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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, 1 FEBRUARY 2012
 
SECRETARY-GENERAL IN JERUSALEM, RAMALLAH TO DISCUSS MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS
  • The Secretary-General arrived in Israel this morning and met with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
  • He later travelled to Ramallah where he has been meeting with the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and Foreign Minister Ryad Malki.
  • He discussed the Middle East peace process with all leaders, especially the talks initiated in January by King Abdullah and Foreign Minister Judeh of Jordan. He noted that negotiations are the only path for a sustainable resolution of all final status issues.
  • While in Ramallah, he met with Palestinian civil society organizations. He also met with graduates of the UN's annual media training programme for Palestinian journalists.
  • Asked about the Secretary-General’s comments on Syria, while in Jerusalem, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General reiterated his call for a coherent and unified message by international community and the Security Council in particular. He added that the Secretary-General was hoping to see quick action because people continued to be killed in Syria.
U.N. HUMANITARIAN CHIEF STARTS VISITS TO SOUTH SUDAN
  • Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, is in Juba today on the first stop of her three-day visit to South Sudan.
  • She met with representatives of aid agencies to discuss the multiple humanitarian challenges facing the world’s youngest nation six months after South Sudan gained independence.
  • Ms. Amos said that South Sudan faces significant humanitarian challenges, including hundreds of thousands of people displaced in 2011, people returning from Sudan and refugees from the ongoing conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states in Sudan. She added that conflict, poverty and increasing food insecurity are having a major humanitarian impact.
  • The Office of the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that a relatively small number of aid organizations carry out some 30 simultaneous emergency operations in a vast, remote and insecure country, facing tremendous logistical challenges.
  • Tomorrow, Ms. Amos is expected to travel to Jonglei State.
SOUTH SUDAN: U.N. MISSION IN WARRAP STATE AFTER LATEST VIOLENCE
  • The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) says that, on 30 January, it facilitated and accompanied a Government mission to the Bulich area in Makuac Payam/Tonj East County in Warrap State, which confirmed reports of an attack by an unknown number of armed uniformed men from Mayendit County, Unity State. 
  • According to local sources, so far 78 people were reported killed, 68 wounded, nine missing and as many as 40,000 are reported to be displaced. The team from the UN Mission observed 15 bodies that were still unburied.
  • The humanitarian community will call an emergency meeting of all humanitarian and protection actors to coordinate a response while the Human Rights division of the mission will investigate the incident.
  • The UN Mission has also held discussions with senior Government officials at the national and state level and an integrated mission including Government officials is being planned for today.
  • Asked about the numbers of helicopters available to the UN Mission in South Sudan, the Spokesperson said that the Mission had two military helicopters and more than 20 civilian helicopters used for various purposes.
 
OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS
 
COORDINATED EFFORTS NEEDED TO ADDRESS CHALLENGES IN SAHEL REGION: In response to a question on a statement issued by the Security Council on the Sahel region, the Spokesperson said that this had been in the framework of the recent assessment mission deployed to the region by the Secretary-General. He said that the mission had looked at the impact of the crisis in Libya on the region, as summarized in the Secretary-General’s report considered by the Security Council. Nesirky also said that the Secretary-General had stressed the importance of coordinated efforts to deal with the problems in the region.
 
SECRETARY-GENERAL HAS RECEIVED LETTER FOR HUMNA RIGHTS WATCH: Asked about a letter from Human Rights Watch on the meeting between the head of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur and the President of Sudan during a wedding, the Spokesperson confirmed that the Secretary-General had received this letter last week. Mr. Gambari’s attention has been drawn to the letter and to the need to avoid such encounters in the future, however unintentional this particular encounter may have been, added Nesirky.