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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

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

FRIDAY, 9 DECEMBER 2011

SECRETARY-GENERAL VISITS SOMALIA, KENYA

  • The Secretary-General visited the Somali capital Mogadishu and the Dadaab refugee complex in Kenya with the President of the General Assembly on Friday.

  • In Mogadishu, the Secretary-General met with the President, Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament, and with African Union peacekeepers and UN staff working in Somalia.

  • He was the first Secretary-General to visit Mogadishu since Boutros Boutros Ghali in October 1993.

  • The Secretary-General announced that the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) would relocate to Mogadishu from Nairobi next month.

  • He told reporters he was visiting to show the strong solidarity of the United Nations and the broader international community. He said being in Mogadishu was the most visible way to send a clear message to the people of Somalia that they are not alone.

  • On his way back to Nairobi from Mogadishu, the Secretary-General visited the Dadaab refugee complex, which hosts the largest number of Somali refugees.

  • He met with refugees and elders in the camp. He also met UN staff working in Dadaab and was briefed on the work that UN agencies, and in particular the UN Refugee Agency, do to assist refugees there.

  • Valerie Amos, the Emergency Relief Coordinator, has welcomed an announcement by Sweden of an additional $10 million contribution to the Horn of Africa crisis. Ms. Amos has just completed a two-day visit to Sweden.

SECRETARY-GENERAL REPEATS CALL FOR CALM FOR D.R. CONGO POLLS

  • The Secretary-General takes note of the announcement of the provisional results of the presidential elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission, which indicate that President Joseph Kabila garnered the most votes. The Secretary-General calls for any differences regarding the provisional results of the polls to be resolved peacefully through available legal and mediation mechanisms, including the National Mediation Committee.

  • The Secretary-General continues to follow the situation closely and strongly condemns any acts of violence in connection with the electoral process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He reiterates his call for calm and urges all candidates and their supporters to exercise restraint and refrain from any acts of violence, provocation and incitement to violence.

BAN KI-MOON SPEAKS OUT AGAINST ATTACK ON U.N. LEBANON MISSION

  • The Secretary-General strongly condemns Friday morning’s attack against a vehicle of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) near the town of Tyre, inside UNIFIL’s area of operations. The attack injured five UNIFIL military personnel. 

  • UNIFIL and Lebanese authorities are cooperating closely in the ongoing investigation, which aims to ascertain the facts. The Secretary-General expects that the perpetrators will be swiftly identified and brought to justice.

  • This attack on UNIFIL, the third since May 2011, is deeply disturbing. The security and safety of all United Nations personnel in Lebanon is of paramount importance.

  • The Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, Major-General Alberto Asarta Cuevas has issued a statement on an explosion that targeted a UNIFIL vehicle travelling on a road at the southern outskirts of the city of Tyre today. 
  • He said five peacekeepers were injured.
  • He condemned the attack in the strongest terms. He said this vile and despicable act not only aims to cause harm to the peacekeepers but also to undermine the stability and peace that have been prevailing in the south.

  • He said the mission’s determination and commitment to the mandate under UN Security Council resolution 1701 is even stronger. He said it was imperative that the perpetrators of this attack are identified and brought to justice.

  • Asked about security concerns for peacekeepers in the UNIFIL mission, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General considers the safety of peacekeepers as paramount. Beyond the Secretary-General's own statement, the Spokesperson referred media to the statement issued by the UNIFIL force commander.

SECRETARY-GENERAL’S MESSAGE ON ANTI-CORRUPTION DAY

  • As the world marks International Anti-Corruption Day on Friday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on all individuals to act against the cancer of corruption.

  • In his message marking this day, the Secretary-General said that although the poor may be marginalized by corruption, they will not be silenced. In events across the Arab world and beyond this year, ordinary people have joined their voices in denouncing corruption and demanding that governments combat this crime against democracy. Their protests have triggered changes on the international scene that could barely have been imagined just months previously.

  • The United Nations is helping countries to combat corruption as part of a broader, system-wide campaign to help bolster democracy and good governance. The United Nations Convention against Corruption is a powerful tool in furthering those efforts.

  • The Secretary-General urged all Governments that had not yet ratified the Convention to do so without delay, and said that companies could create a more transparent global economy through anti-corruption initiatives, including the work of the United Nations Global Compact.

PAKISTAN FLOOD RELIEF UPDATE

  • According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in Pakistan, the Government and humanitarian agencies have distributed shelter and other relief supplies to help 450,000 families in flood-affected areas in Sindh and Balochistan.

  • However, more than 40 percent of families have not yet received help.

  • The focus at the moment is on distributing blankets, bedding and kitchen sets to help people cope with the cold, as temperatures drop. Many areas of Sindh remain under water. Humanitarian organizations are monitoring temporary settlements to confirm the locations of all those displaced by the floods.

SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS HUNGARIAN AS DEPUTY SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR IRAQ

 

·        The Secretary-General has appointed György Busztin of Hungary as his Deputy Special Representative for Iraq. 

·        Mr. Busztin will head the political, electoral and constitutional support component of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).  He will replace Jerzy Skuratowicz of Poland who has served in Iraq for the past two years. 

·        The Secretary-General is grateful to Mr. Skuratowicz for his dedicated service and commitment to assisting the people of Iraq.

U.N. CHILDREN’S FUND WARNS OF LOOMING SAHEL CRISIS

  • An estimated 1,025,000 children in the Sahel region of Africa face severe and life threatening malnutrition during the coming year according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The organisation is preparing to meet what it describes as a “huge challenge” and is already ordering therapeutic foods and distributing emergency stocks.

  • UNICEF’s West and Central Africa office says the biggest caseload, with an estimated 330,600 children under-5 at risk of severe and acute malnutrition is Niger, where the government has issued an alert saying more than half of the country’s villages are vulnerable to food insecurity. Other countries and regions where children are expected to require specialist treatment in clinics are Chad, northern Nigeria, the north of Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and northern Senegal.

  • UNICEF needs urgently an initial $65,700,000 primarily for nutrition and health interventions and supplies. But this amount will be increased substantially to ensure sustainable interventions over the course of the coming year. These will involve not only enhanced nutrition and health programmes but also provision of clean water, sanitation at feeding centres as well as emergency education and protection for children displaced with their families.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES CYPRUS, LIBERIA: On Friday morning, the Security Council met in consultations to discuss Cyprus and Liberia.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO BRIEF REPORTERS: The Secretary-General will hold a press conference on Wednesday, 14 December.

***The guest today at the briefing was Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

10 - 16 DECEMBER 2011

(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)

Saturday, 10 December

Today is Human Rights Day.

Sunday, 11 December

Today is International Mountain Day.

Monday, 12 December

At 12:30 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by the new Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou B. Bensouda.

Tuesday, 13 December

This morning, the Security Council will hold a meeting of troop-contributing countries to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). It will also be briefed and hold consultations on Somalia. In the afternoons, elections for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will be held.

At 12 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, the guests at the Noon Briefing will be: Robert Newman, Director of the Global Malaria Programme of the World Health Organization (WHO); Ray Chambers, the Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Malaria; and Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership. They will speak to reporters on the occasion of the launch of the 2011 WHO World Malaria Report.

At 3 p.m., there will be a panel discussion on “Migrants in crisis situations: Protecting human security” in Conference Room 4 of the North Lawn Building (NLB). The event is being co-organized by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the MacArthur Foundation, in cooperation with the non-governmental organization, Committee on Migration)

Wednesday, 14 December

This morning, resolutions will be adopted on Liberia sanctions and on the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). It will also be briefed on the Security Council’s subsidiary bodies. In the afternoon, it will be briefed and hold consultations on United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA).

At 11:00 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a year-end press conference by the Secretary-General.

At 3:30 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, there will be a press conference by Guillaume Kigbafori Soro, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of Côte d'Ivoire.

Today, in Geneva, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, will brief reporters on Consolidated Appeals for 2012.

Thursday, 15 December

This morning, the Security Council will briefed and hold a private meeting on Sudan and the International Criminal Court (ICC). In the afternoon, it will hold consultations on Iraq/Kuwait.

At 1:15 p.m., the study on “United Nations integration and humanitarian space” will be launched in Conference Room B (NLB). This event is being organized by the Permanent Mission of Denmark, in cooperation with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Friday, 16 December

This morning, the Security Council will hold consultations, during which it will receiving a briefing by the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) and the Sudan Sanctions Committee.

At 10:00 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) on Key Issues at the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Speakers will include: Brigid Inder, Executive Director of Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice (WIGJ) and Gamal Eid, Director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI).

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