HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY,
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
THURSDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2013
SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES MYANMAR STATEMENT PAVING WAY FOR DE-ESCALATION OF KACHIN CONFLICT
- Yesterday evening, the Secretary-General welcomed the Joint Statement issued by the country’s Peacemaking Committee and the delegation of the Kachin Independence Organization in China, in which they agreed to work on an overall framework for de-escalate the violent conflict in Kachin.
- The Secretary-General urged the parties to continue their efforts towards genuine and sustainable peace in Kachin and expressed hope that the latest developments would result in a silencing of the guns in Myanmar for the first time since its independence.
- Meanwhile, his Special Adviser, Vijay Nambiar, wrapped up his visit to Myanmar, which also took him to Kachin.
IRAQ: U.N. MISSION RESPONDS DAMAGE CAUSED BY HEAVY RAINFALL
- The UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) says that heavy rainfall throughout the country caused severe damage in Salaheddine province at the end of January.
- The Mission's disaster response section, after a request from the local government, conducted an assessment last weekend of humanitarian needs in the area and distributed kits to 600 families. Another 600 families will receive assistance within the next few days. The kits include mattresses, blankets, plastic sheeting, jerry cans and heaters.
- The Mission continues to monitor the situation and has established contact with authorities all along the Tigris River basin to express its readiness to provide assistance if needed.
SECRETARY-GENERAL SPOTLIGHTS SYRIA, MALI IN MESSAGE TO ISLAMIC SUMMIT CONFERENCE
- The Secretary-General has sent a message to the 12th session of the Islamic Summit Conference which is taking place in Cairo, telling the leaders gathered there that the violence and humanitarian crisis in Syria and Mali are of particular concern.
- He said in his message that the Syrian conflict continues and gains deeply worrying sectarian undertones, it is our collective responsibility to remind all warring parties of their obligations under human rights and international humanitarian law.
- On Mali, the Secretary-General says that the United Nations recognizes the seriousness of the situation and the threat posed by anti-government armed groups to international peace and security. He calls again for the implementation of all aspects of Security Council resolution 2085.
- The Secretary-General also stressed the importance of working together to combat the menace of terrorism, and of taking action to deal with rising intolerance and discrimination, such as Islamophobia.
U.N., PARTNERS CALL FOR NEARLY $900 MILLION TO PROVIDE HUMANITARIAN AID TO D.R. CONGO
- UN agencies and humanitarian partners launched the 2013 Humanitarian Action Plan for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in Kinshasa today, appealing for US$893 million to provide aid to millions of people affected by food insecurity, conflict and displacement. Some 6.4 million people across the country are food insecure and need assistance. An estimated 2.7 million people have been displaced, more than half of them in the North and South Kivu regions of eastern part of the DRC.
- The funding will help provide essential relief supplies including food aid, shelter, water and sanitation programmes, and it will help local authorities improve access to basic social services including education.
GLOBAL FOOD PRICES HELD STEADY IN JANUARY, U.N. REPORTS
- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says that its Food Price Index, a measure of the monthly change in international food prices, held steady in January after three consecutive months of decline.
- The pause in the Index's decline comes as the Organization significantly revised upward its latest forecast for the 2012 world cereal production.
SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS SENIOR OFFICIAL FOR LIBERIA MISSION
- The Secretary-General has appointed Tamrat Samuel as his Deputy Special Representative (Rule of Law) for the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
- The new Deputy Special Representative for Rule of Law succeeds Louis M. Aucoin of the United States of America, who concluded his assignment in December last year.
- Asked whether UN food rations in Syria would be increased, the Spokesperson noted that the generous pledges made in Kuwait would have to be turned into concrete funds. The World Food Programme (WFP) has said that it is increasing its food assistance inside Syria to reach 2.5 million people in the coming months.
- Asked about the review of UN operations following last year’s Sandy storm, the Spokesperson said that the review was continuing.