Monthly Archives: September 2009
I just emerged from a press briefing with Kurt Campbell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian affairs and Jeffrey Bader from the National Security Council. Campbell encouraged the assembled press to ask about the contents of the numerous bi-lateral meetings held between President Obama and heads of state this week, so I took the opportunity to ask whether or not issues surrounding Myanmar/Burma were discussed at all during the meeting between Obama and Hu.
At the Clinton Global Initiative, The United Nations Foundation (which supports this blog) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced a $30 million program to eradicate polio.
As it stands, polio is close to being wiped off the map. There were only some 1650 cases reported in 2008. About 90% of those cases originated from countries where polio remains endemic: India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The money will largely directed to polio eradication campaigns in those four countries.
Tune in here at about 10 am for a live feed of President Obama’s address to the General Assembly, courtesy of the White House. You can watch all the action throughout the day via the UN live webcast. N.B. that President Obama will be immediately followed by…”H.E. Colonel Muammar Al-Qadhafi” Full schedule after the jump.
Middle East: During the last 48 hours of the continued ceasefire, humanitarian workers have delivered food to hundreds of thousands of people, repaired water and sanitation infrastructure, re-stocked medical supplies, and some of the 520,000 displaced Palestinians have returned to their homes. However, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator remarked the scale of needs remains “unprecedented in the Gaza Strip.”
Middle East: At today’s informal session of the General Assembly on Gaza the SG remarked that the most recent ceasefire has held since yesterday at 8 a.m. local time. He noted that a durable ceasefire is necessary and UN shelters must continue to remain safe zones. The SG thanked UN staff in Gaza and will fly the UN flag at half-mast tomorrow in memory of those who died in the conflict.
Middle East: The SG commended Israeli and Palestinian parties for committing to a 72-hour ceasefire that took place at 8 a.m. local time today. He urges all parties to abide by the ceasefire and commence peace talks in Cairo to address underlying issues and agree on a durable ceasefire to sustainably stop the violence. The UN lends its full support toward these efforts.
Middle East: The SG condemned yesterday’s shelling outside of an UNRWA school in Rafah that killed at least 10 Palestinian civilians. The SG stated that the attack violated international humanitarian law and UN shelters must continue to be safe zones and not combat zones.
SG: Last night the SG spoke at a joint press conference with the Foreign Minister of Costa Rica where he repeated his call for an unconditional and extendable humanitarian ceasefire. Speaking about yesterday’s shelling of a UN shelter he said: “Nothing – nothing – justifies such horror” and demanded “that all parties immediately respect UN premises”.
SG: The SG met with President Ortega yesterday in Nicaragua where he visited a wind farm and praised the country’s commitment to renewable energy. The SG arrived in Costa Rica today where he is expected to lecture about “Costa Rica and the United Nations: Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century”.