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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
12 October 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 Michèle Montas, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.


**Questions and Answers

Question:  There was a report from Ramallah from the Abbas office saying he received a call from Mr. Ban Ki-moon.

Spokesperson:  The Secretary-General spoke to him yesterday.

Question:  Can we have readout about this?

Spokesperson:  I’ll try to get readout for you.

Question:  And also the Palestinian Presidential statement in Ramallah said that Mr. Ban Ki-moon expressed his support for a re-discussing of the Goldstone report in Geneva.  Can you confirm that this was part of what they discussed?

Spokesperson:  Yes, this is part of what they discussed.

Question:  Does he support reopening the subject in Geneva?

Spokesperson:  Well, he said that he would support the proposal that was made.

Question:  What is his position on the report itself?  What is the position of Mr Ban Ki-moon?

Spokesperson:  Which report?  The Goldstone report on Gaza?  As I said, so far, we have always had the same position.  The report was first with the Council on Human Rights and now it is [being introduced] as you know in front of the Security Council.  And there is a possibility it will be re-examined by the organ that actually sponsored that report and the Secretary-General will not comment until these different bodies have taken action on that report. 

Question:  Clarifying when the Secretary-General said he would support the proposal that was made, you are talking, [inaudible] reopening it at the Human Rights Council.

Spokesperson:  Yes.


Spokesperson:  No, I don’t, I cannot confirm that.  I can try to find out a little more for you.  And just to clarify, regarding the Goldstone report, it is not in the Security Council, I made a mistake here.  The Wednesday debate on the Security Council is a periodic debate on the Middle East.  Of course the Goldstone report would come up, but it is not in the Security Council as a subject.

Question:  Just to follow up, there were some protests from the Palestinian Authority about statements made about the Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Middle East, in which he accused the sons of President Abbas of being owners of some cell phone company there.  Has this been conveyed to the Secretary-General and do you have any reaction to that?

Spokesperson:  Well, this I understand has been raised, but the Secretary-General did not know about it, and just learned about it from what Mr. Abbas told him. 

Question:  Did Mr. Abbas protest those kinds of statements by Mr. Falk?

Spokesperson:  I cannot speak on behalf of Mr. Abbas, I can tell you the issue was raised with the Secretary-General.  And the Secretary-General was not aware of it and learned of it then.

Question:  Any evidence to support that?

Spokesperson:  I have no idea.  I do not speak on behalf of Mr. Falk.  He is a Special Rapporteur, not as he was identified in that news media, the High Commissioner for Human Rights.  He is not.  He is a Special Rapporteur.

Question:  Some of the permanent members of the Security Council are split regarding the Goldstone report.  Shouldn’t the Secretary-General have a clear position on this, in order to say, is it an authentic document.  Some delegates have been saying it is not impartial.

Spokesperson:  The report was a report that was addressed to the Human Rights Council.  You know in what circumstances it was [brought] to the Security Council.  The Secretary-General will not interfere with the process.

Question:  Is there any progress in negotiations with for release of the Israeli soldier and Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails?

Spokesperson:  I don’t have anything new on this.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record

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