The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees warned today that a extraordinary humanitarian disaster is about to hit south-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, as the Province of Tanganyika plunges further into violence, triggering spiralling displacement and human rights abuses.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, briefing the Security Council this morning, outlined a new proposal to relaunch peace talks with Israel — including the rapid convening of an international summit on the matter, and the subsequent creation of a multilateral mechanism to guide the process — while also demanding that the United States reverse its decision to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem.
Following are UN Secretary‑General António Guterres’ remarks to the Security Council at the briefing on the Middle East, in New York today:
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the United Nations human rights office released their annual report on the impact of armed conflict on civilians, finding that 10,453 civilians had lost their lives or suffered injuries in 2017. While down 9 per cent from 2016, casualties were caused mainly by suicide bombings.
The Food and Agriculture Organization launched a $1.06 billion appeal to help vulnerable communities in 26 countries fight hunger, seeking to reach 30 million people who rely on agriculture and have been affected by climate-related shocks, notably in Bangladesh, Somalia and Yemen.
Emergency fuel for critical facilities in Gaza will become exhausted within 10 days, the acting United Nations Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory warned today. Currently, the nearly 2 million Palestinian residents there receive electricity for no more than eight hours a day.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Jamie McGoldrick of Ireland as Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory. He succeeds Robert Piper of Australia, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his commitment and dedicated service.
Following are UN Secretary‑General António Guterres’ remarks at the opening of the 2018 session of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, in New York today:
Global consensus on the question of Palestine could be eroding, making it more difficult to achieve concerted action at a time when it was more important than ever, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres told the Palestinian Rights Committee as it opened its 2018 session.
United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock and United Nations Development Programme Head Achim Steiner are in Somalia to bring attention to the recently launched $1.5 billion aid appeal to avert famine and build resilience in the country. Some 5.4 million people need life-saving humanitarian assistance.
Twenty-five years after the historic Oslo Accords, the United Nations had fallen into a pattern of managing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, rather than resolving it, the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process told the Security Council today, underscoring the Organization’s responsibility to help the sides return to negotiations and quickly show results.
The Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya launched the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan to support the humanitarian needs of 940,000 people living in the country. The Plan seeks $313 million in donor funding to implement 71 projects by 21 humanitarian organizations.
The World Food Programme (WFP) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) appealed today to donors after they were forced to reduce food rations and cash assistance for more than 100,000 refugees in Rwanda.
The Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process informed the Security Council today that he was particularly concerned as to the future of international collective efforts to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians, pointing to a growing risk that parties could revert to more unilateral actions.
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) reported that a patrol hit a suspected improvised explosive device in Kidal city, wounding one peacekeeper on 18 December. The incident follows four separate attacks against peacekeeping personnel and premises in Kidal on 15 December.
Due to a veto cast by the United States today, the Security Council failed to adopt a draft resolution that would have called upon all States to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.
The United Nations refugee agency evacuated 74 refugees, mostly children and women, from Libya to Niger. In the Central African Republic, voluntary repatriation of Sudanese refugees has begun; since Tuesday, 230 refugees have arrived in Sudan. Agency-chartered flights will bring some 1,500 refugees home by the end of 2017.
A draft Security Council resolution reiterating the special status of Jerusalem — and rejecting any attempts to declare Israel’s capital or to establish an embassy there — would likely be submitted as early as Monday, the Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine told the Palestinian Rights Committee today.
At the annual Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) Pledging Conference, the Secretary-General called for a $1 billion CERF to help bolster contingency financing, noting that, since 2005, humanitarian needs have increased from $5.2 billion to over $24 billion today, with more people than ever on the brink of disaster.
Following is the statement by the General Assembly’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People regarding the recognition by the United States of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel:
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