HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY, DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON
FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
WEDNESDAY, 25 JULY 2012
SECRETARY-GENERAL ARRIVES IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
- The Secretary-General began his visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday, where he met with the Members of the Presidency, among other top officials, and also addressed the Parliamentary Assembly.
- On Thursday, he will visit Srebrenica.
- Earlier on Wednesday, the Secretary-General was in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, where he met with the President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and former General Assembly President, Srgjan Kerim.
- He also addressed the country's Parliament, saying that while the country is a young democracy, its achievements have already been well-recognized, including the election of Srgjan Kerim as the President of the 62nd session of the General Assembly and its support for efforts to reform the United Nations. Those remarks are available in our office.
SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF MISSION IN IRAQ
- On Wednesday morning, the Security Council adopted a resolution extending the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) for a period of twelve months.
- The Council also adopted a resolution extending the mandate of the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group for twelve months, and welcomed the Group’s recommendation to set up a Joint Financial Management Board to improve financial management, transparency and accountability of Somalia’s public resources, called for an end to the misappropriation of funds, condemned the politicisation of humanitarian assistance, and demanded that all parties ensure safe and unhindered access for the timely delivery of humanitarian aid.
- The situation in the Middle East was also discussed in the Council. The Secretary-General’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry told the Council that the past month has been characterised by a continuation of the effort to restart talks amid worrying developments on the ground.
- Mr. Serry said that any Israeli settlement activity in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is contrary to international law, and that any Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations and will not be recognised by the international community.
- He also mentioned the increasing violence in Syria, and the possible spill over to other countries in the region.
SYRIAN GOVERNMENT MUST SAFEGUARD CHEMICAL WEAPONS SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL
- Asked about the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria, the Deputy Spokesperson said the Secretary-General is aware of the reports related to the possible relocation of alleged chemical weapon stockpiles in Syria.
- The Secretary-General wishes to emphasize the fundamental responsibility of the Government of Syria in ensuring the safety and security of all its weapon stockpiles.
- Asked about the departure of 150 Military Observers from Syria, del Buey said the Secretary-General 's report (2012/523) talks about the number of military observers being temporarily reduced.
U.N. MISSION IN CÔTE D’IVOIRE REINFORCES PRESENCE FOLLOWING ATTACK
- Asked about allegations made by victims of an attack on Duékoué, the Deputy Spokesperson said that The United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire, UNOCI, has reinforced its presence in the area.
- Some 150 police and 200 military are currently providing enhanced security at Nahibly camp, the Catholic Mission, and near the Mairie and Sous-Préfecture and Carrefour neighbourhood of Duékoué, where large numbers of IDPs have gathered, and reserve forces nearby remain on standby.
- The mission has also increased patrols in the area, and is conducting a full investigation into the incident. National security forces also have reinforced their presence in the area.
- President Ouattara strongly condemned the attack on the site. UNOCI will work with the government to review existing security arrangements.
- UNOCI confirmed the death of six people during the attack on Nahibly camp. UNOCI is also verifying the cause of death of a seventh body found on 22 July in the vicinity of Nahibly camp.
- The situation is currently calm. Humanitarian agencies and UNOCI are providing assistance to those who have been displaced from the site
HUMAN RIGHTS RAPPORTEUR TO VISIT MYANMAR
- The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana, will undertake a visit to the country from 30 July to 4 August 2012, at the invitation of the Government.
- During his six-day visit, the independent expert, designated by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to monitor and report on the human rights situation in Myanmar, will meet with Government officials, members of Parliament, the National Human Rights Commission, and civil society in Naypyitaw and Yangon. He has also requested visits to Rakhine state and Kachin state.
- On 4 August, at the end of his mission, Mr. Ojea Quintana will present preliminary observations at a press conference at Yangon International Airport at 18h15. His full report on the visit will be presented to the 67th session of the General Assembly.
SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS DRONE USE SHOULD BE GOVERNED BY INTERNATIONAL LAW: Asked about the reported use of drones in Somalia, the Deputy Spokesperson said the Secretary-General has said that the use of drones should be governed by international humanitarian law.
U.N. MISSION IN DR CONGO LAUNCHES COUNTER-OFFENSIVE AGAINST M23 REBELS: Asked about the movements of the rebel M23 group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Deputy Spokesperson said that on the morning of 24 July, M23 mutineers attacked a FARDC base at Rwasa, which is located on the Rutshuru-Goma axis near Rugari. Civilians have fled to seek protection, including at the MONUSCO base in Katale. MONUSCO and the FARDC launched an immediate counter-offensive, including firing using the Mission's attack helicopters. MONUSCO has also established a protective cordon around Katale including to help protect the civilians gathered there.