News in Brief 17 December 2015 (PM)

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the Security Council meeting of Finance Ministers on countering the financing of terrorism. This was the first-ever Council meeting of Finance Ministers. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Agreement made to cut off funding sources for ISIL and other terrorist groups

The international community has agreed to stop the flow of money to ISIL and other terrorist groups in a resolution adopted in the UN Security Council.

At its first ever meeting at Finance Ministers' level, the Council stepped up its efforts to block all sources of funding including ransom payments, no matter by whom.

Referring to ISIL, also known as Daesh, the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon had this to say.

"Daesh terrorists raise money through the oil trade, extortion, undetected cash couriers, kidnapping for ransom, trafficking of humans and arms and racketeering.  They loot and sell precious cultural property, shamelessly profiting from the destruction of humanity's common heritage.  Social media outreach is exploited by Daesh, not just for radicalization and recruiting, but also for fundraising."

Middle East Quartet condemns all acts of terror

The envoys of the Middle East Quartet have condemned all acts of terror in the region in meetings with Israeli and Palestinian counterparts.

Violence has been escalating in recent weeks between the two communities.

Over 30 Palestinians have recently been killed, while stabbings, vehicle attacks and shootings by Palestinians targeting Israelis, continue to claim victims on an almost daily basis.

In a statement, the Quartet reiterated the need for significant steps which will strengthen Palestinian institutions, security and economic prospects, while respecting Israel’s legitimate security concerns.

The Quartet is a group of four entities involved in mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Quartet is made up of the European Union, Russia the UN and the United States.

Aid allowed into Yemeni city

Participants in UN-sponsored peace talks on the future of Yemen have reached an agreement which allows for a full and immediate resumption of humanitarian assistance to the city of Taizz.

A large UN convoy, carrying essential humanitarian supplies, has now reached the most badly hit districts of the city.

Relief aid will be distributed in the coming days.

It is expected that humanitarian assistance will also reach Hajja, Saada and other deprived Yemeni cities in the near future.

The UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, welcomed this agreement as "a major step forward that will ensure immediate action to alleviate the human suffering of the Yemeni people and to ensure the neutral and impartial character of humanitarian action."

UN-sponsored negotiations for an end to hostilities in Yemen, taking place in Switzerland, have continued for a third day.

The consultations will continue in the next few days and seek to define a clear way forward with a special focus on specific areas: the development of a sustainable national ceasefire and the release of prisoners and detainees, the withdrawal of forces and creation of interim security measures, the organized return of heavy weapons to the State, the restoration of State control over public institutions in order to fight terrorism, in addition to the resumption of an inclusive political dialogue.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 2’35″

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