Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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15-Aug-2018 00:20:21
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The UN Mission in Afghanistan today said it is outraged by the attack in Kabul targeting the Shia community and leading to more than 50 casualties at an education centre. “There is no justification whatsoever for targeting civilians, at any time, under any circumstances,” the mission said in a tweet.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, today said the Taliban’s attack against Ghazni city, and the subsequent fighting in crowded urban spaces has caused terrible suffering to civilians caught in the conflict.

“The extreme human suffering caused by the fighting in Ghazni highlights the urgent need for the war in Afghanistan to end. The United Nations continues to maintain that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan,” he said in a statement.

Mr. Yamamoto added that humanitarian actors must be given explicit and absolute guarantees by all parties to the conflict that they will be allowed to operate safely, without hindrance or any attempts to interfere with distribution carried out under humanitarian principles.

Earlier today, Israel reopened the Kerem Shalom crossing, Gaza’s sole functional goods crossing, for the entry and exit of permitted goods. Between 9 July and 14 August, Israel had allowed only food, medical and limited fuel deliveries into the blockaded enclave, and prohibited the exit of any goods.

Today, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that more than 400 truckloads of goods are expected to enter Gaza. In addition, Israel increased the permissible fishing zone from three back to six nautical miles off northern Gaza’s shore and to nine nautical miles in the southern shore.

Israel’s larger blockade and other restrictions in Gaza remain in place, however.

The representatives of the International Community based in Bamako have issued a statement reaffirming their support for Mali and commitment to the Malian authorities and people for a calm and respectful post-election process.

They remind the two candidates of their commitments to peaceful campaigns before and after the electoral process and strongly encourage them and their supporters to use legal and constitutional channels to settle disputes.

Earlier this week, the Assistant Secretary-General for the Rule of Law and Security Institutions in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Alexandre Zouev, wrapped up a visit to Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan.

He visited the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, as well as Sudan and South Sudan, where he visited the UN-AU Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

In Addis Ababa, Mr. Zouev met with African Union officials to highlight the need for increased cooperation in the areas of rule of law, policing, security sector reform, and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.

In Sudan, he discussed transition in the areas of rule of law, governance and stabilization – since, as you know, in June, the Security Council decided to draw down UNAMID’s troop and police strength over the next year.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are leading the response to the regional refugee crisis related to Venezuela, with UN agencies, funds and programs also providing assistance.

UNHCR and IOM have launched regional appeals of $46 million and $32 million respectively to help governments and host communities with the response.

Some $6.2 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has been given to IOM and UNCHR.

Inside Venezuela, several UN agencies are operating in areas such as health, nutrition, agriculture and development.

Ahead of World Humanitarian Day on Sunday, the UN and its partners have launched the ‘Not A Target’ campaign to bring global attention to the Secretary-General’s report to the Security Council in May on the need for greater protection of civilians in conflict.

This year’s campaign is built around creating the world’s first ‘living petition,’ where the public can sign on by taking a ‘selfie’ to advocate for the protection of civilians and respect for International Humanitarian Law. These ‘signatures’ will become a digital installation which will be on display at UN Headquarters in the visitor’s lobby starting on Friday and all the way through the high-level week of the General Assembly, when world leaders will be able to see the level of global support for the protection of civilians and humanitarian workers.
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