Iraq; Middle East; Mali

Iraq: The SG met with Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki in Baghdad today as well as Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani to review the ongoing security crisis. The SG congratulated Fouad Massoum on his election as Iraq’s new President and remarked that a new government “will strengthen the unity of the country, fight effectively against terrorism and ISIS, as well as uproot the seeds of sectarianism and division.”

Middle East: The SG condemned the attack on an UNRWA school in Gaza that killed many “including women and children, as well as UN staff.” Although it remains unclear who is responsible for the attack, the incident highlights the need to stop all fighting immediately.

Mali: UN Peacekeeping mission in Mali initiated a search operation for the Air Algerie plane that disappeared en route from Burkina Faso to Algiers. According to Mali’s president, wreckage of the flight has been spotted between Aguelhoc and Kidal.

Human Development Report: UNDP launched the 2014 Human Development Report today in Tokyo. The report explores “structural vulnerabilities” and shows an overall decline in poverty, but 800 million people remain at risk of falling back into poverty if setbacks occur. The report also includes a new Gender Development Index to measure the gender gap in human development achievements.

Afghanistan: The audit of the Afghan presidential election resumed today with a new set of criteria proposed by the UN for determining fraudulent ballots.

CAR: Peace talks in Brazzaville successfully resumed after a brief suspension on Tuesday. CAR groups signed an agreement on the cessation of hostilities during yesterday’s final round of the forum.

South Sudan: UNMISS reported continued heavy firing this morning in Nassir between SPLM/A In Opposition forces and SPLA troops.

Nigeria: The SRSG for West Africa condemned the killing of Nigerian civilians yesterday and over the weekend by Boko Haram killing more than 130 people.

MINUSMA: The SG appointed Diane Corner of the UK as new Deputy Head of MINUSCA.