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Pakistan: Pakistan: Daily Emergency and Response Situational Information Report, 19 September 2014

Pakistan - ReliefWeb News - 7 hours 23 min ago
Source: US Agency for International Development, iMMAP Country: Pakistan preview

Update includes the following:

Sindh Updates ............................................................................................................................................... 1

Sindh Safe Evacuation Updates by NDMA as of 19-9-2014 ................................................................ 1

Updates on Flood Situation in Sindh as of 16-9-2014......................................................................... 2

Drought Updates ................................................................................................................................. 3

Daily Health Report of District Tharparkar as on 19-9-2014........................................................... 3

Food Security Cluster Updates as of 15-9-2014 .............................................................................. 3

Nationwide Updates ..................................................................................................................................... 4

NDMA-Rain/Floods 2014 Updates as of 19-9-2014 ............................................................................ 4

River Flow and Flood Forecast ........................................................................................................ 4

Summary of Losses and Damages Updates by PDMA, SDMA and GBDMA as of 19-9-2014 .......... 5

Flood Rescue/Relief Activities as of 19-9-2014 ............................................................................... 6

Relief Provided by PDMA Punjab as of 19-9-2014 .......................................................................... 7

Relief Provided by GBDMA as of 19-9-2014 ................................................................................... 7

Relief Provided by SDMA as of 19-9-2014 ...................................................................................... 7

Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD) Response Updates as of 18-9-2014 ................... 8

UNOCHA Updates on Floods 2014 as of 18-9-2014 ............................................................................ 9

North Waziristan Displacement .......................................................................................................... 9

Notification of closure of the Logistics Cluster in NWA as on 19-9-2014 ....................................... 9

NWA Temporary Dislocated Persons (TDPs) at DI Khan Situation Update as of 18-9-2014 ........... 9

Food Security Cluster Updates as of 15-9-2014 ............................................................................ 11

Polio Updates as of 19-9-2014 .......................................................................................................... 12

4 day Weather Forecast 20th –23rd Sep, 2014 ................................................................................... 12

Pakistan- Reservoirs and River Flow Map as of 19-9-2014 ............................................................... 13

Pakistan- Punjab Rain Flood Situation Update Map as of 19-9-2014 ............................................... 14

Pakistan Flood-Damages and Losses Update Map as of 19-9-2014 ................................................. 15

Weather Update Map of Pakistan as of 19-9-2014 .......................................................................... 16

Philippines: Philippines picks up pieces after storm leaves five dead

Philippines - ReliefWeb News - 7 hours 46 min ago
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Philippines

09/20/2014 05:35 GMT

MANILA, September 20, 2014 (AFP) - Thousands of people displaced by floods triggered by tropical storm Fung-Wong returned to their mud-caked homes in the Philippine capital Saturday, as the death toll from the disaster rose to five, officials said.

Heavy rains paralysed the sprawling metropolis of more than 12 million people and nearby regions on Friday, with roof-high floods chasing 83,000 people from their homes, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

"We have no choice but to come back. We can't afford to rent an apartment," butcher's wife Lovi Barbosa, 35, told AFP as she attempted to remove dirt from the floor of her home near a still swollen creek.

She said she and her five children, aged between two and 10, spent a sleepless night sat on the cold floor outside a tyre repair shop because the local school was already full of similarly displaced neighbours.

Three weeks' worth of rain swamped the region on Friday, state meteorologists said, as the eye of the relatively weak storm brushed past the northern tip of the main island of Luzon, more than 400 kilometres (250 miles) away.

The state weather service said Fung-Wong was forecast to hit Taiwan on Sunday.

Many of the areas hardest hit by floods, such as Barbosa's neighbourhood, are shantytowns illegally occupying the banks of rivers and other waterways.

"Generally, the floods have already subsided. People are starting to return to their homes," Alexander Pama, executive director of the disaster council, said Saturday.

The bad weather left five people dead and one missing, he told a news conference.

The storm itself caused power outages across northern Luzon, while rough seas left a small ferry off the central port of Cebu badly damaged on Friday, Pama added.

Navy rescuers along with nearby commercial ships retrieved 31 people from the stricken vessel, Philippine Navy spokeswoman Commander Marineth Domingo told AFP.

An average of 20 typhoons or major storms hit the Philippines each year, killing hundreds and bringing misery to millions.

Super Typhoon Haiyan, bringing the strongest winds ever recorded on land, left 7,300 people dead or missing across the central Philippines in November last year.

In September 2009, Tropical Storm Ketsana dumped a month's worth of rain across Manila in just six hours, unleashing the worst flooding in the capital in four decades and killing more than 460 people.

cgm/jom/jah

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

occupied Palestinian territory: President announces US$ 1 million in financial assistance to Palestine

Sri Lanka - ReliefWeb News - 8 hours 46 min ago
Source: Government of Sri Lanka Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Sri Lanka

President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced that Sri Lanka will be providing US$ I million in financial assistance to Palestine.

A Media Release issued by the Presidential Spokesman and International Media Unit on 14th August 2014 making this announcement was handed over to Ms. Hana Abu Hakemah, Deputy Head of the Asia, Africa & Australia of the Palestinian Foreign Ministry by Mr. M. Siraj Ahamed, Attaché of the Representative Office during a meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ramallah recently.

Mr. Siraj Ahamed highlighted the continued support of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Palestinian cause and the long standing, close and friendly relations between the two countries. He also recalled the historic State Visit of the President to the State of Palestine in January this year during which the “Star of Palestine” - the highest award of State of Palestine was conferred on President Rajapaksa by the Government of Palestine.

Mr. Ahamed further said that four students from Palestine have already been offered scholarships under the “ Government of Sri Lanka Presidential Scholarships Program to Foreign Students” and another four students will be selected under the same programme this year. He also said that “ H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa Vocational Training Center” is another opportunity for Palestinians to develop their skills in various fields.

Ms. Hana, in her remarks thanked President Rajapaksa and the Government of Sri Lanka for the action taken to provide the financial assistance to the State of Palestine. “We are very grateful to President Mahinda Rajapaksa for his continued support for the Palestinian cause and also appreciate this financial assistance as a goodwill gesture” she added .

“Al –Quds”- a leading newspaper in Palestine also carried a news item regarding the financial assistance provided by the Government of Sri Lanka.

occupied Palestinian territory: President announces US$ 1 million in financial assistance to Palestine

oPt - ReliefWeb News - 8 hours 46 min ago
Source: Government of Sri Lanka Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Sri Lanka

President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced that Sri Lanka will be providing US$ I million in financial assistance to Palestine.

A Media Release issued by the Presidential Spokesman and International Media Unit on 14th August 2014 making this announcement was handed over to Ms. Hana Abu Hakemah, Deputy Head of the Asia, Africa & Australia of the Palestinian Foreign Ministry by Mr. M. Siraj Ahamed, Attaché of the Representative Office during a meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ramallah recently.

Mr. Siraj Ahamed highlighted the continued support of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Palestinian cause and the long standing, close and friendly relations between the two countries. He also recalled the historic State Visit of the President to the State of Palestine in January this year during which the “Star of Palestine” - the highest award of State of Palestine was conferred on President Rajapaksa by the Government of Palestine.

Mr. Ahamed further said that four students from Palestine have already been offered scholarships under the “ Government of Sri Lanka Presidential Scholarships Program to Foreign Students” and another four students will be selected under the same programme this year. He also said that “ H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa Vocational Training Center” is another opportunity for Palestinians to develop their skills in various fields.

Ms. Hana, in her remarks thanked President Rajapaksa and the Government of Sri Lanka for the action taken to provide the financial assistance to the State of Palestine. “We are very grateful to President Mahinda Rajapaksa for his continued support for the Palestinian cause and also appreciate this financial assistance as a goodwill gesture” she added .

“Al –Quds”- a leading newspaper in Palestine also carried a news item regarding the financial assistance provided by the Government of Sri Lanka.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Capoeira brings leisure and peace-building for refugees in northern DR Congo

DRC - ReliefWeb News - 9 hours 2 min ago
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo

MOLE REFUGEE CAMP, Democratic Republic of the Congo, September 19 (UNHCR) – It's a hot, muggy Saturday afternoon in the Mole refugee camp, but while many people are taking a siesta, a hardy group of young men and women are indulging in their new obsession – capoeira.

The Brazilian martial art includes elements of dance, acrobatics and music, and it is keeping people occupied and fit as well as helping ease tension between different groups of Central African Republic (CAR) refugees in this camp of more than 13,000 people in the far north of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

"Everyone can do it, women, elderly people, mothers and fathers. They can do it because it is a game. It can become an art to practise peace," says Maxime Obingui, a 37-year-old from Bangui. "Christians and Muslims are doing capoeira. We train together. We want to be together, like a family," he adds, alluding to the inter-communal conflict across the nearby Obangui River in his country.

Capoeira was introduced to the camp two months ago by a local aid group, ADSSE (Association pour le Developpement Social et la Sauvergarde de l'Environnement), which wanted to broaden the range of leisure activities available for young people in Mole. It has proved a great hit.

"Capoeira is a new sport for me. I discovered it here. I like it because I like the rhythm and the music," says 28-year-old Armand Kouissi, who has taken to it like a duck to water and is nicknamed "Capoeira Man." He also saw the peace-building possibilities of the activity.

"I also see it as a tool to promote peace. At the beginning, we had some tensions, but thanks to capoeira we now get on well. Sports unite people," he says, adding: "We think that capoeira is a tool that can be used to promote peaceful cohabitation in the camp. When we talk to people watching us during our training, we convey messages of peace."

Most of the refugees in Mole, which opened in July 2013 to cope with the exodus from the Central African Republic, are from Bangui, including many secondary school students and young people in higher education. The fact that they are missing out on their education has created tensions and frustration.

That's one of the reasons why these people fleeing violence have embraced, ironically, a martial arts. "I feel better when I do capoeira; I forget everything that happened to me, even in Bangui. Before, the atmosphere was not good in the camp, says 19-year-old Eric Moussa, who was studying literature in Bangui before he had to flee for his life and catch a boat across the Oubangui to safety.

He's among 40 refugees who have signed up for the capoeira classes organized by ADSSE, which runs the project with UNHCR support. Scores more are interested in taking part in the training sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, learning from CDs and the more experienced students. Demonstrations are given on weekends.

"What I like in capoeira is the game. I like the movements and I like the music. I don't miss any training. Capoeira changed the camp. Before, life was more difficult but now the camp has changed for the better," Marie-Sabine, aged 38, enthuses. One day you have to take me to Brazil," she adds.

Meanwhile, plans are afoot by UNHCR to get capoeira masters to visit the camp and teach refugees the basics as well as advanced skills in an activity that uses power, speed and leverage for a wide range of kicks, spins and complex moves.

Stefano Severe, UNHCR's representative in the DRC, said the agency was in touch with a capoeira group in Kinshasa and the Brazilian Embassy to investigate this possibility. Citing the positive impact of capoeira in Mole, he said: "We should not miss this opportunity to contribute to the construction of peace among CAR refugees. Contributing to peace among refugees also contributes to bringing peace to the Central African Republic."

And "Capoeria Man" Kouissi believes it can continue to play an influential role by promoting reconciliation and cooperation once the conflict is over and people have returned to their homes in the Central African Republic. "It brings so much joy. We would like to bring it to Bangui. If one day we can go back to our country, we will apply this art there" he adds.

By Céline Schmitt in Mole Refugee Camp, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Capoeira brings leisure and peace-building for refugees in northern DR Congo

CAR - ReliefWeb News - 9 hours 2 min ago
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo

MOLE REFUGEE CAMP, Democratic Republic of the Congo, September 19 (UNHCR) – It's a hot, muggy Saturday afternoon in the Mole refugee camp, but while many people are taking a siesta, a hardy group of young men and women are indulging in their new obsession – capoeira.

The Brazilian martial art includes elements of dance, acrobatics and music, and it is keeping people occupied and fit as well as helping ease tension between different groups of Central African Republic (CAR) refugees in this camp of more than 13,000 people in the far north of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

"Everyone can do it, women, elderly people, mothers and fathers. They can do it because it is a game. It can become an art to practise peace," says Maxime Obingui, a 37-year-old from Bangui. "Christians and Muslims are doing capoeira. We train together. We want to be together, like a family," he adds, alluding to the inter-communal conflict across the nearby Obangui River in his country.

Capoeira was introduced to the camp two months ago by a local aid group, ADSSE (Association pour le Developpement Social et la Sauvergarde de l'Environnement), which wanted to broaden the range of leisure activities available for young people in Mole. It has proved a great hit.

"Capoeira is a new sport for me. I discovered it here. I like it because I like the rhythm and the music," says 28-year-old Armand Kouissi, who has taken to it like a duck to water and is nicknamed "Capoeira Man." He also saw the peace-building possibilities of the activity.

"I also see it as a tool to promote peace. At the beginning, we had some tensions, but thanks to capoeira we now get on well. Sports unite people," he says, adding: "We think that capoeira is a tool that can be used to promote peaceful cohabitation in the camp. When we talk to people watching us during our training, we convey messages of peace."

Most of the refugees in Mole, which opened in July 2013 to cope with the exodus from the Central African Republic, are from Bangui, including many secondary school students and young people in higher education. The fact that they are missing out on their education has created tensions and frustration.

That's one of the reasons why these people fleeing violence have embraced, ironically, a martial arts. "I feel better when I do capoeira; I forget everything that happened to me, even in Bangui. Before, the atmosphere was not good in the camp, says 19-year-old Eric Moussa, who was studying literature in Bangui before he had to flee for his life and catch a boat across the Oubangui to safety.

He's among 40 refugees who have signed up for the capoeira classes organized by ADSSE, which runs the project with UNHCR support. Scores more are interested in taking part in the training sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, learning from CDs and the more experienced students. Demonstrations are given on weekends.

"What I like in capoeira is the game. I like the movements and I like the music. I don't miss any training. Capoeira changed the camp. Before, life was more difficult but now the camp has changed for the better," Marie-Sabine, aged 38, enthuses. One day you have to take me to Brazil," she adds.

Meanwhile, plans are afoot by UNHCR to get capoeira masters to visit the camp and teach refugees the basics as well as advanced skills in an activity that uses power, speed and leverage for a wide range of kicks, spins and complex moves.

Stefano Severe, UNHCR's representative in the DRC, said the agency was in touch with a capoeira group in Kinshasa and the Brazilian Embassy to investigate this possibility. Citing the positive impact of capoeira in Mole, he said: "We should not miss this opportunity to contribute to the construction of peace among CAR refugees. Contributing to peace among refugees also contributes to bringing peace to the Central African Republic."

And "Capoeria Man" Kouissi believes it can continue to play an influential role by promoting reconciliation and cooperation once the conflict is over and people have returned to their homes in the Central African Republic. "It brings so much joy. We would like to bring it to Bangui. If one day we can go back to our country, we will apply this art there" he adds.

By Céline Schmitt in Mole Refugee Camp, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Lebanon: UNICEF Announces US$ 300,000 to the UNRWA Assistive Devices Programme

oPt - ReliefWeb News - 19 September 2014 - 11:29pm
Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic

Beirut

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is supporting the UNRWA Assistive Devices Programme in Lebanon with a generous new donation of US$ 300,000 to address the urgent needs of children with disabilities. This amount is in addition to the US$ 80,000 that UNICEF has already contributed to the UNRWA Assistive Devices Programme as part of its pledge to ensure a better life and future for Palestine refugee children in Lebanon.

UNICEF Representative in Lebanon Annamaria Laurini announced the donation during the closing ceremony of the UNRWA Assistive Devices Programme for 2014, which took place at the UNRWA Deir al-Qasi School in Saida on Friday 12 September 2014. Other guests at the ceremony included the Director of UNRWA Lebanon, Ann Dismorr; the Executive Director of Interpal Lebanon, Ali Azzam; the Representative of the Palestinian Disability Forum, Jamal Saleh; representatives of the Palestinian popular committees and factions; and a number of Assistive Devices Programme beneficiaries, who participated in the event.

Ms. Dismorr thanked UNICEF for their ongoing support for Palestinian children in Lebanon, highlighting the positive impact such contribution makes to their lives. In her speech, Ms. Dismorr said, “Thanks to the generous funding from UNICEF and Interpal, UNRWA has, as of today, been able to provide assistive devices to 285 Palestine refugees with disabilities, both Palestine refugees from Syria and Lebanon.”

UNRWA supports Palestine refugees with special needs through the provision of rehabilitation services, assistive devices and technical aides, as well as access to special education.

UNICEF and UNRWA have a long standing partnership in Lebanon. UNICEF remains one of the largest UNRWA partners in terms of supporting education and healthcare for Palestine refugee children. Since 2012, UNICEF has provided US$ 4.4 million to assist Palestinian refugee children from Syria in the fields of education, child protection, health and sanitation. In addition, UNICEF support for regular UNRWA programmes in Lebanon has totalled US$ 1.2 million for learning support activities and back-to-school kits since 2011. Background Information

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 56 million.

For more information, please contact:

Zizette Darkazally
Public Information Officer - Lebanon Field Office
Mobile: (+ 961 1) 840 490
Office: (+ 961 1) 840 490
z.darkazally@unrwa.org (link sends e-mail)

Syrian Arab Republic: The Crisis in Yarmouk Camp, 18 September 2014

oPt - ReliefWeb News - 19 September 2014 - 11:21pm
Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic

Our spokesperson Chris Gunness has the following to say on the situation in Yarmouk Camp

UNRWA distributed food parcels and bread to 337 families and provided medical treatment to 191 patients in Yarmouk today, 18 September. This is the first day of UNRWA distribution after four days without access between 14 and 17 September due to sporadic clashes in the surrounding areas.

The UNRWA team arrived at the northern Bateekhah entrance to Yarmouk at 10:00 and began operations inside Yarmouk at 11:15. The distribution proceeded in an orderly manner until 15:35, when the authorities signaled an end to the process.

UNRWA is deeply concerned that the recourse to armed violence frequently interrupts life-saving humanitarian operations in Yarmouk. The humanitarian situation in Yarmouk remains desperate and UNRWA appeals to all parties to do everything in their power to end the suffering of the over 18,000 civilians trapped there. The Agency will continue to seek from all sides conditions that enable UNRWA to offer a full range of humanitarian assistance and services inside Yarmouk on an uninterrupted, substantial and safe basis.

Sudan: Militiamen rape, abduct North Darfur displaced

Sudan - ReliefWeb News - 19 September 2014 - 10:34pm
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

KABKABIYA / BIRKAT SEIRA (19 Sep.) - Pro-government militia members have raped two displaced women, and abducted three displaced men in Kabkabiya locality, North Darfur, on Wednesday and Thursday, several sources told Radio Dabanga. In Saraf Umra locality, a nurse and his family was abducted by militiamen, and forced to pay blood money for the death of one of their militia members.

Militiamen rape two in Kabkabiya

Militiamen raped two displaced women in Wadi Ora, north of Kabkabiya, North Darfur, on Wednesday.

A family member of one of the victims told Radio Dabanga that the perpetrators were four pro-government militiamen, who rode on camels and horses and wore military uniforms.

He explained that the women, one of whom is married, and the other is a 17-year-old, were returning to the Kabkabiya camp at 4pm when the militiamen intercepted them. They did not release the women until three hours later. The family member stressed that they had reported the incident in Kabkabiya to the UN Mission in Darfur (Unamid).

Three Kabkabiya displaced abducted

Also in Kabkabiya on Thursday, pro-government militiamen abducted three displaced men in Kijunga area, which is north of Kabkabiya. The militiamen stopped the men who were returning to Kabkabiya after collecting straw, an activist in Kabkabiya camp told Radio Dabanga. “The militia members told the displaced that the land belongs to them, and that it is not allowed to collect straw there, after which they kidnapped the three men.” They also took their donkey carts with them.

One of the displaced men managed to flee from the militiamen in the middle of the night and arrived in the camp to tell the residents about the incident. The militiamen are still holding Abdallah Som and Abakar Osman, the activist said.

Nurse forced to pay blood money

In Saraf Umra locality, militiamen have forced a nurse and his family in Birkat Seira area to pay blood money for the death of a militia member, claiming that he died after the nurse gave him an injection. As a result of the allegation, family members of the deceased have attacked the nurse's family, and kidnapped some of his family members.

A witness explained to Radio Dabanga that the militia member, Adar Ga, had come to Musa Gojak, a male nurse, when he was ill. Musa had given him the injection. 15 days later, Adar Ga died, for which the militiamen blamed Musa. Adar Ga's family later attacked Musa and his family, who denied having caused the death. Militiamen then captured Musa in Birkat Seira.

The source reported that the militia members have kidnapped Musa's son, Anwar, and the father of Musa's wife, Yousif Adam Ali. They also fetched the body of the deceased Adar Ga, and have taken it together with the two family members to Saraf Umra town. There, they forced Adam Ali to sign a statement saying that the death of the militiaman was caused by the injection of Musa, and that he has to pay blood money for his death.

Sudan: Eastern Sudan areas destroyed, isolated by torrents

Sudan - ReliefWeb News - 19 September 2014 - 10:31pm
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

TOKAR (19 Sep.) - Heavy rains and torrents destroyed a number of houses in Jibait and Sinkat areas in eastern Sudan on Wednesday, and displaced the population. There were no efforts from the government to help the affected, sources told Radio Dabanga.

Tokar town has been surrounded by water from the overflowed Khor Baraka for over two months now. To go in or out of Tokar, people wade through water for 10 km. In some places, the water is as high as one meter. As a result, 200,000 inhabitants of south Tokar are isolated, and suffer from a severe food scarcity.

The Government of Sudan’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) and international aid organisations reported that new rains and flooding have affected an additional 20,000 people mainly in Sennar, and South and Central Darfur states. By 14 September 2014, the total number of people affected by heavy rains and flooding that began in late July is estimated at over 277,000 people, according to HAC in the latest bulletin of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Egypt: Bring “Mediterranean mass murderers” to justice – UN Human Rights Chief

Sudan - ReliefWeb News - 19 September 2014 - 10:02pm
Source: UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Country: Egypt, occupied Palestinian territory, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic

GENEVA (19 September 2014) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday urged Egypt and other North African and European States with relevant information to make a concerted effort to bring to justice the people smugglers who allegedly deliberately sank a boat causing the deaths of between 300 and 500 refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean last week.

High Commissioner Zeid stressed that it was crucial to bring to an end the prevailing impunity surrounding such crimes and urged States to do more to address the root causes driving people to make such dangerous journeys.

“This is a truly horrendous incident,” Zeid said. “It is the duty of States to investigate such atrocious crimes, bring the perpetrators to justice, and even more importantly to do more to prevent them from happening in the first place. All the countries in the Mediterranean must make a concerted effort to clamp down on the smugglers who are exploiting one of the most vulnerable groups on the planet and endangering their lives, virtually on a daily basis, purely for financial gain.”

“The callous act of deliberately ramming a boat full of hundreds of defenceless people is a crime that must not go unpunished. If the survivors’ accounts are indeed true – and they appear all too credible – we are looking at what amounts to mass murder in the Mediterranean.”

Similar efforts, he said, should also be made to punish and deter such crimes in other parts of the world, including the Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Caribbean as well as those carried out against migrants and refugees using land routes.

“All countries would throw the full weight of their police forces and justice systems behind an investigation if the victims were their own citizens and were killed by criminal gangs on their own soil,” Zeid said. “The reaction should not be any less rigorous just because the victims are foreigners and the crime took place on the high seas. Yet very few people who kill, rape or rob migrants during their journeys end up in court.”

According to the 11 survivors interviewed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the migrants and refugees first embarked on a boat in the Egyptian port of Damietta. The passengers included a substantial number of Palestinians, many of them from Gaza, along with Egyptians, Syrians, Sudanese and possibly other nationalities.

All witnesses interviewed so far told IOM staff that the smugglers who deliberately rammed the boat far out to sea between Malta and Greece were either Egyptian or Palestinian. The High Commissioner urged the Greek, Maltese and Italian authorities to share information on the identity of the smugglers with the Egyptian authorities, who he said should immediately also launch a full and thorough investigation. “You cannot transport large quantities of foreigners in buses into a major port and cram them on board a ship without the port authorities and other witnesses being aware of what is going on,” Zeid said.

While recognizing the complexity of modern migration movements, Zeid urged all States to remember that migrants have the same rights as all other human beings. He stressed that the root causes of such tragedies must be tackled by the relevant States and by the international community.

“Far too many refugees and migrants are dying all across the world in an effort to flee conflict, systematic political oppression and human rights violations, including economic deprivation. These root causes in their countries of origin must be tackled in a concerted manner,” Zeid said.

“We also need a renewed effort to find ways to manage refugee and other migratory movements in an orderly manner that reduces the need for people to resort to unscrupulous people smugglers. The European Union, other destination States, transit countries and countries of origin must do more to address the range of factors pushing so many people into the arms of the smugglers. The focus, at every stage of the process needs to be on respect for the rights and inherent dignity of every human being.”

Zeid warned that xenophobia-driven politics continue to undermine Governments’ determination to find real solutions to an increasingly desperate situation in many parts of the world. He stressed that it is essential that refugees are able to escape to safety, and that States do not penalize them for taking irregular routes, as well as taking more robust steps to protect them when they do.

“There were refugees as well as economic migrants on board this boat,” Zeid said. “The largest and fastest-growing group of people claiming asylum in Europe in 2014 are Syrians – a clear manifestation of the deplorable failure to bring that conflict to an end, and of increasing pressures, frustrations and loss of hope on the part of the more than 3 million Syrian refugees, the great majority of whom are still in over-burdened neighbouring States,” the High Commissioner added. Other major groups of asylum seekers that have been rising sharply in Europe over the past year include Iraqis and Eritreans, many of whom are escaping systematic political oppression and forced conscription.

ENDS

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For more information or media enquiries, please contact Rupert Colville (rcolville@ohchr.org / +41 22 917 9767) or Ravina Shamdasani (rshamdasani@ohchr.org / +41 22 917 9169)

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Egypt: Bring “Mediterranean mass murderers” to justice – UN Human Rights Chief

oPt - ReliefWeb News - 19 September 2014 - 10:02pm
Source: UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Country: Egypt, occupied Palestinian territory, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic

GENEVA (19 September 2014) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday urged Egypt and other North African and European States with relevant information to make a concerted effort to bring to justice the people smugglers who allegedly deliberately sank a boat causing the deaths of between 300 and 500 refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean last week.

High Commissioner Zeid stressed that it was crucial to bring to an end the prevailing impunity surrounding such crimes and urged States to do more to address the root causes driving people to make such dangerous journeys.

“This is a truly horrendous incident,” Zeid said. “It is the duty of States to investigate such atrocious crimes, bring the perpetrators to justice, and even more importantly to do more to prevent them from happening in the first place. All the countries in the Mediterranean must make a concerted effort to clamp down on the smugglers who are exploiting one of the most vulnerable groups on the planet and endangering their lives, virtually on a daily basis, purely for financial gain.”

“The callous act of deliberately ramming a boat full of hundreds of defenceless people is a crime that must not go unpunished. If the survivors’ accounts are indeed true – and they appear all too credible – we are looking at what amounts to mass murder in the Mediterranean.”

Similar efforts, he said, should also be made to punish and deter such crimes in other parts of the world, including the Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Caribbean as well as those carried out against migrants and refugees using land routes.

“All countries would throw the full weight of their police forces and justice systems behind an investigation if the victims were their own citizens and were killed by criminal gangs on their own soil,” Zeid said. “The reaction should not be any less rigorous just because the victims are foreigners and the crime took place on the high seas. Yet very few people who kill, rape or rob migrants during their journeys end up in court.”

According to the 11 survivors interviewed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the migrants and refugees first embarked on a boat in the Egyptian port of Damietta. The passengers included a substantial number of Palestinians, many of them from Gaza, along with Egyptians, Syrians, Sudanese and possibly other nationalities.

All witnesses interviewed so far told IOM staff that the smugglers who deliberately rammed the boat far out to sea between Malta and Greece were either Egyptian or Palestinian. The High Commissioner urged the Greek, Maltese and Italian authorities to share information on the identity of the smugglers with the Egyptian authorities, who he said should immediately also launch a full and thorough investigation. “You cannot transport large quantities of foreigners in buses into a major port and cram them on board a ship without the port authorities and other witnesses being aware of what is going on,” Zeid said.

While recognizing the complexity of modern migration movements, Zeid urged all States to remember that migrants have the same rights as all other human beings. He stressed that the root causes of such tragedies must be tackled by the relevant States and by the international community.

“Far too many refugees and migrants are dying all across the world in an effort to flee conflict, systematic political oppression and human rights violations, including economic deprivation. These root causes in their countries of origin must be tackled in a concerted manner,” Zeid said.

“We also need a renewed effort to find ways to manage refugee and other migratory movements in an orderly manner that reduces the need for people to resort to unscrupulous people smugglers. The European Union, other destination States, transit countries and countries of origin must do more to address the range of factors pushing so many people into the arms of the smugglers. The focus, at every stage of the process needs to be on respect for the rights and inherent dignity of every human being.”

Zeid warned that xenophobia-driven politics continue to undermine Governments’ determination to find real solutions to an increasingly desperate situation in many parts of the world. He stressed that it is essential that refugees are able to escape to safety, and that States do not penalize them for taking irregular routes, as well as taking more robust steps to protect them when they do.

“There were refugees as well as economic migrants on board this boat,” Zeid said. “The largest and fastest-growing group of people claiming asylum in Europe in 2014 are Syrians – a clear manifestation of the deplorable failure to bring that conflict to an end, and of increasing pressures, frustrations and loss of hope on the part of the more than 3 million Syrian refugees, the great majority of whom are still in over-burdened neighbouring States,” the High Commissioner added. Other major groups of asylum seekers that have been rising sharply in Europe over the past year include Iraqis and Eritreans, many of whom are escaping systematic political oppression and forced conscription.

ENDS

To learn more about High Commissioner Zeid, please visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/AboutUs/Pages/HighCommissioner.aspx

For more information or media enquiries, please contact Rupert Colville (rcolville@ohchr.org / +41 22 917 9767) or Ravina Shamdasani (rshamdasani@ohchr.org / +41 22 917 9169)

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Iraq: Security Council urges international support for Government’s combat against insurgents

Iraq - ReliefWeb News - 19 September 2014 - 9:39pm
Source: UN News Service Country: Iraq

19 September 2014 – The Security Council today strongly condemned attacks by terrorist organizations including the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and urged Member States to assist the Iraqi Government’s efforts to combat militants and implement its new political agenda, while the United Nations envoy to the country briefed on the latest developments.

In the meeting presided over by United States Secretary of State John Kerry, the Council adopted a statement which urged the international community to work closely with the Government of Iraq to identify how best the world can aid implementation of the new Iraqi agenda.

The 15-member body once again expressed its deep outrage about Iraqis who have been killed, kidnapped, raped, or tortured by ISIL and also reaffirmed its full support for the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq in assisting the Iraqis and their Government in strengthening democratic institutions.

Members stressed the need that those who have committed violations of international humanitarian law or violations or abuses of human rights in Iraq must be held accountable, noting that some of these acts may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Also today, Nickolay Mladenov, head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) briefed the Security Council on behalf of the Secretary-General, stressing that Iraq’s new Government will need international support as it works to restore security to large parts of the country.

Mr. Mladenov called Iraq’s transition “painful and scarred by violence.” Since the beginning of the year, ISIL has captured large parts of northern and western Iraq, gained access to substantial amounts of weapons, financial and natural resources.

“Their networks spanning the region and beyond have allowed them to recruit foreign fighters in their battle to dismantle the Iraqi state,” Mr. Mladenov, who is also the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, said.

“Their consolidated control over extended territory in both Iraq and Syria, combined with their ideology of hatred, fear and nihilism have turned ISIL into a clear danger to the very existence of a united Iraqi State, and a threat to the regional and international security,” he added.

The country is facing a humanitarian catastrophe and escalating emergency with up to 1.8 million Iraqis displaced since January. And the pressure on local communities across Iraq is growing as the continuing influx has created a massive shelter crisis. With winter fast approaching, Mr. Mladenov said, immediate measures must be enacted.

In response, the UN has mounted a massive humanitarian effort providing food, shelter, water, and health assistance. But Iraq’s Government must now also establish a national strategy to deal with the internally displaced. Minority groups have been systematically targeted.

On the issue of systematic targeting of minorities, Mr. Mladenov said that the UN Mission on the ground has conducted hundreds of interview with the victims and has verified widespread human rights violations have been committed by ISIL but also by armed groups supportive of the Government as well as some committed by Iraqi Security Forces.

For any security plan to succeed it must be broadly accepted by all communities. And while the Iraqi Constitution remains the “guiding framework for legitimately resolving all grievances,” Mr. Mladenov said that transitional justice and reconciliation are impossible without addressing these human rights violations of the past and the present.

To that end, the international community must continue to support the Government of Iraq and provide security, humanitarian and developmental assistance needed. Iraq and its neighbours have an unprecedented opportunity to re-start positive bilateral relations based on mutual interests and partnership.

Iraq: Security Council, in Statement, Expresses Deep Outrage at ‘ISIL’, Urging Expanded Support for New Iraqi Government to Defeat It

Iraq - ReliefWeb News - 19 September 2014 - 9:39pm
Source: UN Security Council Country: Iraq

SC/11571

Security Council
7271st Meeting (PM)

Endorsement for Effort Emerges in Debate, Tempered by Warnings Fight Must Be Charter-based

The Security Council this afternoon welcomed the formation of a new Iraqi Government and supported the “collaboration of all States” to help it fight the armed group calling itself the “Islamic State”, or ISIL, at a meeting addressed by many State Ministers and chaired by United States Secretary of State John Kerry.

In a statement presented by Mr. Kerry, whose country holds the 15-member body’s presidency for September, the Council strongly condemned attacks by terrorist organizations in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, and expressed deep outrage that Iraqis, as well as nationals of other States, had been killed, kidnapped, raped, tortured or recruited as child fighters by ISIL.

Insisting that those responsible must be held to account, the statement recognized efforts by the Iraqi Government to combat the terrorist threat and all steps taken to address urgent humanitarian needs. It called for an intensification of those efforts and total funding for humanitarian appeals.

At the same time, the Council urged the international community, in accordance with international law, to strengthen and expand support for the Government of Iraq in its fight against ISIL and associated armed groups, welcoming international meetings for that purpose. It reiterated the urgent need to stop any direct or indirect trade in oil from Iraq involving ISIL.

Also by the text, the Council urged Member States to work closely with Iraq to identify how best to support democracy and security, as well as national reconciliation to address the needs of all of Iraq’s diverse communities.

Additionally, the statement expressed support for Iraq’s full integration into the region and the international community, and recognized the importance for it to achieve the international standing it held prior to the adoption of resolution 661 (1990).

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, briefing the Council before the read-out of the statement, welcomed the formation of the new Government, while reporting that the fight against ISIL continued to present severe challenges. Despite some recent successes by Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Peshmerga operations, ISIL had been able to take other key areas, exacerbating the humanitarian catastrophe, he reported.

In addition to the suffering from human rights abuses, up to 1.8 million Iraqis had been displaced since January, he went on. Some 850,000 had sought refuge in the Kurdistan region, with an additional 10,000 families from Diyala Province recently displaced from their homes. The humanitarian crisis had placed pressure on local communities across the country.

In countering ISIL and other security efforts in Iraq, it was important for stakeholders to adhere to the Iraqi Constitution and international law, he said, welcoming the recent orders by the Prime Minister to suspend Iraqi Air Force strikes in civilian areas, including ISIL-controlled areas.

The new Iraqi Foreign Minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, reiterated his Government’s commitment to face up to terrorism, acknowledging that that fight was primarily Iraq’s responsibility. At the same time, aerial support from partners had been welcome. ISIL fighters must be removed, he insisted, including from neighbouring countries, and he called on Member States to remain committed to preventing ISIL from profiting from the resources in the areas it controlled.

Following those statements, speakers in the Chamber welcomed the formation of the new Iraqi Government, expressing hope that it could help heal divisions between communities and help end support for ISIL. Many expressed outrage over the human rights abuses by ISIL and its persecution of minority groups.

“It is the toxic mix of medieval ideology with modern weaponry,” the Canadian Foreign Minister said. In that vein, many speakers took a firm stand for international efforts to defeat the group and pledged new or continued aid to assist Iraq in that fight.

Many who pledged support to that effort cautioned that it should be done according to the principles of the United Nations Charter. The representative of the Russian Federation said that attacking the group at its bases in Syria must not be done without approval of the Syrian Government. He also said the fight against terrorism must be consistent; it was ineffective to bomb some groups and arm others. “We’re dealing with a unified, hydra-like opponent and any efforts to defeat it must be equally unified,” he said.

Some regional speakers spoke of a wider fight against terrorism and extremism in the Middle East and North Africa, with Egypt’s Foreign Minister describing struggles in his country and Libya. Maintaining that fighting terrorism was primarily a regional responsibility, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister said that a holistic approach against ISIL should apply to Hizbullah and similar groups. He urged Islamic authorities to speak out against ISIL and other extremists and discredit their Muslim claims.

Along those lines, representatives from several countries emphatically differentiated ISIL from Islam. Oman’s Foreign Minister called it “the non-Islamic State”, and Italy’s Foreign Minister affirmed, “this is not a coalition of the West against Islam, but a global partnership in support of all of Iraq against a terrorist organization”.

In his statement, Secretary of State Kerry also underlined the importance of building a strong global coalition against the group, citing pledges from 50 countries already. “The work to build and enhance this coalition will go on well after this week is over,” he said, adding, “in that way, we can defeat the ISIL threat wherever it exists”.

Also represented at the ministerial level this afternoon were Rwanda, Australia, Jordan, Luxembourg, France, Chad, Nigeria, Argentina, United Kingdom, Chile, Germany, Turkey, Spain, Norway, Netherlands, Qatar, Georgia, United Arab Emirates, Belgium, Iran, Japan, Denmark and Finland

Representatives of China, Lithuania, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Poland, Albania, New Zealand and Syria also spoke.

The meeting began at 2:15 p.m. and ended at 6:35 p.m.

Briefing

NICKOLAY MLADENOV, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, welcomed the Security Council’s continued efforts and support to the people and Government of Iraq. Calls for inclusive political engagement and Government formation had not gone unheeded. The Council, through the relevant resolution and presidential statements condemning violence and human rights violations, had continued to encourage the Iraqis. Despite the deteriorating security, they had voted in a competitive election, followed by a peaceful transition of power. As the country’s new Government moved to restore security and national unity, Iraqis looked to the international community and the United Nations for collective measures to address the threat to peace in the country and region from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

However, he said, despite recent successes by the Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Peshmerga operations that had returned some areas back to the control of the legitimate authorities, ISIL had been able to take the key town of Duleueeya in Salahadine Province, exacerbating the existing humanitarian catastrophe. An emergency was escalating with up to 1.8 million Iraqis displaced since January. Some 850,000 had sought refuge in the Kurdistan Region, while an additional 10,000 families from Diyala Province were recently displaced from their homes. The humanitarian crisis had placed pressure on local communities across the country as thousands fled the conflict areas, creating a massive shelter crisis. With winter approaching, immediate and critical measures must be enacted. In addition, with 2,000 schools being used as shelters, the school year had been delayed by a month.

The United Nations had mounted a massive humanitarian effort, but still faced the “immense challenges” of reaching 650,000 people in areas of active conflict, he said, calling on the Iraqi Government to establish a national strategy to address internally displaced persons, the restoration of salaries and essential social services. The United Nations stood ready to assist with technical support to improve coordination and delivery of humanitarian aid, he said, also acknowledging the support of Member States, including that of Saudi Arabia which had contributed $500 million of the $712 million earmarked for the United Nations humanitarian effort. Over 60 per cent had been spent on tents and food, among other items. However, available funding would soon be exhausted and additional support would be needed to prepare for “this period that could be fatal for many without shelter”.

There had been at least 25,000 civilian casualties since January, with many minority communities targeted by ISIL as it sought to “cleanse” the territories in their control, he said. The United Nations Mission had conducted more than 500 interviews with victims and witnesses verifying systematic and wide-spread human rights violations by ISIL and associated armed groups, as well as violations committed by those groups supportive of the Government. In that regard, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s decision to dispatch a mission to Iraq to investigate those allegations was welcome. Stakeholders were also committed to ensuring that security be provided in line with rule of law, the Constitution, international humanitarian law and human rights standards. The Iraqi Constitution remained the guiding framework for legitimate resolution of the issues.

He welcomed the recent orders by the Prime Minister to suspend Iraqi Air Force strikes in civilian areas, including ISIL-controlled areas. The Council of Ministers also had initiated the drafting of a law to establish the National Guard. The Federal Government and the Kurdistan region should resolve outstanding budgetary disputes and restore subsidies to the provinces of Dohuk, Erbil and Sulaymaniiyah.

He noted the recent adoption of resolution 2170 (2014) calling on Member States to suppress the flow of foreign fighters, financing and other support to Islamist extremist groups in Iraq and Syria, among other international and regional actions, all of which strengthened international support for Iraq. ISIL was a scourge that had brought “untold sorrow” to the people of Iraq and Syria, he said, adding, “they have shown contempt for equality, fundamental human rights and the dignity and worth of the human person”. Showing distain for international law, their “perverse ideas of justice were evidence of their “deep reaction against the progress humanity has made over centuries”, he stated. Nonetheless, however grave the threat, it could be addressed if Iraq, the region and the world worked together, within the framework of the United Nations Charter and relevant Security Council resolutions.

Statements

IBRAHIM AL-JAAFARI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iraq, reiterated his Government’s commitment to face up to terrorism as a scourge that must be eliminated and end the influx of fighters from around the world. In spite of the challenges, the newly elected Government had cooperated with humanitarian efforts to provide relief and was able to form a unity Government, while taking the necessary measures to fight terrorism. That fight was primarily Iraq’s responsibility, however, assistance in the form of aerial support from partners was welcome. All ISIL fighters must be removed, including from neighbouring countries.

He called on Member States to remain committed to implementation of all relevant Council resolutions and to prevent ISIL from profiting from the resources in the areas it controlled. The extremist ideas behind the group should be countered at all levels, he stressed, expressing appreciation for the American, European and regional assistance that had so far been provided. He also voiced appreciation for the efforts of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) in assisting the country during its crisis.

JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State of the United States, speaking in his national capacity, expressed thanks for the significant support shown by countries from all over the world to the new Iraqi Government and the suppression of ISIL. The new Government had already made great strides in a short period of time, and had affirmed its intention to overcome the differences that had divided Iraq. The country had responded to the ISIL threat with a degree of unity not seen recently.

ISIL was a terrorist organization, pure and simple, he said, unique in its brutality, and it had promised to bring its evil to the entire world. It must be defeated through a “holistic global campaign”, one from which it could not find safe haven. The assistance of all concerned countries was needed, including Iran, as well as the 50 countries from which he had enlisted commitments in recent weeks, he said, noting commitments from, among others, Egypt, Saudi Arabia Germany and France. Dozens of countries had pledged some $1 billion for humanitarian aid. Bahrain had offered to host a conference on terrorist financing.

The dangers of worldwide terrorist recruitment, he said, would be discussed at a Security Council summit on 24 September. It was time to put an end to ISIL, an organization that was distorting Islam, banning mathematics and spreading extremist views. Islamic authorities and international education initiatives were important in that context, however, Iraq must take the lead in all efforts to defend its citizens. It had pledged to do so, but the work of attracting support for the effort would continue. “The work to build and enhance this coalition will go on well after this week is over,” he concluded. “We can defeat the ISIL threat where ever it exists,” he said.

LOUISE MUSHIKIWABO, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Rwanda, welcomed the show of will in the Council to defend the Iraqi people. Council negligence of its duties could only have negative effects; ISIL had been growing in the midst of the Syrian crisis. The plight of many Iraqis today was not different from that of Rwandans 20 years ago who were facing cruelty and looking for help from the international community. The world must act swiftly to eradicate the ISIL threat, through an Iraqi-led effort. She welcomed the United States’ role in garnering support for the effort, as well as regional and international conferences that had been conducted or planned. Targeted sanctions and education to prevent radicalisation were also needed, as was enhanced humanitarian support to those affected.

JULIE BISHOP, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, endorsing the presidential statement, underscored that ISIL’s atrocities had “shocked us all”. The beheading of journalists and a humanitarian worker was “utterly despicable”. The photos of an Australian child with his father, an ISIL leader holding the severed head of a solider demonstrated the hideous acts that group could perpetrate. The international community could not turn away and leave the people of Iraq to face such cruelty alone. ISIL posed a threat to the region and the world. Her country was preparing to deploy military forces to support Iraq and would be contributing financially for the needs of women and girls. An additional $5 million had been contributed to humanitarian needs. The conflict must end, she stressed. The international community must not stand by and do nothing, which was why Australia was joining international partners in the fight against ISIL.

NASSER JUDEH, Minister for Foreign and Expatriates Affairs of Jordan, said the crisis was now a threat to both the region and the international community. ISIL had taken advantage of security and political vacuums. The relevant resolution had made it possible to tackle the threat, and in that context, he welcomed the Council summit on foreign combatants to be held by United States President Barack Obama, as well as the Bahrain conference addressing financing sources for extremist and terrorist organizations. Jordan had long warned of the possible spread of the Syrian crisis, specifically to Iraq. Because ISIL took advantage of conditions that resulted from political and security vacuums, only an inclusive political process could combat it. Jordan stood by Iraq’s side to fight ISIL. Stressing his country’s efforts towards tolerance, he emphasized that “Islam is innocent of these heinous crimes being committed today”.

JEAN ASSELBORN, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg, said that the recent violence had reached an “inconceivable level, magnitude and intensity”, with children being forced by ISIL to bear arms and commit suicide attacks. He supported the commitment of the coalition launched by the United States and the Iraqi authorities, and the active support of States in the region, but urged that humanitarian assistance and efforts to protect civilians be stepped up. Luxembourg was providing financial support to the World Food Programme (WFP) and to efforts to help displaced people. However, the security situation would, first and foremost, depend on progress in the political sphere. In that, he welcomed the formation of the new Iraqi Government. It was a “matter of urgency” to restart the national dialogue and national reconciliation, which were essential conditions for peace and social order. “Islam is alienated from its philosophy of peace by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant,” he stated, calling on religious leaders to continue to promote the values and the humanism of Islam.

LAURENT FABIUS, Minister for Foreign Affairs of France, said that ISIL was not a State or a representation of Islam, “it was just a group of throat cutters”, and it would like to have the entire world at the end of their knives. Inaction was not an option, so France had shouldered its responsibilities as it had done in many other areas of the world, by providing humanitarian aid, military equipment and responding to the call of the Iraqi Government for air support, starting this morning. It would coordinate with all those that wished to support Iraq in that way. That country had divided the Council in 2003; now there must be international solidarity. Iraq also needed internal unity to deal with the threat, for which the formation of the new Government provided hope. Swift action must be taken on all fronts. “The throat cutters must be defeated,” he said.

MOUSSA FAKI MAHAMAT, Minister for Foreign Affairs and African Integration of Chad, said that international terrorism, which had proliferated under many names, must be defeated, including ISIL in Iraq. Chad was fighting terrorism in Mali, where it had sacrificed the lives of its troops, and was supporting the multilateral effort against ISIL. It was important to deal with the root causes of such terrorism, including the ongoing situation in Syria, as well as the marginalization of populations in Iraq. Iraq must be supported in its effort to bring all Iraqis together in order to turn a new page in its history. Militia participation in the military could only hurt that effort.

EDUARDO ZUAIN, Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Argentina, concurred that ISIL was a threat to the entire region and world as a whole. He expressed solidarity with the Iraqi people and the new Government and with all who suffered because of the current conflict. Root causes must be dealt with; ISIL was exploiting resentments that had built over decades. For that reason, he welcomed the stated goals of the new Government, adding that any coalition that emerged to fight ISIL must respect international law and not act unilaterally. It also must implement resolutions of the Security Council. A negotiated solution to the crisis in Syria must be encouraged, as well, and socioeconomic development must be promoted in the region, with adequate international assistance for that purpose.

TOBIAS ELLWOOD, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ( United Kingdom), said that the new Government was a critical first step to stabilizing Iraq. The international community must now help the new Government, which must demonstrate its commitment to reforms, with all actors putting aside their differences. ISIL was using its territories to prepare attacks against the West and in the region. The recent killing of a British aid worker, which had followed the beheading of two United States’ journalists, was a demonstration of ISIL’S threat, and the United Kingdom was prepared to work closely with the Iraqi Government to address it. “We must use all the tools at our disposal to dismantle ISIL,” he stressed, noting that his country was providing equipment and machinery to Iraq, as well as humanitarian assistance, including $37 million in an immediate contribution to provide clean water and sanitation. It had also contributed $1 billion to Syria, which was reaching all communities there, including those most at risk from ISIL. He affirmed his steadfast support to Iraq and to efforts to rid the world of ISIL — “this repugnant organization” — but stressed that the solution lay in a stable, inclusive Government in Iraq.

EDGARDO RIVEROS, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Chile cast a clear vote of solidarity with Iraq and its new Prime Minister. That country had always been a central Power in the region and its territorial integrity and democratic viability were prerequisites for regional stability and international peace and security. That required Iraq’s scrupulous respect for the constitutional and civil rights of ethnic and religious communities, and a Government of national unity with inclusive policies. The United Nations had a duty to assist Iraq, in line with the Charter and relevant resolutions. Further to that architecture would be a resolution on foreign terrorist fighters, which would be discussed and adopted by the Council next week. He stressed that any collective actions against the “Islamic State” must be sanctioned by the Charter. With the unanimous backing of the Council, counter-terrorism efforts would received world support.

U. JOY OGWU ( Nigeria) said she was encouraged by the Iraqi Government’s efforts to put aside differences to stabilize the country. However, she expressed hope that the positions of Minister for Defence and Minister for the Interior would be filled in due course, in light of the security situation. The activities of “ISIS” and other groups threatened Iraq but were also threats to global peace and security. It had been stated incessantly that terrorism was a global problem requiring a global solution. The world must stand together to tackle it. Decisive action by the international community in support of Iraq was vital. Also crucial was a counter to “ ISIS’“ dangerous message to young people around the world, and she welcomed its repudiation by Arab States. As the response gathered momentum, she urged all Member States to work collectively and closely to free the world of that threat once and for all.

VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said that his country had consistently supported a stable Iraq capable of managing its own affairs. The fight against terrorism, he averred, must be supported by the international community, but that effort must be consistent. Bombing terrorists in one area while assisting them in another was not good practice. ISIL had arisen in Syria where terrorists were being supplied by some of those who wanted to defeat that group. “We’re dealing with a unified, hydra-like opponent and any efforts to defeat it must be equally unified,” he said.

Interventions, he added, should be carried out either with the approval of the relevant Government or of the Security Council. In that light, he expressed concern over discussion of attacks on ISIL in Syrian territory without the approval of the Syrian Government. Giving arms to groups was not a cure either; ISIL had seized arms provided to other forces. Channels of arming and financing must be cut off in a systematic matter. Other systematic efforts should be taken worldwide, including best use of all the United Nations sanctions regimes. The Russian Federation was committed to working in such a systematic fight against terrorism.

WANG MIN ( China) supported Iraq’s efforts to strengthen its security and its political process. The international community should support reconciliation between all communities and augment humanitarian assistance, with due respect for the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The international community should assist Iraq in fighting terrorism in line with the Charter. It should fight the international movement of terrorists and their use of digital communications. In the effort, it was important not to associate terrorism with any particular religion or ethnic group. Also important was to engender peaceful resolution of the conflicts in the region, in a manner that took into account the cultures there. China would continue its cooperation with the people of Iraq according to their needs, and was willing to work with the international community in favour of peace and a better life for all Iraqis.

RAIMONDA MURMOKAITĖ ( Lithuania) said that an inclusive and democratic Iraq was the only effective answer to ISIL’s brutal onslaught. She welcomed in that light the formation of an inclusive Government. Past divisiveness must be overcome and the equal participation of minority groups must be guaranteed. Integration of the security forces remained a key priority. Her country had contributed humanitarian assistance to the country, she said, calling for the entire international community to come together to provide support for Iraq’s development and security efforts. Counter-terrorism efforts must be well-coordinated and systematic. At the same time, ending the terrorist threat could not be done without winning the hearts and minds of all the Iraqi people, she cautioned.

JOON OH ( Republic of Korea) said that those responsible of such heinous crimes should be brought to justice. Voicing concern about the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, he stressed the strength of the Iraqi people and the collective strength of the international community. Iraqis had chosen peace and democracy, and the new Government was committed to strengthening State institutions and establishing a national inclusive dialogue. The Republic of Korea had given $1.2 million, and planned a larger contribution in the future. His country had contributed a total of $11 million to Syria. While holding on to hope for a better future, he said no help from the outside could replace the Iraqi people’s own endeavour for their future. No society should be shaped by extremism, he said, but by the common yearning of the people for peace. The people of Iraq had stated their desire.

FRANK-WALTER STEINMEIER, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, said that humanitarian aid was necessary, but not sufficient to stop the violence. His Government, therefore, had decided to provide the Kurdish security forces with weapons, ammunition, equipment and training, in close coordination with the Iraqi Government. But, humanitarian and military assistance also required a political strategy against ISIL, he said, welcoming the formation of the new, inclusive Iraqi Government. In Syria, Germany would seek to strengthen moderate voices and structures as they were the “only alternative to dictatorship or terrorism”. To ease the hardship of Syrian refugees and the strain on Syria’s neighbours, his country would be hosting a conference, together with Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in October in Berlin, with a goal to increase support for the countries most affected by refugee flows from Syria. He also called for an end to finance and foreign fighter flows to ISIL.

MEVLÜT ÇAVUŞOĞLU, Minister for Foreign Minister of Turkey, expressed hope that the meeting would help to stem the crisis in the region. Priorities should focus on the development of policies and actions. Efforts must ensure that every component of the Iraqi nation allowed its people a voice, and the new Government had made great strides in that regard. However, much more needed to be done, including reversing the security situation and addressing the long-standing ethnic tensions and sectarian divisions. A defence infrastructure should be supported and guided towards a future where the Iraqis could defend themselves. Turkey’s humanitarian support was ongoing, with three camps now welcoming 35,000 people, and assistance being given to 38,000 refugees. Only yesterday, Turkey welcomed 10,000 displaced people fleeing “ ISIS”. Syria and Iraq should be treated as a single “theatre” of action, and a political solution was a must.

JOSÉ MANUEL GARCÍA-MARGALLO, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Spain, said that it was impossible to remain impassive in the face of ISIL’s shocking crimes, but any interventions must be based on the principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The Council had provided legitimacy for the fight, and he looked to further action to help countries counter terrorism. Inclusive Government in Iraq was critical in that effort. The international community should support initiatives for dialogue between peoples and democratic transitions in the Arab world, as Spain had done through various projects. His country would also assist Iraqi security with a range of logistical and material support, he pledged. “The Iraqi people can count out Spain in the services of this just cause,” he said.

BØRGE BRENDE, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Norway, said it was encouraging to see Iraq’s neighbours come together with the international community in support of the Iraqi people. He was also encouraged by the formation of a new Government there. He stressed that extremism and terrorism must be fought comprehensively — in the classroom, in parliaments and through humanitarian aid. Norway had provided much aid for that purpose and was considering more, along with military assistance to Iraq. To stop ISIL, there was also an urgent need for a negotiated end to the conflict in Syria. Norway would continue to stand with the people of Iraq, he concluded.

JOHN BAIRD, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada, said that ISIL, as a terrorist army, presented a new threat. “It is the toxic mix of medieval ideology with modern weaponry,” he said. Its brutality would not cow the international community. Canada was supporting Iraqi forces in the front lines and was working in many other arenas, including through humanitarian aid. There was no question that ISIL threatened global security, and to defeat it, he called for unyielding dedication to the principles of human liberty and dignity. Those had withstood the tests of fascism, communism and now terrorism.

FEDERICA MOGHERINI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Italy, recalling that ISIL’s war against all Iraqis had brought about an inclusive Government, said that the presidential statement would also help to provide the global framework for international partnerships, mainly aimed at responding to a threat to the entire world. Italy would be sending flights of humanitarian aid, as well as contributing through United Nations’ agencies. Furthermore, it would contribute military support to Iraq, with arms and ammunition, and was ready and willing to do more through training, advice and logistical support. The most precious support to Iraq would be political, she said, stressing the importance for all actors to work together. In that context, she believed that Iran could and would play a positive role against ISIL. A common strategy against foreign fighters and financial activities was needed, as well as work with countries that were hosting refugees, in particular, Lebanon and Jordan. “This is not a coalition of the West against Islam, but a global partnership in support of all of Iraq against a terrorist organization,” she stated.

FRANS TIMMERMANS, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, said that the international community had stood on the sidelines of unacceptable violence in the region for too long and had witnessed inaction in the Security Council over the past years in regard to Syria, where more than 190,000 people had been killed. Iraq had been devoid of unity and the new Government had a pivotal role in maintaining a credible, inclusive course. “ISIS” could not be defeated in Iraq alone, but needed to be confronted in Syria, as well, as the group constituted a direct threat to the region and to countries around the world. Recalling seeing a 10-year old boy in The Hague wearing a Netherlands soccer jersey and waving an “ ISIS” flag, he asked how that could have happened. It was critical to address that threat on all fronts. He praised Turkey for opening its borders to refugees from Kobani today, which underlined the importance of regional cooperation.

SAMEH SHOUKRY, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt, underscored the importance of the meeting for creating an international partnership to address the terrorist growing threat. Recalling the recent meeting on terrorism held in Jedda, he said it had concentrated on ISIL as the gravest threat to the region. The meeting today was an expression of international commitment to confront the Iraqi crisis. ISIL was a comprehensive threat for everyone, particularly in the Arab region, he said, noting that in reality it was a worldwide organization. His Government had confronted “their evil plots” and had rid the Muslim Brotherhood of its ideology. The international community must not stop at half-solutions, but must confront those States helping those terrorist organizations. It must stand up to common responsibility in order to confront and defeat that barbaric threat.

SHEIKH KHALID BIN AHMED BIN MOHAMMED AL KHALIFA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bahrain, said given the atrocities committed by ISIL, the international community should commit itself to no less than the complete elimination of the group. Bahrain had always shouldered its fair share of the burden for regional security and stood read to contribute to the fight against ISIL. “The countries of the region must lead in the fight against terrorism among us,” he said, urging Islamic leaders and scholars to continue to speak out and discredit the group’s Muslim claims. In addition, ISIL must be fought on the financial front, which would be the subject of an upcoming conference in Bahrain. His country was also countering travel of potential terrorists to conflict zones. Maintaining that fighting terrorism was a regional responsibility, he said that a holistic approach against it should apply to Hizbullah and other groups.

KHALID BIN MOHAMMAD AL-ATTIYAH, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Qatar, welcomed the presidential statement and the formation of the new Iraqi Government. He looked forward to the completion of a Government of national unity and reconciliation in Iraq through national dialogue. To fight the terrorist threat in the region, cooperation was needed, as well as addressing the causes that create an environment for terrorist recruitment, he said, adding that terrorists and repressive regimes were two sides of the same coin. Qatar had established an air bridge for humanitarian aid in Iraq and would continue to assist its neighbours.

YOUSEF BIN ALAWI BIN ABDULLAH, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs of Oman, said his country condemned all terrorism in the region and deplored the crimes of what he called the “Non-Islamic State”. The world must come together to eradicate such groups in ways determined by the Security Council. Effective, punitive measures should be taken, lest this group cross borders into other States. His country would support praiseworthy international efforts, which he hoped it would lead to victory for the international community.

MAIA PANJIKIDZE, Minister for foreign Affairs of Georgia, said that recent events had demonstrated that “we cannot take our security for granted”. It was important for like-minded democracies to stand united to protect and promote freedom. Noting that European security was being challenged by the Russian Federation’s military aggression against Ukraine, she pointed out that her country had also suffered from Russian military aggression and ongoing occupation of its two regions. Concerning the new Government of Iraq, she commended its efforts for an inclusive political process and improved security, despite the threat from ISIL. Such terrorist groups posed a threat to the entire world, and Georgia stood ready to provide humanitarian assistance and to working with the United States and other coalition partners in coming days and weeks.

SHEIKH ABDULLAH BIN ZAYED AL NAHYAN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, reaffirmed the country’s support for Iraq’s new Government, and urged it not to fall back on sectarian policies. As an Arab and a Muslim, he absolutely rejected calling the armed group the “Islamic State”, and he urged others to join him in condemning the group and the violation of what was dear to all Muslims. ISIL was nothing more than a criminal gang. It was important that its actions not lead to the marginalization of the Sunni community of Iraq. A comprehensive strategy was critical to addressing the terrorist threat, and it should apply to all areas of conflict and all other terrorist groups in the region and in Africa. Those were opportunists, nurtured in environments that allowed sectarian policies. Foreign fighters were being recruited in all areas, and it was critical to find national partnerships to deal with the root causes, including through inclusive programmes. In closing, he commended Kurdish forces in fighting “ISIS”, voicing hope that the Kurdish region stayed stable and part of Iraq.

ARMAND DE DECKER, Minister for State of Belgium, stressed that the long-term solution to ISIL was political. The new Iraqi Government and newly appointed Prime Minister were steps in the right direction, but the Government now needed to author inclusive policies. The international community also must show its long-term commitment and support. Humanitarian solidarity with Syria was essential and Belgium had contributed aid. The fight against ISIL should be targeted and should prevent the group from benefiting from oil revenue. Belgians were among the many Western Jihadis fighting with ISIL and one such person had committed a terror attack in Brussels in May. To counter the threat, Belgium was working with other States. International action required legitimacy and would be strengthened by a United Nations resolution. With parliamentary approval, Belgium would contribute to a military mission.

ABBAS ARAGHCHI, Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal Affairs of Iran, agreed that ISIL was neither Islamic nor a State. ISIL was not new, as it developed after the invasion of Iraq, and grew in the Syrian conflict. Military intervention and attempts at social engineering in the Middle East had strengthened and helped spread extremism. The situation was worse now than in 2001. A regional problem required a remedy that originated within the region. The international strategy against ISIL should comply with international law and the United Nations Charter, and should include more support for the Iraqi Government with the help of all States and their capacities. Consistency was vital, and all central authorities, including the Syrian Government, needed support. Resolving the Syrian crisis required a political solution, he said, also calling for an end to the Israeli occupation of Arab land and Islamophobia.

KENTARO SONOURA, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, said ISIL threatened order in the international community. He stressed the need for political stability in Iraq, while welcoming the new and inclusive Iraqi Government. He noted Japan’s efforts to support the Government’s nation-building and he committed a further $25.5 million in addition to the $7.8 million already committed. Assistance and strengthening of governance could help build the public sector and legal capacity, and with Japan’s competency in that area, it would continue to pursue that policy. The presence of foreign fighters was a major worry, and his country would take various measures to contain that threat.

ULRIK VESTERGAARD KNUDSEN, Permanent Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, stressed the role of the new Iraqi Government in fighting ISIL, noting that his country was contributing significant political, military and humanitarian assistance. Denmark was ready to increase humanitarian assistance and wanted a long-term partnership with the Iraqi Government. For the international community, sharing lessons and best practices would help prevent radicalization, and Denmark and Mali would hold an event in New York on the subject on 23 September. To disable and dismantle ISIL, the world must recognize the threat it posed and forge a broad alliance to neutralize it. Moderate forces in Iraq and across the region needed steadfast support, and unity of international purpose was vital.

PETER STENLUND, Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, said that the new Iraqi Government was an important step forward and that the international community needed to continue its support to the country. He also called for responsible religious and traditional leaders to play a constructive role in reconciliation and in uniting the Iraqi people to fight ISIL. Among other efforts, his country had contributed half a million Euros through the World Food Programme and to humanitarian efforts in Syria, totalling €30 million. He stressed that women’s full participation was a priority in building an inclusive society. The ISIL threat could be countered only with a broad and inclusive coalition supported by the United Nations, and Governments directly threatened should play a prominent role. Finland would participate through capacity-building, among other things, and although he recognized the need for a military response, his country was not planning to participate in combat or arms deliveries.

ABDALLAH Y. AL-MOUALLIMI ( Saudi Arabia) said he was pleased at the newly formed Iraqi Government and voiced hope that country would recover its strength. The international community should contribute its full support to Iraq. As it took its first steps away from sectarianism, his country had “held out its hand” to all sectors of the Iraqi people. Plus, it had contributed approximately $50 million to assisting refugees and displaced people. Sectarianism, as well as repression and oppression, created fertile ground for terrorism, with ISIL being a prime example in that regard. Its crimes had nothing to do with Islam. A collective vision was needed to overcome terrorism. The rapid action by his Government, which had called for the Jedda meeting, was an expression of its commitment. Islamic teachers were also condemning ISIL’s teachings, calling their actions “crimes”. His country, a target and victim of terrorism, had given $100 million to the United Nations to establish a counter-terrorism centre. He stressed that without a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism, “all would be in vain”.

NAWAF SALAM ( Iraq) said that the present could not be separated from the history of Mesopotamia. “In every one of us, there is a part of Iraq,” he stated, as mankind had discovered agriculture between the Tiger and the Euphrates. Commending resolution 2170 (2014) and today’s presidential statement, he called on the international community to remain united. The elimination of terrorism could not be limited to military operations, but required a comprehensive political, economic and social approach. The Security Council was expected to provide the Iraqi Government with all necessary support. An Iraq safeguarded from national, religious and sectarian aspects would benefit, not only that country, but all Arabs and Muslims, he declared.

BOGUSLAW WINID ( Poland) described his country’s efforts in support of peace and security in Iraq, since 2003. The number of internally displaced persons and refugees had grown, requiring for more humanitarian assistance. The Iraqi Government had to do more to protect minorities, while international criminal mechanisms had to address crimes committed. An urgent international response was needed to counter ISIL and its major negative impact on the region. Among Poland’s humanitarian efforts, an aircraft had delivered eight tons of assistance in Northern Iraq, and funding had been given to a school in Erbil for refugees. The new Iraqi Government was a welcome development and he hoped it would work for national reconciliation in the interests of all Iraqi citizens.

FERIT HOXHA ( Albania) said ISIL was “a disgrace to the faith it proclaims to defend”. Countless Islamic groups around the globe had vehemently rejected ISIL and its abhorrent actions and they were right. ISIL were just “terrorists, ruthless assassins ready to slaughter whoever stands in their way”. Albania was part of the international coalition against the group, supporting the Iraqi Government and committed to providing military and humanitarian assistance. It had accommodated 240 out of 377 refugees transferred from the Hurriya Camp.

JIM MCLAY ( New Zealand) was outraged by ISIL’s actions, appalled by the loss of life and displacement and wide-spread human rights abuses, and shocked at the humanitarian crisis. New Zealand had made two humanitarian contributions through UNHCR to internally displaced persons in Iraq. Welcoming the new Government, he noted that an election in New Zealand scheduled for tomorrow placed some limits on his ability to make new commitments today, but he welcomed the international determination to address the threat of ISIL and the humanitarian situation in Iraq. Particularly welcome were efforts by Arab States; the support of the wider region was essential if results were to be enduring.

BASHAR JA’AFARI (Syria), calling for an end to terrorism, said some speakers had gone beyond the agenda item under consideration, mentioning Syria erroneously and provocatively, particularly when speaking of combating ISIL. Mr. Kerry’s statement was balanced in its wording, but others attempted to divert attention from the crucial issue at hand, which was supporting Iraq and Syria against ISIL and Jabat Al-Nusra, along with their affiliates. There was one war and it was being fought against one heinous enemy. Syria was working to tackle terrorism and he was relieved that the international community had acknowledged the facts that he had continually transmitted to the Council and Member States about it. Additional efforts to combat terrorism must be based entirely on the Charter and international law, especially with respect to the sovereignty of States. Efforts to combat terrorism should be made in coordination with the Syrian Government.

Saudi Wahabbi extremist ideology underpinned ISIL, he added, with thousands of Saudis fighting with the group. That was the same ideology that had motivated those who had carried out the 11 September 2001 attacks. He noted that those terrorists were also Saudi, not Syrian. He added that events shaping the region stemmed from collusion between Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar.

Presidential Statement

The text of presidential statement S/PRST/2014/20 reads as follows:

“The Security Council welcomes the newly formed Government of Iraq and calls on the international community to support its efforts to strengthen further democratic institutions, to maintain security and combat terrorism and to create a safe, stable and prosperous future for the people of Iraq. The Security Council reaffirms its support for the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Iraq and reaffirms further the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

“The Security Council underscores the need for all segments of the Iraqi population to participate in the political process and engage in political dialogue. The Security Council is encouraged by the Iraqi Government’s commitment to resolve long-standing issues through an inclusive political process and consistent with the Iraqi Constitution and look forward to implementation of this commitment through its new national agenda. The Security Council encourages Iraq’s leaders to accelerate implementation of this agenda and national reconciliation to address the needs of Iraq’s diverse communities.

“The Security Council also urges Member States to work closely with the Government of Iraq to identify how best the international community can aid implementation of the new Iraqi agenda. The Security Council reaffirms its full support for the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) in advising and assisting the Iraqi people and the Government of Iraq in strengthening democratic institutions and advancing inclusive political dialogue.

“The Security Council strongly condemns attacks by terrorist organizations, including the terrorist organization operating under the name ‘Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) and associated armed groups, in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and emphasizes that this large-scale offensive poses a major threat to the region. The Security Council expresses again its deep outrage about all Iraqis, as well as nationals of other States who have been killed, kidnapped, raped or tortured by ISIL, as well as its recruitment and use of children. The Security Council stresses the need that those who have committed or are otherwise responsible for violations of international humanitarian law or violations or abuses of human rights in Iraq must be held accountable, noting that some of these acts may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Security Council stresses the need for those responsible for such violations of international humanitarian law or violations or abuses of human rights to be held to account, and calls upon the Government of Iraq and the international community to work towards ensuring that all perpetrators are brought to justice.

“The Security Council welcomes the Government of Iraq’s efforts, in association with local and regional authorities, to combat the terrorist threat facing all Iraqis, including members of its ethnic and religious minorities, notably Yezidis and Christians, and women from all communities who have been particularly targeted by ISIL.

“The Security Council reaffirms that all parties, including ISIL, associated armed groups, and other militias, must respect the human rights of the Iraqi people and abide by all applicable obligations under international humanitarian law, including those protecting the civilian population, by which both official Iraqi forces and member states that assist them must also abide.

“The Security Council also recognizes the steps taken to address the urgent humanitarian needs of those displaced by the current conflict. The Security Council calls for an intensification of these efforts by all parties and urges all Member States to continue to fund the UN humanitarian appeals.

“The Security Council urges the international community, in accordance with international law, to further strengthen and expand support for the Government of Iraq as it fights ISIL and associated armed groups. The Security Council welcomes the International Conference on Peace and Security in Iraq that took place in Paris on 15 September 2014 and the summit-level meeting of the Security Council responding to the global threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters that is scheduled for 24 September.

“The Security Council stresses that terrorism can only be defeated by a sustained and comprehensive approach involving the active participation and collaboration of all States, as well as international and regional organizations, to impede, impair, isolate and incapacitate the terrorist threat.

“The Security Council reiterates the urgent need to stop any direct or indirect trade in oil from Iraq involving ISIL with the aim to put an end to financing terrorism.

“The Security Council supports Iraq’s further economic, social, political and diplomatic integration into the region and the international community and calls upon regional States to engage more actively to facilitate this process. The Security Council recognizesthat the situation that now exists in Iraq is significantly different from that which existed at the time of the adoption of resolution 661 (1990), and further recognizes the importance of Iraq achieving international standing equal to that which it held prior to the adoption of resolution 661 (1990).

“The Security Council reiterates that no terrorist act can reverse the path towards peace, democracy and reconstruction in Iraq, which is supported by the people and the Government of Iraq, and by the international community.”

For information media • not an official record

Liberia: UN General Assembly underlines 'strong commitment' to bolster response to Ebola outbreak

Guinea - ReliefWeb News - 19 September 2014 - 9:25pm
Source: UN News Service Country: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone

19 September 2014 – As an Ebola outbreak of “unprecedented nature and scope” continues its spread through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the United Nations General Assembly today underlined it strong commitment to responding to the emergency in a timely, effective and coordinated manner and to support the affected countries in tackling the virus.

“The time to act in a swift, coordinated and powerful manner is now,” General Assembly President Sam Kutesa told the 193-Member body ahead of a vote on a resolution.

“Without quick and decisive action, the trail of devastation this outbreak leaves behind will reach far beyond the portions of West Africa most affected up to now,” he added, stressing the Ebola is not a sub-regional or even regional calamity, but an international crisis.

The virus killed at least 2,500 people in West Africa and nearly twice that number have been infected, according to the UN World Health Organization (WHO). The number of cases is doubling every three weeks.

Women are particularly at risk given their roles as primary caregivers and community leaders. In Liberia, an estimated 75 per cent of fatalities are women, while in Sierra Leone, that number is around 59 per cent.

“Women are much more likely to be front-line health workers,” Mr. Kutesa said, underscoring the heightened risk that they face.

The Assembly unanimously agreed through its resolution to harness capabilities and competencies across the UN system in a single, unified structure to ensure a rapid, effective, efficient and coherent response to the crisis.

The body’s decision comes a day after the Security Council passed its resolution which declared the Ebola virus outbreak a threat to peace and security.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the establishment of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) to stop the outbreak, treat the infected, ensure essential services, preserve stability and prevent further outbreaks.

Mr. Ban spoke today with Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama, who expressed support for UN efforts to headquarter UNMEER in Accra, with offices in the three most affected countries.

The country’s international airport will be used as a “vital air bridge,” Mr. Ban confirmed.

Briefing the General Assembly, he noted that the Ebola crisis, which started as a public health emergency, has taken on a wider scope with significant economic, social, humanitarian, political and security dimensions.

“None of us is insulated from the threat of Ebola,” he said, “all of us must be part of the response.”

Among recent international announcements of solidarity, the United States has said it would deploy 3,000 troops to provide expertise in logistics, training and engineering.

The Government of Cuba plans to send a 165-member team of doctors and nurses to the region, while a 59-member Chinese laboratory team left for Sierra Leone earlier this week.

“I hope other Member States, along with the private sector and civil society, will do far more,” Mr. Ban said, adding that he looks forward to “strong and rapid support” for UNMEER, and the countries and people in need of critical aid.

Earlier this week, the UN outlined a set of critical needs totaling almost $1 billion over the next six months.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Mr. Kutesa said the General Assembly had added “a powerful voice” to the Security Council in adopting the resolution. “Inaction is not an option,” he reiterated.

Iraq: UNFPA established the first soccer field in Domiz Camp for Syrian Refugees

Iraq - ReliefWeb News - 19 September 2014 - 8:44pm
Source: UN Population Fund Country: Iraq, Syrian Arab Republic

Duhok, Iraq— The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), this week, inaugurated the first soccer pitch in the Domiz Camp for Syrian Refugees to enable the youth there exercise their favorite game.

The soccer field which was established in cooperation with the Domiz Camp Administration is funded by the Kuwaiti government and The US Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.

Playing soccer and organizing different activities keeps the youth of the camp occupied positively, according to Radouane Belouali, UNFPA chief of operations in Iraq.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Belouali added that the UNFPA is keen to equip the youth in the Camp with all what they need to develop their skills in different fields including sports, arts and music among others.

The inauguration ceremony that was attended by officials from Duhok governorate and the Camp's administration was also held to mark the conclusion of the first football tournament in the camp that was held with the participation of 12 teams.

In addition to providing a space for youth, setting a soccer field in Domiz camp has other objectives according to Dr Georges M. Georgi, UNFPA Iraq country representative.

“The Soccer Field project aims to create and build “Team spirit” within the 12 football teams formed in Domiz Camp", said Dr Georgi, adding that the Fund is keen to encourage youth involvement and participation in their communities, and that sports is one of the ways that achieve this goal.

The establishment of the soccer pitch inside the camp was described as a great achievement by members of the teams that took part in the competition, especially the professional footballers.

"Football is my bread and butter," said Nassar Baker, a former player in one of the first leg clubs in Syria.

Baker, 30, said before the establishment of this soccer field he used, with other footballers from Domiz, to rent one of the football fields in Duhok.

"It was not easy for me and my colleagues to afford the money to pay for the rental of a field in Duhok city," Baker said, while adding that he is a day laborer and he has to balance between supporting his family with the money he gets and paying money to practice his favorite game.

"No I need not to worry about that," he explained, "as I can play football at anytime with no cost".

Investing in youth and adolescents is one of UNFPA's main goals. In Domiz camp, which is now a home for 60,000 Syrian refugees, with up to 15,000 of them are youth in the (15-30) age group. UNFPA has a youth center with facilities that provides the youth with the chance to meet their peers and develop their skills.

  • ENDS-

About UNFPA
UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. For more information visit www.unfpa.org

For more information, please contact
Khetam Malkawi, UNFPA Iraq, Tel: +964-750-0166-703, malkawi@unfpa.org

Iraq: Iraq Crisis Situation Report #6, 15 September 2014

Iraq - ReliefWeb News - 19 September 2014 - 8:39pm
Source: World Food Programme Country: Iraq preview

Highlights

  • WFP is now reaching 12 governorates in Iraq, success-fully distributing food in the southern governorate of Muthanna for the first time.

  • WFP welcomed and assisted Emergency Relief Coordi-nator Baroness Valerie Amos on her visit to the Khanke Camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Duhok, western Iraq.

  • A EUR 2 million donation received from the German Government has helped WFP serve 6 million hot meals to 220,620 people fleeing from the Sinjar crisis.

occupied Palestinian territory: Protection of civilians weekly report | 9-15 September 2014

ReliefWeb - OCHA Situation Reports - 19 September 2014 - 8:30pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: occupied Palestinian territory preview

Key issues

  • One man killed amidst a general decline in clashes across the West Bank

  • 11 structures demolished in Area C, displacing 14 Palestinians

  • Four Palestinians, including two children, died of wounds from the conflict in the Gaza Strip

  • Rafah Crossing remains open but travel is restricted

  • Resumption of Gaza Power Plant pending fuel supply

Categories: RSS feeds

occupied Palestinian territory: Protection of civilians weekly report | 9-15 September 2014

oPt - ReliefWeb News - 19 September 2014 - 8:30pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: occupied Palestinian territory preview

Key issues

  • One man killed amidst a general decline in clashes across the West Bank

  • 11 structures demolished in Area C, displacing 14 Palestinians

  • Four Palestinians, including two children, died of wounds from the conflict in the Gaza Strip

  • Rafah Crossing remains open but travel is restricted

  • Resumption of Gaza Power Plant pending fuel supply

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