SG’s Action Agenda; Security Council; Iran; Yemen; Green Economy; and more

SG’s Action agenda: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today outlined a series of actions he believes the global community must take over the next five years to build “the future we want.” In a speech to the General Assembly last September Mr. Ban presented five imperatives – or generational opportunities – that must be addressed to ensure a better future for the world’s people.  The “action agenda” presented today describes specific measures regarding each of the five imperatives, including an unprecedented campaign to wipe out five of the world’s major killers – malaria, polio, paediatric HIV infections, maternal and neonatal tetanus, and measles. Among his other proposals is the convening of a first-of-its-kind World Humanitarian Summit to help share knowledge and establish common best practices, and the creation of a New UN Partnerships Facility to harness the full power of transformative partnerships across the world body.

Security Council:
This morning the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Libya, Ian Martin, and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, briefed the Security Council on the situation in Libya. Mr. Martin noted that the public mood in Libya was gradually changing, as it increasingly demands improved institutional performance that meets popular expectations, and accountability and transparency in public affairs. Ms. Pillay commended the Libyan authorities’ stated commitment to transitional justice processes and mechanisms, and encouraged them to expeditiously make their commitment to transitional justice a reality. She reiterated her Office’s commitment to continue to support the Libyan people to realize their rights.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday appealed to all sides in the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program to reduce tensions and urged Tehran not to follow through on threats to close a key shipping lane. “This is a very important area for international trade and commerce, the Strait of Hormuz,” Ban said. “The free passage of any ships in open seas should be respected and protected.” He also urged Tehran to cooperate fully with IAEA inspectors and to return to negotiations with the five permanent U.N. Security Council members.

UNICEF has warned that half a million children in Yemen could die or suffer physical and mental damage as a result of malnutrition, unless sufficient resources are made available to alleviate the effects of conflict, chronic poverty and drought. With 58 per cent of children stunted, Yemen has the second highest rate of chronic malnutrition among children in the world after Afghanistan. UNICEF has appealed for nearly $50 million to fund program for children’s urgent humanitarian needs in Yemen this year.

Green Economy in a Blue World:
The economic productivity of the marine sector can be significantly boosted by shifting to a more sustainable approach that focuses on green activities such as renewable energy, eco-tourism and sustainable transport, according to a United Nations report released today. The report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), ‘Green Economy in a Blue World,’ looks at six different economic areas in the marine sector and provides recommendations on how to boost their potential by implementing green measures.

Global Fund
: The Secretary-General has been informed of Michel Kazatchkine’s announcement that he will step down, effective mid-March, from his position as Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  The Secretary-General commends Professor Kazatchkine for his leadership of the Fund over the last 5 years. The Secretary-General urges all partners to strengthen their support to the Global Fund in this time of transition.  As a unique and innovative public-private partnership, the Global Fund has been instrumental in saving the lives of millions of people around the world.

The United Nations humanitarian office announced today the allocation of $104 million to support 13 neglected emergencies around the world. The funds, which will be provided by the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), will be prioritized by humanitarian coordinators in each of the recipient countries to impact critical life-saving programmes. Specific projects will also be developed and proposed by humanitarian country teams in the next month.