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

 

Demonetisation: Gordon Campbell On India’s Huge Socio-Economic Experiment

Without much coverage at all in the West, India has just been engaged for the past few weeks in one of the world’s biggest socio-economic experiments since the Cultural Revolution in China. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Election Home Stretch

Once again at the business end of a US election, the result will hinge on the same old bits of geography as always: the Five Crucial Counties in Ohio, the Two Crucial Counties in Pennsylvania and the I-4 Interstate Corridor in Florida that runs from Tampa Bay through Orlando to Daytona Beach. More>>

ALSO:

Meanwhile:

Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>

ALSO:

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news