HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY,
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
MONDAY, 10 JUNE 2013
SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS PRINCE OF JORDAN AS CHAIRMAN OF ADVISORY BOARD ON WATER AND SANITATION
- The Secretary-General has appointed His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan Bin Talal of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as the new Chairman of his Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB).
- The Secretary-General is confident that the new Chairman and the Board members will continue to vigorously address the water and sanitation challenge and mobilize action, resources and political will to improve the life of billions of people around the world.
- In welcoming the new Chairman, the Secretary-General expresses his deep gratitude and appreciation for the skilled and untiring efforts of former Chairman His Majesty Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.
SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS NEW SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR U.N. MISSION IN D.R.C.
- The Secretary-General has appointed Martin Kobler of Germany as his Special Representative for the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
- The new Special Representative succeeds Roger Meece of the United States, who will complete his assignment in July.
U.N. DISENGAGEMENT OBSERVER FORCE IN GOLAN TO CONTINUE WORK
- Asked about the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Golan, the Spokesperson said that the Mission should continue and that the Secretary-General, the Deputy Secretary-General and other UN officials are seeking a replacement for the Austrian forces that are to withdraw from the Mission. The Mission continues to play an important role, he added.
- Asked about a Russian offer of troop, the Spokesperson noted that the Disengagement Agreement and its Protocol between Syria and Israel do not allow for the participation of Permanent Members of the Security Council in UNDOF.
- Nesirky reiterated that Austria’s withdrawal needs to be orderly, noting the situation in the Golan.
- Asked about reports of atrocities in Syria, the Spokesperson said that any crimes which fit the category of war crimes and crimes against humanity will be investigated and those responsible should be held accountable.
LIBYA: U.N. MISSION CONCERNED OVER VIOLENCE IN BENGHAZI
- The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has expressed its deep concern regarding the violence in Benghazi on Saturday that left many people dead and many others injured.
- The Mission calls on all concerned to exercise maximum restraint and reiterates the necessity of resolving disagreements peacefully through dialogue and in a democratic spirit.
- It appeals to all Libyans to reject violence in all its forms and all acts of retaliation. The Mission calls on all Libyans to support national efforts to ensure security and stability throughout Libya.
YEMEN: MORE THAN 90 PER CENT OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PEOPLE RETURNED TO HOMES, SAYS U.N. HUMANITARIAN OFFICE
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that more than 90 per cent of the internally displaced people from Abyan, in Yemen, have returned to their homes.
- The Humanitarian Office notes that declining violence, the availability of essential goods and the resumption of some basic services have encouraged people to return, but they still need help with shelter and agricultural livelihoods.
- Poorer families in Yemen are facing pressure in meeting their daily food needs during the lean season. Most food in Yemen is imported, so Yemenis are extremely reliant on the international market for food supply. The World Food Programme says that the food aid pipeline will be disrupted unless new funding comes through by the end of June.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO SPEAK TO GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON PROGRESS IN GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST HIV/AIDS
- The Secretary-General will speak this afternoon at a General Assembly meeting on progress in the global struggle against HIV/AIDS.
- In his remarks, the Secretary-General is expected to say that since the General Assembly’s 2011 Political Declaration on this topic, the world has moved closer to our goal of no new HIV infections, no discrimination and no AIDS-related deaths.
U.N. WELCOMES CHINA-U.S. DECISION TO PHASE DOWN CHEMICALS ADVERSELY AFFECTING CLIMATE CHANGE
- The Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner, has welcomed the decision by China and the United States to cooperate on phasing down a group of synthetic chemicals in order to combat climate change.
- Mr. Steiner said the announcement, made by President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping at their retreat in California last weekend, could signal a transformational chapter in international cooperation on climate change. He also added that it could pave the way to a universal agreement to combat climate change.
U.N. HEADQUARTERS COMMENCES ‘COOL U.N.’ INITIATIVE FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY
- As in previous years, UN Headquarters has again started the “Cool UN” initiative to demonstrate the Organization’s commitment to using energy wisely. That means that thermostats at Headquarters are set to 77 degrees Fahrenheit / 25 degrees Celsius in offices and to 75 degrees Fahrenheit / 24 degrees Celsius in conference rooms. Landlords of our leased spaces have also been asked to join us in this effort.
- Staff have been encouraged to dress in lighter clothing appropriate for a business setting.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS ON SUDAN AND SOUTH SUDAN TO RESPECT GOOD NEIGHBOURLINESS AGREEMENT: Asked about the situation between Sudan and South Sudan, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General calls on both parties to respect their Good Neighbourliness Agreement of 27 September 2012.
ALL PERSONNEL FOR MALI FORCE MUST MEET REQUIREMENTS: Asked about the human rights records of troops that are to contribute to the UN mission in Mali, the Spokesperson said that all personnel for the current African Union Mission in Mali, AFISMA, will be subject to UN assessment, pre-deployment training and vetting procedures, including the Organization's human rights vetting policy, to ensure they meet force requirements and have the necessary skills to implement the Mission's mandate.
SUDAN HUMANITARIAN WORK PLAN IS 31 PERCENT FUNDED: According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the $984 million Humanitarian Work Plan for the UN and its partners for Sudan is 31 per cent funded. The Office says that some 3.5 million people – including some 1.4 million people living in camps – are currently receiving food aid in Sudan. In South Sudan, the humanitarian community’s $1.16 billion appeal to meet needs is currently 47 per cent funded.