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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 EDUARDO DEL BUEY,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

FRIDAY, 24 MAY 2013
 

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO VISIT ADDIS ABABA AND MEET WITH AFRICAN LEADERS

  • The Secretary-General is on his way to Addis Ababa to attend events celebrating 50 years of the Organization of African Unity and the African Union.
  • The Secretary-General is scheduled to have a number of bilateral meetings with African and other leaders while in Addis Ababa over the weekend. He will also convene a meeting on Saturday of the oversight mechanism for the Framework Agreement for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
  • Earlier on Friday, the Secretary-General flew from Rwanda to Uganda, where he had meetings in Entebbe with President Museveni and Ugandan Government ministers, along with the World Bank President. The Secretary-General and the World Bank President spoke to reporters in Uganda and also in Kigali before leaving Rwanda.
  • The Secretary-General is due back in New York on Monday.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO ATTEND TOKYO INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT

  • The Secretary-General will depart New York on Thursday, 30 May, to attend the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, known as TICAD V, in Yokohama, Japan.
  • On Saturday, 1 June, the Secretary-General will deliver one of the keynote speeches at the Conference’s opening, which will commemorate the 20th anniversary of TICAD and the 50th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity.
  • He will also attend the award ceremony of the Second Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize, which recognizes individuals or organisations which have made outstanding achievements in the fields of medical research and medical services to combat infectious and other diseases in Africa.
  • On Sunday, 2 June, the Secretary-General will take part in TICAD V sessions on themes including the post-2015 development agenda and peace and stability.
  • He will also take part in a high-level event – hosted by the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Japan – on the theme, “Building Climate and Disaster Resilience for African Development.”
  • On the margins of TICAD V, the Secretary-General will hold bilateral meetings with leaders of countries attending the Conference.
  • The Secretary-General will return to New York on Monday, 3 June.

AFGHANISTAN: U.N. MISSION REPORTS ATTACK IN KABUL

  • The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, reports that there was an attack on Friday in Kabul, which involved the compound of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
  • As a result of the attack, three IOM staff and one International Labour Organization (ILO) staff were wounded. One of the three IOM staff was seriously wounded. All are receiving medical attention. All UN staff in the capital are accounted for. We send our sympathies to those hurt.
  • We keep monitoring the situation for developments. The safety and security of our staff remains a priority for us.

NIGER: SECURITY COUNCIL, SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS TERRORIST ATTACKS

  • In a press statement issued this morning, the members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks that occurred on Thursday in Agadez and Arlit, Niger. The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring the perpetrators of these acts to justice, and urged all States to cooperate actively with the Nigerien authorities in this regard.
  • The Secretary-General strongly condemned the two suicide bombings which took place in Niger, in a statement we issued on Thursday.
  • The Secretary-General reiterated the support of the United Nations to the efforts of the Government of Niger and other countries in the Sahel region to combat the scourge of terrorism and transnational crime, in close collaboration with the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States and the Economic Community of Central African States.

SYRIA: GROWING NUMBERS OF PEOPLE CONTINUE TO SEEK SAFETY AND ASSISTANCE, SAYS U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY

  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says that it expects that growing numbers of people will continue to seek safety and assistance across international borders as the violence in Syria continues.
  • The Refugee Agency commends the neighbouring governments of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq for hosting more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees so far and recognizes the heavy burden the refugee influx is placing on their societies.
  • While governments have given assurances that borders will remain open, UNHCR is concerned about reports that many Syrians trying to flee may be backed up at the borders in areas that are extremely dangerous.
  • The Refugee Agency calls on all parties to protect civilians and allow safe passage for those wishing to flee. It also encourages all countries, not just those bordering Syria, to keep their borders open to offer protection to Syrian refugees.

U.N. COORDINATOR FOR LEBANON MEETS WITH LEBANON’S CARETAKER MINISTER OF INTERIOR

  • Derek Plumbly, the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, met with Lebanon’s caretaker Minister of Interior, Marwan Charbel, in Beirut on Friday.
  • Speaking to reporters afterward, Mr. Plumbly expressed his concerns about the continued fighting in Tripoli. He said that there is no excuse for the fighting and that it must stop for the sake of Lebanon, as soon as possible.  He urged all political leaders and all those with influence to do everything they can to enable the army and the security forces to control the situation and restore peace and normality in the city.

GUATEMALA: U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE CONCERNED ABOUT RIGHTS OF VICTIMS TO OBTAIN REMEDIES

  • The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) on Friday said that it is concerned about the rights of victims in Guatemala to obtain remedies.
  • This comes amid continued legal uncertainty about what the ruling of the Constitutional Court – annulling the verdict convicting the former de facto head of State, José Efraín Ríos Montt, for genocide and crimes against humanity – means in practice.
  • On 10 May, the High Commissioner for Human Rights welcomed the sentence by the first instance court.
  • The Human Rights Office says that the victims have waited three decades for justice for atrocities committed against the Ixil population, and it is unfortunate that a verdict of such importance has been annulled on procedural grounds.

ONLY 18 PER CENT CHILDREN IN LOW-INCOME COUNTRIES RECEIVE DAILY MEAL AT SCHOOL, SAYS FOOD PROGRAMME

  • The State of School Feeding Worldwide report is being launched on Friday by the World Food Programme (WFP).
  • According to that report, around 368 million children – or about one out of every five – get a meal at school every day in 169 developing and developed countries. Yet in low-income countries, where children are most likely to be poor and hungry, only 18 percent receive a daily meal at school, compared to nearly 49 percent of children in middle-income countries.

U.N. DEPUTY HUMANITARIAN CHIEF TO VISIT D.R.C. TO TAKE STOCK OF ONGOING HUMANITARIAN OPERATIONS

  • The Deputy UN Humanitarian Chief, Kyung-wha Kang, is expected to visit the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 27 to 30 May to take stock of the ongoing humanitarian operations in the country.
  • Millions of people in the DRC are affected by recurring violence, instability and displacement. This year alone, fighting in North and South Kivu, eastern DRC, has led to the displacement of around 140,000 people.   
  • Providing relief and protection to civilians remains a priority for the humanitarian community, but insecurity and poor infrastructure continues to make it hard to reach communities affected conflict.
  • Ms. Kang is also scheduled to meet with senior Government officials, representatives from the UN and donor community in Kinshasa to discuss ways to strengthen the link between the humanitarian, peace, security and development agendas.

U.N. MISSION IN D.R.C. SAYS PEACEKEEPERS PROTECTED DISPLACED PEOPLE FOLLOWING CLASHES

  • The UN Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) says that on Wednesday, a crowd of Internal Displaced People (IDP) gathered outside one of its bases in North Kivu province following clashes between the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) and the M23 armed groups in Munigi, near Goma.
  • MONUSCO says that peacekeepers took care and protected these displaced people by transferring them to the nearest safe location, where security is provided. The transfer of the refugees to an IDP camp was decided on security grounds.
  • MONUSCO reaffirms its commitment to continue to protect civilians, particularly in the current volatile situation in North Kivu.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

U.N. NOT INFORMED OF AUSTRIA DEPARTURE FROM GOLAN FORCE: Asked whether Austria might leave the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), the Spokesperson reiterated that the United Nations has not been informed by Austria of any plans for a departure.

SECRETARY-GENERAL BELIEVES USE OF UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES MUST BE IN COMPLIANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL LAW: Asked about drones, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General believes that any use of unmanned aerial vehicles must be in strict compliance with international humanitarian law.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
 25 – 31 MAY 2013


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

Saturday, 25 May     

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Sunday, 26 May

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Monday, 27 May

Today is an official holiday at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

In Geneva, the 23rd session of the Human Rights Council and the 63rd session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child will begin. The sessions will end on 14 June.
In Geneva, there will be a daily briefing on the World Health Assembly by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Tuesday, 28 May

At 1:30 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press briefing on preparations for the 2014 World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, as part of the ongoing session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

In Geneva, there will be a daily briefing on the World Health Assembly by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In Geneva, there will be a press conference by Mr. François Crépeau, Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the annual report to the Human Rights Council on the management of the external borders of the EU and its impact on the human rights of migrants.

Wednesday, 29 May

Today is International Day of UN Peacekeepers.

In the morning, the Security Council will adopt a resolution on the extension of the mandate of United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), followed by a briefing on the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA).

At 10:00 a.m., in the United Nations Visitors Lobby, the Secretary-General will oversee a solemn wreath-laying ceremony in honour of all fallen peacekeepers. At 10:30 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, the Secretary-General will make remarks at a ceremony at which the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal will be awarded posthumously to 103 military, police and civilian personnel who lost their lives while serving in peacekeeping operations in 2011. 

At 12:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, Mr. Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations and Ms. Ameerah Haq, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, to be the guests at the Noon Briefing to brief on the occasion of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.

In Geneva, there will be a press conference by WHO on No Tobacco Day 2013.

Thursday, 30 May

In the morning, the Security Council will hold a private meeting on the implementation on the wrap-up session, followed by consultations on Cyprus.

At 10:00 a.m., in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Chamber of the Conference Building (CB), there will be the Sixth Meeting of States Parties to the International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

At 11:00 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by Mr. Ivan Simonovic, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights to brief on his recent mission to Central Asia.

At 12:30 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a background briefing for press on the report of the Secretary-General's High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

At 1:30 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press briefing by indigenous peoples' representatives on highlights from the 12th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which will close on 31 May.

In Geneva, there will be a special event on the commemoration of International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. The event will include a flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony at the United Nations Memorial, located in the Ariana Park, in the Palais des Nations. 

In Geneva, there will be a press conference by Mr. Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, on the annual report to the Human Rights Council on lethal autonomous robotics, and his reports on the country visits to Turkey and India, conducted in 2012.  

Friday, 31 May

Today is World No-Tobacco Day.

At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 7 in the North Lawn Building (NLB), there will be a special event on “Sustainable technologies for a resilient future”, organized by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

In Geneva, there will be a press conference by Mr Claudio Grossman, Chairperson of the Committee Against Torture and other Committee members.