Monthly Archives: July 2005
“Thousands of children are starving to death in Niger because the international community has been too slow to respond to the country’s food crisis, UN officials and aid workers said yesterday. They warned that the numbers dying could rise to 150,000 without urgent aid.”
A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary
Constant Inanity: “Huge crater and whale-with-feet boneyard named U.N. heritage sites – The cultural and education arm of the United Nations on Friday added a giant meteorite crater in South Africa and a whale boneyard from the time the creatures had feet among seven new global heritage sites. The new spots also include two long and deep Norwegian fjords, 244 rugged islands off the coast of Mexico, a forest park in Thailand and the last refuge of the crested eagle off southwest Panama. The heritage list, which has 188 sites around the world designated for their importance to nature and to culture, is part of a campaign to encourage conservation in host countries.”
Exbaptist: “There is no shortage of well-documented dementia of Americans who think the United Nations building in New York is occupied by a secret cabal of European intellectuals who would like nothing better than to turn us all into brie-eating socialists, but I think the John Bolton nomination represents how closely Christian conservatives have merged their religion with their politics.”
Intellibriefs: “Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Bush today declare their resolve to transform the relationship between their countries and establish a global partnership. Drawing on their mutual vision for the U.S.-India relationship, and our joint objectives as strong long-standing democracies, the two leaders agree on the following: Develop and support, through the new U.S.-India Global Democracy Initiative in countries that seek such assistance, institutions and resources that strengthen the foundations that make democracies credible and effective. India and the U.S. will work together to strengthen democratic practices and capacities and contribute to the new U.N. Democracy Fund.”
Mudville Gazette: “5800 to contest Afghan polls – NEARLY 6000 candidates have been declared eligible to contest Afghanistan’s first post-Taliban parliamentary polls in September, more than 10 per cent of them women, election officials said today. A total of 2778 candidates will stand for the 249-seat lower house Wolesi Jirga elections and 3027 will stand for provincial councils, Bismillah Bismil, chairman of the UN-backed electoral commission told reporters.”
Sideshow: “Publication of The Costs of War by Sir Jeremy Greenstock, UK ambassador to the UN during the build-up to the 2003 war and the Prime Minister’s special envoy to Iraq in its aftermath, has been halted.”
“The famine in Niger could have been prevented if the United Nations had a reserve fund to jump-start humanitarian aid, a senior UN official has said.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, known as OCHA, has a fund of $50,000 to quickly respond to emergencies, but only for loans, which must be repaid.
Selected summary of United Nations related news and events
“Condemning the recent murder of journalists in Brazil and Haiti, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has yet again stressed that an attack on reporters is an attack on society itself.” [More]
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”.