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

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

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

WEDNESDAY, 7 DECEMBER 2011

IN DURBAN, SECRETARY-GENERAL CONTINUES PRESSING FOR ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE

  • In Durban on Wednesday, the Secretary-General met with key parties in the climate change negotiations.

  • He held separate discussions with the Group of 77, the Alliance of Small Island States and the US Special Envoy for Climate Change. Earlier on Wednesday, he also met with the European Union Commissioner for Climate Action, as well as with the “BASIC” countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China.

  • The Secretary-General also addressed events taking place on the margins of the 17th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

  • At a high-level event on long-term climate financing, he said that we still have a long way to go towards mobilizing $100 billion dollars a year by 2020, but stressed how important it was for developed countries to fulfill their commitments. He added that the immediate challenge was how to get a scaled-up climate finance system up and running.

  • The Secretary-General called on the parties at the conference to resolve any differences remaining on the design of the Green Climate Fund in Durban.  The new Fund must not be an empty shell, he said.

  • The Secretary-General also spoke at a High-Level Forum on International Forest Protection. He said that forests continued to disappear at an alarming rate and that more needs to be done with a greater sense of urgency. He called on the COP-17 to reach a decision on financing for REDD+ this week and to use private sector partnerships to implement the REDD+ agenda.

  • The Secretary-General will be travelling next to Nairobi, where he will meet with the President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki. From there he will go on to Doha, where he will attend the opening of the Fourth Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations. He is scheduled to meet with the Emir of Qatar, as well as with the Prime Ministers of Spain and Turkey, which launched the Alliance, a UN initiative.

 

SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES BURUNDI, TRIBUNALS

  • On Wednesday morning, the Security Council met to hear a briefing on the situation in Burundi by Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Karin Landgren, and the Chair of the Burundi Configuration of the Peace-building Commission, Switzerland’s Ambassador, Paul Seger.

  • Ms. Landgren said that the road out of past violence is long and difficult, and in 2012, Burundi is expected to initiate a formal process of truth and reconciliation. This meeting was followed by consultations.

  • This afternoon the Council will discuss the work of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with Judge Theodor Meron and Prosecutor Serge Brammertz and on the work of the International Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) with Judge Khalida Rashid and Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar.

SYRIA: VIOLENCE MUST CEASE IMMEDIATELY – BAN KI-MOON

  • Asked about the responsibility for commanding the Syrian Armed Forces, the Spokesperson said that as Head of State, President Assad has ultimate responsibility to protect Syria's citizens. He emphasized once again the Secretary-General's position that violence and killing from any quarter must cease immediately, that peaceful protesters have the right to demonstrate, and that it is incumbent on President Assad and the Government to listen to their aspirations for reforms. Nesirky also underscored the need for an already mandated human rights assessment mission to evaluate the situation on the ground.

AFGHANISTAN: U.N. INITIATIVE LAUNCHED TO BOOST COOPERATION ON DRUG TRAFFICKING, ORGANIZED CRIME

  • Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries joined the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna today to launch a new initiative to respond effectively to drug trafficking and organized crime.

  • The Office’s Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, said that as the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) gradually disengages, the international community will increasingly look to the United Nations to take on additional responsibilities in supporting Afghanistan.

  • Areas in which cooperation will be enhanced may include training counter-narcotics law enforcement officials, conducting joint raids, and tackling cross-border illicit money flows.

TOP U.N. REFUGEE OFFICIAL URGES GLOBAL REAFFIRMATION FOR INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION VALUES

  • The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, called on the world to reaffirm and recommit to the values of international protection and to find concrete ways to collectively address the new challenges of forced displacement.

  • He made the appeal at the start of a two-day conference on refugees and stateless people, the largest event on this topic in the UN Refugee Agency’s 60-year history.

  • Nearly 145 countries are attending, with half represented at the ministerial level.

  • In a video message to the conference, the Secretary-General underlined the importance of the principle that people should never be forced into harm’s way.

  • He urged countries to pledge their support for the Refugee Agency and to join efforts to reduce statelessness.

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR FULFILMENT OF AID COMMITMENTS

  • The Deputy Secretary-General addressed the high-level dialogue on financing for development in the General Assembly this morning.

  • She noted that most donor countries, faced with mounting debts, are tightening their budgets.

  • But even in this difficult environment, it is critical that they fulfill their commitments to official development assistance.

  • The Deputy Secretary-General will leave tonight for Torino, Italy, where she will chair the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) Annual Board Meeting.

  • The Deputy Secretary-General will return to New York on 10 December.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECRETARY-GENERAL HAS WELCOMED RETRIALS IN BAHRAIN: Asked about the situation in Bahrain, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General had welcomed the fact that cases formerly tried by special courts were being retried by civilian courts, and expressed the hope that this would continue. He also noted the fact that the Bahraini Government has said it will take action to implement the recommendations of the recent report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry.

BAN KI-MOON URGES RESTRAIN IN D.R. CONGO: Asked about the elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Spokesperson said the UN mission there reported that the situation remains calm but tense, and he reiterated the Secretary-General's call on all sides to exercise restraint and remain calm.

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

United Nations, SA-1B15

New York, NY 10017

Tel. 212-963-7162