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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 EDUARDO DEL BUEY,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

FRIDAY, 12 APRIL 2013

U.N. MISSION IN D.R. CONGO SAYS GOVERNMENT HAS TAKEN ACTIONS ON HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS COMMITTED IN MINOVA

  • The UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) reports that it has been notified formally of the actions being taken by the Congolese Government to bring to justice the perpetrators of serious human rights violations committed in Minova in late November 2012.  
  • In its notification, the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo reports that it has launched investigations and recorded around 400 testimonies from victims, witnesses and suspects. It adds that several arrests have been made as an interim internal disciplinary measure.
  • The Government also informs that a number of officers allegedly involved in these acts have been suspended and put at the disposal of the Military Prosecutor for the purposes of the investigation. Among these officers are the commanding officers and deputy commanding officers of the two main battalions suspected of committing these acts, as well as officers of eight other units.
  • MONUSCO notes that the suspension of the commanding officers is an important signal of the commitment of the Congolese authorities to hold the perpetrators of these crimes accountable.
  • MONUSCO will continue to monitor the judicial process.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO SPEAK AT EVENT CALLING FOR ACTION TO ATTAIN MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

  • On Friday afternoon at UN Headquarters, the Secretary-General is due to lead the official observance of the Millennium Development Goals Momentum to call for accelerated action in the thousand days leading to the target date in 2015.
  • At the event, the Secretary-General is expected to highlight the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals and give his strong support for accelerated action for the next thousand days. He was expected to urge all of us over the next thousand days to give a thousand per cent.

JOINT SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE BRAHIMI TO BRIEF THE SECURITY COUNCIL ON SYRIA NEXT WEEK

  • Asked when Lakhdar Brahimi, the Joint Special Representative for Syria, will be in New York next, the Deputy Spokesperson said that he can confirm that he will be here on Friday, 19 April, when he is scheduled to brief the Security Council on Syria. He intends to hold a press stakeout afterwards. And I can add that his briefing to the Council will be a day after one by several senior UN officials on the humanitarian situation in Syria.
  • The Secretary-General discussed the proposed work of the technical mission on chemical weapons in press remarks following his meeting with US President Barack Obama on Thursday and he said it is regrettable that the Syrian Government has rejected his offer. He noted that the team is to work under his authority in accordance with General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, and is now ready and can be deployed soon.
  • The Operations Director of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, John Ging, will begin a three-day visit to Aleppo in northern Syria on Saturday. His visit is aimed at assessing the humanitarian situation on the ground with a view to improving assistance to people affected by the violence.
  • In response to questions, the Spokesperson reiterated that there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria and once more urged a negotiated solution. The violence needs to end.
  • Asked whether the Secretary-General favours a transitional government, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General continues to support a process based on the Geneva Communiqué.

U.N. ENVOY IN IRAQ CONDEMNS DEADLY ATTACK AGAINST WORSHIPPERS IN THE TOWN OF KANAAN

  • Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, condemns in the strongest terms the attack against worshippers after their Friday prayers in the town of Kanaan, east of Baquba, in the province of Diyala, which killed and injured dozens.
  • He said that these brutal acts of violence will not undermine the true and deep belief in peaceful coexistence among the people of Diyala. Mr. Kobler conveyed his deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded.

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES EFFORTS BY PRESIDENT OF YEMEN TO RESTRUCTURE ARMED FORCES

  • In a note issued on Thursday night, the Secretary-General welcomes President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi's ongoing efforts to restructure the Yemeni armed forces with a view to integrating them under unified, national and professional leadership and command based on the rule of law.
  • That is in accordance with Yemen's Transition Agreement signed in Riyadh on 23 November 2011, and Security Council resolutions 2014 (2011) and 2051 (2012).

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY CHIEF VISITS REFUGEES FROM CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC IN NORTHERN D.R. CONGO

  • The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, visited refugees from the Central African Republic in a remote and difficult to access area of northern Democratic Republic of the Congo on Friday.
  • The refugees are located along a 600-kilometre stretch of the Oubangui River. The UN Refugee Agency says the needs of the refugees are significant, but access to the area is difficult. The Agency says it is working with the authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as two other receiving countries, Cameroon and Chad, to provide protection and assistance.
  • On Saturday, in Kinshasa, Mr. Guterres is scheduled to meet senior government officials, including President Joseph Kabila and Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo.

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY SAYS FIGHTING IN DARFUR LED MORE THAN 74,000 CIVILIANS TO FLEE TO CHAD

  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Friday that fresh inter-tribal fighting in West Darfur has led more than 74,000 civilians to flee to southeast Chad in the past two months, including 50,000 people in the last week alone.
  • The Agency said this is the largest influx of refugees from Sudan into Chad since 2005.
  • Agency staff in Chad found people exhausted, traumatized and visibly disturbed by the recent violence.
  • The Agency is concerned that the number of people fleeing Sudan will increase as the clashes continue.

U.N. MISSION IN MALI CONDEMNS SUICIDE BOMBING THAT KILLED THREE CHADIAN SOLDIERS

  • The Office of the United Nations in Mali (UNOM) said on Friday that it is deeply saddened by the tragic death of three Chadian soldiers killed in a suicide bombing in Kidal, in the north of the country, this morning.
  • The UN Mission condemns the attac,k which has also injured several members of the same contingent serving under the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA). It said that this attack shall not undermine the United Nations’ determination to support AFISMA in its effort to restore peace and territorial integrity in Mali.  
  • Also, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on Friday that the Central Emergency Response Fund has allocated US$16 million over the past few weeks to kick-start life-saving humanitarian projects in Mali.
  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that Mali is at the beginning of the lean season and the food situation in the northern regions of Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal is alarming.
  • The Consolidated Humanitarian Appeal for Mali has only received about one quarter of the US$410 million requested. The Central Emergency Response Fund’s allocations are therefore critical stop-gap measures pending more substantial funding of the Consolidated Appeal.

U.N. AGENCIES LAUNCH PLAN TO SAVE UP TO 2 MILLION CHILDREN FROM DEATHS CAUSED BY PNEUMONIA AND DIARRHOEA

  • The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) launched on Friday a new global action plan that could save up to 2 million children every year from deaths caused by pneumonia and diarrhoea, which are some of the leading killers of children under five globally.
  • The plan sets clear goals for the world to achieve by 2025: a 75 per cent reduction in incidence of severe pneumonia and diarrhoea from 2010 levels among children under five, and the virtual elimination of deaths from both diseases in the same age-group. It also aims for a 40 per cent reduction in the global number of children under five who are stunted.
  • The plan calls on governments and others to prioritize investment in the population groups with the poorest access to services to prevent and treat pneumonia and diarrhoea. Nearly 90 per cent of pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths in children currently occur in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL TO TRAVEL TO WASHINGTON NEXT WEEK

  • The Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, will travel to Washington D.C. on Tuesday, 16 April, to give a keynote address at the Alliance for Peacebuilding Annual Conference, held at the United States Institute of Peace.
  • The Deputy Secretary-General will arrive back in New York the same day.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

HELEN CLARK RE-APPOINTED AS U.N. DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME HEAD: The General Assembly approved by acclamation on Friday the re-appointment of Ms. Helen Clark as the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator for a second four year term.

SECRETARY-GENERAL DISCUSSED THE THREATENING SITUATION IN KOREAN PENINSULA WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA: Asked about the Korean peninsula, the Spokesperson noted the threatening situation there. That was one of the subjects discussed in the Thursday meeting between the Secretary-General and US President Barack Obama.

SPOKESPERSON’S OFFICE TO MOVE TO THE SECOND FLOOR OF THE SECRETARIAT BUILDING: The Spokesperson’s Office and the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit closed their offices at 1pm on Friday as part of the Capital Master Plan (CMP) move. They will all be open for business on Monday on the second floor of the Secretariat building. 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
13 – 19 APRIL 2013

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


Saturday, 13 April

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Sunday, 14 April

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Monday, 15 April

In the morning, the Security Council will be briefed on “Peace and Security in Africa: Prevention of Conflicts in Africa – Addressing the Root Causes”.

At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 4 of the North Lawn Building (NLB), there will be a General Assembly thematic debate on “The United Nations and global economic governance”.

At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 5 (NLB), there will be a briefing on “Preparations for the comprehensive ten-year review Conference on the implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action for the Landlocked Developing Countries 2014”, organized by the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS).

At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room E (NLB), there will be a briefing on “Military expenditures: Trends and challenges”, co-organized by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the Office for Disarmament Affairs (ODA) and the Permanent Mission of Japan.

At 3:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference sponsored by the Republic of Kazakhstan on the thematic debate "United Nations and Global Economic Governance”.

At 3:00 p.m., in Conference Room 5 (NLB), there will be a briefing on “10-Year Framework of Programme’s status and prospects for its implementation” by the Secretariat of the 10-Year Framework of  Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns, organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

At 6:15 p.m., in Conference Room 3, there will be a special event on the occasion of the annual commemoration of the Rwanda genocide memorial ceremony, organized by the Department of Public Information, in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of Rwanda, featuring the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly, the Foreign Minister of Rwanda, a representative of the African Union, and a survivor of the genocide.

In Geneva, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) will have a meeting on “Public Consultation on the Human Rights of Older Persons”.

In Geneva, OHCHR will begin the 9th session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It will end on 19 April.

In Geneva, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will hold a media briefing on the ordinary and extraordinary meetings of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions by David Ogden, Chief, Conventions Operations Branch, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

Tuesday, 16 April

In the morning, the Security Council will be briefed on the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), followed by consultations on UNOCI and Côte d’Ivoire sanctions.

At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 5 (NLB), there will be a dialogue on “Sustainable nuclear energy: Development, transparency and security”, organized by the Permanent Mission of Ukraine, as a follow-up to the public campaign for national and global thematic consultations on energy, in the context of the United Nations post-2015 development agenda.   

At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room D in the Conference Building (CB), there will be a seminar by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) on “International treaty law and practice” with a special focus on the Arms Trade Treaty.

At 1:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by the Mr. Vuk Jeremic, President of the United Nations General Assembly.

At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 4 (NLB), there will be a meeting on “International Criminal Court: Assembly of States Parties”, organized by the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands.

Wednesday, 17 April

In the morning, the Security Council will hold an open debate on “Women and Peace and Security”.

In Geneva, the World Health Organization (WHO) will hold a press conference on the World Immunization Week by Dr. Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele, Director, Immunization, Vaccination and Biologicals, WHO.

In Geneva, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will hold a press conference on the release of United Nations Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2013.

Thursday, 18 April

In the morning, the Security Council will hold consultations on the Middle East (Syria).

At 12:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, John Ging, Director of Operations for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, will be the guest at the Noon Briefing.

In Washington, D.C., at 4:45 p.m., there will be the Learning For All Ministerial Roundtable as part of the Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative, which will be co-hosted by the Secretary-General, World Bank President Jim Kim, and United Nations Special Envoy on Education Gordon Brown.

In Washington, D.C., at 6:30 p.m., there will be a Call to Action event with a focus on girls’ education and feature supporters and special guests.

In Beijing, there will be a global launch of the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

Friday, 19 April

Joint Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi is scheduled to brief the Security Council, and he will hold a press encounter afterward.