New York

1 July 2013

Note to correspondents in response to questions on Egypt

We continue to closely follow the situation in Egypt.  Though it would seem the vast majority of those taking part in protests have done so peacefully to this point, the reports of a number of deaths and injuries, of sexual assault against women demonstrators, as well as acts of destruction of property are to be strongly condemned. 

We repeat the Secretary-General’s call for all parties to uphold the law, while respecting the right to demonstrate peacefully. We note that this right, in particular, must be extended to female demonstrators, given the concerns over the high number of reports of sexual assault.

It is crucial at this time that Egyptians find the way to resolve differences through democratic means.  Peaceful dialogue and non-violence are the keys to restoring stability and moving Egypt’s transition forward.  Leaders at all levels have a responsibility to work constructively and inclusively for the good of the country.

We appeal for tolerance and peaceful co-existence of different faiths and beliefs, as has been traditionally the case in Egypt.

The world is watching Egypt and what Egypt does with its transition will have a significant impact on other transition countries in the region. A stable and secure Egypt is crucial for regional stability and security.