UN Headquarters is gearing up for one of the busiest Septembers in recent years. The 71st UN General Assembly begins next week, with high-level events focusing on anti-Semitism (7 September), migrants/refugees (19-20 September), climate (21 September), and the Sustainable Development Goals (multiple dates).

In case you missed it –

  • Prospects for the Paris Agreement to enter into force this year brightened considerably over the weekend as the United States and China – the top two emitters of greenhouse gases – deposited documents formally accepting the climate pact with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
  • Members of the Security Council made a three-day visit to South Sudan (2 September) following its recent renewal of the mandate of the UN Mission in South Sudan. The mandate included the approval of a 4,000-strong regional protection force, whose deployment was accepted by the Transitional Government of National Unity during the visit.
  • The Security Council held its third straw poll to determine who will be the next Secretary-General. Two more are scheduled (9 and 26 September).
  • The Week Ahead, a 2-minute video produced by the UN Department of Public Information

 In Washington:

Following his briefing to the Security Council this week, USG for UNAMA Tadamichi Yamamoto will meet Administration officials and others in DC to provide an update on the latest developments in Afghanistan. (8-9 September).

The Secretary-General:

After participating in the G20 Summit in Hangzhou last weekend, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon traveled to Laos for ASEAN meetings. He returns to New York on Thursday.

At the Security Council:

New Zealand holds the presidency for the month of September when the Council will host high-level briefings on the Middle East (particularly Syria), and on counter-terrorism/aviation security. Other briefings include those on Liberia, Libya, Somalia and Sudan.

This week, the Security Council will begin reviewing reports on Afghanistan, South Sudan and Somalia.

71st UN General Assembly:

Around the UN System:

  • High-Level Forum on Global Anti-Semitism (7 September)
  • Human Rights Council’s 33nd session (13-30 September)

International Days:

8 September               International Literacy Day

The 50th anniversary of this day celebrates national and international engagement in increasing literacy rates around the world and looks at how innovative solutions help meet current challenges and further boost literacy. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/literacy-day/

15 September             International Day of Democracy

Sustainable Development Goal 16 calls for inclusive and participatory societies and institutions and other goals envision a close partnership between nations and civil society. Parliaments play a critical role in helping translate the sustainable development agenda into action – making the principles of democracy especially relevant in funding and accountability decisions. http://www.un.org/en/events/democracyday/

21 September                         International Day of Peace

The Sustainable Development Goals’ potential to be building blocks for peace is highlighted at numerous events at UN Headquarters. Events will be webcast live. http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/index.shtml.

Among the UN reports issued:
Reports of the Secretary-General:

·         Countering the threat posed by improvised explosive devices

·         International migration and development

·         Moratorium on the use of the death penalty

·         Supporting efforts to end obstetric fistula

·         Measures to eliminate international terrorism

·         Trafficking in women and girls

·         Causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa


·         Uprooted: The Growing Crisis for Migrant and Refugee Children, a new UNICEF report details six specific actions to protect and help displaced, refugee and migrant children.
·         World Employment and Social Outlook Report: Trends for Youth 2016
·         A report by the UN mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) notes the role of freedom of expression in Somalia’s political transition.
·         UNCTAD presents its 2016 report on assistance to the Palestinian people.
·         The 12th report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic to the UN Human Rights Council covers 10 Jan – 20 July 2016.

·         Report of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography