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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY EDUARDO DEL BUEY, DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON TUESDAY, 29 JANUARY 2013
Martes, 05 de Febrero de 2013 20:16
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SOURCE HERE (Office of the spokesman for the Secretary-General)

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY GETTING READY TO ASSIST POSSIBLE RETURN OF THOUSANDS OF DISPLACED PEOPLE IN MALI

  • The Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, represented the United Nations at the donors’ conference for Mali held on Tuesday at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa.
  • In his remarks, Mr. Feltman stressed the urgency of the situation and the strong commitment of the United Nations to support Mali.
  • The UN Refugee Agency said on Tuesday that it is readying itself to assist in the possible spontaneous return of thousands of conflict-displaced people in the north of Mali.
  • It said that it aims to open new presences in Gao and other cities in the north as soon as it becomes feasible.
  • The Refugee Agency said that despite the indications of growing interest in returns, conditions in the north of the country are difficult. People recently displaced from the north have reported serious shortages of food, clean water and fuel.
  • In all, some 380,000 people have fled northern Mali since the start of the conflict a year ago. This includes 230,000 who are internally displaced, and more than 150,000 who are living as refugees in Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Algeria.

U.N. ENVOY FOR WESTERN SAHARA TO VISIT MOSCOW AFTER CONSULTATIONS IN WASHINGTON

  • The Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, held meetings with senior officials of the U.S. Department of State in Washington on Monday and departed on Tuesday for Moscow as the first steps in further consultations with the Group of Friends of Western Sahara.
  • In addition to the United States and Russia, the Group of Friends includes France, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
  • During his trip, which will extend until February 15, the Personal Envoy will also visit Germany and Switzerland.
  • These consultations aim at building additional international support for the Western Sahara negotiations in preparation for the next phase of engagement with the parties and neighbouring states, foreseen for March.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATORS MUST BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE: Asked about reports of human rights violations by Malian forces, the Spokesperson said that any violations of human rights have to be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.

ALL JOURNALISTS HAVE RIGHT TO DO THEIR WORK WITHOUT FEAR OF PERSECUTION: Asked about the rights of journalists in Iran, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General believes that all journalists have the right to do their work without fear of persecution.