Poverty Eradication; International Justice; Syria; Sahel; Haiti; TB

Poverty Eradication: The UN today marked the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty with calls to tackle not only the material aspects of the issue, but also its social and educational dimensions and the unequal access to justice. In an event this afternoon featuring remarks from the SRSG on Violence Against Children, the SG, the PRs of France and Burkina-Faso, and others, the France expressed the need to integrate the eradication of poverty into the post-2015 agenda and being a voice for the many impoverished individuals around the globe. In commemoration of the day, the SG issued a message stating that the MDGs have “galvanized global action that generated great progress” and that we should “spare no effort to ensure that all countries reach the MDGs by 2015”.  He also cited the UN’s efforts to develop a post-2015 framework which builds on the MDGs while “confronting persistent inequalities and new challenges facing people and the planet”.

International Justice: The SG spoke at the SC’s open debate on peace and justice this morning, saying that rulers and warlords who perpetrate atrocities can no longer trade their power for an amnesty and then slip away, unpunished. The SG asserted that we have seen the value of an International Criminal Court that pursues justice in all regions, and how the actions and inactions of the Court and the SC can not only have an impact on, but assist each other. Ambassador Rice issued a statement, expressing American support for the ICC – despite not being party to the Rome Statute – and noting that more can be done to strengthen accountability mechanisms at the international level and improve relations between the ICC and the SC.

Syria: Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi was in Beirut today, where he met with the Lebanese President, the Speaker and the Prime Minister. In a press briefing there, Mr. Brahimi said that he discussed the SG’s appeal for a ceasefire that would be initiated by the Government and to which the opposition would respond positively. Either the situation is resolved, he said, or it will spill over and consume everyone.

Sahel: The high-level humanitarian mission with delegates from OCHA and the OIC wrapped up the first leg of its visit to West Africa’s Sahel region today. The mission left Niger – where more than 5.5 million people have been the victims of a food and nutrition crisis – for Mali. The situation in the region has been exacerbated by flooding affecting more than half a million people, as well as a persistent cholera epidemic in parts of the country and insecurity in neighboring Mali.

Haiti: The human rights wing of MINUSTAH has released its first bi-annual report covering the period from January to June of this year. The report notes that the first half of 2012 witnessed some important efforts by the Government of Haiti to implement or strengthen key structures for the promotion and protection of human rights. Two and a half years after the January 2010 earthquake, however, the number of people still in camps remains high.

TB: WHO announced today that despite progress in the global fight against tuberculosis, the gains so far remain fragile and more needs to be done to eliminate the disease. The WHO Tuberculosis Report 2012 finds that an estimated 20 million people are alive today as a direct result of TB care and control, yet there is a $1.4 billion funding gap per year for research and development into new ways to combat TB – in addition to a $3 billion per year shortfall over 2013-2015, which could have severe consequences for control of the disease.