Bienvenidos a las Naciones Unidas

Reports and Policy Documents

2018

  • 7 Sep 2018

    Madam President,

    Thank you, Madam President, for this opportunity. We believe this is a very appropriate timing for doing it, particularly because the focus is on Idlib. We have been hearing it during these last few days, we are all terribly concerned. All the ingredients exist for a “perfect storm” with potentially devastating humanitarian consequences, and other consequences as well.

    First of all, a little summary of facts. I’m sure John Ging will be also able to refer to the humanitarian aspects of it. The UN’s independent and best-available assessments put at least 2.9 million people inside the Idlib area, 2.9 million people, almost 3 million - among them one million children and 1.4 million people who already have been displaced at least once. There are listed Security Council terrorist groups – including non-Syrians, foreign fighters. Those that have been doing terrible things in many other places. They are also there. And there are also armed opposition groups, many of whom have been evacuated to Idlib through reconciliation agreements and are not part of the terrorist groups. But the overwhelming preponderance of people in Idlib are civilians.

    President Assad has stated that restoring sovereignty and defeating terrorists remain the priority of the Syrian government. Senior government officials have further stated that retaking Idlib is the next goal. Senior Iranian and Russian officials have spoken in strong terms of their determination to purge terrorists in Idlib.

    At the same time, they have indicated that 1) the Government would prefer to see so-called reconciliation agreements rather than military action, 2) that a Russian-Turkish understanding is crucially important, and 3) that Syria does not want a confrontation with Turkey. These are Syrian government official statements we have been recording recently. Russia has been in intensive dialogue with Turkey, and all eyes today are on what transpires after the Presidential Summit between Iran, Russia and Turkey, which has just concluded in Tehran.

    Meanwhile, reports suggest increased deployments of government and its affiliated forces and equipment near the Idlib de-escalation zone. Yes, this used to be, and still officially is, a de-escalation zone. Airstrikes and mutual artillery shelling have been reported on its perimeter for the past month, resulting in deaths and injuries on both sides – with an intensification since 4 September.

    Meanwhile, the leader of what they call Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, but basically al-Nusra, has publicly signaled the group’s intention to fight. On 2 September, photos of a weaponized drone were circulated online, after it landed on the Ghab plain – ostensibly the same model that the Russian Federation claims was used to carry out several attacks on the Hmeimim airbase in recent months.

    For their part, armed opposition groups in Idlib have reportedly been fortifying their own positions, digging tunnels and trenches and detonating bridges. Many of these armed opposition groups, those who are not terrorist groups, have in parallel pleaded publicly for the Astana guarantors to secure a non-military solution.

    Since early August, almost every single armed opposition group in Idlib has now come under the banner of what is called the National Liberation Front. This includes various groups who have been operating under the same banner with al-Nusra in the past. If this is confirmed, and we seem to be hearing that, this can be taken as a sign of their willingness to separate from al-Nusra. And we hope that they now take even further steps to separate themselves from listed terrorist groups. I note in this context that, at the end of August, Turkey made it clear that it views Hayat Tahrir al-Sham – that is al-Nusra – as a terrorist organization, sending a strong signal to armed groups to separate from al-Nusra from now on.

    We have seen statements and counter-statements regarding potential chemical weapons use; we have seen warnings and counter-warnings about the dangers of a major assault on Idlib; and we have seen intensified military presence in the region.

    I have laid out for you, Madam President, all the ingredients for a perfect storm. The dangers are profound that any battle for Idlib would be a horrific and bloody battle. Civilians are its potential victims, and there are ever-present dangers, in the case of a full-scale assault, of incidents or rapid escalations involving regional and international players. Let’s remember that there is no Idlib after Idlib to which people can be evacuated or at least feel safer during combat.

    There must be and is another way than all out military escalation. The Security Council cannot accept that the civilians of Idlib must face this fate. Efforts to combat terrorism do not supersede obligations under international law and the moral conscience of humanity. We must put the sanctity of human, civilian lives above everything else. That is why we are urging all stakeholders to contribute to find a formula to prevent a terrible tragedy while at the same time allow the issue of Security Council-designated terrorist groups to be addressed. The declaration issued by Presidents Putin, Erdogan and Rouhani states that they decided to address the situation in Idlib, and I quote, “in the spirit of cooperation that characterized the Astana format”. We don’t have much more details on that. We would like to see what this means in practice in order to address this issue. They are the guarantors of this last de-escalation area. Therefore, they have a direct influence over the warring parties, and responsibility to solve it. And I’m sure Idlib is at the top of their agenda as it was shown in the Tehran meeting.

    I look at other key actors - including the Gulf, and many other countries - who have leverage over non-terrorist armed opposition groups to do whatever they can to ensure that they put civilians first and separate from Al-Nusra. I am concerned about reports that many groups - not all - have become increasingly desperate and in some cases ruthless.

    My colleague John Ging from OCHA will brief you on what must happen on the humanitarian side to protect civilians and the humanitarian response plan, but let me emphasize: people should be granted safe passage to places of their choosing if they want to leave temporarily. We must allow the opening of a sufficient number of protected voluntary evacuation routes for civilians in any direction: east, north and south. And for that, we [the UN] must be granted access, at scale.  The UN stands ready, me included and I am sure all my colleagues of the humanitarian team, to work with all parties on the spot and elsewhere on the modalities and parameters for the establishment and functioning of such voluntary evacuation routes, if it was required, with full respect for international humanitarian law and human rights principles.

    Let me further reiterate the Secretary-General’s clear position that any use of chemical weapons is totally, totally, unacceptable. As the OPCW has found, the norm against the use of chemical weapons has been repeatedly violated in Syria. This must not happen again. I cannot stress enough the danger associated with any alleged use of these weapons, not only in humanitarian terms, but also the acute threat to maintaining international peace and security. But I equally strongly underscore that the overwhelming majority of civilians have been killed in Syria by indiscriminate or sometimes targeted attacks against civilians by conventional weapons, and these are also abhorrent and unacceptable.

    One last point: all this talk of an assault which can produce a “perfect storm” on Idlib is happening at exactly the same time than there is serious talk of moving on a constitutional committee, and desires to urge Syrian refugees to return to their country. These narratives do not sit well one beside the other. Either we are trying to find a political way to end this war and move to a post-war political scenario, or we will see this war reach new levels of horror. That is why today’s meeting in Tehran is so important, and why I am convening Iran, Russia and Turkey in Geneva next Monday and Tuesday, and then, on Friday, Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and the United States. It would be the ultimate failure of imagination and of diplomacy if with all this effort we simply saw in increase of military activities.

    Let me conclude with two points, if I may, Madam President. The first one is: I have seen today many people coming from Idlib. Civilians. They are civilians representing 2.9 million people. They are women, normal doctors, farmers, people. They are almost 3 million. They have been initiating demonstrations, peaceful demonstrations. They have been lighting candlelights at night, to show that in these homes there are normal people, not terrorists. They are 3 million civilians. And I have been inspired by what they have been telling me because they have been asking us, the UN, and through us yourselves, to also express their voices. In that context if you allow me, in the private chamber, since the question of separating terrorists from others and protecting civilians and giving a voice to the civilians, since I have been asked if we have ideas at the UN, we do have some ideas and I will take the liberty of elaborating on them when we meet in the private chamber. Any idea, any proposal to avoid this becoming the biggest humanitarian tragedy at the end of the most horrible recent conflict in our history, should be given a chance.

    Thank you.

  • 7 Sep 2018

    6 September 2018 - The members of the Security Council welcomed the briefing from the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General, Ghassan Salamé, on 5 September 2018.

    The members of the Security Council condemned...

  • 6 Sep 2018

    Photo by V. Martin 

    Geneva 6 September 2018 - The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen met with the Government of Yemen delegation, headed by Minister of...

  • 6 Sep 2018

    ASTANA, Kazakhstan

    On 5 September 2018, SRSG Natalia Gherman took part in the regional conference "Empowerment...

  • 6 Sep 2018

    PRESS RELEASE

     

    FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN SOMALIA: STILL NOT A GIVEN

    UN report finds despite some advances, lack of legislation hampering progress

    Mogadishu – Somalia has made progress in ensuring the right to freedom of expression but needs to do more to end the challenges that remain – including killings, beatings, harassment, arbitrary arrests and illegal detention, lack of due process or fair trial and the closure of...

  • 6 Sep 2018

    KUNDUZ – A group of religious leaders in Kunduz province have reiterated their commitment to working for peace while calling on residents to get involved in local processes and dialogue on peace and security.

    ...

  • 6 Sep 2018

    KABUL - The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemns yesterday’s attack targeting civilians at a Kabul sports centre which killed at least...

  • 5 Sep 2018

    Acting UN Special Coordinator Kardel meets young men and women at MARCH NGO in Tripoli

    Acting UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Pernille Kardel today visited Tripoli, in north Lebanon. She met with...

  • 5 Sep 2018

    Mr President,

    I would like to congratulate the United States of America on its presidency of the Council this month and thank you for this opportunity to update the Council.

    Mr...

  • 5 Sep 2018

    Photo by Violaine Martin

    Geneva, 5 september 2018 - Thank you very much for coming, I am sorry I am slightly late, it’s been a busy day.  I’ll make first a short statement and then, as Alessandra...

  • 5 Sep 2018

    Photo by Violaine Martin

    Geneva, 5 september 2018 - Thank you very much for coming, I am sorry I am slightly late, it’s been a busy day.  I’ll make first a short statement and then, as Alessandra...

  • 5 Sep 2018

    Ahmed Diini Hassan knows only too well the importance charity work plays in the lives of the poor and vulnerable members of society.

    Born in 1956, Ahmed, who hails from Hiiran region, was orphaned at a...

  • 4 Sep 2018

    Zawiya, 4 September, 2018 – The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) thanks the Libyan parties who accepted the Mission’s invitation for dialogue and congratulates them on reaching a ceasefire agreement to end...

  • 4 Sep 2018

    On 2 August, the Parliament of Guinea-Bissau unanimously adopted a law that aims at ensuring the minimum 36 percent representation of women to be respected in elections or appointments to the National People's Congress and equality...

  • 4 Sep 2018

    Amman 4 September 2018 - Since I assumed my role as Special Envoy in March this year, I have consistently affirmed that there will be no peace in Yemen if we do not listen to a broad cross-spectrum...

  • 4 Sep 2018

    (photo credit: UNSMIL/Iason Athanasiadis)

    Tunis, 4 September 2018 – From 1 August to 31 August 2018, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) documented 25 civilian casualties –22 deaths and three...

  • 3 Sep 2018

    "Somalia's enormous potential will not be realised unless there is stability."

    That was the key message of the United Nations envoy to Somalia at a gathering of leaders from the country’s Federal Member States...

  • 2 Sep 2018

    Tripoli, 2 September 2018 – On the basis of the relevant Security Council resolutions and the offer of the UN Secretary General to mediate between the various Libyan parties, and responding to requests by the various...

  • 2 Sep 2018

    Tripoli, 2 September, 2018 - The United Nations condemns the escalation of violence that has now reached to several residential areas in Tripoli. According to recent reports, 14 civilians,...

  • 2 Sep 2018

    SUROBI - Members of the Elders’ Shura in the Surobi district of Kabul have reiterated their commitment to working for local peace and in support of economic development.

    Speaking during a...

  • 1 Sep 2018

    When Duberney arrives to the river, he cannot hide his happiness. With a smile on his face, he gets ready to another exciting...

  • 1 Sep 2018

    We regret the United States’ decision to provide no further funding to UNRWA, which provides essential services to Palestine refugees and contributes to stability in the region. The US has traditionally been the largest single contributor to UNRWA. We appreciate its support over the years.

    UNRWA enjoys the full confidence of the Secretary-General. Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl has led a rapid, innovative and tireless effort to overcome the unexpected financial...

  • 31 Ago 2018

    New York, 1 September 2018 - The Secretary-General condemns the continued escalation of violence in and around Libya’s capital and, in particular, the use by armed groups of indiscriminate...

  • 31 Ago 2018

     

     

  • 31 Ago 2018

    Highlighting the importance of the upcoming legislative elections in Guinea-Bissau, the top United Nations official in the country reiterated the importance of “far-reaching”...

  • 30 Ago 2018

    The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Guinea-Bissau, José Viegas Filho, today presented the UN SG’s report on the situation in the country, where he said that despite the...

  • 30 Ago 2018

    Amman, 30 August 2018 - The Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, conducted a consultative meeting with the President of the Southern Transitional Council, Aidarous Zubaidi and a number of the Council's leaders in the Jordanian capital,  Amman on 29 August 2018.

    The meeting reviewed the efforts of the Special Envoy in ensuring consultations with all Yemeni political parties. The meeting also discussed the role that southerners can play in...

  • 30 Ago 2018

    Amman, 30 August 2018 - The Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, conducted a consultative meeting with the President of the Southern Transitional Council,...

  • 30 Ago 2018

    Guinea‑Bissau, having made crucial strides towards overcoming its long‑standing political impasse, must hold free, fair and inclusive elections as scheduled in November or risk rolling back...

  • 30 Ago 2018

    HERAT - Improving the media’s access to information affecting local communities, strengthening press freedom and ensuring journalist safety were among the topics...

  • 30 Ago 2018

    The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), José Viegas Filho, will present today at 3 pm*, Bissau time, the report of the...

  • 29 Ago 2018

    Special Political Missions and Good Offices Engagements

    The Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) manages Special Political Missions (SPMs) engaged in conflict prevention, peacemaking and post-conflict peacebuilding around the world.

    These field operations include country-specific missions and regional offices. They are headed by senior representatives of the Secretary-General and provide a forward platform for preventive diplomacy and other activities across a range of disciplines, helping prevent and resolve conflict and supporting complex political transitions, in coordination with national actors and UN development and humanitarian entities on the ground.

    DPPA also provides guidance and support to traveling envoys and special advisers of the Secretary-General who bring his “good offices” to bear in the service of conflict resolution or the implementation of other UN mandates. These currently include UN envoys or special advisers for Myanmar, Yemen and Syria. The Secretary-General also has Personal Envoys for Mozambique and Western Sahara.

    The term ‘Special Political Mission’ encompasses entities that are not managed or directed by DPPA such as the Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. These SPMs also include panels established by the Security Council, such as the Monitoring Group on Somalia; the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the Panels of Experts on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, on Libya, on the Central African Republic, on Yemen, on South Sudan and on Mali; the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1526 (2004) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities; the Office of the Ombudsperson established pursuant to resolution 1904 (2009); the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015); the Support for the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) on the non-proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction; the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the United Nations Investigative Team for Accountability of Da’esh (ISIL).

     

    PDF map of current Special Political Missions.

    See the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council website for information on the mandates of current and previous missions.

    See a list of past political missions.

     

     

    Investigative Mandates and Fact-Finding Missions

    DPPA has also assisted in establishing and providing support to various UN investigative and fact-finding bodies. These have included: the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons - United Nations Joint Investigative Mission (OPCW-UN JIM), the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG); the United Nations Commission of Inquiry into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan; the International Commission of Inquiry on the 28 September 2009 events in Guinea; and the United Nations International Investigation Commission in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

     

    Peace and Development Advisors and Liaison Offices

    In an innovative partnership between DPPA and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Joint UNDP-DPPA Programme on Building National Capacities for Conflict Prevention provides support for national initiatives towards conflict prevention. Much of the support to date has gone toward deploying "Peace and Development Advisers" – or PDAs as they are known – to UN Country Teams in the field to help national authorities address root causes of conflict. The Programme also provides seed funding to prevention initiatives overseen by the PDA.

  • 29 Ago 2018

    The UN Support Mission in Libya condemns the escalation of violence in the Greater Tripoli area, now in its third day and call for an immediate ceasefire on all fronts.

     The Special Representative of the Secretary-...

  • 28 Ago 2018

    The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the growing risks of a humanitarian catastrophe in the event of a full-scale military operation in Idlib province in Syria.  The Secretary-General once again reaffirms that any use of chemical weapons is totally unacceptable.

    The Secretary-General urgently appeals to the Government of Syria and all parties to exercise restraint and to prioritize the protection of civilians.

    He calls on the Astana guarantors to step up...

  • 28 Ago 2018

    GARDEZ - The active participation of communities in the upcoming elections is crucial for building a more peaceful and stable country, said participants gathered at...

  • 27 Ago 2018

    NEW YORK - The members of the Security Council welcomed the announcement by the Government of Afghanistan on 19 August of a second conditional ceasefire with the Taliban from the start of the Eid al-Adha holiday.

    ...

  • 27 Ago 2018

    Find issues of DPPA's Magazine Politically Speaking Year-in-Review, Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) fact sheet and booklet on UN Conflict Prevention and Preventive Diplomacy in Action under Publications.

    Reports and Policy Documents contains UN guidance material for setting up and managing mediation initiatives. 

  • 27 Ago 2018

    BRIEFING ON IFAS SUMMIT RESULTS (Ashgabat, 24 August 2018)

    ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan

    On 27 August 2018, SRSG Natalia Gherman took part in a briefing organized by the Ministry of...

  • 27 Ago 2018

    The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) is following the clashes in and around Tripoli with grave concern and calls on all parties to immediately cease all military action.

    UNSMIL is concerned by the use of...

  • 27 Ago 2018

    ASHGABAT, 27 August 2018

    Dear Minister Meredov,

    Dear participants,

    United Nations and our Regional...

  • 26 Ago 2018

    JALALABAD - Participants in a UN-backed television programme broadcast in the eastern province of Nangarhar singled out education as the key to women’s empowerment at all levels of Afghanistan’s political and social life....

  • 23 Ago 2018
    The United Nations Support Mission in Libya condemns today’s terrorist attack on al-Kaam Checkpoint east of the Libyan capital Tripoli which resulted in at least four deaths and seven injuries among security personnel manning the...
  • 23 Ago 2018

    Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan was remembered on Wednesday as the embodiment of the global Organization that works to improve the lives of men and women worldwide.

    ...
  • 22 Ago 2018

    Mme. President,

    Members of the Security Council,

    We meet today in the wake of yet another series of violent escalations that threatened to plunge Gaza into war.

    Over the past several weeks, Special Coordinator Mladenov has led unprecedented UN efforts, with the Government of Egypt and other regional and international partners, to prevent another devastating outbreak of hostilities, respond to the most urgent humanitarian needs, and support intra-Palestinian reconciliation.

    The recurring violence highlights the urgency of this initiative. In several rounds of hostilities throughout the reporting period, Palestinian militants fired some 195 rockets and mortars towards Israel. On 7 August, one Grad rocket reportedly landed in an open field near the city of Be’er Sheva, the furthest a projectile has been fired since the 2014 hostilities.

    Israel targeted sites in the Strip on at least 125 occasions. Eight Palestinians, including a pregnant woman and her 18-month-old baby were killed, while 56 Palestinians and 28 Israeli civilians were injured. These exchanges, which have escalated in recent months, underline the fragility of the interim periods of calm and the need for longer-term solutions.

     

    Mme. President,

    In recent weeks, the humanitarian situation in Gaza had also deteriorated further, due in part to additional restrictions that Israel imposed on the movement of goods through the Kerem Shalom crossing. This was in reaction to the launching of incendiary kites and balloons from Gaza that have burned thousands of acres of Israeli fields, forests and agricultural land.

    On 15 August, Israel fully reopened Kerem Shalom and expanded the fishing zone to nine nautical miles. The Secretary-General welcomed the decision as having a significant impact on the struggling Gaza economy and on efforts to de-escalate the situation. However, on 19 August, Israel closed the Erez pedestrian crossing to Gaza and West Bank residents, except for humanitarian cases, citing continued violent incidents at the fence.

    As we work towards a full lifting of the closures on Gaza, in line with Security Council Resolution 1860, I call on all parties to ensure that urgently needed humanitarian supplies reach the Strip. These should not be held hostage to political and security developments.

    I also reiterate previous calls by the Special Coordinator to Hamas to provide full information on the Israeli nationals who are being held in Gaza, as required by international humanitarian law.

     

    Mme. President,

    The UN is taking steps to increase its capacity on the ground to better support energy, water, health and job-creation projects endorsed by the Palestinian Authority and the international community. I am pleased to note that many donors and international organizations are looking into increasing their allocations for Palestine. This is the appropriate response to Gaza’s crumbling infrastructure and collapsing economy.

    In particular, I am encouraged by the World Bank’s increased USD 90 million allocation for West Bank and Gaza, including for some 4,400 short-term employment opportunities.

    UNDP is also accelerating its emergency economic assistance programme with support from several donors. Both efforts focus on employment for women and youth as a priority. The UNDP programme aims to have 40% of resulting job placements for women, a critical step, given that the unemployment rate for Palestinian women continued to be significantly higher than men, exceeding 78 per cent in Gaza in the second quarter of 2018.

    This follows the launch in May of the “Decent Work for Women” programme, a joint Italian, UN-Women and ILO initiative to promote equal and decent work opportunities throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, as well as the launch last April of a Japan-funded UN-Women project to support women in Gaza. Improving women’s socio-economic status is essential to peace and stability, as women remain more vulnerable throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory. These are also important efforts to strengthen women’s role in preventing conflict, as per Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security.

    I am however deeply concerned that funding for UN emergency fuel, which sustains some 250 critical facilities in Gaza has now run out.

    Some USD 4.5 million are urgently required to ensure a minimum level of essential services through the end of the year. Also of concern is the dangerously short supply of essential medicines, with 40 per cent of essential drugs completely depleted.

    The UN is working with the Governments of Israel and Palestine on reviewing the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism to improve its functionality, transparency and predictability. The Palestinian Authority has also made great efforts to re-assert its engagement in support of Gaza. I look forward to its full and active participation in this regard.

    I also welcome Egypt’s continued efforts to facilitate intra-Palestinian reconciliation, critical to advance not only Gaza’s humanitarian and development objectives but also Palestinian national aspirations. I reiterate the Secretary-General’s call on all parties to support these efforts.

     

    Mme. President,

    We have been regularly updating the Council and its members on the unprecedented financial challenge UNRWA faces this year.

    The Secretary-General has warned that failing to address UNRWA’s remaining USD 217 million funding shortfall will have serious humanitarian and developmental consequences, as well as implications for regional stability. I thank Member States that have taken steps to assist in closing this shortfall and call on others to increase their support to UNRWA. It is imperative to maintain the strong collective mobilization.

     

    Mme. President,

    Turning to the broader situation, violent incidents continued to take place throughout the Occupied Palestinian territory and Israel. In Gaza, 13 Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces during continued protests near the perimeter fence, including one medical worker and four children. Some 1000 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier were also injured.

    On 21 August, Israel’s Military Advocate General announced that military police investigations would be opened into the death of two Palestinians killed during protests near the fence in recent months.

    While Israel has a duty to protect its citizens, it must exercise maximum restraint in the use of live fire, and refrain from using lethal force, except as a last resort. I further call on Hamas to avoid violence at the fence and refrain from putting children in harm’s way. Children should never be targeted or instrumentalized in any way.

    On 26 July, in the West Bank settlement of Adam, a 17-year-old Palestinian stabbed an Israeli civilian to death and injured two others. He was shot and killed by one of the victims. It is deplorable that Hamas and others once again chose to glorify this attack.

    After a period of relative calm in Jerusalem, on 27 July, the one-year anniversary of the resolution of last year’s unrest at the Holy Esplanade, clashes erupted at the site between Palestinians and ISF, during which ten Palestinians and four Israeli police officers were injured. On 17 August, an Israeli Arab man was shot dead by ISF in Jerusalem’s Old City after attempting to stab them. Following both incidents, Israeli security forces closed the entrances to the compound for a few hours, before restoring full access.

    With the celebration of Eid al-Adha this week, and the Jewish holidays approaching, I urge all to do their part to avoid provocations at Jerusalem’s Holy Sites.

    The Special Coordinator conducted a series of meetings with Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders in Jerusalem to discuss the importance of maintaining calm, rejecting violence, and ensuring the status quo is preserved at the Holy Sites. He will continue its engagement with all stakeholders.

     

    Mme. President,

    On 14 August, Israeli authorities announced they would publish a tender for 603 units in the Ramat Shlomo settlement in East Jerusalem, the first such announcement since 2016. In Area C, a tender for 511 housing units was published, and construction based on previously approved plans continued.

    On 1 August, the Israeli Civil Administration confirmed its intention to expand the municipal boundaries of the Amichai settlement to include the outpost of Adei Ad. If implemented, this would result in the first outpost legalization, under Israeli law, since 2014.  I reiterate the UN long-standing position that all settlement activities are illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace.

    Israeli authorities demolished 18 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C and East Jerusalem for lack of building permits, which are nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain. As a result, eight Palestinians were displaced, including six children.

    On 1 August, Israel’s High Court of Justice indicated it did not find sufficient reason to prevent the demolition of the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar. It instructed the State to present an alternative relocation site, on which the parties have not agreed. Demolition is on hold while the Court considers the case.

    I reiterate UN calls on Israel to cease the demolition of Palestinian property and efforts to relocate Bedouin communities in the occupied West Bank. Such actions are contrary to international law and undermine the two-state solution.

     

    Mme. President,

    I would like to close by highlighting the efforts of ordinary women and men, Israeli and Palestinian, who overcome cynicism and despair by taking tangible steps to promote tolerance and forge a shared future.

    They include volunteers who drive Palestinian patients to medical appointments in Israel; youth leaders finding creative ways to build a shared future amongst Jerusalem’s communities; scientists working together to solve regional environmental challenges; and Palestinian and Israeli women mobilizing constituencies for peace and promoting the participation of women in the political process, in line with Security Council Resolution 1325. As outlined in the 2016 Quartet Report, such initiatives provide a crucial foundation for broader peace efforts. I invite Member States to continue generously supporting them.

    Even as the international community focuses on resolving the current crisis in Gaza and returning the legitimate Palestinian Government to the Strip, the perseverance of these individuals reminds us of the need to view our efforts in the context of our broader goal – ending the Israeli occupation and achieving a future of two states, based on relevant UN resolutions and previous agreements, living side by side in peace, security and dignity.

    Thank you.

  • 21 Ago 2018

    In La Guajira, a group of women, former combatants of the FARC and community members surrounding the Territorial Area for Training and Reintegration (TATR), are building a tailoring business that facilitates reconciliation.

    ...
  • 21 Ago 2018

    On 14-17 August, UNIOGBIS, through its Military Adviser, in partnership with Armed Forces General Staff of Guinea-Bissau, organized in Bissau a seminar on peace missions for more than 60 officers of the Guinean Armed Forces...

  • 21 Ago 2018

    Mogadishu – The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Michael Keating, extends his heartfelt greetings to the Somali people as they celebrate Eid al-Adha, marking the end of Hajj,...

  • 20 Ago 2018

    KABUL - As Muslims around the world prepare to mark the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha, I wish all Afghans a peaceful and joyous celebration.

    Eid-ul-Adha is a time of peace, which all Afghans long...

  • 20 Ago 2018

    NEW YORK - Terrorism is one of the most challenging issues of our time and a serious threat to international peace and security. From Tajikistan to the United...

  • 20 Ago 2018

    The Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Yemen wishes the Yemeni people a blessed Eid al-Adha.

    May the values and lessons of this holiday, of giving, compassion and sacrifice, unite all Yemenis in their desire to achieve peace and prosperity throughout Yemen.

    Eid Mubarak.