HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY,
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
FRIDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2013
SECURITY COUNCIL TO MEET ON YEMEN
- The Security Council will hold an open meeting on the Middle East this afternoon, in connection with the Presidential statement on Yemen.
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL TO TRAVEL TO ASIA
- The Deputy Secretary-General will travel to Asia from 20 February to 2 March, visiting China, the Republic of Korea and Japan.
- During his visit, he will hold bilateral meetings with senior Government officials and with other interlocutors. He will also make visits outside the capitals.
- The Deputy Secretary-General will meet with the United Nations staff in each country.
- On 25 February, he will attend the inauguration of the new President of the Republic of Korea, Park Geun-hye.
U.N. ENVOYS FOR SAHEL, WEST AFRICA, WRAP UP VISIT TO SUB-REGION
- The Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Sahel, Romano Prodi, and Special Representative for West Africa, Said Djinnit, are in Niger today, on the last day on their joint mission to the sub-region.
- The two Envoys took part in an international seminar on security and development in Sahel-Sahara, which was held in Niamey. They also met with the President of Niger and talked about the need for stability and development in the Sahel. This afternoon, Mr. Prodi is meeting with representatives of civil society to listen to their concerns and ideas.
- In Rome, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, met Malian Minister for Agriculture Baba Berthé today. Mr. Graziano da Silva said that there is an urgent need to help displaced farmers return to their lands and resume food production when and where possible. He said that Mali simply cannot afford to write off the next growing season.
- In Geneva, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said today that it is deploying human rights experts in Mali to monitor the situation on the ground. Three experts have already arrived in Bamako and a four-person team will be deployed to Mali on Sunday. A two-week fact-finding mission will investigate allegations of human rights abuses, including allegations of retaliatory violence.
SYRIA: WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME SCALING UP AID
- The World Food Programme (WFP) is increasing up food assistance inside Syria to reach 2.5 million people in the coming months. With that expansion, the agency will need nearly US$160 million to cover the cost of its Syria operation up to June this year.
- This past Wednesday, the World Food Programme dispatched an additional load of 62 tons of food – enough for 10,000 people – to Al-Hassakeh city and Al-Shaddadi district in northeast Syria. That delivery followed reports of new waves of displacement, which brought hundreds of families to the area after intense fighting.
U.N. EARMARKS $60 MILLION TO ASSIST SOUTH SUDANESE
- More than 4.5 million people in South Sudan are in need of assistance, according to the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for the country.
- Nearly $60 million was earmarked today to provide immediate food, health, education, water and other help for up to 1.5 million people and to preposition emergency stocks before the start of the rainy season.
- Aid organizations were not able to reach all of those in need during last year’s rains, which made much of the country inaccessible.
- Also in South Sudan, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reports that it is seeing a large number of Hepatitis E cases in refugee camps near the border with Sudan.
- The disease has led to more than 100 deaths since July of last year, according to figures compiled by the Agency, the South Sudanese Government and the World Health Organization (WHO).
- The Refugee Agency said that emergency measures are being taken, including the construction of latrines and the distribution of soap. There is more information available online on this.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: U.N. BODY WARNS CRISIS COULD INCREASE FOOD INSECURITY
- The World Food Programme (WFP) said today that the recent political and military crisis in the Central African Republic could in turn trigger a food crisis in the country.
- According to an assessment by the United Nations and non-governmental organizations, trade has been interrupted since December last year between the area held by the Seleka rebel coalition and the rest of the country, bringing transactions to a halt and leading to sharp price increases.
- The cost of food has increased by 40 per cent in the area under the control of the central African armed forces. Some of the zones under the control of the Seleka rebel coalition are experiencing food deficits due to price increases.
U.N. ENVOY ATTENDING DISASTER RISK REDUCTION MEETING IN TANZANIA
- Margareta Wahlström, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, is in Arusha, Tanzania, to attend a meeting bringing together representatives from dozens of African countries to promote resilience and to protect development gains.
- Consultations have begun in Africa for the 2015 successor to the Hyogo Framework for Action, which is the current international agreement on disaster risk reduction.
SECRETARY-GENERAL SWEARS IN NEW U.N. YOUTH ENVOY
- In his Five-Year Action Agenda, the Secretary-General identified “working with and for Women and Young People” as a major focus.
- After a rigorous selection process he identified and appointed 29-year-old Ahmad Alhendawi of Jordan as his Envoy on Youth.
- At Mr. Alhendawi’s swearing-in ceremony this morning, the Secretary-General said that what we do for youth will be very important for our sustainable development, helping to provide equal opportunities and decent jobs.
- The Secretary-General described Mr. Alhendawi as a very distinguished young leader among billions of young people, and one who will bring new and fresh and creative ideas and visions for youth.
- Asked about the situation in Libya, the Spokesperson said that reconciliation is crucial in the country.
- Asked about Iran's nuclear programme, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General believes the pace of talks must pick up to allay the international community's concerns. The Secretary-General has repeatedly stated that it is for the Iranian authorities to prove the peaceful nature of the programme and that, thus far, they have failed to convince the international community of that.
- Asked about tensions in Kashmir, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has repeatedly called on all concerned to exercise restraint and solve issues peacefully.
- Asked about the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Spokesperson said that the process for procuring them is under way.
- Asked about financial disclosure by senior United Nations officials, the Spokesperson noted that they must all file disclosures. Whether such disclosures are made public or not is a matter for each senior official to decide. The Spokesperson added that these disclosures are made regularly.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
16 – 22 FEBRUARY 2013
(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)
Saturday, 16 February
There are no major events scheduled for today.
Sunday, 17 February
There are no major events scheduled for today.
Monday, 18 February
Today is an official holiday at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
In Geneva, the 1st session of the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Peace will begin. It will end on 21 February.
In Geneva, the 19th session of the Sub-Committee on Prevention of Torture will begin. It will end on 21 February.
In Geneva, the 10th session of the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council will begin. It will end on 22 February.
In Geneva, there will be a press conference by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic to present its findings on its latest report. Speakers will include Paulo Pinheiro, Chairperson (via teleconference) and Carla del Ponte, Commission member.
In Geneva, there will be a press conference on a major study by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on the effects of human exposure to hormone disrupting-chemicals (EDCs). Dr. Maria Neira, the Director of Public Health and Environment at WHO will brief reporters.
Tuesday, 19 February
At 10:00 a.m., in the Economic and Social Council Chamber of the North Lawn Building (NLB), the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization will hold its 268th meeting.
At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 1 (NLB), the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations will hold the opening meeting of its 2013 substantive session.
At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 7 (NLB), there will be a panel discussion on “People on the move –– The complexity of forced migration in today’s world”. It will be co-organized by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Permanent Missions of Bangladesh and Norway.
Wednesday, 20 February
Today is World Day of Social Justice.
Today, the Deputy Secretary-General will arrive in China to begin a three-country visit that will also take him to the Republic of Korea and Japan. On 25 February, he will attend the inauguration of the new President of the Republic of Korea, Park Geun-hye. His visit will end on 2 March.
At 9:00 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by Evo Morales Ayma, President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia on the occasion of the Global Launch of the International Year of Quinoa.
At 10:00 a.m., in the General Assembly Hall, there will be a plenary meeting of the General Assembly on the occasion of the global launch of the International Year of Quinoa 2013.
At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 2 (NLB), there will be a round table on measures to ensure respect for and protection of the human rights of all migrants. It will be co-organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Mexico and the United States Mission.
At 3:00 p.m., in Conference Room 2 (NLB), there will be high-level panel discussion on “Food security and nutrition”, on the occasion of the International Year of the Quinoa. It will be co-organized by the Office of the President of the General Assembly, the Permanent Mission of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI).
Thursday, 21 February
Today is International Mother Language Day.
In the morning, the Security Council will hold consultations on Sudan and South Sudan and on the 1718 Committee (sanctions on Democratic People’s Republic of Korea). In the afternoon, troop-contributing countries will hold a meeting on the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
Friday, 22 February
In the morning, the Security Council will adopt a resolution on the United Nations Inegrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS). Then, it will have a debate on the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).
At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 5 (NLB), there will be a special event on “Ways to integrate efforts in furthering water dialogue and cooperation”. It will be co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Tajikistan, UN-Water and the EastWest Institute.