Somalia; Syria; Education; Hunger

Somalia: Special Representative for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, briefed the SC this morning, noting that Somalia is now in the process of forming the first post-transition Government and that the new administration in Mogadishu must move with speed to stabilize the newly-liberated areas. The immediate challenge is to establish local and district administrations, justice and rule of law, as well as to provide basic services to the population, as the security situation in the country has vastly improved. Ambassador Rice gave remarks reassuring the US’s support for the transitional government and for the work of the UN in the country.

Syria: The heads of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria briefed the press today, urging that the crisis in the country can only be resolved through diplomatic means. The situation in the Middle East, the panel reported, only continues to steadily worsen amid the growing presence of armed jihadist groups, also drawing attention to the expanding list of potential war crimes committed by both sides of the conflict. As the number of Syrian asylum seekers in countries around Europe continues to grow, UNHCR today urged the EU to honor their asylum system principles.

Education: UNESCO launched the tenth Education for All Global Monitoring Report today, which reports that 20% of young people in developing countries fail to complete primary school and lack skills for work. Despite significant progress in some regions, the report notes, few of them are on track to meet the six Education for All goals set in 2000, and some are a long way behind.

Hunger: In honor of World Food Day, the SG said that agricultural cooperatives will be crucial in meeting the Zero Hunger Challenge that he launched at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June. The expertise of such cooperatives will be invaluable in achieving one of the initiative’s primary aims of doubling the income and productivity of smallholder farmers.