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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

WEDNESDAY, 27 MARCH 2013

 

U.N. SPOKESPERSON: SYRIA GOVERNMENT HAS ACCEPTED SELLSTROM AS HEAD OF TECHNICAL MISSION

  • Asked whether the Syrian Government has accepted ?ke Sellström as the head of a technical mission going to Syria, the Spokesperson confirmed that it had.
  • In response to further questions about the technical mission, Nesirky said that the investigation will be carried out under the Secretary-General’s Mechanism, the terms of which are laid out in a General Assembly resolution.
  • He said that there are experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and World Health Organization (WHO) who are specialists in determining whether chemical weapons have been used.
  • He clarified that this is not a criminal investigation and is not to determine blame for any attack.
  • Asked about unfettered access, the Spokesperson reiterated the need for such access, which the Secretary-General has made clear.
  • Asked about the time frame, he said the United Nations was working quickly to get the mission working.
  • In his recent letter to the President of the Security Council, the Secretary-General noted that he had received and responded to a letter from the Syrian Government and one from the French and UK Governments. He also noted that other Member States had also written to him or made public statements calling for the investigation mission to look into all allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
  • Asked about the arming of parties in Syria, Nesirky said that the further militarization of the conflict in Syria is unhelpful and undesirable.
  • Asked about the relocation of UN staff in Syria, he said that there were still UN staff, both international and national, working in the country. The relocated staff are to return to Syria as soon as they can; meanwhile, they will support efforts in Syria from other locations in the region.

SECURITY COUNCIL TO HOLD CONSULTATIONS ON MALI

  • The Security Council will hold consultations at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday on Mali. Taye-Brook Zerihoun, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, will brief Council members on the latest developments.
  • On Tuesday afternoon, Council members received the Secretary-General’s latest report on Mali, which responded to the Council’s request for recommendations on options for establishing a UN peacekeeping operation.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO BEGIN VISIT TO EUROPE THIS WEEKEND

  • The Secretary-General will depart New York on Saturday for San Marino, Andorra, Monaco, Spain and the Netherlands.
  • On Sunday, in San Marino, the Secretary-General will meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The next day, he will take part in the investiture of the newly-elected Captains Regent.
  • Then the Secretary-General will travel to Andorra and Monaco, two countries that are commemorating the 20th anniversary of their membership in the United Nations. On Tuesday, 2 April, he will meet with the Prime Minister of Andorra and the President of the Parliament, before addressing the members of the Parliament.
  • On Wednesday and Thursday, the Secretary-General will meet with His Serene Highness the Sovereign Prince Albert II and the Minister of State and Chief of Government, as well as the Foreign Minister and other Government officials. He will also address the Constitutional Bodies of Monaco.
  • On Thursday, 4 April, he will travel to Spain where he will meet with the Crown Prince and the Prime Minister in Madrid and launch an event for the 1,000 days of action for the Millennium Development Goals.
  • On Friday and Saturday, while in Madrid, he will participate in the United Nations Chief Executives Board meetings.
  • While in Madrid, the Secretary-General will receive an award from the New Economic Forum in recognition of the United Nations' contribution to promoting peace and security and economic and social development.
  • Then on Sunday, 7 April, the Secretary-General will travel to the Netherlands. During the visit, he will meet with Queen Beatrix and Dutch Government ministers.
  • On Monday, he will attend the opening session of the 3rd Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention.  While in The Hague, the Secretary-General will also meet with the President and Members of the International Court of Justice and with the Presidents of the Hague-based international criminal courts and tribunals.

SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS YOUTH HAVE ENERGY AND IDEAS TO CHANGE THE WORLD

  • The Secretary-General spoke on Wednesday morning at the Economic and Social Council Youth Forum at United Nations Headquarters, saying that young leaders have the energy and ideas we need to change our world.
  • In his remarks, the Secretary-General said that the United Nations is ready to partner with young people and that is why he appointed the first United Nations Envoy for Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi.
  • He said that he is confident his Youth Envoy will help young people understand the United Nations and incorporate their ideas into our work.
  • The Secretary-General said that he fully endorses his Youth Envoy’s plan for change and he called on the international community – including senior officials at the United Nations – to give his Envoy their full support.

CLASHES BETWEEN SOUTH SUDANESE ARMY AND ARMED GROUPS CONTINUE TO AFFECT PEOPLE IN JONGLEI

  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that clashes between the South Sudanese army and other armed groups continue to affect thousands of people in Jonglei. Insecurity due to attacks along the roads is also hampering aid delivery to affected communities.
  • Despite the challenges, aid organizations have distributed food to thousands of people displaced in Pibor and have reached nearly 4,000 people with essential household kits, water and sanitation services.
  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reports a significant increase in the number of South Sudanese refugees fleeing the violence in Jonglei to Kenya in 2013. So far this year, about 360 people have been registered in Kenya’s Kakuma camp, compared with an average of 45 people per year between 2010 and 2012.
  • Meanwhile, aid organizations carried out the first round of a nationwide polio vaccination campaign last week. The campaign, which aims to reach more than 3.2 million children under five, will continue next month.

PANEL ON POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT GOALS WRAPS UP MEETING ON PARTNERSHIP AND COOPERATION FOR DEVELOPMENT

  • The Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel of eminent persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda concluded its meeting in Bali, Indonesia, earlier on Wednesday. Discussions during the three-day meeting focused on how to build a Global Partnership and Means of Implementation for the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.
  • At the conclusion of the three-day meeting, the Panel issued a communiqué, which highlights key areas that need progress for realizing its post-2015 vision. The Panel’s next scheduled meeting will take place in May in New York, and the Panel aims to submit its final report to the Secretary-General by the end of May.

SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS FORCE COMMANDER OF U.N. MISSION IN HAITI

  • The Secretary-General has appointed Lieutenant General Edson Pujol of Brazil as Force Commander of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
  • Lieutenant General Pujol succeeds Major General Fernando Rodriguez Goulart, also of Brazil, who completes his assignment on Wednesday.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY HAS NOT TRANSFERRED BOZIZE FAMILY OUT OF CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: The Spokesperson, in response to questions, reiterated that the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) had not transferred the members of the Bozizé family out of the Central African Republic.

BAHRAIN: SECRETARY-GENERAL HOPES TO SEE CREATION OF ATMOSPHERE CONDUCIVE FOR DIALOGUE: Asked about Bahrain, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has repeatedly spoken about the need for good governance, reforms and the protection of human rights in the country. While noting the progress made by Bahrain, he wants to see that all Bahrainis can contribute to creating an atmosphere conducive for the dialogue that needs to take place.