Daily Press Briefing (01 February 2012)
By the Office of the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General.
Elements of the Noon Briefing:
The Secretary-General arrived in Israel this morning and met with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
He later travelled to Ramallah where he has been meeting with the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and Foreign Minister Ryad Malki.
The Secretary-General discussed the Middle East peace process with all leaders, especially the talks initiated in January by King Abdullah and Foreign Minister Judeh of Jordan. He noted that negotiations are the only path for a sustainable resolution of all final status issues.
While in Ramallah, he met with Palestinian civil society organizations. And he also met with graduates of the United Nations annual media training programme for Palestinian journalists.
We will continue to issue readouts of the various meetings with officials and provide transcripts of the Secretary-General's various press encounters.
Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, is in Juba today on the first stop of her three-day visit to South Sudan.
She met with representatives of aid agencies to discuss the multiple humanitarian challenges facing the world's youngest nation, six months after South Sudan gained independence.
Ms. Amos said that South Sudan faces significant humanitarian challenges, including hundreds of thousands of people displaced in 2011, people returning from Sudan and refugees from the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states in Sudan. She added that conflict, poverty and increasing food insecurity are having a major humanitarian impact.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that a relatively small number of aid organizations carry out some 30 simultaneous emergency operations in a vast, remote and insecure country, facing tremendous logistical challenges.
Tomorrow, Ms. Amos is expected to travel to Jonglei State.
There is a press release available from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Yesterday, we issued a statement on Senegal in which we said the Secretary-General is concerned about the upsurge of tensions in Senegal ahead of the presidential election scheduled for 26 February 2012.
The statement said that the Secretary-General urges all political parties and national stakeholders to refrain from violence in the pursuit of their objectives and to pursue peaceful means to resolve all electoral grievances.
The statement said that the Secretary-General calls upon all concerned actors to create enabling conditions for transparent, credible and peaceful elections that reflect the legitimate concerns and aspirations of the people of Senegal.
The full statement attributable to the Spokesperson is available online.
PRESS CONFERENCES TOMORROW
Tomorrow at 11 am, Under-Secretary-General Michelle Bachelet, the Executive Director of UN Women, will hold a press conference to mark the one year anniversary of UN Women.
And then at 12.30 pm, there will be a press conference by Ambassador Kodjo Menan, the Permanent Representative of Togo to the United Nations and President of the Security Council for the month of February. He will be briefing on the programme of work for the month.
I was asked yesterday for an update on Warrap State. Here's what I can tell you at this point:
The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) says that, on 30 January, it facilitated and accompanied a Government mission to the Bulich area in Makuac Payam/Tonj East County in Warrap State, which confirmed reports of an attack by an unknown number of armed uniformed men from Mayendit County, Unity State.
According to local sources, so far 78 people were reported killed, 68 wounded, nine missing and thousands are reported to be displaced. The team from the UN Mission observed 15 bodies that were still unburied.
The humanitarian community will call an emergency meeting of all humanitarian and protection actors to coordinate a response while the Human Rights division of the mission will investigate the incident.
The UN Mission has also held discussions with senior Government officials at the national and state level and an integrated mission including Government officials is being planned for today.