HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
WEDNESDAY, 29 FEBRUARY 2012
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO MEET WITH NEW SYRIA ENVOY
- On Wednesday evening, the Secretary-General will meet with the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Kofi Annan.
U.N. RELIEF CHIEF DISAPPOINTED AT NOT BEING ABLE TO VISIT SYRIA
- On Wednesday morning, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, issued a statement expressing her deep disappointment that she has not been able to visit Syria, despite her repeated requests to meet Syrian officials at the highest level to discuss the humanitarian situation and the need for unhindered access to the people affected by the violence.
She noted that every day that we are not able to reach people, especially in the towns where there is heavy fighting, prolongs their suffering.
She reiterated that the United Nations and its partners stand ready to help humanitarian aid reach people in desperate need in Syria.
- Asked about Under-Secretary-General Valerie Amos's requested visit to Syria, the Spokesperson said the Syrians have not so far refused entry, but have not provided an agreed date. He said the Syrian authorities had delayed making a decision several times. He said Ms. Amos believed that a visit would be an opportunity for the Syrian authorities to prove that they care for their people.
LIBYAN PEOPLE EAGER FOR TRANSITION TO DEMOCRACY, U.N. ENVOY TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL
- On Wednesday morning, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya, Ian Martin, briefed the Security Council by video conference.
- Mr. Martin noted that the new government faces tremendous challenges and a heavy legacy from the former regime, but that the Libyan people are eager to move forward with the transition to democracy, and their most central expectation of the United Nations is that we will continue to support them in doing so.
- He said that, after consultations with the Mission, the government had issued a directive that torture and mistreatment of detainees was forbidden and allegations would be investigated.
- Also in the morning, the Security Council also adopted a resolution calling on international partners to provide support to regional states and organisations to enhance their capacity to counter piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
- Asked about a briefing on Jau at the Security Council this afternoon, the Spokesperson said the lack of UN access there did not preclude senior officials from providing the Security Council with their best analysis of what is happening on the ground there.
SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS SENIOR U.N. TRIBUNAL OFFICIALS
- The Secretary-General has decided to appoint Judge Theodor Meron of the United States as President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (the Mechanism), for a period of four years, effective from 1 March of this year.
- The Secretary-General also welcomes the decision of the Security Council this morning to appoint Mr. Hassan Bubacar Jallow of the Gambia as Prosecutor of the Mechanism.
- The Mechanism was established by Security Council resolution 1966 to carry out a number of essential functions after closure of both the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
NORMAN FARRELL NAMED AS NEW PROSECUTOR FOR SPECIAL TRIBUNAL FOR LEBANON
- The Secretary-General has appointed Mr. Norman Farrell of Canada as the Prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Mr. Farrell is currently the Deputy Prosecutor of the ICTY, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. He replaces Mr. Daniel Bellemare, who has completed his term of office. The Secretary-General takes this opportunity to thank Mr. Bellemare for his leadership in advancing the work of the Special Tribunal.
- Similarly, the Secretary-General has appointed Judge Daniel David Ntanda Nsereko of Uganda as an international judge of the Appeals Chamber of the Special Tribunal. Judge Nsereko is currently a judge in the Appeals Division of the International Criminal Court. He replaces the late Judge Antonio Cassese, who was also the former President of the Special Tribunal. The Secretary-General again pays tribute to Judge Cassese's service to international law and the United Nations at large.
- In announcing these appointments, the Secretary-General once again reiterates 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, as well as other connected attacks, so as to bring those responsible to justice and send a message that impunity will not be tolerated.
U.N.-AFRICAN UNION MISSION LOOKS INTO ALLEGED ATTACKS IN NORTH DARFUR
- In response to a question regarding fighting in Darfur, the Spokesperson said that the The African Union-UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) says that it conducted a patrol yesterday to verify alleged attacks on the Aluwana and Um sidera villages in North Darfur.
- The local population in the area indicated that on 22 February there were clashes between Sudanese Liberation Army/Minni Minnawi and the Popular Defence Forces (PDF) which resulted in six of the combatants being killed and two others wounded.
- The Mission and humanitarian agencies on the ground reported the arrival of approximately 200 individuals from the affected area to ZamZam IDP camp; the precise number is yet to be verified.
U.N.-AFRICAN UNION MISSION PATROL AMBUSHED IN SOUTH DARFUR: The African Union-UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) says that that a patrol moving from Nyala to Shaeria in South Darfur was ambushed at Baraka Village. Initial reports indicate three peacekeepers were wounded and one killed.
IRAN MUST PROVE PEACEFUL NATURE OF NUCLEAR PROGRAME
Asked about Iran's nuclear plans, the Spokesperson said that it is up to the Iranian authorities to prove to the international community that their nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes. The International community should engage with the Iranian authorities to peacefully resolve this issue. There are reports that the P5 +1 (the five Permanent Members of the Security Council plus Germany) may be about to resume talks with the Iranian authorities, and if so, this could help reduce tensions.
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