Monthly Archives: May 2005
A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary
JUAN COLE: “Two Army analysts who mistakenly claimed that aluminum tubing bought by Iraq was for centrifuges to enrich uranium received job performance awards during the past 3 years. If Elbaradei could see the falsehood of the claims almost immediately, it is not plausible that US analysts could not. Every American should go back and read thoroughly the transcripts of the reports to the UN of Mohamed Elbaradei in February and March of 2003.”
PIRATE’S COVE: “I do believe that the United Nations has done, and still does, some good. That’s a fact. There is no doubt in my mind that that is the case. However, do the good things that they have done, are doing, and will do, absolve them of the bad that they have done, are doing, and might do? Hell no. So why does the Left excuse the actions of the UN?”
Selected summary of United Nations news and events
UN News Service: “On “World No Tobacco Day”, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) is urging health professionals to be more proactive in minimizing the problems caused by tobacco addiction, consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke.
“Tobacco continues to be a leading global killer, with nearly five million deaths a year”, notes Dr Lee Jong-wook, WHO Director-General, and “Health professionals are on the frontline. They need the skills to help people stop smoking, and they need to lead by example, and quit tobacco use themselves.”
Every day, in field operations around the world, men and women serve under the flag of the United Nations to build and maintain peace, to relieve human suffering, and to promote human rights and sustainable development. Link (pdf)
There are 66,000 military and 15,000 civilian peacekeepers.
115 members of those missions paid the highest price for their dedication to peace in 2004, with 39 more already killed during 2005.
Alertnet: “The closure of the UNICEF office in Bossaso after several death threats against staff underscores the difficulty and danger faced by the handful of aid workers who venture into the anarchic country ravaged by nearly 14 years of militia fighting.”
“Former U.S. president Bill Clinton said on Saturday he supported a tsunami aid-sharing deal between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels, saying it could lead to a lasting peace.
Clinton, the U.N. envoy for tsunami relief, also told a news conference at the end of a one-day visit he had seen much progress in recovery efforts since his last trip in February.” Full Story
Middle East: During the last 48 hours of the continued ceasefire, humanitarian workers have delivered food to hundreds of thousands of people, repaired water and sanitation infrastructure, re-stocked medical supplies, and some of the 520,000 displaced Palestinians have returned to their homes. However, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator remarked the scale of needs remains “unprecedented in the Gaza Strip.”
Middle East: At today’s informal session of the General Assembly on Gaza the SG remarked that the most recent ceasefire has held since yesterday at 8 a.m. local time. He noted that a durable ceasefire is necessary and UN shelters must continue to remain safe zones. The SG thanked UN staff in Gaza and will fly the UN flag at half-mast tomorrow in memory of those who died in the conflict.
Middle East: The SG commended Israeli and Palestinian parties for committing to a 72-hour ceasefire that took place at 8 a.m. local time today. He urges all parties to abide by the ceasefire and commence peace talks in Cairo to address underlying issues and agree on a durable ceasefire to sustainably stop the violence. The UN lends its full support toward these efforts.
Middle East: The SG condemned yesterday’s shelling outside of an UNRWA school in Rafah that killed at least 10 Palestinian civilians. The SG stated that the attack violated international humanitarian law and UN shelters must continue to be safe zones and not combat zones.
SG: Last night the SG spoke at a joint press conference with the Foreign Minister of Costa Rica where he repeated his call for an unconditional and extendable humanitarian ceasefire. Speaking about yesterday’s shelling of a UN shelter he said: “Nothing – nothing – justifies such horror” and demanded “that all parties immediately respect UN premises”.
SG: The SG met with President Ortega yesterday in Nicaragua where he visited a wind farm and praised the country’s commitment to renewable energy. The SG arrived in Costa Rica today where he is expected to lecture about “Costa Rica and the United Nations: Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century”.