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

25 July 2013

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

25 July 2013
Spokesperson's Noon Briefing
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

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

The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Eduardo del Buey, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to the Briefing.

**Secretary-General Meeting with John Kerry

The Secretary-General met with United States Secretary of State John Kerry this morning.  In remarks to the press before that meeting, he said that they would discuss Syria, the Middle East and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, among other matters.  On Syria, the Secretary-General emphasized the need to bring the conflict to an end, with more than 100,000 people having been killed and millions more either being displaced or becoming refugees in neighbouring countries. 

He added that the head of the chemical weapons investigation team, Dr. Åke Sellström, and the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane, have just visited Syria and met senior officials of the Syrian Government to discuss the modalities of the investigation.  He expects that they will report back to him shortly.

On the Middle East, the Secretary-General commended Secretary Kerry’s consistent and principled engagement to revive the peace process for a two-State solution.  His full remarks are in our Office and online.

**Security Council

The Secretary-General spoke this morning at the Security Council debate on the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes region.

He said he was deeply concerned about the current hostilities between the M23 movement and the Congolese armed forces.  He added that all parties needed to return as soon as possible to the Kampala talks and urged the signatories of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region to jointly and individually respect their commitments.  He called on the international community to be even more determined to lift the people of the region from the oppression of insecurity, human rights abuses and poverty.

The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the region, Mary Robinson, said that the Framework was a promise of peace, security, cooperation and development.  But, she added, efforts will bear fruit only if all actors involved, at the local, national, regional and international levels, push in the same direction and if there is an immediate cessation of hostilities in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

These remarks are available in our Office.  And the Council adopted a presidential statement, which is also available.

Questions, please?  Yes?

**Questions and Answers

Question:  Thank you. Any comments on the results of the visit of Dr. Sellström?

Deputy Spokesperson:  No, as the Secretary-General said he expects to have a report when the report is made.

Question:  There are reports already that the Syrian Government had agreed with the inspections on the…

Deputy Spokesperson:  We have no information about that.  Nizar, microphone please?  Five, four, three…

Question:  Do you have anything regarding the assassination today in Tunisia of Mr. [Mohamed] Brahmi?  This morning, there was an assassination of a… of a second Tunisian activist.

Deputy Spokesperson:  No, I have nothing on that.  Okay, thank you very much, ladies and gentleman.  Have a good afternoon.

[He later told the correspondent that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, strongly condemned the assassination of Mohamed Brahmi and urged the country's people and politicians to form a united front against attempts to derail the country’s democratic transition.  Ms. Pillay called upon the authorities to immediately launch a prompt and transparent investigation to ensure that the people who carried out this crime are held accountable.]

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