World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Gaza: Ban Reiterates Commitment To Plight Of Palestine

New York, Feb 2 2012 1:10PM
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon travelled today to the Gaza Strip, where he underlined his commitment to continue working for peace and stability in the Middle East, and voiced his concern about the need to increase humanitarian assistance for Palestinians.

Mr. Ban is currently in the region to encourage Palestinian and Israeli authorities to continue the talks they started in Jordan earlier this month – and to assess the progress and challenges on the road to peace.

During his visit, Mr. Ban toured a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) housing project and a girls’ school. He also met with children who suffered serious injuries during the conflict, and said he was deeply moved by their stories.

In a press encounter this morning, Mr. Ban emphasized that the UN would continue its work in the region, which ranges from infrastructure projects such as building housing units, schools and water treatment facilities, to humanitarian assistance and longer-term initiatives involving the people of Gaza to stimulate economic and social growth.

“There needs to be further, immediate and more far-reaching changes, including an end to the Palestinian divide,” Mr. Ban told reporters. “I am pressing hard for policy changes to enable the United Nations and others to carry out our essential work,” he said.

Earlier this month, the UN launched an emergency appeal for just over $300 million to assist Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank who are still dealing with the effects of a conflict that ended three years ago, as well as various humanitarian needs.

As part of his visit, Mr. Ban was supposed to meet with business and civil society representatives, but this was cancelled when dozens of Palestinians staged a protest as Mr. Ban’s convoy crossed into Gaza from Israel. Protesters, many of whom were relatives of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, threw shoes and other objects at the convoy.

Mr. Ban, who met last night with the Palestinian Minister of Prisoners Affairs, Issa Karake, said he understood and shared their frustrations and concerns.

“That is why I am here again for the third time. There are very dire social, economic and humanitarian problems. People need to be able to move freely. Goods must be imported and exported without any restrictions. That is why I have been urging the Israeli authorities to lift completely and unconditionally the restrictions.”

Mr. Ban later travelled to Erez in Israel, where he toured Sapir College and met with survivors of a rocket attack last year against a school bus. Speaking at the school, he said that nothing justified the indiscriminate firing of rockets and mortars into Israel.

Later today, in an address to the Herzliya 2012 conference in Tel Aviv, the Secretary-General is expected to discuss the Arab Spring reform movement and its impact on the region. He will also meet with Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak.
Feb 2 2012 1:10PM
________________
For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

Follow us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/UN.News.Centre) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/UN_News_Centre)

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Palestinian Refugees From Syria Face Worsening Situation

Palestinian women at a UNRWA distribution centre in the Jaramana refugee camp, Damascus, Syria. Photo: UNRWA/Carole Alfarah More>>

ALSO:

Greece Risks Prolonged Social Crisis

Greece’s severe financial crisis has bred social unrest and intolerance of the nearly one million irregular migrants living in the country (October 2012). Photo: IRIN/Kristy Siegfried More>>

Madagascar: Warning Of ‘rapid’ Spread Of Plague In Capital

Ny Hantra Andriatsifasoa survived the bubonic plague after being infected in Madagascar in 2011. Photo: IRIN/Tiana Randriaharimalala More>>

New Bird Flu Strain In Europe Threatens Poultry Sector

24 November 2014 – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization ( FAO ) today warned that a new bird flu strain detected in Europe poses a significant threat to the poultry sector, especially in low-resourced countries situated along ... More>>

Mexico: Disappearances Reach Record Number This Year

The National Registry of Missing Persons acknowledges that from 2007 to date, there are 23,605 cases of disappeared persons; 40% have been reported during the current administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto. More>>

Ban To Take Up Fight Against Ebola With All UN Organisations

Street sellers at Waterside market in central Monrovia, where there has seen a huge drop in customers over the past months due to the onset of the Ebola Virus Disease. Photo: UNDP/Carly Learson (20 November 2014) More>>

ALSO:

Darfur: UN-Backed Event Promotes Role Of Women In Peace

Darfur: amid mass rape allegations, UN-backed event promotes role of women in peace processes More>>

Ebola Cases No Longer Rising In Guinea And Liberia

In Conakry, Guinea, a mobilizer teaches children about proper handwashing techniques, which help prevent the spread of diseases, including Ebola. Photo: UNICEF/Timothy La Rose More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news