Advocacy Update

July 11, 2013

Critical UN Peacekeeping Mission Begins in Mali 

United Nations peacekeepers arrived in Mali earlier this month with the mission of restoring peace and security to a nation that has quickly become a terrorist breeding-ground. The new mission will help stamp out the violence that has begun spreading outside Mali’s borders, and has claimed American lives. But this new, U.S.-supported mission currently lacks the resources it needs to be as effective as possible. Ask your representatives in Congress to support fully funding the Mali peacekeeping mission! Also, read Better World Campaign Executive Director Peter Yeo’s recent op-ed in the Houston Chronicle related to the mission.

Thank a Peacekeeper Today!

In partnership with the Better World Campaign, UNA-USA presents an opportunity to rally entire communities behind the work of the United Nations, while supporting the vital work of UN Peacekeepers. At your request, we will distribute “Thank a Peacekeeper Cards” to your Chapter.

The three Chapters that return the most UN Peacekeeper thank you notes to UNA-USA will be invited to New York City to present the notes to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations. For more information, please visit our website.

Apply to Lead the Post-2015 MDG Development Discussion in Your Community

UNA-USA is partnering with the UN on leading U.S. consultations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. As part of this partnership, Chapters have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lead conversations in their communities about the Post-2015 Development Agenda through official consultations. UNA-USA will select Chapters of varying sizes to receive funding to conduct these consultations, which will be reported to the United Nations. For more information about these consultations and how you may participate, please visit our website. All Chapters interested in being selected for this program should complete an application. Applications are due by 11:59 EDT on July 22.

UN Human Rights Council Passes 28 Resolutions during its 23rd Session

Read a recap of the latest session of the Human Rights Council from UNA-USA’s Leo Nevas Human Rights Fellow. The Council passed 28 resolutions during the session, touching on subjects such as situations in Syria and Belarus, as well as gender empowerment and protecting the human rights of women and girls.

 What’s Happening at the UN

  • Commission of Inquiry on North Korea Commences Work
  • On the Second Anniversary of Independence, South Sudan Sees Progress and Challenges
  • New Report Shows Progress in Reducing HIV Infections in Children
  • WMO Reports “Unprecedented High-Impact Climate Extremes”

Commission of Inquiry on North Korea Commences Work

The UN panel set up to investigate human rights violations in North Korea began its work this week in Geneva with a number of key meetings as well as discussions on the strategy, methodology, and approach to be taken in carrying out its mandate. The three-member Commission of Inquiry met with, among others, diplomatic missions, UN agencies, scholars and NGOs, and welcomed the large amount of information that is already being provided by witnesses and experts.

On Second Anniversary of Independence, South Sudan Sees Progress and Challenges

On the eve of the second anniversary of South Sudan's independence, in a Security Council meeting on the subject, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission in South Sudan Hilde Johnson  commended the progress made so far while also noting the many challenges facing the young nation, such as tackling insecurity, improving relations with Sudan, addressing human rights violations, and strengthening public institutions. Echoing the call made by the Secretary-General in his latest report on South Sudan, Johnson urged the Government to establish effective, long-term strategies to address the underlying causes of perennial violence.

New Report Shows Progress in Reducing HIV Infections in Children

New HIV infections among children have been reduced by 50 per cent or more in seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa, UNAIDS said. This is according to the latest progress report on the Global Plan toward the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive (Global Plan), which was launched in July 2011 at the UN General Assembly High-level Meeting on AIDS, and is spearheaded by UNAIDS along with the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). “This month, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced, the one millionth baby will be born HIV-free due to PEPFAR’s support,” said Ambassador Eric P. Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator.

WMO Reports “Unprecedented High-Impact Climate Extremes”
The world experienced “unprecedented high-impact climate extremes” between 2001 and 2010, according to a World Meteorological Organization report recently launched. The report, The Global Climate 2001-2010, A Decade of Extremes, incorporates findings from a survey of 139 national meteorological and hydrological services and socio-economic data and analysis from several UN agencies and partners and says record high temperatures for both hemispheres and for both land and ocean temperatures were accompanied by a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice, melting glaciers, extreme floods, droughts and tropical cyclones.

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