HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY FARHAN HAQ
ASSOCIATE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Friday, October 23, 2009
BAN KI-MOON DISCUSSES GAZA, HUMANITARIAN AND OTHER ISSUES WITH SENIOR ISRAELI OFFICIALS
- In response to a question, the Spokesperson confirmed that the Secretary-General spoke by telephone to Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on 22 October. On the report of the fact-finding mission headed by Justice Richard Goldstone, the Secretary-General emphasized the importance he attaches to addressing the issues of justice and accountability ever since his visit to Gaza last January. He reiterated his call for credible domestic investigations by all parties into any allegations of serious human rights violations committed during the conflict, Haq said.
- The Spokesperson added, in response to questions, that the Secretary-General met today with Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom. They discussed a broad range of issues of mutual interest, including Iran's nuclear programme, Lebanon and resolution 1701, the UN's Gaza reconstruction proposal, the Goldstone report, and the Board of Inquiry headed by Ian Martin. On the humanitarian front, the Secretary-General asked for a positive response by Israel to the UN's Gaza reconstruction proposal, and expressed his serious concern at the adverse impact that further delay would cause.
- Asked about Israeli settlements, Haq added that the Secretary-General has frequently expressed his concerns on settlements to Israeli officials.