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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.

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UN Updates: September 15, 2014

*Keywords: SG=Secretary-General, DSG=Deputy Secretary-General 

Golan: The UN force in Golan Heights had to relocate personnel to the Israeli-occupied side of Golan after armed groups advanced into the area of UNDOF positions, posing a direct threat to the safety and security of the UN Peacekeepers. According to UNDOF, the force will continue to use all available assets to carry out its mandated tasks in this “exceptionally challenging” period and environment.

Iraq:  At the Paris International Conference on Peace and Security in Iraq today, the SGSR for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, urged Member States to enforce the sanctions adopted by UN Security Council resolution 2170, calling on those states to suppress the flow of foreign fighters, financing and other support to Islamist extremist groups in Iraq and in Syria. Meanwhile, the UN Humanitarian Chief, Valerie Amos, wrapped up her mission to the country over the weekend and called for additional support for the long winter months. OCHA further warned that the numbers of displaced people could increase in the coming months as a result of increasing fighting in the region.

CAR: Today marks the beginning of the U.N. Mission in the Central African Republic’s military and police action. The transfer of authority from the African-led International Support Mission to MINUSCA took place earlier in Bangui. The Mission will prioritize the protection of civilians, as well as support to the political process and state-building efforts.

Mali: The SG strongly condemned the attack that killed one peacekeeper and wounded four others yesterday in the Kidal Region. According to the UN Mission, 26 killed peacekeepers were killed and 103 have been wounded since the start of the mission.

Gaza: Nearly 240 000 children went back to schools run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) at the start of the school year in Gaza today. Over 90 school buildings had been used as shelters for displaced people during the recent Gaza violence.

Libya: SGSR for Libya, Bernardino Leon told the SC today that everyone he met in Libya supported an end to the violence and the need for the political process to resume. Yet, he added that the situation on the ground remains “extremely volatile and precarious”.

International Day of Democracy: The SG said today in a message that the world seems “more turbulent than ever” and noted recent outbreaks of violence in societies that are not inclusive, and when Governments are not responsive and accountable. He called on the world to do more to empower people, especially those who remain underprivileged, marginalized, jobless, hopeless and frustrated.

Senior Appointment: The SG appointed Judy Cheng-Hopkins of Malaysia as Special Adviser of the Secretary General on the University for Peace (UPeace). The University was established as a treaty organization in 1980 and it is based in Costa Rica. Its mission is to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace.

PGA: The outgoing PGA John Ashe gave his last press conference today at noon. He stated that he believes the GA put in place “the right tools” during his presidency for Member States to “craft the post-2015 agenda”. The OWG’s proposal and the SDGs reflect the overall consensus on what issues to target in the next development era, but he stressed that the definite goals and their name are still open to debate. He added that he convened a group of six ambassadors in the beginning of his presidency to come up with proposals on SC reform, but that it was impossible to find consensus and hopes for the next PGA to be more successful in his endeavors.

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