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Jan-05-2009 00:04printcomments

Secretary General Says UN Has Key Role in Ending Gaza Conflict

Israel has cited rocket and other attacks by militants in Gaza against Israeli civilians as the reason for its military offensive and closing crossings into Gaza for much of the previous two months.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left, front) is addressing the Security Council emergency meeting on the situation in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel, as Neven Jurica (right, front), President of the Security Council for December and Permanente Representative of Croatia to the United Nations. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

(NEW YORK) - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said that the United Nations has an important role to play in halting the violence in Gaza, expressing regret that the Security Council did not reach agreement yesterday evening on how to end the conflict.

Despite the 15-member body's lack of concurrence during its emergency session which took place hours after Israel launched a ground offensive into Gaza.

Mr. Ban, who is scheduled to meet with Arab leaders tomorrow at UN Headquarters, said that he is pressing ahead with diplomatic efforts.

“Given the crucial juncture at which we have arrived in the search for a ceasefire, I appeal to all members of the international community to display the unity and commitment required to bring this escalating crisis to an end,” he said in a statement issued by his spokesperson.

The Secretary-General said that he has recalled Robert Serry, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, to New York to brief him on the situation on the ground as well as political efforts to bring an end to the clashes.

“Meanwhile I remain extremely concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation on the ground,” he said.

“We are in close contact with the Israeli authorities to press them to open not only the Kerem Shalom crossing, but also Karni and Nahd Oz, to allow in, particularly, wheat grain and fuel for the power plant, as well as other essential supplies.”

Israel has cited rocket and other attacks by militants in Gaza against Israeli civilians as the reason for its military offensive and closing crossings into Gaza for much of the previous two months.

Following last evening's closed Council meeting, Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert of France, which holds the Council Presidency this month, said that while there was “no formal agreement” among the 15 members, he witnessed “strong convergences” to express concern over the stepped up violence and the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

“There was also strong convergence to express full support to the regional and international diplomatic efforts which are underway to resolve the crisis and to call all parties to resume peace talks,” he told reporters.

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Vic January 5, 2009 7:41 am (Pacific time)

The UN is powerless as long as the US vetoes every resolution that offends the Israelis. Israel is in violation of more UN resolutions than ANY OTHER COUNTRY on the face of the Earth. Anyone need proof, I will post a list. Israel was born out of terror and continues to use terror and collective punishment (and illegal white phosphorous shells) to steal land. They are in violation of the NPT...we arent even supposed to do any business with them. But...the laws evidently do not apply to Israel. The Israelis broke the truce on Nov 4 when they imposed a blockade on fuel, food and goods on the Gaza Strip. The next day they violated it again with a military strike that killed six people. What are the Gazans supposed to do? Starve quietly? I agree with "patriot"..the UN should move out of the US..we have made a mockery of what was originally a good idea. They should kick out the US and Israel, and maybe then be able to get things done. "patriot" what would you do if you and your family were being starved by a military regime? What if your children were killed by Israei snipers? What a windbag..what a coward. Im sure you wouldnt complain and you would tell your kids that there is no food because Gods Chosen People dont think they should get to eat, or go to school, or have a life. Move to Israel! Maybe they will let you shoot a few Palestinian kids for sport. Im sure you would love that, "patriot"....Jesus freakin Christ!

patriot January 5, 2009 12:39 am (Pacific time)

Let Israel finish the job, they have to defend their Country. Stop feeling sorry for these terrorists and stop listening to the Israel hating news agencies. The UN is not worse anything. Time to send them overseas to France or maybe the Middle East?

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