Yearly Archives: 2005
“A prototype of a cheap and robust laptop for pupils has been welcomed as an “expression of global solidarity” by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. The green machine was showcased for the first time by MIT’s Nicholas Negroponte at the UN net summit in Tunis.
He plans to have millions of machines in production within a year. The laptops are powered with a wind-up crank, have very low power consumption and will let children interact with each other while learning.” [Read article]
A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary
Urban Eco: “It’s a shame that it takes a major disaster to make us look at our environmental practices. The recent earthquake in Pakistan and India caused more devastation in areas that had been deforested, and the problem could only get worse as people forage remaining trees for shelter and fuel. It’s heartening to see that the U.N. Environmental Programme is already stepping in to help clean up and recycle waste created by the earthquake, as well as encourage planting of new trees to help in the future: “[BBC NEWS] UN warns of quake ‘toxic wast’ – Debris could pollute the water sources, the UN says. The UN has warned that waste and debris left in the wake of the 8 October quake could become toxic and seriously endanger the health of survivors…”
Colcam: “Green Machine At The United Nations. The prototype of the $100 wind-up laptop for kids in developing countries has made its debut at the United Nations. Millions of the lime green machines should be in production within a year. The laptop will run on open source software.”
Think Progress: “Last night, Bill O’Reilly referred to his comments approving of a terrorist attack on San Francisco as a “satirical riff.” We’re not sure President Bush would agree. Recall the recently adopted UN Security Council Resolution 1624 – passed unanimously on Sept 14, 2005, with President Bush actually personally casting the vote for the United States. In his speech to fellow heads of state, Bush singled it out and said the United States “strongly supports the implementation of this resolution.” … It sounds like O’Reilly has run afoul of at least the spirit of the UNSC resolution – and the wishes of his president.”
Alas, a Blog!: “Over at The Inkwell, the IWF’s blog, one of the Charlottes explains why feminists oppose Ellen Sauerbrey, Bush’s nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration at the United Nations: “[She] supports the Bush administration’s withholding $34 million from the U.N. Population Fund because the agency has made financial contributions to China’s policy of forced-abortions to limit family size.”
Adoption Guide: “Statistics On Orphans – GENEVA (VOA) — The United Nations says the situation of children in Sierra Leone is dire, with a huge problem of children being trafficked abroad. UNICEF is urging that adoptions be stopped until protective measures are put in place in the West African country.”
War and Piece: “Go read Laura Secor’s interview in the New Yorker about the limitations and achievements of Iran’s internal reform movement: “What do the dissidents want? To overthrow the government? Or are there specific, more modest reforms that they seek? [Secor] Iran had a revolution pretty recently, followed by the traumas of war and dictatorship. As badly as many people want change, very few are inclined to put their lives and their country’s fundamental stability on the line for it. That said, there are dissidents who flatly say that the system has to go, and that it should be replaced by a constitution based not on Islamic law but on the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
Selected summary of United Nations related news and events
A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary
Textually: “Millions of SMS have been sent as part of a global campaign by UNICEF to raise awareness of the enormous impact of HIV/AIDS on children around the world, reports Mike Grenville for 160characters.org. “The launch of Unite for Children. Unite against AIDS took place on 25 October 2005 in 50 countries around the world and in two countries SMS has been used to back up the poster campaign. Uzbekistan: Nearly a million cell-phone subscribers in Tashkent received an intriguing ‘wake-up call’ on 25th October through an SMS message to launch the campaign in Uzbekistan. The message asked “Why are so many young people contracting HIV?” Each SMS message had a link to the UNICEF website where everyone interested was able find more detailed information about the campaign…”
Bump in the Beltway: “Survivors of the Pakistani earthquake left to die of cold. Thousands have no shelter with the first snows of winter only days away. By Justin Huggler in Bagh, Kashmir: “At least 500,000 earthquake survivors in Pakistan still have no shelter with the fierce Himalayan winter just days away, international relief agencies have warned. Aid agencies say they are doing what they can but governments have not put up enough money. The United Nations has received only $133m towards an emergency appeal for $550m. It urgently needs $42m just to keep the current aid effort going.” Can someone tell me why the victims of the tsunami are somehow more worthy of aid?”
Eccentric Star: “Reconstruction Chief Challenged by Iraqis – [Reuters] Iraqi perceptions that not enough is being done to rebuild the country after the U.S.-led invasion are simply a case of bad public relations, Washington’s new reconstruction chief said on Sunday. Challenged by Iraqi reporters at his first news conference since he arrived in Baghdad to head the U.S. embassy’s Iraq Reconstruction Management Office, Dan Speckhart listed a string of U.S.-funded projects covering health, education, transport, water and electricity generation… Another Iraqi reporter asked him about a recommendation by a UN watchdog agency that Washington should repay $208 million in apparent overcharges paid to a Halliburton Co. subsidiary.”
Harowo: “Discontent Simmering in Horn of Africa – [VOA] The UN peacekeeping mission along Ethiopia-Eritrea border region has cost one billion dollars since the 2000 peace accord. The border region between Ethiopia and Eritrea is mostly barren and sparsely populated. According to most observers, it is hardly a region worth fighting for. Yet, Eritrea and Ethiopia fought a two-year war over it, between 1998 and 2000, in which an estimated 70-thousand people lost their lives. Robert Rotberg, Director of Harvard University’s Program on Interstate Conflict says despite the 2000 peace agreement, the border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea remains unresolved.”
Politburo Dikat: “Annan pays first visit to Iraq since start of war / He calls for factions to come together for Dec. 15 elections: “U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan visited Iraq on Saturday for the first time since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq 2 1/2 years ago … The United Nations, which pulled out of Iraq in October 2003 after a bombing at its Baghdad headquarters, is slowly re-establishing its presence in the country. The attack killed 22 people, including the top U.N. envoy to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.”
PSD: “Kenyan Nobel Peace laureate Wangari Maathai on the importance of Africa’s SME’s and diaspora: “I commend the African diaspora for believing in small and medium-sized enterprises, which are key to enabling Africans to fulfill their aspirations for jobs and economic security. The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) reports that 90% of all businesses in Africa are small and medium-sized. We must support this sector and ensure that it thrives.” Via Africa Unchained.”
True Blue Liberal: “From The Standard China: Iran has dismissed fresh US allegations about its atomic ambitions as a bid to blight a crucial meeting of the United Nations nuclear watchdog later this month. US officials said new evidence suggested Iran had made significant progress in what they call its secret pursuit of nuclear weapons, and that this strengthened the case for more international pressure on Teheran to end the program. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi rejected the allegations as an attempt to ratchet up pressure on Teheran.”
“The United Nations will this week launch a major air operation to ferry food and other supplies to earthquake survivors high in Pakistan’s mountains in frantic bid to beat the problems of winter.
Britain has supplied three Chinook transport helicopters that will fly up to 200 tonnes of supplies a day into the mountains from Tuesday for five days, said senior U.N. official Pat Duggan.” [LINK]
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.