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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

FRIDAY, 10 MAY 2013

U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF URGES ACTION TO RESOLVE CONFLICT IN SYRIA, EXPRESSES ALARM AT REPORTED MILITARY BUILD-UP

  • The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said on Friday that reports of massacres allegedly carried out recently by Syrian Government forces and pro-Government militias should spur the international community to act to find a solution to the conflict and to ensure those responsible for serious human rights violations are held accountable for their crimes.
  • She expressed alarm at reports of a major military build-up around the western Syrian town of Qusayr, saying that she feared further atrocities if the area was overrun. And she added that she was appalled at the apparent killing of women, children and men in the village of al-Bayda, among other locations in the Baniyas area.
  • Ms. Pillay added that the scope of violations by anti-Government armed groups has also increased. Abductions and the taking of hostages by some armed groups, including Jabhat Al Nusra, are reported to be increasing, the High Commissioner said.
  • Asked whether the Secretary-General would attend a Syria-related event in Washington, D.C., next weekend, the Spokesperson said he would not.
  • Asked about the four detained UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) peacekeepers, the Spokesperson said that they continue to be held and the United Nations continues to work towards their release.
  • Asked whether the Philippines would halt its participation in UNDOF, Nesirky said no such decision has been communicated to the United Nations.

SUDAN: U.N. AID AGENCIES MOBILIZE RESOURCES FOR NEWLY DISPLACED PEOPLE IN SOUTH KORDOFAN

  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that aid agencies are mobilizing resources to help some 40,000 newly displaced people in Sudan’s South Kordofan.
  • For its part, the UN Children’s Fund is providing health and sanitation supplies to meet the needs of the displaced.

U.N. OFFICIAL VISITS BANGLADESH TO FOSTER DIALOGUE FOR FORTHCOMING ELECTIONS

  • The Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Oscar Fernández-Taranco, is in Bangladesh for a four-day visit to foster dialogue and conditions conducive for parliamentary elections scheduled for later this year. 
  • He is meeting with representatives from the Government, opposition, parliament, civil society and the international community. 
  • This visit is a follow-up to his mission to Bangladesh in December of last year.

U.N. ADVISOR FOR CYPRUS TO MEET WITH LEADERS OF GREEK AND TURKISH CYPRIOT COMMUNITIES

  • The Secretary-General’s Special Advisor for Cyprus, Alexander Downer, will meet with the Leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities on 29 May.
  • Mr. Downer also said that he was encouraged by the recent meeting in New York between the Secretary-General and Mr. Ioannis Kasoulides, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus where discussions centered on the prospects for a resumption of the negotiations.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

U.N. FORCE IN ABYEI RESPONDS ROBUSTLY TO ATTACK LAST WEEK: Asked about an attack last week in Abyei, the Spokesperson said that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations believes the UN force there (UNISFA) responded robustly to that attack.

U.N. FOCUSES ON DEVELOPING REVIEW REPORT IN SRI LANKA: Asked about the UN’s review of its work in Sri Lanka, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations is focusing on putting together a report concerning that review and would then decide on what would be put out in the public domain.

SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFED ON SUBSIDIARY BODIES: The Security Council heard briefings on Friday morning from the chairs of its subsidiary bodies dealing with counter-terrorism and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Council members received updates on the work of the relevant sanctions committees that are handling those topics.

** The guest at the Noon Briefing was Yukio Takasu, the Under-Secretary-General for Management. He briefed reporters on the financial situation of the organization.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
 11 – 17 MAY 2013


(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)

 

Saturday, 11 May     

Today is World Migratory Bird Day (Until 12 May).

Sunday, 12 May

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Monday, 13 May

In the morning, the Security Council will hold a debate on “Peace and Security in

Africa: the challenges of the fight against terrorism in Africa in the context of maintaining international peace and security.

At 10 a.m., in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Chamber in the Conference Building (CB), the ECOSOC will hold a meeting on the theme of “Achieving sustainable development: Integrating the social, economic and environmental dimensions”.

At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room B (CB), there will be a presentation of “Working against trafficking through the multilateral system –– A study of coordination between United Nations agencies at global, regional and national levels”, co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Sweden and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

In Geneva, the Working Group on the Right to Development of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) will begin the 14th session. It will end on 17 May. 

In Geneva, the Conference on Disarmament will begin. It will end on 28 June.

In Geneva, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) will hold an embargoed pre-launch briefing on the 3rd Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction: From Shared Risk to Shared Value: the Business Case for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Tuesday, 14 May

In the morning, the Security Council will hold a debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina.

At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room B (CB), there will be a briefing on “UNODC to fight human trafficking”, organized by UNODC.

At 3:00 p.m., in Conference Room B (CB), there will be a briefing on the upcoming twelfth session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (20–31 May 2013), organized by the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Division for Social Policy and Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

In Geneva, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and International Labour Organization (ILO) will hold a press conference on a joint publication - Shared Harvests: Agriculture, Trade, and Employment. 

Wednesday, 15 May

Today is International Day of Families.

In the morning, the Security Council will be briefed by United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA), followed by consultations.

At 10:00 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be an official launch of the 2013 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction –– From Shared Risk to Shared Value: The Business Case for Disaster Risk Reduction, organized by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), followed by a press briefing at 11:15 a.m.

At 10: 00 a.m., in Conference Room D (CB), Seminar on “Democracy and building resilient communities” (co-organized by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA).

At 3:00 p.m., in ECOSOC Chamber (CB), there will b a briefing by the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) on “The deliberations of the Expert Group Meeting on the Significance of Marine Science and Technology for SIDS and the Importance of Capacity Building and Marine Technologies Transfer to Support the Sustainable Development of SIDS”, co-organized by the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

In Geneva, the World Health Organization will hold a press conference on the publication of the World Health Statistics Report 2013. This year’s issue includes a summary on progress made towards achieving the health Millennium Development Goals. 

Thursday, 16 May

In the morning, the Security Council will hold consultations on Sudan sanctions.

At 9:45 a.m., in Conference Room A (CB), there will be a United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) workshop on “Structure, drafting and adoption of United Nations resolutions”.

At 10:15 a.m., in ECOSOC Chamber (CB), there will be a panel discussion on “Advancing social integration and intergenerational solidarity” on the occasion of the

International Day of Families, co-organized by the Department of Public Information (DPI) and Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

Friday, 17 May

Today is World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. 

At 10 a.m., in Conference Room 6 in the North Lawn Building (NLB), there will be a briefing by the Deputy Minister of Environment of Poland on “Preparation process and negotiations objectives of the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 19), organized by the Permanent Mission of Poland.

At 12:00 p.m., the United Nations AIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé will be the guest at the noon briefing on the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia.