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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

THURSDAY, 8 DECEMBER 2011

SOMALIA, SUDAN TOP SECRETARY-GENERAL’S TALKS WITH KENYAN LEADERS

  • The Secretary-General met on Thursday with Mwai Kibaki, President of Kenya, and Moses Wetangula, Foreign Minister of Kenya. They discussed the situations in Somalia, in Sudan and South Sudan.

  • On Somalia, the Secretary-General took note of the progress made since the adoption of the Somali Roadmap and reaffirmed the United Nations support in implementing it. Noting the regional implications of the situation in Somalia, he stressed the importance of the Transitional Federal Government’s implementation of the Roadmap as well as the international community’s support in this regard.

  • He welcomed the endorsement by the Parliament yesterday of Kenya’s decision to join the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). He also stressed the need for the Mission to reach its full mandated capacity.  The Secretary-General noted that security developments in Somalia should be in support of the TFG and that interventions should be aligned with the political objectives of the country.

  • The Secretary-General also commended Kenya for its continued support to Somali refugees and welcomed the additional security measures taken in the camps hosting them.  

  • On Sudan, the Secretary-General, the President and Foreign Minister discussed the need to resolve the outstanding post-Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) issues, and particularly the question of Abyei. He also underlined the importance of harmonizing the relationship between Sudan and South Sudan, including with the assistance of countries in the region.

ABYEI SECURITY SITUATION STILL FRAGILE, U.N. PEACEKEPING CHIEF TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL

  • On Thursday morning, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, presented the Secretary-General’s report on the situation in Abyei to the Security Council. In his remarks, Mr. Ladsous noted that the security situation in Abyei remains fragile. Both sides have not yet withdrawn their forces from the area, contravening the agreement of 20 June. The security of the border between Sudan and South Sudan remains of concern, and the United Nations continues to believe that the establishment of the joint border monitoring mechanism, already agreed by both parties, is indeed needed to build confidence.

  • The Council then held consultations on the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).

  • On Thursday afternoon, the Council will hold consultations on the situation in Côte d’Ivoire.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST HOMOPHOBIC BULLYING

  • On Thursday afternoon, Ivan Šimonović, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights in New York, will deliver a message on behalf of the Secretary-General at an anti-bullying event.

  • He is expected to speak out against homophobic bullying young people and associated violation and discrimination. The roots of this problem are in prevailing harmful attitudes in society at large, the message is expected to say.

SOMALIA: UPTICK IN HUMANITARIAN OPERATIONS SHOWING RESULTS – U.N. RELIEF ARM

  • In Somalia, the increase in humanitarian operations since famine was declared in some parts of the country in July has had visible results, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

  • Acute malnutrition rates have declined, contributing to a decrease in mortality rates in southern Somalia.

  • However, four million people are still food insecure across the country

  • Also, humanitarian workers continue to face limited access due to the military offensive. More recently, floods in southern Somalia have affected aid delivery. 

U.N. RIGHTS SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN RECEIVES MORE THAN 8 MILLION HITS

  • According to the UN Human Rights Office, a social media campaign built around the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been gathering momentum in the run-up to Human Rights Day, which is celebrated every year on 10 December.

  • The Office says that during the month of the campaign’s daily postings, the UN Facebook and Weibo pages running the campaign have been viewed more than 8 million times.

  • High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will take part in a live social media global conversation on human rights on Friday.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

COP 17 DURBAN: Asked about progress at COP 17 in Durban, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General had spoken at a number of events, and that he had noted progress in certain areas. However, he also said more was necessary, and people are looking to those leaders gathered to show political leadership. People want to see progress and results. Incremental progress can and should be made, including on the Green Climate Fund. He said we shall see what comes out at the end of the conference.

SYRIA: Asked about the situation in Syria, the Spokesperson said the Secretary-General has been clear about what must take place: the killing from all quarters must stop, peaceful protests must be allowed to take place, and the government must listen to the demands of the Syrian people. As Head of State President Assad has the ultimate responsibility to guarantee the safety of his people.

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