UN Dispatch Podcast
Today marks the 1,000 day sprint to the finish of the Millenium Development Goals. I caught up with the economist Jeffrey Sachs of the Earth Institute at Columbia University who was one of the intellectual fathers of the MDGs and a key UN adviser on development issues. We discuss why some goals were reached, and some may not be.
North Korea has grabbed the media’s attention this week with a series of increasingly provocative statements and moves. I caught up with Ambassador Chris Hill, formerly the lead US negotiator on North Korea and currently Dean of the Korbell School at the University of Denver to find out what is behind these latest bluster.
I speak with Naomi Kikoler of the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect about the prospects for mass atrocity in Kenya and what the international community can do to mitigate the threat.
With me today is Dr. Tore Godal, a luminary of the global health movement who currently serves in the office of Norway’s Prime Minister. We discuss why it is that progress has been slower on women and children’s health compared to other MDGs, and what is being done to boost progress.
I caught up with Dr. Robert Kezaala of UNICEF who discusses the new data about measles infections worldwide, what strategies have worked to reduce measles deaths, and what more needs to be done to clear that final hurdle toward total global eradication. Have a listen!
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”.