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

TUESDAY, 7 DECEMBER 2010

 

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL SET TO ADDRESS HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT OF CANCÚN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE

  • The Secretary-General has arrived in Cancún, Mexico, and will open the High-Level Segment of the Climate Change Conference there this afternoon.
     

  • The Secretary-General will also meet today with President Felipe Calderón of Mexico, as well as with representatives of the African Group, the European Union, the Group of 77 and China and the United States.
     

  • Later, the Secretary-General will hold a press conference.
     

  • Asked about results at Cancún, the Spokesperson said that it was unlikely that there would be an overall agreement reached at Cancún. But he does expect countries to move forward on areas where they can generate action on the ground, both to curb and reduce emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

 

U.N. ENVOY BRIEFS SECURITY COUNCIL ON LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN CÔTE D’IVOIRE

  • The Security Council this morning heard a briefing on the latest developments in Côte d’Ivoire from the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Choi Young-jin, who spoke to Council members by videoconference.
     

  • Mr. Choi told the Council that the moment has come to safeguard the results of Côte d’Ivoire’s elections. He said that he had completed an analysis and evaluation of 20,000 tally sheets, and the results that he obtained clearly showed that Alassane Ouattara won the second round of elections, even if all of Laurent Gbagbo’s objections had been taken into account.
     

  • Mr. Choi said that ignoring the will of the people of Côte d’Ivoire at this stage would be a let-down and a waste of significant resources invested by the international community.
     

  • The Security Council continued its discussions with Mr. Choi in closed consultations.
     

  • Asked about the UN response to the standoff, the Spokesperson said that Mr. Choi had also explained his actions to ECOWAS representatives during his visit today to Abuja, Nigeria.
     

  • Asked about any Security Council action, Nesirky said that the Council was considering the issue. Meanwhile, he added, the UN Mission continues to act on the ground to fulfill the mandate given to it by the Security Council.

 

U.N. MISSION IN HAITI CONTINUES TO SEEK INFORMATION ON ORIGINS OF CHOLERA EPIDEMIC

  • In response to questions, the Spokesperson said that the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) is aware of the findings by a French epidemiologist concerning the origins of the cholera epidemic in that country.
     

  • MINUSTAH has neither accepted nor dismissed his findings, Nesirky said. It's just one report among many, which the Mission has taken seriously.
     

  • For its part, he added, the Mission has conducted a number of tests -- from waters inside the military camp, between the camp and the river, and the river itself --- and all results have proven negative.  At this point, there is no conclusive evidence.
     

  • The Spokesperson said that the Mission continues consulting with a broad range of specialists and scientists to gather the maximum information possible and remain very receptive to any scientific debate or investigation on this issue.
     

  • As the Secretary-General made clear to the General Assembly last Friday, the United Nations is continuing to take action on three critical fronts: First, MINUSTAH is monitoring the situation closely, drawing water samples from various sources and ensuring that waste waters do not flow into the rivers.
     

  • Second, we deployed a team of water, sanitation and hygiene experts to review all sanitation systems at MINUSTAH’s military, police and civilian installations.
     

  • Third, the Secretary-General instructed the Mission to actively follow up on any additional information it may receive on the origins of the current outbreak.
     

  • This includes cooperating fully with national or competent authorities in any further effort to shed light on the source of the epidemic, to improve treatment for victims and to prevent further spread. The people of Haiti deserve nothing less, the Secretary-General said.
     

  • Nesirky added that the main task for the United Nations at present is to help the people who have been affected by the cholera epidemic.

 

U.N. OFFICIAL CONCERNED OVER FORCED CLOSURE OF NGO OFFICE IN GAZA

  • The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the occupied Palestinian Territory, Maxwell Gaylard, voiced his concern today about the forced closure on 30 November by the local authorities in Gaza of all Gaza-based offices of the non-governmental organization Sharek Youth Forum. He called Sharek an important NGO partner of the United Nations in its work on behalf of children and young people in Gaza.
     

  • Gaylard said that freedom of association and freedom of expression are fundamental rights protected by international law, as well as the Palestinian Basic Law. He expressed his hope that Sharek would be permitted to continue its work in Gaza without further delay or undue hindrance.

 

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY CALLS FOR EGYPTIAN INTERVENTION TO SECURE RELEASE OF ERITREAN HOSTAGES

  • The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is urging the Egyptian Government to intervene for the release of some 250 Eritreans who have been held hostage for one month by human traffickers in the Sinai.
     

  • Egypt’s Ministry of the Interior has assured UNHCR that around-the-clock efforts are under way to locate the hostages and release them.
     

  • The agency also reported that donor governments today in Geneva pledged nearly $600 million for its operations next year to help millions of forcibly displaced and stateless people around the world. This is the highest amount to have been contributed in a single pledging session, the agency said.

 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

U.N. MISSION MONITORING INCIDENT IN SUDAN In response to a question, the Spokesperson said that the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) was informed by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) that an aerial bombing took place on Monday, 15 miles north-east of Timsaha. A Monitoring and Verification Team led by UNMIS is on the ground to verify the incident.

 

UNITED NATIONS NOT FORMALLY INVITED TO NOBEL CEREMONY: Asked who would attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony this Friday, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations was not formally invited to that ceremony.

 

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