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Blog Roundup #37

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary BOP News: Paul Volcker's investigation has been thorough and unflinching, and promises another installment in a definitive report. If the UN believes in its mission then it should take the opportunity to clean house. There isn't room for corruption in the 21st century." Civil Commotion: "The United Nations is distributing a board game called The Road to Peace to Afghani children to teach them about the reconstruction now underway in Afghanistan.... Some 10,000 copies of the game are being handed out across Afghanistan to war-affected children, former child soldiers and refugee families, said Adrian Edwards, spokesman for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan." Iddybud: "I just love today's Arianna Huffington piece - her latest on the Judy Miller file. Arianna has been talking to Gore Vidal, one of my personal favorites. Arianna says: "During a conversation with Gore Vidal we talked about the fact that we had both heard from different people that Judy was planning to start writing a book about her experiences in the Plame case while in jail. The last articles she wrote before going to jail -- about Kofi Annan and that neocon bugaboo, the UN -- stand as an example of sloppy and slanted journalism." Memory Hole: "The UN really is at the behest of US power - not that this is anything to celebrate. Where former administrations have tried to create at least the impression of a more nuanced, multilateral outlook however, the Bush administration is confronting the UN - and any other potentially independent international fora - head-on." Sudan Watch: "UN envoy urges quick decisions on status of oil-rich regions in central Sudan - Aug 8 AFP report via Gulf Times: "UN special envoy for Sudan Jan Pronk said quick decisions were needed on the status of several oil-rich regions in central Sudan claimed by both Khartoum and the SPLM where militia activity continues despite the accord."
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Niger is Dying, and the World is Merely Watching

Jan Egeland: "Humanitarian aid can make a lifesaving difference for so many, so quickly, for so little cost, in these acute crises. The people of Niger know this: That's why many of Niger's citizens, the poorest of the world's poor, have donated to a national fund to assist their less-fortunate neighbors. Their generosity also transcends borders. When the tsunami struck Asia, the people of Niger opened their hearts and wallets. Niger sent $250,000 to the victims - this in a country where the average income is less than $1 a day. At a time of unprecedented global prosperity, cannot the rich nations do as much for defenseless, starving children? Jan Egeland is the United Nations under-secretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief coordinator.
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Blog Roundup #36

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary Afghan Warrior: "A UN spokesman on Friday said Pakistan had decided to shut down all the Afghan refugee camps in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, and also from the country's tribal region bordering Afghanistan, by August 31.... The government of Pakistan should not force Afghan refugees to leave Pakistan; it is against the agreements that were signed three years ago between Pakistan, Afghanistan and U.N." Washington Note: "The United Nations does a lot more than provide a forum for American presidents to circumvent when they want to launch a war. From peace keeping, to responding to natural disasters, to trying war criminals, the UN performs important functions that a single nation cannot." Coalition for Darfur: "From Humanitarian Hijinks - "Khartoum remains tense today as a third day of violence draws to a close (I am told one of my favourite pizza places has been smashed up in the riots). Things here Darfur are as calm as usual apart from a few grumbling clouds of rain. While the UN has been telling its staff to get their emergency evacuation bags ready, the locals are still trying to figure out what it all means for Sudan." Political Animal: "Who says John Bolton can't be an effective diplomat? From the BBC: "Beijing will work with the United States to block a plan to add new permanent members to the UN Security Council, China's UN ambassador says. Wang Guangya said he agreed the deal with the new US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, at a meeting." Ah, our great allies, the Chinese. It's good to see that Bolton knows just where to go when he needs some likeminded help putting sand in the gears of UN reform." Sepia Mutiny: "The Toronto Star reported last month: "The United Nations said it will investigate a number of allegations from reliable sources that the U.S. is detaining terrorist suspects in undeclared holding facilities, including on board ships believed to be in the Indian Ocean."
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Blog Roundup #35

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary Coalition for Darfur: "Maine Man Witness to Struggles in Sudan - From the Bangor Daily News: "Stan Stalla can watch lobster fishermen tend their traps from his coastal home, but his job takes him across an ocean to a world where he sees starvation. A veteran aid worker, Stalla, 54, spent four months earlier this year in the Darfur region of Sudan ... Through the United Nations World Food Programme, Stalla has seen firsthand the suffering and starving in the displaced-persons camps of Darfur." Democracy Arsenal: "Lee Feinstein has a nice roundup over at America Abroad of what Secretary Rice has been doing to improve the US position at the UN before John Bolton gets there. When you put it all together, Lee, it does sound like a coherent policy. Before Ambassador Bolton rides off to the wilds of Manhattan, I'd like to propose three lessons the Affair of the Thrown Stapler can teach us. Two of them are even optimistic..." Redstate: "We've all been told by reporters that the world's U.N. ambassadors would loathe "damaged goods" John Bolton, who would lack the authority of Senate confirmation required to allow him to be taken seriously by global diplomats. It looks like the reporters are wrong. For instance, Chinese Deputy Ambassador Zhang Yishan told Bloomberg.com: "Bush could name a reporter as representative and we would take him." ... They suggest that Bolton's trouble, then, will come from Democrat lawmakers on Capitol Hill, as when he testifies in support of some U.N. reform measure."
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Blog Roundup #34

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary Chrenkoff: "Good news from Iraq, part 32 - The European Union will be channeling 20 million euro ($24 million) through the United Nations in support of the constitutional process... Meanwhile, the United Nations has conducted a massive successful immunization campaign throughout Iraq - with some help from the private sector." ================ Captain's Quarters: "The New York Times editorial board works itself into quite an emotional state this morning over the recess appointment of John Bolton to the UN. In fact, their editorial today goes so far as to praise Condoleezza Rice's performance at State, which they haven't bothered to do as a stand-alone opinion, just to take a swipe at Bolton." Coalition for Darfur: "U.N. sees Joint Investigation into Garang's Death - From Reuters: "The United Nations has offered to help investigate the cause of the helicopter crash which killed former southern Sudanese rebel leader and First Vice President John Garang, Sudan's top U.N. envoy said on Tuesday. Jan Pronk said Garang's death, announced on Monday, was a setback to a peace deal that ended Africa's longest civil war, but the speedy transition of power was a positive sign that the former rebel group could stay united without Garang." Democracy Arsenal: "The Perfect Task For John Bolton - During the first month or two after John Bolton's nomination I wrote reams about him, so I won't revisit all that now. My take on the merits of the recess appointment can be found here. Bottom line is that I am proud of those on the SFRC for the fight they put up, and eager for a substantive debate this fall over what the Administration will accomplish during this all important General Assembly session devoted to UN reform. Speaking of reform.... Given that one of his signature credentials for the UN post was over-turning the organization's notorious Zionism is Racism resolution, if the Administration is right that Bolton can be effective at the UN, why not have him tackle the betterment of Israel's status at the world body? Let him show us what he can do." Hidden Nook: "Bush Bypasses Senate, Confirms Bolton - It seems that President Bush has bypassed the Senate completely and used his constitutional powers to appoint John Bolton as the next Ambassador to the United Nations. ... The United States has been without a representative to the United Nations for approximately six months, and with major issues such as UN reform (something desperately needed) coming to the table. Bolton's nomination has sparked heated debate, especially on the left, and his appointment will only create more conspiracy theories amongst many of the "elite" liberals." Liquid List: "Look, I don't think there is much more of a point in debating the administration's choice for UN ambassador. It's clear, of course, that if they want to do something, they just will. They don't care, and they have made this fact abundantly clear."