New Deputy Joint Envoy for Syria: Former Palestinian Authority official Nasser Al-Kidwa was appointed today as Deputy to the new Joint Special Representative of the UN and the League of Arab States. Mr. Al-Kidwa will begin working with Brahimi after the expiration of Kofi Annan’s mandate on August 31, 2012.

SG’s Condolences: The SG said in a statement that he is deeply saddened by the death of H.E. Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, sending his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, the Government and people of Ethiopia.

Somali Parliament: the SG welcomes the inauguration today of the New Federal Parliament of Somalia as a major milestone in the nation’s peace and reconciliation process, according to his spokesperson. In a statement issued today, he said, “The Somali people have waited twenty years for peace to take root in their country. Now is the time to begin a new chapter in their history.”

WHO: In a press briefing today in Geneva, Glenn Thomas, a spokesperson for the WHO, reported that the cholera outbreak in Sierra Leone was escalating, spreading to two additional districts, and stressed the need to rapidly scale up response to the disease. The President has declared the escalating situation a humanitarian crisis. WHO also noted that a total of 15 cases of Ebola with 9 deaths had been reported in the northeast of the DRC as of August 19.

Need for Climate Policy: As global drought and increasing temperatures only rise worldwide, the UN announced today that there need to be more consolidated efforts to combat the threat of climate change and counter its ripple effects on global food security. According to the press release, the WMO and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), are intensifying efforts to establish a more coordinated and proactive strategy for managing drought risk and there will be a High Level Meeting on National Drought Policy from March 11-15, 2013.

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