Tuesday’s Daily Brief: Israeli settlements, Sahel crisis, Iran protests, reconciliation for peace, World Toilet Day

19 November 2019

A recap of Tuesday’s stories in brief: UN ‘regret’ over US settlements reversal; Almost daily attacks plunge Sahel into ‘three-country crisis’;  live ammunition reportedly used against Iranian protesters; reconciliation helps ‘repair fractures’, promote peace; call for poorest countries to take leading role in their own development agendas; and World Toilet Day.

US declaration on Israeli settlements does not alter international law

The longstanding position of the UN regarding Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory – that they are in breach of international law – is unchanged, Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said during a press briefing on Tuesday in New York, reacting to the policy reversal announced by the United States.

Mr. Dujarric added that the UN “very much regrets” the announcement of the new US position on Monday and remains “committed to a two-State solution based on the relevant UN resolutions”.

Here’s our story.

‘Three-country crisis’ across central Sahel puts whole generation at risk, warns UN food agency

Violent attacks by extremists “almost every day” in the Sahel nations of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso have displaced nearly one million people and caused emergency levels of malnutrition affecting thousands of children, UN humanitarians have said.

Warning of an impending humanitarian crisis, the World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Tuesday that if nothing is done to tackle hunger in the region, a whole generation could be at risk. Burkina Faso is worst hit, with one-third of the country now a conflict zone.

Our coverage, here.

Listen to or download our interview with WFP's  spokesperson, Marwa Awad, who was in Burkino Faso just a few days ago on SoundCloud:    

Iran protests: Live ammunition reportedly used, says UN human rights office

Reports indicating that dozens of people have been killed in continuing protests across Iran – some by live ammunition – are of deep concern, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said on Tuesday.

Citing Iranian media coverage since demonstrations began last Friday sparked by a rise in fuel prices, OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville said that the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, had acknowledged some of the fatalities.

More in our story.

Reconciliation helps ‘repair fractures’, enable lasting peace, Security Council hears

The UN Security Council this Tuesday has been debating what one activist labeled “the toughest and arguably most important part of the peace-building cycle”: reconciliation.

As UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the gathering, reconciliation processes have played a crucial role in resolving ethnic, religious and political differences in places such as Cambodia, Rwanda, and Northern Ireland, enabling periods of sustained peace.

Here’s our coverage.

UN calls for world's poorest countries to take leading role in directing external aid to development

On Tuesday, the UN trade body, UNCTAD, called for the least developed countries (LDCs), the world’s most impoverished nations, to proactively ensure that external finance from all sources is directed to national development priorities.

According to the Least Developed Countries Report 2019, this approach is the best way to manage their aid dependency and eventually outgrow it.

LDCs account for 15 of the 20 most aid-dependent countries in the world due to persistent shortfalls in their domestic savings, among other factors, according to UNCTAD.

Why toilets matter?

World Toilet Day is celebrated on 19th November every year.

Toilets save lives, because human waste spreads killer diseases. World Toilet Day is about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis.

To mark the day, UN News spoke with the acting Executive Director of the UN’s partner sanitation body, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC).

Here’s the full Q&A with Sue Coates, where she discusses the importance of ending open defecation.

Listen to or download our audio News in Brief for 19 November on SoundCloud:     


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News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

‘No justification’ for attacks against civilians, UN envoy says on mounting cross-border violence in Gaza

Following Israel's targeted killing of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader inside Gaza on Tuesday, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process has expressed his growing concern over increasing rocket fire across the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Guterres: Security Council’s African alliances ‘needed and appreciated more than ever’

The Security Council’s strong engagement with its Member States, partner organizations and institutions in conflict prevention efforts on the African continent is needed “more than ever”, the Secretary-General told the 15-member peace and security body on Monday.