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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: January 27, 2016

Holocaust Commemoration: The Secretary-General spoke today at the General Assembly event marking the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. He paid respects to the 6 million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust, as well as the millions of others who were killed alongside them. The SG said that those who deny the Holocaust only perpetuate falsehoods and make a mockery of the pain and acknowledged that we continue to see hurtful efforts to question the reality and scale of the tragedy.

Investor Summit on Climate Risk: This morning, the SG spoke at the Investor Summit on Climate Risk, where he announced he had invited all heads of State and Government to a signing ceremony for the Paris Agreement on April 22. The SG stressed that to keep global temperature rise well below 2 °C, we must begin the shift away from fossil fuels immediately and we need a massive scaling up of investments in clean energy and energy efficiency. He said that investors and businesses that redirect business resources to low-carbon, climate-resilient growth will be the economic powerhouses of the 21st century, and he challenged investors to double their clean energy investments by 2020.

Syria: Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien briefed the Security Council today on humanitarian access in Syria. He reported that humanitarian deliveries to besieged towns have recently delivered desperately needed food, medical and other aid sufficient for one month for over 60,000 people. Mr. O’Brien said that we urgently need to get more medical supplies and teams into Madaya, since the last time the Syrian Arab Red Crescent was able to enter with supplies and teams was January 15. Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) Ertharin Cousin said that more than 4.5 million people are trapped in besieged or hard to reach areas in Syria. WFP’s food security analysis suggests that 2.5 million are severely food insecure. Every day, the agency receives alarming reports of lack of food, of lack of water, of acute malnutrition, and of death.

Central African Republic: Earlier today, the Security Council extended sanctions on the Central African Republic by one year.

Israel and Palestine: The SG’s remarks at yesterday’s Security Council meeting on the Middle East Peace Process have provoked a lot of reactions, some negative. The SG stands by every word that he used in the Security Council. Though some have accused the SG of justifying terrorism, he has said that nothing, absolutely nothing justifies terrorism. The SG repeated his condemnation of the stabbings, vehicle attacks and shootings by Palestinians targeting Israeli civilians, and said that nothing excuses terror. If we want to see an end to this violence, security measures will not be enough - we must address the root causes, the underlying frustration and failure to achieve a political solution.

Afghanistan: The humanitarian community in Afghanistan today appealed for $393 million to help the most vulnerable and marginalized Afghans. The funding is expected to provide food as well as access to health care, nutrition, drinking water and sanitation to an estimated 3.5 million people. Last year, more than 300,000 people in Afghanistan fled their homes due to conflict, marking a 160% increase compared with the same period in 2014. The country is also prone to natural disasters, including floods and earthquakes. The earthquake that struck the north-eastern province of Badakhshan in October left an estimated 130,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance.

Columbia:  Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman returns to New York today from Quito, Ecuador, where he represented the SG at the 4th Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). Mr. Feltman engaged with the leadership and membership of the regional body on their role in the Political Mission approved Monday by the Security Council to help monitor and verify the future peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC. The United Nations, with the Department of Political Affairs in the lead, has started to plan the Mission.

Darfur: The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has reported that the number of civilians seeking refuge in the vicinity of its Sortoni team site, in North Darfur, has increased to almost 14,770 people. That’s an increase of more than 50% in just 24 hours.  Yesterday, the Mission received information that 19 villages near Rockero, north Jebel Marra, in Central Darfur, were burned down. Most residents have fled to Sortoni, Kabkabiya and Tawila, while others have sought shelter in surrounding mountains. The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Marta Ruedas, said that, following the fighting in the Jebel Marra region, about 19,000 people have fled into North Darfur State and up to 15,000 others into Central Darfur State in the past two weeks. She added that although some humanitarian assistance was being provided, much more was needed.

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