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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 MARTIN NESIRKY,
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

WEDNESDAY, 5 JUNE 2013

SYRIA: U.N., RUSSIA AND U.S. HOLD TALKS IN GENEVA, TO CONTINUE CONSULTATIONS ON INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

  • The Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, spoke to reporters in Geneva following the talks held there today between senior US, Russian and UN officials. He said that he was happy with the constructive nature of today’s discussions and believes that further positive steps have been taken towards the convening of an international conference on Syria.
  • Mr. Brahimi said that there is still a lot of work to do to bring a conference about and that it will not be possible to hold the conference in June. He said that he would continue consultations with Russia and the United States on holding the conference as soon as possible, possibly in July. He said that the three parties would meet again in Geneva on 25 June.
  • He added that he looks forward to continuing consultations with a wide range of interlocutors, in addition to the Russians and the Americans, to build on the momentum achieved today in Geneva.
  • Asked whether the Secretary-General believes the process is on the right track, the Spokesperson said that Mr. Brahimi has spelled out a possible timeframe as well as the remaining consultations that are required. The Secretary-General hopes that a conference can be held as soon as possible.
  • Asked about the Secretary-General’s activities, Nesirky noted that Mr. Brahimi has said that the Secretary-General would convene the first stage of an international conference once it takes place. The Secretary-General has been contacting a range of people by phone to move forward on convening the international conference.
  • Mr. Brahimi, he added, had acknowledged today that the situation in Syria is “absolutely tragic” and said it was embarrassing that a conference had not been held already. The Secretary-General shares that view, he said.
  • Asked whether there would be a UN presence in al-Qusayr, the Spokesperson said that, so far, humanitarian workers have not had access to Qusayr.

SECURITY COUNCIL HEARS BRIEFING ON INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT, EXTENDS IRAN PANEL OF EXPERTS

  • The Security Council held a meeting this morning to hear an update from Fatou Bensouda, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, on the work of her office in examining the situation in Darfur.
  • Just before that meeting, the Council adopted a resolution extending the mandate of the Panel of Experts established under Resolution 1737, which concerns non-proliferation and Iran, until 9 July 2014.
  • In answer to a question from Tuesday on Ali Kushayb, a suspect of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Spokesperson said that the joint African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) said that on 10 and 11 April, a verification patrol by the Mission to Um Dukhun in Central Darfur, was not allowed by the Government of Sudan to proceed into the town.
  • The Mission was able to confirm that fighting between Miseria and Salamat tribes took place in the area. However, the Mission has not observed Muhammad Ali Abdel-Rahman, also known as Ali Kushayb, in Darfur.

SECRETARY-GENERAL ACCEPTS OLYMPIC ORDER AWARD, STRESSES LINK BETWEEN SPORT AND DEVELOPMENT

  • The Secretary-General spoke this morning at the opening session of the third International Forum on Sport for Peace and Development at UN Headquarters.
  • In his remarks, the Secretary-General said that he was happy to see more governments using sport and physical activity as a tool for social and economic development.
  • He said that the United Nations stands ready to partner with organizations such as the International Olympic Committee to promote sport for all regardless of health or wealth, colour or creed.
  • Later, the Secretary-General accepted the Olympic Order Award on behalf of the United Nations. In accepting this award, he said he was committed to further strengthening the bonds between the two organizations. He also participated in the opening of an Olympic Display at UN Headquarters. 

*** The Guest at the Noon Briefing was John Ging, Director of Operations for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), who discussed his recent mission to Afghanistan and Pakistan.