HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
THURSDAY, 12 JULY 2012
U.N. PEACEBUILDING MECHANISMS ‘MAKING A DIFFERENCE,’ SECRETARY-GENERAL TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL
- The Security Council on Thursday held a meeting, chaired by Colombia’s Foreign Minister, concerning the work of the Peacebuilding Commission.
- The Secretary-General spoke at that meeting, and he told Council members that, two years after the mixed review of the peacebuilding “architecture,” we are seeing signs that it has begun to come of age and is making a difference.
- This is the case particularly in those instances when the Peacebuilding Commission, Fund and Support Office reinforce each other and work hand-in-hand with the UN presence on the ground. He noted in particular the work that those bodies have done to build peace and deepen democracy in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
ENVOY FOR SYRIA CALLS FOR GREATER SUPPORT FOR MEDIATION EFFORTS
- The UN-League of Arab States Joint Special Envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan, spoke to the press late on Wednesday following his briefing to the Security Council and he acknowledged that efforts to end the violence in Syria have not succeeded so far.
- He urged all governments to work together to press the parties and to support the mediation efforts, adding that it is more powerful if the Security Council speaks with one voice.
- Asked about his discussion earlier this week with President Bashar al-Assad, the Joint Special Envoy said that they had talked about implementing the six-point plan and taking action so that there can be ceasefire arrangements in localities that have seen the worst fighting. This does not free anybody from the broader obligation of the ceasefire, as indicated in the six-point plan.
U.N. RELIEF ARM VOICES CONCERN OVER LATEST VIOLENCE IN EASTERN D.R. CONGO
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has expressed its concerns about the latest violence in North Kivu. Civilians have been displaced by the fighting, and as many as 5,000 have crossed the border into Uganda.
- Humanitarian agencies are trying to obtain details about the displacements, and unrestricted access is urgently needed to deliver aid to people who are affected by the fighting.
- Reports of minors being recruited into armed groups in a number of towns in Rutshuru raise key concerns. Humanitarian agencies call on armed groups to abide by humanitarian law.
- Despite access constraints, no United Nations or non-governmental humanitarian organization has left North Kivu. Agencies continue to provide aid, as far as security and access permits. Meanwhile, more funds are needed to address the additional needs arising from the recent violence.
- The UN Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) continues to provide support to the Congolese Armed Forces, including in terms of logistics and planning and the protection of civilians.
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL TO DEPART FOR ETHIOPIA FOR AFRICAN UNION SUMMIT
- The Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, is travelling on Thursday to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he will lead the UN delegation participating in the African Union summit this weekend.
- He will address the opening plenary session, and he will also attend meetings of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council dealing with the situation in Mali and the situation between Sudan and South Sudan.
- The Deputy Secretary-General will also hold bilateral meetings with many of the leaders and senior officials attending the summit.
- On Monday, he will meet with the UN country team in Ethiopia and visit a youth centre in the town of Bishoftu. He will return to New York on Tuesday.
U.N. RIGHTS CHIEF MAKES FIRST VISIT TO KAZAKHSTAN
- The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, spoke to reporters in Astana on Thursday, during her first visit to Kazakhstan.
- She met with the President and other senior officials, as well as with human rights defenders and civil society organizations.
- Ms. Pillay recognized that achieving high human rights standards across the board in such a vast country as Kazakhstan, only 20 years after becoming independent, is a difficult task.
- But, she added, it is a country that has impressive human and mineral resources. She said she believes it can successfully rise to meet its human rights challenges if it chooses to do so, and in the process become a good model for other countries to follow, not just in Central Asia, but also in other regions of the world.
SECRETARY-GENERAL REITERATES RIGHT TO PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION: Asked about the situation in Bahrain, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General repeatedly has said that people should have the right to demonstrate peacefully. The Secretary-General has regularly made clear his concerns about Bahrain.
U.N. IN CONTACT WITH REGIONAL LEADERS ON DESTRUCTION OF MALIAN HISTORIC SITES: In response to a question about the destruction of historic sites in Mali, the Secretary-General has reached out to regional leaders of influence, and other UN officials have contacted other leaders on the ground, to help deal with the issue.