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Reports and Policy Documents

2024

  • 11 Jan 2024

    UN Photo

     

    Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, highlighted...
  • 11 Jan 2024

    South Africa addressed the UN's highest court on Thursday in a bid to end the mass killing of civilians in Gaza, accusing Israel of carrying out genocide against Palestinians there – a claim that Israel has strongly denied as "baseless".

  • 11 Jan 2024

    Recent developments in Colombia have highlighted the need to move forward in implementing the 2016 peace agreement signed by the Government and the FARC-EP militia group, UN Special Representative Carlos Ruiz Massieu told the Security Council on Thursday. 

  • 11 Jan 2024

    Russian strikes have continued to “wreak havoc” on Ukrainian cities, causing death and destruction and leaving millions of civilians without access to vital services, the UN aid coordination office (OCHA) said on Thursday.

  • 11 Jan 2024

    West Africa has seen shifting political sands throw up contrasting challenges over the past six months, revealing a stark contrast in the region’s journey towards democracy, the UN envoy for the region said on Thursday.

  • 11 Jan 2024

    Recurring denials and severe access constraints continue to paralyze aid teams trying to respond to the immense needs in northern Gaza, the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, has warned. 

  • 11 Jan 2024

    KABUL -  The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is deeply concerned over recent arbitrary arrests and detentions of women and girls by Afghanistan’s de facto authorities because of...

  • 10 Jan 2024

    Mogadishu – The UN can confirm that there has been an aviation incident involving a UN-contracted helicopter in Galmudug, Somalia. The helicopter was conducting an air medical evacuation. The UN is in the process of...

  • 10 Jan 2024

    New York –  The Secretary-General spoke today with His Excellency, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, at his request. He took note of Somalia...

  • 10 Jan 2024

    New York –  The Secretary-General spoke today with His Excellency, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, at his request. He took note of...

  • 10 Jan 2024

    UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL ROSEMARY A. DICARLO’S

    REMARKS TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL ON

    UKRAINE

    New York, 10 January 2024

     

    Thank you, Mr. President,

    The new year has brought no respite to Ukraine. On the contrary, in recent weeks, the country has been suffering some of the worst attacks since the beginning of the illegal war.

    Over the holiday period, Russian missiles and drones targeted numerous locations across the country, including in Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Khmelnytskyi, Dnipropetrovsk, Sumy, Cherkasy, Odesa and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine.

    In Kherson, apartment buildings and a medical facility, as well as a railway station packed with more than a hundred civilians awaiting evacuation, were struck. Similarly, almost daily shelling has been reported across part of the Kharkiv region.

    Since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has verified 29,522 civilian casualties: 10,233 people killed, including 575 children, and 19,289 injured, including 1,260 children. 

    Just between 29 December and 2 January, OHCHR recorded 519 civilian casualties –  96 people killed and 423 injured.

    On 29 December alone, 58 civilians were killed and 158 injured in country-wide Russian drone and missile strikes. This was the highest number of civilian casualties in a single day in all of 2023.

    Meanwhile, on 30 December, in the city of Belgorod in the Russian Federation, at least 25 civilians were reportedly killed, and more than 100 others injured in strikes attributed to Ukraine. Cross-border attacks have reportedly continued in recent days prompting some civilians to evacuate from Belgorod.

    On Saturday, 7 January, 11 civilians, including five children, were reportedly killed in a missile strike in the town of Pokrovsk in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities attributed the attack to Russian armed forces.

    Civilians in frontline communities bear the heaviest burden of the missile, drone and artillery barrages. Sixty-nine per cent of all civilian casualties are recorded in Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine.

    The impact of the war on children is particularly appalling. Since the start of the war, nearly two-thirds of Ukrainian children were forced to flee their homes – some of them alone, making them even more vulnerable. An estimated 1.5 million children are at risk of post-traumatic stress and other mental health conditions.

    Mr. President,

    In addition to killing, maiming and displacing thousands of people, missile and drone strikes in densely populated urban areas are causing severe damage to civilian infrastructure. 

    Recent Russian attacks damaged or destroyed at least eight schools and ten healthcare facilities, including a maternity hospital.  In total, seven thousand schools remain inaccessible to children, restricting their right to education.

    My colleague from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs will provide further details on the humanitarian situation in the country, emphasizing the urgent need for UN response to hundreds of thousands of people left without electricity and water supply in frigid weather.

    We unequivocally condemn all attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, wherever they occur and whoever carries them out.

    Such acts violate international humanitarian law and must cease immediately.

    Mr President,

    Even as the fighting rages, Ukrainians are working on rebuilding their lives and homes, investing in areas less exposed to direct hostilities. 

    The UN, in coordination with government partners, continues to support local recovery efforts, including in the energy sector, striving for durable solutions.  

    As the number of refugees from Ukraine reaches 6.3 million globally, with 5.9 million across Europe, the UNHCR surveys indicate that nearly 80 per cent hope to return to Ukraine.

    However, security concerns and access to basic services, housing, and livelihoods remain paramount. Therefore, continued support for refugees in countries hosting them is crucial.

    Mr. President,

    Amid the nearly unrelenting grim news from the war, one recent development stood out as positive.

    On 3 January, a long-awaited exhange of more than 200 prisoners of war on each side took place between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This was the largest such exchange since February 2022. 

    As the Secretary-General noted, we commend the efforts of both parties and the third-party facilitation by the United Arab Emirates.

    While acknowledging this positive development, we remain gravely concerned about the situation of the remaining prisoners of war.

    All concerned parties must uphold international law, particularly international humanitarian law, in their treatment of prisoners of war. 

    Accountability for all human rights violations remains paramount, requiring adherence to international standards and a survivor-centred approach.

    In areas of Ukraine under Russian control, impunity for serious human rights violations, including killings, disappearances, and torture, feeds a climate of fear.

    Also in occupied territory, Ukrainian nationals, including children, are under pressure to acquire Russian citizenship after a new law classified them as foreigners in their own country.

    Without a Russian passport, these Ukrainians face limits in accessing health care, social services, and employment.

    We also remain deeply concerned about the well-being of Ukrainian children taken to the Russian Federation. We emphasize the urgent need for their immediate return to their families in Ukraine.

    Mr. President,     

    The situation in and around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) remains gravely worrying. Since August 2022, the Plant has suffered eight instances of complete loss of off-site power.  

    A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) continues to monitor the situation at the Plant. However, despite repeated requests to the Russian authorities, IAEA experts have not been granted access to all parts of the site.

    At the Rivne, Khmelnitsky and South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plants and the Chernobyl site, IAEA experts continue to report that nuclear safety and security is being maintained, despite wide-ranging missile attacks nearby.

    Attacks between 29 December 2023 and 2 January this year forced experts at the Khmelnitsky Plant to take shelter three times.         

    The denial of full access to IAEA experts and the danger caused by repeated attacks around nuclear sites are worrying and should concern us all.

    Mr. President,

    Since the start of the full-scale invasion, this Council has met more than 100 times in various formats to discuss the harrowing consequences of the war.

    We have heard numerous testimonies about the horrors endured by Ukrainian civilians. We have consistently voiced clear warnings about the risks of further escalation and spill-over outside Ukraine’s borders and even beyond.

    And yet, here we are, on the brink of the third year of the gravest armed conflict in Europe since the Second World War -- with no end in sight. The toll of this senseless war - in death, destruction and destabilization – is already catastrophic. It is terrifying to contemplate where it could lead us. It must stop.

    Our commitment remains steadfast to support all meaningful endeavours aimed at a just, sustainable, and comprehensive peace – in line with the UN Charter, international law and the resolutions of the General Assembly.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • 10 Jan 2024

    Repeated refusals by Israeli authorities to allow UN aid teams to deliver desperately needed humanitarian relief inside Gaza have effectively cut off five hospitals in the north from access to “lifesaving medical supplies and equipment”, the UN aid coordination office (OCHA) has warned.

  • 10 Jan 2024

    The UN Security Council on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning “in the strongest terms” the multiple attacks by Houthi rebels off the coast of Yemen which have disrupted global trade and raised fears of further spillover from the war in Gaza.

  • 10 Jan 2024

    The UN remains concerned about the fate of personnel travelling on one of its helicopters in Somalia that reportedly was seized on Wednesday by al-Shabaab militants, though no details were provided. 

  • 10 Jan 2024

    The new year has brought no respite to Ukraine, with recent weeks seeing some of the worst attacks of the nearly three-year war, the UN political affairs chief told the Security Council on Wednesday. 

  • 9 Jan 2024

    Mogadishu – Somalia’s international partners* welcome the conclusion of Puntland’s presidential election on 8 January 2024. We commend the people of the Federal Member State of Puntland...

  • 9 Jan 2024

    The European climate agency on Tuesday reported that record global heat last year showed an overall increase of 1.48°C above pre-industrial levels – just a fraction below the 1.5-degree threshold laid out by the historic Paris Agreement on climate change.

  • 9 Jan 2024

    The immediate priority in Gaza must be saving civilian lives said the President of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, as Member States gathered to debate the use of the veto by the United States in the Security Council last month. 

  • 9 Jan 2024

    With no let-up in fighting across Gaza, the UN health agency pleaded on Tuesday for better access across the enclave, where relief is arriving “too little...too late” to help civilians caught up in the ongoing conflict. 

  • 8 Jan 2024

    Bogota, 8 January 2024. - In his most recent report on the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, covering the...

  • 8 Jan 2024

    The UN human rights chief on Monday called on the newly elected Government of Bangladesh to take steps to renew the country’s commitment to democracy and human rights.

  • 8 Jan 2024

    On day 93 of the war in Gaza, amid reports of relentless and heavy Israeli bombardment, UN humanitarians issued new reports of “significant casualties, particularly among women and children”, and pleaded for overwhelmed medical teams to be allowed to continue their lifesaving work. 

  • 6 Jan 2024
    A brief roundup of United Nations-related political and peacebuilding events and developments around the world. 

    ASG Khiari reiterates UN warning against "adverse political, security, economic and humanitarian repercussions of military escalation in the Red Sea"

    On 3 January, Assistant Secretary-General Khaled Khiari, briefing the Council, said there had been further alarming developments in the Red Sea since the last briefing on the subject on 18 December. Khiari went on to emphasize that the United Nations continued to warn against “the adverse political, security, economic and humanitarian repercussions of military escalation in the Red Sea” and the risk of exacerbating regional tensions. He further noted that continued Houthi threats to maritime navigation, coupled with the risk of further military escalation, remained of serious concern and “could potentially impact millions in Yemen”, as well as the wider region.  

    Full remarks

    "Tragically, 2023 is ending as it began –with devastating violence against the people of Ukraine," ASG Khiari tells Council

    On 29 December, Assistant-Secretary-General Khiari briefed the Council on the situation in Ukraine, noting that earlier that day, the Russian Federation armed forces had carried out a massive attack on Ukraine, reportedly launching 158 missiles and drones in several waves to target locations across the country. He said that preliminary reports indicated that at least 30 civilians had been killed, and at least 160 injured, in one of the largest aerial assaults since the launch of Russian Federation’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. Khiari further noted that, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the latest attacks had resulted in extensive damage to a wide range of civilian infrastructure, and electricity had been cut in several regions. 

    Full Remarks

    ASG Khiari: The fighting and bloodshed in Ukraine must cease

    On 30 December, Assistant-Secretary-General Khiari briefed the Council on the situation again, this time during a session requested by the Russian Federation. He underlined that “the two-year cycle of death and destruction, on full display during the Russian Federation’s large-scale attack on Ukraine yesterday ... has further escalated overnight.” He quoted reports from Russian authorities that Ukrainian missile and rocket strikes on the city of Belgorod - which lies 30 kilometres from the Ukrainian border – had killed at least 14 civilians. 

    Full remarks

    “UN Security Council in Review” highlights signature events on transnational organized crime and the threat of small arms trafficking   

    This week, the UN Security Council Affairs Division published “UN Security Council in Review,” its monthly newsletter covering the work of the Council. Under the Presidency of Ecuador for December, the Council held two signature events. The first was a high-level open debate on 7 December that focused on transnational organized crime. The President of Ecuador chaired and the Secretary-General briefed. It also held a high-level open debate on 15 December, which focused on addressing the threat posed by diversion, illicit trafficking and misuse of small arms. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of Ecuador presided over the meeting. The Council held 35 formal meetings, 14 consultations, 4 Arria-formula meetings, made 10 decisions, and issued 5 press statements.

    Read more

    UNAMI marks strong UN partnership with Iraq in 2023 

    2023 was an eventful year for the United Nations and its engagement with Iraq. From high-level visits to trainings and advice, UNAMI looks back at its work in partnership with Iraq in a new video, which was produced by its Strategic Communications and Public Information Office. 

    Watch video

    Next Week

    On 10 January, the Council will hold a briefing on Ukraine.  On 11 January, it will hold a briefing and consultations on UNOWAS.  On 12 January, it will hold a briefing and consultations on Colombia. 

  • 5 Jan 2024

    Hospitals in Gaza and other vital medical infrastructure have been attacked nearly 600 times since war erupted in the enclave in response to the Hamas-led terror attack in southern Israel, the UN health agency said on Friday.

  • 5 Jan 2024

    Hospitals and other vital medical infrastructure in Gaza and the West Bank have been attacked nearly 600 times since war erupted in the enclave in response to the Hamas-led terror attack in southern Israel, the UN health agency said on Friday.

  • 4 Jan 2024

    The international community must take “decisive and immediate action” to bring nearly nine months of brutal civil war in Sudan to an end and boost humanitarian relief, the UN relief chief Martin Griffiths said on Thursday.

  • 4 Jan 2024

    In Ukraine, there was no respite from war over the holiday period, neither for the country’s citizens, nor the UN workers attempting to deliver aid and support, a senior official for the UN migration agency (IOM) told UN News.

  • 4 Jan 2024

    Amid reports of continued Israeli airstrikes overnight in southern and central Gaza and more rocket fire into Israel from the enclave, UN teams said on Thursday they have been unable to deliver urgently needed aid to civilians beyond central areas and further north for the past three days.

  • 4 Jan 2024

    In Ukraine, there was no respite from war over the holiday period, neither for the country’s citizens, nor the UN workers attempting to deliver aid and support, a senior official for the UN migration agency (IOM) told UN News.

  • 3 Jan 2024

    Assistant Secretary-General Khaled Khiari’s remarks to the Security Council on

    maintenance of international peace and security in the Red Sea

    New York, 3 January 2024

     

    Thank you, Mr President,

    There have been further alarming developments in the Red Sea since the last briefing on the subject on 18 December 2023.

    The United Nations continues to warn against the adverse political, security, economic and humanitarian repercussions of military escalation in the Red Sea and the risk of exacerbating regional tensions. Continued Houthi threats to maritime navigation coupled with the risk of further military escalation remains of serious concern and could potentially impact millions in Yemen, the region and globally.

    Since this issue was last on the Council’s agenda on 18 December, the Houthis claimed responsibility for two attacks using naval missiles on the MSC United on 26 December and on the Maersk Hangzhou on 31 December.  There have been reports of other intercepted Houthi attacks as well.

    On 31 December, an armed intervention by the US forces against the Houthis in response to two distress calls from the Maersk Hangzhou, a Singapore-flagged container vessel, reportedly resulted in 10 deaths or missing according to the Houthis. As a result, Maersk has halted Red Sea shipping again until further notice on 2 January. On the same day, Hapag-Lloyd said it will continue to avoid Red Sea transits and reroute vessels around the Cape of Good Hope until 9 January in response to recent attacks. This is only one example of the risks of continued escalation of attacks against seagoing merchant vessels and the impact on global supply chains particularly increasing freight costs and lengthening delivery times.

    We continue to share the concerns of the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) with respect to the need for the protection of the freedom of maritime navigation, and also about the potential impact of current attacks and disruptions to sea traffic in the Red Sea and environs on international trade. We reaffirm the importance of ensuring safety and security of maritime navigation in the region. In that regard, we also call for the immediate release of the “Galaxy Leader” and her crew which was seized by the Houthis on 19 November.

    We reiterate that such incidents originating from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen must stop. No cause or grievance can justify continuation of these attacks against the freedom of navigation.

    As to the overall situation in the region, we encourage all concerned parties to avoid further escalation and de-escalate tensions and threats. This is critical so that traffic through the Red Sea can return to its normal state and the risk of Yemen being dragged into a regional conflagration be avoided.

    The continued assistance of this Council in actively engaging with all concerned parties who may be able to push for restraint remains extremely valuable so that through our combined efforts we can prevent further escalation in the Red Sea from exacerbating regional tensions or undermining regional peace, security, or international trade.

    Thank you.

  • 3 Jan 2024

    The UN Security Council on Wednesday held its first open meeting on the continuing attacks by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea, which are becoming an increasing threat to global trade and the stability of the entire region as the intense fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza continues.

  • 3 Jan 2024

    The UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday strongly condemned an attack in Iran which has reportedly killed more than 100 people taking part in a commemoration for a former top military general in the eastern city of Kerman.

  • 3 Jan 2024

    Continuing airstrikes were reported across Gaza on Wednesday and “intense ground battles” between Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters in refugee camps in central areas that have reportedly left many dead.

  • 3 Jan 2024

    The UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday strongly condemned an attack in Iran which has reportedly killed more than 80 people taking part in a commemoration for a former top military general in the eastern city of Kerman.

  • 2 Jan 2024

    UN humanitarians repeated dire concerns for civilians caught up in the war in Gaza on Tuesday, amid reports of continued Israeli bombardment of the southern towns of Deir al Balah, Khan Younis and Rafah, direct clashes on the ground and the firing of rockets overnight by Palestinian armed groups into Israel.

2023

  • 31 Dec 2023

    The UN peacekeeping operation in Mali is poised to complete its drawdown on Sunday following a decade of multifaceted efforts to support the West African nation and its people after Malian authorities requested earlier this year to end the mission by 31 December.

  • 31 Dec 2023
     

    Resilience | FAO's new £35 million project to boost...

  • 30 Dec 2023

    Assistant Secretary-General Khaled Khiari’s remarks to the Emergency Security Council on

    threats to international peace and security

    New York, 30 December 2023

     

    Mr. President, members of the Security Council,

    As feared, the two-year cycle of death and destruction, on full display during the Russian Federation’s large-scale attack on Ukraine yesterday - which at the last count killed at least 39 Ukrainian civilians - has further escalated overnight.

    According to the Russian authorities, as a result of Ukrainian missile and rocket strikes on the city of Belgorod - which lies 30 kilometres from the Ukrainian border - at least 14 civilians, including two children, were reportedly killed.  At least 108 others, including 15 children, were reportedly injured.

    Attacks on locations in the Belgorod city centre reportedly resulted in damage to civilian infrastructure, including the regional government office and the medical college of Belgorod State University. The strikes were reported as among the deadliest cross-border attacks on the Russian Federation since its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, launched in violation of the UN Charter and international law.

    The Russian military authorities also reported separate overnight Ukrainian drone attacks in the Bryansk, Oryol, Kursk and Moscow regions of the Russian Federation.

    Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities reported new overnight Russian drone attacks targeting the Kherson region.

    The United Nations is not in a position to independently verify the various reported attacks or casualty figures.

    Mr. President,

    As we meet again today, reports of new air raid alerts are also coming in from across Ukraine, including in the Kharkiv, Sumy, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Cherkasy, Poltava and Dnipropetrovsk regions. Just a few hours ago, the city of Kharkiv was reportedly attacked, resulting in civilians injured and civilian infrastructure damaged. As the war continues, we will see more Ukrainian and Russian civilians killed and injured.

    As we have repeatedly warned, the latest series of attacks is a stark and vivid reminder of the very real dangers of further escalation and spillover of this war. We reiterate the Secretary-General’s appeals for de-escalation of tensions and for an end to attacks on civilians, population centres, residential areas, civilian and energy infrastructure.

    We unequivocally condemn all attacks on cities, town and villages, in Ukraine and in the Russian Federation.  Attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure violate international humanitarian law, are unacceptable, and must end now.

    Protection of civilians must be the main priority.  The fighting and bloodshed must cease, the war must come to an end.

    Thank you.

     

  • 30 Dec 2023

    Read here the latest UNSOM Quarterly Newsletter.

  • 30 Dec 2023

    A senior UN political affairs official condemned attacks against the Russian city of Belgorod, located near the Ukrainian border, as he briefed the Security Council at an emergency meeting convened on Saturday afternoon.

  • 30 Dec 2023

    Mogadishu - Over the past few years, after decades of civil strife and conflict, which focused attention elsewhere, Somalia’s arts sector has been quietly progressing.

    The reopening of the National Museum...

  • 29 Dec 2023
    A brief roundup of United Nations-related political and peacebuilding events and developments around the world. 

    "The risk of regional spillover" of conflict in Middle East remains high, Assistant Secretary-General Khiari tells Security Council

    On 29 December, Assistant Secretary-General Khaled Khiari briefed the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East. He reported that the situation continued to deteriorate and reiterated the Secretary-General’s call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The ASG went on to underline that the risk of regional spillover of the conflict, with potential devastating consequences for the entire region, remained high. He also informed Council members of continued daily exchanges of fire across the Blue Line between Lebanon and Israel, which posed a “grave risk” to regional stability.

    Full remarks

    UNMHA supports local organizations in Yemen on mine action

    On 28 December, the UN Mission to support the Hudaydah Agreement’s (UNMHA) Mine Action Officer Iveta Havlickova accompanied local Yemen Executive Mine Action Centre (YEMAC) and the Yemen Mine Action Coordination Centre (YMACC) teams as they carried out quality control activities. Havlickova also observed the teams as they monitored the handover of land that had been surveyed and cleared by YEMAC as part of an ICRC water sources clearance project in Hays, Yemen. Quality control plays a key role in mine action, and UNMHA continues to support local organizations and humanitarian partners with advice on fulfilling the required standards, in order to save lives and protect the civilian population.

    UNOWAS holds conference on role of women in electoral processes

    On 22 December, the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) hosted a conference on the role of women in electoral processes. The participants identified cultural, economic, and legal barriers as challenges that hindered women's participation. Discussions also highlighted the positive impact of implementing women's quotas to increase female representation in parliamentary bodies, as well as practices that have successfully promoted gender equality in electoral systems.

    Read more

    UNOWAS co-organizes event on Women, Peace and Security agenda 

    On 22 December, the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) co-organized its 13th open day on the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security. Over 200 participants took part, including women and young leaders from the region, members of the Mauritanian Parliament, UN agencies, members of the diplomatic corps, and women's media organizations. Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNOWAS Leonardo Santos Simão noted the efforts made to advance the Women, Peace and Security Program in the sub-region, and stressed the importance of good practices to inspire States to make greater commitments to funding national action plans.

    Read more

    UN Verification Mission accompanies historic land titling for peace signatories in the Caribbean region

    On 28 December, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia accompanied the National Land Agency in El Paso, department of Cesar, in its delivery of 1951 hectares of land to 150 families of peace signatories as part of the fulfilment of the Peace Agreement.

    DSRSG/RC/HC for Iraq visits Karbala and Najaf Governorates

    On 27 December, Deputy Special Representative, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq (DSRSG/RC/HC)Ghulam Muhammad Isaczai visited Karbala Governorate, where met with Governor Nassif Al-khattabi. They discussed climate change induced challenges, as well as response and adaptation efforts. The DSRSG also visited the Imam Hussain Holy Shrine and met with His Eminence Sheikh Abdul Mahdi Al-Karbalai. They exchanged views about the role of the Shrine in raising public awareness on issues such as climate change. On 28 December, DSRSG Isaczai visited Najaf Governorate, where he met with Governor Majid Al-Waeli, who provided a comprehensive briefing on developmental projects in the Governorate. 

    Next Week

    France takes over the presidency of the Security Council for January 2024.

  • 29 Dec 2023

    ASSISTANT SECRETARY-GENERAL

    MOHAMED KHALED KHIARI’S

    REMARKS TO THE EMERGENCY SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING ON UKRAINE

     

    New York, 29 DECEMBER 2023

     

    Mr. President,

     

    Overnight, the Russian Federation armed forces carried out a massive aerial attack on Ukraine, reportedly launching 158 missiles and drones in several waves targeting locations across the country, including in Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Khmelnytskyi, Dnipropetrovsk, Sumy, Cherkasy, Odesa and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine. 

     

    Preliminary reports indicate that at least 30 civilians were killed and at least 160 injured.  The strikes constituted some of the largest aerial assaults since the Russian Federation’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, launched in violation of the UN Charter and international law.

    According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the latest attacks resulted in extensive damage to a wide range of civilian infrastructure, including residential buildings, a maternity hospital, schools, kindergartens, parks, a metro station, and a shopping mall, as well as energy infrastructure. Electricity was cut in several regions, following damage to transmission lines.

     

    Rescue groups are still searching for people trapped under the rubble of residential buildings.

     

    Mr. President,

     

    Regrettably, today’s appalling assaults were only the latest in a series of escalating attacks by the Russian Federation.

    Since DPPA last briefed this Council on 6 December, we have continued to see daily reports of attacks on Ukrainian cities and towns, including on critical civilian and energy infrastructure, with many resulting civilian casualties. During the Christmas period alone, attacks on the city of Kherson reportedly killed several people and wounded many others.  Apartment buildings and a medical facility, as well as a railway station packed with more than a hundred civilians awaiting evacuation, were struck. Similarly, almost daily shelling has been reported across part of the Kharkiv region.

     

    According to OHCHR, in 2023, the war in Ukraine claimed the lives of 1,888 civilians and left 6,334 others injured, resulting in 8,222 civilian casualties. This brings the total of civilian casualties to 29,113 since the Russian Federation's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.  The actual figures are likely considerably higher.

     

    The Secretary-General unequivocally condemns, in the strongest possible terms, today’s appalling attacks on cities and towns across Ukraine.  Attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure violate international humanitarian law, are unacceptable and must stop immediately.

     

     

    Mr. President,

     

    Tragically, 2023 is ending as it began – with devastating violence against the people of Ukraine. Once again, Ukrainians are forced to spend the holidays seeking shelter, clearing the rubble, and burying the dead, amidst freezing temperatures.

     

    As we look to the New Year in the hope of avoiding further escalation, we recall the Secretary-General’s appeal to all concerned to do their part to help lay the foundations for sustainable peace in Ukraine – in accordance with the UN Charter, international law, and resolutions of the General Assembly.

     

    Thank you.

     

     

  • 29 Dec 2023

    Assistant Secretary-General Khaled Khiari’s remarks to the Security Council

    on the Situation in the Middle East, including Palestinian question

    New York, 29 December 2023

     

    Thank you, Mr. President.

    The situation in the Middle East is alarming. This includes several interconnected theatres conflict.

    In Gaza, Israeli intense ground operations and fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas and others continued in most areas. Hamas and other Palestinian factions continue to fire rockets from Gaza into Israel. Civilians from both sides, particularly in Gaza strip currently, continue to bear the brunt of this conflict.

    The humanitarian situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate. I reiterate the Secretary-General’s call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The implementation of the Security Council resolution 2712 will be reported next week pursuant Security Council resolution 2720.

    The risk of regional spillover of this conflict with potential devastating consequences for the entire region remains high given also a multitude of actors involved.

    The continued daily exchanges of fire across the Blue Line pose a grave risk to regional stability. Increasingly, there have been strikes on civilian areas, with civilian casualties, on both sides of the Blue Line, in addition to a rising number of fatalities among combatants. While most of these exchanges have been contained to areas within a few kilometres either side of the Blue Line, there have been several instances of strikes deeper into the territories of Lebanon and Israel, raising the spectre of an uncontained conflict, with potentially devastating consequences for the people of both countries.

    With the risk of miscalculation and further escalation increasing as the conflict in Gaza continues, it is vital that all actors immediately de-escalate and return to a cessation of hostilities under the framework of resolution 1701(2006).

    Attacks on US bases in Iraq and Syria take place now on daily bases with US conducting some airstrikes against groups suspected of these actions in Iraq and Syria. There are also reported Israeli air strikes inside Syria. 

    The continued Houthi threat to maritime navigation in the Red Sea is of growing concern. It risks exacerbating regional tensions, and further escalation, and also has potentially grave political, economic, and humanitarian ramifications for millions in Yemen and the region. This threat also has potential ramifications at a global scale if regional and international shipping and supply chains are adversely impacted by further escalation in the Red Sea.

    The United Nations continues to encourage de-escalation and a cessation of attacks and threats so that traffic through the Red Sea can return to its normal state and the risk of Yemen being dragged into a regional conflagration be avoided. The United Nations underscores the importance of ensuring that international law is respected in full in relation to maritime navigation.

    We appeal to all members of the international community to do everything in their power to use their influence on the relevant parties to prevent an escalation of the situation in the region.

    Across the occupied West Bank, heightened tensions between Israeli security forces and Palestinians, intensive violence and widespread movement restrictions have continued. Recent weeks have seen some of the most intensive Israeli operations in the West Bank since the Second Intifada. Many Palestinian casualties in the occupied West Bank occurred in the context of Israeli operations in Area A, including some during subsequent armed clashes.

    Since 7 October, 304 Palestinians, including 79 children, have been killed in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Additionally, two Palestinians from the West Bank were killed while carrying out an attack in Israel on 30 November. Over 70 per cent of the Palestinian fatalities in the West Bank since 7 October have occurred during ISF operations, including some – mainly in Jenin and Tulkarem governorates – involving exchanges of fire with Palestinians.

    Since 7 October, four Israelis, including three members of the Israeli forces, have been killed in attacks by Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Another four Israelis were killed during an attack by Palestinians in West Jerusalem. 

    Earlier today, four Israelis were wounded in a reported car-ramming attack southwest of Hebron. The Palestinian driver of the vehicle was shot and killed by ISF. On 28 December, two Israeli security forces personnel were stabbed and injured by a Palestinian in a check point near Jerusalem. The perpetrator was shot and killed by the ISF. Also on 28 December, Israeli security forces killed a Palestinian man during an operation that involved an exchange of fire in Ramallah City. This incident took place in the context of a widespread ISF operations in Ramallah and other cities in the occupied West Bank targeting foreign exchange and money transfer agencies, which Israel said were being used to fund Hamas. On 27 December, ISF conducted an operation in Nur Shams refugee camp in Tulkarem, which led to clashes, during which Palestinians used Improvised Explosive Device and ISF conducted drone strikes which killed six Palestinians, including two children.  The IDF said the strike targeted an armed group of militants who had thrown explosive devices at ISF.

    Settler violence remains a grave concern and continues at high levels. However, there has been a reduction in the settler attacks throughout November and December since the spike in violent settler attacks against Palestinians following 7 October.

    The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) published on 28 December its reports on the deterioration of human rights situation in West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

    To prevent the recurrence of war and endless cycle of violence, the current hostilities throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) must end with a plan to meaningfully advance the parties towards a negotiated solution.

    We must restore a political horizon and move towards the only viable possibility for a peaceful future -- a two-State solution, with Gaza as an integral part of an independent Palestinian State, living side by side with Israel, in peace and security, based on the 1967 lines and with Jerusalem as the capital of both States, in line with the resolutions adopted by this Council and international law.

    Thank you.

  • 29 Dec 2023

    The UN Secretary-General on Friday voiced grave concerns over “further spillover” of the conflict in Gaza, as the Security Council discussed the situation in the Middle East against the backdrop of escalating violence between Israeli settlers and Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the relentless bombardment in the war-ravaged enclave.

  • 29 Dec 2023

    In Gaza, at least 100,000 displaced people have poured into Rafah in recent days, UN humanitarians said on Friday, worsening already dire conditions in the southernmost part of the enclave.

  • 29 Dec 2023

    The UN Secretary-General on Friday condemned in the strongest terms a massive aerial attack by Russia on Ukrainian towns and cities, which left at least 30 civilians dead and over 160 injured.

  • 28 Dec 2023

     

    New York, 29 December 2023

    2023 has been a year of enormous suffering, violence, and climate chaos.    

    Humanity is in pain.

    Our planet is in peril.

    2023 is the hottest year on record.

    People are getting crushed by growing poverty and hunger.

    ...
  • 28 Dec 2023

    MISRATA – Earlier this month, 50 young people from across Libya took part in a Model UN simulation organised by the Dialogue and Debate Association of Libya and supported by UNSMIL.  

    Participants built their debating and...

  • 28 Dec 2023

    Bulldozers in refugee camps, detainees stripped naked and spat at, farmers robbed of their harvest: against the backdrop of the war in Gaza the situation in the occupied West Bank is “rapidly deteriorating” amid levels of violence not seen in years, UN rights chief Volker Türk warned on Thursday.