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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, 9 DECEMBER 2010

 

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES ISRAEL TO FREEZE SETTLEMENT ACTIVITY, LOOKS FORWARD TO DISCUSSIONS IN QUARTET

  • In a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon, the Secretary-General took note with regret that Israel will not heed the united call of the international community, as reflected by the Quartet, to extend the settlement restraint policy. He reiterates his urging Israel to fulfil its Roadmap obligation to freeze all settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.
     

  • In spite of this setback, the Secretary-General believes it is more important than ever to promote a negotiated end-game for a two-State solution. He is encouraged that the United States has indicated its determination to continue its efforts in this direction and he urges the full cooperation of the parties towards that end. He is looking forward to these matters being discussed in the days to come among all members of the Quartet.
     

  • The Spokesperson added, in response to a question about further steps, that the Secretary-General is regular touch with his Quartet partners.
     

  • He noted that the Secretary-General would meet this afternoon with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

 

CÔTE D’IVOIRE: SECURITY COUNCIL STRONGLY CONDEMNS EFFORTS TO SUBVERT POPULAR WILL

  • The Security Council issued a statement to the press on Wednesday night on Côte d'Ivoire, in which Council members noted the recognition by the Economic Community of West African States of Alassane Ouattara as President-elect of Côte d'Ivoire. Council members called on all stakeholders to respect the outcome of the election.
     

  • The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest possible terms any effort to subvert the popular will of the people or undermine either the integrity of the electoral process or the free and fair elections in Côte d'Ivoire.
     

  • Security Council members reiterated the readiness of the Security Council to impose targeted measures against persons who attempt to threaten the peace process, obstruct the work of the UN Mission (UNOCI) and other international actors, or commit serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.
     

  • In Cote d’Ivoire today, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Choi Young-jin, met with Alassane Ouattara to discuss the post electoral situation. This was their first meeting since the certification of the election results by the Special Representative.
     

  • Speaking to reporters afterwards, Mr. Choi said that he was also ready to meet with Laurent Gbagbo at any time.
     

  • Asked who would be seated as Côte d’Ivoire’s UN representative, the Spokesperson noted that such issues are dealt with by the Credentials Committee, which is comprised of Member States.

 

SECURITY COUNCIL TOLD OF THREATS AGAINST OPPOSITION MEMBERS IN BURUNDI

  • The Security Council discussed the situation in Burundi this morning, receiving a briefing by the Secretary-General’s Executive Representative for Burundi, Charles Petrie.
     

  • Petrie told the Council that there is a particular concern about threats and intimidation against opposition members in Burundi. He noted that the Secretary-General, in his recent report, speaks out about the climate of impunity in Burundi and restrictions on freedom of association, as well as reports of extrajudicial executions. At the same time, he described relations between the United Nations and the Government of Burundi on human rights issues as being on the right track.
     

  • Mr. Petrie said that Burundi has made progress, but its transition is fragile and reversible. The Security Council continued its discussion with Mr. Petrie in closed consultations, as well.
     

  • The Security Council will discuss Sudan this afternoon.

 

NEW U.N. REPORT SPOTLIGHTS HARMFUL TRADITIONAL PRACTICES AFFECTING WOMEN IN AFGHANISTAN

  • The UN Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, has released a report today on harmful traditional practices that affect women in the country, including forced marriage, child marriage, the giving away of girls to settle disputes, honour killings and other forms of violence against women.
     

  • The report says that such harmful traditional practices are pervasive in the country and that laws that guarantee protection against these practices should be implemented quickly. The report also describes the Government’s response to these practices and makes recommendations to end them.

 

CORRUPTION THREATENS DEVELOPMENT, DEMOCRACY AND STABILITY, SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS

  • Corruption is a threat to development, democracy and stability, the Secretary-General says in his message on International Anti-Corruption Day.
     

  • He highlights the key role of the private sector, calling on business leaders to denounce corruption and to back their words with strict prohibitions against it.
     

  • What we urge upon the public and private sectors, we at the United Nations must practice ourselves, the Secretary-General stresses. An ethical organizational culture is one of the best antidotes to corruption.

 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

U.N.-A.U. MISSION HAS RECEIVED REPORTS ON ALLEGED FIGHTING N SOUTH DARFUR: Asked about fighting in Darfur involving the Minni Minawi faction, the Spokesperson said that the only significant activity that the joint UN-African Union Mission (UNAMID) has received reports of over the past few days has been of alleged fighting in the vicinity of Kafia Kingi, South Darfur, between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Sudanese Liberation Army/Minni Minnawi. The area is located approximately 300 km south/southeast of Nyala. Indications as to the intensity, duration, casualties or destruction are not known.

 

TRADE AGREEMENTS SHOULD NOT IMPEDE EFFORTS TO ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO HIV TREATMENT, U.N. AGENCY SAYS: The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) calls on all countries to ensure that bilateral and multilateral trade agreements do not hinder efforts towards universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. There are more than 33 million people living with HIV worldwide, with 5 million on HIV treatment and nearly 10 million others still waiting for it. Without sustained and affordable access to life-saving medicine, people’s lives will be in jeopardy, UNAIDS cautions.

 

*** The guests at the noon briefing today were Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, and Catherine Bragg, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, who discussed recent visits to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

 

 

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