HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY,
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
MONDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2013
SECRETARY-GENERAL STRONGLY CONDEMNS ATTACK ON CAMP LIBERTY IN IRAQ
- The Secretary-General strongly condemned the mortar attack that took place on Saturday on Camp Liberty, which killed a number of residents and injured other residents and Iraqi police officers. Camp Liberty is the temporary transit center near Baghdad for former residents of Camp Ashraf.
- The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) is in close contact with the Government of Iraq on the response to the incident.
- The Secretary-General has called on the Government of Iraq to promptly and fully investigate the incident and bring perpetrators to justice. He has repeatedly stated that violence and provocation are unacceptable.
- The High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, also strongly condemned the attack. He noted that the residents of Camp Liberty are asylum seekers undergoing the refugee status determination process and thus entitled to international protection.
JOINT SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE BRAHIMI MEETS SYRIAN OPPOSITION LEADERS IN CAIRO
- The Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, met in Cairo on Sunday with the Head of the Syrian National Coalition, Moaz Al-Khatib, Coalition Vice-President Riad Seif, and the accompanying delegation.
- During the meeting, they discussed the latest initiative launched by Mr. Al-Khatib, as well as the Syrian National Coalition’s plans. Mr. Brahimi reiterated his support for this initiative and encouraged the Coalition to continue in this direction in the coming meetings.
- The talks also touched on the overall situation in Syria.
- Asked about the dialogue on Syria, the Spokesperson said that it must be Syrian-led, but the level of international concern also remains strong. He noted that Mr. Brahimi is in contact with officials from the Syrian Government and opposition, as well as key officials from other important countries.
U.N. CONGRATULATES SUDAN GOVERNMENT AND REBEL GROUP IN DARFUR FOR SIGNING A CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT
- The Acting Joint Special Representative and Joint Chief Mediator ad interim for Darfur, Aichatou Mindaoudou, has congratulated the Government of Sudan and the Justice and Equality Movement for signing a ceasefire agreement in Doha on Sunday.
- Ms. Mandaoudou said that this is a major breakthrough on the road towards a comprehensive and lasting peace accord in Darfur. She said she hoped that the agreement would attract the non-signatory movements to join the peace process.
U.N. MISSION IN SOUTH SUDAN SENDS TEAM TO INVESTIGATE REPORTED DEADLY ATTACK IN MANITOR AREA
- The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has received information from local officials from Walgak in west Akobo that an attack took place on Friday, 8 February, in the Manitor area.
- According to the local officials, more than 100 people were killed and many others wounded as a result of the attack. However, at this stage, the UN Mission is not in a position to confirm this information or any other details relating to the incident.
- The UN Mission has dispatched a team of UN personnel, along with a team from the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, to the area where the attack took place. The teams intend to investigate, assess the needs of the affected population and determine what is required by the South Sudanese authorities to address the situation.
U.N. MISSION IN LIBERIA OFFERS CONDOLENCES TO GUINEA OVER CRASH OF AIRCRAFT NEAR MONROVIA
- The UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) offered its condolences and sympathy today to the Government of the Republic of Guinea and the family and friends of those who died on Monday when their aircraft crashed close to the Liberian capital, Monrovia.
- The UN Mission has helped the Liberian Authorities with their response and recovery efforts, and is now supporting the conduct of a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.
U.N. MISSION IN HAITI INVESTIGATES ALLEGED INCIDENT
- Asked about allegations concerning a Canadian police officer in Haiti, the Spokesperson said that no Canadian UN Police officer was expelled from Haiti recently.
- He added that the UN Mission in Haiti did receive a report though the Haitian National Police channels concerning an alleged altercation between a UN Police officer and a female Haitian citizen, and the Mission is looking into the matter. An investigation is being conducted to ascertain details and circumstances of the alleged incident.
- The final report, drawn up by the Mission’s investigative unit, will be sent to the appropriate office in the UN Headquarters.
SECRETARY-GENERAL LAUNCHES U.N. CHILDREN’S TOUR AT U.N. HEADQUARTERS
- The Secretary-General launched a UN Children’s Tour at United Nations headquarters on Monday.
- In his remarks to a group of children, he said that the UN is working hard to give great hope and better and equal opportunities for young children, who are the future leaders of the world.
SECRETARY-GENERAL HAS GREAT RESPECT FOR POPE’S WORK ON INTER-FAITH DIALOGUE: Asked about the announced resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General has always had great respect for the Pope and his work on inter-faith dialogue, among other key matters.
SECRETARY-GENERAL FEELS ATTACK ON HEALTH WORKERS IN NIGERIA IS TRULY GHASTLY: Asked about a recent attack on health workers in Nigeria, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General feels this is a truly ghastly attack.
SECRETARY-GENERAL DISCUSSED DEVELOPMENTS IN THE REGION WITH PRIME MINISTER OF SERBIA: Asked about the Secretary-General’s meeting on Friday with the Prime Minister of Serbia, the Spokesperson said that they discussed developments in the region.