Ban to Madrid, Helen Clark To Ghana, OCHA Mid-Year Review, and more from this day at the UN

SG: tonight he SG is off to Madrid to participate in the first meeting of the MDGs Advocacy Group tomorrow.

Haiti IASC Report: today USG Humanitarian Affairs Holmes launched the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (or IASC, a inter-agency forum for coordination involving the UN and humanitarian partners) report on the Haiti earthquake response.  The report offers an honest assessment of the UN and NGO response in Haiti and lessons learned for the future.  In achievements, it notes that despite the challenging environment, immediate objectives were largely met (including food assistance, emergency shelter, water and Cash-for-Work).  While not perfect, the cluster system and coordination structures between the military and humanitarian actors were critical and improved over time.  In statements made by Holmes and representatives of WHO, UNICEF, Concern Worldwide and IFRC (International Federation of the Red Cross/Red Crescent), several lessons learned were apparent: while well-meaning, many of the humanitarian organization were not well-informed and posed challenges to the response; there is a need to better listen to the needs of the people on the ground; the risks of disasters must be reduced before they happen and this must be done more systematically; and national and local NGOs must be engaged to build capacity, which will help for the long-term.

UNDP: today UNDP Administrator Helen Clark is wrapping-up a three-day visit to Ghana, including the annual meeting of UN Resident Coordinators in Africa.  On Wednesday, she met with women’s leaders and lauded Ghana’s progress towards MDG3, women’s empowerment and gender equality.

OCHA mid-year review: Yesterday, USG Humanitarian Affairs Holmes issued OCHA’s mid-year report and appeal, revising the 2010 appeal upwards from $7.1 billion to $9.5 billion, due mainly to Haiti and regional African crises in the Sahel and CAR.  Since the original appeal was made, countries have pledged $4.53 billion, leaving $4.98 billion needed.  This money will go towards the goal of providing humanitarian assistance to 53 million people in 34 countries.

Israel: last night Ambassador Rice made remarks at a farewell reception for Israeli Ambassador Gabrila Shalev, who recently announced will be heading the Ono Academic College’s academic board next year.  Daniel Carmon, Ambassador Shalev’s deputy, is also finishing up his term at the Mission.  It is still unclear who will succeed Shalev as Israeli PR.

EU @ UN: The EU will soon be tabling a resolution at the GA which would give it the right to speak and have the same privileges of other Member States (v. observers), such as making proposals and submitting amendments to resolutions and circulating documents.  The Brits underlined that this would not undermine their seat at the Security Council.

Wolff: Former Deputy PR of the U.S. Alejandro Wolff has been nominated by President Obama to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Chile.

Image: flickr.