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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY,|

DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

MONDAY, 12 AUGUST 2013

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO VISIT PAKISTAN AND MEET WITH PRESIDENT AND PRIME MINISTER

  • The Secretary-General is on his way to Pakistan for an official visit.
  • While in Islamabad, the Secretary-General will meet with several senior officials, including the President and the Prime Minister.
  • The Secretary-General will also hold discussions with the Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, and receive an update on national disaster risk reduction efforts, as monsoon season begins.
  • And in line with the celebration of “Malala Day” at UN Headquarters last month, the Secretary-General will meet with students in Islamabad to discuss efforts to promote and expand quality education for all.
  • He will also attend Pakistan’s Independence Day celebration and will highlight Pakistan’s role as one of the largest troop and police contributing countries to UN peacekeeping at the inauguration of the Centre for International Peace and Stability.  

MALI: ELECTIONS TAKE PLACE WITHOUT MAJOR INCIDENTS

  • Elections were held in Mali on Sunday in the second round of the presidential elections. 
  • The UN mission in Mali, MINUSMA, reported no major incidents although heavy rains hampered the smooth conduct of voting operations in many parts of the country. In accordance with its mandate, the Mission provided technical and logistical assistance for both rounds of the presidential election, as well as support to the Malian security authorities.
  • In a bid to speed up the process, the Mission is also assisting the Malian electoral authorities with the return of result sheets by airlift from areas where it is deployed in Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal.
  • And on election day, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Bert Koenders, visited Kidal, accompanied by observers from the European Union, the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). He visited polling stations in Kidal and then Mopti before returning to see more voting areas in Bamako. Mr. Koenders also visited a cantonment site in Kidal set up following the Ouagadougou agreement reached last June.

SYRIA: MORE THAN 3,000 FAMILIES DISPLACED AROUND LATAKIA, SAYS U.N. RELIEF OFFICE

  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has received reports over the past two days that indicate that more than 3,000 families have been displaced from around 30 villages around Latakia city in Syria.
  • The Syrian Government has opened three shelters, but reports indicate that 80 per cent of the displaced people are staying with relatives and host communities inside Latakia city.
  • UN agencies and humanitarian partners are working with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to provide aid.

SUDAN: U.N. RELIEF OFFICE CONCERNED BY FLOODS

  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Sudan is concerned by significant flooding across eight states.
  • Humanitarian organizations report that floods have affected more than 150,000 people, the majority of them in Khartoum state. More rains are expected and the number of affected people is likely to rise.
  • UN agencies and humanitarian partners are coordinating closely with the Sudanese Government's Humanitarian Aid Commission and others to assess needs and provide assistance. Initial reports indicate that the most pressing needs are for food, shelter, water, sanitation, hygiene and health services.
  • As an immediate response to the floods, the United Nations and its partners have provided a range of emergency relief items, including tents, plastic sheeting, blankets, and water cans, as well as mobile clinics and sanitation services.

DARFUR: U.N. MISSION RECEIVES REPORTS OF ESCALATED HOSTILITIES IN EL DAEIN

  • Asked about hostilities in Darfur, the Spokesperson said that the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur, UNAMID, says that on 10 August, it received reports of further escalation of hostilities in El Daein and the general area which had resulted in unknown casualties.
  • On Monday, UNAMID provided a special flight to a Government/Darfur Regional Authority delegation to El Daein to support cessation of hostilities.  UNAMID also sent senior personnel to the field to provide technical advice in the mediation.
  • The Spokesperson also noted initial reports that unknown attackers have ambushed a UNAMID Formed Police Unit patrol in the town of El Daein. UNAMID has dispatched a Quick Reaction Force to extract the patrol.  At least one peacekeeper has been wounded.

SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS DEPUTY SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR U.N. MISSION IN HAITI

  • The Secretary-General has appointed Peter de Clercq of the Netherlands as his Deputy Special Representative for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), where he will also serve as United Nations Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Representative.
  • Mr. de Clercq will succeed Nigel Fisher of Canada, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedication and service in Haiti, including as his Special Representative ad interim since February 2013.
  • Mr. de Clercq brings to the position a solid experience in managing political processes, security sector development, operations and emergency management, protection of civilians and the rule of law, as well as mobilization of humanitarian and development assistance. He is currently serving as Senior Advisor to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia.

LEBANON: PRESENCE OF ISRAELI SOLDIERS VIOLATES BLUE LINE, SAYS U.N. MISSION

  • Asked about an incident near the Blue Line in Labouneh, the Spokesperson said that the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has said it is clear that the presence of Israeli soldiers in Lebanon in violation of the Blue Line constitutes a serious breach of the terms of UN Security Council resolution 1701. UNIFIL has strongly protested the violation to the Israeli Defense Force and called for its full cooperation with the investigations into the incident.
  • He added that a UNIFIL investigation team has already been to the location and continues to work in coordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces on the ground to determine all the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident.

D.R.CONGO: PEACEKEEPERS ESTABLISH SECURITY ZONE IN GREATER GOMA, SAYS U.N. MISSION

  • Asked about insecurity in North Kivu, the Spokesperson said that the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) reports that -- as planned and in close coordination with Congolese security forces -- its peacekeepers have established a security zone in the greater Goma area and along the Goma-Sake axis, in north Kivu province.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SETTLEMENTS IN OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY ARE ILLEGAL – SECRETARY-GENERAL: Asked about an announcement by Israel of settlement activity, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has made clear that settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory are illegal.

U.N. TEAM ON CHEMICAL WEAPONS HAS NOT YET BEGUN WORK IN SYRIA: Asked about the work of the chemical weapons team for Syria, the Spokesperson said that the team has not yet begun work in Syria. He said that the team has gathered in The Hague and logistics for their visit are being worked out with the Syrian authorities.