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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

FRIDAY, 7 JUNE 2013

U.N. LAUNCHES $4.4 BILLION HUMANITARIAN APPEAL FOR SYRIA

  • In Geneva on Friday, the United Nations launched an appeal for Syria, asking for $4.4 billion for the whole of 2013. UN appeals for Syria have already received about $1.24 billion in funding so far, leaving $3.1 billion in unmet requirements until the end of the year.
  • Valerie Amos, the Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that an estimated 6.8 million people now need urgent help. That is one in three Syrians in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, in addition to the more than 80,000 people who she said have been killed.
  • The High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said that the situation in the region has worsened dramatically, with over 1.6 million Syrians now sheltering in the neighbouring countries and in North Africa.

SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS ATTACK AGAINST PEACEKEEPERS FROM THE DISENGAGEMENT OBSERVER FORCE IN GOLAN

  • The Security Council was scheduled to hold consultations on Friday afternoon to discuss the UN Disengagement Observer Force in Golan (UNDOF).
  • In a press statement read on Friday morning, the members of the Security Council strongly condemned intense fighting in the Area of Separation, including the attack yesterday which led to injuries suffered by two peacekeepers from the Disengagement Observer Force. Council members urged full respect for the 1974 disengagement agreement.
  • In a statement issued on Thursday afternoon on the fighting and on Austria’s decision to withdraw its troops from the Force, the Secretary-General called on all parties to ensure that the announced Austrian withdrawal takes place in an orderly manner. The Secretary-General is approaching Member States in an effort to identify urgently new contributors or additional contributions to UNDOF.
  • Asked about an offer of troops made by Russia, the Spokesperson said that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations appreciated the consideration that the Russian Federation has given to provide troops on the Golan. However, he noted, the Disengagement Agreement and its Protocol between Syria and Israel do not allow for the participation of Permanent Members of the Security Council in UNDOF.
  • Asked about other potential troop contributions, Nesirky said that the Secretary-General is very grateful to those countries who are continuing to provide troops and military observers to the Disengagement Observer Force.
  • He emphasized that the Mission is staying and that the Secretary-General and the Secretariat are discussing with other countries the deployment of new peacekeepers.

SECURITY COUNCIL CONCERNED ABOUT HUMANITARIAN IMPACT OF FIGHTING IN AL-QUSAYR, SYRIA

  • In a press statement on Friday, the members of the Security Council expressed their grave concern about the humanitarian impact of the recent heavy fighting in Al-Qusayr, in Syria.
  • They called upon the Syrian Government to allow immediate, safe and unhindered access to relevant humanitarian, including UN, actors, to reach civilians in Al-Qusayr, in urgent need of assistance, in particular medical assistance.
  • They called upon all parties in Syria to do their utmost to protect civilians and avoid civilian casualties, recalling the primary responsibility of the Syrian Government in this regard. 

SECRETARY-GENERAL VISITS CENTER FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH IN COLORADO

  • The Secretary-General was in Colorado on Friday.
  • He visited the National Center for Atmospheric Research, in Boulder. There, he spoke about climate change and about his commitment to mobilizing political will at the highest levels to address this global challenge.
  • Later, the Secretary-General was expected to address the Denver Forum. In the afternoon, he was expected to address the graduate commencement ceremony at the University of Denver and receive an honorary degree.
  • The Secretary-General will be back in New York on Saturday.

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY SAYS 140,000 PEOPLE REMAIN DISPLACED ONE YEAR AFTER VIOLENCE IN RAKHINE STATE, MYANMAR

  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Friday that up to 140,000 people remain displaced one year after inter-communal violence erupted in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.
  • The Agency said that it stands ready to provide the Government with technical support to register all internally displaced people and to promote reconciliation for safe and sustainable voluntary returns.
  • It has been working with authorities and partners to provide water, sanitation and healthcare services to the uprooted.
  • The Agency said that active steps must be taken to stem the flow of people out of Rakhine. Since last June, more than 27,000 people – believed mostly to be from Rakhine – have embarked on dangerous boat journeys in search of safety and stability in other countries.
  • The Agency has appealed to governments in the region to keep their doors open to people in need of international protection. It is also asking authorities in Myanmar to urgently address the root causes of this outflow of people.

TWO U.N. AGENCIES LAUNCH PARTNERSHIP TO IMPROVE NUTRITION AMONG PREGNANT AND BREASTFEEDING WOMEN

  • The World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday that it has launched a new partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to improve nutrition among pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • The goal of the new initiative, which was launched ahead of the “Nutrition for Growth” summit in London on Saturday, is to reduce the number of low birth weight babies and stunted children, who as a result, grow up blighted by health problems and experience a detrimental impact on their learning and economic potential. 
  • Under this partnership, the World Food Programme and the United Nations Population Fund are planning to roll out pilot programmes in Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone and Zambia. Women taking part in those programmes will be provided with nutritional food supplements, including vital micronutrients such as iron, folic acid, and calcium, as appropriate.

 

***The Guests at the Noon Briefing were Bruno Maiga, Minister of Culture for Mali; Lassana Cissé, the National Director for Mali Cultural Heritage; Aurélien Agbénonci, the UN Resident Coordinator in Mali, on behalf of United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA); Juma Shabani, the Representative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Mali; Eloundou Lazare, the Chief of the Africa Section of World Heritage; and Richard Zink, the Chief of the European Union Delegation in Mali. They briefed reporters by video-link from the capital, Bamako, on the results of an assessment mission to World Heritage sites damaged in conflict.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
8 – 14 JUNE 2013


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

 

Saturday, 8 June

Today is World Oceans Day.

Sunday, 9 June

There are no major events scheduled for today.
Monday, 10 June

At 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 1 (CB), there will be the Twenty-third Meeting of States Parties to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

At 11:00 a.m.., in the Press Briefing Room in the Secretariat Building, there will be a press conference on the occasion of World Oceans Day.

At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 6 in the North Lawn Building (NLB), there will be a special event to mark the observance of World Oceans Day.

Tuesday, 11 June

In the morning, the Security Council will be briefed on the Middle East (Yemen), followed by consultations.

At 12:00 p.m., in the in the Press Briefing Room, Mr. Robert Piper, United Nations Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, will be the guest at the Noon Briefing. Mr. Piper will brief the press on the food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel region and the ongoing humanitarian response to the needs of 11.4 million food insecure people.

At 12:30 p.m., in the Press Briefing Room, there will be a press conference by Justice Hasan Bubacar Jallow, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwandan and for the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunal and Mr. Stephen J. Rapp, Ambassador-At-Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice.

At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 6 (NLB), there will be a panel discussion on “AIDS and development: Accountability and results for 2015 and beyond”, co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Botswana and Norway, in collaboration with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

At 3:00 p.m., in the Trusteeship Council Chamber (CB), there will be a high-level discussion on “Moving from access to learning in the post-2015 dialogue: Why indicators matter and how we can use them well”, co-organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Permanent Mission of Denmark, in support of the Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative (GEFI).

In Geneva, there will be a press conference by the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied Since 1967. The Special Rapporteur will brief on his annual report to the Human Rights Council on Israel’s Operation “Pillar of Defense” and the general human rights situation in the Gaza Strip. 

In Geneva, there will be a press conference on the launch of report on child labour in domestic work (under embargo until 11 June at 22:00 GMT) by Constance Thomas, Director of International Labour Organization (ILO)’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC).

Wednesday, 12 June

Today is World Day against Child Labour.

In the morning, the Security Council will hold a debate on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. 

At 10:00 a.m., in the Trusteeship Council Chamber (CB), there will be a thematic debate on culture and development.

At 10:00 a.m., in the Press Briefing Room, there will be a press conference by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) entitled, “No Development Without Peace: Grounding Peace Metrics in the Post-2015 Development Agenda”. 

At 12:00 p.m., in the Press Briefing Room, Ms. Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, will be the guest at the Noon Briefing. Ms. Zerrougui will present the Annual report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict. The report includes information on the six grave violations committed against children during conflict, progress made by parties to conflict on dialogue and action plans, as well as the release of children associated with armed forces and armed groups.

At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 3 (CB), there will be a conference on “The evidence base for the October’s High-level Dialogue: What we know about migration and development” in preparation for the 2013 High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Sweden, the Migration Policy Institute and the Center for Migration Studies.

At 6:00 p.m., at the Institute of International Education (809 United Nations Plaza, 12th Floor), there will be a special event on the occasion of the World Day against Child Labour on the theme “No to child labour in domestic work”, co-organized by Human Rights Watch, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Permanent Missions of Italy, Mauritius, the Philippines and Uruguay, in cooperation with the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children.

In Geneva, there will be a press conference on the World Blood Donor Day 2013 - Give the gift of life: donate blood by Dr. Neelam Dhingra-Kumar, World Health Organization (WHO) Blood Transfusion Safety Unit; and Dr Yetmgeta Eyayou Abdella, WHO Blood Transfusion Safety Unit.

Thursday, 13 June

In the morning, the Security Council will be briefed on the sanctions, followed by consultations on Liberia sanctions. In the afternoon, there will be a meeting by the Troop-Contributing Countries (TCC) on United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).

At 11:00 a.m., in the Press Briefing Room, there will be a press conference on the presentation of the new United Nations report entitled, World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision, which includes new projections on population, fertility, life expectancy and more. Speakers will be Mr. John Wilmoth, Director of UN Population Division; and François Pelletier, Chief, Population Estimates and Projections Section, UN Population Division.

At 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 3 (NLB), there will be a presentation and panel discussion on “Overcoming visual disability: A partnership with civil society for social inclusion”, organized by the Permanent Mission of El Salvador, in its capacity as Vice-Chair of the upcoming sixth session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Friday, 14 June

Today is World Blood Donor Day.

In the morning, the Security Council will hold a debate on the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

At 10:00 a.m., in the General Assembly Hall (NLB), the General Assembly will hold a plenary meeting to elect the President of the General Assembly at its sixty-eighth session.