HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
TUESDAY, 14 AUGUST 2012
SECRETARY-GENERAL WRAPS UP VISIT TO REPUBLIC OF KOREA
The Secretary-General is in Jakarta, Indonesia, and will travel to Timor-Leste.
On Tuesday in Seoul, the Secretary-General had a number of meetings related to sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
- He met with the Republic of Korea's Global Compact Network, which brings together business leaders in support of the work of the United Nations, including on sustainable development and corporate social responsibility.
- The Secretary-General also visited the headquarters of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and met a number of officials, children and goodwill ambassadors. He praised UNICEF Korea for its strong fund-raising and advocacy work, and recalled the role of UNICEF in the country's recovery after the Korean War.
- The Secretary-General visited the National Assembly to meet a wide range of parliamentarians active in supporting the MDGs. He also held talks with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Kang Chang-hee.
U.N. RELIEF CHIEF ARRIVES IN SYRIA
- Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, arrived in Syria on Tuesday at the start of a three-day mission to draw attention to the deteriorating humanitarian situation and the impact of the conflict on civilians caught up in the fighting.
- She met in Damascus today with the Syrian Prime Minister, Wael al-Halki; the Deputy Foreign Minister, Faisal Mekdad; and Dr. Ali Hayder, Minister of State for National Reconciliation.
- She also met with the Head of the UN Mission, General Babacar Gaye, and is expected to meet the President of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, Dr. Abdul Rahman Attar.
- Asked about the next Joint Special Envoy for Syria, the Spokesperson said he had no announcement to make. He said that the Secretary-General was in close contact with the head of the League of Arab States concerning the appointment.
- Asked about the future of the UN role in Syria, the Spokesperson said that the Security Council would decide on what the UN present in Syria would be.
SOMALIA: SECRETARY-GENERAL VOICES CONCERN OVER DELAYS IN PARLIAMENT SELECTION
- The Secretary-General is seriously concerned about delays in the selection of the new Somali Parliament, and recent acts of intimidation and violence which should not continue or be allowed to threaten the successful conclusion of Somalia’s transition.
- In a statement issued on Monday evening, he called upon the Somali political leadership, the traditional Elders and other parties to rise above their differences and to act in the best interest of the Somali people.
- The Secretary-General has been encouraged by the progress achieved in Somalia's political process, and stresses that this progress must not be lost. He recalls the commitment of the United Nations to the peace, security and stability of Somalia, and emphasizes that action may be taken against any actor seeking to threaten the peaceful conclusion of the transition. The full statement is available in our office and online.
- Also, in a statement issued on Tuesday, Mark Bowden, the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, expressed his concern at recent reports of civilian casualties in Kismaayo caused by naval gunfire and air strikes.
NEPALESE DIPLOMAT APPOINTED NEW U.N. ENVOY FOR LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES
- The Secretary-General on Tuesday announced the appointment of Gyan Chandra Acharya of Nepal as Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.
- Mr. Acharya will replace Cheick Sidi Diarra to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedicated service and achievements.
- Mr. Acharya is currently the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations.
WORLD HUMANITARIAN DAY CAMPAIGN TOPS 100 MILLION PARTICIPANTS
- The global campaign that aims to make social media history by attempting to reach one billion people on 19 August to celebrate World Humanitarian Day has passed its first milestone – the 100 million mark.
- The campaign jumped in momentum following a live performance on Friday night at the United Nations General Assembly by Beyoncé, who sang “I Was Here” to more than 1,200 fans, celebrities, humanitarian workers and dignitaries.
- The video of the song, which Beyoncé and songwriter Diane Warren donated to the campaign, will premiere on 19 August.
DARFUR ENVOY RESIGNS
- In response to a question about the status of Ibrahim Gambari, who had been the UN-African Union Joint Special Representative for Darfur, the Deputy Spokesperson said that Mr. Gambari tendered his resignation from the posts of UNAMID Joint Special Representative and Joint Chief Mediator, ad interim, effective 31 July. This was accepted by the Secretary-General and the African Union Chairperson.
- The end of his assignment was noted in the last report of the Secretary-General on UNAMID.
- The announcement of Mr. Gambari’s successor will take place once consultations have been finalised. The Deputy Joint Special Representative (Political), Ms. Aichatou Mindaoudou, has been appointed Officer-in-Charge of the Mission and the Joint Mediation in the meantime.
- As was noted in his last report on UNAMID, the Secretary-General appreciates Mr. Gambari’s service and contribution to peacekeeping in Darfur.