Climate Change; Syria; The SC; Somalia

Climate Change: The SG spoke at the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha today, urging countries to take action to tackle the “growing crisis.” Mr. Ban hopes to see “five key deliverables” come out of this week of negotiations: 1) the adoption of a ratifiable second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol; 2) progress on long-term climate finance; 3) effective institutions in Cancun and Durban to support mitigation and adaptation by developing countries; 4) clear demonstration by governments that negotiations on a global and legally binding instrument remain on track; and 5) proof of how governments intend to act on the gap between mitigation pledges and what is required to achieve the two degrees target.

Syria: Despite the decision to reduce the number of non-essential UN personnel in Syria this week, the Spokesperson noted today that the UN is still in Damascus, performing humanitarian operations as security conditions permit. He said that the Office of the Joint Special Representative in Damascus is maintaining its activities, as is the UN Disengagement Observation Force there. WFP announced today that the recent escalation of violence is making it more difficult for the agency to reach the country’s hardest-hit areas and that food insecurity is on the rise. The agency is prioritizing food distribution to the internally displaced who are victims of recent heavy fighting.

The SC: H.E Mohammed Loulichki, PR of Morocco and President of the SC for the month of December, briefed the press today on the SC’s program of work for this month. Meetings this month will include a briefing on the Sahel on December 10; a briefing on peacekeeping on December 12, focused on enhancing the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations; an open debate on post-conflict peacebuilding; briefings on Yemen and Mali; and more.

Somalia: In Mogadishu today, the UN launched a $1.3 billion humanitarian appeal for Somalia. Part of a three-year strategy from 2013-2015, the appeal will go to 369 humanitarian projects targeting 3.8 million Somalis in need. According to OCHA, the strategy will be implemented by 177 national and international non-governmental organizations and UN agencies operating in the country, targeting immediate needs of the Somali people as well as enhancing resilience in the country itself.