HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY,
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
MONDAY, 15 JULY 2013
SECRETARY-GENERAL MEETS WITH FRENCH PRESIDENT
- The Secretary-General is on his way back to New York, having just wrapped up his visit to Paris.
- On Monday, he met with the President Francois Hollande, Prime Minister Laurent Fabius, and the President of the French National Assembly. A readout on those meetings has just been issued.
- Speaking to reporters after his meeting with the President Hollande, the Secretary-General said he was encouraged by Malian leaders’ commitment to holding the presidential elections and that these had to be credible and peaceful, with a result accepted by all parties. He also said he had asked President Hollande for France's support concerning the lack of capacity of the newly-established UN Mission in Mali, MINUSMA, such as helicopters.
- Earlier on Monday morning the Secretary-General also met with the head of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. A readout on that encounter has been issued as well.
- And on Sunday, he attended the 14 July parade, which featured troops from MINUSMA. He also met with the President of Mali, the President of Croatia and the Defence Minister of France on Sunday. Readouts of all of those meetings have been issued.
SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFED ON U.N. OPERATION IN CYPRUS AND REGIONAL CENTER FOR DIPLOMACY FOR CENTRAL ASIA
- On Monday morning, the Security Council was briefed by Lisa Buttenheim, the Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). The briefing concerned the Secretary-General’s latest report on the UN Operation in Cyprus, ahead of its mandate renewal.
- Following the closed consultations on Cyprus, the Security Council is expected to be briefed by Miroslav JenÄï¿½a, the Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA). The President of the Council will read out a press statement on the Centre once Monday morning’s deliberations are finished.
- And then at 3 p.m. on Monday, the Security Council is expected to meet on non-proliferation, followed by consultations on the African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
DARFUR: AFRICAN UNION-U.N. MISSION HOLDS MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR SEVEN TANZANIAN PEACEKEEPERS KILLED ON SATURDAY
- On Monday morning, the joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission (UNAMID), held a memorial service to pay tribute to the seven Tanzanian peacekeepers killed on Saturday morning in an ambush by unidentified armed assailants in South Darfur.
- On Sunday, Joint Special Representative Mohamed Ibn Chambas visited the wounded peacekeepers at the mission’s hospital in Nyala and the troops in Khor Abeche to provide encouragement and support. The Secretary-General spoke to President Kikwete of Tanzania by telephone on Sunday.
- Asked about the killing of Tanzanian peacekeepers in Darfur over the weekend, the Spokesperson noted that this outrageous attack was carried out by an as yet unidentified armed group of assailants who killed seven peacekeepers and wounded 17, including two female police officers. He noted that the Secretary-General has condemned the attack on UNAMID, the third in three weeks, and expects that the Government of Sudan will take swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice. He went on to note that it is up to Sudanese authorities to arrest and prosecute those responsible. Any change in the mandate of the peacekeeping mission is up to the Security Council. Nesirky noted that a key requisite for a mission to do its job is to have the right equipment and that is an area that is likely to be looked at by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
SOUTH SUDAN: AID AGENCIES REACH AREAS OF PIBOR COUNTY, SAYS U.N. COORDINATOR
- The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, said that, over the weekend, aid agencies reached areas of Pibor county in Jonglei state for the first time this year.
- Thousands of civilians in the area have been hiding in the bush following clashes. UN agencies and non-governmental organizations met with communities to assess their needs and to mount a humanitarian response.
- Mr. Lanzer also noted that the armed mobilization of youth has led to clashes, with 200 of the injured being attended to by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
- He called for an urgent halt to the cycle of violence that is leading to loss of life and suffering among civilians. He also said that all parties taking part in the violence must ensure that aid organizations continue to have impartial, unconditional and unhindered access to civilians in need throughout the state.
D.R.CONGO: U.N. MISSION CALLS FOR RESTRAINT FOLLOWING FIGHT IN MUTAHO
- The UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), said that on Sunday afternoon, heavy fighting broke out in Mutaho, which is 8 kilometres from Goma, when a Congolese army position was attacked by the M23 rebel group.
- The mission is deeply concerned over this development and calls for restraint to avoid a further escalation of the situation.
- The Secretary-General’s acting Special Representative in the country, Moustapha Soumaré, called on all to abide by the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement and to allow the political process towards peace to move forward.
- The mission has put its troops on high alert and stands ready to take any necessary measures, including the use of lethal force, to protect civilians. The mission says that any attempt by the M23 to advance toward Goma will be considered a direct threat to civilians.
YEMEN: U.N. LAUNCHES REVISED HUMANITARIAN APPEAL FOR $702 MILLION FOR THIS YEAR
- The Humanitarian Country Team in Yemen has launched a revised humanitarian appeal for $702 million for this year. The revised appeal seeks to provide food, clean water, healthcare and other vital services to 7.7 million of the most vulnerable Yemenis.
- The humanitarian challenges in Yemen are enormous, with over half the population in need of humanitarian assistance.
- The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, Ould Cheikh Ahmed, said that instability and political transition in the country have overshadowed the humanitarian crisis.
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR STRONG PARTNERSHIPS WITH VARIOUS ACTORS ON INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION
- On Monday morning, the Deputy Secretary-General spoke to a large group of representatives from non-governmental organizations and the private sector on international migration and development.
- He emphasized the need to establish sustained and strong partnerships between different actors to harness the benefits of migration and improve the situation of migrants. He also commended the role played by civil society in building such partnerships.
- He said that the General Assembly was meeting on international migration and development in October, and that this was an opportunity for Member States to lay the foundation for improved local, regional and international migration policies.
SPOKESPERSON SAYS U.N. MISSION IN D.R.CONGO HAS NO SAY OVER USE OF ESCORTS BY NGO: Asked about reports that non-governmental organisations have complained about being forced to have armed escorts accompany them in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Spokesperson said that the Mission there has no say over the use of escorts by non-governmental organisations.
RUSSIAN REPORT ON USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN SYRIA BEING ANALYZED, SAYS SPOKESPERSON: Asked about report submitted to the United Nations by Russia about the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria, the Spokesperson said that the contents of the report are being analysed by the Office of Disarmament Affairs and Dr. Sellström’s team.