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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, 28 SEPTEMBER 2012

SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS ALL TOOLS MUST BE USED TO COUNTER NUCLEAR TERRORISM

  • The Secretary-General spoke at a high-level meeting on countering nuclear terrorism, focusing on strengthening the legal framework, this morning.
  • He said that the prospect of terrorists acquiring nuclear materials is one of the most unnerving threats imaginable, adding that we must use all of our tools to contain this nuclear genie and not allow these arms to proliferate to non-State actors or terrorists.
  • The Secretary-General urged all countries to become party to the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and for the building up of State capacity to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

SECRETARY-GENERAL CHALLENGES LEADERS TO PUT PEOPLE AND PROBLEMS FIRST

  • The Secretary-General spoke at the annual ministerial meeting of the Group of 77 and China this morning, at which Fiji took over the group’s leadership for next year, replacing Algeria.
  • The Secretary-General once more challenged leaders to raise their level of ambition, by putting people and problems first, setting aside narrow interests and acting for the greater good.
  • He noted that the global economy has been struggling, governments are looking inward, and some people are using prevailing fears to stoke divisions. This is a dangerous trend, the Secretary-General said, adding that we need more solidarity, more compassion, more reaching out to break down barriers and build bridges of trust.
  • He said that the G77 and China have been working hard to reach the Millennium Development Goals. There can be no let-up as the 2015 deadline draws near.

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL EXTEND MANDATE OF SYRIA COMMISSION OF INQUIRY

  • Earlier in Geneva, the Human Rights Council decided to extend the mandate of the independent international commission of inquiry on Syria.
  • In the resolution adopted this morning, the Human Rights Council requested that the commission continue its work and present a written report on the situation of human rights in Syria at its next session.

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONVENES MYANMAR GROUP OF FRIENDS MEETING

  • Later this afternoon, the Secretary-General will convene a meeting of his Group of Friends on Myanmar.
  • His Special Adviser, Vijay Nambiar, will speak to reporters following this meeting at around 6:00 p.m. at the stakeout position in the North Lawn Building.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECRETARY-GENERAL NAMES NASSIR ABDULAZIZ AL-NASSER AS HEAD OF ALLIANCE OF CIVILIZATIONS: Following consultations, the Secretary-General has designated Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar, President of the Sixty-Sixth Session of the United Nations General Assembly, as High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations.  Mr. Al-Nasser replaces Jorge Sampaio of Portugal.

SECRETARY-GENERAL HAS SAID RHETORIC NOT HELPFUL: Asked about the Israeli Prime Minister’s speech to the General Assembly about Iran, the Spokesperson noted the Secretary-General’s remarks from earlier in the week that rhetoric is not helpful. He added that it is up to Iran to prove the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme and to cooperate with the international community about that matter.

UNITED NATIONS TAKES INTERNAL JUSTICE SYSTEM VERY SERIOUSLY: Asked about a Government Accountability Report concerning flaws in the UN internal justice system, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations had seen only an executive summary of the report so far. The United Nations takes the system of internal justice very seriously, and there have been many improvements made to it since 2009. He said that the system is still evolving.

INVESTIGATION INTO DEATH OF TWO PEACEKEEPERS IN HAITI IS ONGOING: Asked about a shooting incident in Haiti, the Spokesperson recalled that the UN Mission in Haiti had reported that a Formed Police Unit officer has died after suffering a gunshot wound to the head. Subsequently, a fellow police officer was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head. An investigation into the matter is ongoing, the Spokesperson said, calling the incident a tragic accident.

SECRETARY-GENERAL SAW HUMOUR IN PRANK PHONE CALL: Asked about a prank phone call made to the Secretary-General, the Spokesperson said that it happened on Wednesday, adding that the Secretary-General quickly understood the phone call to be a prank and took it in the spirit intended, as a joke.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
29 SEPTEMBER – 5 OCTOBER 2012


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

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 of the North Lawn Building (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 11:00 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will a press conference to launch a new a report on ageing. Speakers will be Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Richard Blewitt, Chief Executive Officer of Help Age International.

At 2:40 p.m., the Secretary-General and Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, will address press at the North Lawn Building Stakeout.

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 United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the International Council for Caring Communities (ICCC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

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.

In Geneva, the annual executive committee meeting of the United Nations Refugee Agency will begin. It will end on 5 October.

In Geneva, the 53rd session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women will begin. It will end on 19 October.

Tuesday, 2 October

Today is the International Day of Non-Violence.

At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 2 (NLB), there will be a formal meeting of the Sierra Leone configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission.

At 11:00 a.m., in the Economic and Social Council Chamber (NLB), there will be a special event on the occasion of the International Day of Non-Violence. It will be organized by the Permanent Mission of India.

At 11:30 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General.

At 12:30 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by Gert Rosenthal, President of the Security Council for the month of October and Permanent Representative of Guatemala.

At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 6 (NLB), there will be a briefing on the Trade and Development Report 2012, organized by the New York Office of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room D (NLB), there will be a panel discussion on “Freedom from fear and freedom from want –– How can the post-2015 agenda address the twin challenges of the twenty-first century”. It will be organized by the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Wednesday, 3 October

At 4:30 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by Vuk Jeremic, President of the UN General Assembly.

Thursday, 4 October

In Geneva, there will be a press conference with GAVI Alliance CEO, Dr. Seth Berkley, on helping to save lives and tackling the health equity gap through the power of vaccines.

Friday, 5 October

Today is World Teachers’ Day.

In Geneva, the 61st session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child will end.