Aug 29, 2016

As summer winds down, the UN is ramping up for September’s high-level sessions and General Debate of the General Assembly. This week, the humanitarian situation in Yemen – and the weekend attack that killed 60 – will be on the Security Council’s agenda. Attention also is high on the situation in Syria, and prospects for a peace agreement that UN Special Envoy Staffan DeMistura is working toward with the United States and Russia, as well as the key Syrian actors. The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Aleppo, and other cities, remains of the utmost concern.


At the Security Council:
Malaysia concludes its tenure as president in August, and New Zealand begins its in September. This week, the Council schedule includes:

• Its third straw poll as it considers candidates to be the next Secretary-General (8/29)
• A briefing on the Middle East (8/29)
• Adoption of a resolution on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL); a briefing on the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS); and consultations on Syria. (8/30)
• A briefing on the Middle East; and consultations on Yemen (8/31)

The Secretary-General:
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visits Singapore, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, the People’s Republic of China for the G20 Summit in Hangzhou. (4-5 September), and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic for the ASEAN Summit (3-8 September).

Around the UN:

• Erik Solheim, the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme holds a news conference in Geneva (8/30)

• The World Health Organization issues new guidelines for the treatment of three common sexually-transmitted infections in response to the growing threat of antibiotic resistance. (8/30)

• The UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) launches its Cluster Munition Monitor 2016 Report (9/1)

International Days: Among the upcoming international days:
• International Day Against Nuclear Tests (29 August)
• International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances (30 August)
• International Literacy Day (8 September)
• International Day of Democracy (15 September)
• International Day of Peace (21 September)

71st UN General Assembly (13-26 September)
Human Rights Council’s 33nd session (13-30 September)
Social Good Summit (18-19 September)
Climate Week (19-25 September)
UN Private Sector Forum (19 September)
High-Level Summit on Managing Movements of Migrants and Refugees (19 September)
Leaders’ Summit on Refugees (20 September)
Global Citizen Festival (24 September)


And in case you missed it — last week saw investigators submit their report on who used chemical weapons against civilians in Syria to the Security Council. In Colombia, the government and rebels who have waged war for more than 50 years reached a peace agreement. And the UN sounded the alarm about the 4.5 million people in Boko Haram-affected regions of Nigeria who desperately need humanitarian aid.

The Week in Review (2-minute video)

Other developments of note:
• Ban ‘deeply concerned’ over tensions in south-western Western Sahara (8/28)
• Security Council strongly condemns DPRK missile launches (8/27)
• UN teams bring aid to besieged Syrian people despite extreme challenges (8/26)
• UN agencies urge efforts to halt Gaza’s ‘de-development’ trajectory (8/26)
• Aid convoys ‘ready’ to enter Aleppo; UN envoys await Russia-US talks on truce (8/25)
• UN rights chief calls for international probe into alleged violations in Yemen (8/25)
• Ban releases follow-up to report on the death of former UN chief Dag Hammarskjöld (8/24)
• Increasingly complex armed conflicts have dire impact on children – UN envoy (8/24)
• Ban calls for eradicating weapons of mass destruction ‘once and for all’ (8/23)
• UN sounds alarm as 4.5 million people need food aid in Boko Haram-hit north-east Nigeria (8/23)
• Iraq: UN refugee agency readies for massive displacement amid military offensive in Mosul (8/23)
• To escape gangs and poverty, Central American children making risky journey to US – UNICEF (8/23)
• ‘All of humanity is part of this story,’ UNESCO says on Day to remember slavery and its abolition (8/23)
• Set differences aside and end ‘humanitarian shame’ in Syria, UN aid chief tells Security Council (8/22)
• Nigeria: With thousands in urgent need, UN health agency scales up emergency response (8/22)

UN Reports:

• OHCHR Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Yemen (8/4)
• Annual report of the SRSG for Children and Armed Conflict (8/24)
• More than three million displaced in Yemen – joint UN agency report (8/22)