Daily Press Briefing by the Offices of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General and the Spokesperson for the General Assembly President

28 October 2010

Daily Press Briefing by the Offices of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General and the Spokesperson for the General Assembly President

28 October 2010
Spokesperson's Noon Briefing
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Daily Press Briefing by the Offices of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

and the Spokesperson for the General Assembly President


The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Martin Nesirky, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, and Jean Victor Nkolo, Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly.

Briefing by the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

** Indonesia

I have a statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the natural disasters in Indonesia.

The Secretary-General is deeply saddened by the loss of life and destruction of property in Indonesia as a result of the eruption of Mount Merapi and the tsunami that affected the Mentawai Islands.

He extends his deepest condolences to the families of those who have been killed, injured or made homeless by these still unfolding tragedies.  He acknowledges the work the Government of Indonesia is doing to help those affected, and expresses the readiness of the United Nations to contribute to those efforts.

**Secretary-General’s Travels

And the Secretary-General is now in Hanoi in Viet Nam, where he met recently with President Nguyen Minh Triet and discussed a range of issues, including the Millennium Development Goals and tomorrow’s UN-ASEAN Summit.

Earlier today, he ended his visit to Cambodia and visited the former Tuol Sleng prison, which is now a genocide museum.  He said there that the people of Cambodia seek, and deserve, justice.

He told the people of Cambodia: “Your courage sends a powerful message to the world — that there can be no impunity, that crimes against humanity shall not go unpunished.  The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia is showing that.”

Before leaving Cambodia, he spoke to reporters and said that any decision on further trials by the Extraordinary Chambers of the Cambodia Courts would have to be made by the Courts themselves.  And we have a transcript of his press remarks in my Office.

**Security Council

Terje Roed-Larsen, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative concerning the implementation of resolution 1559 (2004), briefed the Security Council this morning in consultations on the latest developments in Lebanon.

The Secretary-General’s latest report says that Lebanon is experiencing a domestic climate of uncertainty and fragility.  It is therefore imperative that the spirit of entente and respect for the principles of security prevail.  The Secretary-General urges all political leaders to transcend sectarian and individual interests and to genuinely promote the future and the interests of the nation.

He also appeals to all parties, within and outside Lebanon, to immediately halt all efforts to transfer and acquire weapons and to build paramilitary capacities outside the authority of the State.

Mr. Roed-Larsen is speaking to reporters at the Council stakeout shortly, or possibly even now as those consultations have now finished.

** Afghanistan

Today, the United Nations in Afghanistan marked the first anniversary of the attack on a UN guest house in which five United Nations colleagues were killed.  There were commemorative ceremonies in Kabul and in regional centres in the country.  We remember our fallen colleagues Teshome Ergete, Jossie Esto, Louis Maxwell, Lawrence Mefful and Yah Lydia Wonyene.

Staffan de Mistura, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, told gathered colleagues that those who lost their lives were dedicated to serving the cause of peace in Afghanistan.  In remembering fallen friends and colleagues, he said that the best way to honour their memories was for all United Nations colleagues to continue to work for the peace which the Afghan people yearn for.

** Benin

The UN refugee agency — UNHCR — says its first flight of an emergency airlift to Benin landed in Cotonou this morning carrying 1500 tents from its emergency stockpile in Copenhagen.  The tents will provide urgently needed shelter for victims of the country’s catastrophic flooding.

UNHCR says the tents, which are part of the overall UN humanitarian response to the floods in Benin, will be sent as soon as possible to those parts of Benin where waters are receding and it’s possible to erect them.  Benin authorities and Caritas Benin are coordinating the distribution of shelter and humanitarian assistance to an estimated 680,000 people affected by the floods in the West African nation.

** Guinea

On Guinea, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa, Said Djinnit, has welcomed the decision reached yesterday to hold the second round of the presidential election on 7 November.  He urges the two candidates and other Guinean leaders to do everything to defuse tension and create conditions conducive for a peaceful ballot.  He also reiterates the support of the United Nations to the Guinean transition.

Jean Victor Nkolo, the Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly is here, and he will brief you after me.  So, questions, please?  Mr. Abbadi?

**Questions and Answers

Question:  Thank you, Martin.  Martin, you just indicated there will be elections — second round — in Guinea on 7 November.  And the two presidential contenders had anticipated travelling throughout the country to appease tension and reduce tension in the country.  They have now decided not to do so.  Is the Secretary-General concerned about possible violence and what preventive measures have been taken to…?

Spokesperson:  Well, as you just heard, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, who obviously is in the region and follows these matters extremely closely, has urged the candidates, and indeed other Guinean leaders, to do everything to defuse tension and to ensure that conditions are there for a peaceful ballot.  And also, as I just mentioned, Said Djinnit reiterated the support of the United Nations for this transition in Guinea.  That’s what I can tell you.  Yes, please?

Question:  There are news reports coming out of Haiti that MINUSTAH is investigating the possibility that the cholera outbreak could have originated from a Nepalese peacekeeping camp in the town of Mirebalais.  Apparently there is a sewage [inaudible] there and they’re taking samples, at least that’s what a couple of reports had said.  I just wonder if you could confirm that, and if there has been any sort of results of the initial investigations that they have determined cholera came from there.

Spokesperson:  Well, let me give you a few details here.  We take this issue very seriously and have been conducting the relevant tests.  There is a full press release that’s been issued by MINUSTAH, and I would urge you to refer to that.  It’s quite detailed and quite specific.  But drawing from that, I can tell you that tests from the military camp and waters adjacent to the river were conducted on Friday, 22 October, and those proved negative.  And additional tests were conducted on Tuesday, 26 October, and yesterday, Wednesday, 27 October, throughout the military base and the results of those tests will be out by tomorrow.  And I can also tell you that MINUSTAH would like to stress that all 710 Nepalese soldiers underwent all the required medical tests prior to their deployment in Haiti between 8 and 15 October, and none of them is cholera-positive.  That’s what I can tell you.  And there are more details as I say, in this quite comprehensive press release that has been put out by MINUSTAH in Haiti.  Yes?

Question:  Martin, just a technical question.  I did miss… I wanted to know where Mr. Terje Roed-Larsen is speaking now to the journalists.  Where is the place?  I would like to go there.

Spokesperson:  It’s the Security Council stakeout, and I am sure my colleagues in my Office will be able to help you to get there.  That’s the way.  Yes, Erol?

Question:  Martin, I just [inaudible] there is sort of discussion in the United States whether pot will be legalized; that is whether pot will be legalized or not.  And I know that the United Nations did have all these reports and everything, but I wonder, what would be the position, if any, on that and even if the Secretary-General will have one?

Spokesperson:  Let’s ask the people who deal with this very specifically, which is obviously the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna.  I am sure they will be able to help us to provide some more information on that.  Yes, Matthew?

Question:  Sure, Martin.  I have two questions on Sudan and also on this bedbug situation, but I wanted to ask about the trip first.

Spokesperson:  Which trip?

Question:  Say again?

Spokesperson:  Which trip?

Question:  The trip that he is on, Cambodia and Viet Nam.

Spokesperson:  Right.

Question:  I wanted to ask, you know, yesterday, you’d said that if those facing eviction or other activists in Cambodia had some written statement to give the Secretary-General, there would be a way.  As it happens, one activist, Suong Sophorn, was beaten by police attempting to deliver just such a petition.  And I wonder what the UN, you know, what do you think of that, and whether it’s true on all of his trips, all of his stops, whether the UN communicates to Governments in advance that barring political gatherings or beating people that are trying to reach the UN with some petition for… about… of their grievance?  What does the UN have to say about that and to make sure it doesn’t happen in future stops?

Spokesperson:  Well, as a general principle, since you have widened the question beyond Cambodia — I’ll come to Cambodia in a second — but as a general principle, of course we support the right to freedom of assembly and to protest peacefully.  In this particular instance that you’re referring to, the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kyung-wha Kang, was travelling with the Secretary-General in Cambodia, and she raised the incident that you are referring to at a meeting with the Secretary of State of the Interior Ministry, and she expressed the United Nations concern over the use of excessive force against peaceful petitioners.  And earlier, I can tell you that the Human Rights Office in Cambodia was in contact with the police immediately after the incident, and asked for the release of the leader — the person you are referring to.  That person was indeed released.  And the Office then met with the injured leader and took his testimony.  I can also tell you that the Deputy High Commissioner received a copy of their petition on behalf of the Secretary-General.  Okay, yes, Mr. Abbadi. I’ll come back to you.

Question:  Martin, what special message is the Secretary-General bringing to the ASEAN meeting?

Spokesperson:  Well, a number.  As you know, this is a regional summit.  The Secretary-General is meeting with those regional leaders.  Other countries from around the region, not just the ASEAN members, will also be joining at a certain point.  This is a chance for the Secretary-General to speak again about the Millennium Development Goals, to outline what was achieved here in New York during the General Assembly period in September and then to focus on how we then move things forward.  Doubtless, during the range of bilateral meetings which he will have on the margins of that meeting, he will be able to touch on specific topics that relate to those individual countries.  And obviously, as the Secretary-General has been mentioning on his stops already on this trip, Myanmar is an important topic.  The election is around the corner, and the Secretary-General has been consistent and vocal in his views on this.

Question:  And in that context, Myanmar, there are indications that the famous prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi would be released immediately after the election.  Do you have any information on that?

Spokesperson:  No information, specific information, on that.  We have heard the same reports, but more importantly, we have consistently said that she should be released immediately.  And that continues to be our view.  Yes, Erol?

Question:  Regarding special messages or particular messages, what would be the special message the Secretary-General is preparing for the G-20 summit in Seoul?  And is the Secretary-General concerned somehow of the donors fatigue in general, which is also somehow projecting in not fulfilling all commitments from the more rich countries to the poor world?

Spokesperson:  I think we will come back to the G-20 more next week.  But I would limit myself at this point to saying that development is on the agenda at the G-20.  This is an important new facet of the meeting of the G-20 leaders and clearly for the United Nations that’s a very important development, to be able to talk about the Millennium Development Goals, to talk about how those key countries and others, because after all, the United Nations represents not just 20, but 192 countries, to be able to project the message that progress is being made, but there needs to be a lot more work.  That’s what came out of the summit here in September.  It’s a chance for the United Nations to be able to make that clear, and to galvanize the support of some key players.  Yes, Matthew, and then I am coming to you.  Yes?

Question:  Sudan, and then this bedbug question.  I am not sure which one you prefer to have first.  I don’t know which is… I mean, you consider weightier, you know, I mean…

Spokesperson:  I am going to answer both or try to, so it really doesn’t matter, Matthew.

Question:  Okay.  [inaudible]  On Sudan, I wanted to ask, there are these… you know the leader of the Liberation and Justice Movement, al-Tijani Ateem.  There is a [inaudible] recent report saying that he may be… actually, I know that he used to work for the UN Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa.  It was never quite clear how he transitioned from UN staff to becoming a Darfur rebel.  But I did want to know, is he in fact on leave?  There is a report now saying that he may be a UN staff member, you know, on non-paid leave, but still retain this relationship to the UN.  It seems important to know given the stakes in the Doha talks if that’s the case.  And also, I mean this may be, I have been various times to Mr. Bassolé, but I have never received an answer from the office of Mr. Bassolé, including on how the three, Ban Ki-moon’s three-person panel, how it is compensated.  Where the funds come to pay, you know, Mr. Mkapa and the two, other two.  Did you ever get an answer on that, or is there some way to know the answer to these two questions?

Spokesperson:  On the first, we’ll see what we can find out.  On the second, we did ask for this.  I believe it’s in the works.

Correspondent:  All right.

Spokesperson:  Yeah.  And what’s your other question?

Question:  I want to ask… just… I’ll try to do it as briefly as possible.  After yesterday’s back and forth here about the… where bedbugs had been found, and I understand that these things change, you know, change through time.  There was a written statement put out saying that they had been found in the CMP office on the 19th and 20th floors.  Since then, I spoke to Mr. Andrew Nye of the Facilities Management who seemed to say they had also been found on the 1st, 2nd, you know, 15th, and 2nd sub-basement.  And I just want to know, is that… One, if that’s the case, what’s the current locations in the building in which they had been found and what steps are being taken to make sure the whole building is checked and they don’t spread further?

Spokesperson:  Well, I mean, you rightly said this is not a static picture, and it may be a very small target, but it is clearly a moving target.  And what we have at the moment is the following locations have been tested: the UNFCU building in Long Island City, a number of floors, four floors — 8, 9, 10 and 11; in the DC2 Building, which for those who are not familiar, is across the street from the UN compound — floors 11 and 25; in the North Lawn Building, the Technical Centre, which is in the 2nd basement level; and in the Secretariat on floors 1, 2, 15, 19 and 20.  These are where tests have been conducted, I want to make that clear.  And in the Library Building where we are located right now, floors 1 and 3.  That’s what I can tell you on that.

Question:  I’m just trying to understand, because when I spoke to Mr. Nye, he seemed to say that they have been found on 1, 2, 15 and 2nd sub-basement.

Spokesperson:  Well…

Question:  If these are just tests, why are, for example in this building, why would you test one and three and not two where the press is, just [inaudible]?

Spokesperson:  Well, this is the key point.  Tests are carried out on call, when requested.  It’s not feasible, I think that you could probably understand that, it’s not feasible to test every room in every building right now.  That’s not possible, not least because these are not… we have as you know, a dog unit, but those dogs are not bedbug-testing dogs.  They have a very different role.  The dogs that do those tests, I think you can probably imagine, they are in rather high demand in New York City.  And not just by the United Nations.  This is something — as other people have made clear, myself included — that this is something that affects a large swathe of this city.  They are in demand.  Therefore, we cannot test everywhere all at the same time or indeed do that in a preventive sense.  We do it when asked to do so.  And I think that’s the way it’s been done in consultation with the extermination company that deals with this.

Question:  Just one thing, and thanks a lot, because I am just trying to understand, when it says when requested, because I thought that the Secretariat Building for example, the 15th floor where we saw this is empty, we cant go there, it’s entirely empty.  So, who is on an empty floor?  Why is the UN testing an empty floor rather than a floor that’s full of people, and when are we going to get the results of the test [inaudible]?

Spokesperson:  Well, Matthew, as you yourself reported, and as we said yesterday, chairs from two of those floors were tested and therefore that may well have triggered the further tests.  And there are people, not UN staff, working there, but there are contractors of course working in the building.  That’s what the renovation is about.  And just to be clear, no one has actually reported having been bitten.  I think that’s an important point to mention.

Question:  Just the last thing, are these, since especially like DC-2 and these other buildings where people actually are working, are the people that work there going to be informed of the results of the test and are we going to hear here just other various tests that you have listed which ones turn out positive and which ones are negative?

Spokesperson:  We will do our very best to keep people informed.  As I said, it is a moving target by its very nature.  And we are a part of this city geographically, and therefore we cannot be totally immune from whatever happens elsewhere in the city.  That doesn’t make it any the less discomforting to the staff who are working in buildings where there have been tests and we recognize that.  And if we have more information, we will obviously share it.  It may seem incremental to you and to others, but that’s the nature of it.  People ask, request for tests to be carried out, and then that’s done when it can be done.

Question:  Has no one on the press floor requested the test, yes?

Spokesperson:  Ask your colleagues.  Not to my knowledge.

Correspondent:  All right.

Spokesperson:  Not to my knowledge.  I can tell you that the bug-sniffing dog was on the first and third floors last night, and no bugs were found.

Question:  Martin?

Spokesperson:  Yes.

Question:  Just on that, are you receiving any sort of report from the city officials on how they are struggling or fighting that or is there anything alarming regarding that that you would like to share with us?

Spokesperson:  Well, I don’t know what you mean.

Question:  You mentioned that the geographic of New York, which obviously recently is a big thing, big deal in New York, so…

Spokesperson:  Of course, it’s a big deal in New York for many people who live and work in the city.  That’s why I am saying that it is not something that it is somehow focused here.  It’s something that affects many different parts of the city, different kinds of buildings.

Question:  Nothing alarming from the city officials, as you know also…?

Spokesperson:  Well, look, I think you can quite easily check with the New York City authorities, health authorities, what their latest assessment for the city is.  I am telling you what I know about here.

Question:  Are you exchanging the view with them also or information…?

Spokesperson:  Let me find out exactly what’s happening on that particular score.  But with regard to the city, you can easily check I think.  And as we’ve already said yesterday, you know, this has been widely reported in the media, as well, that this is something that is in the city.  Yes, Mr. Abbadi?  I am sorry, I need to come to you, and then I am going to Mr. Abbadi.  Yes, yes?

Question:  Thank you, Martin.  On a different note, I wanted to ask whether you have some update on the UNFPA Executive Director’s selection.  Specifically, I am interested you know, in you confirming that the Secretary-General is actually considering a former Nigerian minister who was removed from office, who under his leadership the Global Fund of the UN criticized management of scarce resources and whose leadership the Global Fund said that the Fund was not going to be making further resources available to Nigeria.  Now, is it true that the Secretary-General is considering this person to be the Executive Director of UNFPA?  And secondly, is it also true that his nomination was actually not from the Nigerian Government when the nomination [inaudible] were done in July?  Is it true that his nomination came only last week after the Secretary-General’s panel has interviewed about nine people?  I want to know what is really true, because this is all the things that we are having in the media, so I would like you to clarify.  And I have a follow-up.

Spokesperson:  Well, I think you know what my answer to this is likely to be.  And that if this is a selection process that is still under way, then we’re not going to comment on people who may or may not be being considered for a post.  That’s standard procedure.

Question:  So…

Spokesperson:  What’s your follow-up?

Question:  So, you’re saying that you don’t [inaudible] the report that the Secretary-General is trying to nominate who has a corrupt record even in the UN system and somebody who was not nominated by the Federal Government of Nigeria after the UN Secretariat itself asked the missions in July to send it nomination requests?

Spokesperson:  Like I said, if there is a selection process, then it is a process, and we don’t comment on it while it is under way.  There may be many reports, not just on this job, on this selection, this particular position, but on many.  There will be rumours and speculation in the media and elsewhere about who is going to get the job, who is being short listed — we don’t comment on that.

Question:  Is the Secretary-General satisfied with his relationship [inaudible] with the Nigerian Government?

Spokesperson:  As I’ve said, this is a process, a selection process.  This is a…

Question:  No, I am asking a much broader question because of the, you know, recent issues between the Nigerian Government and the Secretary-General.  For instance, the issue of the problem of agreeing on the schedule of his visit, you know, the issue of the Assistant Secretary-General of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, who was removed, and replaced by somebody of the same age.  I am asking you, is the Secretary-General satisfied with his relationship with the Federal Government of Nigeria in terms of how he manages relationship with Nigeria, is he satisfied?

Spokesperson:  The Secretary-General has said very clearly that he will visit Nigeria when it is possible to do so, that at the time when a visit was planned, it didn’t work out because of scheduling.  As soon as it is possible, I am sure that he will go.  In the meantime, he is in frequent contact with the Nigerian authorities and that included, as you well know, during the General Assembly session when he met the President.  So, I think that that answers your questions.

Question: [inaudible] I mean, that last question — and this is my last question on this — but at that meeting that you just referred to between the Nigerian President and the Secretary-General, the President made it clear who the nominee of the Nigerian Government is on the UNFPA position.

Spokesperson:  So, were you in the meeting?

Question:  I said that the Nigerian Government made it very clear who…

Spokesperson:  Were you in the meeting?  You heard it, did you?

Question:  I didn’t have to be in the meeting, the Nigerian Government… you deny it if you tell me that it’s not true.  The President of Nigeria made it clear to the Secretary-General who the nomination of the Federal Government of Nigeria is for that position.

Spokesperson:  As I have said to you, we don’t comment on selection processes while they are under way.  That’s what I can tell you. 

Okay, I am handing over to Jean Victor.  Thank you very much.

Briefing by the Spokesperson for the General Assembly President

Bon après-midi, good afternoon.

**Official Visit of President of General Assembly to Japan

On the third day of his official visit to Japan, the President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Joseph Deiss, travelled to Hiroshima.  He laid a wreath at the Memorial Cenotaph, visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the Atomic Bomb Dome.

The President of the General Assembly also met and had a discussion with A-bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki who are special communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons.

In the evening, President Deiss had a dinner with the Governor of Hiroshima and the Mayor of Hiroshima.

The purpose of President Deiss’ visit to Hiroshima was twofold: to pay tribute to the victims and their families, and to send a strong message in support of disarmament and a world free of nuclear weapons.

On 29 October, President Deiss will give a lecture at the United Nations University in Tokyo and meet with the United Nations country team.  He will also hold a press conference at the National Press Club in Tokyo.

Questions?  Yes?

**Questions and Answers

Question:  [inaudible] that you mentioned that the President is strongly about to send or if he didn’t even send already the message on the nuclear-free world and [inaudible]?  Is… Just remind me please whether President Deiss is for a nuclear-free Middle East.  What is his position on that, clearly?

Spokesperson:  Well, first, the Middle East is, needless to stress, part of the world and it is one key area that has been the subject of many resolutions in the General Assembly and a lot of work has been done to this effect in the UN in general.  So, I think the best thing for me will be to forward to you the statement, the full speech made by President Deiss on this issue.  And we can also retrieve other specific statements in this regard.  The Middle East is a very, very important subject, and the President of course continues to support, and as he has said several times, the General Assembly will do whatever is possible, to contribute to peace in the Middle East.  And that of course includes, as everywhere else in the world, a nuclear-free world.

Question:  Nuclear-free world and also nuclear-free Middle East? 

Spokesperson:  Of course.

Question:  I mean, this is that… Why I am asking this is I don’t like to put it that way, but it is always easy to love all the mankind beside your first neighbour.  So, I mean, whether in particular he will intend to do something more to push with that idea which obviously would be very useful something think for the comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

Spokesperson:  I hear you.  The President is very committed to peace in the world and very specifically to peace in the Middle East.  He said it here several times, and some of the first interviews he actually gave on global television networks were interviews he gave to networks covering the Middle East.  And he made that point very clearly.  Peace in the Middle East is very important, and a nuclear-free world and a nuclear-free Middle East is equally very important.  So, I think what I will do, I will share with you the full message of the President on this specific subject.

Correspondent:  Thank you.

Spokesperson:  You are welcome.  Yes, Matthew?

Question:  Sure, I just… I wanted to, you know… and thank you for this answer on the meeting about the G-20 that these are, I guess, conventionally closed.  I am not sure why, but…

Spokesperson:  Maybe I should just, I just want to interject so that our other colleagues understand that the answer that I gave to your question regarding access of the press to a meeting that was closed and that was a G-20 meeting was that generally when the Secretary-General comes to brief the General Assembly on the occasion of an informal plenary, these meetings are closed.  And therefore…

Question:  I just wanted to ask a follow-up, that’s why…

Spokesperson:  Yes, yes.

Question:  Thanks for saying that out.

Spokesperson:  No, I just wanted our colleagues to understand where you are coming from.

Question:  Sure.  On that, I just wanted to know whether… I mean, I understand if it’s the way it’s been done in the past, that would… maybe that would be the presumption this time, but whether he thinks in this period of either revitalizing or making the General Assembly more prominent, whether it makes… is that something that the President of the General Assembly or the Secretary-General can say in this case we have no… there are no secrets here, we’re talking about global governance that, you know, the people have a right to, not just Member States, I mean… I just wonder what he thinks of, whether that should be the case going forward.  And also, I know that there have been various petitions and complaints raised by NGOs and others to have greater access to GA facilities, to the North Lawn Building, and I want to know, what’s his thinking on that?  Does he anticipate taking steps to make the process more open than it has been during his presidency?

Spokesperson:  You are quite right to raise this issue, Matthew.  The President, before leaving to Japan, I put this question to him and we have been addressing this issue.  I called and discussed this with other colleagues in the house.  Indeed, this question that you are asking and the other points that were raised elsewhere will really make the President look into this further, I would say.  But this is where we are as we speak now with these closed or open meetings.  But the fact that these questions are being raised, and the fact that you have raised them, and that others have raised them, clearly it’s something that cannot be ignored.  So, we will try to see as we continue to discuss about the revitalization of the General Assembly and making the work of the General Assembly even more relevant, I think these are some of the issues that will not necessarily remain static.  I am not promising any change, because it may not be in our hands, but this is something that will I think push the debate a bit further.  Yes?

Question:  How and in what form will you be making this available, the President’s statement on a nuclear-free world, because many of us would like to have this statement.  You just mentioned to Erol that you’d make it available to him.  Will this be an e-mail, we could all have it or…?

Spokesperson:  Well, if these statements are not online yet, because the speeches were made today, what I will do… we are going to circulate and I will make sure that you have that within the next two hours, the speeches that the President, the statement that he made in Hiroshima where the question of a nuclear-free world was at the very centre of his speech.  So, I will circulate that to all of you within the next two hours.  Yes, Dr. Abdelkader Abbadi?

Question:  I have two questions, one simple one and one more difficult. The simple one is this, has the President been invited to the ASEAN meeting and will he attend?

Spokesperson:  I will have to go back and check this and I should be able to bring you a specific answer today.  Off my head, I don’t want to give an answer that may be contradicted by facts and by what is on paper.  So, I will have to go and check very specifically and let you know. 

Question:  Second question, he is new in his office, but obviously he has followed the reforms, the discussions and the reforms of the Security Council.  Does the President think that the future, restructured, the reformed the Security Council would very much resemble the Group of 20?

Spokesperson:  I think that it is very important that I share with you again today, and I am going to send this to you Dr. Abdelkader Abbadi, the statement that the President — rather the speech that he will deliver at the United Nations University.  And that subject is very much the core of what he is going to address, the General Assembly as the centre for global governance and for global deliberation.  And I think it is important that I really forward to chapter and verse what is the exact thinking of the President on that matter.  That I think will be the best way to go.

No further questions?  I wish you a pleasant and good afternoon.  Bon après-midi.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.