HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
THURSDAY, 21 JUNE 2012
ENERGY POVERTY TAKES HEAVY TOLL ON WOMEN, SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL
- On Thursday morning in Rio de Janeiro, the Secretary-General met with representatives of civil society and then attended a side event on energy, gender and economic growth.
- And at that event, he noted that women still suffer terrible exclusion in too many parts of the world, with energy poverty taking an especially heavy toll on women.
- The Secretary-General then participated in a side event on “Green Growth for All”, where he said that when we invest in green growth, we benefit the economy and the environment.
- From there he attended an event on youth, where he said that young people want policies that respect people and our planet, and want to know that world leaders are on their side.
- The Secretary-General is also meeting many world leaders on the margins of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development. The Secretary-General met earlier on Thursday with Nepalese Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and with Adam Youssef, Vice President of Sudan. On Wednesday, he had separate meetings with the Presidents of the Dominican Republic, Iran and Tajikistan and the Prime Minister of Australia.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONFIDENT ABOUT RIO+20 OUTCOME
- In a statement on Thursday, the Secretary-General expressed his confidence that the Rio+20 outcome document provides a firm foundation for advancing sustainable development.
- Already a major achievement of Rio+20 is that Governments, corporate leaders, civil society and philanthropists are stepping up with partnerships, funding and ideas. Many of these commitments will be announced on Friday.
- The UN Global Compact is scheduled to present the final outcome text of the Corporate Sustainability Forum to the Secretary-General at Rio+20 today. The outcome text includes more than 200 business commitments supporting sustainable development and a recommendation that business should participate in the creation and promotion of new Sustainable Development Goals.
ANNAN PLAN FOR SYRIA SHOULD BE IMPLEMENTED BY ALL SIDES, SAYS U.N.
- Asked about the fate of the six-point Annan plan for Syria, the Spokesperson reiterated that the plan is not being implemented, but asserted once more that this is the plan that the international community continues to support and that it needs to be implemented by all sides.
- Asked about reports that Syrian rebels are receiving arms, Nesirky said that the Secretary-General and Joint Special Envoy had made clear that further militarization of the conflict was not desirable.
- Asked whether there would be an international meeting on Syria, he said that the topic was being discussed, including on what such a meeting might be called and when and where it might be held.
- Asked whether the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) would be involved in evacuating civilians from Homs, the Spokesperson said that General Robert Mood had called on the Parties to take immediate action to ease the pain of Syrians trapped in the violence and said that the UN Supervision Mission in Syria stands ready to monitor their release, once the decision is taken by the Parties.
- Asked what UNSMIS had determined about killings in al-Houla, the Spokesperson said that the Mission has sent its observations on the al-Houla killings to the Secretary-General for his consideration. The Secretary-General is, in turn, sending these observations to the relevant UN bodies monitoring human rights in Syria.
- Once these bodies complete their work, he said, the findings on this terrible incident will be presented by the Secretary-General to the Security Council.
SECRETARY-GENERAL REGRETS NO AGREEMENT ON IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAMME IN MOSCOW
- Asked on Wednesday about the Secretary-General’s views on the just-concluded talks in Moscow between the E3+3 and Iran, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General regrets that the E3+3 and the Islamic Republic of Iran were unable to reach agreement on concrete and reciprocal measures at their meeting in Moscow.
- The Secretary-General hopes that, in advance of the forthcoming technical and political meetings, the parties strengthen their resolve to quickly achieve a negotiated solution that restores international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.
- In this connection, the Secretary-General appeals to the parties to resume their diplomatic engagement with renewed intensity and with the utmost flexibility.
- The Secretary-General met with President Ahmadinejad of Iran in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.
U.N. FOOD AGENGY DISTRIBUTED FOOD TO MORE THAN 80,000 PEOPLE IN MYANMAR
- According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), recent violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State has resulted in a loss of lives and livelihoods, and widespread damage to property, including the burning of more than 2,000 houses.
- The World Food Programme (WFP) has distributed food to more than 80,000 people.
- The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have helped the Myanmar Medical Association provide healthcare services through mobile clinics.
- For its part, the UN Refugee Agency has provided plastic sheets, kitchen sets and other items to 900 families.
SECRETARY-GENERAL DISCUSSES SITUATION IN SOUTHERN KORDOFAN WITH SUDANESE VICE-PRESIDENT: Asked about reports of fighting in Southern Kordofan, in Sudan, the Spokesperson noted that the United Nations does not have access to that area. He noted that the Secretary-General met with Adam Youssef, Vice President of the Republic of the Sudan, in Rio de Janeiro today. They discussed, among other things, the situation in Blue Nile and South Kordofan including the question of humanitarian access.
U.N. URGES RESTRAINT AFTER RECENT FIGHTING IN GAZA: Asked about recent fighting in Gaza, the Spokesperson noted that, in a recent briefing to the Security Council, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco said, “We continue to condemn all indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel which must stop. We also urge Israel to show maximum restraint.”
SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDING CONSULTATIONS ON SANCTIONS REGARDING SUDAN: The Security Council is holding consultations on Thursday on the UN Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights, as well as on sanctions regarding Sudan.