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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

TUESDAY, 23 APRIL 2013

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS AN ATTACK ON FRENCH EMBASSY IN TRIPOLI, LIBYA

  • In a statement, the Secretary-General condemns, in the strongest terms, the attack on the French Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, on 23 April and sends his sympathies to the victims and their families. The targeting of diplomatic missions and their staff is not acceptable and never justifiable.
  • The Secretary-General is confident that the Libyan authorities will take every action to ensure that the perpetrators of this attack are brought to justice and that adequate protection for diplomatic premises is provided. The Secretary-General calls on all Libyans to support their Government's efforts to establish strong and effective security institutions.
  • The United Nations remains committed to assisting the Libyan Government and people with the process of building a democratic state and affirming the rule of law. 

SECRETARY-GENERAL AND DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL AT RETREAT WITH MEMBERS OF SECURITY COUNCIL

  • The Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General were at a retreat on Tuesday with the members of the Security Council.
  • The Secretary-General was due to be back in New York City on Tuesday evening.
  • Asked about the discussions during the retreat, the Spokesperson said it was a closed meeting outside of UN Headquarters.

U.N. HUMANITARIAN CHIEF CALLS FOR ACTION TO MAKE HAITI MORE RESILIENT TO DISASTERS

  • The United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, wrapped up a visit to Haiti on Monday with the Co-chairs of the Political Champions for Disaster Resilience, the head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Helen Clark, and the British Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening.
  • Three years after the 2010 earthquake, the Political Champions are calling on the international community and the Haitian Government to take action to make Haiti more resilient to disasters.
  • With the upcoming rainy season only weeks away and the hurricane season approaching, they stressed the urgency of integrating disaster risk reduction into better coordinated and locally driven initiatives to prepare and recover from disasters.
  • The group of Political Champions was formed in 2012 to promote a resilience-based response to climate-related crises.

U.N. SPECIAL ADVISER ON PREVENTION OF GENOCIDE URGES GUATEMALA TO CONCLUDE TRIAL OF FORMER HEAD OF STATE

  • The Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, on Tuesday urged the judicial authorities involved in the trial of former Head of State José Efrain Rios Montt and former Chief of Intelligence José Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez to conclude the case and bring accountability for the crimes committed during the internal armed conflict in Guatemala, which lasted from 1960 to 1996.
  • Mr. Dieng urged the judicial authorities to act responsibly and prevent any attempt at interference, obstruction of justice or manipulation of the law, which would seriously undermine the credibility of the judicial system in Guatemala.
  • The Special Adviser said that this is the first time that a former head of State has been indicted by a national tribunal on charges of genocide and that, with this process, Guatemala has established an historical precedent.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO ATTEND TRIBUTE TO ARCHITECT OSCAR NIEMEYER

  • On Wednesday, the Secretary-General will attend a tribute in the General Assembly Hall to Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and the UN Board of Design.
  • The event will be co-hosted by the President of the General Assembly and will feature rare film footage and photographs of the work of the Board leading up to the construction of UN Headquarters in New York. The event will also be webcast.

U.N. SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR LEBANON REITERATES IMPORTANCE OF RESPECT FOR LEBANON’S SOVEREIGNTY

  • On Monday, the Spokesperson was asked about the recent violence in Lebanon near the Syrian border.
  • Derek Plumbly, the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, would also like to reiterate, as the Security Council has now said on several occasions, the importance of respect for Lebanon’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and the need for all concerned to respect Lebanon’s policy of dissociation and the Baabda Declaration.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS BELIEVES SITUATION IN SYRIA EXTREMELY WORRYING: Asked about the kidnapping of two Syrian bishops, the Spokesperson said that the High Commissioner for Human Rights believes that the situation on the ground in Syria is extremely worrying. Kidnapping and abduction of civilians is a growing concern. All kidnapped and abducted civilians should be released immediately. International humanitarian law prohibits the taking of hostages by any party to the conflict. 

SECRETARY-GENERAL DID NOT APPOINT SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR FALK: Asked about recent comments made by Special Rapporteur Richard Falk, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General did not appoint Mr. Falk, who is an independent expert.

*** The Guests at the Noon Briefing were John Wilmoth, the Director of the Population Division in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and Graeme Hugo, the Director of the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre at the University of Adelaide. They briefed reporters on global migration trends.