HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
TUESDAY, 21 FEBRUARY 2012
TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME AFFECTS PEACE, STABILITY, SECRETARY-GENERAL TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL
- On Tuesday morning, the Secretary-General briefed the Security Council on the impact of transnational organised crime on peace, security and stability in West Africa and the Sahel.
- In his remarks, the Secretary-General said that transnational organized crime, including drug-trafficking, affects peace, security and stability wherever it occurs.
- He reported that the United Nations is already deeply engaged in helping the countries of West Africa and the Sahel to combat crime, drug-trafficking, piracy and terrorism.
- The Secretary-General noted that the international community has begun to build Transnational Crime Units trained by the UN Police.
SECRETARY-GENERAL SET TO DEPART FOR U.K., ZAMBIA, AND ANGOLA
- As announced earlier, the Secretary-General will be leaving New York this evening for a trip that will take him to the United Kingdom, Zambia and Angola.
- He will first attend the London Conference on Somalia and hold a number of bilateral meetings.
- The Secretary-General will then travel to Zambia, where he will meet with President Michael Sata and other senior officials. He will also address the National Assembly and visit a UN-supported initiative that uses life skills and sports to reach and inspire vulnerable children.
- Together with Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Secretary-General will visit the Olympic Youth Development Centre.
- The last stop on his trip will be Angola, where he will meet with President José Eduardo dos Santos and other top officials.
- The Secretary-General will also attend the launch of a polio vaccination campaign, and meet with young people at a project on water and sanitation. The Secretary-General will return to New York next Tuesday.
LEADERS OF GREEK CYPRIOT AND TURKISH CYPRIOT COMMUNITIES DISCUSS PROPERTY ISSUE
- The leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities met today in Nicosia and their discussions focused on the issue of property.
- They will meet again next Tuesday, 28 February.
ON 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF WORLD’S LARGEST CAMP, U.N. AGENCY URGES CONTINUED SUPPORT SOMALI REFUGEES
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the world’s largest refugee camp – Dadaab, which is in north-eastern Kenya.
- The Agency set up the first camps there between October 1991 and June 1992.
- The original intention was for three camps at Dadaab to host up to 90,000 people. However, today, they host more than 460,000 refugees, including some 10,000 third-generation refugees born in Dadaab to refugee parents who were also born there.
- On the occasion of this anniversary, the Agency is renewing its appeal to the international community to ensure continued support to the approximately one million Somali refugees in the region, as well as to Kenya and other countries hosting them.
SECRETARY-GENERAL LIAISING ON POSSIBLE SYRIA ENVOY: Asked about the appointment of a Special Envoy for Syria and whether the Syrian authorities would work with that person, the Spokesperson noted that there was a mandate issued by the General Assembly last week, and that it would be incumbent for all parties to cooperate with that envoy. He noted that the Secretary-General has been liaising closely with a number of interlocutors on this question, including Secretary-General El-Araby of the League of Arab States over the weekend, and is scheduled to meet Mr. El-Araby tomorrow in London. Nesirky added that conditions in Syria have precluded the UN from being able to assess the situation on the ground fully to date.
IRAQI AUTHORITIES HAVE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR SECURITY OF CAMP ASHRAF INHABITANTS: Asked about the situation at Camp Ashraf, the Spokesperson said the primary responsibility for the security of the inhabitants of the Camp lies with the Iraqi authorities, and that all parties must ensure that the transfer be carried out in a peaceful manner. He noted that the UN Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) has worked hard to facilitate the dialogue between both sides, and would continue to monitor the situation closely.
SECRETARY-GENERAL HAS URGED RESTRAINT REGARDING DEMONSTRATIONS IN BAHRAIN: Asked about recent demonstrations in Bahrain, the Spokesperson recalled the Secretary-General's statement of last week. In it, the Secretary-General called on all parties to exercise maximum restraint and expected the Bahraini authorities to act in accordance with their international human rights obligations. He added that people should be allowed to demonstrate peacefully with no intimidation or violence.
DARFUR BLUE HELMETS RELEASED UNHARMED: Asked about an incident in Sudan this weekend in which a rebel group sought to stop peacekeepers from the joint UN-African Union force (UNAMID), the Spokesperson noted that this was a clear example how potentially violent confrontations can be defused without bloodshed. He noted that all had been released unharmed through a process of negotiation, backed up by a show of force.
U.N. ENVOY IN YEMEN: Asked about the elections in Yemen today, the Spokesperson reported that Special Adviser on Yemen, Jamal Benomar, is in the country and will brief the Secretary-General on developments.
United Nations, SA-1B15
New York, NY 10017