HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY,
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
WEDNESDAY, 26 SEPTEMBER 2012
SAHEL: SECRETARY-GENERAL ANNOUNCES REGIONAL STRATEGY, INTENDS TO APPOINT SPECIAL ENVOY
The Secretary-General participated today in a high-level meeting on the Sahel, on the margins of the general debate of the General Assembly.
In his remarks, he said that any proposed military solution to the security crisis in northern Mali should be considered extremely carefully. He added that this could have significant humanitarian consequences, including further displacement and restrictions on humanitarian access.
The Secretary-General said that, at the request of the Security Council, the United Nations is developing an Integrated Regional Strategy on the Sahel that will strengthen regional capacities to combat insecurity, prevent and respond to large-scale crises, and promote democratic governance and respect for human rights.
He said that finalizing and implementing the strategy will require broad consultations with UN partners and strong coordination among the UN presences in the region.
The Secretary-General said that he intends to appoint a Special Envoy for the Sahel who will be responsible for coordinating the strategy and monitoring its implementation.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CO-CHAIRS FIRST U.N.-PACIFIC ISLAND FORUM
The Secretary-General co-chaired the first meeting of the United Nations and leaders of the Pacific Island Forum at UN Headquarters this morning.
He reaffirmed his commitment to enhancing cooperation and support for tackling the region’s challenges.
On Fiji, the Secretary-General said that the country has embarked on a process of writing a new constitution, which is expected to lead to democratic elections in 2014. He expressed hope that Fiji’s Pacific neighbours will continue to encourage the country to make progress towards full respect for human rights, accountability, transparency and inclusiveness.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO LAUNCH EDUCATION INITIATIVE
Today, the Secretary-General will launch his Education First initiative, which he said seeks to answer the call of parents everywhere for the schooling their children deserve, from the earliest years to adulthood.
In his remarks, he is expected to spotlight how every one of us stands on the shoulders of our teachers, communities and families who believed in us and invested in our education.
The Secretary-General will stress that every child everywhere deserves that same chance.
BAN KI-MOON TO SPEAK ON ARAB LEAGUE, SOMALIA AND MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
The Secretary-General will address a Security Council meeting this afternoon on the role of the League of Arab States, at which he will say that they body has acquired a new sense of purpose with a new political era at hand in the Arab world.
Immediately following that meeting, the Secretary-General will take part in the Mini-Summit on Somalia, where he is expected to say that, while the process of ending the transition was not always smooth, it was more inclusive and representative than any such efforts Somalia has seen in a generation.
Later this afternoon, the Secretary-General will speak at a meeting of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Advocacy Group.
He is expected to say that there is no doubt that the MDG framework has been a success, but the challenges are vast and that we need to inject new blood into the global partnership for development.
At around 5:30 p.m., the Secretary-General – together with the co-chairs of the MDG Advocacy Group – is expected to speak to the press.
CYPRUS COMMUNITIES COULD BENEFIT FROM ENDING DISPUTE: Asked about the use of natural resources in Cyprus, the Spokesperson said that Alexander Downer, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, told a reporter recently that a positive outcome to this long-running dispute would enable communities on the island to benefit from the country’s natural resources.
SECRETARY-GENERAL HAS DISCUSSED NEED TO DEAL WITH UNRESOLVED CONFLICTS IN MYANMAR: Asked about the situation in Myanmar’s Kachin State, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General discussed the need to deal with unresolved conflicts when he met last week with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. He noted that there would be a Group of Friends of Myanmar meeting held at UN Headquarters later this week.
DESIGNATION OF HOLIDAYS IS MADE BY MEMBER STATES: Asked why Yom Kippur is not designated as a UN Holiday, the Spokesperson said that the designation of holidays is made by the UN’s Member States. He noted the importance of Yom Kippur to the world’s Jews and stressed the UN’s respect for all religions.
SECRETARY-GENERAL HAD BILATERAL MEETING WITH U.S. PRESIDENT OBAMA: Asked about the non-attendance by US President Barack Obama at the Secretary-General’s luncheon for world leaders on Tuesday, the Spokesperson recalled that the Secretary-General met with President Obama earlier in the day. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton represented the United States at the luncheon.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
27 SEPTEMBER – 1 OCTOBER 2012
(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)
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 of the North Lawn Building (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). It will be 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, 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 Group of Friends of Mediation, co-chaired by Finland and Turkey.
At 12:00 p.m., Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), will be 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 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 5 (NLB), there will be a panel discussion on “The rule of law and the post-2015 agenda”, co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Senegal, the Open Society Foundations and the Bingham Center for the Rule of Law.
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 be a high-level event on “Water and food security: Innovations for a changing climate”, co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Qatar, in partnership with the Executive Office of the Secretary-General.
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 3:15 p.m., in Conference Room 2 (NLB), there will be a high-level interactive presentation on “Transnational organized crime in Central America and the Caribbean: A threat assessment”, co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Italy and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
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 10:00 a.m., at the Permanent Mission of Germany, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) report “Ageing in the 21st Century –– A Celebration and a Challenge” will be launched on the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons.
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).
At 3:00 p.m., in Conference Room D (NLB), there will be a forum on “Global partnership for sustainable development at the subnational level”, co-organized by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) New York Office and the United States Department of State.