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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

MONDAY, 22 APRIL 2013

SECRETARY-GENERAL SADDENED BY EARTHQUAKE IN CHINA; BAN KI-MOON SAYS MIGRATION BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER

  • The Secretary-General spoke on Monday morning at a General Assembly event to commemorate International Mother Earth Day.
  • In his remarks, he said that he was deeply saddened by the destruction and casualties resulting from this past weekend’s earthquake in China’s Sichuan province. He said that the people of China have shown great resilience and solidarity, and that the United Nations is prepared to provide relief and to mobilize international support to help with the recovery.
  • The Secretary-General also spoke at the inauguration of the newly-renovated Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Chamber this morning.
  • In remarks to the Commission on Population and Development, the Secretary-General said that whether it takes place within countries or across borders, migration can bring people together. He added that it is not a question of whether to halt the movement of people across borders. The question is how we plan for such movements and make the most of them.
  • On Sunday, the Spokesperson issued a formal statement on the earthquake on China.

SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES PARTIES TO ENGAGE IN GENUINE NEGOTIATIONS IN HIS REPORT ON WESTERN SAHARA

  • The Security Council heard a briefing in closed consultations this morning on Western Sahara from Christopher Ross, the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy.
  • Mr. Ross presented the Secretary-General’s latest report to the Security Council, which urges the parties to engage in genuine negotiations. To do so, the Secretary-General writes, each party must accept that neither will obtain the totality of its demands, but rather has to engage in a logic of give and take.

C.A.R.: U.N. POLITICAL AFFAIRS CHIEF APPEALS FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF SECURITY, END TO ABUSES

  • Jeffrey Feltman, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, visited the Central African Republic on Monday and appealed for urgent efforts to establish security and stop abuses against civilians. He reiterated international calls for a full return to constitutional rule.
  • Mr. Feltman said he was visiting the country to express the grave concern of the United Nations about the deteriorating security and human rights situation there and to convey solidarity with the people who are suffering and extremely vulnerable at this moment.
  • The Under-Secretary-General spoke following a day of meetings in the capital, Bangui, including with representatives of political parties and civil society. The Under-Secretary-General also met with the Prime Minister in Douala, Cameroon, on Saturday.

COTE D’IVOIRE: U.N. MISSION URGES ALL TO ENSURE PEACEFUL ELECTION PROCESS

  • On Sunday, Côte d’Ivoire held its first local elections since 2001.
  • The UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (ONUCI) reports that the vote took place in an overall calm atmosphere.
  • However, the mission notes that a number of incidents have been recorded, including acts of intimidation and vandalism in around nine of the country’s 197 municipalities.
  • Ahead of these elections and during the vote on Sunday, UN peacekeepers provided technical support to Ivorian authorities. They also assisted in providing security, in support of national and local security forces.
  • The mission has urged all actors to ensure a peaceful process. And the mission is closely monitoring the situation.

U.N. REPRESENTATIVE FOR IRAQ CONGRATULATES CITIZENS ON PEACEFUL ELECTIONS

  • Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, congratulated Iraqi citizens on the peaceful conduct of the Provincial Council elections on Saturday.
  • He commended the work of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) for its high level of professionalism in conducting the first elections under its full responsibility, as well as the commitment of the thousands of Commission staff who carried out these elections as planned.
  • Mr. Kobler also praised the efforts of the Iraqi Security Forces who provided a peaceful environment for the elections.
  • He also called on the Government of Iraq to schedule the postponed elections in Anbar and Ninewa as soon as possible.

U.N. REPRESENTATIVE FOR SOMALIA CONDEMNS KILLING OF JOURNALIST IN MOGADISHU

  • The Secretary-General's Special Representative for Somalia condemned the killing of a radio and television journalist on Sunday in the capital, Mogadishu.
  • Augustine Mahiga described the killing as “yet another appalling attack" on Somali journalists. He called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
  • Mr. Mahiga noted that four journalists have been killed since the start of the year.

U.N. ANTI DRUGS CHIEF SAYS CRIME UNDERMINES DEVELOPMENT AT MEETING ON CRIME PREVENTION AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

  • The 22nd session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice began on Monday in Vienna.
  • At the opening of the week-long event, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, said that crime undermines sustainable development and hinders access to education and employment.

MYANMAR: U.N. SPOKESPERSON NOTES NEED FOR DIALOGUE WITH COMMUNITIES

  • Asked about recent violence in Myanmar, the Spokesperson pointed to the need for dialogue with communities to build confidence.
  • Regarding the humanitarian situation, he said that UN and non-governmental agencies on the ground have access to internally displaced persons and to deliver life-saving humanitarian aid. However, he noted bureaucratic obstacles that hinder the provision of aid.