The UNGA Games Begin!

President Obama addressed the closing session of the Summit to adopt the SDGs at the United Nations on Sunday afternoon, making a passionate plea for the world to come together and work to achieve the ambitious agenda of the newly-created Sustainable Development Goals, a blueprint meant to guide global development efforts over the next 15 years. Here are some of highlights and key quotes from his address. (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1WrZUNM)

U.N. tallies more than $25 bn in commitments to end preventable deaths in women and children…On the sidelines of the SDG summit, the UN “launched an ambitious public-private strategy to end preventable deaths of women, children and adolescents, with initial commitments of more than $25 billion for the next five years to provide life-saving treatments, from immunizations to perinatal care. ‘We have shown that our partnership can yield concrete results. I, and the entire UN system, remain dedicated to saving and improving the lives of the most vulnerable amongst us,’ said Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon. (UN News Service http://bit.ly/1P0c1zI)

UNGA Games, Day 1 preview

By tradition, Brazil goes first. the USA goes second. Other highlights in the morning include Vladimir Putin, Xi Jianping, and Hassan Rouhani. Here’s the full speaker schedule.  http://gadebate.un.org/

Also on the agenda today:  President Obama hosts a UN Peacekeeping Summit.

And here are some other stories that will drive the UNGA agenda this week. (Global Dispatches Podcast http://bit.ly/1NHX2ec)

Africa

Armed Christian militia members roamed the streets and protesters erected barricades on Sunday in the capital of Central African Republic, where deadly inter-religious clashes erupted a day earlier, witnesses said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1MyRlw8)

Burkina Faso on Saturday froze the assets of the leader of a failed coup and began to disarm the presidential guard that took the president and prime minister hostage just weeks before elections intended to mark a return to democracy. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Vk5krT)

Thousands of people staged a mass demonstration in Congo’s capital Brazzaville Sunday to protest at plans by veteran ruler Denis Sassou Nguesso to try to extend his rule. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1YIUTTf)

Cameroon is ending a polio vaccination campaign against a backdrop of growing resistance, even though officials say 7 percent of Cameroon’s children are still at risk of contracting the crippling disease. (VOA http://bit.ly/1YIUWyq)

A Norwegian-flagged ship that was held in Kenya for more than a week over undeclared weapons belonging to the United Nations has been released, the owners of the vessel said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Vk5hfK)

Rebels in Sudan’s Darfur region ambushed a South African unit that is part of a U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission on Sunday, killing one soldier and seriously injuring another, the South African military said. (AP http://yhoo.it/1KHVBpa)

Riot police prevented an opposition demo from taking place in Ivory Coast’s main city of Abidjan on Saturday by blocking off the rally site and threatening would-be demonstrators with tear gas, opposition supporters said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1GaQJrR)

MENA

The United Nations high commissioner for refugees said on Saturday the world waited far too long to respond to the refugee crisis sparked by the wars in Syria and elsewhere, though rich countries now appear to understand the scale of the problem. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1NVEnKA)

Egypt said Sunday that 55 of its citizens are among the more than 700 people who died in a crush of Muslim pilgrims during this year’s hajj in Saudi Arabia. (AP http://yhoo.it/1KHVBFJ)

A ceasefire in northwest Syria, part of a wider deal that included cessation of hostilities in the area as well as in a town near the Lebanese border, was broken late on Saturday, a monitoring group said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1NVEtBS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin sharply criticized U.S. military support for Syrian rebels, describing it as not only illegal but counterproductive, in an interview broadcast Sunday before his meeting with President Barack Obama. (AP http://yhoo.it/1YIUS1B)

Asia

China’s president has pledged billions in aid and said Beijing will forgive debts due this year in an effort to help the world’s poorest nations, as world leaders begin to seek the trillions of dollars needed to help achieve sweeping new development goals. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1KHVSII)

Nepal started imposing restrictions on the movement of vehicles on Sunday as a blockade of cargo trucks trying to enter the country from neighboring India continued to severely limit supplies of fuel and other essential commodities. (AP http://yhoo.it/1NVEu8Y)

The United States and human rights organizations sharply criticized China’s repression and imprisonment of women’s rights activists ahead of a high-level U.N. meeting Sunday to promote women’s equality. The session will be co-chaired by China’s President Xi Jinping. (AP http://yhoo.it/1GaQMnj)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi touted the power of social media and his own goals for developing India’s tech economy on Sunday, speaking to a global audience from a “town hall” meeting at the headquarters of the world’s largest social network. (AP http://yhoo.it/1KHVJ88)

The Americas

Brazil on Sunday became the first major developing country to pledge an absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for an envisioned global pact against climate change. (AP http://yhoo.it/1YIUTmb)

The parents of 43 students missing in Mexico have led a march of thousands of people in the capital to mark one year since their disappearance. (BBC http://bbc.in/1KHVNou)

Pope Francis’ outspoken views on some of the politically-charged hot button issues – including refugees, migration, human rights, climate change, Iran’s nuclear deal, U.S.-Cuban relations and the global arms trade – have touched a raw nerve in the United States. (IPS http://bit.ly/1WrJKny)

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said a partial agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia almost didn’t happen when the FARC rebel group’s leader balked at the last minute to a six-month deadline to end talks, according to the New York Times. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1NVEo15)

…and the rest

French President Francois Hollande said Sunday that more work was needed to seal a climate agreement at a high-stakes UN conference in Paris at the end of the year. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1KHVKZY)

French economist Thomas Piketty and US Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz are to be on a new panel advising British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the main opposition party announced Sunday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1YIUTCO)

Some 500 migrants were rescued in seven operations launched over the weekend in the Mediterranean, the Italian coastguard said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1NVEu8L)

Seventeen migrants drowned when their boat sank on Sunday off the Turkish coast while headed for the Greek island of Kos, the Anadolu Agency reported. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1GaQNIa)

Opinion/Blogs

Global goals: a chance to hold power accountable and to disrupt (Guardian http://bit.ly/1KHVM3Y)

Migration crisis: containing people is not the answer (ODI http://bit.ly/1GaSHbF)

At Global Citizen Festival, A Unifying Message From Pop Stars And Policymakers (Goats and Soda http://n.pr/1P0g2E0)

Ready for a reset? SDGs demand fundamental shift in business-NGO relations (Devex http://bit.ly/1GaSIwn)

Why Mark Zuckerberg Was at the UN Today (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1YIVX9A)

How to make sense of … political developments in Burkina Faso (Africa is a Country http://bit.ly/1KHXtyu)

Is East Asia Becoming More Militarized? (VOA http://bit.ly/1WrJkxD)

Who funds the trillion dollar plan of the U.N.’s new global goals? (TRF http://yhoo.it/1NVEntR)

Discussion

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