This year the UN marks its 70th anniversary. Sadly, there is little time for reflection or celebration. More pressing are the competing demands and challenges fuelled by an upsurge in conflict, disease and human suffering. These compel the international community to step up and provide the leadership needed to tackle them.
Ebola continues to plague west Africa. For some of the affected countries, struggling to overcome the effects of bitter civil war, the outbreak has been a major setback for development. We are beginning to see some improvements. During my visit to the region in December, I was deeply moved by the efforts of local Ebola responders and health workers from across Africa and the world. But rebuilding shattered lives and economies will require significantly more resources and long-term commitment.
As conflicts raged and extremism rose, 2014 pushed the UN’s humanitarian, peacekeeping and diplomatic efforts to the limit. More than 100 million people needed assistance. An unprecedented number of UN troops and police are deployed in highly volatile security environments.