DSG Briefing: DSG Jan Eliasson briefed the press today, providing an overview of what he saw as the major themes that emerged from UN GA week. He confirmed the UN as 1) a place for the world to meet; 2) a creator of new norms (including the rule of law); and 3) where partnerships for development are established. The DSG noted that the themes of Syria, freedom of speech, the rule of law, nuclear disarmament, climate change, and the MDGs dominated the discussions and speeches. He also reminded the press that the UN is “a mirror of the world as it is, not how it should be,” bringing attention to the need to abandon the “false dichotomy” between national and international solutions in favor of collaboration. On the development agenda, the DSG noted several events that took place, including on the MDGs, Every Woman Every Child, Sustainable Energy for All, Scaling Up Nutrition, polio and Education First.
SC Program: The PR of Guatemala, the new president of the SC this month, briefed both UN member states and the press today on the SC’s program of work for the month of October. He mentioned preparation for the October 18th election of non-permanent members of the SC and the SC’s attempt to include non-SC member states as much as possible on the debates.
Maternal Health: The SG, President of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Dr. Helen Agerup, head of the H&B Agerup Foundation, joined the noon briefing today to laude the achievement of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health for advancing concrete partnerships on the ground in Tanzania. The SG’s full remarks to the press can be found here.
Syrian Refugees: UNHCR released a report today announcing that the number of registered Syrian refugees has tripled, the number of refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq has passed 300,000. This dramatic increase underscores the importance and urgency of last week’s increase in the regional response plan seeking $487.9 million in support of up to 710,000 Syrian refugees in neighboring countries by the end of this year.