Ukraine; Security Council; South Sudan

Ukraine: The SG congratulated President-elect Petro Poroschenko by phone this morning and said he was pleased with his commitment to de-escalation and peaceful dialogue.

Security Council: The SC adopted Resolution 2155 yesterday, reprioritizing the UN Mission in South Sudan’s mandate with a focus on protecting civilians and monitoring human rights.

South Sudan: WHO and UNICEF are calling for $26 million to respond to the cholera situation where the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan Toby Lanzer says limited vaccines and water purification tablets are exacerbating the situation.  So far, about 800 cholera cases, and 30 deaths have been reported—mostly in Juba—according to OCHA. Also in South Sudan, UNMISS continues to struggle with overcrowding at protection sights, with over 90,000 seeking protection and shelter. A new site, which can hold 13,000, opened today in Juba.

DSG Call to Action on Sanitation: The DSG launched a campaign to end open defecation this morning in support of his Call to Action on Sanitation, which launched last year. Panelists at the press conference included DPR of Singapore Mark Neo, Director of UNICEF Programs Nicholas Alipui, and Amanda Marlin of the Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council. The campaign is focused on ending the taboo associated with defecation, which affects more than a billion people (15% of the global population). The DSG said improving sanitation advances MDG’s 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, as access to toilets allows for better health, privacy for women during menstrual cycles, higher school attendance, and economic opportunities. Panelists discussed the specific impact of open defecation on women and girls, adding that World Toilet Day this year will target this issue. For the private sector’s part, the DSG said businesses can help provide technology solutions while the DPR of Singapore added that sustainable, market-based and bottom of the pyramid solutions are what’s most needed.

Syria: Syria has suffered $144 billion in economic losses as a result of the ongoing war according to a recent quarterly report from UNRWA, UNDP and the Syrian Centre for Policy Research. Also on Syria, the SG condemned the attacks on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) fact-finding team in Syria and expressed his continued support for OPCW’s work in a phone conversation with the Director-General today.

CAR: Following a joint visit to CAR with the Special Envoy for the AU for Women, Peace and Security and the Special Representative for the Economic Community of Central African States, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcukacalled for more funding in CAR to protect women and girls.

Haiti: The UN and the Haitian Government held their first meeting of the ‘High-level committee for the elimination of Cholera in Haiti’ in Port-au-Prince. So far, local and international efforts have been successful in reducing cases by 75% compared to last year and death rates have fallen below 1%.However, WASH continues to be a dire issue for Haiti and a third of the population has no access to safe water.

Shark Guide: The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched an ID guide on deep-sea sharks today in an effort to help fishers’ by-catch reporting—since survival rate is extremely low after re-release.

International Peacekeepers Day: Tomorrow is International Day of UN Peacekeepers and several events will be held at UNHQ.