This Week at the UN 10-14 February 2020

This Week at the United Nations


8 – 14 February 2020


Monday, 10 February


World Pulses Day

The Desert Locust Upsurge in the Greater Horn of Africa is the focus of a briefing by Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, FAO Director of Emergencies Dominique Burgeon, and FAO Senior Locust Forecasting Officer Keith Cressman.

In Geneva:

  • The Conference on Disarmament continues until 27 March.
  • The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women begins its 75th session, reviewing Latvia, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Moldova and Kiribati.


 Tuesday, 11 February


The Security Council is scheduled to adopt resolutions on sanctions in Sudan and Libya.

International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The International Chamber of Commerce hosts “Investment in Equality in Science, Technology and Innovation in the Era of Digitalization for Sustainable Development,” with support from several countries and UN agencies including UNCTAD, the ITU, the ILO, WIPO and UNITAR. Several nations also plan a press briefing.

In Geneva, the 23rd International Meeting of Mine Action National Directors and UN Advisers begins.

In Vienna, the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) co-hosts a regional conference on challenges posed by foreign terrorist fighters.


Wednesday, 12 February


The Security Council holds a briefing on Children and Armed Conflict: Peace Processes.

Continuing to mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, another event focuses on “Investment in Equality in Science, Technology and Innovation in the Era of Digitalization for Sustainable Development.”

The UN University Centre for Policy Research launches its database of antislavery legislation.

The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict marks the international day against the use of child soldiers and the 20th anniversary of a key protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child with an interactive exhibit in the General Assembly Hall. It also joins Belgium and Sweden’s UN missions to launch an initiative offering practical guidance for mediators to protect children in situations of armed conflict.

The General Assembly hosts an interactive dialogue on “Targeting Hunger: South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Transforming Agriculture.”


Thursday, 13 February


World Radio Day

The Security Council holds an open debate on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace: Transitional Justice in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations.


Friday, 14 February


The Security Council hold a briefing, followed by consultations, on the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau.

The Executive board of UN Women holds a plenary meeting.


In case you missed it:


  • At AU Summit, SG António Guterres calls for ‘collective, comprehensive, coordinated’ response to challenges facing Africa
  • Coronavirus information hub
  • World Urban Forum: cities must be ‘at the heart’ of sustainable development
  • ISIL still at center of terrorism threat, Security Council hears
  • Climate crisis: Antarctic continent posts record temperature reading of 65° F.
  • From the field: Shock and horror at military onslaught against Syrian civilians
  • WHO estimates annual cost of medical treatment of FGM victims at $1.4 billion
  • CAR sentences 28 militiamen for murder of civilians, UN peacekeepers
  • Africa’s Sahel: Act now before the crisis becomes unmanageable


For more information:


USG Rosemary DiCarlo highlights efforts to prevent conflict, get results

The United Nations Under-Secretary General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, headlined a discussion on the future of multilateral peace-building hosted by the U.S. Institute of Peace on 29 January 2020. USG DiCarlo is the first woman to lead DPPA and the highest-ranking American at the UN. 

In keynote remarks, she highlighted the priority that Secretary-General António Guterres is putting on the United Nations’ delivering results, noting that he “has made a surge in diplomacy for peace. . . one of the main planks of the mandate.

“At the heart of this approach is prevention – prevention of conflict but also of the phenomena that lead to social, economic and political instability and fragility,” she said, warning of trends that “make conflicts significantly more intractable and difficult to resolve. . . . greater polarization at the global level and weakening support to multilateral processes complicate matters further. And nowhere has the combination of these negative trends been more visible today than in Libya.” She called for all parties to the conflict in Libya to respect the conclusions of the recent Berlin conference in order to reach a political solution there.

USG DiCarlo joined the UN after serving as a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service, including as a deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations and an acting U.S. Ambassador. 

For more, please read Under-Secretary General DiCarlo’s full remarks, as well as a recent profile of DiCarlo by UN News.


This Week at the United Nations

This Week at the United Nations


27-31 January 2020


Monday, 27 January

Today is the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. Secretary-General António Guterres and others mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp at a ceremony in the General Assembly hall.

  • An exhibition, “Seeing Auschwitz,” opens in the Visitors Lobby at UN Headquarters in New York. It was created and curated by Musealia, Spain, in collaboration with the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Poland and is on view until 24 February. Other events at UNHQ include a piano recital by Renan Koen in the ECOSOC Chamber; and a panel discussion, Safe Haven: Jewish Refugees in the Philippines.
  • On 28 January, two more exhibits open: Crimes Uncovered: The First Generation of Holocaust Researchers, in the Sputnik area of the Visitors Lobby, and The Lonka Project, in the 1B Corridor. The latter exhibit examines the first generation of Holocaust researchers who documented and safeguarded evidence of the actions taken against the Jewish people during the Holocaust and lobbied to draw attention to what was happening in Nazi-occupied Europe. It was curated by the Memorial and Educational Site House of the Wannsee-Conference in Berlin in cooperation with the Berlin branch of the Touro College and the Wiener Library in London and sponsored by the Foreign Ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany. A Holocaust survivor will deliver remarks.
  • In Geneva, a major photographic installation by photographer and filmmaker Luigi Toscano is on display. He spent a year travelling and meeting Holocaust survivors in Germany, the United States, Israel, Ukraine and Russia.
  • The United Nations Information Service in Geneva, with the support of the Permanent Missions of Israel, Russia and the United States and the Delegation of the European Union, hosts a ceremony marking the international day. Auschwitz survivor Paul Sobol will share his personal story of the Holocaust; musical interludes will be performed by the choir of the Alliance Girsa School, accompanied by the Hotegezugt orchestra.


The Regular session of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), continues through 29 January.


UN Women hosts a briefing, “25-year review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.”


In Geneva:


Tuesday, 28 January

Secretary-General António Guterres briefs reporters on his priorities for 2020. 

The Presidents of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council hold a briefing. 

The UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee briefs on “Countering terrorist narratives and preventing the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes.”

The 32nd UN-Water Meeting, organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), is held at IFAD Headquarters through 29 January.


Wednesday, 29 January

The Security Council holds a briefing, followed by consultations, on the UN Support Mission in Libya. Later in the day it holds a briefing, followed by consultations, on Syria. 

Secretary-General António Guterres participates in the UN75 Inaugural Launch Event, a dialogue hosted by youth with youth participants.


Thursday, 30 January

The Security Council is expected to adopt resolutions on the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus and on Central African Republic sanctions. A briefing and consultations on Syria follow. Later in the day it holds a briefing on Cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations in maintaining international peace and security, focused on the role of ASEAN.


Holocaust remembrance events continue:

  • The Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Program host a screening of the documentary, The Accountant of Auschwitz. A discussion, moderated by Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division at the Department of Global Communications, follows.
  • Holocaust survivor Elisabeth Bellak and her daughter Alexandra will join Robin Shulman at a book signing for Renia’s Diary: A Holocaust Journal.


Friday, 31 January

The Economic and Social Council hosts a meeting with the Chairs of the functional commissions and expert bodies.



In case you missed it:


  • SG António Guterres: Combatting antisemitism requires solidarity in the face of hatred
  • 75 years after Auschwitz liberation, antisemitism still threatens democracies’ foundations
  • WHO: Time to act as one in fighting the infectious coronavirus
  • Drive for quality education worldwide faces mammoth challenges
  • UN chief outlines solutions to defeat “four horsemen” threatening our global future
  • Security Council: 2019 year-in-review shows more openness, diversity
  • Top UN court orders Myanmar to protect Rohingya from genocide
  • Haiti passes milestone showing cholera outbreak has been stopped in its tracks


For more information:


This Week at the UN 19-24 January 2020

This Week at the United Nations

 19-24 January 2020



Sunday, 19 January 

Secretary-General António Guterres, the Special Representative for Libya, Ghassan Salamé, and the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, participated in the Libya Conference, hosted by Chancellor Angela Merkel.


Monday, 20 January 

The Security Council holds consultations on the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

In Geneva:


Tuesday, 21 January 

The Security Council holds an open debate on the Middle East.

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) launches the World Social Report 2020: Inequality in a Rapidly Changing World.

In Geneva, Federica Mogherini and Donald Kaberuka, the Co-Chairs of the UN High-level Panel on Internal Displacement, brief reporters on their work.


Wednesday, 22 January 

The Security Council holds a briefing, followed by consultations, on the Middle East (Syria). Subsequent consultations focus on the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia.

The Secretary-General briefs the General Assembly on his priorities for 2020 and launches the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.


Thursday, 23 January 

The Security Council holds a briefing on cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations in maintaining international peace and security, focused on the role of ASEAN.

A Joint Meeting of the Executive Boards of the UN Development Program, the UN Population Fund, the UN Office for Project Services, UNICEF, the World Food Program and UN Women is planned.


The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library host “The world economy in 2020: on the cusp of a new decade – Presentation of the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2020.”

In the Hague, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) holds a public sitting. The President of the Court, Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, will read the Court’s Order on the request for the indication of provisional measures made by The Gambia in The Gambia v. Myanmar, a case about the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.


Friday, 24 January 

International Day of Education


In case you missed it: 

  • SG António Guterres: Cities’ capacity is key in ‘crucial battle’ to tackle climate change
  • UN committed to a better future for Haiti; ceremony honors 200,000 dead in 2010 quake
  • UNICEF: Dire situation amid unrelenting conflict in Libya is untenable for children
  • In Colombia, a staggering number of human-rights defenders were killed in 2019
  • UN peacekeepers protecting hundreds displaced by Central African Republic fighting
  • New UN report details how childhoods in Syria have been erased
  • Aid to vulnerable Iraqis may come to a complete halt within weeks
  • Mali: Implementing peace deal is the only path to stability, peacekeeping chief says
  • WHO warns the need for solutions to drug-resistant infections is urgent
  • 2019 was the second-hottest year on record; climate crisis fueling discontent


For more information: