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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, 21 SEPTEMBER 2012

SECRETARY-GENERAL, U.N. GOODWILL AMBASSADORS MARK INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE

  • The Secretary-General, flanked by UN Goodwill Ambassadors, rang the Peace Bell this morning, in a ceremony marking the International Day of Peace. He noted that the theme of this year’s observance is “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future”, adding that armed conflicts attack the pillars of sustainable development.
  • The Secretary-General said that we must ring the peace bell with extra force and conviction, so that its sound can be heard above the voices of discord and extremism that have sparked violence in recent days. In these tense global times, he said, we need a message of tolerance, dialogue, cooperation and harmony to resonate across the world.
  • Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said today that she fully understands why people wish to protest strongly against the malicious and provocative film and cartoons in recent days, and it was their right to do so, but peacefully. The High Commissioner said that the best way to deal with such provocations was to ignore them, as deliberate and obnoxious acts of this type should be deprived of the oxygen of publicity.
  • Asked about the Secretary-General’s recent press remarks on freedom of speech, the Spokesperson recalled that, as the Secretary-General has made clear in his recent remarks, freedom of speech and freedom of expression are basic human rights. These rights are in no way questioned when the Secretary-General expresses his dismay at provocations and subsequent blind violence, which feed a vicious circle of hatred in an already tense international climate.
  • The Secretary-General strongly urges all to act responsibly, peacefully and in a manner not injurious to anyone's beliefs and faith.
  • Asked whether the Alliance of Civilizations can deal with the current situation, the Spokesperson said that the Alliance, as well as other actors in the international community, are mobilized and have voiced concerns about the current situation.

SECRETARY-GENERAL MEETS DAW AUNG SAN SUU KYI AT U.N. HEADQUARTERS

  • The Secretary-General met this morning with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar; and they spoke to reporters afterwards.
  • The Secretary-General expressed hope that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will continue to help the people of Myanmar and many others around the world who have experienced the same hardships as she has.
  • He said that he also expects that together with the President of Myanmar, she will lead her country on a path of reconciliation, greater participatory democracy and development.
  • Asked whether the Secretary-General and Aung San Suu Kyi had discussed the situation among the Rohingya, the Spokesperson said that they had.

SECURITY COUNCIL READY TO CONSIDER REGIONAL BLOC’S REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE ON MALI

  • In a press statement issued today by the President of the Security Council, the members of the Council reiterated their grave concern about the continuing deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in the North of Mali.
  • The Security Council urged all Malian rebel groups to cut off all ties to Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and affiliated groups.
  • In their statement, the members of the Security Council took note of the Interim Malian Government request for assistance made to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
  • They also took note of the ongoing strategic planning efforts of ECOWAS in order to prepare detailed options regarding the deployment of a regional force in Mali. They expressed their readiness to consider a feasible and actionable proposal from ECOWAS addressing such a request.

U.N. SOMALIA ENVOY CONDEMNS MOGADISHU BOMB ATTACKS

  • Augustine Mahiga, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, said he was appalled by the suicide bomb attacks that took place in Mogadishu on Thursday. Initial reports indicate that numerous people were killed and wounded, including prominent members of the media community.
  • He strongly condemned the cowardly and senseless attack, and added that acts of terrorism cannot reverse the recent achievements that Somalia has witnessed. Such incidents can only reinforce the determination of the Somali people to reject violence and engage in peaceful resolution of conflict.
  • Meanwhile, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is closely following the situation around the Somali port city of Kismayo as thousands of the city's residents flee in anticipation of military activities and new clashes. So far this month, more than 10,000 people have fled from Kismayo, fearing the resumption of fighting. Some 7,500 people have fled the area in the past four days alone.

W.F.P. LAUNCHES EMERGENCY OPERATION FOR DISPLACED IN D.R.CONGO

  • The World Food Programme (WFP) has expressed concern about the dramatic increase of displaced people in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and the dire need that those people have for humanitarian support, including food assistance.
  • Martin Ohlsen, the World Food Programme Representative in the country, says that, in most cases, people have left behind their homes, their fields and livestock, which are their sole source of food and income.
  • Between January and August 2012, the Food Programme provided food assistance to about 730,000 people displaced in the eastern Congo, living in camps, informal settlements or with host families.
  • Given the magnitude of the new displacements and the expectation that the crisis will continue, the World Food Programme has launched a new emergency operation, going from September 2012 to June 2013, which will assist approximately 1.2 million people in five provinces.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS MARK BOWDEN AS DEPUTY SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR AFGHANISTAN: The Secretary-General has appointed Mark Bowden of the United Kingdom as his Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan.  Mr. Bowden will also serve as Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator.  He succeeds Michael Keating, also from the United Kingdom. 

U.N. INVESTIGATING SHOOTING OF PEACEKEEPER IN HAITI: Asked about a shooting incident involving a UN peacekeeper in Haiti, the Spokesperson said that the matter is being investigated. 

*** The guest at the Noon briefing today was H.E. Mr. Luis Alfonso de Alba, Senior Vice-President of United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations, who briefed on the forthcoming Ministerial meeting entitled “Building the Future We Want”.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
22 SEPTEMBER – 1 OCTOBER 2012


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

Saturday, 22 September

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Sunday, 23 September

At 4:00 p.m., in Conference Room 3 (NLB), there will be a high-level meeting on Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) – donor support for Palestinian authorities organized by the Permanent Mission of Norway.

At 8:00 p.m., at the NLB stakeout (outside Conference Room 1), the Foreign Minister of Norway will speak to the press following the meeting of AHLC.

Monday, 24 September

At 9:00 a.m., in the General Assembly Hall, there will be a high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the Rule of Law at the national and international levels.

At 10:30 a.m., the Security Council will hold closed consultations on Syria.

At 11:00 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of  the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

At 11:00 a.m., in the Economic and Social Council Chamber (NLB), there will be a meeting on “Women and cancer: a joint commitment to save lives” organized by UN Women, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the American Cancer Society.

At 11:00 a.m., in Conference Room 2 (NLB), there will be a special event on “Towards a new partnership between the Government of Haiti and non-governmental organizations working in Haiti”, co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Haiti and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

At 12:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, Tibor Toth, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), will be the guest at the Noon Briefing.

At 3:00 p.m., in Conference Room 3 (NLB), there will be a meeting on “Women and power in transitional countries” organized by the European Union.

At 3:00 p.m., in Conference Room 2 (NLB), there will be a high-level event on the Secretary-General‘s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.

At 3:00 p.m., in Conference Room 5 (NLB), there will be a high-level event on “Intensifying the efforts for global elimination of female genital mutilations” co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Benin and Burkina Faso.

At 3:30 p.m., in the Economic and Social Council Chamber (NLB), the Economic and Social Council will hold a special ministerial meeting on sustainable development – Building the Future We Want.

At 4:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by Augustine Mahiga, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia.

Tuesday, 25 September

Today, the General Debate of the 67th regular session of the General Assembly will open, ending on 1 October.

At 11:15 a.m., in Conference Room 6 (NLB), there will be a meeting on preventing sexual violence in conflict.

At 11:30 a.m., in Conference Room 3 (NLB), there will be a panel discussion on “Towards 2015: Open dialogue with the High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda”, organized by the Permanent Mission of Japan.

At 12:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, Gabriel Jaramillo, General Manager of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria will be the guest at the Noon briefing.

At 3:30 p.m., in Conference Room 7 (NLB), there will be a panel discussion on “Alternative policy approaches to drug control in Guatemala that seek to be more effective in protecting security and human rights, as well as promoting social and economic development”, organized by the Permanent Mission of Guatemala.

At 4:00 p.m., in Conference Room 6 (NLB), there will be the first meeting of the Secretary-General’s high level panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda.

At 4:00 p.m., in Conference Room 2 (NLB), there will be a high-level event on “Peacebuilding: Way Towards Sustainable Peace and Security” convened by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh in its capacity as chair of the Peacebuilding Commission.

At 4:00 p.m., in the Economic and Social Council Chamber (NLB), there will be a meeting on “Women, disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control”.

At 7:00 p.m., in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), there will be a special event on “Every Woman Every Child”.

Wednesday, 26 September

At 9:00 a.m., in Conference Room E (NLB), there will be a meeting of the Pacific Island Forum States.

At 9:00 a.m., in Conference Room 4 (NLB), there will be a high-level event on “Shared responsibility and global solidarity –– Leveraging the AIDS response for Africa’s sustainable development”, organized by the President of the Republic of Benin, Chair of the African Union, in collaboration with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)).

At 10:00 a.m., in the Economic and Social Council Chamber (NLB), there will be a high-level meeting on the Sahel at the ministerial level.

At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 4 (NLB), there will be a meeting on “Sourcing sustainable solutions for the AIDS response in Africa: shared responsibility and global solidarity”.

At 10:30 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by the Convention for biological diversity.

At 11:00 a.m., in Conference Room 2 (NLB), there will be a high-level event on “The New Deal: g7+ perspectives and experiences”, co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Afghanistan, Liberia and Timor-Leste.

At 12:00 p.m., in Conference Room 6 (NLB), there will be a meeting on the final report of the UN Commission on Lifesaving Commodities for Women and Children and the first annual report of the Independent expert review group.

At 1:15 p.m., in the Economic and Social Council Chamber (NLB), there will be a high-level meeting to launch the Secretary General's global Education First initiative.

At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 3 (NLB), there will be a high-level event on “Freedom of religion or belief: An individual’s choice”, co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Canada, the Netherlands and Senegal.

At 2:45 p.m., the Security Council will hold a high-level meeting on Peace and Security in the Middle East.

At 3:00 p.m., in Conference Room 3 (NLB), there will be a parliamentary meeting on “Parliaments and the rule of law: Toward justice for all”, co-organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), with the sponsorship of the Permanent Mission of Italy.

At 3:40 p.m., in Conference Room 6 (NLB), there will be a Secretary General’s Mini Summit on Somalia.

At 4:00 p.m. in Conference Room E (NLB), there will be a meeting of the Millennium Development Goals Advocates.

Thursday, 27 September

Today is World Tourism Day.

Today is World Maritime Day.

At 9:00 a.m., in the Economic and Social Council Chamber (NLB), there will be a high-level meeting on eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 4 (NLB), there will be a ministerial meeting in support of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), co-organized by the Friends of the CTBT (Australia, Canada, Finland, Japan and the Netherlands) and the Co-Chairs of the Article XIV Conference of the CTBT (Mexico and Sweden).

At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 7 (NLB), there will be an event on death penalty.

At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 5 (NLB), there will be a high-level event on “The civil society and the education on human rights as a tool for promoting religious tolerance”, co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Italy and Jordan.

At 10:00 a.m., at the Millennium United Nations Plaza Hotel, there will be a high-level event on “Multilateral partnership in MDG’s acceleration: Experience from implementation of Nigeria’s MDGs Conditional Grant Scheme at the subnational Level” co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Nigeria and the United Nations Millennium Campaign.

At 11:00 a.m., at the Permanent Mission of Turkey (821 United Nations Plaza, 8th Floor), there will be a high-level launch of the United Nations guidance for effective mediation, co-organized by the Executive Office of the Secretary General and the Permanent Missions of Finland and Turkey, on behalf of the Group of Friends of Mediation.

At 12:00 p.m., Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), will the guest at the Noon briefing.

At 12:30 p.m., in the Economic and Social Council Chamber (NLB), there will be a meeting on the “Legacy of Polio”.

At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 6 (NLB), there will be a high-level launch of the publication “Powerful synergies: Gender equality, economic development and environmental sustainability”, co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Kenya and Nigeria, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Millennium Campaign.

At 3:00 p.m., in Conference Room 4 (NLB), there will be a high-level meeting on scaling up nutrition.

At 3:00 p.m., in Conference Room 6 (NLB), there will a meeting on water and food security, organized by the Permanent Mission of Qatar.

At 4:00 p.m., in Conference Room 3 (NLB), there will be a high-level meeting on Sudan and South Sudan.

At 6:30 p.m., in the Economic and Social Council Chamber (NLB), there will be a side event on poverty.

Friday, 28 September

Today is World Rabies Day.

At 9:00 a.m., in the General Assembly Hall, there will be a high-level meeting on countering nuclear-terrorism, with a focus on strengthening the legal framework.

At 5:00 p.m., in Conference Room 7 (NLB), there will be a meeting of the Secretary-General’s Group of Friends of Myanmar.

Saturday, 29 September

Today is World Heart Day.

Sunday, 30 September

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Monday, 1 October

Today is World Habitat Day.

Today is the International Day of Older Persons.

Today, the General Debate of the 67th regular session of the General Assembly will end.

Today, Guatemala will assume the rotating Presidency of the Security Council for October.

At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 3 (NLB), there will be a Conference on Small States, organized by the Forum of Small States (FOSS), on the occasion of its twentieth anniversary.

At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 6 (NLB), there will be a panel discussion on “The inclusive city: Management of diversity at the local level”, co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Italy and the Alliance of Civilizations.

At 3:00 p.m., in Conference Room 2 (NLB), there will be a high-level meeting on “Fifteen years of the Chemical Weapons Convention: Celebrating success. Committing to the future”, convened by the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

At 3:00 p.m., in Conference Room 6 (NLB), there will be a high-level working session on “Urban futures: South meets North” on the occasion of World Habitat Day and the International Day of Older Persons. It will be co-organized by the International Council for Caring Communities (ICCC) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).