HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
MONDAY, 20 MAY 2013
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO MEET PRESIDENT OF MOZAMBIQUE, ADDRESSES EVENT ON MILLENNIUM GOALS
- The Secretary-General arrived in Mozambique earlier on Monday from Russia. The Secretary-General took part in an event on sustainable development and how to plan for what follows the Millennium Development Goals.
He has also had meetings in Maputo with the leadership of the National Assembly, which is Mozambique's parliament, and the UN Country Team.
On Tuesday, the Secretary-General will meet the President of Mozambique. He will also visit a school to highlight a campaign to end violence against women and deliver a lecture at the Institute of International Relations.
- Over the weekend, the Secretary-General was in Moscow, where he met the UN Country Team, and visited the headquarters of the RIA Novosti news agency and a police academy, where officers from around the world are trained to tackle terrorism, extremism, drugs trafficking and other cross-border criminal activities.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO VISIT D.R.C., RWANDA AND UGANDA WITH WORLD BANK PRESIDENT
- After concluding his visit to Mozambique on 22 May, the Secretary-General will travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which will be the first leg of a three-day joint visit with World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim to the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
- The aim of the joint visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda is to support the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region, following the signing of the Framework in Addis Ababa on 24 February, by these three countries and eight others. The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Mary Robinson, will be part of the joint visit.
- During their stay in the Congolese capital Kinshasa, the Secretary-General and the World Bank President will meet with Congolese Government officials, including President Joseph Kabila and Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo.
- They will then travel to Kigali, Rwanda, where they will meet with Rwandan Government officials, including President Paul Kagame.
- On Friday, 24 May, the Secretary-General and World Bank Group President will travel to Entebbe, Uganda, where they will meet with Ugandan Government officials, including President Yoweri Museveni.
- The joint visit to the Great Lakes region of Africa will conclude on 24 May.
- Subsequently, the Secretary-General will travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he will participate in an African Union Summit to mark the 50th Anniversary of the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). He will also hold meetings on the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region.
- The Secretary-General will depart Addis Ababa to New York on 26 May.
U.N. MISSION IN D.R.C. REPORTS FIGHTING NEAR GOMA
- The United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) says that early Monday morning, fighting broke out in the localities of Kibati and Rusayo, some 12 kilometers from Goma, between combatants of the M23 armed groups and soldiers of the Congolese armed forces.
- The Mission reports that initial skirmishes escalated to the use of heavy calibre weapons, mortars and rocket launchers. MONUSCO also adds that, according to reports, the Congolese armed forces used attack helicopters in one of their operations.
- MONUSCO has expressed its concerns about this incident and the mission is actively pursuing a diplomatic and political solution to contain and end the clashes.
AFGHANISTAN: U.N. MISSION AND U.N. WOMEN URGE IMPLEMENTION OF LAW ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
- The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and UN Women have urged Afghan authorities to step up their efforts to ensure the full implementation of the law on the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW), in line with their international commitments.
- Jan Kubiš, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, said that progress in implementing the law to eliminate violence against women would help deter harmful practices and protect women from violence in their daily lives.
- He added that the law is critical, not just for women and girls, but for all of Afghan society. The international community also has firm expectations of the Government on increasing respect for women’s rights, which can affect the assistance that Afghanistan receives.
- Asked about the recent violent attacks in Afghanistan, the Spokesperson noted the Secretary-General’s concerns about violence on the ground.
WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY: SECRETARY-GENERAL NOTES GOVERNMENTS’ ROLE ON ACHIEVING GLOBAL HEALTH GOALS
- In a message sent to the opening of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, the Secretary-General notes that, with less than 1,000 days of action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Governments are gathering to make key decisions to reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, and combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other diseases.
- In his message, the Secretary-General says that the MDGs have undoubtedly been good for global health. As we shape plans for the post-2015 era, we must draw lessons from where we have succeeded and ensure that benefits are shared equitably. And he adds that we must keep moving towards universal health coverage, so all people can have access to the health services they need without suffering financial hardship. At the same time, Governments must address other pressing health challenges, such as noncommunicable diseases.
- In her opening address to the Health Assembly, WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan noted that the world is facing challenging times, including financial crisis, job insecurity, armed conflicts and large numbers of people leaving on edge, fearing for their lives.
SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES ENGAGEMENT WITH INDIGENEOUS PEOPLE IN DECISION-MAKING
- The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues has opened its 12th session this morning.
- In a message to the opening of the Forum, the Secretary-General said that we must have a better understanding of the views and values of indigenous peoples by engaging them in decision-making and providing a platform for issues affecting their lives and livelihoods.
SECRETARY-GENERAL HAS CONSULTATIONS ON PROPOSED INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR SYRIA: Asked about a conference for Syria, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General has had consultations with a wide variety of actors on a proposed international conference for Syria. He added that negotiations continue about access for the team looking into the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
U.N. MISSION IN SOUTH SUDAN MONITORS SITUATION IN BOMA: Asked about fighting in South Sudan, the Spokesperson said that there have been contradicting reports on the situation in Boma. The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is closely following the situation. As soon as conditions allow, UNMISS will send an assessment mission, which will also determine the Protection of Civilian needs.