HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY VANNINA MAESTRACCI,
ASSOCIATE SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
THURSDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER 2012
U.N. MAKING REAL PROGRESS ON MEDIATION, BAN SAYS
- On Thursday morning, the Secretary-General attended the screening of a documentary on the theme of forgiveness and reconciliation in the General Assembly Hall.
- Later, the Secretary-General participated in a General Assembly meeting on mediation and conflict resolution where he presented to Member States his most recent report on the subject and the United Nations Guidance for Effective Mediation.
- In his remarks to this meeting, the Secretary-General said he was pleased to report that the United Nations was making real progress, working hard to enhance its readiness to implement and support mediation processes.
- He said that the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), which anchors many UN mediation efforts, has been strengthened and that the Department’s Mediation Support Unit has become a key provider of mediation services within and outside the UN system.
- He said that overall, the United Nations has improved its support for inclusive and effective mediation processes. But he added that if we are to sustain these efforts, mediation efforts must be adequately resourced.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS ATTACK AGAINST NEW SOMALI PRESIDENT
- In statement issued on Wednesday night, the Secretary-General strongly condemned Wesdnesday’s attack on the Jazeera Hotel in Mogadihsu where the newly-elected Somali President was meeting the Kenyan Foreign Minsiter.
- The Secretary-General said that he is convinced that such acts will not reverse the recent achievements or weaken the determination of the Somali people to achieve peace and security in their country. He reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to support President Mohamud and the Somali people in their efforts.
JOINT SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR SYRIA VISITS DAMASCUS TO HOLD TALKS WITH GOVERNMENT AND OPPOSITION
- On Thursday, the Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, arrived in Damascus.
- During his visit to Syria, Mr. Brahimi will hold talks with the Government, and with representatives of the Syrian opposition and civil society. He will also meet the UN Country team.
- Mr. Brahimi is accompanied by Mokhtar Lamani, who will remain in Damascus to assume his new function as Head of the Office of the Joint Special Representative for Syria in Damascus.
- Asked about Mr. Brahimi's meetings in Syria, the Associate Spokesperson confirmed that he will be meeting with President Bashar Al-Assad.
U.N. COORDINATOR FOR LEBANON VISITS PALESTINIAN REFUGEE CAMP IN BEIRUT
- The UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon visited the Palestinian refugee camp of Burj Barajneh in Beirut on Thursday to see first-hand the humanitarian and living conditions at the site.
- It was Derek Plumbly’s first visit to the camp, which is one of 12 official refugee sites in Lebanon.
- He noted the difficulties facing the camp’s residents, but hailed the efforts of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to address some of the day-to-day challenges.
CHILD MORTALITY ON DECLINE FOR OVER TWO DECADES, U.N. AGENCY SAYS
- In a report released on Thursday, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says that the number of deaths among children under five has been on a continuous decline for over two decades around the world.
- The number has dropped from nearly 12 million in 1990 to an estimated 6.9 million in 2011.
- UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said that the global decline in under-five mortality is a significant success, but millions of children are still dying each year from largely preventable causes for which there are proven, affordable interventions.
- Mr. Lake stressed that these lives could be saved with vaccines, adequate nutrition and basic medical and maternal care.