Author Archives: Una Moore
Civilians harmed by Afghanistan’s security forces rarely receive assistance of any kind. Why that might soon change. A UN Dispatch interview.
Wall Street Journal Kabul bureau chief Yaroslav Trofimov noticed something strange when he loaded Apple’s map of Afghanistan’s capital city on his new iPad today –the existence of a street named “Bad Monkey.”
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan released its mid-year report on civilian protection this week. Although the total number of civilian casualties in the first half of 2012 was lower than the number in the same period of 2011, the rest of the news wasn’t good.
Proposed drastic cuts to refugee assistance funding, if approved by Congress, will imperil support for tens of thousands refugees due to be resettled in the United States during the coming fiscal year. That’s very bad news for people escaping persecution and war in countries such as Afghanistan, Burma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea and Iraq.
Afghanistan’s human rights commission spent 6 years collecting evidence for a massive report on wartime atrocities. Now, the Afghan Government is blocking the release of that report.
For the second time this year, Afghan women took to Kabul’s streets to demonstrate their outrage at a gruesome act of gender-based violence. This time, the demonstration was prompted by the videotaped execution of a young woman in a village less than two hours from the capital.
Middle East: During the last 48 hours of the continued ceasefire, humanitarian workers have delivered food to hundreds of thousands of people, repaired water and sanitation infrastructure, re-stocked medical supplies, and some of the 520,000 displaced Palestinians have returned to their homes. However, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator remarked the scale of needs remains “unprecedented in the Gaza Strip.”
Middle East: At today’s informal session of the General Assembly on Gaza the SG remarked that the most recent ceasefire has held since yesterday at 8 a.m. local time. He noted that a durable ceasefire is necessary and UN shelters must continue to remain safe zones. The SG thanked UN staff in Gaza and will fly the UN flag at half-mast tomorrow in memory of those who died in the conflict.
Middle East: The SG commended Israeli and Palestinian parties for committing to a 72-hour ceasefire that took place at 8 a.m. local time today. He urges all parties to abide by the ceasefire and commence peace talks in Cairo to address underlying issues and agree on a durable ceasefire to sustainably stop the violence. The UN lends its full support toward these efforts.
Middle East: The SG condemned yesterday’s shelling outside of an UNRWA school in Rafah that killed at least 10 Palestinian civilians. The SG stated that the attack violated international humanitarian law and UN shelters must continue to be safe zones and not combat zones.
SG: Last night the SG spoke at a joint press conference with the Foreign Minister of Costa Rica where he repeated his call for an unconditional and extendable humanitarian ceasefire. Speaking about yesterday’s shelling of a UN shelter he said: “Nothing – nothing – justifies such horror” and demanded “that all parties immediately respect UN premises”.
SG: The SG met with President Ortega yesterday in Nicaragua where he visited a wind farm and praised the country’s commitment to renewable energy. The SG arrived in Costa Rica today where he is expected to lecture about “Costa Rica and the United Nations: Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century”.