SG; Security Council; Middle East

SG: Last night the SG spoke at a joint press conference with the Foreign Minister of Costa Rica where he repeated his call for an unconditional and extendable humanitarian ceasefire.  Speaking about yesterday’s shelling of a UN shelter he said: “Nothing – nothing – justifies such horror” and demanded “that all parties immediately respect UN premises”.

Security Council: Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos and UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl briefed the SC this morning on Gaza. Amos reported the efforts of UN agencies such as UNRWA, WFP, WHO, and UNICEF, but noted that the relief effort is stretched and called for daily humanitarian pauses as well as additional funds from Member States to provide adequate assistance. Via teleconference, UNRWA’s Commissioner-General noted that UNRWA was in dialogue with Israel and is expected to conduct an investigation into the attack on yesterday’s school attack.

Middle East:UNRWA Commissioner-General also briefed the press today from Gaza expressing UNRWA’s condemnation of the attack on a UN school yesterday as a violation of international humanitarian law. He noted that eight UNRWA staff members have been killed in the conflict and 220,000 people remain displaced in UNRWA’s 85 schools. He also highlighted that humanitarian assistance is difficult in conflict areas and as more people continue to be displaced, aid will reach a precipice and the occupying power will have to assume responsibility to assist those in need.

Iraq: Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq expressed concern over rising levels of violence in Iraq and called for unconstrained humanitarian access to deliver assistance to the 1.4 million displaced this year.

Ebola: Ebola cases in West Africa have reached 1,323 with 729 deaths. The number of individuals infected has increased in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and Liberia’s government also announced that it is closing down its schools across the country to stop the spread of the virus. Despite the epidemic, WHO does not recommend any travel or trade restrictions and continues to work with the Sub-regional Ebola Outbreak Coordination Center and is launching a $100 million plan to control the Ebola outbreak.

Argentina: As Argentina faces its second default in 13 years, the SG expressed that his foremost concern is for the Argentine people as he hopes the impact on the people will be as small as possible. Argentina’s economic situation raises questions about the sovereign debt restricting process to be addressed by Member States in further discussions.

DGACM: The SG appointed Catherine Pollard of Guyana as Assistant Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management.