HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
FRIDAY, 29 JUNE 2012
LORD’S RESISTANCE ARMY REMAINS VERY DANGEROUS, SECURITY COUNCIL TOLD
- On Friday morning, the Security Council met to discuss the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and adopted a resolution calling for all States, especially States where fugitives are suspected to be at large, to intensify their cooperation with the International Tribunal.
- The Council also discussed the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
- In addition, Abou Moussa, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Africa and head of UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), reported to the Council on the activities of the Lord’s Resistance Army.
- In his presentation, Mr Moussa said that the Lord’s Resistance Army remains extremely dangerous and appealed to the wider international community to actively support the implementation of the United Nations regional strategy and the African Union Cooperation Initiative.
- The Security Council was also due to hold consultations on Liberia.
- On Friday morning, the Council meeting was suspended for a time due to a fire alarm. Apparently, a steam pipe burst and that is what triggered the fire alarm.
SECRETARY-GENERAL DUE TO LEAVE FOR GENEVA TO ATTEND A MEETING ON SYRIA
- As the Secretary-General mentioned on Thursday, he was due to leave on Friday to attend Action Group for Syria meeting in Geneva on Saturday.
- There might be a press conference by the Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan at around 1 p.m. Geneva time.
- As mentioned also, the revised Syria Regional Response Plan estimates that the Syrian refugee total will increase to as many as 185,000 people by December 2012.
- Some 90,000 of those refugees will be children with specific needs whom the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) needs to reach by December with vaccines, education, protection services, clean water and sanitation. This is more than triple the initial number of targeted refugee children.
- UNICEF says it urgently requires $14.4 million to meet the emergency needs of a growing number of Syrian refugee children and young people.
- Asked about the future of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), the Spokesperson said that it is for the Security Council to decide the mission’s shape.
- Asked about the mission’s work, the Spokesperson pointed to the Secretary-General’s comments to the press on Thursday on its suspension of activities.
- The Spokesperson added that the mission has been carrying out its activities, such as visiting hospitals, at a lower level due to insecurity and to the best of their abilities given the insecurity.
- Asked on Thursday about the audio level during remarks in the General Assembly by the Syrian Ambassador, Nesirky said that colleagues in the Department of Public Information told him they went back and checked both the audio and video records and did not find any loss of audio.
U.N. READY TO SUPPORT INDIA AND BANGLADESH AFFECTED BY DEADLY MONSOON RAINS
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that according to official figures, nearly 30 people have died and one million people have been displaced due to monsoon rains in north-eastern India.
- In eastern Bangladesh, some 110 people have been killed in Chittagong and at least 40,000 people uprooted following three days of rain and flash floods.
- The Office is monitoring the situation in both countries and stands ready to support if the authorities request international assistance.
U.N. SAYS REFUGEE SITUATIONS IN LIBERIA AND ANGOLA WILL OFFICIALLY COME TO AN END THIS WEEKEND
- Two of the most protracted refugee situations in Africa - affecting Liberia and Angola - will officially come to an end this weekend.
- On June 30, so-called cessation clauses will enter into force because these countries have both enjoyed many years of peace and stability after experiencing civil war.
- People who fled the two countries and remain abroad will no longer be regarded as refugees by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and host governments.
- The Refugee Agency has been supporting projects in both countries aimed at easing the reintegration of returnees.
U.N. HUMANITARIAN CHIEF CONCERNED ABOUT SITUATION IN SUDAN
- The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, has expressed her deep concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Sudan, especially in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States.
- She said that hundreds of thousands of people remain trapped in the conflict zone with little access to food, water, shelter and medical services.
- Ms. Amos added that thousands more are crossing into neighbouring countries each day, fleeing the fighting and in search of food and other basic supplies.
- She said that humanitarian agencies need unimpeded and complete access to all areas to respond to these growing needs.
- Asked about the Sudanese Government’s acceptance of the Tripartite Proposal of the African Union (AU), the League of Arab States (LAS) and the United Nations for the delivery of humanitarian assistance in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, the Spokesperson said that Sudan has laid out nine principles for the agreement’s operationalization.
- These include the stipulation that the distribution of humanitarian aid must be carried out by the Sudanese Red Crescent and any other non-governmental organizations approved by the Government of Sudan, and this is not acceptable to the SPLM- North.
- Nesirky said that the Government has clearly not accepted the core element of the Proposal, which is that the UN would independently distribute humanitarian assistance to affected populations in areas controlled by the SPLM-N, under the monitoring of UN, LAS and AU representatives, to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches its intended beneficiaries.
U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY STAFF RETURNS TO RAKHINE STATE IN MYANMAR
- The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says its staff has returned to Myanmar’s Rakhine State to help address humanitarian needs there.
- Agency staff who visited camps for the displaced has found that there is a need for floor mats, heavy tarpaulins, blankets and mosquito nets. Along with their aid partners, they are concerned about the possibility of disease outbreaks because of poor water supplies and sanitation at a time when it is raining heavily.
- Together with other partners, the Agency said that it continues to assist and distribute humanitarian aid impartially, based on need, to all the communities and victims of the recent disturbances there.
- Asked about reports of United Nations and Medecins Sans Frontieres staff being detained in Myanmar, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations Resident Coordinator in the country has already reported to Government that some UN staff members were detained by the authorities in Rakhine State for questioning.
- The UN is still trying to get access to these staff, and out of concern for their privacy, the UN has decided not to release any personal or professional information about any detained staff. The Resident Coordinator has asked the Government for information about each detained staff member, making reference to the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the UN. The UN is still awaiting a formal reply.
U.N. PEACEBUILDING FUND RELEASES $8 MILLION FOR NEPAL
- The United Nations Peacebuilding Fund has released $8 million in funding for Nepal.
- The money will support a number of different initiatives aimed at consolidating peace in the country.
- These initiatives include improving policing, support to the courts, promoting dialogue and leadership and reinforcing national efforts to address the needs of women and conflict-affected children.
U.N. VERIFIES REPORTS ON AERIAL BOMBINGS IN DARFUR: Asked on Thursday about reported aerial bombings of Jebel Mara, the Spokesperson said that the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) is aware of the reports and is verifying the facts.
SECRETARY-GENERAL SPOKE TO PRESIDENT-ELECT OF EGYPT AND TO EGYPTIAN ACTING CHIEF OF STATE: Asked about the situation in Egypt, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has spoken to both President-elect Muhammad Morsi and Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Egyptian Acting Head of State, in the past two days.
***The guest at the Noon Briefing was Miloš Koterec, the President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), who briefed the media.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
30 JUNE – 6 JULY 2012
(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)
Saturday, 30 June
Today, the Secretary-General will be in Geneva to participate in a meeting of the Action Group for Syria.
Sunday 1 July
Today, Colombia will assume the rotating Presidency of the Security Council for July.
Monday, 2 July
At 12:00 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, Juan Somavia, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Dato' Azman Shah Dato' Seri Haron, President of the International Organization of Employers (IOE), and Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), will be the guests at the Noon Briefing.
At 3 p.m., in Geneva, there will be a press conference on human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk.
Tuesday, 3 July
At 12:30 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by Ambassador Néstor Osorio, the Permanent Representative of Colombia and the President of the Security Council for the month of July. He will brief reporters on the Council’s programme of work for the month.
At 9:30 a.m., in Geneva, there will be a press conference on the release of the Global Innovation Index 2012. Speakers will include Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
At 3 p.m., in Geneva, there will be a press conference by Mutuma Ruteere, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
Wednesday, 4 July
Today is an official holiday at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
At 3 p.m., in Geneva, there will a press conference on the launch of the World Economic and Social Survey 2012 published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). This publication is embargoed until Thursday, 5 July, at 3 p.m. GMT. Speakers will include: Heiner Flassbeck, Director of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and Manuel Montes, former UNDESA Chief of Development Strategies and Policy Analysis and Senior Advisor on Finance and Development at The South Centre.
Thursday, 5 July
At 11 a.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference by Rob Vos, Director of the Development Policy and Analysis Division of DESA, for the launch of the World Economic Social Survey 2012.
At 12 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, will be the guest at the Noon Briefing.
At 2:15 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, there will be a press conference on the impact of Rio+20 in the future of development cooperation. Participants will include: Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of the UN Women; Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs; and Joanna Kerr, CEO of Action Aid International.
At 12 p.m., in Geneva, there will be a press conference by James Zhan, UNCTAD Director of the Division on Investment and Enterprise to launch the World Investment Report 2012 (Report under embargo until 5 July at 5 p.m. GMT. Chapter 4 of the World Investment Report 2012, on the Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development, is exempt from the embargo).
Friday, 6 July
There are no major events scheduled for today.