News in brief 06 March 2015 (PM)

6 Mar 2015

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses journalists at UN Headquarters. UN Photo/Evan Schneider (file image)

Suspension of security cooperation between Israel and Palestine
A decision by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to suspend all security coordination with Israel, starting in three months’ time, has been highlighted by the UN Secretary-General as a serious concern.
Ban Ki-moon is calling on both parties to exercise the utmost restraint.
Meanwhile, he has repeated his request to Israel to resume the transfer of tax revenues it owes to the Palestinian Authority.
The UN chief has also asked the Security Council to provide leadership to create the necessary conditions for a peaceful end to the Israeli occupation.
Indonesia urged to refrain from death penalty
The Government of Indonesia has been urged by the UN human rights office to refrain from executing individuals convicted of drug offences.
The UN High Commissioner said there is no evidence that the death penalty deters drug crimes or indeed any other crimes.
International human rights rulings state that capital punishment can only be imposed for what are called the “most serious crimes.”
Drug-related crimes are not included.
UN Secretary-General welcomes “inclusive peace” in Mali
Progress towards the establishment of an inclusive peace in Mali has been welcomed by the United Nations Secretary-General.
Mr Ban said the initialling on 1 March of a draft agreement on peace and reconciliation in the West African country by the government and a coalition of armed groups was an important step forward.
The north of Mali has remained volatile since early 2012 because of fighting between government troops and Tuareg rebels as well as the seizure of the area by radical Islamists.
Profound disappointment at break-down of South Sudan talks
And finally the  Secretary-General has expressed his profound disappointment following the unsuccessful conclusion of peace talks in South Sudan.
The country has been mired in conflict since the former Vice President Riek Machar took up arms against the government.
Mr Ban said  President Salva Kiir and Mr Machar had failed to display statesmanship and reach an agreement on power-sharing arrangements.
Duration: 2’16″

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