HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY THE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
FRIDAY, 27 NOVEMBER 2015
[There was no noon briefing on Friday, 27 November. Attached below are highlights of events throughout the UN system. Noon briefings will resume on Monday, 30 November.]
SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS CHEF DE CABINET AND DEPUTY
- The Secretary-General today announced the appointment of Edmond Mulet of Guatemala as his Chef de Cabinet and Patrick Carey of Ireland as his Deputy Chef de Cabinet Ad Interim.
- The Secretary-General reiterates his deepest gratitude to outgoing Chef de Cabinet, Susana Malcorra of Argentina, for her tireless support, outstanding leadership and admirable dedication. Her commitment, integrity and diligence inspired and shaped the United Nations, leading by example while setting standards at the highest level.
- Mr. Mulet has been Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations since 2007, with a term from 2010 to 2011 as Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). He served previously as Special Representative and Head of MINUSTAH, from 2006 to 2007, prior to which, he was a diplomat, having been posted as Ambassador to the European Union and the United States. He was a member of Guatemala’s National Congress for some 12 years, including one term as its President.
- Born in 1951, Mr. Mulet was educated in Guatemala, Canada, the United States and Switzerland. In addition to his public service, he worked for many years as a journalist and as a legal counsellor in public institutions and the private sector.
- Mr. Carey is presently Director of Office in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, a function he has exercised since 2012.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS SHELLING IN ABYEI THAT KILLED ONE PEACEKEEPER
- The Secretary-General strongly condemns the attack last night by unknown assailants on the residence of the Ngok Dinka Paramount Chief in Abyei town, during which one Ethiopian peacekeeper from the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and a young girl were killed. At least three civilians were also wounded.
- The Secretary-General calls on the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to assist UNISFA in swiftly bringing the perpetrators of this attack to justice. He urges both Governments to resume without delay their cooperation on the implementation of the 20 June 2011 Agreement on Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of the Abyei area and to support the Mission's efforts to promote dialogue between the Ngok Dinka and Misseriya communities. He calls on both communities to remain calm and avoid any escalation of this tragic incident.
- The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the Government of Ethiopia, to all UNISFA personnel, and to the families of the two victims. He wishes the wounded a speedy recovery.
SECRETARY-GENERAL MEETS U.K. PRIME MINISTER AND QUEEN ELIZABETH AT COMMONWEALTH SUMMIT
The Secretary-General had an audience today in Malta with Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Head of the Commonwealth.
In the course of the audience, Queen Elizabeth II and the Secretary-General discussed issues of mutual interest to the Commonwealth and the United Nations, notably on working together to prevent and resolve deadly conflict, eradicating poverty, promoting sustainable development and ensuring human rights for all.
They agreed on the importance of the Paris Conference COP21 to reach a universal and ambitious agreement on climate change.
The Secretary-General also met today with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, in the margins of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.
- The two leaders agreed on the importance to reach an ambitious and universal agreement on climate change at the Paris Conference. The Secretary-General thanked Prime Minister Cameron for his leadership and for doubling the contribution of the United Kingdom to climate financing.
- The Secretary-General and the Prime Minister also discussed the current diplomatic efforts, through the Vienna talks, for a political solution to the conflict in Syria, and stressed the importance of the upcoming fourth pledging Conference for Syria scheduled in London in early February.
CATHERINE POLLARD NAMED UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY AFFAIRS AND CONFERENCE MANAGEMENT
- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Catherine Pollard of Guyana as Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management. She will succeed Tegegnework Gettu of Ethiopia, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedicated service and able leadership.
- Ms. Pollard is since 2014 Assistant Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management prior to which she served as Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management (2008-2014). She was previously Chief of Staff in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and before that, the Director of the Peacekeeping Finance Division in the Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts.
BAN KI-MOON APPOINTS NEW SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION
- The Secretary-General today announced the appointed Robert Glasser of Australia as Assistant Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).
- Mr. Glasser will succeed Margareta Wahlström of Sweden, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her dedication and excellent leadership of UNISDR over the past seven years.
- Mr. Glasser is currently Executive-in-Residence at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), where he has focussed on the humanitarian impacts of climate change. He moved to GCSP earlier this year from CARE International, where he had been Secretary General since 2007.
HEAD OF HUMANITARIAN PARTNERSHIPS WITH MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA ANNOUNCED
- The Secretary-General today announced the appointment of Rashid Khalikov of the Russian Federation as Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Partnerships with the Middle East and Central Asia, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Geneva.
- Mr. Khalikov brings extensive experience in humanitarian affairs within the United Nations, most recently as Director of OCHA Geneva (since 2010) leading in building stronger partnerships, resource mobilisation and emergency preparedness. He brings wealth of experience in engaging with partners, including with Regional Organizations, in particular in the Middle East and Asia, as well as the private sector.
UNHCR URGES C.A.R.’S WARRING SIDES TO USE POPE’S VISIT TO WORK FOR PEACE
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is urging Central African Republic’s warring groups to take the opportunity of Pope Francis’s scheduled visit to Bangui this weekend to rebuild the national reconciliation process after a wave of violence that has triggered an 18 per cent increase in the number of people displaced within the country since September.
- At least 13 people died, including a UN peacekeeper, and hundreds were injured in November in the latest armed clashes in Bangui, Bambari and Batangafo, which included attacks on sites for internally displaced people (IDPs). Some 800 IDP shelters and 120 houses were destroyed in Bangui neighbourhoods.
- Those fleeing their homes have mostly hidden in the bush, fled to other sites or moved to the shelter of UN peacekeeping bases or compounds run by international humanitarian organizations.
- The recent waves of displacement have created new needs for protection, emergency shelter, health care, psychosocial support as well as water and sanitation. In many cases, help has been difficult to provide because insecurity has made it difficult to get access to some areas and some displaced people have remained without assistance for days. UNHCR is particularly alarmed at the situation of civilians in enclaves such as PK5 in Bangui, where people have been trapped with little access to aid since the September violence.
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL TRAVELS TO LIECHTENSTEIN, SWITZERLAND
- The Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, is in Liechtenstein today, attending the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Principality of Liechtenstein’s UN membership
- Mr. Eliasson was in Bern on Thursday, where he met with Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Didier Burkhalter. They discussed a wide range of issues, including Syria, as well as terrorism, the refugee crisis and the negative effects on development aid.
- Mr. Eliasson stressed the need to bring back respect for human rights and international humanitarian law and underlined the need for a political strategy to confront terrorism. He said the momentum created by the Vienna meetings on Syria must not be lost.
- On Wednesday, the Deputy-Secretary-General had participated in the Annual Democracy Forum 2015 in Bern.
VENEZUELA: IN WAKE OF ASSASSINATION OF OPPOSITION LEADER, U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF URGES STEPPED UP PROTECTION
- Following the assassination of Venezuelan opposition leader Luis Diaz, the High Commissioner for Human Rights today called on Venezuelan authorities to ensure that political opponents, human rights defenders and others facing threats in relation to their work are adequately protected.
- Mr. Diaz was shot while sharing the stage with the campaigner and activist Lilian Tintori, who is married to jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez.
- The High Commissioner said that he reminded President Nicolás Maduro during his recent visit to the Human Rights Council that a sovereign State must defend and protect individuals who criticize and question the policies and practices of the State. Democracy suffers greatly when the pre-election environment is marred by violence, threats and intimidation.
- The High Commissioner today urged authorities to ensure that the investigation into Luis Diaz’s murder is independent and impartial and brings to justice the perpetrators, as well as the masterminds behind the assassination. He added that all sides must refrain from violence and violent rhetoric in the run up to the elections.
DEPUTY EMERGENCY RELIEF COORDINATOR WILL VISIT IRAQ, JORDAN AND TURKEY
- UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Kyung-wha Kang is scheduled to visit Iraq, Jordan and Turkey from 28 November to 6 December to assess the humanitarian situation in those countries.
- In Iraq, Ms. Kang is expected to visit central and northern areas, including a meeting with displaced communities in Erbil. In Jordan, Ms. Kang will review humanitarian operations for people affected by the Syria conflict.
- While in Turkey, the Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator is scheduled to visit Gaziantep and Ankara, meeting senior officials and partners in the aid response, as well as discussing preparations for next year’s World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.
ADOLESCENT DEATHS FROM A.I.D.S. TRIPLE SINCE 2000 - U.N. CHILDREN’S FUND
- The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said today that the number of adolescent deaths from AIDS has tripled over the last 15 years.
- AIDS is the number one cause of death among adolescents in Africa and the second leading cause of death among adolescents globally. Among HIV-affected populations, adolescents are the only group for which the mortality figures are not decreasing.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, the region with the highest prevalence, girls are vastly more affected, accounting for 7 in 10 new infections among 15-19 year olds.
- However, among adolescents in that age group in the region, just over one child in 10 is tested for HIV.