HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY, DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
WEDNESDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 2012
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO MEET ARAB LEAGUE CHIEF, TO DISPATCH TOP U.N. HUMANITARIAN OFFICIAL TO SYRIA
- The Secretary-General has arrived in London.
- He has met Andrew Mitchell, the British Secretary of State for International Development.
- The Secretary-General will also be meeting Nabil Elaraby, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, to discuss developments in Syria and the way forward, including the appointment of a special envoy to handle the crisis.
- In the meantime, the Secretary-General has asked Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, to visit Syria to assess the humanitarian situation and renew the call for urgent humanitarian access.
- The Secretary-General will have further bilateral meetings in London. On Thursday, the Secretary-General will take part in the London Conference on Somalia.
- Asked when Valerie Amos would go to Syria, the Deputy Spokesperson said no dates were set yet. He added that she still had to decide on the modalities of her mission and that it was hoped that the Syrian authorities would respond positively.
SECURITY COUNCIL ADOPTS RESOLUTION ENDORSING EXPANSION OF SOMALIA MISSION
- On Wednesday morning, the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the expansion of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to 17,731 uniformed personnel, as well as to put AMISOM on a predictable financial footing through the enhancement of the United Nations Logistical Support Package.
- In addition, UN Legal Counsel Patricia O’Brien and Yuri Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), briefed the Council on piracy off the coast of Somalia.
- In the afternoon, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Timor-Leste, Ameerah Haq will brief the Council on developments there.
SECRETARY-GENERAL EXTENDS MANDATE OF LEBANON TRIBUNAL
- Pursuant to the terms of the Annex to Security Council resolution 1757 (2007), the Secretary-General has decided to extend the mandate of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) for a period of three years from 1 March 2012. In doing so, the Secretary-General reaffirms the commitment of the United Nations to the efforts of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to uncover the truth regarding the terrorist attack that took the lives of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others so as to bring those responsible to justice and send a message that impunity will not be tolerated.
- Asked about the replacement of the Prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the Deputy Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General had not yet taken a decision.
U.N. ENVOY SPEAKS OUT AGAINST ISRAELI SETTLEMENT APPROVAL
- In a statement, Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said that Wednesday’s announcement by Israel to approve a large number of new units deep inside the occupied Palestinian territory in the settlement of Shilo and retroactively legitimize hundreds in a nearby outpost is deplorable and moves us further away from the goal of a two-State solution.
- Mr. Serry noted that the Secretary-General reiterated the United Nations' well-known position that settlement activity is illegal, contrary to Israel’s obligations under the Road Map and will not be recognized by the international community, during his recent visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.
FOUR NEW SENIOR APPOINTMENTS ANNOUNCED
- Four senior appointments were announced on Wednesday.
- Kate Gilmore of Australia as one of the two Deputy Executive Directors of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). Ms. Gilmore will succeed Purnima Mane.
- Ms. Sima Sami Bahous of Jordan as Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States at the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Ms. Bahous will replace Amat Alsoswa.
- Jens Wandel of Denmark as Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of Management at UNDP. Mr. Wandel will replace Akiko Yuge.
- Ayse Cihan Sultanogu of Turkey as Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States at UNDP. Ms. Sultanogu will replace Kori Udovicki.
IRAN HAS TO PROVE PEACEFUL NATURE OF NUCLEAR PROGRAMME: Asked about Iran, the Deputy Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General had been very clear and said that it was up to the Iranian authorities to prove the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme. The Secretary-General has also called on Iran to comply with all relevant resolutions of the Security Council and of the International Atomic Energy Agency and to resume negotiations on this topic, he added.
U.N. PROVIDED ELECTORAL ASSISTANCE TO TUNISIA: In response to a question on the United Nations’ assistance to Tunisia, the Deputy Spokesperson said that the Organization had provided electoral assistance and was active in a wide range of areas through its different agencies and programmes.
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