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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 VANNINA MAESTRACCI,
ASSOCIATE SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

 WEDNESDAY, 12 SEPTEMBER 2012

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS ATTACK AGAINST UNITED STATES CONSULATE IN BENGHAZI, LIBYA

  • In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Secretary-General said he was deeply saddened by Tuesday’s attack against the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, resulting in the deaths of four US diplomats, including Ambassador John Christopher Stevens, as well as Libyan employees of the Consulate.  The Secretary-General condemns this attack in the strongest terms.
  • The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the United States Government and to the bereaved Libyan and American families. The Secretary-General reminds the Libyan authorities of their obligations to protect diplomatic facilities and personnel.  He welcomes statements by Libyan authorities that they will bring the perpetrators to justice.
  • The Secretary-General reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to continue working with the Government and the people of Libya as they strive to bring stability to their country.
  • On Wednesday morning, the Security Council heard a briefing on Libya by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman.
  • On the attack on the U.S. diplomatic presence in Benghazi on Tuesday, Mr. Feltman said that the United Nations rejects defamation of religion in all its forms, but that there is no justification for such violence.
  • He added that the United Nations condemns in the strongest terms this attack on a diplomatic facility and that we extend our condolences to the families – Libyan and American – of those killed.
  • The UN is committed to doing its best to support Libya’s ongoing transition and to help the Libyan people achieve their aspirations for a secure, democratic, united, and prosperous Libya.
  • The Security Council, in a press statement, also condemned the attack in the strongest terms.
  • Also on Libya, the Secretary-General has appointed Tarik Mitri of Lebanon to replace Ian Martin as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Libya.
  • And also on Wednesday morning, the Security Council adopted a resolution to extend the mandate of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) until 31 March 2013.

JOINT SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR SYRIA MEETS SECRETARY-GENERAL OF LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES IN CAIRO

  • The UN-League of Arab States Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, continued his meetings in Cairo. On Wednesday, he had a joint meeting with the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Nabil ElAraby, and the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar.
  • Mr. Brahimi was also invited to by the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States to brief a meeting of permanent representatives of the League. He thanked them for their confidence in him and said he was approaching the crisis in Syria with his eyes open and the full knowledge that it was an extremely difficult task.
  • On Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Brahimi met with representatives of the Syrian opposition.

U.N. SAYS THAT UP TO 250,000 PALESTINIANS IN SYRIA ARE IN NEED OF ASSISTANCE

  • The UN agency assisting Palestinians – known as UNRWA – says that up to 250,000 Palestinians in Syria are in need of food, health services and other assistance. It called for $54 million to help those affected by the crisis.
  • Syria is home to more than 500,000 Palestinians, most of whom live in Damascus, Homs, Aleppo and other urban centres.
  • Many of those in need will need cash assistance because the small businesses they work for have shut down, the agency says.

SECRETARY-GENERAL ASSURES NEW SOMALI PRESIDENT OF U.N. SUPPORT IN BUILDING A PEACEFUL COUNTRY

  • On Somalia, on Wednesday, while he was still in Geneva, the Secretary-General spoke by telephone with Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the new President of Somalia, to congratulate him on his selection.
  • The Secretary-General noted that Somalis still face great challenges and assured the new President and the Somali people of the United Nations’ support in building a new and peaceful country.
  • The Secretary-General also said that he hopes the new President will attend the forthcoming General Assembly, when he plans to chair a meeting with world leaders supporting Somalia. He said this would be an important opportunity for the new President to set out his immediate priorities and launch a new partnership with the international community.

U.N. URGES VENEZUELA TO RECONSIDER DECISION TO WITHDRAW FROM AMERICAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

  • The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has strongly urged Venezuela to reconsider its decision to withdraw from the American Convention on Human Rights.
  • Ms Pillay warned that this decision could be a serious setback for human rights protection in Venezuela and the region as a whole.
  • She added that Venezuela’s move runs directly counter to the resolutions recently adopted by the UN Human Rights Council aiming at the enhancement of cooperation and dialogue between international and regional human rights mechanisms.
  • The High Commissioner called on all States in the Americas region to continue to cooperate with regional and international human rights mechanisms and to refrain from taking any steps to weaken one of the oldest and most effective regional human rights protection mechanisms.

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES GENERAL ASSEMBLY’S ADOPTION OF RESOLUTION ON HUMAN SECURITY

  • In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Secretary-General said that the General Assembly’s adoption of a resolution on human security marks an important milestone in a common understanding of human security at the United Nations.
  • The Secretary-General noted that human security brings together the three pillars of the Organization and seeks to promote greater coherence in our response to various challenges facing people worldwide.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECRETARY-GENERAL RECEIVED A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT OF MALI: Asked if the Secretary-General had received a letter from the President of Mali, the Spokesperson confirmed that it had been received. She added that the situation in Mali was of great importance to the Secretary-General and that he would be convening a high-level meeting on the situation in the Sahel, including Mali, on the margins of the General Debate of the forthcoming General Assembly.

U.N. HUMANITARIAN CHIEF ADDRESSES CONFERENCE ON PARTNERSHIP IN KUWAIT: UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos addressed the opening of the third Annual Conference on Partnership and Information Sharing for Better Humanitarian Action in Kuwait City on Wednesday. A web-based Arab Humanitarian Portal (www.arabhum.net) offering timely and reliable humanitarian information and analysis for the first time in Arabic was launched at the conference.