The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Martin Nesirky, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
Good afternoon everybody.
**Questions and Answers
Question: On this Gaza flotilla, which is now it seems to be stuck now in Greece for whatever reason, it’s been sabotaged some allege, and so forth. Do you have any update on that? Is that, on that flotilla and as it is going on?
Spokesperson: Well, I think you would have to check with the organizers of the flotilla or the Greek authorities on the latest. As you will have seen, the Secretary-General did speak by telephone with the Greek Foreign Minister and supports the initiative of the Greek authorities to take the humanitarian aid on Greek ships and for this to be done in close coordination with the United Nations. This is something that the Secretary-General believes would help in two ways: one, it would help to reduce tensions; and, secondly it would help to ensure that aid gets to those who need it in Gaza.
Question: What the Greeks are doing is confiscating the aid goods and putting it in another boat and sending it to Gaza.
Spokesperson: I don’t think that’s the idea at all, Masood. I mean, I think that the Greek authorities can speak for themselves on the exact modalities of what they are proposing, but the idea is to work with the non-governmental organizations. And the Secretary-General has said, as you will have seen in the readout of his telephone conversation, that he hopes that the organizers of this flotilla would agree to this initiative as a way to ensure that the humanitarian goods do reach Gaza. Yes, Evelyn?
Question: I have a couple of questions about the Palmer Report on the 2010 Gaza flotilla. I had read in a BBC article that it is due out on Thursday; is there a possibility that you can confirm that, because if the Secretary-General is going to be abroad on Thursday, wouldn’t it be handed to him initially?
Spokesperson: Well, a couple of things: What we have said is that, and what the Secretary-General has said is that, more time was needed, and that time has been given. I don’t think we are yet at the point where the report would be handed over. If and when that happens, obviously we would let you know. As a general point, — but don’t read anything further into this — as a general point the Secretary-General doesn’t necessarily have to be physically present for a report to be handed over, of course, although that is highly desirable. But on the first part, simply to say that the Secretary-General made clear that more time was needed; and when we get to that point we’ll let you know. Yes, I’ll come back to you in a second. Yes.
Question: Yes, it’s a follow-up to my earlier question. In the same BBC article there was — I am paraphrasing — but the article said that one of the reasons for more time being given for the report was that there were really frenetic negotiations going on between Turkey and Israel, and that the language could be toned down. If you’ve sent the report, can you tell me, is, was the language particularly harsh? And in what way does it need to be toned down? Is it the language itself, or is it a semantic thing or linguistic thing?
Spokesperson: Well, I haven’t sent the report, is the short answer. But what I would say is what we said at the time; and that is that there is clearly a need for the parties concerned to find consensus on the report, and the wording of the report. And that’s why more time was given. Yes, and then I am coming to you Iftikhar. Please, Press TV.
Question: Yes, Martin, there is an item in the [inaudible] that had last week dated Tuesday, the 28th, saying in Brussels the United Nations meeting in support of Israeli-Palestinian peace process will take place today and tomorrow; that is Tuesday, 28, or Wednesday, 29. Do you have any results or outcome documents or reports from that meeting? ...
[The Spokesperson later said that the United Nations International Meeting in Support of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process, which was held in Brussels on 28 and 29 June, was one of a number of regular international conferences organized under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. He added that the concluding statement of the meeting could be found online.]