The Situation in Syria
In an expression of grave concern at the continuing escalation of violence in Syria, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a fifth resolution A/RES/67/262 on the situation in Syria, reiterating its call for rapid progress on a political transition. The council expressed outrage at the “rapidly increasing death toll” in Syria, which the UN estimates to be in the tens of thousands.
The resolution also strongly condemns the Syrian Government’s increased use of heavy weapons, and also condemns ongoing “widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
The resolution was adopted by a vote of 107 in favour to 12 against, with 59 abstentions.
- Press Statement on Syria
- Previous Resolutions: A/RES/66/176, A/RES/66/253
- Security Council: S/RES/2042, S/RES/2043
WHO/UNICEF Progress Report on Sanitation & Drinking Water
Some 2.4 billion people will remain without access to improved sanitation in 2015, according to a new joint WHO/UNICEF report.According to the report, the world remains off track to meet the Millennium Development goal (MDg) sanitation target.
Among the key findings from the latest 2011 data, the report highlights:
- Almost two-thirds (64%) of the world’s population had access to improved sanitation facilities, an increase of almost 1.9 billion people since 1990.
- Approximately 2.5 billion people lacked access to an improved sanitation facility. Of these, 761 million use public or shared sanitation facilities and 693 million use facilities that do not meet minimum standards of hygiene.
- In 2011, one billion people still defecated in the open. 90% of all open defecation takes place in rural areas.
- By the end of 2011, 89% of the world population used an improved drinking-water source, and 55% had a piped supply on premises. This left an estimated 768 million people without improved sources for drinking water, of whom 185 million relied on surface water for their daily needs.
- There continues to be a striking disparity between those living in rural areas and those who live in cities. Urban dwellers make up three-quarters of those with access to piped water supplies at home. Rural communities comprise 83% of the global population without access to improved drinking water source and 71 per cent of those living without sanitation.
The report titled Progress on sanitation and drinking-water 2013 update is available here in english.
International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition
The International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition started today, and will run for 3 days. The conference proceeding are webcast live.
According to FAO , the conference will increase understanding of the crucial role that forests, trees on farms and agroforestry systems can play in improving the food security and nutrition of rural people, especially in developing countries. It will propose ways to integrate this knowledge in policy decisions at the national and international levels.
UN POPULATION AWARD
According to UNFPA, An academic institution affiliated with the Al-Azhar University in Egypt and a public health advocate from Uganda were announced yesterday as winners of the 2013 United Nations Population Award.
Each year, the Committee for the United Nations Population Award presents an award to an individual(s) and/or institution(s) in recognition of outstanding contributions to increasing the awareness of population questions and to their solution. The Award, which was established by the GA resolution A/RES/36/201 of 1981,consists of a gold medal, a diploma and a monetary prize. Nominations for the award are accepted through 31 December of each year.It was first presented in 1983.
Human Rights Situation in Myanmar
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Mr Tomás Ojea Quintana welcomed what he called “some forward thinking recommendations” from the Rakhine Investigation Commission report. The 27-member Commission was set up in 2012 by President Thein Sein.
CAMEROON-NIGERIA MIXED COMMISSION
The 31st meeting on demarcation of the boundary between Nigeria and Cameroon ended on 26 April 2013, in the Cameroonian capital Yaoundé. These discussions are facilitated by United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA).
Following a ruling of the International Court of Justice of 10 October 2002 on the land and maritime boundary between these two countries,the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission was established, and mandated to consider the implications of the Court’s decision, including the demarcation of the land boundary between the two countries. On the issue of the land boundary demarcation between the 2 countries, the Mixed Commission functions through a subcommission. The subcommission reports back on its work to the Mixed Commission’s bi-monthly meetings.
Read all about the works of the Mixed Commission in the following reports.
Non UN Resource
World Intellectual Property Day - April 26, 2013
The theme of this year’s World Intellectual Property Day is “Creativity – the next generation”. According to WIPO this theme “honors the talented and ingenious creators and innovators who are imagining how the world will look tomorrow.
New UN PeaceKeeping Mission in Mali approved by Security Council
On 25 April 2013, the UN Security Council approved a 12,600-strong UN peacekeeping operation to take over from the African-led mission in Mali on 1st July 2013.The council unanimously adopted S/RES/2100 establishing the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
Essentially the Resolution authorized the mission “to use all necessary means” to carry out security-related stabilization tasks, protect civilians, UN staff and cultural artefacts, and create the conditions for the provision of humanitarian aid. MINUSMA will work in close coordination with the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
According to Mr Ladsous, “The mission will help the Malian authorities to implement the transitional roadmap towards the full restoration of constitutional order, democratic governance and national unity,”
The Security Council called on Member States to provide troops and police with “adequate capabilities and equipment in order to enhance the capacity of MINUSMA to operate, and discharge its responsibilities effectively.”
- Press Conference on International Crisis Group’s Mali Report
- Security Council Press Release - Mali
- Press Release - Mali
World Malaria Day, 25 April, 2013
On World Malaria Day, 25 April, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes significant accomplishments in preventing and controlling malaria, including in high-burden countries in sub-Saharan Africa, but highlights the threat of antimalarial drug resistance in south-east Asia’s Greater Mekong subregion, where an emergency response is now being launched.
In sub-Saharan Africa, Malaria kills an estimated 660,000 people worldwide, mainly children under five years of age, according WHO.
World Malaria Day was instituted by WHO Member States in 2007. It is an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control. It is also an opportunity for new donors to join the global malaria partnership, and for research and academic institutions to showcase their scientific work.
Report of the Security Council Mission to Africa
On 19-26th May 2013, the United Nations Security Council Representatives went on a mission to Africa. The mission covered the following countries;
The President of the Security Council informed the Secretary-General of the Council’s decision, through a letter S/2011/319, dated 18th Many 2012.
Regional synthesis report of Component II: Entrepreneurship education in the Arab States
UNESCO in conjunction with StartReal Foundation published the regional synthesis report on Component II of the regional project on entrepreneurship education in the Arab States. StartReal is an NGO which signed a partnership agreement with UNESCO on 12 December 2008, to cooperate in the field of Entrepreneurship Education in the Arab States Region.
According to UNESCO “The regional synthesis report on Component II of the initiative highlights the results and outcomes of the project in the four participating countries, namely Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Oman”.
UNESCO further states thus: The project has demonstrated the importance of a holistic approach to the development of a strong and innovative workforce in the Arab States.
Status Report on The Application of Integrated Approaches to Water Resources Management
The 2012 Status Report on the Application of Integrated Approaches to Water Resources Management, “based on substantial contributions of information from UN member states”, have been released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
It was reported that one of the challenges of Rio+20 is to define ways of scaling-up and accelerating the myriads of positive sustainable development actions and initiatives that are flourishing across the globe, including in the area of water resources. It is hoped that the findings and lessons captured in this report will help the Rio+20 negotiators set targets and reach agreement on actions to advance more effective management, development and use of this essential resource for peoples (or households), economies and the natural world. It is hoped also that this report can assist in defining how new transformational goals can be forged over the coming years and decades.
Essentially, this report looks at the issues that pertain to the management, development and use of fresh water resources. The English version of the report in pdf is available here.
Measuring Water use in a Green Economy
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), just released a new report titled, Measuring Water use in a Green Economy. The report analyses the different ways for quantifying and accounting for water flows and productivity within the economy (including environmental needs). Based on the data, the report is said to provide the current state of knowledge of the different indicators and tools for quantifying water productivity and highlights why this is important for developing robust allocation and management systems that preserve the natural capital.
The report focuses on the following main elements;
- The conceptual knowledge and background on how water use puts pressure on the environment.
- Methodologies to quantify water availability and use and how this influences the ecosystems.
Greening the Blue Helmets: Environment, Natural Resources and UN Peacekeeping Operations
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has published the report titled, Greening the Blue Helmets: Environment, Natural Resource, and Peacekeeping Operations.This report aims to provide a comprehensive overview of how peacekeeping operations affect and are affected by natural resources and environmental conditions. The report is a component of ongoing technical collaboration between UNEP, DPKO and DFS, to increase the consideration given to natural resources and the environment in UN peacekeeping efforts
It report has been open to peer review by all of the current UN peacekeeping missions as well as to a selected number of international experts, academics and non-governmental organizations.
Other reports in this series
Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy
The General Assembly wrapped up its third review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy by renewing its unwavering commitment to boost cooperation to combat the scourge and emphasizing the need to support its victims. A draft resolution A/66/L.53 was adopted at the end of the 2-day review of the strategy.
The First Review was held on 8th September 2008, where a resolution A/RES/62/272 was adopted.
The Second Review of the implementation strategy was held on 13th October 2012, and a resolution A/RES/64/297 was also adopted.
General Assembly Documentation on UN Counter-Terrorism
- Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force website
- United Nations Action to Counter-Terrorism website
- Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee website