HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
MONDAY, 24 JUNE 2013
SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS ON LEADERS TO PUT AN END TO SEXUAL VIOLENCE
- The Secretary-General spoke this morning at a Security Council open debate on women and peace and security, saying that the UN system is committed to “delivering as one” to end the culture of impunity that prevails regarding sexual violence.
- In his remarks, the Secretary-General said that a Senior Women protection Advisor will be deployed shortly within the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to join those already in place, while others are soon to be deployed in the Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali and Somalia.
- He called on all leaders at the highest political level to voice their unequivocal support for the cause and to follow up with deeds.
- The Secretary-General said that the resolution adopted earlier by the Security Council sends yet another strong signal to perpetrators that their acts will no longer be tolerated.
- The Secretary-General thanked the other speakers today for their work and advocacy, including Angelina Jolie, who is UN Refugee Agency Special Envoy, and Jane Adong Anywar, a lawyer and civil society activist.
LEBANON: U.N. SPECIAL COORDINATOR DEPLORES ATTACKS IN SIDON
- Derek Plumbly, the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, met in Beirut with the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the Security Council, and he said afterwards that he and the ambassadors were unanimous in deploring the recent challenge to the rule of law in Sidon and attacks on the Lebanese Armed Forces there and elsewhere.
- They stressed the importance of the protection of civilians and look forward to the early restoration of order in the city. They expressed their unified support for Lebanon’s President, the institutions of the state and the security forces, and in particular the army, at this difficult juncture.
SECRETARY-GENERAL APPALLED BY KILLING OF FOREIGN TOURISTS IN NORTHERN PAKISTAN
- In a statement issued on Sunday night, the Secretary-General said he was appalled by the reported killing of a group of foreign mountaineers in northern Pakistan.
- The Secretary-General also expressed his deep concern by the mounting terrorist attacks and bombings in Pakistan.
- While reiterating the support of the United Nations to the Government of Pakistan in the face of terrorism and extremism, he urges it to take immediate measures to bring the perpetrators to justice and to ensure security.
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL TO TRAVEL TO AUSTRIA, AFGHANISTAN
- Later today, the Deputy Secretary-General will travel to Vienna to visit the United Nations Office in Vienna (UNOV) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). During his visit, he will participate in and deliver opening remarks at the UNODC Commission on Narcotic Drugs Special Event Launch of the World Drug Report.
- The Deputy Secretary-General will also address the opening session of the 13th Alliance Against Trafficking in Persons High-Level Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE) Conference, and the High-Level Opening of the “Vienna+20” International Expert Conference on the 20th anniversary of the World Conference on Human Rights. He will also hold bilateral meetings with senior Government officials.
- On 27 June, the Deputy Secretary-General will travel to Afghanistan, where he will have bilateral meetings with senior government officials and visit the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UN agencies, funds and programmes in the country. He will also make a field visit.
- The purpose of the visit is to gain a first-hand view of the progress Afghanistan has made and to discuss with Afghan interlocutors their priorities and challenges.
- The Deputy Secretary-General will return to New York on 2 July.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO ADDRESS COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY AT DEMOCRACY PREP HIGH SCHOOL
- The Secretary-General will deliver the commencement address at the Democracy Prep High School this afternoon, and he will urge the college-bound students to reach inside themselves and fulfil the promise of their school to change the world.
- He will mention that there are 61 million children who are out of school in our world, but, under the Global Education First initiative, his goal is to get all of them into school by the year 2015.
‘ARAB IDOL’ WINNER NAMED FIRST REGIONAL YOUTH AMBASSADOR FOR PALESTINE REFUGEES
- Filippo Grandi, the Commissioner General of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), has named 23-year-old Mohammad Assaf as the first UNRWA Regional Youth Ambassador for Palestine Refugees.
- This follows Mohammad winning the Arab Idol crown and reflects his personal commitment to Palestinian refugees and to the Relief and Works Agency.
PARTIES SHOULD EXERCISE RESTRAINT IN ISRAEL AND GAZA: Asked about the exchange of fire in Israel and Gaza, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations would want the parties to exercise restraint and abide by the Ceasefire Agreement.
U.N, RUSSIA, U.S. MEETING ON SYRIA TO BE HELD TUESDAY IN GENEVA: Asked about Syria, the Spokesperson said that there would be a meeting in Geneva on Tuesday of the representatives of the United States and Russian Federation and the Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi.
U.N. IMPRESSES IMPORTANCE OF FULL ACCOUNTABILITY FOR SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN D.R.CONGO: Asked about rapes in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Spokesperson said that the UN Mission there (MONUSCO) continues to impress upon the DRC authorities the importance of full accountability for all those responsible for the grave sexual violations which occurred in Minova late last year. He added that MONUSCO has not suspended overall support to the Congolese Armed Forces.