HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
FRIDAY, 10 AUGUST 2012
SECRETARY-GENERAL DEPARTS FOR REPUBLIC OF KOREA, TIMOR-LESTE
- The Secretary-General will leave New York on Friday afternoon for a visit to the Republic of Korea and Timor-Leste.
- In the Republic of Korea, the Secretary-General will visit the southern city of Yeosu. There, he will take part in the closing ceremony for the 2012 Expo and speak at an international conference on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
- In Seoul, the Secretary-General will hold talks with a number of officials, and he will also visit two universities to highlight women's empowerment and global health.
- In Timor-Leste, the Secretary-General will hold talks with the President and Prime Minister, and deliver a speech in Parliament. He is also expected to visit the country's police academy.
- He will also meet with key people in education, visit a school and give a lecture at the University of Dili on the role of education in nation-building. This will be in advance of the launch of the Education First initiative on 26 September, his new global effort to promote universal access to quality, relevant and inclusive education.
- The Secretary-General will return to New York on 17 August.
NUMBER OF REFUGEES FLEEING SYRIA ON THE RISE, U.N. AGENCY REPORTS
- The United Nations Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) offices in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq are all reporting increases this week in the number of refugees from Syria. UNHCR data shows a total population of 146,667 people as of August 9th. In several countries we know there to be substantial refugee populations who have not yet registered.
- In Turkey, the refugee population has now exceeded 50,000 people, with more than 6,000 new arrivals recorded this week alone.
- In Iraq, there are now 13,730 refugees. A growing number of Iraqis are also returning from Syria, including 2,993 who have come back since the start of August. Since mid-July, 23,228 Iraqis have left Syria to return home.
- In Lebanon, 36,841 Syrian refugees are now either registered or assisted, but many thousands who have recently arrived in Lebanon are not yet registered with UNHCR.
- In Jordan the number of refugees has now reached 45,869 people, with 3,891 of these having arrived so far in August. UN and NGO partners are working to improve living conditions in the camps, which at present are difficult.
U.N. RELIEF CHIEF VISIT REFUGEE CAMP IN SOUTHERN RWANDA
- The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, visited the Kigeme refugee camp in southern Rwanda yesterday. More than 11,500 Congolese are housed there.
- Ms. Amos said that the Government of Rwanda has played a crucial role in the relief effort but that more resources are needed to scale up the response. The Rwandan Government and the United Nations Refugee agency are in charge of the coordination effort in the camp with UN agencies and their non-governmental partners providing basic services such as water, sanitation, health and food.
- Ms. Amos also met Rwanda’s Prime Minister Pierre Habururemyi and Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo in Kigali. The discussions centred on the ongoing relief efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda and the ways in which the United Nations and its partners are supporting them.
SECURITY COUNCIL WELCOMES PROGRESS IN SOMALIA
- The Members of the Security Council, in a press statement issued on Thursday afternoon, welcomed recent progress in completing the tasks outlined in the Roadmap to end the transition in Somalia. They particularly welcomed the National Constituent Assembly’s adoption of the new Somali provisional constitution.
- Council members said that that the adoption of the provisional constitution represents an important milestone in Somalia’s transition to more stable and accountable governance. They called upon all participants in the transition process to ensure that the selection of the members of the new Parliament happens as quickly as possible, and in a transparent manner.
- Meanwhile, the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), in a joint letter, warned that they are closely monitoring reports of potential spoilers or those using "reprehensible means" to undermine the peace process.
- They are prepared to take action, including possible targeted sanctions, in line with resolutions of the UN Security Council, and decisions by the African Union and IGAD. They called upon all concerned to take part in efforts to complete the transition by 20 August 2012 and play a constructive role in the forming of Somalia's new institutions.
25,000 UPROOTED PEOPLE FLEE DARFUR CAMP – U.N.
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that 25,000 people – the entire population – of the Kassab IDP camp in Darfur have left the site and are living with host families and relatives nearby. Some 22,000 of these people are dependent on food aid.
- The internally displaced people cited the lack of security, including rapes and unauthorized detentions, as the reason why they left the camp.
- The displaced people need food, household items and basic health supplies. Humanitarian partners are drawing up plans to respond to these needs.
NEW SYRIA ENVOY NOT YET ANNOUNCED: Asked about a successor for Kofi Annan as Joint Special Envoy for Syria, the Spokesperson said that there is nothing to announce at this point.
NO CONFIRMATION ON SECRETARY-GENERAL’S POTENTIAL TRAVEL TO IRAN: Asked whether the Secretary-General will attend the Non-Aligned Movement meeting in Tehran, the Spokesperson said that he has no trip to announce at this point.
SECRETARY-GENERAL FOLLOWING FOOD PRICE FLUCTUATIONS: Asked about the question of food prices, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General has been following recent developments and is concerned about the cost of food. He believes that high food costs can cause imbalances in society.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
11 – 17 AUGUST 2012
(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)
Saturday, 11 August
Today, the Secretary-General arrives in the Republic of Korea for an official visit. While in the country, he is scheduled to take part in the closing ceremony for the 2012 Yeosu Expo. He will speak at an international conference there on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Then, he will travel to Timor-Leste, where he is scheduled to hold talks with the President and Prime Minister and deliver a speech in Parliament.
Sunday 12 August
Today is International Youth Day
Monday, 13 August
Today, at 3:00 p.m., in the Economic and Social Council Chamber (ECOSOC) of the North Lawn Building (NLB), the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will hold its 344th meeting.
Tuesday, 14 August
There are no major events scheduled for today
Wednesday, 15 August
There are no major events scheduled for today
Thursday, 16 August
Today, in the morning, the Security Council will hold closed consultations on the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS).
Friday, 17 August
Today, at 10:00 a.m, in the General Assembly Building public lobby, the ninth anniversary of the bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad – and the fourth World Humanitarian Day – will be observed with a brief ceremony. The commemoration is organized by the Staff Union and its Standing Committee on the Security and Independence of the International Civil Service.