The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) reports extensive damage in western Mosul, Iraq, with more than 1,000 homes destroyed. Humanitarian Coordinator Lise Grande says the damage in western Mosul is already far greater than that in the east, even before the battle to retake the Old City begins.
The number of children used in “suicide” attacks in the Lake Chad Basin conflict has surged to 27 in the first quarter of 2017, compared to nine over the same period last year, according to UNICEF, which states, in a report released today, that the increase reflects an alarming tactic by the insurgents.
The International Organization for Migration warned today that hundreds of migrants are being held under “slave market” conditions in North Africa. Describing the situation as “dire”, the agency also reported several cases in which migrants have been kidnapped in exchange for ransom.
Today, the Secretary-General will designate Malala Yousafzai as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, with a special focus on girls’ education. A global advocate for girls’ education and Nobel Peace Laureate, she will become the youngest-ever Messenger and the first to be designated by the current Secretary-General.
The Secretary-General said that he has been following the situation in Syria closely and with grave concern. Mindful of the risk of escalation — following reports of the United States air strikes against the Shayrat Airbase in Syria — he appealed for restraint to avoid any acts that could deepen the suffering of the Syrian people.
Briefing the Security Council today on Mali, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said that there had been progress in the implementation of the peace agreement, including with the establishment of interim authorities in a number of cities. However, he noted that there remain delays and that the gains are fragile.
The High Representative for Disarmament Affairs briefed the Security Council today on the alleged chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun, southern rural Idleb, Syria. If confirmed, he said, this would be the largest single chemical weapons attack in Syria since the Ghouta attack in August 2013.
Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien told the Brussels Conference on Syria today that humanitarian workers cannot stop indiscriminate attacks, sieges and forced displacements, but will continue to provide a lifeline to millions in need, including through regular programmes, cross-line, cross-border and air operations.
Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akıncı, and Greek Cypriot leader, Nicos Anastasiades, held an open and constructive exchange about the challenges experienced over the last months. The leaders reconfirmed their commitment to finding a solution in the best interest of all Cypriots.
The Secretary-General took notice with disappointment and alarm of the decision by Israel to build a new settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. He condemns all unilateral actions that, like the present one, threaten peace and undermine the two-State solution.