4. SOUNDBITE (English) Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General:
"As you know, this morning I held a good meeting with the opposition leader of Israel, Mrs. Livni. I urge Israel to restore settlement restraint, under its Roadmap obligations, and I urge Arab leaders meeting in Sirte to keep doors open and support President Abbas. Negotiations should move forward intensively, focused on resolving core issues - not talks for the sake of talks."
5. Med shot, reporters
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General:
"Handled properly, the January ballot could help build a future that improves the lives of all Sudanese. Handled poorly, it could spark conflict, with consequences across Africa and beyond. We worry at the lack of progress in forming the Abyei Commission."
7. Med shot, reporters
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General:
"The report was not "toned down," as some claimed. No deal was done to save face for any troop-contributing nations. It is now up to the government of the DRC, with the High Commissioner's help, to act on its recommendations - especially as they relate to transitional justice."
9. Med shot, reporter
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General:
"The size of DRC is almost the same as West Europe. We have only 18,000 soldiers there. So you can just imagine the proportions of the difficulties and limitations which UN Peacekeepers. But I am not going to be defensive about this. We are committed to protect the population, civilian population as much as we can."
11. Med shot, reporter
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General:
"The work of the independent judiciary system should not be interfered by any decisions or any measures taken by any country or any people in Lebanon and outside; that is firm and clear. Nobody can interfere or prejudge the decisions or proceedings of the tribunal, otherwise you'll never be able to see and achieve the end of impunity."
In a review of global crisis flashpoints, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today (6 October) called on Israel to restore a settlement moratorium in occupied Palestinian territory and warned that mishandling of the independence referendum in Southern Sudan could spark renewed conflict.
He also stressed the independence of the United Nations-backed tribunal entrusted with uncovering the truth behind the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others in 2005, and denied that a human rights report on massacres in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had been toned down to save face for neighbouring countries cited in the report who also contribute troops to UN peacekeeping forces.
The Secretary-General told reporters that after a meeting with Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni he urged Israel "to restore settlement restraint, under its Roadmap obligations". He also urged Arab leaders meeting in Sirte "to keep doors open" and support Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
He stressed that negotiations should "move forward intensively, focused on resolving core issues - not talks for the sake of talks."
The Roadmap refers to the internationally endorsed plan to establish a Palestinian State living side by side with Israel in peace and security. Israel did not extend a 10-month moratorium on settlement building that expired at the end of September, without which Abbas has said he will not continue the peace talks, an issue he will discuss with other Arab League leaders at a meeting on Friday in Sirte, Libya.
Turning to Sudan, Ban noted that there are less than 100 days before two referenda on self-determination in Africa's largest country on 9 January.
He said that "handled properly, the January ballot could help build a future that improves the lives of all Sudanese", but if handled poorly, "it could spark conflict, with consequences across Africa and beyond".
He expressed concern "at the lack of progress in forming the Abyei Commission."
The referendum in Southern Sudan is the final stage in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the 2005 pact that ended two decades of fighting between the northern-based Government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in the south.
A second referendum is being held in the oil-rich Abyei region to decide whether it belongs to northern or southern Sudan.
On the DRC, the Secretary-General stressed the high standing of a recent UN human rights report that found that atrocities were committed from 1993 to 2003 by both armed Congolese groups and foreign national military forces, with tens of thousands of people killed and numerous others raped and mutilated.
Noting that it is now up to the DRC Government to act on its recommendations, especially as they relate to transitional justice, he emphasised that the report was not "toned down," as some have claimed, and "no deal was done to save face for any troop-contributing nations."
Ban indicated that the UN mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) is now reviewing its policies and operations in the aftermath of recent fighting and the rape of more than 300 unprotected civilians in eastern North Kivu province, where UN peacekeepers are stationed but he pointed out the limits on action by the world body in such a vast country.
He said that the size of DRC "is almost the same as West Europe" and pointed to the "proportions of the difficulties and limitations" which the only 18,000 UN Peacekeepers face.
He added that he "not going to be defensive about this" and stressed that the UN is committed to protect the civilian population "as much as we can."
Turning to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which is facing serious challenges, including calls by the Syrian Government for its annulment and threats by Lebanese opposition parties to cut its funding, Ban said that "the work of the independent judiciary system should not be interfered by any decisions or any measures taken by any country or any people in Lebanon and outside".
He added that "nobody can interfere or prejudge the decisions or proceedings of the tribunal; otherwise you'll never be able to see and achieve the end of impunity."
The Tribunal is an independent body that was set up in The Hague in the Netherlands, following a probe by an independent international commission after an earlier UN mission found that Lebanon's own inquiry into the massive car bombing in February 2005 was seriously flawed and that Syria was primarily responsible for the political tensions that preceded the attack.