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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
23 April 2009

Spokesperson's Noon Briefing

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York


The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Marie Okabe, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General and by Enrique Yeves, Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly.


** Gaza – Board of Inquiry

A brief item on the status of the Board of Inquiry report that was asked about yesterday:

The Executive Office of the Secretary-General did receive yesterday, 22 April 2009, the report of the Board of Inquiry reviewing and investigating several incidents that occurred in the Gaza Strip between 27 December 2008 and 19 January 2009 and in which death or injuries occurred at, and/or damage was done to, United Nations premises.  The Secretary-General will review the report carefully on his return to Headquarters.  We will keep you informed of developments.

That is all I have for you.  As I mentioned earlier, Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, has kindly agreed to postpone her appearance today.  She will be here tomorrow.

**Questions and Answers

Question: Does the Secretary-General have anything to say about the release of an Israeli report on the same incidents you just mentioned in Gaza, which... you know, anything to say about that?  Has he received any copy of those reports?

Deputy Spokesperson:  The Secretary-General was ensured by former Prime Minister, Olmert that he would receive the full Israeli investigation, which he has not yet seen.

Question:  And the report that was released yesterday in Israel, has it been seen by the UN people on the ground, because you have an office in Jerusalem?

Deputy Spokesperson:  As I just mentioned, the Secretary-General has not received that full Israeli investigation.

Question:  On the question that I was asking Catherine Bragg, about the ominous situation that...

Deputy Spokesperson:  Yes, I just asked Stephanie Bunker, who is the press point for OCHA to look into that for you, and [she] will get back to you with an answer.

Question:  Another question is, yesterday I asked that question also: the Israeli Deputy Prime Minister dubbed Iran as a Nazi-fascist State yesterday.  Does the Secretary-General have any response to that, as he was indignant about what the Iranian President said about the Israelis?

Deputy Spokesperson:  I think I was asked a similar question yesterday.  I did not have anything to comment.  I did not see the report and did not have any guidance on that.

Question:  On the Gaza report:  When will the Secretary-General be back to review that report, and does he plan to release it to the Member States and the Security Council?

Deputy Spokesperson:  I just read to you the latest I had on that, that he will review the report and will keep you informed of developments there. He plans to assess the report and determine a future course of action, including how best to share the findings.  That is what he said on the subject and I don’t have anything to add to that.  As for the Secretary-General’s return; he plans to return to Headquarters tomorrow afternoon.


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For information media • not an official record

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