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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 EDUARDO DEL BUEY,

DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL

BAN KI-MOON

 

FRIDAY, 1 FEBRUARY 2013

 

SYRIA ENVOY TO MEET WITH OPPOSITION LEADER

  • The Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, will meet this evening with Moaz al-Khatib, a leader of the Syrian opposition, on the margins of a security conference in Munich. Tomorrow, he is scheduled to have bilateral meetings with US Vice President Joseph Biden and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
  • Meanwhile, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has this week completed a first delivery of winter emergency relief to the Azzas area of northern Syria, where thousands of internally displaced people are living in makeshift camps.
  • Two hundred metric tons of tents and blankets were airlifted last weekend from the Agency's central warehouse in Copenhagen to a civilian airport near Latakia on the Syrian coast. From there, it was transported by road in an eight-truck convoy to an area between Aleppo and the Syrian-Turkish border.
  • Asked about recent killings, the Spokesperson reiterated that the Secretary-General has called on all sides to stop the violence and has warned that the violence could spill over to other countries. He noted that both sides have received support from outside countries.

 

CHALLENGES REMAIN FOR UPROOTED IN MALI – U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY

  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said today that considerable challenges remain to a safe and sustainable return of displaced people to their homes in Mali and that refugees are continuing to leave to neighbouring countries.
  • The Agency said that while some of the displaced are eager to return home, reports of unrest and revenge attacks against certain groups are dissuading others.
  • Shortages of food, fuel and electricity, as well as disruption to basic services such as health and education, are cited by people who at present prefer to wait and see before returning to the north. The presence of anti-personnel landmines and unexploded ordinance is also a serious concern.
  • In Burkina Faso, 5,411 people arrived since the beginning of the French intervention in Mali on 11 January. In Mauritania, 10,688 people arrived since the intervention. In Niger, the number of recent arrivals remains small. The Agency said that according to the refugees, this is due to the lack of affordable transportation.
  • Asked about options for a presence in Mali, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretariat would carry out what the Security Council decides.
  • Asked about human rights violations in the country, del Buey said that the United Nations had a number of human rights experts in Bamako who are looking into violations.

 

U.N. POLITICAL CHIEF VISITS BURUNDI

  • The Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, arrived in Burundi today for a two-day visit.
  • He will be meeting with the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB), as well as with the UN country team.
  • He is expected to hold discussions with President Pierre Nkurunziza and officials of his government, representatives of Burundi’s political parties and civil society organizations. 

 

REPUBLIC OF KOREA ASSUMES FEBRUARY PRESIDENCY OF SECURITY COUNCIL

  • The Republic of Korea has assumed the Security Council’s rotating Presidency for the month of February.
  • The Council’s first scheduled consultations are to be held next Monday, on the programme of work.

 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

SETTLEMENTS IN OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY ILLEGAL: Asked about Israeli settlements, the Spokesperson recalled that the Secretary-General has repeatedly said that settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory are illegal.

 

VENEZUELANS ADDRESSING POST-INAUGURATION SITUATION: Asked about the situation in Venezuela following the Presidential inauguration, the Spokesperson noted that the question is being addressed by Venezuelans, and he noted the expectation that Venezuelans will be able to manage the situation.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
2 – 8 February 2013


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

 

Saturday, 2 February

 

There are no major events scheduled for today.

 

Sunday, 3 February

 

There are no major events scheduled for today.

 

Monday, 4 February

 

Today is World Cancer Day.

 

At 12:30 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by Ambassador Kim Sook, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea and President of the Security Council for the month of February.

 

At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 4 of the North Lawn Building (NLB), there will be a briefing on “The global consultation on addressing inequalities in the post-2015 development agenda”. It will be co-organized by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and UN-Women.


Tuesday, 5 February

 

At 11:30 a.m., in Conference Room 1 (NLB), the 348th meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will be held, at the ambassadorial level.

 

At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 6 (NLB), there will be a briefing on “UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development (IPFSD)”. It will be co-organized by the New York Office of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment.

 

In Geneva, there will be a press conference on the humanitarian challenges and opportunities in Chad by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Speakers will include Thomas Gurtner, Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator for Chad, and General Oki Mahamat Dagache, Special Representative of the President of the Republic of Chad for Humanitarian Affairs.

 

Wednesday, 6 February

 

Today is the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation.

 

At 12:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, Mr. Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, will be guest at the Noon Briefing.

 

In Geneva, there will be a press conference on the humanitarian situation in Mali and in the Sahel by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). David Gressly, the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for Sahel will brief reporters.

 

Thursday, 7 February

 

There are no major events scheduled for today.

 

Friday, 8 February

 

At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 5 (NLB), there will be a high-level working session on “Prosperity in cities – South meets North”. It will be co-organized by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the International Council for Caring Communities (ICCC).

 

At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 6 (NLB), there will be a panel discussion on “Impact of explosive weapons in populated areas”. It will be co-organized by the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (OSRSG/CAAC), UNICEF, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Permanent Mission of Norway.