This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Secretary-General shows solidarity with Japanese nuclear bomb victims
This morning, in Tokyo, the Secretary-General met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Mayors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, as well as other local officials.
He also met with several hibakusha, or survivors of the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
Speaking to the press afterwards, the Secretary General said his visit has a very special meaning, as he is in Japan to express his deep solidarity with the Japanese people, who had to experience the dropping of two atomic bombs.
“the voice of the hibakusha is a fundamental message for peace. 'No more Nagasaki, never more Hiroshima, not any more hibakusha being necessary' is also the message of the United Nations.”
Mr Guterres also called Japan one of the United Nations’ most important partners and commended its efforts to promote peace and security, sustainable development and human rights.
Tomorrow, the Secretary-General will take part in the 73rd Nagasaki Peace Ceremony.
Gaza fuel restrictions must end to avoid major crisis
Emergency fuel stocks at several critical health, water and sanitation facilities in Gaza have almost run out, creating enormous risks for the population.
These facilities depend on emergency fuel to power back-up generators required due to Gaza’s energy crisis, which leaves the population with no more than four hours of electricity per day.
Humanitarian organisations estimate that at least 60,000 litres of emergency fuel should be swiftly delivered to 47 critical health & water sanitation and hygiene facilities across Gaza, to ensure minimum service provision over the coming four days.
The immediate lack of fuel is due to Israeli restrictions on fuel imports into Gaza.
These restrictions were imposed last week in response to continued launches of incendiary kites from Gaza into Israel, which have caused extensive property damage.
Fuel restrictions also apply to UN-procured emergency fuel for Gaza.
By mid-August, funding for UN-supported emergency fuel programmes will run out.
To avoid a major crisis, restrictions on the entry of fuel need to be lifted, and donors are urged to provide 4’5 million US dollars to cover emergency fuel support in Gaza through the end of the year.
UN Special representative for Iraq briefs Security Council on Basra tensions
Ján Kubiš, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, briefed the Security Council this morning.
He urged Iraq’s political leaders to accelerate the process of formation of a patriotic, inclusive and non-sectarian national government.
He said that, following parliamentary elections on the twelfth of May this year, complaints of electoral fraud and mismanagement have delayed the formation of a new government.
He also provided details of public demonstrations that started on 8 July, in the Basra region, which subsequently escalated and spread to other regions in the South of the country.
“The protestors are mainly young people with complaints over the lack of delivery of basic services, shortage of electricity, lack of jobs and pervasive corruption. Their messages have swiftly become more politicised, criticising national leaders and successive governments for ignoring the needs of the people and social justice, expressing their deep and growing frustration with old political leaders and the political system based on sectarian quotas they deem corrupt, dysfunctional and stagnant, and deploring foreign interference in the internal matters of Iraq”
Kubiš added that, although the protests have now died down, demonstrations are far from over, including around major oil installations in Basra.
Conor Lennon, UN News