SG; Middle East; Iraq

SG: The SG briefed the SC today from Ramallah where he reiterated his message from today’s earlier press conference in Tel Aviv with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to: “Stop fighting. Start talking. And take on the root causes of the conflict.” The SG will continue travelling this week to Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Middle East: The continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict is now affecting aid as 77 UNRWA installations have been damaged and 100,000 people seek UNRWA’s shelter. The SG urged a viable two-state solution and an immediate ceasefire to begin addressing the underlying issues. At the SC’s open debate on the Middle East, US Ambassador Power reiterated the US commitment to secure a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas and the US $47 million contribution to address the humanitarian emergency in Gaza (which was announced by Secretary Kerry yesterday).

Iraq: UNHCR reported more than 450 Christian families in Iraq have been displaced with little or no resources. UNHCR continues to assess the situation to meet the needs of those displaced.

UNIFIL: Major-General Luciano Portolano of Italy will take over as the Force Commander of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) on Thursday following Major-General Paolo Serra’s farewell bid to Lebanese authorities in Beirut today.

WFP: WFP reported that the surge of conflict in the first half of 2014 increased the program’s global air delivery of life-saving food and goods by fifty-fold with more than 90% of the supplies delivered to CAR, South Sudan, and Syria.

Girl Summit: UNICEF and the UK Government are hosting the first-ever Girl Summit to end female genital mutilation and child marriage as these practices deny girls the right to make their own decisions and reach their full potential according to a statement made by UNICEF’s Executive Director.

CAR: The three-day forum for peace talks in Brazzaville continue as the SG called for political coordination and unity in order to move toward reconciliation and stop the violence at yesterday’s convening of the forum.