HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
THURSDAY, 28 JUNE 2012
SECRETARY-GENERAL DUE TO BRIEF GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON RIO+20 AND G20
- On Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. the Secretary-General was due to brief the General Assembly on the Summit of G20 leaders and the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, both of which he attended.
- The Secretary-General was expected to say that at the G20 meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico, he encouraged leaders to focus on reducing poverty, creating jobs and prioritizing sustainable development.
- He thanked President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil and her team for their leadership and was due to note that in Rio we saw the further evolution of an undeniable global movement for change.
- Civil society and the private sector played an unprecedented role.
- He was expected to say that the core of Rio+20 is the outcome document. This provides a firm foundation for building a sustainable future.
ATTACK ON SYRIAN TV STATION “UNACCEPTABLE” SAYS U.N.
- Asked about Wednesday’s attack on a Syrian TV station, the Spokesperson said that the incident is regrettable and unacceptable, particularly since it was an assault on working journalists.
- He said that any violence in the country should be condemned.
- Asked about Lebanese hostages in Syria, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General hopes that those being held will be released as soon as possible.
- Asked about Saturday’s meeting of the Action Group for Syria in Geneva convened by Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan, the Spokesperson said that its outcome cannot be prejudged.
- He added that there will be discussions on Friday at the senior official level.
- He said that the Joint Special Envoy is looking for a productive meeting on Saturday.
Asked about participants at Saturday’s meeting, the Spokesperson said that those not in attendance will be briefed by the Joint Special Envoy afterwards.
U.N. APPEALS FOR $200 MILLION IN HUMANITARIAN AID FOR SYRIA
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and more than 40 other humanitarian aid organizations appealed on Thursday for nearly $200 million to help meet the needs of growing numbers of Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq.
- They had originally asked for more than $80 million in March, but the increasing number of refugees has pushed that figure up to help the nearly 100,000 Syrian refugees.
- In the past three months, humanitarian agencies in neighbouring countries have been registering an average of more than 500 Syrian refugees a day.
- It is anticipated that by the end of the year, there could be 185,000 refugees, due to new arrivals and existing refugees in neighbouring countries requesting assistance or protection.
U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF URGES SUDAN TO ALLOW PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATIONS
- The High Commissioner for Human Rights called on Sudanese authorities on Thursday to ensure that Friday’s planned demonstrations are allowed to proceed peacefully.
- Navi Pillay urged security forces to not resort to violent measures and mass arrests as they have over the past two weeks.
- She noted that dozens of people – including human rights defenders, journalists, students and political opponents – have been arrested since the start of the protests in the capital, Khartoum, on 17 June.
- Ms. Pillay also urged protestors to ensure, on their part, that no violence or damage to property takes place during the demonstrations.
U.N. LEBANON ENVOY “IMPRESSED” BY RECONSTRUCTION EFFORTS
- The United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Derek Plumbly, visited the town of Bint Jbeil in south Lebanon on Thursday.
- He said that he was particularly impressed by the reconstruction efforts that have taken place since the war of 2006 and by the determination of the people to rebuild their homes and livelihoods and by the economic activity and prosperity they have generated.
- Mr. Plumbly said that the implementation of resolution 1701 since 2006 has made possible unprecedented calm in south Lebanon.
- The strong cooperation that exists between the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the Lebanese army and the local population is instrumental in its success.
- He expressed hope that the prevailing calm will continue and that the remaining requirements of the resolution will be met in order to achieve a long-term and permanent ceasefire along the Blue Line.
KARADZIC ACQUITTED ON ONE GENOCIDE CHARGE AT U.N. COURT
- The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) acquitted the former Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, on one of two genocide charges he faces.
- The court, based in The Hague, upheld ten other counts of the indictment.
- The Prosecution charges Mr. Karadzic with a total of 11 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws of war committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995.
- The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is a United Nations court of law dealing with war crimes that took place during the conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990s.
80 DEAD FOLLOWING VIOLENCE IN MYANMAR, REPORTS U.N. HUMANITARIAN AGENCY
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that according to Government estimates, nearly 80 people died and dozens were injured in the violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State earlier this month.
- The Government also reports that more than 52,000 people have been displaced.
- The World Food Programme (WFP) has provided 725 metric tons of food to more than 92,000 affected people in five townships across Rakhine.
- The UN Population Fund (UNFPA), together with the Myanmar Medical Association, continues to provide health care, while the World Health Organization (WHO) is working closely with local authorities to monitor communicable diseases in camps for internally displaced people.
SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES SUDANS: On Thursday morning the Security Council met in closed consultations to discuss the situation in Sudan and South Sudan and matters related to the Counter Terrorism Committee.
MALI SITES PUT ON UNESCO ENDANGERED LIST: Two World Heritage sites in northern Mali have been placed on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger. The members of the World Heritage Committee urged the international community to do everything possible to help protect Timbuktu and the Tomb of Askia. The UN’s cultural organization said the request had been made by the Government of Mali to raise cooperation and support for the sites threatened by the armed conflict in the region.
ECOSOC PRESIDENT TO BRIEF MEDIA: Miloš Koterec, the President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), will be the guest at the Noon Briefing on Friday.