Daily Press Briefing (01 March 2012)
By the Office of the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General.
Elements of the Noon Briefing:
As you will have seen, the Secretary-General and Kofi Annan, the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and League of Arab States for Syria, met yesterday evening and then they briefed reporters.
They both emphasized the urgent need to end the violence in Syria and gain access for humanitarian assistance.
The Secretary-General urged the Syrian authorities to extend their full cooperation to the Special Envoy.
The full transcript and indeed the webcast of that press briefing are available online.
This morning, the Secretary-General and Mr. Annan met with the five Permanent Members of the Security Council to brief them on the Special Envoy's priorities.
In a few minutes from now the Secretary-General and Mr. Annan are scheduled to speak by telephone with Nabil El Araby, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States.
And then tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 p.m., the Secretary-General will report to the General Assembly as required under last month's General Assembly resolution on Syria.
It's a formal plenary meeting, so it will be televised and webcast for you to follow.
The Human Rights Council passed a resolution today strongly condemning the continued widespread and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities, such as the use of force against civilians and enforced disappearances.
The Council also deplored the actions of the Syrian regime over the past 11 months and expressed its strong concern at the humanitarian situation, including the lack of access to basic food, medicine and fuel.
It called on the Syrian Government to immediately put an end to all human rights violations and attacks against civilians, as well as to allow free and unimpeded access by UN and humanitarian agencies.
The full resolution is available on the Human Rights Council's website.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, Ján Kubiš, has said he hopes that action will be taken following the accidental desecration of the Holy Quran, by members of ISAF, the International Security Assistance Force, in Afghanistan.
He said an investigation should be followed by disciplinary proceedings. Speaking in the Afghan capital, Kabul, he said the United Nations was very hurt by the incident.
He added that he shared the feelings of the people of Afghanistan after what he called a very grave mistake.
He applauded the Afghan authorities and religious leaders for their appeal to the people of Afghanistan not to resort to violence.
The judgment in the trial of the former Liberian President, Charles Taylor, will take place on 26 April.
Mr. Taylor was charged in an 11-count indictment alleging responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international humanitarian law committed by rebel forces in Sierra Leone during the country's decade-long civil war. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The Judgment will be delivered at 11:00 a.m. on 26 April in a courtroom belonging to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague, where the trial has been taking place.
The United Kingdom assumes the presidency of the Security Council today for the month of March. Their Permanent Representative will be in this auditorium tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. to brief you on the Programme of Work.
PRESS CONFERENCES TOMORROW
Tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., there will be a Joint Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) -UN Women press conference to discuss the findings of an annual survey on women in parliament and executive political power, highlighting successes and setbacks. Speakers will include Michelle Bachelet, the Executive Director of UN Women.