Monthly Archives: June 2006
Crunching numbers provided by the State Department’s annual report on voting patterns in the United Nations, Fred Gedrich concludes that General Assembly member states vote against the United States 75% of the time. So doing, he argues that this voting pattern evidences a chronic anti-Americanism at the United Nations. Alas, he fails to impart a rather significant disclaimer to that figure: it does not include resolutions reached by consensus.
The Pittsburgh Tribune Review devotes Sunday editorial space to Mark Malloch Brown’s so-called “hissy-fit” last week. Though the irony is probably lost on the Tribune’s editorial board, their brief exposition is Malloch Brown’s thoughtful critique of US-UN relations made manifest.
Media Matters: “In response to recent remarks by Mark Malloch Brown, the deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, who criticized “U.S. administrations of both parties” for allowing the U.N.’s “loudest detractors, such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News,” to define the international organization for the “U.S. heartland,” Limbaugh and various other Fox News media figures smeared Brown, referring to him, in turn, as a “pointy-headed, elitist liberal” and “a phony.”
The United Nations is launching a global appeal for funds to support 100,000 refugees in East Timor. The number of people displaced from their homes in East Timor’s capital, Dili, is still rising. At least 65,000 people are in camps around Dili while an estimated 35,000 have fled to outer districts, the ABC reports.
The United Nations is launching a flash appeal in New York to raise money to feed and shelter those in the camps for months if needed. The UN Development Program is hoping to raise at least $28 million, and is confident the international community will pitch in. [More]
Sebastian Mallaby: “Last month President Bush issued a rare apology. “Saying ‘Bring it on,’ kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal,” he confessed. “I think in certain parts of the world it was misinterpreted.”
Well done, Mr. President, you’ve understood that bluster can backfire. Now how about sharing this insight with your ambassador to the United Nations?”
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”.