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18 октября, 23:56

Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi Heinous Attack against Human Dignity - Press Conference

Press Briefing by Suela Janina, Chair of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances and Mr. Bernard Duhaime, Chair of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. The Chair of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, Bernard Duhaime, today (18 Oct) said that the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi “is a crime” as well as “a heinous attack against human dignity and is completely against all fundamental principles that govern the United Nations.” Duhaime told reporters that his office has asked both Saudi and Turkish authorities “for an explanation in this regard, in particular how they are proceeding to investigate the situation, and we expect a response from the concerned authorities.” The official, who was presenting the latest report on enforced involuntary disappearances, said that “this is not the only situation of the sort, as detailed in our annual report” and added that “we have addressed these types of extra-territorial abductions in which, fortunately, sometimes we are able to find the person afterwards, and unfortunately, like in Mr. Khashoggi’s case, we have not found them yet.” This year’s report expresses serious concern that the number of enforced disappearances continues to be unacceptably high worldwide, with 820 new cases reported between May 2017 and May this year, and called for more assistance to be made available to family members and members of civil society to enable them to report cases to the Working Group and, more importantly, to keep working on enforced disappearance issues.

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18 октября, 22:08

Middle East & other topics - Daily Briefing (18 October 2018)

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Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General. Daily Press Briefing: - Middle East - Syria - South Sudan - Ebola Full Highlights: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/noon-briefing-highlight?date%5Bvalue%5D%5Bdate%5D=18%20October%202018

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18 октября, 20:52

The Situation in Gaza is “Imploding” - UN Envoy briefs UN Security Council

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Briefing by Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov said the situation in Gaza is “imploding” adding that the strip was “on the brink of another potentially devastating conflict, a conflict that nobody claims to want, but a conflict that needs much more than just words to prevent.”

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18 октября, 17:48

Russia & Turkey to allow more time for Idlib withdrawal - UN Special Envoy for Syria

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Russia and Turkey have said that they will allow “more time” for opposition groups to withdraw from a de-escalation zone in Syria’s Idlib, which has been spared air raids for more than a month, a senior humanitarian adviser to the UN said today. Speaking to journalists in Geneva today (18 Oct) after a meeting of the International Syria Support Group's Humanitarian Access Task Force, Jan Egeland, the Senior Adviser to the UN Special Envoy for Syria expressed “relief” that further violence in the north-west of the country had been put on hold. He said “the Russian and the Turkish side have indicated that indeed more time will be given to implement the agreement,” adding that “some of the first deadlines have passed or is being passed, there will be more time for diplomacy and that is a great relief to us, because if one is to follow a military logic that has too often been followed in this war alone, it would be horrific news for civilians but also for humanitarians of whom there are 12,000 colleagues in Idlib.” After more than seven years of fighting that has left hundreds of thousands of Syrians dead, uprooted millions more and enmeshed the interests of several foreign powers, Egeland stressed the value of the current deal between Russia and Turkey, who are the guarantors of a proposed demilitarized zone in Idlib. He said “we have now had five weeks without any air raids,” adding that “I can’t remember such a period for the last three years in Idlib. It’s a calm through this very sensitive, complex, difficult area full of three million civilians. It is a welcome calm.” In addition to opposition groups, some three million people live in Idlib. Many are there after fleeing other areas of Syria which have been reclaimed by Government forces, most recently the provinces of Dar’a and Quneitra in the south-east, as well as Eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus. Egeland said, “The big battles have ended in most of the country” but Idlib “could still become the worst battle yet.” He explained that even if the opposition groups including Al-Nusra withdrew their heavy weapons from the contact line, they would “of course” embed themselves in built-up areas of Idlib, leaving “a million civilians engulfed” in conflict. He continued, “This is a fantastic deal so far because it prevents bloodshed, it has to continue like that,” adding that “if there is fighting, if there will be war, and even if it is only against those listed groups, it would be completely catastrophic and we as humanitarians would have a lifeline that will be broken to too many.” While the eyes of the international community remain fixed on Idlib, there is still tremendous suffering in many areas of Syria, including in the east of the country, Egeland stressed. He said “there is horrific fighting that nobody seems to be caring about in the very east with 15,000 people in crossfire between Islamic state fighters and the attacking forces,” stressing that even when war ends “in more and more provinces”, peace can only be built through human rights and the implementation of rule of law. After coordinating the UN’s efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to Syria for more than three years, liaising with the Government of Syria and the international community over safe passage for aid convoys across front lines and borders, Mr Egeland also announced that it was time for him to step down. Mirroring Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy for Syria, who made a similar announcement on Wednesday (17 Oct) at UN headquarters in New York, Egeland said that he would be leaving his post at the end of November. Egeland said “It’s been very exhausting really…there hasn’t really been an evening or a weekend where we have not been dealing with an Aleppo, Homs, Dera’a, Eastern Ghouta, now Idlib, Rukban or some other issues,” adding that “so that’s the issue, and I presume I will be replaced by somebody better and that they will continue with a Task Force because the job is not even half done.”

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18 октября, 17:35

Israel on the Middle East and Palestine - Security Council Media Stakeout (18 October 2018)

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Informal comments to the media by Ambassador Danny Danon, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations, on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

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18 октября, 01:46

Sweden, Netherlands, and others on the Syria - Media Stakeout (17 October 2018)

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Informal comments to the media by H.E Mr. Olof Skoog, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations, on the situation in the Middle East. Also participated: Karel van Oosterom, Permanent Representative of the Netherlands; François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations; Karen Pierce, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations; Joanna Wronecka, Permanent Representative of Poland to the United Nations; Jürgen Schulz, Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations; Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve, Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations; Mariangela Zappia, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations.

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17 октября, 23:20

2018 Int’l Day for the Eradication of Poverty - António Guterres (Secretary-General)

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Open remarks by H.E Antonio Guterres, Untied Nations Secretary- General, at "2018 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty". Secretary-General António Guterres today (17 Oct) said “ending extreme poverty is not a matter of charity but a question of justice.” In his message commemorating the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Guterres noted that ten per cent of the world’s people remain in extreme poverty, and more than 700 million people are unable to meet their basic daily needs. He stated that armed conflicts, climate change, discrimination and rising inequalities are posing major challenges for eradicating poverty. He said “the deprivations that people living in poverty endure every day remind us that there is a fundamental connection between eradicating extreme poverty and upholding the equal rights of all people.” Guterres reiterated that the world must choose to build a fair globalization that creates opportunities for all. Inclusive growth supported by economic and social policies that empower people and provide equal opportunities make the difference. He said “we need policies that create a strong enabling economic environment and that promote access to education, health services, decent work and social protection. And we need policies that dismantle barriers that contribute to the perpetuation of poverty.” This year's theme, “coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity” underscores the connection between extreme poverty and human rights. Specifically, emphasizing that people living in poverty are disproportionately affected by many human rights violations. Eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions is embodied in Goal 1 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to foster social protection systems for all.

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17 октября, 22:35

Syria & other topics - Daily Briefing (17 October 2018)

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Noon Briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. Daily Press Briefing: - Africa - Syria - Comoros Statement - Population - Refugees - Guatemala - Poverty - Honour Roll Full Highlights: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/noon-briefing-highlight?date%5Bvalue%5D%5Bdate%5D=17%20October%202018

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17 октября, 21:40

Special Envoy for Syria on the Middle East - Media Stakeout (17 October 2018)

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Informal comments to the media by Mr. Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, on the situation in the Middle East. The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, today (17 Oct) told the Security Council that “a catastrophe has so far been averted” in the Syrian province of Idlib, as the Russian-Turkish memorandum of understanding “appears to be being implemented.” De Mistura said “the de facto map of Syria today is for the moment relatively stable, but it must not become a de facto soft partition, nor a theatre for new international confrontations” and stressed that “there must therefore be a political path forward.” The Special Envoy expressed hope that progress would be made on a fresh constitutional settlement for a post-war Syria. He said, “the UN has done all that it can, and frankly more, to find a way to convene a credible and balanced constitutional committee. We are ready to do more and in an accelerated way during the forthcoming month, taking advantage of the Idlib window of opportunity, but we are not ready to convene a committee that is not credible and balanced.” De Mistura announced that “for purely personal reasons” he will step down from his post in the last week of November 2018, adding that his intention, “is to dedicate this crucial last month to actively verify once for all the feasibility of the implementation of a credible and inclusive constitutional committee, and hence also the implementation of the Sochi declaration.” In his address to the Council, Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari objected to the formation of the “Third Group” in the negotiations leading to the establishment of the constitutional committee. He said the United Nations “must not be part of any political groups that stand against Syria and the Syrian government because these groups are being created outside the authority of the Security Council by political powers that support terrorism in Syria and in the region.” Outside the Council, Swedish Ambassador Olof Skoog, speaking on behalf of the European Union, acknowledged “the signing of the memorandum of understanding to establish a ceasefire in Idlib and we call on the Astana guarantors to ensure that the ceasefire is upheld and to safeguard the last remaining de-escalation zone in Syria.” The ambassadors emphasized “the need for a comprehensive nationwide ceasefire and for safe, sustained, and unhindered humanitarian access throughout the country.” Also speaking to reporters, de Mistura said objections from Damascus were holding up the committee’s launch. He said “if there is a political will, there is no reason, no reason whatsoever for the constitutional committee not to be able to be convened during the month of November. We are ready. We have done a lot of homework. Ten months of preparation. The main reason so far for the delay in conveying in Geneva the constitutional committee is frankly the difficulties that the government of Syria has to accept the current third list that has been prepared by the UN as per the Sochi declaration and the resolution 2254.”

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17 октября, 19:52

António Guterres (Secretary-General) at Africa Dialogue Series 2018

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Statement by H.E Antonio Guterres, Untied Nations Secretary- General, at Africa Dialogue Series 2018. Theme: OSAA at 15: A Stronger UN-AU Partnership for Peace, Security and Development in Africa. The United Nations chief António Guterres reiterated today that the UN “believes in African leadership to solve African problems, and we are fully committed to working closely with the African Union in solidarity and respect to seize the vast potential of today’s opportunities.” Speaking during the Africa dialogue series called “A Stronger AU-UN Partnership For Peace, Security And Development In Africa”, Guterres today (17 Oct) noted that the policies and approaches of the African Union and the United Nations are more closely aligned than ever before. He stated that African economies are showing resilience and gaining momentum. Many are growing faster than in other regions, reflecting greater stability and efforts to improve governance. Highlighting that the the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 have many synergies, the UN chief said “financing will be critical. All countries must meet the commitments they made in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. And together with public and private actors, we must accelerate and scale up the mobilization of resources.” Guterres also noted that the international community needs a huge leap in investment to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change in Africa. Developed countries must deliver on their commitments, on finance and technology alike. On reforms, Guterres said “as the United Nations and the African Union engage in reforms, it is more important than ever to ensure that we align our priorities, agree on our respective areas of responsibility, and deepen our partnership.” He added “let us work together – traditional and emerging partners, the private sector, civil society, academia, foundations and philanthropic organizations – to seize opportunities and build bridges, working together with States and international organizations like ours.” The President of the General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés also highlighted the important role of women and youth for the development of the African continent. She said “investing and promoting access to education and to decent jobs is essential. Reducing inequalities and building peaceful and resilient societies is critical. We must invest in youth.”

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17 октября, 18:40

France on Syria - Security Council Media Stakeout (17 October 2018)

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Informal comments to the media by H.E Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, on the situation in the Middle East. #UnitedNations #Syria

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17 октября, 18:39

The Netherlands on Syria - Security Council Media Stakeout (17 October 2018)

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Informal comments to the media by H.E. Karel van Oosterom, Permanent Representative of the Netherlands, on the situation in the Middle East. #UnitedNations #Syria