It’s been a bloody week. There have been mass causalities with terror attacks in largely Muslim countries around the world: Turkey, Iraq, and Bangladesh, with another attack in three Saudi cities this past Monday. As recently noted by Quartz, the attacks are a stark reminder that Muslims are targeted by terrorism more than any other group. With Ramadan coming to a close, many fear that more violence will come as the Muslim holy month ends this week with Eid al-Fitr.
Simultaneously, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy on July 1, which agreed member countries to a “common strategic framework to fight the scourge of terrorism.” It could not come at a more important time as humanitarians, advocates, and policymakers work against the tide of violent extremism and toward the shared goal of “leaving no one behind” through sustainable development.
This past weekend also brought the loss of Nobel Peace Prize winner and Auschwitz survivor, Elie Wiesel. A voice for the six million slaughtered and rendered voiceless during the Holocaust, Wiesel also advocated for millions of other victims of genocide and conflict throughout his life. In his 1986 Nobel Peace Prize speech, he said that he felt his life purpose was “to keep memory alive” and “to fight those who would forget.” “Because if we forget, we are guilty, we are accomplices,” he said. The New York Times recounts Wiesel’s life in a moving retrospective.
The Latest On The United Nations And The Global Goals:
Syrians are starving: UN Warns Of Starvation In Syrian Towns, Demands Access. “The top UN official in Syria on Monday demanded immediate and unconditional humanitarian access to tens of thousands of people trapped in four towns, warning of starvation.”
Ahead of this September’s Summit on Refugees (with more than 150 heads of state expected to attend), the UN Calls for Humane, Responsible Treatment for Refugees. “To counter the negative tone surrounding refugees and migrants…the United Nations will lead a global campaign to conquer xenophobia.”
Global Trends – What Experts Are Reading and Writing About:
Devex shares key findings from the 2016 Social Progress Index report released on June 28: New Thinking Will Be Required To Meet The SDGs. “As countries move from low- to middle-income status, most are able to find solutions to the challenges of basic nutrition, reducing maternal and child mortality, tacking infectious diseases, and getting children into school.”
The Center for Global Development points to specific global goals where UN agencies and countries should focus on improving data collection. What SDGs Can We Track Now? “As the UN, member countries, and civil organizations work to increase statistical capacity and mark baselines, it is necessary to have a clear picture of what official sources can and cannot offer global, regional, and national monitoring platforms. Only then can policymakers have a better sense of where SDG implementation might reasonably tracked and where other data sources and tools might prove useful.”
Looking Ahead – What We’re Paying Attention To:
The United Nations’ High-Level Political Forum kicks off. Starting on July 11th through the 20th, ministers and advocates from around the world will gather in New York City to discuss the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. While the major transformations on the SDGs will not happen overnight, here are some signs of early progress from trailblazing countries: 11 Leading Actions that Governments Can Take Now to Begin Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
Who will replace David Cameron as the UK’s Prime Minister? Conservative Leadership Race: First Round Of Voting Closes. “Further rounds of voting will take place on Thursday and the following Tuesday until two candidates remain.”
Image: A worker cleaned blood off the ceiling of the international departure terminal at the Istanbul airport on Wednesday. Gokhan Tan/Getty Images. The New York Times’ Week In Pictures – July 1.