HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY VANNINA MAESTRACCI,
ASSOCIATE SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
FRIDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 2012
SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR CALM OVER RECENT VIOLENCE IN LIBYA, MIDDLE EAST
- In a statement issued on Thursday night, the Secretary-General says that he is deeply disturbed by the recent violence in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East. Nothing justifies such killings and attacks, he says.
- He condemns the hateful film that appears to have been deliberately designed to sow bigotry and bloodshed. At this time of rising tensions, the Secretary-General calls for calm and restraint, and stresses the need for dialogue, mutual respect and understanding.
- The Secretary-General echoed this message this morning at the opening session of the General Assembly high-level forum on the culture of peace.
- In his remarks to the forum, he also noted that the world spends almost twice as much on weapons in one day than the United Nations spends for our global mission of peace, human rights and development in one year. He called it a moral outrage.
- The Secretary-General said that it is possible to create a culture of peace through education.
- He said that next week, he will launch a new global initiative called Education First to give every child the chance to attend school and that it is how we build a culture of peace.
JOINT SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR SYRIA MEETS RUSSIAN, CHINESE DIPLOMATS IN DAMASCUS
- The Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, is continuing his meetings in Damascus. On Friday, he met with the Russian Ambassador, as well as the Chinese Charge d'affaires. Yesterday, he had discussions with the Iranian Ambassador.
- He also met with a delegation of the National Coordination Committee (NCC), led by its Chairman, Hassan Abdel Azim.
- While in Damascus, Mr. Brahimi met with UN staff. On Friday, he held a town hall meeting with the remaining staff from the Liquidation Team of the UN Mission – some of whom will be staying on to support the new Office of the Joint Special Representative in Damascus.
- On the humanitarian side, he met on Thursday with the officer in charge of the International Committee of the Red Cross and he was due to meet with a representative from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. He also met with the UN Resident Coordinator on Thursday.
- On Saturday, Mr. Brahimi will hold more meetings, including with a Group of Arab Ambassadors and Charge d’affaires, a European Union delegation, an opposition group, and civil society representatives. Mr. Brahimi will meet the Syrian President in the morning.
HUMANITARIAN NEED IN SAHEL REGION STILL HUGE, U.N. FOOD AGENCY SAYS
- The World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday that ahead of the October harvest, the humanitarian needs in the Sahel region are still huge in the lean season.
- WFP added that the coming rains would help the harvest but it would not be enough. The local populations have barely had enough time to recover from the 2010 crisis and rebuild their assets before the situation degenerated again.
- WFP and its partners are implementing a regional response to reach more than 10 million people with food assistance.
MORE THAN 40 CASES OF EBOLA REPORTED IN EASTERN D.R. CONGO, U.N. AGENCY SAYS
- The World Health Organization (WHO) released on Friday an update on the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo with regards to the Ebola virus
- As of 12 September 2012, 41 cases have been reported from Haut-Uélé district in Province Orientale. Of these cases, 18 have been fatal.
- WHO said that 18 healthcare workers are included among the probable cases; 28 suspected cases have also been reported and are being investigated.
- It said that new cases are expected to be discovered in the following weeks.
SECRETARY-GENERAL PROCESSES INFORMATION WITH IMPARTIALITY REGARDING LAW OF THE SEA: Asked about a meeting the Secretary-General had with China’s Permanent Representative, the Associate Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General is the depositary of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and, as such, he receives charts and geographical coordinates, such as the ones received from China yesterday, and gives them due publicity. Pursuant to UNCLOS, the functions of the Secretary-General in this regard are limited to processing incoming information with utmost impartiality.
TRIPARTITE GROUP READY TO BEGIN DELIVERY OF AID IN SUDAN: Asked about aid distribution in Sudan, the Associate Spokesperson said that the Tripartite mechanism – comprising the UN, the African Union and the League of Arab States – is ready to begin needs assessments and the delivery of aid in South Kordofan State and Blue Nile States as soon as it receives the green light from the Government of Sudan. Staff, trucks, helicopters and supplies are on standby.
*** The guest at the Noon Briefing was Michael Keating, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
15 – 21 SEPTEMBER 2012
(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)
Saturday, 15 September
Today is the International Day of Democracy.
Sunday 16 September
Today is the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone layer.
Monday, 17 September
This morning, the Security Council will adopt a resolution on the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). Then, it will hear a briefing on the Middle East, followed by closed consultations on the same topic. In the afternoon, the Council will hear a briefing on the Sahel region, followed by closed consultations on the same topic.
At 10:00 a.m., in the General Assembly Hall, there will be a plenary meeting of the General Assembly for the closing of the 66th session.
At 9:45 a.m., in the Conference Room S-2726, there will be workshop on “Women negotiating peace” organized by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). It will end on 18 September.
At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 4 of the North Lawn Building (NLB), there will be a UNITAR panel discussion on the occasion of the International Day of Democracy on the theme “Democracy education” (in collaboration with the Council for a Community of Democracies and the United Nations Democracy Fund).
At 6:00 p.m., at the Church of the Holy Family (315 East 47th Street), there will be a prayer service on the occasion of the opening of the 67th session of the General Assembly. It’s co-organized by the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See and the Archdiocese of New York.
In Geneva, the 59th session of the Trade and Development Board of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will begin. It will end on 28 September.
In Geneva, the 8th session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will begin. It will end on 28 September.
In Geneva, the 61st session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child will begin. It will end on 5 October.
In Geneva, at 3:00 p.m., there will be a press conference on presentation of report by Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic to the Human Rights Council. Speakers will include Paulo Pinheiro, Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry, and Karen Koning AbuZayd, Member of the Commission of Inquiry.
Tuesday, 18 September
Today, the General Assembly opens its 67th session.
This morning, the Security Council will hold consultations on Yemen and Guinea-Bissau. In the afternoon, the Council will hold consultations on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In Geneva, the 55th meeting of the Standing Committee of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) will begin. It will end on 19 September.
In Geneva, at 12:30 p.m., there will be a press conference on the humanitarian situation in Myanmar by the Country Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) in Myanmar, Carlos Veloso.
In Geneva, at 2:30 p.m., there will be a press conference on commodity prices clearly driven by speculation. The speaker will be Heiner Flassbeck, Director of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies at UNCTAD.
Wednesday, 19 September
This morning, the Security Council will hold an open debate on children and armed conflict.
In Geneva, at 11:00 a.m., there will be a press conference on the launch of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)/Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) "Forest Products Annual Market Review 2011-2012". Speakers will include Matt Fonseca, project leader for the Forest Products Annual Market Review 2011-2012.
Thursday, 20 September
This morning, the Security Council will hear a briefing on the 1737 Committee (Iran sanctions), followed by closed consultations on Sudan and South Sudan and on the Sudan Sanctions Committee. In the afternoon, the Council will hold a debate on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
At 11:30 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference to launch the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Gap Report.
At 3:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press to commemorate the Ninth United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation and to highlight the forthcoming Fifth Global South-South Development Expo. Speakers will include Kandeh K. Yumkella, Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
In Geneva, at 11:00 a.m., there will be a press conference on the cholera epidemic in Sierra Leone and neighbouring countries in West Africa. Speakers will include Amanda McClelland, Emergency Health Officer of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and Dr William Augusto Perea Caro, Coordinator, World Health Organization (WHO) Control of Epidemic Diseases.
Friday, 21 September
Today is the International Day of Peace.
At 9:00 a.m., in the Rose Garden at UN Headquarters, there will be a bell ringing ceremony to mark the International Day of Peace.
At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 4 (NLB), there will be a high-level meeting on refugees organized by the Permanent Mission of Israel.
At 11:00 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference to launch UN CAPMATCH, an on-line platform for exchange of experience in post-conflict transitions. The speaker will be Sarah Cliffe, Special Adviser and Assistant Secretary-General of Civilian Capacities to the United Nations. The moderator will be Ms. Margaret Novicki of the UN Department of Public Information.
At 12:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, Miloš Koterec, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), will be the guest at the Noon Briefing. He will brief on the forthcoming Ministerial meeting, “Building the Future We Want”, to be held on 24 September 2012.
At 12:30 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference on the Treaty event and the high-level meeting on the Rule of Law. Speakers will include Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli, Chief of the UN Treaty Section, Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) and Edric Selous, Director of the Rule of Law Unit, Executive Office of the Secretary-General.