HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY, DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON
FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
THURSDAY, 26 JULY 2012
SECRETARY-GENERAL ARRIVES IN UK TO CARRY OLYMPIC TORCH
- The Secretary-General has wrapped up his visit to Southeastern Europe in Bosnia and Herzegovina and has arrived in London, where he has carried the Olympic Torch on the final leg of its journey in the United Kingdom.
- On Thursday morning, he ran a lap around the Olympic Stadium in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, telling reporters that he hopes to bring the "spirit of Sarajevo" to the London Games.
- Before departing the country, the Secretary-General visited the Memorial Centre at Srebrenica.
- There, he said that we must learn from the lessons of Srebrenica.
- The Secretary-General said that the United Nations will continue to do all that it can to ensure that what happened in Srebrenica will not happen again anytime, anywhere, to anyone.
SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF CÔTE D’IVOIRE OPERATIONS
- On Thursday morning, the Security Council met and adopted a resolution extending the mandate of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire until 31 July 2013, and endorsed the Secretary-General’s recommendation for a reduction of the equivalent of one battalion to be implemented as soon as possible.
- The Council then went into consultations to discuss the situation in Sudan and South Sudan.
- The Council was due to discuss the situation in Guinea-Bissau on Thursday afternoon.
U.N. EXPECTS HUMANITARIAN NEEDS IN SYRIA TO INCREASE
- Humanitarian agencies working in Syria have managed to significantly scale up assistance in the last month despite the very dangerous and complex operating environment.
- Food aid is now reaching 850,000 people, and more than 100,000 displaced people have received other vital supplies in the last four weeks.
- The United Nations’ humanitarian office, OCHA says there are already 2 million people in need in Syria because of the conflict.
- As the crisis drags on, the number of people in need of assistance is expected to increase.
- Up to one million people have had to leave their homes to escape fighting and seek help elsewhere in Syria.
- Humanitarian agencies are working very hard to get to all the places where people are in need, but it's not on the scale that is needed.
U.N. HUMANITARIAN OFFICE SAYS SITUATION IN MALI IS DETERIORATING
- John Ging, the Director of Operations at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), has said the humanitarian situation in Mali is deteriorating rapidly because of an inadequate response.
- Mr. Ging has just finished a three-day mission to the country.
- He said the situation, which is driven by severe food insecurity, malnutrition, large-scale population displacement and widespread insecurity, is desperate, but not hopeless.
- He said fundamental changes need to be made in the way the humanitarian response is funded in order to avoid a disaster.
- Over 4.5 million people are currently affected by the food security crisis.
SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN FOLLOWED CLOSELY BY SECRETARY-GENERAL: Asked about a reported new wave of violence in Afghanistan, the Deputy Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General follows closely developments in the country. The Secretary-General, he said was pleased with the Tokyo conference on Afghanistan held in July where significant pledges were made by the international community to help the country, and he expects that the support of the international community will assist Afghanistan increase and enhance security around the country as international forces withdraw.
U.N. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION TO PASS INFORMATION TO SANCTIONS COMMITTEE. Asked about criticism of WIPO activities, the Deputy Spokesperson said that WIPO has confirmed that none of the technology it has transferred is on the sanctions list. In the future the organization has said it will pass on any information to the relevant Sanctions Committee of the United Nations.