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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

FRIDAY, 21 JUNE 2013

NEXT ROUND OF TRIPARTITE TALKS ON SYRIA TO TAKE PLACE IN GENEVA NEXT WEEK

  • A new session of the tripartite talks on Syria involving the Russian Federation, the United States and the United Nations will take place next week in Geneva, on 25 June. The United Nations delegation will be headed by the Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi.
  • Meanwhile, UNICEF reports that soaring summer temperatures, overcrowding and worsening hygiene are the latest threats facing some four million children affected by the ongoing conflict in Syria.
    Without enough safe water and sanitation, it is likely that a rising number of children in Syria and those living as refugees around the region will fall sick with diarrhoea and other diseases.
  • As the escalating conflict triggers larger population movements, UNICEF has accelerated efforts to provide sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services, reaching almost 9 million people since the beginning of the year.
  • Asked whether the Secretary-General was encouraged after the G8 meeting about the Syrian peace process, the Spokesperson said that the process was not expected to be easy but added that Mr. Brahimi was proceeding with efforts to move it forward.

SPOKESPERSON: SECRETARY-GENERAL ENCOURAGES D.P.R.K. TO RESOLVE OUTSTANDING ISSUES THROUGH DIALOGUE

  • Asked about UN involvement in the Korean peninsula, the Spokesperson clarified that the United Nations has never had any role in the command of any armed forces deployed in the Korean peninsula. 
  • The Secretary-General continues to encourage the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to build trust with neighboring countries to resolve any outstanding issues through dialogue. He also urges the DPRK to comply with all relevant Security Council resolutions to achieve a verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
  • Asked about the Secretary-General’s reaction to recent remarks by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General had just returned on Friday from his trip to China, so he had not had an opportunity to see the summary of the press conference yet.

SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBERS WELCOME PROGRESS IN LIBYA, VOICE CONCERN AT RECENT BENGHAZI VIOLENCE

  • In a press statement read on camera this morning, the Members of the Security Council welcomed the progress made by the Libyan Government under the stewardship of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and encouraged it to continue this progress, delivering concrete results.
  • Security Council members expressed deep concern about the recent acts of violence in Benghazi, which claimed lives of many people, and called upon all Libyans to rally around their legitimate institutions, both civilian and military. They stressed the necessity to reject violence in all its forms and to resolve disagreements peacefully and through dialogue.

U.N. AGENCIES CONCERNED AT DETERIORATING FOOD SECURITY AMONG PALESTINIANS

  • The heads of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have expressed their concern at deteriorating food security in the West Bank and Gaza, where one in three Palestinian households now struggle to feed their families.
  • The two agency heads visited a Bedouin village between Jerusalem and Jericho today where a food distribution carried out jointly by their two agencies was taking place.
  • Preliminary results of a joint UN survey found that in 2012, a total of 1.6 million people – or 34 percent of households in Palestine – were food insecure, a dramatic rise from 27 percent in 2011. Contributing factors include high unemployment rates, stagnant economic growth, the financial problems of the Palestinian Authority, the continued Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

U.N. WEST AFRICA ENVOY EXPECTED TO RETURN TO GUINEA: In response to recent questions on Guinea, the Spokesperson said that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa, Said Djinnit, who is the International Facilitator of the political dialogue in Guinea, is expected to be back in Conakry on Saturday to pursue his consultations with the parties, as a follow-up to the outcome of the dialogue meeting which took place from 5 to 9 June.

U.N. WELCOMES ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RIGHT TO PEACEFUL PROTEST: Asked about protests in Brazil, the Spokesperson noted that the President of Brazil had acknowledged the right to engage in peaceful protest and welcomed that acknowledgement.

U.N. PEACEKEEPERS VETTED ON HUMAN RIGHTS NORMS: Asked about UN peacekeepers for Mali, the Spokesperson said that all forces going into UN peacekeeping, in Mali and elsewhere, will be vetted regarding their records on human rights norms. 

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
22 – 28 JUNE 2013

(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)

 

Saturday, 22 June

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Sunday, 23 June

Today is United Nations Public Service Day.

Today is International Widows' Day.

Monday, 24 June

In the morning, the Security Council will hold an open debate on “Women and peace and security: sexual violence in conflict”.

At 12:30 p.m., in the Press Briefing Room in the Secretariat Building, there will be a press conference by Mrs. Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister of Women's Rights for France.

At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 7 in the North Lawn Building (NLB), there will be a presentation and panel discussion on “The drug policy debate in Latin America: Recent initiatives by the Organization of American States (OAS), organized by the Permanent Mission of Guatemala, in collaboration with the International Drug Policy Consortium, the New York City Bar Association Committee on Drugs and the Law and the Harm Reduction Coalition.

In Geneva, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) will hold the 12th session of the Working Group on Situations. The session ends on 28 June.

In Geneva, OHCHR will hold the 5th session of the Working Group on the Issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and other Business. The session ends on 28 June.

In Geneva, there will be a press conference on the presentation of the World Investment Report 2013: Global Value Chains: Investment and Trade for Development. (Under embargo until 26 June at 5 p.m. GMT), organized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

In Geneva, there will be a press conference on the new horizons for HIV antiretroviral treatment, organized by the World Health Organization.

In Manama, the Kingdom of Bahrain, there will be the United Nations Public Service Forum and Awards Ceremony from 24-27 June. Award winners from over 28 countries will be honoured on 27 June for their innovative projects in fighting poverty and promoting sustainable development. This year’s theme for the Forum is “Transformative e-Government and Innovation: Creating a Better Future for All”.

Tuesday, 25 June

Today is Day of the Seafarer.

In the morning, the Security Council will be briefed on the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), followed by consultations.

In the afternoon, the Security Council will be briefed on the Middle East, followed by consultations.

At 10:00 a.m., in the Trusteeship Council Chamber in the Conference Building (CB), there will be a special event of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Global Compact on Business for Peacebuilding.

At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 3 (NLB), there will be a panel discussion on “Shaping the post-2015 development agenda: The Least Developed Countries perspective”, co-organized by the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), Southern Voice on Post-MDGs, the International Institute for

Environment and Development, LDC IV Monitor, the United Nations Foundation, and the UNA-USA Council of Organizations.

Wednesday, 26 June

Today is International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

Today is United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

In the morning, the Security Council will adopt a resolution on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) and briefed on the UN peacekeeping operations.

In the afternoon, the Security Council will be briefed on peace and security in Africa, followed by consultations on the Sahel strategy.

At 9:30a.m., in the Press Briefing Room in the Secretariat Building, there will be a background briefing under embargo for the global launch of the Millennium Development Goals Report 2013, which will take place in Geneva on 1 July.

At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 3 (NLB), there will be a high-level panel discussion on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Organization of African Unity/African Union (OAU/AU), organized by the Office of the Permanent Observer of the African Union.

At 11:00 a.m., in Conference Room 1 (CB), there will be a special event on “Sharing best practices in the implementation of the United Nations comprehensive framework on the world drug problem” on the occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and

Illicit Trafficking, co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Italy, Qatar and Thailand and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

In Geneva, the 60th session of the Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters will begin. The session ends on 28 June.

In Geneva, there will be a series of press conference after the meeting of the 24th round of the Geneva International Discussions, by the Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions, Georgia and the Russian Federation.

In Vienna, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will launch its flagship publication The World Drug Report 2013 at a special meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. 

Thursday, 27 June

In the morning, the Security Council will hold a Troop Contributing Country (TCC) meeting on the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS). At 11:00 a.m., the Security Council will hold consultations on Iraq and Kuwait.

In the afternoon, the Security Council will hold a wrap-up session.

At 12:30 p.m., in the Press Briefing Room in the Secretariat Building, there will be an end-of-term press conference by Ambassador Sir Mark Lyall Grant, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations and President of the Security Council for the month of June.

At 3:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a screening of a documentary “West of Memphis”, organized by OHCHR.

Friday, 28 June

At 3:30 p.m., in Conference Room 3 (CB), there will be a global panel on “Moving away from the death penalty –– Wrongful convictions”, organized by OHCHR).