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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

THURSDAY, 30 MAY 2013
 

SECRETARY-GENERAL RECEIVES REPORT ON POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA

  • The Secretary-General received on Thursday the Report of his High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.  The report was delivered at a ceremony attended by Panel co-Chair President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia on behalf of his fellow co-Chairs, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom.  The Secretary-General expressed his gratitude to the co-Chairs for their leadership and to the Panel Members for their diligence and commitment.
  • The Secretary-General praised the Panel for its inclusive approach and extensive consultations over the past year. He welcomed the Panel’s recognition that the post-2015 development agenda should be universal, applying to North and South alike, and be infused with a spirit of partnership based on equity, cooperation and mutual accountability.
  • He commended the transformative shifts identified by the Report, specifically the call to put sustainability at the centre of the post-2015 development agenda. He emphasized that sustainability is not just an environmental matter, but an approach that would integrate the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development, as agreed at the Rio + 20 Conference. The Secretary-General welcomed the attention to youth, as well as to inclusive growth and employment creation. The Secretary-General also welcomed the Report’s recognition that peace, human rights, rule of law and good governance are core foundations for development.
  • The Secretary-General stated that the Report is an important milestone and provides a substantial contribution to the post-2015 debate as Member States continue their deliberations on a new development agenda.
  • The Secretary-General transmitted a copy of the Report to the President of the General Assembly for circulation to all Member States. The Report will also be made public later today.

U.N. ENVOY IN IRAQ EXPRESSES DISMAY AT NEW WAVE OF ATTACKS

  • Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, expressed his dismay at the horrific toll of lives lost following the new wave of attacks against innocent civilians, particularly targeting Baghdad.
  • Mr. Kobler also condemned the car bomb attack against the Anbar governor’s convoy, which led to the injury of four of his escorts.
  • He warned that systemic violence is ready to explode at any moment if all Iraqi leaders do not engage immediately to pull the country out of this mayhem.

U.N. MISSION IN AFGHANISTAN CONDEMNS ATTACK ON OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS

  • The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) strongly condemns the attack that took place on an office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the city of Jalalabad on Wednesday. The Mission was informed that two ICRC staff members – one national and one international – were injured in the attack, while one national security guard was killed.
  • The Mission notes that the International Committee of the Red Cross plays a critical and impartial humanitarian role in Afghanistan. It stresses that attacks on humanitarian and medical personnel are strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law. It emphasizes that all medical and humanitarian personnel in the country must be respected and protected at all times.

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY CHIEF CONCERNED OVER SAFETY OF NINE NORTH KOREANS DEPORTED FROM LAOS TO CHINA

  • The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, expressed on Thursday his grave concern over the safety and security of nine North Koreans who were reported deported from Laos to China.
  • The UN Refugee Agency is concerned that the nine North Koreas –including five children – did not have a chance to have their asylum claims assessed.
  • Mr. Guterres called on States to adhere to the principle of non-refoulement and to refrain from any future measure that could directly or indirectly lead to the return of a person to a country where his or her life or freedom would be threatened.

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY SAYS THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE FLED JONGLEI STATE, SOUTH SUDAN, DUE TO VIOLENCE

  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says that more than 19,000 people have fled so far this year from South Sudan’s Jonglei State into neighbouring countries due to violence and insecurity.
  • From 7 to 24 May, UNHCR registered around 6,000 displaced people, including 4,000 in Ethiopia alone. Some 12,000 of them have fled to Ethiopia, while the rest have sought refuge in Kenya and Uganda.
  • An inter-agency assessment mission has found that over 13,000 people were affected by a cattle raid in Upper Nile State on 18 May. UN agencies and humanitarian partners are mobilizing support to deliver assistance, particularly to meet the urgent food needs of the displaced communities.
  • Humanitarian organizations concluded a mass immunization campaign against a meningitis outbreak in Upper Nile State which was declared on 30 April. More than 123,000 people were vaccinated in May.

U.N. DEPUTY HUMANITARIAN CHIEF CONCLUDES VISIT TO DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

  • The Deputy Humanitarian Chief, Kyung-wha Kang, concluded her four-day mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo today following a visit to Mulamba village in South Kivu province.
  • The village is now home to many people who have fled conflict in other parts of eastern DRC.
  • Ms. Kang met with displaced and host communities who expressed the urgent need for emergency aid as well as longer-term assistance to help rebuild their lives.
  • She also visited a WFP food distribution site and saw other ways in which UN agencies and humanitarian partners are trying to reach people with lifesaving aid.
  • On Wednesday, Ms. Kang visited the Panzi Hospital which specializes in health and psychological treatment for women who have been raped or subjected to other forms of sexual violence.  

U.N. CHILDREN’S FUND CALLS FOR MEASURES TO FIGHT DISCRIMINATION AGAINST CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES

  • In its annual State of the World’s Children’s report released on Thursday, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says that children with disabilities and their communities would both benefit if society focused on what those children can achieve, rather than what they cannot do.
  • The report says that more efforts to support integration of children with disabilities would help tackle the discrimination that pushes them further into the margins of society.
  • The report urges governments to ratify and implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to support families so that they can meet the higher costs of caring for children with disabilities.
  • It also calls for measures to fight discrimination among the general public, decision-makers and providers of such essential services as schooling and health care.

U.N. SAYS THAT IF ENACTED A TWO-CHILD POLICY IN MYANMAR WOULD BE CONSIDERED DISCRIMINATORY

  • In response to a question, the Spokesperson noted reports that local authorities in Myanmar have decided to enact a two-child policy in two townships of Rakhine state which are predominantly Muslim.
  • If enacted, he said, this policy would be considered discriminatory and would infringe upon the fundamental human rights of the Muslim and/or Rohingya communities in those places.  UN human rights mechanisms have previously addressed this issue and have called upon the authorities to remove such policies or practices.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SPECIAL ENVOY FOR THE SAHEL BASED NEAR U.N. OFFICES IN ROME: Asked about Romano Prodi, the Special Envoy for the Sahel, the Spokesperson noted that he was based in Rome, near U.N. offices, including the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Programme, that are working in the Sahel.

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONTINUES TO PUSH FOR DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION IN SYRIA: Asked about the fighting in Syria, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General continues to push for a diplomatic solution. He said that work is continuing to try to get the parties to the negotiating table.

SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS CONSULTATIONS ON CYPRUS: The Security Council held a private meeting on Thursday morning to wrap its work during Togo’s May Presidency of the Council. It also held consultations on Cyprus.