Late last night I was at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to attend a crucial gathering of Ambassadors and embassy officials from dozens of different nations. A few short weeks ago, the United Nations agreed to adopt the world's first international arms trade treaty. This treaty has the potential to stem the flow of weapons to conflicts; conflicts where thousands of people are killed, injured, raped, and forced to flee from their homes.
This week Darfur 10 - a campaign led by a coalition of NGO's including Waging Peace - petitioned the British government to help stop the violence. It is a clear reminder that although we should remember the hundreds of thousands who have already lost their lives, the international community must be reminded of those still suffering the consequences of this decade long conflict.
Some places almost never get the attention they deserve. One of these is the Democratic Republic of Congo. A vast country of some 80 million people, at the heart of Africa. It has struggled since independence in 1960 with a poor colonial legacy, cold war manipulations, venal and incompetent governments, and a succession of wars.
The UK will not stand on the sidelines while millions suffer from this entirely preventable and treatable disease. It's time for the international community to come together yet again and keep up their commitments. We need another decade of action against malaria. The prize could be another million lives saved.
We tend to forget that birth registration is a critical life event and that a birth certificate can make or break a child's future. Later in life, a birth certificate can help protect a child against forced marriage, child labour, premature enlistment in the armed forces or, if accused of a crime, prosecution as an adult.
We are hoping for a document which reflects the huge importance of sustainability and equality - and which does not shirk other difficult but necessary tasks, such as achieving corporate accountability and upholding human rights. With only 1,000 days until the start of the new plan, it is important that these most vital ingredients are recognised now.
No, this isn't another dire prediction about the end of the world - but, in 1,000 days, we will arrive at the end of 2015. That's when the world is supposed to reach the endpoints for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the targets set by the global community in 2000 for various improvements in the state of the world's people.
On Thursday night in New York, one by one they lined up to try and destroy 20 years of hard work. First Iran, then North Korea and then Syria. This was supposed to be the moment the United Nations took a truly historic step and adopted an Arms Trade Treaty. But instead of a moment of history, I witnessed a moment of cynical opportunism.
Many Syrians I spoke to on a recent visit to Syria hold the UN partially responsible for the deaths of 70, 000 lives in the unfolding humanitarian disaster that is wracking the country. There is an impression that the UN is propping up the regime by working and delivering aid via the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC).
There is increasing evidence that you can get the most effect by simply focusing on making your people happy. With today being the first UN International Day of Happiness, it is a good time to take a closer look at this.