HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
Thursday, 4 APRIL 2013
SECRETARY-GENERAL IN MADRID FOR A U.N. MEETING ON HUNGER, FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION
- The Secretary-General arrived in Madrid on Thursday and was due to speak to reporters with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
- The Secretary-General was also due to attend a high-level UN meeting on hunger, food security and nutrition.
- The Secretary-General was also expected to meet the Crown Prince Felipe on Thursday.
- The Secretary-General arrived in Madrid after wrapping up his visit to Monaco, where he met the Principality's Minister of State and Chief of Government and gave a joint press conference on Thursday.
- At that press conference, the Secretary-General said that he is deeply concerned and troubled by the rising tension on the Korean Peninsula. He called all the parties concerned to play a very important role to calm down the situation. He expressed his hope that the recent measure to restrict the movement of personnel and goods in and out of the Kaesong industrial complex in the DPRK will be lifted as soon as possible.
- The Secretary-General also visited the Environmental Laboratories of the International Atomic Energy Agency to meet staff.
On Friday, the Secretary-General will be chairing the UN Chief Executives Board meeting.
U.N. MISSION IN AFGHANISTAN CONDEMNS ATTACK AGAINST GOVERNMENT COMPOUND IN PROVINCE OF FARAH
- The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) strongly condemned an attack on Wednesday against a Government compound in the south-western province of Farah, which resulted in the deaths of at least 41 civilians, most of whom were civilian Government workers, and injuries to more than 100 others.
- The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that they intended to target civilian Government employees, in particular workers in the courts and prosecutors’ offices.
- The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Jan Kubis, called on the Taliban to follow through on their previous public commitments to protect civilians. With the onset of the spring fighting season, the UN Mission again highlights the obligations of parties to take all necessary measures to protect civilians.
U.N. FOOD AGENCY LAUNCHES SCHOOL FEEDING PROJECTS FOR SYRIAN CHILDREN IN REFUGEE CAMPS IN JORDAN AND IRAQ
- The World Food Programme (WFP) has launched school feeding projects for more than 10,500 Syrian children attending schools in refugee camps in Jordan and Iraq to boost nutrition and encourage children to come to school.
- In Jordan, more than 6,000 children are now receiving a mid-day nutritious snack in the two UNICEF-run schools in the Zaatari refugee camp. The World Food Programme is also providing the snacks to more than 4,500 children in the Domiz camp in Dohuk, northern Iraq, and at two refugee camps in Al-Qaim in central Iraq.
- The agency plans to increase its school feeding programme to feed close to 30,000 Syrian children in Zaatari refugee camp and 6,000 children in refugee camps in Iraq. The UN food agency needs $780,000 to continue its school feeding programme in Jordan and Iraq until the end of the year.
- The World Food Programme must raise $19 million each week in order to provide food assistance to 2.5 million hungry people inside Syria and more than one million refugees in neighbouring countries. That amounts to an urgently needed $113 million to continue operations until June.
SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS CONSULTATIONS ON YEMEN
- The Security Council held consultations on Yemen on Thursday morning. Jamal Benomar, the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor for Yemen, briefed the Security Council on developments there. Mr. Benomar was due to speak to reporters at the Security Council stakeout afterward.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR RAPID RESTORATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
- In a message on Wednesday to the extraordinary summit of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) on the Central African Republic, the Secretary-General called for the rapid restoration of constitutional order and urged the authorities to ensure the restoration of security in the country.
- He also said that he is concerned about the humanitarian situation and by reports of grave violations of human rights, looting, targeted attacks, rape, and recruitment and use of child soldiers in violation of international norms.
- The Secretary-General said that the United Nations is determined to work together with the Economic Community of Central African States, and other partners in the international community, in search for durable solutions to the present crisis.
- The Secretary-General was represented by his Special Representative for the Central African Republic, Margaret Vogt, at this Summit that took place in N'Djamena, Chad.
U.N. FOOD AGENCY PROVIDES ASSISTANCE TO PEOPLE AFFECTED BY CONFLICT IN BLUE NILE STATE IN SUDAN
- The World Food Programme (WFP) said on Thursday that it has started providing urgently-needed food assistance to people affected by conflict in Sudan’s Blue Nile state.
- This is the first time the Programme has distributed food since fighting broke out in September 2011, forcing thousands to flee their homes, many to Ethiopia and South Sudan.
- In the two localities most affected by the conflict, the Programme plans to reach more than 51,000 people.
- Before the start of the fighting, the Programme was providing assistance to some 183,000 people in Blue Nile state.
U.N. CALLS FOR ACCELERATED ACTION FOR ACHIEVING MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
- The United Nations and its partners around the world are calling for accelerated action in the thousand days leading to the target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015.
- The Secretary-General has said that the Millennium Development Goals have helped set global and national priorities, mobilize action, and achieve remarkable results.
- Starting Friday, the actual milestone date, and running through 12 April, the United Nations will work with governments, civil society and international partners to mark “MDG Momentum: 1,000 Days of Action” in a variety of ways.
- In Madrid, Spain, the Secretary-General and young people from the Spanish and European Youth Councils participated in a special event on Thursday afternoon, joined by a number of heads of UN agencies, funds and programmes who are visiting for a senior-level UN meeting.
***The guests at the Noon Briefing were Ambassador Saleumxay Kommasith, the Permanent Representative of Lao People’s Democratic Republic, along with Ambassador Miguel Berger, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany and Assistant-Secretary-General Dmitry Titov of the Office of the Rule of Law along with his colleague Paul Heslop. They briefed reporters on the International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.