HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY, DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
MONDAY, 27 FEBRUARY 2012
IN ANGOLA, SECRETARY-GENERAL HIGHLIGHTS POLIO CAMPAIGN AND SPORTS, MEETS OFFICIALS
- The Secretary-General is in Angola today.
- He has had meetings with President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, the Foreign Minister and civil society.
- They discussed how to strengthen the partnership between the UN and Angola.
- The Secretary-General commended the authorities for progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and encouraged them to push even harder, and to work toward a more equitable distribution of wealth.
- Earlier today, the Secretary-General launched Angola's 2012 polio vaccination campaign in Viana near Luanda, and helped administer vaccine drops to some children.
- The Secretary-General arrived in Angola from Zambia yesterday.
- Over the weekend, the Secretary-General held talks with President Michael Sata of Zambia and other Government officials in Lusaka.
- He visited the Fountain of Hope, a drop-in centre for street children run by International Inspiration in partnership with UNICEF, the Government of Zambia and civil society groups.
- Together with Dr. Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Committee, the Secretary-General also visited Olympic Youth Development Centre.
- He said the Centre goes beyond promoting excellence in sport by providing help to educate young people.
- In Livingstone, the Secretary-General opened a new centre to help make it easier to invest in tourism and visited the Victoria Falls. He also visited a school where he discussed a wide range of human rights with the students.
- The Secretary-General will be heading back to New York overnight.
SYRIA: PRIORITY IS TO STOP VIOLENCE TO ALLOW GENUINE POLITICAL PROCESS
- Asked about the referendum in Syria yesterday, the Deputy Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General had noted the constitutional referendum held yesterday in the country.
- He added that while a new constitution and the end of the Baath party's monopoly on power could be part of a political solution, a referendum must take place in conditions free of violence and intimidation. Del Buey said that it was unlikely to be credible in a context of pervasive violence and mass human rights violations.
- The Deputy Spokesperson said that the priority in Syria must therefore be for all violence to stop. Only such condition will allow a genuine political process that will meet the democratic aspirations of all citizens, he stressed.
PIRACY IN GULF OF GUINEA CONTINUES TO UNDERMINE PEACE AND SECURITY IN REGION, SECURITY COUNCIL IS TOLD
- This morning Under Secretary-General Lynn Pascoe addressed the Security Council on Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, noting that piracy continues to undermine efforts by States in the region to maintain peace, security, and stability and to promote socio-economic development.
- Piracy has become more sophisticated, and attacks have targeted cargo rather than taking hostages for ransom.
- Mr. Pascoe noted that the Gulf of Guinea countries need a united front to respond effectively to this growing threat. The resources at hand are inadequate to meet the tasks at hand effectively. Significant logistical support is required.
- He noted the recent visit to the region of a U.N. assessment mission to assess this threat, and concluded that we must take further concrete steps to eradicate piracy in the region.
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL OPENS NEW SESSION OF COMMISSION ON STATUS OF WOMEN
- At the opening of the fifty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) today, the Deputy Secretary-General said that the body is at the heart of the United Nations’ global efforts to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.
- She called for greater attention to be focused on protecting and empowering rural women.
- Unleashing their potential will make a major contribution to ending poverty and hunger and achieving sustainable development, the Deputy Secretary-General stressed.
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