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United Nations Information Service at Geneva
19 June 2009
HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESS CONFERENCE BY UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL JOHN HOLMES ON OUTCOME OF DISASTER RISK REDUCTION CONFERENCE
19 June 2009
John Holmes, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator this afternoon briefed the press corps in Geneva on the outcome of the second United Nations Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in his capacity as Chair of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Partnership.
Situation of Palestinians in Gaza
Another journalist asked questions on the situation in Gaza, the increased poverty of Palestinian workers and the alleged testing of new kinds of weapons by the Israeli Armed Forces, during the military incursion earlier this year. On those issues, Mr. Holmes said that the general situation in Gaza was extremely worrying. Since the end of the military operations the situation had not much improved. The flow of goods into Gaza was still very low. Food was going in, but nothing was happening with regard to reconstruction material.
Mr. Holmes said that this kind of blockade did not serve any good, except the further radicalization of the population, the increase of unemployment, poverty, lack of dignity and lack of rights.
Concerning the use of different kinds of weapons during the conflict, Mr. Holmes said that heavy weaponry should be used with great caution in very densely populated areas, where the distinction between fighters and civilians was not possible.