HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
MONDAY, 2 JULY 2012
NEW DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL SWORN IN
- The swearing-in of the new Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Jan Eliasson has taken place.
- The Secretary-General said Mr. Eliasson, who is from Sweden, has had substantial experience at the United Nations serving in a number of different capacities.
- He highlighted, for example, his “instrumental” leadership as President of the 60th Session of the General Assembly at which time key institutional reforms were under way.
- Those reforms included the establishment of the Human Rights Council and the Peacebuilding Commission.
- Mr. Eliasson said he was deeply honoured and proud to be serving as Deputy Secretary-General and that he was committed to finding what he called “good solutions” to the many issues that face the United Nations.
- The Under Secretary-General for the Department of Political Affairs, Mr. Jeffrey Feltman, was also sworn in by the Secretary-General on Monday morning.
SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS DEVELOPMENT REPORT OFFERS REASON FOR ENCOURAGEMENT
- On Monday morning, the Secretary-General spoke at the high-level opening of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
- He said that the Millennium Development Goals Report 2012, released on Monday, offers considerable reason for encouragement, especially as we look forward to defining a post-2015 development framework.
- The Secretary-General noted that the number of people living in extreme poverty has been reduced by half and that millions of lives have been saved, but that success is uneven within countries and regions.
- The Secretary-General said that among the most significant outcomes at the recent Rio+20 Conference is the agreement to launch a process to establish universal sustainable development goals, SDGs, to build on advances under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
SIGNIFICANCE OF DECISION ON SYRIA SHOULD NOT BE UNDERESTIMATED SAYS JOINT SPECIAL ENVOY
- Asked about the meeting of the Action Group for Syria held in Saturday in Geneva, the Spokesperson pointed to comments made by the Joint Special Envoy, Kofi Annan, over the weekend.
- Mr. Annan said that we should not underestimate the significance of the international community coming together and endorsing the idea of a transitional governing body.
- He also stressed that the meeting’s participants committed to use their influence to get the parties to stop the violence to getting the parties to come to the table.
- The Joint Special Envoy noted that the Action Plan, the final communiqué issued at the end of Saturday’s meeting, belongs to the parties who adopted it and that they have a responsibility to see that it is implemented by the parties. Mr. Annan has asked them to take actions to achieve this.
- Asked about a United Nations report about killings in El-Houleh, the Spokesperson said that it is being looked at by the Organization’s relevant experts and will be transmitted to the Security Council when it is ready.
SECURITY COUNCIL MEETS ON SYRIA AND MIDDLE EAST
- On Monday morning the Security Council met in closed consultations to discuss the situation in the Middle East, including Syria.
- Among those speaking at that meeting was the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay.
- She was due to speak to reporters at the Security Council stakeout following the consultations
- On Monday afternoon the Council was due to meet in closed consultations to discuss Libya and the Middle East.
U.N. ENVOY BRIEFS LEBANESE FOREIGN MINISTER ON SECRETARY-GENERAL REPORT
- The United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Derek Plumbly, met on Monday with the country’s Foreign Minister, Adnan Mansour.
- Mr. Plumbly briefed the Foreign Minister on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the implementation of Resolution 1701, which highlights the calm prevailing in the south and across the Blue Line.
- The report also outlines the remaining steps which need to be taken to fully implement the resolution.
- The Special Coordinator said they also discussed the meeting on Syria held over the weekend in Geneva, and the importance of all parties in Syria engaging on the conclusions of that meeting and bringing an end to the violence and initiating a political process there.
U.N. AWARE OF SRI LANKA MEDIA CRACKDOWN: Asked about reported media crackdowns in Sri Lanka, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations is aware of such reports and that journalists need to be able to carry out their work without interference.
U.N. CULTURAL ORGANIZATION TO MAKE JOINT APPEAL OVER MALI HERITAGE: The Minister of Culture of Mali and Members of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee will appeal for the preservation of heritage in Mali during a special event IN Saint Petersburg, Russia on Tuesday.
***The guests at the Noon Briefing were Juan Somavia Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Dato' Azman Shah Dato' Seri Haron, President of the International Organization of Employers (IOE), and Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). They briefed the media on the International Labour Organization's call to action on the youth employment crisis.