Oct 31, 2016

The Security Council remains gravely concerned about fighting in both Syria and Yemen. The UN humanitarian chief briefed the Council on Yemen today and it may convene for other work on both crises as the situations warrant.

Also this week, the Secretary-General convenes a high-level meeting between the leaders of Cyprus. It will be the first time that Turkish and Greek leaders of Cyprus will negotiate directly on territory in the latest round of peace talks. The peacekeeping mission there is one of the UN’s oldest, established in 1964.

And, with Habitat III wrapped up, and the next climate change conference a week away, the UN is celebrating a milestone on 4 November, when the Paris Agreement comes into force. It was approved last month by countries accounting for more than 55% of greenhouse-gas emissions, and the entry-into-force begins a four-year period where parties are bound by the commitments they made – and barred from changing the agreement. In other climate news, last week, world leaders reached a landmark accord to establish the world’s largest marine sanctuary in Antarctica’s Ross Sea.

For more –  The Week In Review, a short video highlighting women’s vital role in building peace and security; a new U.S. path of engagement with Cuba; and on the deadliest year yet in the Mediterranean for refugees and migrants.

Upcoming Dates of Note:

31 October                  World Cities Day: UN-Habitat’s Dr. Joan Clos, will present the outcome document of the Habitat III Conference, the New Urban Agenda.

1 November                The local DC UN Association chapter is launching its book, UNA-USA: A Little Known History of Advocacy and Action

1 November                FAO launches its 2016 State of Food and Agriculture Report at UNHQ; experts will discuss its findings in Washington on 2 November.

1 November                International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

4 November                Vijay Nambiar, the UN Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Myanmar, joins other experts for a discussion in Washington at USIP,

“Myanmar’s Difficult Path Toward Peace: Prospects for Ending Myanmar’s Ethnic Conflict, and Ways the International Community Might Help.”

5 November                World Tsunami Awareness Day


The Secretary-General:

The Secretary-General is opening a round of intensive discussions between Cypriot leaders on 7 November in Switzerland. Among recent statements of note:

At the Security Council:

Russia’s presidency of the Security Council ends today; Senegal takes it in November. The Security Council plans meetings on the challenge that asymmetric threats pose to peace operations; cooperation between the UN and the African Union; and on UN policing. Council members will visit the Democratic Republic of the Congo later in the month.

Additional sessions will focus on: the nexus of water, peace and security; and on cooperation between the UN and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Around the UN System:

Iraq: Humanitarian and other UN agencies are at heightened alert to the risks to civilians posed by the military offensive to retake control of Mosul from ISIL:

Syria: The humanitarian situation in Aleppo continues to dominate attention at the Security Council and among many UN agencies:



Human Rights:

·         General Assembly elects 14 members to UN Human Rights Council

·          High time to put Enforced Disappearances on the top agendas

·         South Sudan: Dangerous rise in ethnic hate speech must be reined in – Zeid



UN Reports:  Reports are expected in coming days on Bosnia and Herzegovina (1 November), the UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon (4 November), and the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (10 November). In recent days:

Secretary-General reports:

Other reports:

  • UNICEF: Almost one in seven children breathing heavily toxic air
  • UNESCO: A global review of school report cards
  • WHO: Access to Hepatitis C treatment: Focus on overcoming barriers
  • OCHA: Regional outlook for the Horn of Africa and Great Lakes region: Recommendations for humanitarian action and resilience response
  • OHCHR: On Albinism, cost cannot be an excuse when fighting discrimination
  • WFP: Fragile state of food security in Sierra Leone after Ebola outbreak
  • The situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967
  • UN rights expert highlights hidden breaches of freedom of religion in new report
  • WFP: Humanitarian assistance to refugees boosts Uganda’s economy