News in Brief 01 July 2015 (AM)

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Palestinian families seek shelter at an UNRWA school after evacuating their homes north of the Gaza Strip. UNRWA File Photo.

Egypt plays pivotal role for peace in Middle East

Egypt has a pivotal role in achieving a sustainable and just Israeli-Palestinian peace, according to the Envoys of the Middle East Quartet.

The diplomats from the European Union, Russia, the US and the UN were in Cairo for two days as the first step in their regular outreach to Arab states.

They met with senior Egyptian officials and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States.

Discussions reportedly focused on ways to advance the two-state solution between Israel and Palestine, and on how to create the conditions for the return to meaningful negotiations.

Casualty figures in Iraq continue to be "on the high side"

More than 1,460 Iraqis were killed and close to 1,690 were injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in June 2015, according to the UN Mission in Iraq, UNAMI.

Baghdad was reportedly the worst affected Governorate.

The head of UNAMI, Ján Kubiš, said the cycle of violence continues relentlessly with civilians bearing the brunt.

He added that the so-called ISIL and other sectarian extremists are largely responsible for this violence which has affected all aspects of life in Iraq.

"Disaster-prone" Pacific to address the future of humanitarian relief

More than 140 delegates from across the Pacific are gathering in Auckland, New Zealand to discuss the future of humanitarian action in the region.

Co-chaired by Australia, New Zealand and the UN humanitarian office (OCHA), the Pacific is the seventh of eight regional consultations being held ahead of the first World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May 2016.

The UN estimates that Pacific Island countries and territories suffer damages of, on average, more than US$280 million every year as a result of disasters.

The latest natural disasters include Tropical Cyclone Pam and Typhoon Maysak, which caused extensive damage and destruction in many small island nations.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’53″

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