ANKARA, 12 September — The 2019 International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East concluded today with robust discussions on topics ranging from better ways to report on women in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to social media’s role in supporting Palestinian activism — or spreading harmful misinformation — in a rapidly changing world.
Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message to the United Nations International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East, in Ankara today:
ANKARA, 11 September — The 2019 International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East opened here today, with journalists, academics, diplomats and senior Government officials examining the crucial role of media and online activists in amplifying the voices of everyday Palestinians more than 50 years into the occupation.
There is urgent need to safeguard the global consensus on the Palestinian question, the Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine said today, expressing hope that forthcoming elections in both Israel and the United States will offer a path towards shifting the political dynamics around the two-State formula.
In Central America, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is launching five campaigns designed to underscore the risks of irregular migration and encourage informed decision-making among young migrants. The campaigns will take place in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
Scattered violence, rising death and injury tolls, and the ongoing construction of settlements in occupied territory continue against a backdrop of stalled negotiations on how to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process told the Security Council today.
Amid recent developments in the Persian Gulf and the wider Middle East, the Security Council discussed today how to ease tensions and contribute constructively to the resolution of conflicts in the region, as many speakers described the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the core of regional instability.
United Nations humanitarian officials in the Philippines report that the Government declared a national dengue epidemic yesterday. There have now been more than 146,000 reported cases of dengue fever and 622 confirmed fatalities since the beginning of 2019, mostly affecting children between 5 and 9 years old.
With the aim to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and ensure operational continuity, the Secretary-General has decided, in coordination with UNRWA’s Commissioner-General, to appoint Christian Saunders of the United Kingdom as Acting Deputy Commissioner-General of UNRWA at the level of Assistant Secretary-General.
Tangible steps are urgently needed to reverse a negative trajectory in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs told the Security Council today, urging Member States to do all they can to create the circumstances for advancing peace.
The humanitarian situation in north-west and south-west Cameroon continues to deteriorate and 1.3 million people are now in need of assistance. The humanitarian response for the country is one the most critically underfunded in the world. Only 20 per cent of the $300 million requested has been received.
Some 450 non-State combatants have been disarmed and demobilized in western Central African Republic since the signing of the peace agreement in February, according to the United Nations mission in that country, including elements of the Front Démocratique du Peuple Centraficain and the Union des Forces Républicaines.
The Security Council today renewed the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan for six months, until 31 December 2019, requesting the Secretary-General to ensure that the Force has the required capacity and resources to fulfil the mandate in a safe and secure way.
A total of 23 donors today announced contributions, or their intention to contribute, to the 2019 budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) after two young Palestinian students told the General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee how critical funding was making a deep, lasting and positive impact on the lives of millions of children like them.
Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks to the pledging conference for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), in New York today:
With nearly 6,000 housing units advanced, approved or tendered, recent weeks have seen the largest expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank in two years, the senior United Nations official coordinating the Middle East peace process official said today, as he briefed the Security Council on the flagging implementation of its resolution 2234 (2016).
Today is World Refugee Day. Events, recognizing that close to 70.8 million people around the world are fleeing war, persecution and conflict, include a social media takeover of the Secretary-General’s Youth Envoy accounts by a young Syrian refugee who now lives in Za’atari camp, in Jordan.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Major General Shivaram Kharel of Nepal as the acting Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Mohamed Khaled Khiari of Tunisia as Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations.
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
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