United Nations

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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: October 1, 2014

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

SG: The SG addressed the UNHCR Executive Committee today in Geneva stating that never before in UN history have there been so many refugees, displaced people and asylum seekers. He added that the world must increase its efforts to prevent forced displacement, address its root causes, and support solutions for those affected by it. This requires greater resources and more political leadership.

The SG also spoke at a public forum of the WTO, saying that trade can and should benefit everyone and called for an “open, fair, rules-based and development-oriented” international trading regime in the spirit of the Doha Development Round.

Ebola: The SG visited the WHO and its Ebola Outbreak Response Operations team in Geneva to express his appreciation for the work done since March in response to the outbreak in West Africa. Meanwhile, Anthony Banbury, head of the UNMEER, is in Liberia today to discuss with the Government and other partners the priorities for filling the gaps in the response.

Iraq: According to UNAMI, at least 1,119 Iraqis have been killed and another 1,946 people have been injured in acts of terrorism and violence in September. However, the figures do not include casualties in areas where UNAMI has not been able to verify the numbers and where ISIL and other groups have been active.

Syria: The OPCW-UN Joint Mission on the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons has completed its mandate and closed its operations yesterday. The OPCW will continue to deal with the destruction of chemical weapon production facilities and clarification of certain aspects of Syria’s initial declaration.

Africa: At a meeting of the African Regional Economic Communities with the Member States today, DSG Jan Eliasson, applauded Africa’s “remarkable progress and economic growth”. He noted that more African children go to school than ever before, and that there are great advances on women’s empowerment and gender equality, and participatory governance. He further commended the efforts of ECOWAS and the AU in quickly mobilizing resources and awareness to reduce the impact of Ebola. He said that the UN has mobilized to a degree rarely seen.

International Day of Older Persons: In a message marking the Day, the SG said that older persons are playing “an increasingly significant” role in society as they grow in number and as healthcare improves in some parts of the world. The SG noted that discrimination and social exclusion persist, adding that we must “overcome this bias” in order to ensure a “social and economically active, secure and healthy aging population”.

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