HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY, DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR
SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
WEDNESDAY, 25 APRIL 2012
SECRETARY-GENERAL SPEAKS AT SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING ON “THREATS To INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY”
- In his remarks to the Security Council Wednesday morning on “Threats to International Peace and Security”, the Secretary-General said insecure borders enable the trafficking of drugs, weapons, contraband, terrorist funding, materials related to weapons of mass destruction, conflict minerals, wildlife and people.
- The illicit flows that pose the gravest threat are of course those related to the possible terrorist acquisition of weapons of mass destruction.
- Fragile and vulnerable countries, some of them devastated by war, others struggling to transform themselves, often lack the capacity to overcome the conditions that allow these crimes to flourish.
- Regional cooperation is a key to addressing both illicit flows and human trafficking. So are legal tools.
- He urged Member States to ratify and implement the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols, as well as the UN Convention against Corruption and the legal instruments against terrorism.
SECRETARY-GENERAL DEEPLY TROUBLED BY ISRAEL’S APPROVAL OF WEST BANK OUTPOSTS
- The Secretary-General issued a statement on Tuesday in which he is deeply troubled by the decision of the Government of Israel to formally approve three outposts in the West Bank: Sansana, Rechelim and Bruchin.
- The Secretary-General reiterates that all settlement activity is illegal under international law. It runs contrary to Israel’s obligations under the Road Map and repeated Quartet calls for the parties to refrain from provocations.
- The Secretary-General is disappointed that such a decision comes at a time of renewed efforts to restart dialogue.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONCERNED ABOUT THE SITUATION IN BAHRAIN
- A statement on Bahrain has been issued in which the Secretary-General says he remains concerned about the situation in Bahrain, particularly with regard to the continuing clashes between security forces and protesters which have resulted in more casualties.
- The Secretary-General reiterates his appeal to all sides for utmost restraint and an immediate end to the violence.
- The Secretary-General also calls on the Bahraini authorities to fully respect the fundamental human rights of the Bahraini people, including due process concerning all detainees.
- In this regard, he is concerned about the situation of Mr. Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who remains on a hunger strike in detention.
- The Secretary-General once again urges the Bahraini authorities to resolve Mr. Al-Khawaja’s case based on due process and humanitarian considerations without any further delay.
U.N.: $840 MILLION US DOLLARS NEEDED TO ASSIST PEOPLE AFFECTED BY FLOODING AND INSECURITY IN PAKISTAN
- On Wednesday, John Ging, Director of Operations of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) visited the Jalozai camp in Pakistan and commended the effectiveness of the partnership between aid agencies and the Government of Pakistan in addressing the ongoing needs of some 7.2 million people affected by flooding and insecurity.
- Mr. Ging said that he’s truly impressed at the speed and standard of the response. Now our preoccupation is with funding, as many agencies will run out of money by the end of May.
- According to OCHA, in northwest Pakistan, thousands of people fleeing security operations in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have been arriving in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on a daily basis. Since 20 January 2012, a further 200,000 people have fled security operations in Khyber Agency, increasing the total number of people displaced from FATA overall to 700,000 people.
- The Early Recovery Framework launched jointly by the UN and the Government in February includes building resilience against future crises by developing early warning systems and constructing homes which will withstand natural disasters.
- The Government, donors, UN agencies and their implementing partners have given hundreds of millions of dollars to save lives and support recovery in Pakistan. The UN estimates that a further US$840 million dollars is needed to help families to recover from the effects of flooding and insecurity.
SECRETARY-GENERAL ANNOUNCES NEW APPOINTMENTS FOR SENIOR OFFICIALS
- On Wednesday, the Secretary-General has appointed three senior officials.
- Mr. Yukio Takasu of Japan has been selected as Under-Secretary-General for Management, replacing Ms. Angela Kane. Mr. Takasu is currently serving as the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Human Security.
- Ms. Ameerah Haq of Bangladesh has been selected as Under-Secretary-General for the Department of Field Support, replacing Ms. Susana Malcorra. Ms. Haq is currently serving as Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Timor Leste and Head of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor Leste (UNMIT).
- Mr. David Muchoki Kanja of Kenya has been selected for the newly created position of Assistant Secretary-General for the Office of Internal Oversight Services. Mr. Kanja is currently serving as the Director of the UNICEF Office of Internal Audit.
- Additional announcements will be made in the coming weeks on other senior positions as the relevant selection processes are completed.
U.N. WORKSING EFFICIENTLY TO SEND OBSERVERS IN SYRIA AT THE QUICKEST POSSIBLE PACE: Asked about the deployment of observers in Syria, the Deputy Spokesperson said that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and the Department of Field Support (DFS) were working rapidly and efficiently to ensure deployment at the quickest possible pace. He added that the Security Council resolution authorizing the deployment was passed only four days ago. He said that the UN was moving at a fast pace and that with the cooperation and support of the Troop Contributing Countries, it expected this deployment to be completed as soon as possible.
SECRETARY-GENERAL BELIEVES SOME REFORM OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL IS NEEDED: Asked if the Secretary-General was in favour of broadening the permanent membership of the Security Council to India, the Deputy Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General believed that some reform of this organ was needed but that the formula and modalities of this reform was a question for the Member States.
U.N. OFFICIAL SAYS RESTRICTIONS ON NGOS UNDERMINING HUMAN RIGHTS: Recent moves in a number of countries to limit the freedom of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are seriously undermining human rights, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said on Wednesday, urging governments to revise proposed laws that would restrict their capacity to operate independently and effectively.
U.N. WELCOMES THE LAUNCH OF THE ATROCITIES PREVENTION BOARD BY THE UNITED STATES: The Special Advisers of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Francis Deng, and on the Responsibility to Protect, Edward Luck, issued a joint statement earlier, welcoming the launch of the inter-agency Atrocities Prevention Board by the United States. The Special Advisers recognize the critical role such initiatives can play in meeting our individual and collective responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, as well as their incitement. In this regard, they call on Member States to share their best practices and lessons learned, so that the collective effort can be more than the sum of its parts.
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