Monthly Archives: May 2006
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan vowed to continue working for the release of Myanmar democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, whose house arrest the authorities have extended.
To Ed Lasky, the Secretary General’s decision to evacuate non-essential U.N. personnel from East Timor is proof positive of the U.N.’s inherent fecklessness: “Meant to protect civilians, UN staff have run away from the capital of East Timor after an outbreak of violence… If someone says “boo” to them, they turn tail.” Lasky, however, does not bother to mention that those workers who were evacuated from East Timor last week were civil servants who perform important (but in a conflict zone, non-essential) tasks such as HIV/Aids education, civil society training, legal work, and more.
Memorial Day (May 29) was also the International Day of UN Peacekeepers. Here’s an excerpt of a message by the President of the General Assembly: “The General Assembly first designated 29 May as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers four years ago. On this day, we pay tribute to the professionalism, dedication and courage of all the men and women serving in United Nations peacekeeping operations, and honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.”
“The United Nations has warned that the task of helping survivors of Saturday’s earthquake on the Indonesian island of Java is “a race against the clock”.
Emergency workers and supplies are arriving at the scene, but the UN’s top relief co-ordinator Jan Egeland told the BBC the task was “enormous”.
Driving rain has made conditions worse for survivors of the quake, which killed at least 4,900 and hurt 20,000.
And activity at nearby erupting volcano Mount Merapi is said to have increased.
United Nations aid agencies are holding talks in Geneva to plan humanitarian relief.
The agencies, including Unicef, the World Food Programme, the World Health Organization and the International Red Cross, have already begun distributing some relief supplies but say much more will be needed.” [Read more]
“A frantic search for survivors is continuing after a strong earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Java, killing more than 4,200 people…. Unicef said it was sending emergency supplies including 2,000 tents, 9,000 tarpaulins and hygiene kits.” [More]
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.