HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY,
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
FRIDAY, 14 JUNE 2013
SUDAN: SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS SHELLING OF U.N. LOGISTICS BASE IN KADUGLI, KILLING OF PEACEKEEPER
- The Secretary-General condemned in the strongest terms the shelling of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) logistics base in Kadugli, Sudan. One Ethiopian peacekeeper was killed and two more were injured as a result of the shelling.
- The Secretary-General expressed his condolences to the family of the fallen peacekeeper and to the Government of Ethiopia.
- The Secretary-General urges the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North to immediately suspend hostilities and resume ceasefire negotiations to end the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States.
- Asked about responsibility for the attack, the Spokesperson said that an investigation is under way. The most important thing, he said, is for the Sudanese Government and SPLM North to suspend hostilities and resume negotiations.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONCERNED BY CONTINUING EXPANSION OF ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS IN WEST BANK
- The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by the continuing expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank in violation of international law. He is particularly troubled by reports that planning for hundreds of housing units in the settlement of Itamar, deep into the West Bank, has advanced to the next stage, as is also the case in the outpost of Bruchin. These reports follow other recent announcements in Beit El, near Ramallah.
- The Secretary-General also remains concerned about reports of plans for around 1,000 settlement units in East Jerusalem and steps to authorize four illegal settlement outposts deep in the West Bank.
- These are unhelpful decisions that undermine progress towards the two-state solution. They constitute a deeply worrisome trend at a moment of ongoing efforts to re-launch peace negotiations. The Secretary-General calls on Israel to heed the calls of the international community to freeze settlement activity and abide by its commitments under international law and the Road Map.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY ELECTS NEXT PRESIDENT
- The General Assembly elected Ambassador John Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda as the President of the next session of the General Assembly, in its meeting this morning.
- Speaking after Ambassador Ashe was elected by acclamation, the Secretary-General warmly congratulated the next General Assembly President. He noted the role that Ambassador Ashe played in 2002 when he led negotiations on contentious issues at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, and more recently when he co-chaired Rio+20 negotiations. The Secretary-General also thanked the current Assembly President, Vuk Jeremic, for presiding over such a dynamic and constructive session.
EMERGENCY RELIEF ASSISTANCE REACHES NORTHERN SYRIA, U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY SAYS
- Emergency relief assistance from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reached Al Raqqa, an area of northern Syria which has not been accessible for the past three months, on 9 and 12 June.
- Seven trucks filled with relief goods were confirmed to have reached Raqqa, and the Agency is trying to confirm whether two other trucks also reached the area. This assistance will help some 5,000 persons displaced in that area.
- Asked about the US decision to send weapons to the Syrian rebels, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General, in remarks to the press, said that only a political solution can address this issue sustainably.
- He said he is working very hard with the concerned parties to facilitate the U.S.-Russia initiative to have a peace conference in Geneva as soon as possible. Another tri-lateral meeting will be held on 25 June.
- In response to a question, the Spokesperson confirmed that the Secretary-General had received a letter from the US authorities on Syria and was studying it.
MYANMAR: U.N.-LED CONVOY DELIVERS AID TO KACHIN STATE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN NEARLY A YEAR
- The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar said on Friday that the cooperation between the country’s Government and the Kachin Independence Organization has allowed a UN-led convoy to deliver aid to Kachin State for the first time in nearly a year.
- The 10-truck convoy departed Wednesday for the town of Maija Yang, carrying supplies for more than 5,000 people uprooted by violence.
- The Humanitarian Coordinator, Ashok Nigam, said that this convoy represents a positive step forward by the Government to help all those in need in Kachin.
- He added that it is crucial that this convoy is the first of many, and that regular and unimpeded access to all displaced people in Kachin is sustained.
- Mr. Nigam said that the humanitarian community will continue to deliver assistance in accordance with the humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and operational independence.
HEAD OF U.N. MISSION IN KOSOVO SPEAKS TO SECURITY COUNCIL ON AGREEMENT BETWEEN BELGRADE AND PRISTINA
- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Farid Zarif, spoke to the Security Council this morning on the recent agreement between Belgrade and Pristina.
- Mr. Zarif said that the Secretary-General welcomed the agreement established on 19 April to normalise ties between the two parties. He also added that the Secretary-General encouraged them to take concrete measures towards implementation of the agreement.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
15 – 21 JUNE 2013
(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)
Saturday, 15 June
Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
Sunday, 16 June
There are no major events scheduled for today.
Monday, 17 June
The Secretary-General will begin an official visit to China.
Today is World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.
At 9:30 a.m., the Security Council will hold a debate on children and armed conflict.
At 10:00 a.m., in the Trusteeship Council Chamber in the Conference Building (CB), the fourth session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals will be held.
In Geneva, there will be a press conference by the United Nations Children's Fund on the situation of children in Yemen.
Tuesday, 18 June
In the morning, the Security Council will be briefed on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and Libya sanctions, followed by consultations.
In the afternoon, the Security Council will hold consultations on United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).
Wednesday, 19 June
In the morning, the Security Council will hold an open debate on the maintenance of international peace and security.
At 10:30 a.m., in the Press Briefing Room in the Secretariat Building, there will be a press conference sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations on the situation of children and armed conflict in Mali.
At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 6 in the North Lawn Building (NLB), there will be a panel discussion on “Solvency 2100? Resource implications of ocean acidification”, organized by the Environmental Laboratories of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Thursday, 20 June
Today is World Refugee Day.
In the morning, the Security Council will hold a debate on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.
In the afternoon, the Security Council will hold consultations on Sudan and South Sudan.
At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 6 (NLB), there will be a briefing on “The activities of the Global Counterterrorism Forum” organized by the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) Office.
Friday, 21 June
At 3:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a round-table discussion on “Medical consequences of nuclear accidents: Lessons of Chernobyl and Fukushima”, co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Ukraine and the Chernobyl Project.