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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY,
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

FRIDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2013

FOOD SECURITY TASK FORCE COMMITS TO ACTIONS TO ACHIEVE ZERO HUNGER CHALLENGE

  • The Secretary-General chaired a meeting of the UN system’s High Level Task Force on Global Food Security this morning.
  • The heads of 23 UN and Bretton Woods institutions committed to urgent action for coordinated, comprehensive efforts to achieve the Zero Hunger Challenge – with attainment of the Millennium Development Goal on poverty and hunger as the first step and an emphasis in the post-2015 development agenda.
  • They prioritized food security and nutrition as an essential element of human security, particularly in crisis situations such as Mali and Syria. Over the next two years the UN system will ramp up its efforts to ensure that: all food systems are sustainable; everyone has access to food; smallholders’ incomes and productivity are doubled; zero children younger than two are stunted; and that no food is lost or wasted.
  • It will encourage principled and accountable multi-stakeholder partnerships to achieve these ends.

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS KILLING OF POPULAR FRONT LEADER IN TUNISIA

  • In a statement issued on Thursday evening, the Secretary-General strongly condemned the assassination of Chokri Belaid, Secretary-General of the Democratic Patriots Movement and one of the leaders of the Popular Front in Tunisia.
  • There has been important progress in Tunisia’s transition. Yet much remains to be done in terms of the constitutional process and with regard to meeting the social and economic demands of the Tunisian people.
  • The Secretary-General encourages the authorities to move the reform process forward. Tunisia’s democratic transition should not be derailed by acts of political violence.

HEAD OF U.N. MISSION CALLS FOR IRAQI LEADERS TO UNITE FOLLOWING LATEST BOMBINGS

  • Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, said that the perpetrators of the latest bombings in Baghdad and in Babel province that killed and injured dozens of people are “ruthless criminals whose sole goal is to push the country back to sectarian violence”.
  • Mr. Kobler appealed to the Iraqi leaders to unite and work together in order to stop the language of violence from spreading.

NUMBER OF PEOPLE UNABLE TO MEET BASIC FOOD NEEDS IN SOMALIA FALLS BY HALF

  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that the number of people in Somalia who are unable to meet their basic food needs without assistance fell by half over the past six months. One million people are now in that category, or about 14 per cent of the population.
  • The humanitarian situation remains fragile, and an estimated 1.7 million people are at risk of falling back into crisis without continued support to meet their basic needs and build up their livelihoods.
  • The improvements are due to factors including humanitarian support, improved food stocks in households and at markets from last month's harvest, and higher prices for livestock.
  • However, about 215,000 children under five are acutely malnourished, two-thirds of them in southern Somalia. The ratio of one in seven children malnourished is among the highest in the world.

REFUGEE AGENCY WELCOMES BILL IN PHILIPPINES TO PROTECT RIGHTS OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PEOPLE

  • The UN refugee agency welcomes the bill passed by the Philippines Congress to protect the right of more than a million internally displaced people.
  • When the bill becomes law with the President’s endorsement, the Philippines will become the first country in the Asia Pacific region to have comprehensive legislation that guarantees the rights of the internally displaced in accordance with international standards.
  • This measure is a milestone for the Philippines, where decades-long armed conflicts and many natural disasters have caused massive displacement, especially in the Mindanao region. It is estimated that between January and October 2012 alone, some 300,000 people were displaced throughout Mindanao.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • The Secretary-General will attend the launch of the new Children's Tour in the Visitors’ Lobby here at UN Headquarters next Monday, 11 February, at 10:15 a.m. The Department of Public Information has developed educational materials and activity booklets, UN Kids characters, and interactive games and quizzes for the children's tour.
  • Asked about a press luncheon held Thursday by the Secretary-General, the Spokesperson noted that his office had provided to reporters the newsworthy elements from the discussion at that luncheon, in the form of a note to correspondents

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
9 – 15 February 2013


(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)

Saturday, 9 February

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Sunday, 10 February

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Monday, 11 February

At 10 a.m. (Paris time), the International Year for Water Cooperation will be launched at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

At 10:15 a.m., the new Children’s Tour will be launched in the Visitors’ Lobby with the Secretary-General’s attendance. 

At 12:30 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference on the launch of the International Year of Water Cooperation.  Participants will include Mr. Paul Egerton, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Representative to the United Nations and Ms. Ana Persic, Science Specialist, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Office in New York.

Tuesday, 12 February

This morning, the Security Council will hold an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict.

At 3 p.m., there will be a presentation of the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons in Conference Room 2 of the North Lawn Building (NLB). This event is being co-organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Group of Friends United against Human Trafficking.

Wednesday, 13 February

Today is World Radio Day. At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 6 (NLB), there will be a panel discussion on “The Enduring Power of Radio,” co-organized by UNESCO and the Department of Public Information.

This morning, the Security Council will adopt resolutions on the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB) and Sudan sanctions. It will also receive a briefing on cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations (European Union).

At 12:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, H.E. Néstor Osorio, President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations, will be guest at the Noon Briefing.

Thursday, 14 February

This morning, the Security Council will receive a briefing and hold consultations on Somalia.

At 10:00 a.m., there will be a special event in the General Assembly Hall on “United for a culture of peace through interfaith harmony” to mark the World Interfaith Harmony Week. This event is being organized by the Office of the President of the General Assembly, in cooperation with UNESCO and the Committee of Religious Non-Governmental Organizations at the United Nations.

Friday, 15 February

From 9:00 – 9:45 a.m., the 2013 Senior Managers' Compact signing ceremony will be held in the Secretary-General's Conference Room on the 38th Floor of the main Secretariat Building. The ceremony will include the signing of each of the Senior Manager's Compacts by the Secretary-General with an individual photo taken at the time of the signing.

At 11:15 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations. Participants will be H.E. Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and H.E. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family.