Israel/Gaza; Yemen; Piracy; DRC; Pakistan

Israel/Gaza: The SG is in Cairo today to add his support to the Egyptian-led efforts to reach an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza/Southern Israel situation. In a statement released yesterday, Mr. Ban urged all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire and expressed his “deep sadness” for the civilians killed in the region, a number that is now over 100. The SC held an emergency briefing on Gaza this afternoon, where DPA gave an update on the situation followed by consultations.

Yemen: The SG was in Yemen yesterday to mark the forthcoming first anniversary of the conclusion of the Yemen peace and transition agreement and to lend his personal support to the process. The SG noted that the country still faces profound challenges, but is launching a very important national dialogue in which both women and young people must play a prominent role.

Piracy: The SC started its meeting on piracy this morning, where the DSG briefed Council members on the SG’s annual report on piracy off the coast of Somalia. Speaking on behalf of the SG, the DSG noted a sharp decline in pirate attacks in waters off the coast of Somalia in 2012 compared to 2011, yet such gains can be easily reversed if a “multi-dimensional approach” is not taken to address the causes of piracy. The United States issued a statement at the meeting, noting that the international community, including Somalia, “can do more” to prevent piracy from spreading.

DRC: In response to an escalation of violence between the M23 and the Government in the DRC, both the SG and the Security Council “strongly condemned” the renewed attacks. Recent clashes have forced thousands of displaced men, women and children to flee again, adding to what UN agencies say is an already dire humanitarian situation in which over 2.4 million people are internally displaced due to conflict.

Pakistan: Catharine Bragg, ASG for Humanitarian Affairs, called on Pakistan and its partners today to increase investment in resilience measures that will allow the country to recover from natural disasters, such as floods and earthquakes, which have affected millions of people over the past years. Bragg is currently visiting the country to assess and draw attention to the needs of communities affected by the floods in the south and displaced families in the northwest. OCHA has also reported that humanitarian partners in the region urgently require $196 million to continue providing essential relief services over the coming months.