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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 MARTIN NESIRKY,
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

TUESDAY, 18 SEPTEMBER 2012

SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS RELIGIOUS LEADERS SHOULD HELP PROMOTE TOLERANCE

  • On Tuesday afternoon, the Secretary-General was scheduled to speak at the opening of the 67th session of the General Assembly.
  • The Secretary-General was due to say that we are living in a period of unease, and that, at a time of rising unemployment, rising inequality, rising temperatures, and rising intolerance, the United Nations must rise to the moment.
  • On Monday evening, he spoke at the Church of the Holy Family, and he noted the backdrop of global protests and violence in response to yet another harmful instance of hatred and provocation. He said that we need religious leaders in all parts of the world to help lead the way in promoting tolerance, seeking forgiveness, healing divisions and building mutual understanding and mutual respect.
  • And also on Monday, the Secretary-General made remarks at the closing of the 66th session of the General Assembly. He said that the General Assembly, during that session, had sought to promote mutual understanding and a culture of peace across the world, including through the Alliance of Civilizations. As the troubling events of recent days made clear, this must remain a priority.

JOINT SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR SYRIA VISITS REFUGEE CAMPS ON TURKISH AND JORDANIAN BORDERS

  • On Tuesday, the Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, visited refugee camps on the Turkish and Jordanian borders with Syria.
  • In Turkey, he went to the Altinoz camp in Hatay Province, and in Jordan he visited the Za'atari camp. In both camps, he was briefed by UN agencies and Government officials on conditions in the camps.
  • Mr. Brahimi met Syrian refugees and listened to first-hand accounts of their ordeals. He was deeply moved by what he saw and heard and promised to convey an accurate picture of their plight to all those whom he will meet at the United Nations in New York, where he will be next week.

SECURITY COUNCIL REITERATES ITS SUPPORT FOR AFRICAN UNION MISSION IN SOMALIA

  • The Security Council adopted a resolution on Tuesday expressing its determination to work closely with the new institutions and offices of the Somali authorities and encouraging the new President to appoint an inclusive, accountable Government. The Council reiterated its support for AMISOM, the African Union Mission in Somalia. The Council strongly condemned the grave and systematic human rights violations perpetrated by many parties, including al-Shabaab.
  • Also on Tuesday morning, the Security Council held consultations to discuss developments in Yemen and in Guinea-Bissau.
  • On Tuesday afternoon, the Council was due to hold consultations on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on which it was due to receive a briefing by the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous.
  • On Monday, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, briefed the Council on efforts to develop an integrated regional strategy for the Sahel.

SOMALI WOMAN WINS 2012 NANSEN REFUGEE AWARD, U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY ANNOUNCES

  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) announced on Tuesday that a Somali woman is the winner of the 2012 Nansen Refugee Award.
  • Hawa Aden Mohamed is a former refugee who chose to return to Somalia in 1995. There, she launched an ambitious education programme to assist people uprooted by Somalia's persistent conflict and recurring droughts.
  • The Refugee Agency said Hawa Aden Mohamed is being given this award in recognition of her exceptional, tireless and inspiring humanitarian work under incredibly difficult and challenging circumstances.
  • A few days ago, she was taken to hospital for surgery. The Refugee Agency hopes that she will be sufficiently recovered and well to attend the Nansen Award prize ceremony in Geneva, which is scheduled for 1 October.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

U.N. EMPHASIZES NEED FOR HUMANITARIAN ACCESS TO ALL AFFECTED PEOPLE IN SUDAN: Asked about humanitarian access to the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states in Sudan, the Spokesperson emphasized the need for access to all affected people to stop people fleeing. He said that the United Nations calls on the Government of Sudan to allow a cross-line humanitarian operation to assist vulnerable people in those areas.

U.N. SAYS PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE INFORMED IN COTE D’IVOIRE: Asked about reports of the closure of some newspapers in Cote d’Ivoire, the Spokesperson said that reporters have the right to go about their work and that people have the right to be informed. The UN Mission in that country on Monday noted the suspension of restrictions that had been placed on some media outlets days earlier.