HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
TUESDAY, 10 JULY 2012
SYRIA ENVOY VISITS IRAN, IRAQ
- The UN-League of Arab States Joint Special Envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan, concluded a visit to Iran on Tuesday, and he gave a joint press conference with the Iranian Foreign Minister. He told reporters that he was seeking the support and cooperation of Iran in his efforts to resolve this conflict peacefully, and added that he had received encouragement and cooperation from the Foreign Minister.
- Asked about the discussions that he had yesterday with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Joint Special Envoy said that President Assad had made a suggestion of building an approach from the ground up in some of the districts where there has been extreme violence and, step by step, end the violence across the country.
- The Joint Special Envoy also said that details of this approach needed to be worked out and of course discussed with the opposition.
- After Tehran, Mr. Annan visited Baghdad and he held talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on the crisis in Syria and its impact on the region.
- Asked about Iran’s role in resolving the situation in Syria, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has said that Iran is part of a solution to the crisis. He noted that the Secretary-General had met the Foreign Minister of Iran while in Tokyo over the weekend.
- Asked about the Wednesday Security Council briefing on Syria, the Spokesperson said the expectation is that Mr. Annan will brief Council members by video link.
- The Secretary-General has presented to the Security Council his views on the future of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), and it is up to Council members to decide what to do with the Mission. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous can discuss the issue further with the Council on Wednesday.
- In response to questions, Nesirky underscored the Secretary-General’s concerns about the situation at the Syria-Lebanon border and the possibility of wider tensions in the region.
SECURITY COUNCIL TO RECEIVE BRIEFING FROM HEAD OF U.N. MISSION IN D.R. CONGO
- On Tuesday morning, the Security Council met in closed consultations to discuss the situation in Cyprus, Sudan, and South Sudan.
- In the afternoon, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Roger Meece, will brief the Council on developments in that country by videolink in a closed session.
D.R. CONGO: U.N. ENVOY VOICES CONCERN AT DETERIORIATING SECURITY, HUMANITARIAN SITUATION
- Roger Meece spoke to the press in Kinshasa on Tuesday and expressed his concern at the recent deterioration in the security and humanitarian situation in the east. A number of towns in North Kivu, including Bunagana, have fallen into the hands of M23 forces, although those forces are reportedly pulling out of some areas.
- Mr. Meece said that the UN Mission, MONUSCO, is doing its utmost, in coordination with the Congolese army, to protect civilians and is working with humanitarian partners to support their efforts to reach vulnerable populations. It is vital that the violence is brought to an end immediately.
- The Special Representative also voiced his concern about continuing reports that M23 mutineers are receiving external support and are well-trained, armed and equipped.
- The Spokesperson noted that, in response to the recent fighting, MONUSCO attack helicopters had been used recently.
- The Secretary-General has been actively involved in dealing with the issue and is extremely concerned about what is happening, Nesirky said. The Secretary-General recently spoke on the issue with, among others, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and with Andrew Mitchell, UK Secretary of State for International Development.
U.N. ASSISTING RECENTLY-ARRIVED CONGOLESE REFUGEES IN UGANDA
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that more than 16,500 Congolese refugees have been registered at the Nyakabanda transit camp in Kisoro, in western Uganda. Access to clean water is a major challenge at the camp, as the district water system is not working. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is helping to transport people from there to a nearby refugee settlement.
- The Uganda UN Country Team has requested funding from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), and that fund has allocated $6.9 million to support food, nutrition, water and sanitation help, among other life-saving needs, for 30,000 Congolese who have arrived recently in Uganda.
U.N. RIGHTS CHIEF VISITS KYRGYZSTAN
- The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, is on her first visit to Kyrgyzstan.
- On Tuesday, in the capital, Bishkek, she told reporters that progress has been made since a Regional Centre – the first UN human rights office anywhere in Central Asia – was set up in the country in 2008.
- While in Kyrgyzstan, Ms. Pillay held talks with senior officials, including the President and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the Interior. She also met with human rights defenders and non-governmental organizations.
- The High Commissioner said that as the country is going through its transition process, aiming for long-term stability, peace and economic prosperity, it is essential that justice, accountability and human rights are at the core of this agenda.
- On Wednesday, Ms. Pillay will begin a two-day visit to Kazakhstan.
FIRST BATCH OF U.N. STAFFERS MOVE TO RENOVATED SECRETARIAT
- UN staff members reported to work in their renovated offices in the Secretariat Building for the first time this week, with 88 people moving back to the building.
- The Secretariat Building will be re-occupied fully in January, with approximately 3,300 staff members moving back. All moves will take place over the weekends.
- The renovated Secretariat Building will provide UN staff with a more sustainable, safer, healthier and more secure work environment.
- Compared with conditions before, the renovated UN Headquarters will consume at least 50 percent less energy, which translates into a 45 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
SECRETARY-GENERAL MONITORING EGYPT DISPUTE: Asked about the current dispute in Egypt, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General is monitoring the situation and hopes that any differences will be resolved through dialogue.
U.N. DEPLORES VIOLENCE IN NIGERIA: Asked about the violence in Nigeria, the Spokesperson called the frequency and level of violence in the country deplorable.