HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
MONDAY, 1 JULY 2013
SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR ACCELERATING PROGRESS ON MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS BEFORE DEADLINE
- The Secretary-General is in Geneva today, where he launched the Millennium Development Goals Report 2013 at the opening of the high-level segment of the annual meeting of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
- In his remarks, he said that the report highlights a number of successes on key Millennium Development Goals targets that have already been met, or are within close reach by 2015, but that it also outlines serious challenges. He said that, with fewer than 1,000 days before the deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, we must accelerate progress. He added that we must shape a global agenda beyond 2015 with poverty eradication and sustainable development at its core.
- The Secretary-General also participated in the launch of the 2013 Global Innovation Index of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). He said that science, technology and innovation will play a role in driving sustainable development.
- While in Geneva, the Secretary-General met with the Minister of Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs of Nepal, Madhav Prasad Ghimire.
- The Secretary-General will depart Geneva for Reykjavik, Iceland, later today.
MALI: U.N. PEACEKEEPING MISSION OFFICIALLY STARTS OPERATIONS
- This morning in Bamako, a ceremony marked the official start of the UN peacekeeping operations in Mali, with the transfer of authority from the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA) to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
- The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Herve Ladsous, was present at the ceremony.
- The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Mali, Bert Koenders, said that by establishing the Mission, the Security Council had reiterated the international community’s commitment to assist Malians toward peace, stability and prosperity.
- He also said that MINUSMA would continue working closely with the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other international partners to support Malians.
- Asked about today’s events, the Spokesperson said that the peacekeepers have been re-hatted and have four months to meet the specifications of the United Nations.
U.N. ENVOY IN SOMALIA CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES IN KISMAYO
- The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, urgently called for an immediate cessation of hostilities, as armed conflict flared up in Somalia's southern port city of Kismayo.
- Reports suggest serious clashes over the last days have led to a number of casualties, including civilian deaths.
- Mr. Kay called on all parties to refrain from any action which could be seen as a provocation.
MANO RIVER: JOINT SECURITY STRATEGY FOR REGION TO BE DEVELOPED
- The United Nations, the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Secretariat of the Mano River Union (MRU) and the Ministers of Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone agreed this weekend in Dakar on the need to develop a joint security strategy for the Mano River Union. An MRU-ECOWAS-UN joint Steering Committee has been established.
- Several Security Council resolutions have encouraged ECOWAS and the Mano River Union to develop, with the support of UN Missions in West Africa, a sub-regional strategy to address the threat of cross-border movements of armed groups, as well as illicit trafficking of weapons.
- At the meeting, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa, Said Djinnit, underscored the need to support peace consolidation in the countries of the Union, notably through increased collaboration on border issues. He said the Mano River region had the potential to become a pole of stability and prosperity in the ECOWAS zone.
IRAQ: 761 IRAQIS KILLED IN ACTS OF TERRORISM, VIOLENCE FOR MONTH OF JUNE
- The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) says that a total of 761 Iraqis were killed and another 1,771 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence in June. That figure includes 685 civilians killed and 1,610 civilians wounded.
- Baghdad was the worst-affected Governorate, with 950 civilian casualties, followed by Salahuddin, Ninewa, Diyala and Anbar.
HUMANITARIAN HEAD IN MYANMAR SAYS RELOCATION OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED SHOULD BE VOLUNTARY
- The Acting Humanitarian Coordinator for Myanmar, Eamonn Murphy, said today that there have been two incidents in recent weeks in Myanmar's Rakhine State, where displaced people have lost their lives while protesting plans for relocation to temporary shelters.
- He said that any relocation of internally displaced people should be voluntary and resolved without the use of force.
- He urged broader confidence and trust building measures between the communities and the Government, starting with clear communication of the Government’s vision and plans for the short and long term for all people in Rakhine State, particularly those who are currently displaced.
- Mr. Murphy also said that the international community stands ready to assist in any way it can.
NEW U.N. MANAGEMENT TOOL SEEKS TO HARMONIZE WORK IN OFFICES AROUND THE WORLD
- This morning, Umoja began with a pilot deployment at the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and Office of the Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL).
- In video remarks this morning, the Secretary-General said that Umoja will harmonize the way we work in every UN office around the world by giving us a single databank and real-time information.
- He added that today is also the start of a different management tool, IPSAS, which will allow the United Nations to present our financial information according to international best practices.
- Together, he said, Umoja and IPSAS bring us into a new era for UN operations.
SECRETARY-GENERAL HAS CALLED FOR PEACEFUL RESOLUTION OF EGYPT DEVELOPMENTS: Asked about developments in Egypt, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General has called for a peaceful resolution and for the authorities to respect the right to peaceful protest.
U.S., RUSSIA TALKS ON SYRIA ENCOURAGING: Asked about talks between the US Secretary of State and Russian Foreign Minister, the Spokesperson said that it was encouraging that the two of them were working assiduously to arrange an international conference on Syria.
INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED AFTER HAITI PEACEKEEPER INJURY: Asked about a recent incident in Haiti, the Spokesperson said that the UN Mission there (MINUSTAH) says that on the morning of Thursday, 27 June, on the road between Miragoane and Leogane in Haiti's western region, two UN personnel came upon a road block where demonstrators were present. A shooting incident took place when the two UN personnel were in the vicinity and one sustained an arm injury. A joint team of Haiti National Police and UN peacekeepers were deployed immediately to the scene. An investigation has being launched.