Monthly Archives: March 2005
UN News Service reports: “Late Saturday, an explosion in Beirut killed two people and injured at least eight others. In a statement released in New York, a spokesman for Mr. Annan said the Secretary-General was “especially saddened that this latest attack, the third in Lebanon in only a week, was carried out on the eve of Easter, just as many of the nation’s Christians were preparing to attend mass.”
Urging an end to the bloodshed, the statement stressed that the Lebanese people should be allowed to decide their country’s future free of violence and intimidation.”
“Secretary General Kofi Annan has begun that [reform] process by calling on member states to approve a wide range of reforms at a special General Assembly meeting this September. We strongly endorse Mr. Annan’s agenda, especially his call for developed countries to establish timetables for living up to their promises to commit 0.7 percent of their gross national incomes to development aid by 2015 (the United States now contributes 0.18 percent) and for poor countries to come up with strategies for putting this aid to effective use.” Read More
“Syrian President Bashar Assad threatened former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri with “physical harm” last summer if Hariri challenged Assad’s dominance over Lebanese political life, contributing to a climate of violence that led to the Feb. 14 slayings of Hariri and 19 others, according to testimony in a report released Thursday by a U.N. fact-finding team.” Full Article
From MSNBC: “A U.N. report into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri concluded that Lebanon’s investigation into the killing wasn’t satisfactory and a new international investigation is needed.
The report, released Thursday, says there was a “distinct lack of commitment” by Lebanese authorities to investigate the crime, and the investigation was not carried out “in accordance with acceptable international standards.”
“A major drive is under way to provide employment for an estimated 40,000 job seekers in the tsunami-hit Indonesian province of Aceh.
International agencies have laid out plans to engage Acehnese in rebuilding their homeland in the next 3 to 5 years.
Three months on, Banda Aceh’s river mouth seems ready to breathe life again to a once bustling fish market.
[CNN'S JOHN] KING: United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is calling for a broad reform of the United Nations, including expanding the Security Council and increasing its emphasis on development, security and human rights.
Joining me to discuss Annan’s proposals and more is the former secretary of state and the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Madeleine Albright. She’s now with the Albright Group.
Madam Secretary, thank you for joining us. Let’s start from one of the big issues, at least from the United States’ perspective, or the Bush administration’s perspective, in these U.N. reforms. Kofi Annan says he wants to find a more polite way, if you will, for the U.N. to debate and to have an actual mechanism, if there is a question, as there was in Iraq, of whether the United Nations should endorse military force. Can he make that work?
MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I think it’s difficult. I’m very much in favor of the things that the secretary- general has suggested and the fact that he really has come out with a full reform package.
He did a lot of work in getting opinions from this high level panel, and he’s talked to a lot of people. And so I think he’s come forward with a full package.
But the hardest issue is always about the use of force. And the Security Council is supposed to deal with issues that are threats to peace and security. And I think, for the most part, it would be good if we were able to come to some general agreement about it.
But ultimately, the United States will act unilaterally if it has to. We used to say multilaterally if you can, unilaterally if you must. But I am all for having a discussion about this. I think it’s a very…
KING: Is it a waste of time, though, to try to create a mechanism, like a rules of Congress in which you debate force, or is it just as it’s always going to be, if somebody disagrees, move on?
SG: The SG met with Israeli President Peres in Jerusalem today to encourage dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. Speaking to the press with President Peres, he again underlined the need to stop violence and begin dialogue that addresses the root causes of the conflict.
SG: The SG briefed the SC today from Ramallah where he reiterated his message from today’s earlier press conference in Tel Aviv with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to: “Stop fighting. Start talking. And take on the root causes of the conflict.” The SG will continue travelling this week to Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
SG: The SG arrived in Cairo today where he will meet with the Foreign Minister, President el-Sisi and US Secretary of State Kerry to promote the Egypt-initiated ceasefire in the Middle East. Spokesman Dujarric told reporters today that “the overriding messages that [the SG] brings is, first, that the violence must stop, and needs to stop now.”
Middle East: The SG welcomed the humanitarian pause negotiated by Special Coordinator Serry to allow civilians in Gaza to begin repairs on electrical and water infrastructure. WFP used the five-hour pause to deliver emergency food assistance to Gaza. The SG hopes the pause will lead to peace and a sustainable ceasefire.