Daily Press Briefing
Elements of the Noon Briefing:
This morning in Davos, the Secretary-General held a press conference at which he said revolution had swept across North Africa and the Middle East, bringing new freedoms, and democracy, but also new challenges as well.
He said that from North Africa to New York, and Athens to Abidjan — people everywhere are demanding change. The global debate is focused on economic inequality and social justice, including the discussions at the World Economic Forum.
He said during the events of the Arab Spring he had consistently called for leaders to listen to their people. The Secretary-General urged leaders gathered in Davos to do the same.
The Secretary-General has held a number of bilateral meetings, including with the Swedish Foreign Minister and Nigerian Minister for Finance. We have issued readouts on those meetings.
The Secretary-General also spoke at a discussion on sustainable energy and at a meeting on "Catalyzing Transformational Partnerships between the United Natmions and Business". He said that private sector engagement is increasingly recognized as a strategic way to deliver profound change. More details are available online.
The Secretary-General is also participating in a session on this June’s Rio+20 sustainable development summit.
As you know, the annual Holocaust Memorial ceremony is taking place in the General Assembly hall. This year’s observance is dedicated to the children who were victims of the Holocaust.
In a message, the Secretary-General said children are uniquely vulnerable to the worst of humankind and that we must show them the best the world has to offer. He called on all nations to protect the most vulnerable, regardless of race, colour, gender or religious beliefs.
His message is available online.
You will have seen the reports on the release of a UN employee in Yemen.
We can confirm that a UN staff member, who had been held since the 15th of January, arrived in a UN safe haven in Sana’a today.
He is in good health and is receiving standard medical examinations and psychological counseling.
The employee is a 34-year-old Norwegian, who has worked as a Governance Team Leader in the United Nations Development Programme. He will recuperate in his home country before he resuming his duties with UNDP.
The UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, appealed today for US$1.28 billion to fund its humanitarian operations in 2012, assisting children in more than 25 countries globally this year.
The crisis in Somalia and in other countries in the Horn of Africa accounts for nearly one-third of the total amount needed, but UNICEF says it is also important not to forget the long-standing emergencies around the globe.
The Fund says that while some of these emergencies attract significant attention, others never reach international awareness, and many become ‘silent emergencies’.
The 2012 Humanitarian Action for Children report is available online.
The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, is looking at new ways to ensure uninterrupted assistance and services at Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camps -- despite insecurity and reduced humanitarian access.
The measures include giving a greater role to refugees in the day-to-day running of the camp.
The Agency says that refugees have always had a role in making camps work but that this role is being expanded in Dadaab. Hospitals, for example, have remained open, staffed by refugees, nationals, and a limited number of international staff.
UNHCR also says that more than 30 camp schools remain open and are run by refugee teachers.
There is more in the UNHCR briefing notes.
And as you know, the Security Council will be holding consultations today at 3 p.m. on the Middle East.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
28 JANUARY – 3 FEBRUARY 2012
(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)
Saturday, 28 January
There are no major events scheduled for today.
Sunday, 29 January
Today and tomorrow, the Secretary-General will attend the 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Monday, 30 January
This morning, the Security Council will hold consultations on the UN Mission in South Sudan as well as on the Security Council Committee established pursuant to paragraph 30 of resolution 1988 (2011) which oversees the implementation by States of the three sanctions measures (assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo) imposed by the Security Council on individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with the Taliban.
Tuesday, 31 January
There are no major events scheduled for today.
Wednesday, 1 February
Today, Togo assumes the monthly rotating Presidency of the Security Council.
Thursday, 2 February
At 11 a.m., Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, will hold a press conference in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium.
At 12:30 p.m., the President of the Security Council, Amb. Kodjo Menan of Togo, will brief on the Programme of Work for February.
Friday, 3 February
At 12:30 p.m., H.E. Mr. Johnson Toribiong, President of the Republic of Palau and H.E. Mr. Stuart Beck, Permanent Representative of Palau Mission to the UN, will give a press conference entitled "Rethinking Climate Change: Towards an Advisory Opinion from the International Court of Justice".
- VIDEO ON-DEMAND