on Monday it deported some 4000 Lao Hmong from two camps, one in the northern province of Petchabun and another in Nong Khai in the country’s northeast. UNHCR was given no access to people in the first camp, while those in Nong Khai were all recognized refugees. UNHCR has no formal presence in Laos.
DARFUR: PLAN OF ACTION TO ENSURE SAFETY OF PEACEKEEPING PERSONNEL IS SIGNED
- Today, representatives of the African Union-United Nations Mission in
Sudan (UNAMID) and the Government of Sudan signed the framework for a plan
of action aimed at ensuring the safety of UNAMID personnel and their assets.
- This signing ceremony follows a working session held in Khartoum on
Sunday 20 December in which the two parties discussed ways and means of
reducing attacks on UNAMID. There has been a rapid increase in ambushes,
kidnappings and carjackings against UNAMID in the recent months.
- The framework to ensure the safety of UNAMID personnel was signed by
UNAMID Force Commander, Lieutenant-General Patrick Nyamvumba, and the
Sudanese Ministry of Defence’s Director of International Cooperation,
Lieutenant-General Magzoub Rahma. The Force Commander has stated that this
plan will enhance the existing Status-of-Forces (SOFA) agreement. He added
that “it will provide additional measures to cap the growing trend of
insecurity in Darfur.”
- Today’s agreement is due to be endorsed in two weeks. According to SOFA, the primary responsibility for the security and protection of UNAMID peacekeeping personnel and their assets rests with the host government.
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378