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UN Updates: August 28, 2014

*Keywords: SG=Secretary-General, DSG=Deputy Secretary-General  

SG: The SG is in Bali attending the 6th Global Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations. He met with the Indonesian President today to discuss recent Indonesian elections, the situation in the Middle East and partnership with the UN and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The SG will then leave for Samoa where he will attend the Conference of Small Island Developing States.

Golan Heights: The SG condemned the detention of 43 peacekeepers from the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) by armed members of the opposition in the area of separation in the Golan and called for their immediate release. The SG reiterated that UNDOF has been mandated to monitor the Disengagement of Forces Agreement between Israel and Syria and their safety, security and freedom of movement must be respected.

Ukraine: The SG is concerned about the spreading violence in eastern Ukraine, which will mark a dangerous escalation in the crisis, if confirmed. The SG called for continued talks between the Presidents of Ukraine and Russia, saying all must contribute to a resolution that upholds Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Syria: ASG for Humanitarian affairs, Kyung-wha Kang, briefed the SC today on Syria, reporting that the situation in Syria has worsened as collective punishment of civilians continues, in violation of international humanitarian law. Kang noted ISIL has taken the violence to a new level and asked the SC to help end the conflict and increase access for humanitarian aid.

Iraq: OCHA says the UN will continue to support the Iraqi government in delivering lifesaving aid, including shelter, food, clean water, sanitation and medical assistance. WFP has delivered food to more than 700,000 people since June and UNHCR reports a new camp is now open in Dahuk for displaced people. UNDP signed an agreement in Dauk today to drill wells to provide water to the more than 400,000 displaced people in the Governorate. UNDP and partners are also providing legal assistance to displaced people in Dahuk for gender-based violence.

Gaza: OCHA reported almost 233,000 displaced people left UNRWA shelters as of yesterday. About 54,000 still remain in 78 shelters.

Afghanistan: The SG’s Special Representative for Afghanistan briefed President Karzai on the audit for the Presidential election run-off, saying it could be completed around September 10.

Libya: OCHA, with figures from local authorities in Libya, reports 107,000 people are internally displaced near Tripoli. UN and partners are working to provide aid, including WFP.

South Sudan: The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan fears a famine, likely to occur in 2015, may be inevitable this year. He says the biggest cause is the failure of the political leadership to resolve the current crisis. Also in South Sudan, the UN suspended all flights to Bentiu as a result of the crash of the UN helicopter earlier this week that killed 3 Russian crew members. This suspension impacts more than 46,000 people that require lifesaving assistance and seek safety in the UN peacekeeping bases in Bentiu.

Turkey: Kamal Malhotra, UNDP Resident Coordinator in Turkey, represented the UN and the SG at President Recip Erdogan’s inauguration in Ankara today.

WHO: WHO released a “roadmap” guide as a framework to help coordinate an international response to the Ebola outbreak. WHO reports 1,552 confirmed deaths so far. Margaret Chan, Director General of WHO, and David Nabarro, UN System Coordinator for Ebola, are both expected to be in NY next week.

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