HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY,
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
WEDNESDAY, 6 FEBRUARY 2013
TUNISIA: U.N. RIGHTS CHIEF CONDEMNS ASSASSINATION
- The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has condemned today’s assassination of Chokri Belaid, who campaigned against political violence in Tunisia.
- Navi Pillay said she was extremely saddened to hear the news of Mr. Belaid’s murder, calling him a prominent defender of human rights and democratic values and a firm opponent of political violence.
- The High Commissioner said that today’s crime was committed in an environment of increasing political violence. Such acts, she said, threaten to seriously undermine the democratic transition in post-revolution Tunisia.
U.N. SAHEL ENVOY MEETS SENIOR FRENCH OFFICIALS
- The Secretary-General's Special Representative for the Sahel, Romano Prodi, was in Paris today.
- He met with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and they discussed the situation in Mali and how it relates to the Sahel region more generally. Mr. Prodi also met with members of the French Senate's Commission on Foreign Affairs.
- The Security Council this morning began consultations on Mali.
LIBYA: U.N. MISSION WELCOMES DECISION TO FORM ASSEMBLY TO DRAFT NEW CONSTITUTION
- The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) welcomed the decision of the General National Congress today on the formation of a constituent assembly to draft the new Libyan constitution.
- Tarek Mitri, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Libya, called the decision an important milestone that will pave the way for continued progress toward a constitution that reflects the needs, priorities, and aspirations of the Libyan people. The UN Mission stands ready to assist the Libyan authorities throughout the electoral process, at their request.
U.N. LAUDS ENTRY INTO FORCE OF NEW RIGHTS PROTOCOL
- Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has applauded the upcoming entry into force of a key Protocol to an international treaty which will, for the first time, enable individual complaints on economic, social and cultural rights.
- On Tuesday, ratification by Uruguay allowed the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to cross the necessary threshold that allows it to enter into force on 5 May.
- Ms. Pillay said that the entry into force of the Optional Protocol is a major breakthrough, which will enable victims under the jurisdiction of the States parties to seek justice for violations of their economic, social and cultural rights.
- Asked about a video from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Spokesperson said that such rhetoric is not unprecedented, adding that any rhetoric which adds to the tensions in the region is not desirable.
- Asked whether the Secretary-General plans to return to the Great Lakes region if there is a peace deal concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General has been in touch with regional leaders in recent days.
- The Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman will be the guest at the noon briefing on Friday, 8 February, upon return to New York from a trip in which he attended the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa and international meetings on Mali, and also visited Somalia, Kenya and Burundi.
***The guest at today’s briefing was Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.