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Source: United Nations (Video News)

Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

– Middle East
– Syria
– Sudan
– DR Congo
– Central African Republic
– Ceasefire
– Green Energy
– Senior Personnel Appointments
– UN Charter
– Financial Contributions

The Security Council this morning held an open videoconference on the Middle East. 
The Secretary-General took part in the meeting, noting in his remarks that we are at a watershed moment. If implemented, the Secretary-General said, annexation by Israel would constitute a most serious violation of international law, grievously harm the prospect of a two-State solution and undercut the possibilities of a renewal of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. He called on the Israeli Government to abandon its annexation plan. He said that he will continue to consistently speak out against any unilateral steps that would undermine peace and the chances for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through meaningful negotiations. Mr. Guterres also urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to commit to meaningful dialogue, with the support of the international community. 
Also addressing the Council today was Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. He asked Council members to join the Secretary-General in his call for an immediate reengagement, with no preconditions, between the Middle East Quartet and the Palestinian leadership, Israel and the countries of the region in order to find a way out of the current crisis. 

The UN continues to reach millions of women, children and men in urgent need of humanitarian assistance through cross-border operations run out of Turkey. Since the beginning of this year, more than 8,000 trucks have crossed into Syria from Turkey, including a record 1,781 trucks in May alone. A large number of trucks continues to cross. As of the 21st, 1,292 trucks passed into northwest Syria from Turkey this month, providing vital life-saving assistance for the 2.8 million people in need in the area. As highlighted in the Secretary General’s recent review of cross line and cross-border operations, a sustained, large-scale cross-border response is necessary to meet the enormous humanitarian needs of people in northwest Syria. 
To enable this response, a renewal of the cross-border authorization in Security Council resolution 2504 (2020) for the use of Bab al Salaam and Bab Al Hawa border crossings for an additional 12 months is required. There are no alternatives to cross-border operations for us.
The Secretary-General has also called for a combination of more cross-border and cross line access to sustain recent levels of, and preferably increase, humanitarian assistance in the northeast of the county. Without these necessary cross-border authorizations by the Security Council, civilians will suffer and increase to levels unseen in nine years of conflict, including loss of life on a massive scale. The full and complementary use of all methods for the delivery of aid remains necessary to access all people across Syria. 
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs remains concerned over the impact of COVID-19 on people across the country. To date, the Syrian Ministry of Health has confirmed 231 cases of the virus, including 94 recoveries and seven deaths. 
Six additional cases have been recorded in the north-east, including one fatality. No cases have been confirmed in the north-west. Our particular worry is for the 1.4 million displaced people living in camps or informal settlements which makes taking necessary precautions that much more difficult. With limited access to healthcare and water and sanitation services, these people are particularly vulnerable. 
The UN continues to support building up the Syria’s limited lab and case investigation capacities. 

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