HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
MONDAY, 1 APRIL 2013
SECRETARY-GENERAL TAKES PART IN INVESTITURE OF SAN MARINO’S TWO HEADS OF STATE
- The Secretary-General is in San Marino, where he has taken part on Monday in the investiture of the country's two heads of state, the Captains Regent. In a speech at the ceremony, the Secretary-General said that San Marino offered three universal lessons about democracy: that no one system is right for all countries, that democracy can always be improved and that democracy allows individuals to engage with authorities to reach collective goals.
- The Secretary-General said we are living through a pivotal moment in the global history of democracy. He said that in several parts of the world, we have seen alarming threats to hard-won gains in democratic governance. He said he was deeply disturbed by growing pressures and restrictions on civil society groups in some countries.
- On Sunday, the Secretary-General met the outgoing Captains Regent and had a meeting with the Foreign Minister.
- On Tuesday the Secretary-General will leave San Marino for Andorra. He will also visit a drug rehabilitation centre in Italy.
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL TO TRAVEL TO GENEVA FOR MEETINGS WITH SENIOR U.N. OFFICIALS
- From 2 to 4 April, the Deputy Secretary-General will travel to Geneva for meetings with senior UN officials. During his visit he will meet with the Director General of the UN Office in Geneva, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization and the Chair of UN Water. On 4 April, the Deputy Secretary-General will travel to Madrid to join the Secretary-General at the Chief Executives Board for Coordination meeting (CEB).
- The Deputy Secretary-General will arrive back in New York on 7 April.
NEW HEAD OF U.N. MISSION IN DARFUR ARRIVES IN KHARTOUM
- Mohamed Ibn Chambas arrived in Khartoum on Monday to take up the position of Head of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and Joint Chief Mediator.
- Upon arriving, Mr. Chambas said he was happy to take up his duties in Darfur at a very crucial time. Over the next weeks, he will be meeting with a range of top Sudanese Government officials, Darfur authorities, ambassadors and United Nations representatives, as well as UNAMID leadership and staff.
U.N. MISSION IN D.R. CONGO REPORTS FIGHTING IN KITCHANGA, NORTH KIVU
- The UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) reported fighting in Kitchanga, North Kivu, this past Friday, between the Congolese Army and the APCLS armed group.
- Approximately 11 APCLS combatants have reportedly been killed and one Congolese Army soldier has been injured. MONUSCO peacekeepers in Kitchanga have provided protection to about 1,500 civilians.
- The situation is reported to be calm at present but the UN Mission continues to monitor the situation and patrol the area.
- In response to further questions, the Spokesperson reiterated that the violence in the country has to stop and that differences among groups there need to be resolved peacefully.
- Asked about rapes in Minova, the Spokesperson said that, while a number of appropriate actions have reportedly been taken by the Congolese Government, MONUSCO is still waiting to receive official notification of these actions.
- Assurances have also been received from Minister of Foreign Affairs during his visit to New York. MONUSCO has been in close contact with the Government and is expecting a response in the coming days.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS ON D.P.R.K. TO BUILD CONFIDENCE WITH ITS NEIGHBOURS
- Asked about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Spokesperson noted the strong statement the Secretary-General issued on 7 March, adding that the situation there still stands.
- The Secretary-General continues to call on all sides to reduce rhetoric and calls on the DPRK to build confidence with its neighbours.