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

 


Ban urges all parties: End bloodshed, obtain ceasefire

Ban urges all parties to rally around efforts to end bloodshed, obtain Israel-Gaza ceasefire

21 July 2014

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged all parties to rally around collective international efforts to obtain an end to two weeks of bloodshed in Gaza and Israel and reach a ceasefire, as he continued his visit to the region with a stop in Cairo.

“Palestinians and Israelis deserve freedom – freedom from siege, rockets, missiles, artillery and airstrikes. They deserve a future of hope, peace and justice,” Mr. Ban said during a press encounter with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shokry Selim.

Mr. Ban is on the third leg of a regional visit aimed at expressing solidarity with Israelis and Palestinians and to help them end the violence. The trip, which began on Sunday, has already taken the United Nations chief to Qatar and Kuwait and will also include stops in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Amman as part of efforts to encourage a durable ceasefire.

“This is a time of profound challenge in the region,” said the Secretary-General. “Yet again, too many civilians, including so many children, are paying the price for the latest escalation. The images we see sear the soul.”

The violence has already claimed the lives of several hundred Palestinians and around 25 Israelis. The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) announced that the number of people seeking refuge with the Agency, which has opened nearly 70 shelters, has now exceeded 100,000.

“This is a watershed moment for UNRWA, now that the number of people seeking refuge with us is more than double the figure we saw in the 2009 Gaza conflict. We are seeing a huge wave of accelerated displacement because of the Israeli ground offensive,” said UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness.

The Secretary-General stressed today that the violence must stop, and it must stop now. “All sides must provide the necessary space to aid the victims, assist the wounded, and extend the relief to trapped civilians. These immediate steps should open the door to a more permanent ceasefire,” he stated.

Also, it is not enough to simply return to where things stood before the latest round of bloodshed. “Going back to the status quo ante won’t solve the problem, it will only defer it for another day. It will not stop the bloodshed, it will make it even worse the next time the cycle rolls over the people of Gaza and plagues the people of Israel,” said Mr. Ban.

“Gaza is an open wound and Band-Aids won’t help,” he added. “There must be a plan after the aftermath that allows Gaza to breathe and heal.”

In addition to the Foreign Minister, Mr. Ban met in Cairo with the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, as well as with United States Secretary of State John Kerry. Tomorrow morning, before leaving Egypt, the Secretary-General is expected to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi.

Speaking before his meeting with Mr. Kerry, the Secretary-General said he hoped their joint efforts will make a great contribution to ongoing mediation efforts by the parties in the region to end the violence.

“Our joint efforts are rooted in three mutually reinforcing efforts,” said Mr. Ban. These are finding a way to stop the violence; urging the parties to return to dialogue; and addressing the root causes of the crisis.

During his stop in Kuwait earlier today, Mr. Ban held discussions with the Amir, Sheikh Sabah al-Hamad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and thanked him for his leadership role in the Arab League. He also stressed that a ceasefire was not enough and that the root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had to be addressed.

Mr. Ban added that efforts should be made to strengthen the Palestinian government of national unity, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, by encouraging an internal Palestinian dialogue.

The Amir updated the Secretary-General on his recent meeting with Hamas leader Khaled Mashal, who had been in Kuwait the previous day.

The two also discussed the political and humanitarian situation in Iraq, with the Secretary-General thanking the Amir for Kuwait’s $10 million donation towards the UN’s humanitarian work in Iraq.

While in Kuwait, the Secretary-General also met the Foreign Minister, Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. In addition to discussing the situation in Gaza and Iraq, they also reviewed the current crisis in Libya.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

ANZAC Commemorations - Scoop Team Coverage

Nepal Quake Response : NZ USAR team stood down

Foreign Minister Murray McCully says that the New Zealand Urban Search and Rescue team due to leave for Nepal overnight has been stood down. "“Our USAR team has been on stand-by since Sunday and was due to head to Nepal last night. Prior to their departure, the Nepalese Government informed us that they had enough USAR capability in-country and our team was no longer required." More >>

Earlier: NZ Govt. NZ USAR team to Nepal & Fire Service - USAR team leaves tonight for Kathmandu (Image Red Cross twitter)

 

United States: Riots In Baltimore – National Guard Sent In [graphic Images]

Riots have broken out in Baltimore following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25 year old black man who died from injuries sustained while in police custody. More>>

West Papua: “Lest We Forget”

AS Anzac approaches and Australians and New Zealanders remember those who fought and lost their lives on Anzac Day, it is hoped we will also remember the unfree people of the Pacific region and in particular those who are still suffering from human ... More>>

Iran: 81 Executions In One Week

Coincident with mass executions in the prisons of Ghezel-Hessar, Karaj and other cities, the anti-human regime of mullahs sent 16 other prisoners to the gallows in Mashhad and Birjand (northeastern Iran). Twelve of them were hanged collectively ... More>>

Al-Shabaab: Four Unicef Staff Killed In Somalia

Four UNICEF staff members have been killed in an attack on their vehicle in Garowe, Somalia. Four other UNICEF colleagues are in a serious condition. The IED (improvised explosive device) attack occurred when the staff were travelling from their guest ... More>>

UN: Suicide Attack In Jalalabad Condemned

NEW YORK/KABUL/GENEVA (18April 2015) – “I strongly condemn the brutal suicide attack that coincided with my visit to Jalalabad today,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović during his visit to Afghanistan. ... More>>

Save The Children: STC Urges EU Leaders To Act To Prevent More Mass Drownings

Save the Children Urges EU Leaders to Act to Prevent More Mass Drownings at Sea. More>>

ALSO:

Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

Australian Government: Iraq Deployment: Joint Press Conference, Canberra

Back in March, the Government announced that we were preparing a force for a Building Partner Capacity training mission in Iraq. I can inform you that today the Cabinet has decided to deploy that force. The deployment will start tomorrow and we expect ... More>>

UNHRC: UN Committee Against Torture To Review New Zealand

UN Committee against torture to review New Zealand, Congo, Romania, Luxembourg, Spain, Serbia, Colombia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia More>>

UNHRC: Nigeria: One Year On, Call To Bring Back Abducted Children

Nigeria: One year on, UN and African experts call for decisive steps to bring back abducted children More>>

EU & US Let Iran Win Top Seat On UN Women’s Rights Board

EU & US Allowed Iran to Win Top Seat on UN Women’s Rights Board, Rights Group Says More>>

Peaceful Tree Planting Attacked By Zionist Settlers/soldiers

Peaceful tree planting attacked by zionist settlers and soldiers, two Palestinians hospitalised and a German activist arrested. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news