News in Brief 22 August 2017 (PM)

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Miroslav Jenča of Slovakia, assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, speaks at the UN Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. UN Photo/Kim Haughton

Senior UN official calls for re-commitment to two-State solution

The recent crisis in Jerusalem has highlighted the need for a clear re-commitment by Israelis and Palestinians to ending occupation and realizing a two-State solution, the UN Security Council heard on Tuesday.

Ambassadors were briefed by the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Miroslav Jenca, who also stressed the need for continued international action that supports this process.

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric has more details.

"Mr. Jenca also said that, in a few days’ time, we will mark the third anniversary of the ceasefire that ended the latest round of hostilities between Hamas and Israel in Gaza in 2014.   He added that, since then, the overall humanitarian conditions in Gaza have worsened, with the punishing measures taken against Gaza by the Palestinian Authority since April that only add to the crippling humanitarian effect on the population because of Israel’s closures. Mr. Jenca called on Palestinian leaders to address the destructive consequences of these divisions.

Ethiopia: Concern over worsening drought conditions in Somali region

The UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, is calling for extraordinary measures to address ongoing drought in Ethiopia.

The agency is particularly concerned about conditions in the Somali region of the country where successive rains have failed, thus worsening what it has called an already-critical food security situation.

OCHA recently kicked off a fifth round of food distributions in the Somali region, targeting 3.3 million people.

So far, 330,000 people have received a full basket of relief items, namely cereals, pulses and oils.

The distributions are expected to be completed by mid-September.

Everyone needs to be informed about the slave trade: UN cultural chief

Everyone must know "the scale of the crime" of the slave trade, the effects of which are still being felt today.

That is the message from the head of the UN's cultural agency, UNESCO, to mark the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, observed this Wednesday, 23 August.

The day commemorates the anniversary of the 1791 insurrection of enslaved Africans in the western part of the Caribbean island of Santo Domingo, which led to the creation and independence of what is now Haiti.

UNESCO said it provides an opportunity to reflect on history in order to shed light on the fight against all forms of oppression and racism today.

"Everyone must know the scale of the crime of the slave trade, the millions of lives broken and the impact on the fate of continents up to this very day," UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in her statement, stating that ignorance is the enemy.

She said that "everyone must be fully informed of the struggle that led to its abolition, so that together we can build societies that are fairer, and thus freer."

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’57″

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