Monthly Archives: October 2005
“The United Nation Security Council today unanimously called on Syria to detain Syrian suspects identified by an independent probe into the terrorist assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and clarify all unresolved issues, threatening ‘further action’ in the case of non-compliance.
At a special ministerial-level session, the 15-member body adopted a resolution endorsing the findings of the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC) into the assassination. Resolution 1636 took note “with extreme concern” of the UNIIIC’s conclusion that “while the Syrian authorities have cooperated in form but not substance with the Commission, several Syrian officials tried to mislead the Commission by giving false or inaccurate information.” MORE
NYT: “The resolution threatens Syria with economic penalties if it does not give full cooperation to the United Nations investigation that has identified high-ranking security officials as suspects in the assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri. The measure also orders Syria to take into custody and make available to the investigators people they suspect of involvement in the killing.”
Update: “Key U.N. Security Council members dropped the threat of sanctions against Syria on Monday in a last-minute effort to get all 15 nations to back a resolution demanding that Damascus cooperate with an investigation into the assassination of Lebanon’s former prime minister…. U.S. Ambassador John Bolton told reporters that foreign ministers of the five permanent veto-wielding nations agreed to the changes because of “the prospect of getting a near unanimous vote in the council.” Despite the changes, he said, “it’s going to be unmistakably a clear message” and “a strong resolution.” – AP
Pakistani soldiers help carry boxes of high energy biscuits
from a UN helicopter for the families in the remote village
of Nauseri, Neelum Valley, Pakistan
Associated Press: “The U.N. on Friday warned it will run out of money and be forced to ground helicopters delivering earthquake relief supplies to northern Pakistan unless donors come through with the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to see 2.3 million hungry people through the winter.
A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary
Informed Comment: “I am distressed at the prospect of a Cambodia in Iraq, which strikes me as a real possibility. As it is, there was that nastiness of Shiite and Sunni militiamen killing each other Thursday. I’d like to see such an outcome prevented. I said earlier that I thought the best outcome would be for Iraq to be internationalized and to have a United Nations military force enforce the peace.”
Lebanese Political Journal: “Thank God, for Detlev Mehlis, head of the UN Commission investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al Hariri. Mehlis realizes that the fate of at least an entire nation is staked on what he comes up with. It’s an unfair burden, but he’s doing quite a bit to help Lebanon walk on its own.”
BOP News: “The Oil for Food program run in the late 1990′s has been roundly criticized, and now the investigation has come to a head. The reality is that while some companies and individuals violated the rules, the net effect was to dramatically reduce Saddam’s access to capital. According to the Volcker report, Sadddam pocketted 1.8 billion dollars. This sounds like a great deal, until you realize that he had to pay for virtually his entire security apparatus out of it. In effect, he had just enough money to cling to power, but not enough to pay for, let alone upgrade, his military apparatus.”
Davenetics: “So who misbehaved when it comes to the UN Oil for Food Program? Uh, gotta few minutes?: “More than 4,500 companies took part in the United Nations oil-for-food program and more than half of them paid illegal surcharges and kickbacks to Saddam Hussein, according to the independent committee investigating the program. The country with the most companies involved in the program was Russia, followed by France, the committee says in a report to be released Thursday. The inquiry was led by Paul A. Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.” Oil and human nature. The world’s most slippery slope.”
Wilson’s Blogmanac: “The UN agencies monitoring bird flu outbreaks say more research is needed to solve the puzzle of how the virus is spread and how it changes into forms deadly to humans as well as birds. Meanwhile, it recommends that wild and farmed birds should not mix.” The Age.”
“Receiving the final report of the Independent Inquiry Committee (IIC) into maladministration and corruption in the United Nations-run Iraqi Oil-for-Food Programme, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on Member States to take action against illegal practises by companies under their jurisdiction and to prevent recurrences.
At the same time he reiterated his commitment to “vital” reform of the UN management structure in response to criticism in earlier IIC reports that found failures in actions by the UN Secretariat in regard to the now defunct $64-billion Programme which allowed Saddam Hussein’s sanctions-bound regime to sell oil to buy essential supplies.” [More]
Selected summary of United Nations related news and events
The SG: In Ethiopia over the weekend, the SG is now in the United Arab Emirates. Today he met with Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, where the two discussed developments in the region, including Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, and in the Middle East Peace Process.