HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
WEDNESDAY, 3 APRIL 2013
SECRETARY-GENERAL VISITS MONACO, FOCUSING ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The Secretary-General arrived in Monaco today after his visit to Andorra.
He has just delivered an address to the Constitutional Bodies of Monaco, in which he focused on sustainable development and environment and on the importance of green growth.
- Earlier, the Secretary-General had an audience with Prince Albert, during which they discussed developments in Syria and Mali. They also discussed sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals.
- Tomorrow, the Secretary-General will have further meeting with Government officials in Monaco and intends to speak to reporters before leaving for Madrid. He will also visit a laboratory run by the International Atomic Energy Agency in Monaco. The Secretary-General will have meetings with Spanish officials in Madrid, including the Crown Prince and the Prime Minister, and he will attend the Chief Executives Board meeting, which brings together the senior leadership of the wider UN system.
AT SECURITY COUNCIL, U.N. POLITICAL CHIEF SPOTLIGHTS NEED FOR BOSLTERING CAPACITY OF MALIAN STATE
- Jeffrey Feltman, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, briefed the Security Council this morning on Mali, and he told the Council that strengthening the capacity and legitimacy of the State and the political system at all levels remains a key priority for the UN and for political leaders in Mali.
- Mr. Feltman said that the Secretary-General, in a recent report, has proposed two options for UN engagement in Mali. Under either option the UN would maintain a strong focus on the political aspects linked to the creation of suitable conditions for elections and reconciliation.
- Under Option 1, a UN multidimensional integrated political presence would operate alongside the African Union Mission, AFISMA. The UN would continue its political and human rights activities under a strengthened political mission. The second option involves the establishment of a UN multidimensional integrated stabilization mission under a Chapter VII mandate alongside a parallel force. Under this second option, the bulk of AFISMA would be re-hatted under this UN stabilization mission.
- Asked further about the options, the Spokesperson said it was up to the Security Council to determine what course to take.
U.N. ENVOY VOICES CONCERN OVER VOLATILE SITUATION IN MIDDLE EAST
- Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, is worried about the volatile situation on the ground, including renewed firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel yesterday and this morning, and continued tensions over unresolved prisoner issues. He said that it is of paramount importance to refrain from violence in this tense atmosphere and for parties to work constructively in addressing the underlying issues.
- The renewed violations of the ceasefire risk undermining the understanding reached between Israel and Gaza on 21 November, and unravelling the gradual but tangible improvements achieved since then in the easing of the closure and the security situation in Gaza and southern Israel. The United Nations condemns the indiscriminate firing of rockets into civilian areas and calls on Israel to act with restraint. We will continue to support Egyptian efforts to restore the calm and fully implement the ceasefire understanding as the only viable way to address the unsustainable situation in Gaza.
U.N. OFFICIAL VISITS SOMALIA TO UNDERLINE NEED TO ADDRESS SEXUAL VIOLENCE
- The Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict is currently on her first visit to Somalia.
- Zainab Hawa Bangura’s trip seeks to raise awareness and discuss ways of addressing sexual violence in the country.
- She praised Somali journalists covering the subject, adding that they play an important role in raising awareness.
HAITI: 1.5 MILLION PEOPLE FACE FOOD INESURITY, SAYS U.N. HUMANITARIAN ARM
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today that some 1.5 million people continue to have severe food insecurity in Haiti, mostly as a result of drought and the impact of Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy.
- Malnutrition rates in some areas have risen since October of last year and food shortages are affecting seven of the 10 departments in the country. Nearly 82,000 children under five are malnourished.
- OCHA said that UN agencies and humanitarian organizations are working with the Government to reach hundreds of thousands of people with food assistance.
U.K. NATIONAL NAMED TO SENIOR U.N. MANAGEMENT POSITION
- The Secretary-General has appointed Stephen Cutts of the United Kingdom as Assistant Secretary-General in the Office of Central Support Services of the Department of Management.
- He will replace Warren Sach, to whom the Secretary-General and the Under-Secretary-General for Management are grateful for his commitment and dedicated service to the Organization.
- Since May 2010, Mr. Cutts has served as Assistant Secretary-General for Corporate Affairs at the Commonwealth Secretariat.
U.N. CHILDREN’S FUND, MEXICAN GOVERNMENT LAUNCH POVERTY REPORT
- The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Government of Mexico today launched the study, ‘Child Poverty and Social Rights in Mexico,’ in the capital, Mexico City.
- Mexico’s national averages hide a reality of poverty and marginalization for millions of people, including children, the publication says.
- Through this study, UNICEF aims to help the national institutions fight poverty and inequity.