HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
TUESDAY, 25 JUNE 2013
SYRIAN PEOPLE FACING RELENTLESS DESTRUCTION, ENVOY SAYS
Lakhdar Brahimi, the Joint Special Representative for Syria, spoke to reporters in Geneva today before the start of the second tripartite meeting of the Russian Federation, the United States and the United Nations on preparations for a conference on Syria.
He said that, since the previous meeting on that subject on 5 June, the situation on the ground in Syria has hardly improved, with the Syrian people facing relentless destruction, killing, suffering, injustice, and uncertainty.
- Mr. Brahimi added that the events in the city of Sidon in Lebanon yesterday, where more than 50 people were killed, are a stern reminder to all of the risks of the conflict in Syria spreading across the border to neighbouring countries. He supported the statement issued by the Secretary-General yesterday and joined the Secretary-General in expressing support to President Michel Sleiman and to the Lebanese Army.
- Asked about the conference on Syria, the Spokesperson noted that Mr. Brahimi did not see the talks happening in July. He said that the United Nations would work to get the meeting going but added that Mr. Brahimi added that it was not going to be easy.
- Asked about threats to Lebanon’s army, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has repeatedly warned of a threat posed by the spillover of fighting from Syria.
MALI: HEAD OF NEW U.N. MISSION BRIEFS SECURITY COUNCIL ON NATIONAL RECONCILIATION, ELECTIONS
- The Security Council heard a briefing on the situation in Mali this morning.
- The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Mali, Bert Koenders, gave an update by video teleconference on the security situation; the mediation and national reconciliation process; the preparation of elections; and the humanitarian and human rights situations. He said that the Preliminary Agreement, signed last week, was critical because it paved the way to the holding of elections nationwide and also committed the parties to a post-electoral dialogue.
- The Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Herve Ladsous, said that the UN was deploying a mission in a new geopolitical context with asymmetric threats not previously encountered in a UN peacekeeping environment. He added that, if the Council authorizes a transfer of authority to the UN Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) that Mission would then become the third largest UN peacekeeping mission.
- The Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, Ameerah Haq, added that despite formidable constraints the UN was on track to meet requirements for the Mission’s deployment.
U.N. IRAQ ENVOY SPEAKS OUT AGAINST KILLING OF TURKMEN PROTESTORS
- Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, condemned in the strongest terms the killing and injuring of dozens of Turkmen protestors who were calling for more protection, including two prominent Turkmen.
- He said that such attacks aim to heighten tensions in the particularly sensitive region of Tuz Khurmatu. Mr. Kobler urged Iraqi leaders to ensure that communities are protected and to take all necessary measures to defuse such an alarming situation.
U.N.: AWARDS RECOGNIZE SPECIFIC ACHIEVEMENTS, NOT ENDORSEMENT OF GOVERNMENTS’ AGENDAS
- Asked about an awards ceremony being held in Manama, Bahrain, the Spokesperson said that awards are not given to Member States and do not imply endorsement of governments' political agenda. Instead, they recognize specific public institutions for their technical achievements in service delivery.
- The Awards in this case were given to a specific government institution for advancements in the area of e-Government. The e-Government Authority of the Kingdom of Bahrain has been spearheading innovative initiatives utilizing information and communications technology (ICTs) and its ranking in terms of e-government development is among the top in the Arab region according to the UN E-Government Survey.
- The winning institutions are selected through the Committee of Experts on Public Administration, an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
- Asked about human rights in Bahrain, the Spokesperson said that, since the beginning of 2011, the United Nations has called on the Government of Bahrain to defuse tensions and allow peaceful protests, to conduct dialogue and implement reforms, as well as to act in accordance with its international human rights and other obligations.