HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
WEDNESDAY, 29 MAY 2013
ON INTERNATIONAL DAY, SECRETARY-GENERAL HONOURS FALLEN PEACEKEEPERS
- Today is the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.
- In a message to mark the occasion, the Secretary-General noted that 111 peacekeeping personnel died last year, and more than 3,100 have lost their lives during the UN’s 65-year history of peacekeeping.
- He said that we salute their bravery and mourn their passing, which was commemorated during a wreath-laying ceremony this morning.
SYRIA SITUATION THREATENS REGIONAL STABILITY, SAYS BAN KI-MOON
- In a message delivered to the consultative meeting on Syria taking place in Tehran, Iran, the Secretary-General says that Syria is disintegrating before our eyes. The chaos is creating fertile ground for radicalism and increasingly threatens regional stability.
- In the message, delivered by the UN Resident Coordinator in Iran, the Secretary-General notes the efforts by Russian Foreign Minister Serguei Lavrov and United States Secretary of State John Kerry to bring the Syrian parties to the negotiating table. He says that these talks are the best opportunity we have had in a year for a negotiated solution and that we cannot afford to miss this opportunity.
- The Secretary-General adds that he is deeply concerned by the reports of countries sending arms to either side in Syria, and by admissions of outside groups that they are participating in the fighting inside Syria.
- This heightens the dangers for Syrians and their neighbors, and he urges all parties to use their influence to help stop the arms flows and persuade outside groups to withdraw fighters from Syria.
- Asked about Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi’s activities, the Spokesperson said that he is busy dealing with leaders in the region and trying to get the parties to the negotiating table.
U.N. ENVOY BRIEFS SECURITY COUNCIL ON CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, LORD’S RESISTANCE ARMY
- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Africa, Abou Moussa, briefed the Security Council this morning on the report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa and on the Lord’s Resistance Army-affected areas.
- In his remarks, Mr. Moussa said that the situation in the Central African Republic continues to have a negative impact on the neighboring countries, particularly in terms of refugee flows and cross-border movements of ex-combatants.
- Regarding the Lord’s Resistance Army, the Special Representative said the implementation plan to support the UN regional strategy to address the LRA threat has been finalized. He said that the next priority is to mobilise resources in support for its implementation.
- Earlier this morning, the Security Council adopted a resolution extending until 30 November the mandate of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).
WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION KEY TO NEW LIBYA – U.N. MISSION
- The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) says that the representation and meaningful participation of women in the Constitution-Drafting Assembly and in the process of drafting the Constitution will contribute to the building of the new Libya.
- The Mission says that promoting women’s rights is a priority and that it will continue in its efforts to offer assistance and support to pertinent national bodies for broader participation by women in the political process.
- The UN Mission will also continue to call for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women with a view to achieving equality with men in enjoying political rights and freedoms.
***The guests at the noon briefing were Hervé Ladsous, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, and Ameerah Haq, the Under-Secretary-General for Field Support. They spoke to reporters on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers