HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
MONDAY, 29 JULY 2013
SECRETARY-GENERAL MEETS ISRAEL JUSTICE MINISTER, EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR RESUMPTION OF PEACE TALKS
- The Secretary-General met on Monday with the Justice Minister of the State of Israel and Chief Negotiator in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Ms. Tzipi Livni.
- The Secretary-General expressed his strong support for the resumption of credible negotiations to achieve the two-State solution and his appreciation for the recent courageous decision of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in this regard.
- He welcomed the positive engagement of the Arab League Peace Initiative follow-up committee.
- He stressed the importance of creating an environment conducive to the resumption of talks, and encouraged both sides to take further positive steps in this regard.
SECRETARY-GENERAL SHARES DEEP ALARM ABOUT SITUATION IN EGYPT IN CONTACTS WITH LEADERS
- The Secretary-General made a number of telephone calls on Sunday concerning the situation in Egypt, including with Egyptian Interim Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei, the Foreign Ministers of Turkey and Qatar, and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States. In all of his calls, he shared his deep alarm about the situation in Egypt, and the unacceptable loss of life in recent days.
- In his call with Mr. ElBaradei, the Secretary-General expressed his profound concern about the direction in which the transition in Egypt is moving. He renewed his calls for the interim authorities to launch a genuinely inclusive, peaceful political process for going forward. He underlined that with every new death, this long-term reconciliation becomes harder.
- In his other calls, the Secretary-General underlined the need for the interim Egyptian authorities to quickly step up their efforts to launch a genuinely inclusive political process.
- Also on Sunday, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, called for a credible, independent and prompt investigation into large-scale killings in Egypt, in which the security forces appear to be heavily implicated.
U.N. ENVOY EXPRESSES CONCERN FOLLOWING CAR BOMBINGS IN IRAQ
- The Acting Special Representative for Iraq, Gyorgy Busztin, expressed his deep concern following today’s wave of car bombings that killed and injured dozens of Iraqis.
- He said that he was deeply concerned about the heightened level of violence, which carries the danger that the country may fall back into sectarian strife. He urged all political leaders to take immediate and decisive action to stop the senseless bloodshed.
U.N. MISSION SAYS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION TOOK PLACE PEACEFULLY IN MALI
- The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) says that Sunday's voting in the first round of Mali's presidential election took place peacefully. Turnout is reported to have been high across the country, although no official figures have been released yet.
- The Mission adds that international and national observers were present in all regions, including Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal. The Mission provided security support to the Malian Defence and Security Forces throughout the day, and continues to help secure the counting centres. MINUSMA acknowledges the excellent cooperation between UN and Malian forces in the provision of electoral security.
- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Bert Koenders, together with the heads of the international observer missions and some key ambassadors, met the presidential candidates on Monday to discuss the process and the next steps. All were reminded of the need to respect the results, and to address any complaints through established legal processes.
U.N. MISSION IN D.R. CONGO EXPRESSES ALARM OVER ALLEGATIONS OF KILLINGS BY M23 COMBATANTS
- The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MONUSCO, expressed alarm over allegations of killings, forced recruitment and illegal detention of civilians by combatants of the rebel group known as M23.
- MONUSCO says that it has received credible reports indicating that ten people were forcefully recruited by M23 combatants on 22 July at Kibumba, in the North-Kivu province. Three of the ten victims were reportedly killed by M23 combatants as they were attempting to escape.
- The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in charge of the rule of law, Abdallah Wafy, said that the Mission condemns all serious human rights violations attributed to members of M23. The Mission reiterates its call to M23 to fully respect human rights and international humanitarian law. MONUSCO warns M23 that it will be held responsible for the fate of anyone it has abducted or forcibly recruited.
SECRETARY-GENERAL MEETS HIGH REPRESENTATIVE FOR DISARMAMENT AFFAIRS: The Spokesperson, in response to a question, confirmed that the Secretary-General had met with High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane on Monday.
U.N. SAYS MORE FUNDS ARE NEEDED TO COMBAT CHOLERA IN HAITI: Asked about cholera in Haiti, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations is working with the resources it has to combat cholera in Haiti. The appeal to fight cholera in Haiti is only 23 percent funded at present, he noted, adding that more funds are needed for that effort.