HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY,
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
THURSDAY, 27 SEPTEMBER 2012
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONGRATULATES SUDAN, SOUTH SUDAN ON AGREEMENTS, CALLS FOR SOLUTION FOR ABYEI
- The Secretary-General congratulates the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan for signing agreements on security, the common border and economic relations. These agreements provide vital elements in building a strong foundation for a stable and prosperous future between the two countries.
- The Secretary-General commends the leaders of both countries, particularly President Bashir and President Kiir, for demonstrating the statesmanship that made a comprehensive agreement possible, and for having once again chosen peace over war.
- He praises the serious and constructive participation, by both sides, in the talks in Addis Ababa, as well as the continuing able leadership of the African Union High Implementation Panel led by President Thabo Mbeki in facilitating and mediating the talks between the two parties, as well as his Special Envoy’s supportive role to that effort.
- The Secretary-General looks forward to the Ministerial level Sudan-South Sudan Consultative Forum that will be held in New York today with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of both countries.
- The Secretary-General calls on both Governments to find solutions to the future of the disputed and claimed areas and the final status of Abyei. He urges both countries to now embark on the implementation of the agreements they have signed and to finalise the processes they have initiated. The United Nations stands ready to continue assisting the parties, in collaboration with partners, in these endeavours.
- The Secretary-General will speak at the high-level meeting on Sudan-South Sudan later today.
EASTERN D.R.CONGO: SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS TO END DESTABILIZING SUPPORT FOR M23
- The Secretary-General spoke this morning at a high-level meeting on the situation in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- He said that while there has been a lull in M23 military activity in the past several weeks, the group was consolidating control in large parts of Rutshuru territory in North Kivu.
- The Secretary-General also said that insecurity was increasing elsewhere in the Kivus as other armed groups take advantage of the instability.
- He said he was very concerned about continuing reports of external support for the M23 and called on all those responsible to end this destabilizing assistance. He said that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC is inviolable and must be fully respected by all of its neighbours.
- The Secretary-General said that concrete options had to be considered to bring about a peaceful resolution that is based on enhanced dialogue, deepening integration, and regional confidence-building.
YEMEN IS MAKING STEADY PROGRESS AND MUST PROTECT GAINS, SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL
- The Secretary-General spoke at a meeting of the Group of Friends of Yemen this morning, saying that the people of Yemen have embarked on a path of change for their country.
- One year ago, he said, Yemen was on the brink of civil war. Now, despite the many challenges ahead, Yemen has a new, elected President, a Government of National Unity and a framework for economic recovery.
- The Secretary-General said that the United Nations is committed to helping the Government and people rise to their challenges.
- He said that we all have a responsibility to see that the $6.4 billion recently pledged in Riyadh is quickly translated into tangible and positive differences on the ground. It is especially important that these contributions help address Yemen’s humanitarian needs.
- He added that Yemen is making steady progress toward greater stability and development, and we must do everything possible to protect the fragile gains.
BAN KI-MOON STRESSES LINK BETWEEN ENDING NUCLEAR TESTING AND ERADICATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS
- Speaking at the Sixth Ministerial Meeting of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty this morning, the Secretary-General noted that there is a direct link between ending nuclear testing and eradicating nuclear weapons.
- The cessation of nuclear tests will constrain the development of nuclear weapons, he said.
- The Secretary-General repeated his call to the eight States yet to ratify the Treaty to do so, adding that they are failing to live up to their responsibility as members of the international community.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO SPEAK AT HIGH LEVEL MEETINGS ON POLIO, NUTRITION
- The Secretary-General will be speaking today at a high-level side event on polio, where he will call for global solidarity to eradicate this disease once and for all.
- In his remarks, he is expected to say that the world must now stand shoulder to shoulder with Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan to finish the job. He will call on the international community to provide the urgent funding needed to carry out polio emergency plans.
- The Secretary-General will also speak at a high-level meeting on nutrition, where he is expected to commend the achievements of the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement that was launched two years ago. In his remarks, he is expected to say that many of the countries who have joined the Movement have demonstrated that progress is possible, even in the face of economic, climatic and political challenges.
LEBANON U.N. SPECIAL COORDINATOR VISITS BEKAA VALLEY: The UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Derek Plumbly, visited the Bekaa Valley today. He examined the situation along Lebanon’s borders with Syria and the conditions of displaced Syrians in that area. Today’s visit was his first working visit to this part of eastern Lebanon, where over 34,000 Syrians have taken refuge. Mr. Plumbly said that the visit had underlined to him the very pressing need for additional support to address the humanitarian needs of the displaced people and of the local communities assisting them.
FOLLOW UP ON TROOPS DONE BY CONTRIBUTING COUNTRIES: Asked about a verdict concerning Uruguayan peacekeepers who had previously served in Haiti, the Spokesperson called it a matter for the justice system of Uruguay. When charges are made against peacekeepers, responsibility for follow-up rests with the troop contributing countries.
SECRETARY-GENERAL STRESSED NEED TO AVOID CIVILIAN CASUALTIES IN SOMALIA: Asked whether Kenyan Navy personnel are part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the Spokesperson said that the UN’s understanding is that AMISOM has no naval capacity. The Secretary-General, he said, has made clear the need to ensure that any actions taken avoid civilian casualties.
*** The guest at the Noon Briefing today was Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), who briefed on the launch of the report "Transnational Organized Crime in Central America and the Caribbean: A Threat Assessment".
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
28 SEPTEMBER – 1 OCTOBER 2012
(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)
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 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 3 (NLB), there will be a ministerial meeting of the Group of Friends of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.
At 10:00 a.m., in the Economic and Social Council Chamber (NLB), there will be the 36th annual meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Group of 77.
At 3:15 p.m., in Conference Room 2 of the North Lawn Building (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 3:30 p.m., in Conference Room 6 (NLB), there will be a ministerial meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
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 Organization 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 sub-national level”, co-organized by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) New York Office and the United States Department of State.