As Chief Operating Officer of the UN Foundation, I am involved in every issue we work on – from U.S.-UN relations to climate change to malaria and the rights of girls. This broad portfolio means I keep up with a lot of global news.
The United Nations continues to be the platform to bring countries and sectors together to work on urgent global issues. This was definitely the case during UN General Assembly week.
There were a lot of important headlines coming out of the gathering, including Syria and U.S.-Iran diplomacy. But I want to take a moment to share with you 7 important stories you may have missed.
1. Momentum on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): Leaders from government, business, and civil society came together to push for greater progress on the MDGs, the world’s shared development agenda. This included commitments to advance women’s and children’s health through the Every Woman Every Childmovement. Read the MDG news here.
2. More than 1 million people share their priorities with the UN: MY World is a United Nations global survey of citizens’ priorities, so world leaders can be informed as they develop the next set of goals beyond the MDGs. During UN Week, the UN marked more than 1 million participants in MY World, and the UN Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council announced a new effort to help bring in 1 million more voices, especially young people’s voices.
3. Secretary Clinton to chair the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Leadership Council: The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves celebrated its third anniversary with an announcement that former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who launched the Alliance in 2010, will chair the Alliance’s Leadership Council. The Alliance is working to end the 4 million annual deaths from household air pollution from cooking smoke.
4. Mobile phones aid maternal and child health: The mHealth Alliance and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation announced that 10 innovative projects will receive grants to provide mobile health services to improve reproductive, maternal, and child health. Additionally, the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA) released a new report highlighting its work with organizations that use its mobile messages to provide new and expectant mothers with vital health information.
5. The rights and needs of adolescent girls in the spotlight: Throughout the week, Malala Yousafzai – a 16-year old Pakistani girl who was attacked by extremists last year for championing girls’ education – inspired crowds with her courage and advocacy for the rights of girls. Additionally, the UN Foundation and the Nike Foundation brought stakeholders together to call for prioritizing girls in the global development agenda.
6. Big news on climate change: On September 27, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the world’s most comprehensive and authoritative assessment of the science of climate change. The key takeaway: Scientists are now more certain than ever that climate change is real and caused by human activities – mostly the use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas. Get involved at Climasphere.org.
7. The Social Good Summit inspires: The Social Good Summit brought together thousands of people online and in meetings around the world to discuss the theme of #2030Now, a conversation about what we can do today with technology and innovation to build a better world by 2030. Participants connected with each other and shared ideas on how we can address pressing problems.