HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
TUESDAY, 21 MAY 2013
SECRETARY-GENERAL DEEPLY SADDENED AT DEATH AND DESTRUCTION IN OKLAHOMA CITY AFTER TORNADO
- The Secretary-General was deeply saddened to hear of the death and destruction in Oklahoma City as a result of Monday’s tornado. He sends his deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones and to everyone affected by the storm.
- The Secretary-General has written to the Governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin, to express his solidarity and to offer the assistance of the United Nations, if requested, to help with the recovery efforts.
SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS CLASHES IN D.R.C. SHOWS IMPORTANCE OF IMPLEMENTING FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT
- The Secretary-General met with Mozambican President Armando Guebuza in Maputo on Tuesday. They discussed a wide range of topics, including developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Madagascar, as well as in Mozambique. The Secretary-General praised the President and the country for the progress made over the past 20 years.
- The Secretary-General briefed reporters after that meeting, and he said that the clashes in the eastern DRC showed how urgent it was to implement the framework agreement for the DRC and Great Lakes region.
- The Secretary-General also visited a school in Maputo, where he met many students and discussed his "UNiTE" campaign to end violence against women and girls. He also delivered a lecture at Mozambique's International Relations Institute and answered questions from students.
- Tomorrow, the Secretary-General travels to the DRC, where he will join with the President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim for talks with Congolese leaders.
U.N MISSION IN D.R.C REPORTS RESUMED FIGHTING IN MUHAHO NEAR GOMA
- The United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) reports that this morning for the second day, fighting between M23 and the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) has resumed in Mutaho, 12 km from Goma.
- MONUSCO is actively continuing its diplomatic and political efforts at all levels to contain, and end these clashes. The Mission has expressed strong concerns about this development while actively intervening to seek de-escalation of this situation.
- MONUSCO is closely monitoring the situation and call for restraint.
D.R.C.: ENVOY FOR GREAT LAKES REGION EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER RECENT OUTBREAK OF FIGHTING NEAR GOMA
- Mary Robinson, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa, expressed her concern on Tuesday about the recent outbreak of fighting in locations near Goma, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- She said that the suffering and displacement of people, especially women and children, in the eastern Congo and beyond have gone on for too long and cannot be tolerated any further.
- The Special Envoy proposed a set of principles on Tuesday to guide immediate efforts to tackle the crisis in the region, while maintaining a focus on long-term solutions. Those proposals are informed by her recent visit to the region. She urged the DRC and all other parties to implement their commitments under a recently adopted framework agreement with a focus on a peaceful resolution to the crisis in the eastern DRC and the region.
NIGER: CHOLERA EPIDEMIC LEAVES 7 PEOPLE DEAD, SAYS U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said today that a cholera epidemic declared by the Government of Niger on May 11 has left seven people dead in the west of the country, including two Malian refugees.
- To date, 248 cases have been registered in Niger’s Tillaberi region, including 31 cases in refugee camps.
- Outbreaks of cholera are recurrent in Niger, which is currently hosting some 50,000 Malian refugees, including 31,000 in three camps in the Tillaberi region.
- The Refugee Agency is responding to the outbreak in the camps by implementing emergency health and sanitation measures, such as increasing the supply of clean water. It says that more drugs are urgently needed to treat potential new cases.
- A cholera epidemic last year affected 5,287 people and killed 110 throughout Niger.
POVERTY AND FOOD INSECURITY HAS RISEN IN EGYPT, SAYS WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME
- Poverty and food insecurity have risen significantly in Egypt in the past three years, according to the World Food Programme and other organizations.
- A joint report by the World Food Programme and the country’s Government found that nearly 14 million Egyptians – or 17 per cent of the population – suffered from food insecurity in 2001, compared to 14 per cent in 2009.
- Data also shows that between 2009 and 2011, some 15 per cent of the population moved into poverty.
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR BUILDING RESILIENCE TO DISASTERS AT GLOBAL CONFERENCE
- The Deputy Secretary-General said that diverse actors of society are key to building resilience to disasters and making our communities safer. He said this at the opening of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva this morning.
- He noted that the United Nations is committed to reducing the risks stemming from disasters in the world and he said that least developed and small island developing States face the added burden of high vulnerability and exposure to hazards.
- The Deputy Secretary-General also expressed sympathy to the people of Oklahoma hit by the recent tornado.
SYRIA: U.N. SPOKESPERSON UNDERSCORES NEED FOR END TO VIOLENCE
- Asked about reported clashes in Golan, the Spokesperson said that the latest reports once more underscore the need for an end to the fighting and the concerns about a spillover of the fighting. The violence, he said, has to end.
- Asked about the activities of Lakhdar Brahimi, del Buey said that he was working with different parties to see whether an international conference on Syria can take place soon. He added that Mr. Brahimi is in Cairo today.
- Asked about the situation of Syrian refugees in Jordan, the Spokesperson noted that the UN Refugee Agency has been in touch with the Jordanian authorities on the matter.