The United Nations merger of its political and humanitarian aid agencies in Somalia is worrisome to some outside aid agencies. "I'm in favor of unity of effort, absolutely. But it's got to be unity of effort that allows for flexibility within the overall structure," says Joel Charny of InterAction.
Water security is a challenge that likely will be included in the post-2015 sustainable development goals. The United Nations needs to take on a leadership role to see that the issues detailed by UN-Water's latest report are addressed, write Matthew Berger.
Airstrikes in Syria, reportedly by Israel, have killed 42 soldiers from the Syrian government. Russia and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen were among parties expressing concern that Syria's civil war could spread to other countries.
A United Nations investigator says that Syrian rebel forces may have used sarin nerve gas, but the question remains open. A Free Syrian Army leader disputed the claim. Separately, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Russia and China warned about the escalation of war after Israel bombed Syrian facilities storing missiles for Hezbollah.