HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY, DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
FRIDAY, 4 MAY 2012
WORLD PURSUING ROBUST RESPONSE TO TERRORISM, SECRETARY-GENERAL TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL
- On Friday morning, the Secretary-General told the Security Council that while terrorism is a significant threat to peace and security, prosperity and people, the international community continues to pursue a robust and comprehensive response.
- Collective efforts have disrupted attacks and disabled terrorist networks.
- He said that in combating terrorism, the international community must also work as one. This is why he hopes that Member States will decide to create the position of a United Nations Counter-Terrorism Coordinator to promote better coordination, collaboration and cooperation among all players.
- He expressed his gratitude for the contribution of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to create the Counter-Terrorism Centre, and encouraged all member states to contribute to these efforts.
- By working together – from strengthening law enforcement to tackling the underlying drivers of extremism – we can greatly reduce this major threat to peace and security, he said.
SYRIA: NUMBER OF OBSERVERS SET TO REACH 50 SHORTLY
- Ahmad Fawzi, the Spokesperson for the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on Syria, spoke to the press in Geneva on Friday. He said that more than 35 observers had been deployed in Syria, with the number expected to increase to about 50 on Friday.
- Asked about the prospects for the peace plan, Mr. Fawzi said that one of the biggest achievements so far was that the Joint Special Envoy, Kofi Annan, had been able to unify the international community around a single plan. At the same time, he said that there were no big signs of compliance on the ground, although there were small signs of compliance. Some heavy weapons had been withdrawn, and some violence had receded. He underscored once more the need for all violence to stop. We have more details in the notes on his Geneva press briefing.
- Asked whether the Secretary-General concurs with the assessment made by the office of Mr. Annan which said there were signs of improvement in Syria, the Deputy Spokesperson noted that, as the Joint Special Envoy's statement said Friday, there have been small steps taken to improve the situation but that the large steps remain to be taken. He added that General Mood told the media on Thursday that the presence of monitors has helped to calm the situation somewhat and the expectation is that as more arrive this could well increase. The Deputy Spokesperson said it was realistic to say that it will be a slow process, but that it is the only option is to get both sides to cooperate to stop the violence and allow humanitarian relief efforts. He added that the peace plan has brought together the international community.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS CAIRO VIOLENCE
- In response to a question on violence in Cairo on Wednesday, the Deputy Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General condemns the violence in Cairo and expresses his sincere condolences to the victims’ families and people of Egypt.
- The Secretary-General stresses the right of people to demonstrate in a peaceful and orderly manner. He calls on all parties to respect this right and to act to prevent violence, respect human rights and uphold the law.
- The Secretary-General calls for calm and stresses the importance of creating an environment for peaceful, inclusive and credible elections.
U.N. RIGHTS CHIEF TO MAKE FIRST VISIT TO SOUTH SUDAN
- The High Commissioner for Human Rights will make her first visit to South Sudan from 8-12 May.
- While in the country, Navi Pillay is scheduled to meet President Salva Kiir and other senior Government officials.
- She will also hold talks with the South Sudan Human Rights Commission, civil society organizations and others.
- Ms. Pillay also plans to visit the town of Bor in Jonglei State.
U.N. ENVOY TROUBLED BY CONDITION OF PALESTINIAN HUNGER STRIKERS
- Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said he was deeply troubled by reports about the critical condition of at least two detained Palestinian prisoners who have been on hunger strike for more than two months.
- Mr. Serry urges all sides to find a solution before it is too late, and calls on Israel to abide by its legal obligations under international law and do everything in its power to preserve the health of the prisoners.
- Asked about the plight of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, the Deputy Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has called on the Israeli authorities to treat prisoners according to international law.
MYANMAR: SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR END TO VIOLENCE
- In response to a question about the threat of violence in Myanmar between the military and the Kachin, the Deputy Spokesperson said that in his talks with the Secretary-General, President Thein Sein clearly stated that he had called upon the army to halt all offensives in the ethnic areas.
- We do not have any confirmed information of the situation in the conflict areas, but as far as we are aware, the President's directive for a halt of all offensives remains in force though its implementation at the ground level may be complicated due to long-standing differences and tensions on both sides.
- The Secretary-General reiterates his call on both sides to refrain from any provocation and to cease all violence in order to prevent any escalation and to reach a ceasefire without further delay, even while efforts continue to be made for political reconciliation between the government and the armed ethnic groups.
NEW HEAD OF U.N. OFFICE IN SIERRA LEONE APPOINTED
- The Secretary-General has appointed Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen of Denmark as his Executive Representative and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL). Mr. Toyberg-Frandzen will replace Michael von der Schulenburg.
- The Secretary-General is grateful to Mr. von der Schulenburg for his excellent service as the head of UNIPSIL, which has contributed to the peacebuilding and development priorities of Sierra Leone.
U.N. INFORMED OF ATTACKS IN SOUTH SUDAN: Asked about attacks in South Sudan, the Deputy Spokesperson said the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) was informed by the Governor of Unity state of alleged attacks by Sudan Armed Forces against SPLA positions in Panakuach/Hufra as well as in Lalop on 3 May. This information, he added, has not been independently confirmed by the Mission yet.
U.N. YEMEN ENVOY TAKING PART IN MEDIATION EFFORTS: Asked about the situation Yemen, the Deputy Spokesperson said that mediation efforts by Special Adviser Jamal Benomar have helped to defuse recent political tensions and ensure compliance with President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi Mansour’s decree on new military appointments. The Deputy Spokesperson said that Special Adviser Benomar and his team have continued to support Yemeni-led efforts on the transition process, in particular the preparations for an inclusive national dialogue.
U.N. INDIGENOUS PEOPLES EXPERT WRAPS UP VISIT TO U.S.: The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, has concluded his 2-week visit to the United States on Friday.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
5 - 11 MAY 2012
(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)
Saturday, 5 May
Today is the Day of Vesak.
Sunday, 6 May
There are no major events scheduled for today.
Monday, 7 May
This morning, the Security Council will receive a briefing and hold consultations on Guinea-Bissau.
Today, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues begins its eleventh session, which ends on Friday, 18 May 2012. At 1:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference on the occasion of the opening of the session.
Tuesday, 8 May
Today and tomorrow are the Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War.
Today, High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay begins her first visit to South Sudan, which will end on Saturday, 12 May.
This morning, the Security Council will hold consultations on the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS). In the afternoon, it will hold consultations on the 1559 report.
Wednesday, 9 May
There are no major events scheduled for today.
Thursday, 10 May
This morning, the Security Council will receive a briefing on the 1267/1989 Committee (Al-Qaida), 1373 Committee (Counter-Terrorism), and 1540 Committee (nuclear, chemical or biological weapons). In the Afternoon, the Council will receive a briefing and hold consultations on Libya and the Libya Sanctions Committee.
At 12:30 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference to launch the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2012. Speakers will be: Robert Vos, Director, Development Policy and Analysis Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and Amr Nour, Director, Regional Commissions New York Office. This event is sponsored by the Regional Commissions New York Office.
Friday, 11 May
There are no major events scheduled for today.
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, SA-1B15
New York, NY 10017