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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
 
FRIDAY, 10 FEBRUARY 2012
 
SECRETARY-GENERAL VOICES CONCERN OVER NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN SUDAN, SOUTH SUDAN
 
  • In a statement, the Secretary-General says that he is concerned by the lack of progress in the negotiations on post-independence issues and the possibility of further escalation of tensions following unilateral decisions taken by both Governments over their oil dispute.
 
  • The Secretary-General calls on the parties to re-commit to the negotiation process scheduled to start today in Addis Ababa and reach agreements on all outstanding issues. The moment has come for the leaders of both countries to make the necessary compromises, once again, that will guarantee a peaceful and prosperous future for both Nations.
 
SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFED BY U.N. POLITICAL CHIEF; DISCUSSES SUDAN, SOUTH SUDAN
 
  • On Friday morning, the Security Council was briefed in closed session by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe and discussed Sudan sanctions.
 
  • In the afternoon, the Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, will brief the Council in closed session to discuss South Sudan.
 
U.N. AGENCY REPORTS 30,000 SUDANESE REFUGEES REGISTERED SO FAR THIS YEAR IN ETHIOPIA, SOUTH SUDAN
 
  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says that 30,000 Sudanese refugees have already been registered in Ethiopia and South Sudan so far this year.
 
  • Since June of last year, more than 130,000 Sudanese have been driven to these two countries following the fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-North) in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
 
  • The Agency adds that, in Ethiopia, the pace of relocation from border areas has picked up in recent weeks and the two existing camps in the Assosa region have reached full capacity.
 
  • The Refugee Agency is seeking additional funds of $145 million to relocate the refuges from the border areas, provide them with basic relief items and services, and build additional refugee settlements.
 
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL SET TO TRAVEL TO FINLAND, QATAR
 
  • The Deputy Secretary-General will travel to Helsinki, Finland, over the weekend to deliver a keynote speech on global governance.
 
  • She will then continue on to Doha, Qatar, to represent the Secretary-General at the closing ceremony of the Non-Aligned Movement’s 3rd Ministerial Meeting on the Advancement of Women.
 
  • The Deputy Secretary-General will return to New York on Thursday of next week.
 
U.N. MIDDLE EAST ENVOY SOUNDS ALARM ON PALESTINIAN ON HUNGER STRIKE
 
  • Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, is concerned about reports of the deteriorating conditions of a Palestinian in administrative detention who is on a hunger strike.
 
  • Mr. Serry has called on the Government of Israel to do everything in its power to preserve the health of the prisoner and to resolve the case while abiding by all legal obligations under international law.
 
  • During his recent visit to the region, the Secretary-General discussed the situation of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody with the Palestinian Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs.
 
  • Mr. Serry’s office is following up on some of the issues related to the question of prisoners, particularly on the use of administrative detention, which should only be employed in exceptional circumstances, for as short a period as possible, and without prejudice to the rights guaranteed to prisoners.
 
LIBYA: U.N. MISSION CONCERNED BY ATTACKS AGAINST UPROOTED PEOPLE
 
  • The United Nations Support Mission for Libya (UNSMIL) has expressed its serious concerns to the authorities about an incident involving attacks against Tawerga internally displaced people (IDPs) on the morning of 6 February at the Janzur Marine Academy near Tripoli.
 
  • The Mission has confirmed that seven people were killed – three inside the Academy and four during a street demonstration by the Tawergas. Three of the dead were children and two were women. Nineteen people were injured.
 
  • The Mission welcomes the action by military police of the national army in restoring security, and calls upon the government to conduct an investigation into the incident and bring those responsible to justice.
 
OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS
 
SECRETARY-GENERAL HOPES ARGENTINA, U.K. RESOLVE DIFFERENCES PEACEFULLY: Asked about the Secretary-General's meeting with Argentine Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, the Spokesperson said the Secretary-General expressed concern about the increasingly strong exchanges between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom on this issue. The Secretary-General expressed the hope that the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom will avoid an escalation of this dispute and resolve differences peacefully and through dialogue. The Secretary-General reiterated that his good offices to resolve this dispute remain available if both countries request it.
 
SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES HALT TO VIOLENCE IN SYRIA: Asked about today's bombing in Aleppo, Syria, the Spokesperson said that we do not have a clear picture of what happened, except that people had been killed, and that was to be condemned. He said it once again underscores the Secretary-General's call for an immediate end to violence from whatever quarter.
 
SENIOR U.N. OFFICIAL HOLDS TALKS IN MALDIVES: Asked about developments in the Maldives, the Spokesperson said the Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, had met on Friday with the new President as well as the previous one. He said Mr. Fernandez-Taranco was listening to all and encouraging dialogue and a peaceful resolution of the situation there.
 
U.N. MISSION IN SOUTH SUDAN ADDRESSING STAFF CONCERNS: Asked about complaints by national staff in South Sudan, the Spokesperson said that the UN Mission in the country (UNMISS) has taken the complaints by national staff members very seriously and adopted the necessary measures to address them. The Special Representative for the Secretary-General, Hilde Johnson, and the Deputy Special Representative for the Secretary-General, Lise Grande, held meetings with representatives of the national staff association this week and discussed their concerns and the way forward.
 
U.N. REVIEWING SITUATION AT NEW YORK HEADQUARTERS: Asked about a recent incident at UN Headquarters in New York involving a noose, the Spokesperson said that it is the policy of the Organization not to comment on cases that are still under review. This case is indeed still being reviewed.
 
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
11 – 17 FEBRUARY 2012
 
(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)
 
 
Saturday, 11 February
 
There are no major events scheduled for today.
 
Sunday, 12 February
 
There are no major events scheduled for today.
 
Monday, 13 February
 
Today, the Security Council will begin a mission to Haiti, which ends on 16 February.
 
Today, the Special Rapporteur on right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque, will begin her visit to Uruguay. It will wrap up on 17 February.
 
Today, in Geneva, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women will begin its 51st session. It will end on 2 March.
 
Today, in Geneva, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination will begin its 80th session. It will end on 9 March.
 
Tuesday, 14 February
 
There are no major events scheduled for today.
 
Wednesday, 15 February
 
Today, the Secretary-General will arrive in a Vienna, Austria, for an official visit. He will address the opening session of the Third Ministerial Conference of the Paris Pact Partners on Combating the Afghan Illicit Opiate Trade and attend a ceremony to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBTO). He will also give an address on the theme, “Empowering People in a Changing World” and meet with President Heinz Fischer and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger.
 
Today, the President of the General Assembly will begin a visit to India, Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Switzerland, Belgium, France and Australia.
 
At 11:00 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference on the African Diaspora Parliamentarians Preparatory Meeting which will be held in June in South Africa.
 
Thursday, 16 February
 
There are no major events scheduled for today.
 
Friday, 17 February
 
This morning, the Security Council will adopt a resolution on Sudan sanctions.
 
Today, in Geneva, there will be a press conference on the outcome of the World Radio communication Conference. Participants will include Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and others.