HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
THURSDAY, 11 APRIL 2013
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO MEET PRESIDENT OBAMA IN WASHINGTON
- On Thursday afternoon, the Secretary-General was due to meet President Barack Obama at the White House. The Secretary-General was expected to thank the President for the strong support the United States has provided to the Organisation, and they were expected to discuss a broad range of pressing as well as longer-term global issues.
- The Secretary-General was also due to meet with World Bank President Jim Kim before returning to New York later in the day.
U.N. IS ANALYZING LETTER FROM SYRIAN GOVERNMENT ON TECHNICAL MISSION
- Asked about Syria’s position on the technical mission, the Deputy Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has received a letter from the Syrian Government and that the United Nations is currently analyzing its contents.
U.N. SAYS THAT ANY ATTEMPTS TO ADVANCE PEACE TALKS IN THE MIDDLE EAST ARE WELCOME
- Asked about the situation in the Middle East, the Deputy Spokesperson said that any attempts to advance the peace talks are welcome.
- Asked about the latest ceasefire in the Middle East, the Deputy Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General is encouraged that Egypt continues to work closely with all sides to maintain the ceasefire.
SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS CONSULTATIONS ON U.N. FORCE FOR ABYEI AND ON SUDAN AND SOUTH SUDAN
- The Security Council held consultations on Thursday morning on the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and on Sudan and South Sudan.
- The Council was briefed by the head of the Mission, Major General Yohannes Gebremeskel Tesfamariam, and by Edmond Mulet, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR FULL INVESTIGATION ON KILLING OF U.N. PEACEKEEPERS IN SOUTH SUDAN
- Asked about the killing of UN peacekeepers and others in South Sudan earlier this week, the Deputy Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has called for full accountability and for the country’s Government to carry out a full investigation.
- The United Nations has not identified the perpetrators of the attack, which the Deputy Spokesperson said was carried out by 200 armed people. Those who were killed included four Kenyans and one South Sudanese.
- The Deputy Spokesperson also said that the Secretary-General extends his condolences to the families of those killed.
U.N. SAYS HUMANITARIAN SITUATION CONTINUES TO DETERIORATE IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Thursday that the humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic continues to deteriorate, with massive unrest and large-scale displacement across the country.
- Communities affected by the crisis are in urgent need of food assistance, protection, healthcare, and water and sanitation support. There are serious concerns about widespread human rights violations across the country.
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that ongoing humanitarian efforts have been hampered by insecurity and limited access to people in need. The Office has called on all parties to preserve and facilitate access for all aid workers who need to reach affected communities with life-saving relief items such as food, water, shelter and medical supplies.
U.N. FOOD AGENCY PROVIDES ASSISTANCE IN BLUE NILE STATE, IN SUDAN, FOR FIRST TIME SINCE SEPTEMBER 2011
- The World Food Programme (WFP) has been able to reach some 51,000 people with food assistance for the first time in Sudan’s Blue Nile State since the start of the conflict there in September 2011.
- The first round of distributions consisted of two-month food rations for about 12,000 people in Geissan and 39,000 in Kurmuk.
- The Programme plans to reach people in six localities before the rainy season begins in May but still needs some $20 million to secure 17,000 metric tons of food for the response.
U.N. DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME CHIEF SAYS GREATER SUPPORT NEEDED FOR COUNTRIES ABSORBING SYRIAN REFUGEES
- The UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator, Helen Clark, wrapped up a four-day visit to Jordan on Wednesday and said that greater international support is needed for the countries currently absorbing increasing waves of refugees fleeing Syria, including Jordan.
- She said that Jordan is suffering a crisis clearly caused by the spillover of the very tragic events in Syria. As the international community addresses the significant needs of the refugees, she said she thinks it is important that Jordan’s particular circumstances are also taken into account.
SPECIAL TRIBUNAL FOR LEBANON CONDEMNS LATEST ATTEMPT TO INTERFERE WITH PROPER ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
- Asked on Wednesday about the disclosure of information belonging to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the Deputy Spokesperson said that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon condemns in the strongest possible terms the latest attempt to interfere with the proper administration of justice by publishing a list of alleged witnesses and potentially endangering the lives of Lebanese citizens.
- The Tribunal says that the list of persons that could be placed at risk by an irresponsible website is not, in fact, an accurate reflection of official court records. Those behind the website are in grave breach of journalistic ethics and employ questionable methods, such as Internet hacking.
- Any attempt to knowingly and wilfully interfere with the judicial process, including disclosure of confidential material or threatening, intimidating, or otherwise interfering with potential witnesses, is taken very seriously by the Tribunal. The Tribunal can confirm that it has requested the assistance of Lebanese authorities and others in this matter so that appropriate measures may be taken if necessary.
U.N. MISSION IN HAITI NOT INVOLVED IN SELECTION OF COMPANY WHICH TRAINED U.S. POLICE OFFICERS
- Asked on Wednesday about the training of some UN Police officers working with the UN Mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH, the Deputy Spokesperson said that the UN Mission says it is aware that, prior to their expected deployment with the Mission, UN Police from the United States are under the management and coordination of a private company, DynCorp, on behalf of the United States.
- The UN Mission was not involved in the selection of this company.