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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

WEDNESDAY, 8 DECEMBER 2010

 

 

HAITI: SECRETARY-GENERAL VOICES CONCERNS OVER ALLEGATIONS OF ELECTORAL FRAUD

  • The Secretary-General takes note that the preliminary results of the presidential and legislative elections which took place on 28 November in Haiti have been announced.   He is concerned about allegations of fraud and remains committed to supporting free and fair elections that reflect the will of the Haitian people. He also notes that these results are not final and are subject to the provisions and processes stipulated in the electoral law.  He urges all candidates to exhaust the formal remedies and legal procedures, which will allow a clearer picture to emerge.  This would be a solid base on which to move forward.
     

  • He expresses his concern following the acts of violence and civil unrest that have taken place in the aftermath of the announcement of the preliminary results.
     

  • We remind all candidates that they have a personal responsibility to encourage their supporters to remain calm.  A peaceful solution to the current situation is crucial in the short term to confront the cholera epidemic and in the medium term to create the conditions for recovery and development after the 12 January earthquake.
     

  • Asked about protests concerning the Haiti election results, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations calls upon all involved to respect the legal framework. He said that all candidates who have grounds to challenge the results should do so within the framework of the electoral law, which provides candidates 72 hours to file appeals.
     

  • Nesirky added that all political actors should remain calm and encourage their supporters to do the same. Any social unrest will hinder cholera victims from receiving lifesaving treatment.
     

  • Asked about UN efforts to fight cholera, the Spokesperson said that the efforts to deal with the spread of cholera continue. He noted the problems in obtaining funding for the cholera appeal for Haiti, which requires $174 million.

 

U.N. ENVOY VOICES CONCERN THAT ISRAEL HAS NOT HEEDED QUARTET’S CALL TO FREEZE WEST BANK SETTLEMENT ACTIVITY

  • Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said today that he is concerned that Israel has not heeded the Quartet’s call to freeze settlement activity in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. He reiterated that settlements are contrary to the Roadmap and international law and their continuation is causing a crisis of confidence in the effort to bring about meaningful political negotiations.
     

  • Mr. Serry also said he was pleased to be informed by the Israeli Government today of its decision to allow exports from Gaza. He hopes that a full range of exports will be permitted and that crossing capacity will continue to be adjusted as necessary to meet demand.
     

  • Meanwhile, Mr. Serry said that the potential precedent set by today’s Israeli court decision which led to the transfer of a Jerusalem Palestinian Legislative Council member to Ramallah is worrying.

 

AT CANCÚN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE, SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES PROGRESS ON ALL FRONTS

  • The Secretary-General will return from Cancún, Mexico, later today, after attending high-level events this afternoon on deforestation and on financing climate change efforts.
     

  • The Secretary-General addressed the climate change conference in Cancún yesterday, telling delegates that the world is looking to them to adopt a balanced set of outcomes. We do not need final agreement on all issues, he said, but we do need progress on all fronts.
     

  • He said that the Cancún conference could take significant decisions on forests, on adaptation, on technology, and on the creation of a new fund for long-term climate financing. And governments also need to make progress on mitigation, on anchoring national commitments, on accountability and transparency, and increasing clarity on the future of the Kyoto Protocol. Nature will not wait while we negotiate.
     

  • He later told reporters, “This is not a sprint, but a marathon. It is important to keep taking determined steps forward.”

 

CÔTE D’IVOIRE: WILL OF PEOPLE IS IRREFUTABLE, U.N. ENVOY SAYS

  • The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Côte d’Ivoire, Choi Young-jin, held a press conference in Abidjan earlier today, during which he explained the UN’s certification process of the presidential election.
     

  • Mr. Choi said that the will of the people, as expressed on 28 November, is irrefutable. He said that he used three different ballot tabulation methods to arrive at the fact-based conclusion that Alassane Ouattara had won the election.

 

SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES CÔTE D’IVOIRE, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

  • The Security Council held consultations this morning on Côte d’Ivoire.
     

  • After that, Council members received a briefing in an open meeting from Sahle-Work Zewde, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the Central African Republic. She said that the country is at a crossroads, adding that the elections scheduled for 23 January must be transparent, free and fair. And she discussed the lack of security in Birao, as well as the atrocities committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army, adding that the Government is not in a position to address this state of affairs without adequate means and resources.
     

  • This afternoon, the Security Council plans to hold consultations on Cyprus, as well as on sanctions concerning Liberia.

 

WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME WELCOMES RELEASE OF HELICOPTER CREW IN DARFUR

  • The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed the news that three  Latvian men working as helicopter aircrew for the WFP United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) in the western Sudanese region of Darfur, have been freed after more than a month in captivity.
     

  • WFP said that the three Latvians -- a pilot, co-pilot and mechanic seized by gunmen in the South Darfur capital of Nyala on 4 November -- would be flown to Khartoum before traveling home to Latvia.

 

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION ENDORSES RAPID T.B. TEST

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed a rapid new tuberculosis test which the agency says could revolutionize care and control of the disease.
     

  • The test provides an accurate diagnosis in about 100 minutes, compared to current tests that can take up to three months for results.
     

  • Evidence points to a three-fold increase in diagnosis of patients with drug-resistant TB if the new test is implemented, WHO says.

     

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

ABYEI SOLUTION IS TOP PRIORITY FOR SUDAN’S STABILITY: Asked about the situation in Abyei, the Spokesperson said that reaching a solution to the Abyei dispute is now a top priority for implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and for the stability of Sudan.

 

U.N. REFUGEE CHIEF URGES ENHANCED PROTECTION OF WORLD’S FORCIBLY DISPLACED AND STATELESS: UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres has warned of growing gaps in the global framework for protecting the world’s millions of forcibly displaced and stateless people. “Population growth, urbanization, climate change, water scarcity and food and energy insecurity are exacerbating conflict and combining in other ways that oblige people to flee their countries,” he said at a UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) policy gathering in Geneva.

 

U.N. UNIVERSITY LECTURE TO BE HELD THURSDAY: The UN University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) will hold its 14th Annual Lecture on “Reforming the International Monetary and Financial Architecture.”  This event will feature José Antonio Ocampo, Professor at Columbia University and former Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.

 

 

 

 

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