Afghanistan; Middle East; Lebanon

Afghanistan: After meeting with President Karzai, UNAMA proposed an audit of Afghanistan’s polling stations at the request of both candidates in order to increase the credibility of the country’s election process following serious allegations of fraud.

Middle East: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Pillay expressed alarm at the Israeli killings of Palestinian civilians in Gaza as well as the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel. She called on all sides to abide by international humanitarian law and echoed the SG’s call for a ceasefire. The SG, Pillay, and humanitarian partners condemn and prohibit the targeting of civilians in these recent attacks.

Lebanon: Earlier today UNIFIL radars detected the firing of three rockets toward Israel from south Lebanon, and the Israel Defense Forces responded with artillery fire toward the source of the rocket. No casualties have been reported, but UNIFIL continues to investigate the incident.

Syria: UNHCR called on European countries to strengthen their response to the Syrian crisis as 123,600 Syrians have sought asylum in Europe since 2011.

South Sudan: UNHCR launched an appeal to donors for $658 million to respond to the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in South Sudan as the number of refugees is expected to reach 715,000 by the end of 2014.

Nigeria: The UN Special Envoy for Global Education called on the global community to support the Nigerian schoolgirls on July 22nd to mark the 100th day of their captivity by holding vigils and sending letters to the community for their safe return and for the Safe Schools Initiative.

Development Cooperation Forum: Yesterday marked the opening session of the 2014 Development Cooperation Forum where Ambassador Sadjik remarked that development cooperation will play a big role in supporting the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. He stressed the need to explore other sources of financing and the necessity of domestic resource mobilization, business sector participation, and a renewed global partnership for development uniting the Monterrey and Rio+20 conference tracks.

World Population Day: In the SG’s message on World Population Day, he called on the world to renew its commitment to empower young people in order to progress toward a more sustainable future. The SG remains particularly concerned about adolescent girls and called for investments in health, education, training to aid youth in their transition to adulthood.