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Source: Secretary-General
18 October 2013



HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

FRIDAY, 18 OCTOBER 2013


 
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MEMBERSHIP IN THE SECURITY COUNCIL IS DECISION BY MEMBER STATES, SAYS U.N. SPOKESPERSON

In response to questions on a reported announcement by Saudi Arabia that it would not take up a seat on the Security Council, the Spokesperson said that membership in the Security Council is a decision by Member States.

He noted that the Secretary-General had earlier said that he had taken note of the media reports but that he had cautioned that he had not received any official notification in this regard.

Nesirky added that the Secretary-General encourages all Member States to fully engage with the principal organs of the United Nations while advancing their efforts to improve their working methods. He noted that while there is a consensus on the need to reform the Security Council, the shape of these reforms were a matter for Member States to decide.

In response to a question on Saudi Arabia’s contribution to the UN, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General had underlined that he looked forward to continue working closely with Saudi Arabia in addressing important challenges, such as bringing an end to the war in Syria, helping Palestinian people achieve a viable State, helping the current transition in Yemen, extending humanitarian assistance to people in need and combating terrorism and nuclear proliferation.

Nesirky added that the Secretary-General would closely follow the discussions among Member States on Saudi Arabia’s decision.

Asked if the reported decision by Saudi Arabia showed lack of unity in the Security Council, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General had himself pointed to a lack of unity over the Syrian crisis in the past. However, Nesirky added that when that unity was present such as with the adoption of the resolution on chemical weapons in Syria or the Presidential Statement on humanitarian access in Syria, the Secretary-General had noted that he was encouraged and called for further unity in the Council.

Regarding humanitarian access in Syria , he said that both the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General wished to see greater access inside the country so that humanitarians could deliver aid to people who desperately need it.

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