Detained and missing persons in Syria & other topics- Daily press briefing (7 July 2019)

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Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.
Daily Noon Briefing:
-Yemen
-Syria
-West Bank
-Afghanistan
-Zimbabwe
-Philippines
-Singapore
-Convention
Yemen
Martin Griffiths, the Special Envoy for Yemen, said that he is alarmed by the military escalations in Aden today, including reports of clashes in the vicinity of the Presidential Palace.  He is also deeply concerned by the recent rhetoric encouraging violence against Yemeni institutions.
Mr. Griffiths said that escalations of violence will contribute to instability and suffering in Aden and will deepen Yemen’s political and social divisions.
The Special Envoy calls on all parties involved to abandon violence and engage in dialogue to resolve differences. He also urges all those with influence to de-escalate the situation and ensure the protection of civilians.

Syria
Rosemary DiCarlo, the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, briefed the Security Council this morning on detained and missing persons in Syria.  She said that, given the continued lack of access to places of detention and to detainees in Syria, the United Nations has no official statistics on those detained, abducted or missing. But she added that reports suggest that more than 100,000 people have so far been detained, abducted, disappeared or went missing, largely, but not only, by the Syrian Government.
Ms. DiCarlo said that the deaths in detention have continued to occur, many allegedly as a result of torture, neglect or inhumane conditions. For the families of detainees, their tragedy is compounded by the difficulty of obtaining death certificates or their remains.
She added that the Special Envoy, Geir Pedersen, has prioritized the case of detainees, abductees and the missing. Meaningful action on this file would build confidence and move the political process forward, she said.
West Bank
Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, today noted that the Israeli authorities have approved over the past two days the advancement of some 2,400 housing units in settlements in Area C of the occupied West Bank.
He said the expansion of settlements has no legal effect and constitutes a flagrant violation of international law. By advancing the effective annexation of the West Bank, he added, it undermines the chances for establishing a Palestinian state based on relevant UN resolutions, as part of a negotiated two-state solution.
It must cease immediately and completely, the Special Coordinator said.
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