United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon travelled from Damascus to Sharm el-Sheikh in the afternoon of Sunday, 18 January, where he attended the Conference on Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance in Gaza, hosted by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
In his speech to the Summit, the Secretary-General said that he expected all parties to the conflict to show restraint, and to fully facilitate urgent help by the United Nations to civilians. “If fighting resumes, if crossings are closed, or if the United Nations is hit by further attacks,” he warned, “it is the people of Gaza who will suffer. This must not happen.” (See Press Release SG/SM/12052.)
He said he would dispatch a high-level humanitarian and early recovery assessment mission to Gaza, and then, would launch a Flash Humanitarian Appeal to which he urged major donor countries to take part “and contribute generously”.
At a joint press conference with leaders attending the Conference, the Secretary-General said it was important to put the framework in place to make the ceasefire unilaterally declared by Israel “durable and sustainable”, with the full support of the parties concerned.
Mr. Ban travelled on from Sharm el-Sheikh later on Sunday afternoon to Kuwait.