SG in Switzerland; Child Mortality; US on UNICEF; Somali President; Sierra Leone; UNHCR

SG in Switzerland: The SG is in Switzerland today, and congratulated the country on its 10th year as a UN Member State. Meeting with the Swiss Parliament in Bern as well as the President of the Swiss Federation, the SG discussed how Switzerland can help support the UN in making progress towards the MDGs, the post-2015 development agenda, SEFA, and the situation in Syria.

Child Mortality: UNICEF has two reports on child mortality to be issued this week. The first is the annual report on global child mortality estimates put together by an inter-agency group including UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank and DESA’s Population Division. The second report, titled, Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed, uses some of this data to explore how to accelerate declines in child mortality.

US on UNICEF: Ambassador Susan Rice issued a statement today after the UNICEF Executive Board meeting, expressing the United States’ “enthusiastic support” for UNICEF’s  drive to eliminate preventable child mortality, as well as the hard work of the agency as an “indispensable partner” on HIV/AIDS and a “stand-out leader in the UN system.” Ambassador Rice confirmed the US as a “stalwart partner” of the agency, “fully committed to meeting the needs of the world’s children.”

Somali President: The SG congratulated Somalia today for their “peaceful and orderly” selection of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as President of the Federal Republic of Somalia on Monday. In a statement today, the SG encourages the new President to move expeditiously, to appoint an inclusive, accountable Government that can begin the work of peace-building in the country.

Sierra Leone: The SC was briefed and held consultations on Sierra Leone today, reporting that the country is making steady progress after the destructive civil war in the region. The country’s upcoming elections in November is considered another chance to consolidate peace in the country.

UNHCR: The High Commissioner for Refugees and UNHCR special envoy Angelina Jolie were in Jordan today, visiting Syrian refugees taking refuge in the country. UNHCR reported today that more than a quarter of a million people have now been registered with the agency, or are awaiting registration in countries around Syria.