The UN at Work
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UN Updates: October 21, 2014
*Keywords: SG=Secretary-General, DSG=Deputy Secretary-General
Ebola: In a statement today, the SG thanked the Governments of Australia, Colombia and Venezuela for financial deposits and commitments to the Trust Fund totaling nearly $14 million. The Republic of Korea also announced its pledge of $5 million to the Trust Fund today. Commitments and pledges to the Fund currently stand at $50 million, and the SG urged all countries that have contributed to consider what more they can do, and those who have yet to contribute to do so as a matter of urgency. Meanwhile, in Geneva, the WHO welcomed the donation by the government of Canada of 800 vials of an experimental vaccine against Ebola.
The WFP announced that equipment is being airlifted into the affected countries this week to build logistics bases in more remote areas to be exclusively dedicated to the Ebola response. The Head of UNMEER, Anthony Banbury, is meeting in Guinea today with the authorities, including the President, on the way forward with the Ebola response, and to brief them on the operational plan that the Mission produced last week.
DRC: In a statement today, the SG condemned the decision of the Government of DRC to expel from the country Mr. Scott Campbell, the Director of the UN Joint Human Rights Office. The SG is also â€śdeeply concernedâ€ť by recent threats against other staff of the Joint Office, in connection with their human rights work. He urged the Government of the DRC to â€śreconsider its position on his expulsion and to take urgent action to address the threats against other staffâ€ť. He encouraged the SC to consider the implications for its work and objectives when UN staff are treated in this manner, and to consider possible actions.
Gaza: The SG today told the SC this morning that â€śnothing could have preparedâ€ť him for what he witnessed in Gaza. Regarding attacks on UN facilities, he said that he is planning to move forward with an independent Board of Inquiry to look into the most serious cases, as well as instances in which weaponry was found in UN premises. He added that he â€śfully understands the security threat to Israel from rockets above and tunnels belowâ€ť. At the same time, the scale of the destruction in Gaza has left deep questions about â€śproportionality and the need for accountabilityâ€ť.
Syria: After a two-day visit to Turkey, UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos today called for additional support to people who have been displaced by fighting in Syria before the winter sets in. She also asked for more support to countries hosting Syrian refugees. Almost 10 million people have been displaced internally or have left Syria altogether. In a matter of weeks, nearly 200,000 civilians have fled Syria into Turkey. She also called for an urgent political solution to the conflict.
Lebanon: The UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Derek Plumbly, today visited the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, and said that the UN will continue to assist the country in confronting the impact of the crisis in Syria. That includes seeking additional international assistance to address the Syrian refugee crisis and for the Lebanese Armed Forces.