HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY FARHAN HAQ,
ASSOCIATE SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
MONDAY, 10 SEPTEMBER 2012
SECRETARY-GENERAL COMMENDS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL FOR QUICK ACTION IN RESPONDING TO CRISIS IN SYRIA
- The Secretary-General was in Geneva on Monday, where he addressed the Human Rights Council.
- He commended the 47-member body for its quick action in responding to the crisis in Syria.
- The Secretary-General said that he is deeply troubled by the aerial bombardments of civilians by Government forces, by the increasing sectarian tensions, by the deteriorating humanitarian situation, and by the apparent choice of both sides to pursue a solution through force rather than dialogue.
- All of this, he said, complicates our efforts to facilitate a transition and promote the peace that the Syrian people deserve. He urged all involved to unite behind the diplomatic efforts of the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Lakhdar Brahimi, who is in Cairo today.
- High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay also spoke at today’s session, calling the situation in Syria increasingly dire.
- She noted that gross violations of international human rights and humanitarian law continue to take place every day.
- Ms. Pillay strongly urged all parties to protect civilians from the ongoing violence and to immediately cease acts of violence against civilians in violation of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. She also issued a call halt the supply of ammunition to both sides.
SECRETARY-GENERAL DISCUSSES COOPERATION WITH PRESIDENT OF INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS
- After speaking at the Human Rights Council, the Secretary-General spoke at the League of Nations Library, where he applauded the mission of the Library to serve international understanding.
- The Secretary-General also met with Pierre Maurer, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and senior staff of the Committee. They discussed cooperation between their respective organizations and also talked about a number of humanitarian crises, including Syria, Afghanistan, the occupied Palestinian territory and the Sahel.
- They agreed on the urgency of a cessation of hostilities and respect for international humanitarian law in Syria, and expressed the hope that the commitment of the international community would not falter in Afghanistan.
U.N. CONDEMNS SERIES OF ATTACKS IN IRAQ
- Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, strongly condemned the series of attacks that killed dozens and injured many more across Iraq on Sunday. He expressed condolences to all those who suffered the loss of a loved one and wished a speedy recovery to those who were wounded.
- In a separate statement issued on Monday, Mr. Kobler urged all political forces in the Council of Representatives to reach agreement on the selection of the new Board of Commissioners of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC). He said all sides should find a solution that serves the legitimate democratic aspirations of the Iraqi people.
Asked about the Secretary-General’s views on the violence, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General shared the views of his Special Representative.
He added, in response to further questions on the violence, that the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq continued to examine the human rights situation in the country and to put out periodic reports about human rights.
U.N. MISSION IN DARFUR CONCERNED OVER RESUMPTION OF VIOLENCE IN KUTUM, NORTH DARFUR
- The leadership of the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur, known as UNAMID, has expressed its deep concern over a recent resumption of violence in Kutum, North Darfur, which has resulted in casualties among the local population.
- The Mission's team site near Kutum reported that the security situation has deteriorated, with a rash of shootings, including an assassination attempt on a local official, since 4 September.
- UNAMID has evacuated wounded civilians by helicopter to El-Fasher for emergency treatment.
- The Acting Joint Special Representative, Aichatou Mindaoudou, said that she was saddened that the people of Kutum have again had to endure pain and suffering. UNAMID calls for a cessation in hostilities and for all parties to engage in peaceful dialogue.
U.N. PEACEKEEPING CHIEF VISITS GREAT LAKES REGION AND SOUTH AFRICA TO DISCUSS SITUATION IN D.R. CONGO
- Hervé Ladsous, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, began a visit to the Great Lakes region and South Africa on Monday.
- The purpose of his six-day visit is to discuss the situation in the eastern Democratic of the Congo (DRC) with national authorities and regional bodies in advance of the High-Level meeting on the situation in eastern DRC that will be convened by the Secretary-General on 27 September.
- Mr. Ladsous was in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and he was due to also visit Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa.
I.A.E.A. CHIEF REMAINS CONCERNED ABOUT NUCLEAR PROGRAMME OF D.P.R.K., IRAN
- Addressing the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Monday, Director General Yukiya Amano said that he remains seriously concerned about the nuclear programme of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
- He reiterated his call on the country to fully comply with its obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions and with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and to cooperate promptly and fully with the Agency.
- On Iran, Mr. Amano said that despite the intensified dialogue between the Agency and the country since January of this year, no concrete results have been achieved so far.
- He said this is frustrating because, without Iran's full engagement, the Agency will not be able to start the process to resolve all outstanding issues, including those concerning possible military dimensions to its nuclear programme.
APPOINTMENT OF ACTING HEAD OF U.N. INSTITUTE FOR TRAINING AND RESEARCH: The Secretary-General has appointed Sally Fegan-Wyles of Ireland as the Acting Head of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, known as UNITAR. Ms. Fegan-Wyles will replace Mr. Carlos Lopes who has been appointed as Executive Secretary for the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Ms. Fegan-Wyles’ most recent position was as Senior Advisor on System-Wide Coherence in the Office of the Deputy Secretary-General (ODSG).
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONTINUES TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT MALI: Asked about the political situation in Mali, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General continued to be concerned about Mali, both with regards to recent political developments and the humanitarian situation in the Sahel region as a whole. The Secretary-General would convene a high-level meeting on Mali and the Sahel later this month and hoped that leaders participating in the General Assembly plenary would attend.