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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, 28 JUNE 2013

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL STRESSES RIGHT OF PEOPLE TO DEMONSTRATE PEACEFULLY IN EGYPT

  • In a statement issued on Thursday, the Secretary-General noted that there are many strong and opposing opinions being expressed in Egypt.  He strongly encourages Egyptians to remain committed to the universal principles of peaceful dialogue and non-violence. The Secretary-General stresses the right of people to demonstrate peacefully and calls on all parties to respect this right and to uphold the law.
  • The Secretary-General recognizes the need for the continued strengthening of democratic processes and an inclusive environment in which the Egyptian people can discuss and resolve their differences. The international community has a duty to accompany this transition with sustained interest and meaningful contributions in the interest of all Egyptians.

U.N. HUMANITARIAN CHIEF TO VISIT LEBANON NEXT WEEK

  • UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos will visit Lebanon from 1 to 2 July, to look at the impact of the crisis in Syria on people who have fled the conflict and the communities hosting them in Lebanon. Ms. Amos is expected to meet key Government officials and representatives from UN agencies and non-Governmental organizations to discuss the humanitarian challenges and response in Lebanon. 
  • Since the start of the crisis in March 2011, more than half a million people have fled to Lebanon. The UN Refugee Agency estimates that the number could reach 1 million by the end of the year if the situation in Syria does not improve.
  • The humanitarian community and local authorities in Lebanon need more support to respond to the growing needs of refugees and host communities. The Syria Refugee Response Plan for Lebanon, which seeks $1.7 billion for 2013, is only 15 per cent funded so far.

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY IS STRENGTHENING ITS ROLE IN HELPING OUT-OF-COUNTRY VOTING FOR MALIAN REFUGEES

  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Friday that it is strengthening its role in helping neighbouring countries deal with out-of-country voting for Malian refugees before the 28 July presidential elections in Mali.
  • Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania together host 175,000 Malian refugees from the recent conflict there.
  • The UN Refugee Agency is supporting the participation of refugees in these elections, although its role is limited to a strictly humanitarian and non-political one. It is providing refugees with practical information on their right to participate in the elections and it is also providing some transportation.
  • UNHCR has previously facilitated out-of-country voting by refugees in South Sudan in 2011, in Iraq in 2010 and in Afghanistan in 2004.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO SPEAK ON DEATH PENALTY

  • The Secretary-General was due to speak at a high-level event on the death penalty on Friday afternoon, in which he was expected to say that the taking of life is too absolute, too irreversible, for one human being to inflict on another, even when backed by legal process.  
  • He was expected to say that the General Assembly’s call for a global moratorium on executions is a crucial stepping stone in the natural progression towards full worldwide abolition.

U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF SAYS APPOINTMENTS TO AFGHANISTAN HUMAN RIGHTS BODY COMPROMISE ITS INDEPENDENCE

  • The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, warned on Friday that recent appointments to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission compromise its independence and effectiveness and undermine its high standing with the public and international partners.
  • Under the Commission’s founding law, Commissioners are required to have a good reputation, demonstrate independence, enjoy popular trust and have a commitment to human rights. Commissioners should also not belong to any political party during their term of office.
  • Ms. Pillay said that serious concerns have been raised whether the new commissioners meet these important eligibility standards.

U.N. HAS REORGANIZED BROADCAST SERVICES AT HEADQUARTERS

  • Asked about broadcast services at UN Headquarters, the Spokesperson said that the Broadcast and Conference Support Section (BCSS) was reorganised in 2010, and in 2011, a total of 17 new staff positions were created to manage and maintain the new systems.
  • These new staff have been instrumental in creating training materials and a certification of training for the operators, i.e. sound technicians, camera operators and studio technicians.
  • Most of the contractual technicians currently working at the UN have availed themselves of the opportunity to be trained and certified on the new technology. However, it is the sole responsibility of the contractor to hire and provide the contractual workforce.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
29 JUNE – 5 JULY 2013


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

 

Saturday, 29 June

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Sunday, 30 June

There are no major events scheduled for today.

Monday, 1 July

Today, the United States will assume the rotating Presidency of the Security Council for July.

Today, the Secretary-General will be in Geneva to participate in the opening of the high-level segment of the annual meeting of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and the launch of the 2013 Global Innovation Index of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Then he will travel to Iceland, where he will meet senior Government officials. Later, the Secretary-General will travel to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he will inaugurate the UN-City and meet with senior Government officials.

In Geneva, the Secretary-General will address the press at a stakeout.

In Geneva, the Economic and Social Council substantive session of 2013 will begin. It will end on 26 July 2013.

In Geneva, there will be a press conference by WIPO on its new Global Innovation Index. Speakers will include Francis Gurry, WIPO Director General.

In Geneva, there will be a press conference to launch the new joint report by the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development and Cisco Systems. Speakers will include Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and Robert Pepper, Senior VP, Global Technology Policy, Cisco Systems.

Tuesday, 2 July

At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 3 of the Conference Building (CB), there will be a briefing for Member States on the outcomes of the twelfth session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and on the preparations for the high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly in 2014, to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. It will be organized by the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (SPFII).

At 12:30 p.m., in the Press briefing room, there will be a press conference by Rosemary A. DiCarlo, Acting Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations and President of the Security Council for the month of July.

In Geneva, there will be a press conference by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) to launch the 2013 World Economic and Social Survey report.  Speakers will include Shamshad Akhtar, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development and Willem Van Der Geest, Chief of the Development Strategy and Policy Analysis Unit at DESA.

Wednesday, 3 July

In Geneva, there will be a press conference by the World Meteorological Organization to launch its new report “The Global Climate 2001-2010, A Decade of Climate Extremes”. Speakers will include Michel Jarraud, WMO Secretary-General, and Omar Baddour, author of the report.

Thursday, 4 July

Today is an official holiday at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Friday, 5 July

There are no major events scheduled for today.