SG; Ukraine; Middle East

SG: The SG met with President Ortega yesterday in Nicaragua where he visited a wind farm and praised the country’s commitment to renewable energy. The SG arrived in Costa Rica today where he is expected to lecture about “Costa Rica and the United Nations: Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century”.

Ukraine: The SG expressed concern over the continued fighting near the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash as it restricts investigator’s access to the site and prevents the work necessary to carry out the investigation. In accordance with SC Resolution 2166, the SG called on all parties to cease hostilities near the crash to allow international teams unfettered access to the site.

Middle East: The SG condemned the attack on an UNRWA school in Gaza today and continues to call on all parties to ensure the safety of the UN sites and the civilians seeking protection there. UN Humanitarian Chief Amos echoed the SG’s concern over the school attack noting that Gaza’s sole power plant was also hit leaving homes with only two hours of electricity per day. Amos remarked that humanitarian needs are continuing to increase as capacities are stretched to their limits. As fighting continues despite the most recent four-hour humanitarian ceasefire, Amos urges all parties to make efforts toward a lasting ceasefire to end the conflict.

Afghanistan: UNAMA welcomed the Independent Election Commission’s (IEC) adoption of criteria for the ongoing audit of the presidential election results. The UN supports the IEC’s decision and the SRSG for Afghanistan believes the criteria will help the audit to proceed efficiently without any interruption.

Security Council: This morning the SC adopted resolutions on Cyprus and Iraq to renew the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus for six months and extend the mandate of UNAMI for one year as well as increase the number of reports on the work of UNAMI. UN Humanitarian Chief Amos also briefed the Council regarding humanitarian access in Syria. Amos noted that convoys have been dispatched through some designated cross-points, but 241,000 people are still living in siege conditions as she hopes to confirm the use of other border points amidst the challenge of continued fighting.

Somalia: The SRSG for Somalia reported that Federal Government representatives in Somalia signed an agreement to form a regional administration in central Somalia. The UN continues to support the Federal Government’s peace and state-building efforts as this decision marks the country’s progress toward state formation.

World Day against Trafficking in Persons: Marking today’s World Day against Trafficking in Persons, the SG emphasized the need to address the root causes of this crime—extreme poverty, entrenched inequality and a lack of education and opportunity. He recognized today as a call to action to end trafficking and urged all countries to ratify the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol on Trafficking in Persons.