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un-building-350-230The United Nations is the one organization with the vision and reach to address the world’s most pressing challenges. When disaster strikes, the world turns to one organization for hope, help, leadership, and coordi­nation: the United Nations. When there is peace to keep between warring factions, the world asks the UN to mobilize peacekeepers, oversee elections, and create stability. In the face of challenges such as climate change, disease or poverty, the United Nations provides the platform for international cooperation.

The UN is an international organization, not a government.  As a result, its effectiveness depends on the participation of 193 sovereign member states and the backing of citizens around the world. The United Nations Association of the United States, a program of the United Nations Foundation, works day in and day out to support the mission of the UN by connecting Americans to the work of the UN and advocating for strong US leadership within the UN. 


UN Updates: December 1, 2015

COP21: At the opening of the United Nations climate change conference (COP21) in Paris today, the SG said a political moment like this may not come again. More than 180 countries have submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), which account for close to 100 per cent of global emissions, and which will form the basis of the agreement expected to be reached in the next two weeks. The SG said the INDCs are a good start, but must go farther and faster to limit a global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius. He also said that the pending agreement should be durable, dynamic, credible and embody solidarity with the most vulnerable. The SG called on developed countries to keep their pledge to mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 and for countries with low capacities to receive flexibility and support to meet requirements of this new system. UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christina Figueres, said that it is up to leaders to charter an unequivocal path forward with a clear destination, agreed milestones and a predictable timeline.

At a high-level meeting on climate resilience, the SG said that three out of four humanitarian disasters are now climate-related, which hurt the poor and vulnerable the most. He stressed the need to absorb climate risks into new development models. At the launch for the International Alliance for Solar Technologies and Applications (INSTA), which was co-hosted by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande, the SG said that solar energy has major potential for reducing poverty and limiting greenhouse gases.

In his address to world leaders, President Obama said that the United States recognizes its contribution to climate change and embraces its responsibility to contribute to a solution. The State Department has pledged $248 million to help the world’s least development countries become less reliant on carbon.


On Friday, the SG announced the appointment of Edmond Mulet of Guatemala as his Chef de Cabinet, replacing Susana Malcorra of Argentina. The SG appointed Patrick Carey of Irealnd as his Deputy Chef de Cabinet ad interim.

The SG also announced the appointment of Catherine Pollard of Guyana as Under Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management, succeeding Tegenework Gettu of Ethiopia.

The SG appointed Robert Glasser of Australia as Assistant Secretary-General and Special Representative of the SG for Disaster Risk Reduction, succeeding Margareta Whalstrom of Sweden.

The SG appointed Rashid Khalikov of the Russian Federation as Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Partnerships with the Middle East and Central Asia, a new role that will work in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva.

Burkina Faso: The SG welcomes the peaceful presidential and legislative elections held yesterday in Burkino Faso and congratulates the people of Burkina Faso, particularly women, for their strong commitment to the democratic process. He encourages political leaders and national stakeholders to maintain a peaceful atmosphere and resolve disputes through established legal procedures.

Burundi: Through Resolution 2248, which was passed on Nov 12, the Security Council asked the SG to present options for a future UN presence in Burundi. This afternoon, SG’s Special Adviser, Jamal Benomar, briefed the Security Council on the findings of his visit to Burundi and options to address political and security concerns in the country. Mr. Benomar consulted with the Government of Burundi, the African Union and Ugandan Government officials in preparation for this meeting.

Central African Republic: His Holiness Pope Francis concludes his two-day visit to the Central African Republic today, where he delivered messages of peace and reconciliation to members of the Christian and Muslim communities. This morning, he visited a mosque in the Muslim enclave ‘PK5.’ He concluded his visit at the Bangui Stadium where he officiated a mass.

The UN Mission (MINUSCA) also reports that its Force Commander, Major General Martin Chuma Tumenta of Cameroon, passed away today. Maj. Gen. Tumenta had been on medical leave for the past month.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: The SG condemns the attack by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) against the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) base in North Kivu, which killed one peacekeeper from Malawi and wounded another. Four national Congolese soldiers and a number of civilians were also killed in two other ADF attacks in the area. The SG called for swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice. Aid agencies have expressed concern about the impact of the violence, as the fighting has caused population displacement and has delayed the distribution of humanitarian aid to some 15,000 internally displaced people. 

Iraq: After a two-day visit to Baghdad and Erbil, Deputy UN Humanitarian Relief Chief Kyung-wha Khang called for funding for aid agencies that are responding to a dramatically worsening situation in Iraq. An estimated 10 million people are now in need of some form of humanitarian assistance and less than 50% of the prioritized aid plan has been funded.

Libya: Over the weekend, the SG’s Special Representative for Libya, Martin Kobler, welcomed the recent declaration by 92 members of the House of Representatives endorsing in principle the Libyan Political Agreement and the proposed Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord. Kobler also welcomes the calls by the majority of the members of the General National Congress to reach a positive conclusion to the dialogue process and expedite efforts to bring an end to the suffering of the Libyan people.

Mali: The SG condemned a Nov 28 attack on a camp of the UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in Kidal that killed two peacekeepers and one civilian contractor in addition to injuring twenty peacekeepers and civilian personnel. MINUSMA has taken immediate steps to assist the wounded. The SG reiterates that attacks against the mission will not impede the UN’s determination to support a peace agreement in Mali.

Nepal: The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warns that more than 3 million children under the age of 5 are at risk of disease or death this winter due to severe shortages of fuel, food, medicines and vaccines in Nepal. Imports of essential commodities have been restricted at Nepal’s southern border due to unrest over the country’s new constitution.

Somalia: The Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that renewed fighting between Galmudug and Puntland armed forces on November 28 has caused an estimated 40,000 displaced people to flee settlements in the Mudug region of Somalia. More than 30 people are estimated to have been killed. Local NGOs are providing mobile healthcare, water and sanitation services, and UN agencies and international NGOs have been temporarily relocated.

World Aids Day: In advance of World AIDS today tomorrow, the World Health Organization released a new report that says expanding antiretroviral therapy is key to ending the AIDS epidemic within a generation. In another report, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warns of a hidden HIV epidemic among adolescents aged 15 – 19 in the Asia-Pacific.

Yemen: Yesterday, in Paris, the SG met with Vice President Khaled Bahah of Yemen. He urged the Government of Yemen and the Houthis to engage in talks in Geneva, which have been organized by his Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Oulid Cheikh Ahmed.

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