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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

There are no noon briefings planned until January 4, 2011.
 Developments within the UN system will be posted daily on this website daily throughout this period.

FRIDAY, 31 DECEMBER 2010

 

CÔTE D’IVOIRE: TOP U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICIAL REMINDS AUTHORITIES OF THEIR OBLIGATION TO PROTECT CIVILIANS

 

·        High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has written individually to a group of leaders in key authority positions in Côte d’Ivoire to remind them that they will be held personally responsible and accountable for rights violations resulting from their actions and/or omissions, according to international human rights and humanitarian law.

 

·        She reminded Laurent Gbagbo and others of their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law, including a responsibility to refrain from committing, ordering, inciting, instigating or standing by in tacit approval of human rights violations, and to prevent subordinates from committing these violations, and to punish those who have done so.

 

·        “I must also warn persons who, as subordinates, receive instructions, directions and orders to commit human violations,” the High Commissioner stressed. “They, too, have a direct individual criminal responsibility for their actions and omissions. It is no excuse that they may have been merely carrying out orders, directions or instructions from above.”

 

·        She also repeated her strong concern that the deteriorating security conditions in the country and the interference with the UN mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) continue to block the investigation of a large number of reported human rights violations.

 

·        UN teams have been denied access to alleged sites of mass graves, Ms. Pillay noted, expressing concern over the continued threats and attacks against UNOCI patrols and personnel.

 

 

U.N. STEPPING UP EFFORTS TO ASSIST WAVE OF IVORIAN REFUGEES FLEEING TO LIBERIA

 

·        As the Secretary-General said in a statement yesterday, in response to the call by the so-called Young Patriots to attack Abidjan’s Golf Hotel which houses the administration of President-elect Alassane Outtara beginning tomorrow, he warns that any attack against peacekeepers constitutes a crime under international law.

 

·        He also stressed that the UN mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) is authorized to use all necessary means within its mandate to protect its personnel, as well as the Government officials and other civilians at the hotel’s premises.

 

·        The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) announced that it will set up a camp in Liberia to shelter the more than 18,000 refugees who have fled from neighbouring Côte d’Ivoire in recent weeks.

 

·        Work on the new site is set to begin next week, and UNHCR estimates that up to 500 Ivorians are arriving in Liberia daily.

 

·        For its part, the World Food Programme (WFP) has airlifted five metric tons of high-energy biscuits – enough to provide a day’s food ration to some 15,000 people – into Liberia to help Ivorian refugees.

 

·        The agency has launched emergency operations on both sides of the border and is drawing up contingency plans to help tens of thousands of people in the coming weeks.

 

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS KARIN LANDGREN OF SWEDEN AS U.N. SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE IN BURUNDI

 

·        The Secretary-General announced the appointment of Karin Landgren of Sweden as his new Special Representative in Burundi and Head of the UN Office in that country (BINUB), replacing Charles Petrie.

 

·        Most recently, Ms. Landgren has worked as the Special Representative in Nepal and Head of the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN).

 

·        She brings to her new position many years of political, development, resource mobilization, managerial and internal law experience with the UN, having served in countries including Eritrea, Singapore, India and the Philippines.

 

 

JOINT MEDIATION ON THE DAFUR PEACE PROCESS COMMITTED TO CONTINUING ALL TRACKS OF NEGOTIATIONS

 

·        The Joint Mediation on the Darfur peace process remains committed to the continuation of all tracks of negotiations with the aim of achieving the desired goal of producing a peace document that will be the basis for finding a just and comprehensive solution for the conflict in Darfur very soon.

 

·        In a statement, the Mediation called upon all parties to continue to cooperate with a view to finalizing the peace document and bringing the peace process to its desired end in the nearest time.

 

·        The Mediation urged all parties to cease hostilities that have erupted recently in Darfur in order to spare citizens displacement and suffering and create a favorable atmosphere for the Mediation to finalize the peace process as planned.

 

·        As part of the continuity of the peace process and with a view to promoting the consultations conducted by the Mediation with the regional and international parties, the Mediation will convene a meeting for the Joint Afro-Arab Inter-Ministerial Committee for Darfur and another meeting, in the first week of January, for the Special Envoys to the Sudan of the Security Council Permanent Members and the European Union.

 

·        The Mediation will – for the same purpose – hold consultations with the neighboring states and other effective regional forces.

 

·        The statement said that upon the completion of the proposed peace document, the Mediation intends to present it to all stakeholders as an inclusive framework and solution, in a broad conference to be held in Doha to that end.

 

 

ON ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE, U.N. ENVOY CONGRATULATES SUDANESE PEOPLE FOR STRIDES MADE IN PEACE PROCESS

 

·        The Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Sudan, Haile Menkerios, has congratulated the people of Sudan on the commemoration of the 55th anniversary of the country’s independence tomorrow, 1 January 2011.

 

·        In a statement marking the occasion, he also congratulated all Sudanese for the achievements of the peace process in 2010.

 

·        He said 2010 has been a remarkable year for the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), noting that a year ago, considerable national and international skepticism and a degree of pessimism remained over the last stages of the peace process.

 

·        He noted that not only have the elections been held with a fair degree of success, and most significantly without jeopardizing the peace process, but that everything is ready for Southern Sudan referendum polling to start on 9 January 2011 as provided by the CPA, despite the extremely short time that was available.

 

 

LEBANON: U.N. MISSION COUNTERS MEDIA REPORTS THAT IT REPATRIATED TROOPS FOR SPYING FOR ISRAEL

 

·        The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) refutes press reports that it has repatriated several of its troops for spying for Israel.

 

·        UNIFIL’s mandate and tasks are determined by Security Council resolution 1701 of 2006. All of its troops, from 35 countries, operate in compliance with the same rules of engagement.

 

·        The key element in this, UNIFIL stresses, is that peacekeepers act in a fully impartial and objective manner.

 

·        To that end, UNIFIL deals with all parties even-handedly, acting in a completely transparent way and keeping UN Headquarters and the Security Council fully and factually informed about all the developments on the ground and any violations of resolution 1701.

 

·        It is important to stress that implementation of resolution 1701 and the operations of UNIFIL aim to ensure that stability prevails in this area and that the people of the south feel secure and protected to live in a peaceful environment.

 

·        The peacekeepers always try to do their utmost to assist and protect the local population; at the same time UNIFIL’s existence would have been hard without the strong support of the people of the south.

 

 

DR CONGO: UNICEF HAILS GROUNDBREAKING LAW FOR INDIGENOUS CHILDREN

 

·        The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has welcomed a new law giving Congolese children belonging to indigenous populations – until now the most vulnerable of the vulnerable – a legal basis to access health, education and protection.

 

·        “This law is unique in the region and sets and examples for all other countries having indigenous populations similar to the ones in Congo,” said Marianne Flach, UNICEF Country Representative in the country.

 

·        In the DRC, one of the world’s poorest countries, indigenous populations are precariously balanced on the bottom rung of society, according to UNICEF, which a vast majority living in poverty.

 

 

 

 

 

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
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