HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
TUESDAY, 18 JUNE 2013
TURKEY: SECRETARY-GENERAL CONCERNED URGES MAXIMUM RESTRAINT, PURSUIT OF DIALOGUE
- The Secretary-General continues to closely follow developments in Turkey. He remains concerned about ongoing clashes between protesters and security personnel. He is saddened by the deaths and injuries that have occurred.
- The Secretary-General urges maximum restraint and the pursuit of constructive dialogue in order to resolve differences and avoid further violent confrontation. He believes that stability is best assured through such dialogue and when the rights to peaceful assembly and the freedom of expression are fully respected.
- Also, the High Commissioner for Human Rights has welcomed the Turkish Government’s decision last week to put a hold on further action on the development of Istanbul’s Gezi Park and then to submit the issue to a local referendum.
- Navi Pillay urged the Government and civil society to build on this decision and to act in a manner which would defuse tensions.
SECRETARY-GENERAL DISCUSSES SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE WITH CHINESE CORPORATE LEADERS
- The Secretary-General arrived in China on Tuesday. He met a group of leading Chinese executives whose firms are part of the UN Global Compact network of companies. Their discussions focussed on sustainable development and the fight against climate change.
- On Wednesday, the Secretary-General is scheduled to meet President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The Secretary-General will also visit a peacekeeping training centre near Beijing and speak by video link with Chinese peacekeepers based in South Sudan.
LIBYA: U.N. REPRESENTATIVE SAYS OPPORTUNITIES FOR TRANSITION SHOULD NOT BE OVERLOOKED
- The Security Council held a meeting on Libya today and heard from the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Tarek Mitri, who noted the recent political polarization there.
- Mr. Mitri said that the risks in Libya should not be underestimated, and that the opportunities should not be overlooked. He said that managing the country’s transition is bound to be difficult but added that, despite the gravity of some recent developments, Libyans have not lost their confidence.
BRAZIL: U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE URGES RESTRAINT IN DEALING WITH SPREADING PROTESTS
- The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) urged the Brazilian authorities on Tuesday to exercise restraint in dealing with spreading social protests in the country, and called on demonstrators not to resort to acts of violence in pursuit of their demands.
- The UN Human Rights Office welcomed the statement by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff that peaceful demonstrations are legitimate, and also the agreement on Monday that Sao Paulo police would not use rubber bullets.
- The Human Rights Office called on authorities to conduct prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigations into reports of excessive force.
AFGHANISTAN: U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF CONCERNED ABOUT APPOINTMENTS OF NEW HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONERS
- The Office for the High Commissioner of Human Rights expressed its concern Tuesday about several of the new commissioners appointed to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) by President Hamid Karzai.
- The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has asked her office to carefully review the appointment process to assess whether it complies with the Paris Principles, which is the international standard governing national human rights institutions of this kind, and the Commission’s own statute.
- These require, among other elements, that the process is transparent, that it includes broad consultation throughout, and that members are selected to serve in their own individual capacity rather than on behalf of any organization.
NIGERIA: REFUGEE OUTFLOWS SPREAD TO CAMEROON, U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY SAYS
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said Tuesday that the crisis in north-eastern Nigeria has seen refugee outflows spreading to Cameroon, while people are still arriving in Niger.
- A team from the Refugee Agency visited areas along the Nigeria-Cameroon border in the Far North region of Cameroon and reported the presence of more than 3,000 Nigerians. Crossings began a week ago and most of those who have arrived so far are women and children.
- The Refugee Agency said that the refugees are being hosted in churches and schools. The Agency is working with the authorities to relocate the refugees to safer places away from the border.
SOMALIA: VACCINATION CAMPAIGNS AGAINST POLIO BEGINS FOLLOWING DIAGNOSIS OF CASE, U.N. RELIEF OFFICE SAYS
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that vaccination campaigns against polio began within four days of the diagnosis of a case of the disease in the capital, Mogadishu, on 9 May. Nine more cases have been diagnosed in the city, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
- More than 400,000 children were vaccinated in the districts of Banadir and Afgooye between 14 and 18 May. A second round of vaccinations began on 26 May, targeting 1.6 million children in southern and central Somalia and Puntland, and a third round targeting more than 3 million children across Somalia is planned for this month.
- Population movements mean that polio-free areas in Somalia and the region are at high risk of being affected by the outbreak. The last outbreak of polio in the region in 2005 resulted in 700 cases.
POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT GOALS NEED TO INVOLVE PRIVATE SECTOR, U.N. REPORT SAYS
- A new report submitted to the Secretary-General says the capabilities of the private sector needs to be incorporated in the next development agenda following the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
- The report, Corporate Sustainability and the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda, is the culmination of UN Global Compact consultations and surveys with thousands of businesses in all major regions, in preparation for a discussion that will take place at the UN General Assembly plenary in September.
- It contains business perspectives and recommendations in three areas: determining the core of a post-2015 agenda, including suggested sustainable development goals and targets; how to engage business and investors towards sustainable development goals; and recommending ways that Governments can advance inclusive and sustainable markets.
SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS HEAD OF U.N. TRUCE SUPERVISION ORGANIZATION
- The Secretary-General has appointed Major General Michael Finn of Ireland as the Head of Mission and Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO).
- Major General Finn succeeds Major General Juha Kilpia of Finland, who will complete his assignment on 30 June 2013.
SYRIA: JOINT SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE CONTINUES WORK TO BRING PARTIES TO NEGOTIATING TABLE: Asked about diplomatic efforts concerning Syria, the Spokesperson noted that the Joint Special Representative, Lakhdar Brahimi, is continuing with his efforts to bring the parties to the negotiating table. Mr. Brahimi said recently that it won’t be easy but affirmed the need to continue to seek a diplomatic solution.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONTINUES TO WORK ON ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE PROCESS: Asked about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General continues to work hard to get the parties to the table.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR DIALOGUE AMONG AFGHAN PARTIES: Asked about the planned peace talks in Doha among Afghan parties, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has always called for dialogue among the parties, with the concurrence of the Afghan Government.