HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY,
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
TUESDAY, 9 JULY 2013
SECRETARY-GENERAL PAYS TRIBUTE TO FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY GANEV
- The Secretary-General participated on Tuesday in a General Assembly meeting in memory of former President of the General Assembly, Stoyan Ganev.
- In his remarks, the Secretary-General said that Mr. Ganev, who passed away earlier this month, was one of the youngest ever to hold the post of President of the General Assembly.
- This afternoon, in the Economic and Social Council Chamber, the Secretary-General will participate in an event about a solar energy-powered plane, called “Solarimpulse”. In his remarks, he is expected to say that solar energy can play an important part in realizing the goals of his Sustainable Energy for All initiative.
SECRETARY-GENERAL EXPRESSES GRAVE CONCERN OVER MOUNTING VIOLENCE IN EGYPT
- In a statement issued on Monday, the Secretary-General expressed his grave concern over the mounting violence in Egypt as the country’s political crisis continues.
- He is deeply disturbed by the reported killings yesterday of more than 50 people at protests outside the Republican Guard headquarters and called for the killings to be thoroughly investigated by independent and competent national bodies, and those responsible need to be brought to justice.
- The Secretary-General urges all Egyptians and political parties to work constructively to forge a consensus on the way forward through peaceful means. He notes that, for such a process to succeed, all parties and communities must be included. The United Nations stands ready to assist as necessary.
- Also on Egypt, the Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights said it is alarmed about the sharp escalation of the political crisis in Egypt and deplores the fact that dozens of people have reportedly been killed or wounded since the events of July 3.
- The Office calls on all sides to refrain from resorting to violence and on protesters to maintain the peaceful nature of their demonstrations. It also calls on the military and law enforcement officials to show utmost restraint and make sure that they comply at all times with international human rights obligations and international standards on policing.
- Asked about developments in Egypt, the Spokesperson said that on Monday the Secretary-General expressed his concern about the mounting violence and the killings in Egypt, and called for these killings to be investigated by independent and competent national bodies. He underscored the need for those responsible to be brought to justice. He went on to note that military interference in state affairs is not desirable and that there should be a return to civilian administration as soon as possible. Nesirky noted the Secretary-General said the United Nations stands ready to assist as necessary, but it is up to Egyptians themselves to reach a consensus on the way forward. He added that the United Nations does not typically monitor or observe elections but does provide technical electoral assistance.
U.N. SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR LEBANON CONDEMNS BOMB BLAST IN BEIRUT
- The UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Derek Plumbly, strongly condemned Tuesday’s bomb blast in Beirut which occurred on the eve of Ramadan and injured dozens of people.
- Mr. Plumbly said that such cowardly acts of violence aim at destabilizing the country and spreading fear among the population and are completely unacceptable.
- He added that Lebanon’s leaders and political parties should rally together against such threats to their country’s security and stability and work to reinforce the role of Lebanon’s State institutions. The Special Coordinator hopes today’s incident will be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice as soon as possible.
- On Tuesday afternoon, the Security Council was due to hold closed consultations on the 1701 report.
U.N. HUMANITARIAN CHIEF TO VISIT CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
- Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, is scheduled to visit the Central African Republic from Thursday to Friday with Kristalina Georgieva, European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that Ms. Amos is expected to discuss ways of enhancing support for the humanitarian response in the Central African Republic with the authorities and other humanitarian partners.
- On Friday, Ms. Amos and Ms. Georgieva are scheduled to travel to Kaga Bandoro in the Nana Gribizi Province to see for themselves the humanitarian impact of the crisis and the relief efforts that are going on there.
SECRETARY-GENERAL MINDFUL OF POTENTIAL IMPACT OF EVENTS IN EGYPT ON GAZA: Asked about the impact of the situation in Egypt on Gaza, the Spokesperson said the Secretary-General has consistently called for greater access to and from Gaza, especially for humanitarian supplies, and he is mindful of the potential impact of events in Egypt on Gaza.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TAKES ALL CREDIBLE ALLEGATIONS OF USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN SYRIA SERIOUSLY: Asked about the submission by the Russian federation to the Secretary-General on allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General takes all credible allegations of the use of chemical weapons seriously. The Office of Disarmament Affairs is currently studying the documentation.
SECRETARY-GENERAL SUSCRIBES TO VIEWS IN MESSAGE OF ADVISER CONDEMNING ATTACK IN NIGERIA: Asked about the recent killings of students and teachers in Nigeria, the Spokesperson said that the Special Adviser for Children and Armed Conflict issued a strong statement condemning this event and that the Secretary-General fully subscribes to the views expressed in this message on what was a ghastly and deplorable attack.
*** The Guest at the Noon Briefing was Muhannad Hadi, the World Food Programme’s Emergency Coordinator for Syria. He briefed reporters on WFP operations inside Syria and in the region.