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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: August 20, 2014

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

SG: In a statement issued today, the SG condemned, in the strongest terms, the murder of journalist James Foley and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

Syria: The SG welcomed the destruction of the declared chemical weapons material on board a U.S. Maritime vessel. He acknowledged the cooperation of the government of the Syrian Arab Republic and urged them to destroy the remaining chemical weapons production facilities.

Gaza: The SG strongly condemned the breach of the ceasefire, which was brokered by Egypt and set to expire at midnight local time, and reminded both sides they are responsible for keeping the situation from escalating. According to OCHA, the number of displaced people in Gaza continues to rise – a figure that currently stands at 400,000. OCHA also reported many UN and partner organizations have received little or no funding for their projects there. At present, the $367 million Gaza Crisis Appeal has received just over one-third of requested funds.

Iraq: Nickolay Mladenov, SRSG for Iraq, is concerned about acts of violence on the Sunni community in Basra. UNHCR says they are making progress building camps in Dahuk for displaced people and a cargo jet has successfully landed in Erbil, carrying 100 tons of emergency relief supplies. Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Kevin Kennedy, is also currently in Erbil.

Afghanistan: UNAMA is concerned about the treatment NYT reporter Matthew Rosenberg. Rosenberg was informed he would not be allowed to leave yesterday because he was under investigation for “unspecified reasons” regarding an article he wrote. The SRSG for Afghanistan said preventing a media representative for carrying out his/her duties shows a “disturbing disregard for freedom of expression.”

Ebola: WHO reported encouraging signs in Nigeria and Guinea yesterday, but said the outbreak is still not under control. UN System Coordinator for Ebola, David Nabarro, announced yesterday that he will be traveling to the four most severely affected countries.

Anti-Landmine Convention: Oman is now the 162nd state to join the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. The SG has called for universal adherence to the treaty.

Nigeria: A special guest at today’s noon briefing, Ratidza Ndhlovu, Head of UNFPA in Nigeria, said that UNFPA is still completely committed to helping the communities and families of the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls. Many organizations and UN partners are offering their support and UNFPA will continue to help by coordinating and streamlining those efforts.

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