Yearly Archives: 2006
BBC: “The 50 least developed countries, most of which are in Africa, lack the means to compete in a rapidly globalising world, says the UN’s Unctad agency. Unctad’s latest report says aid should be used to make poorer economies more productive and boost wealth creation.
CNN: U.N. chief Kofi Annan called on Thursday for an immediate end to the fighting between Israeli and Hezbollah forces. The secretary-general blamed Hezbollah for triggering the crisis and accused it of holding Lebanon hostage with its campaign against Israel.
“While Hezbollah’s actions are deplorable and, as I’ve said, Israel has a right to defend itself, the excessive use of force is to be condemned,” Annan told the U.N. Security Council.”
“The UN’s top human rights official issued a strong warning yesterday that killings of innocent civilians in Lebanon and Israel could amount to war crimes.
“International humanitarian law is clear on the supreme obligation to protect civilians during hostilities,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour. “This obligation is also expressed in international criminal law, which defines war crimes and crimes against humanity.” [More]
Watching the President’s comments this week complaining “about [UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's] approach to the crisis, and for holding the view of many leaders [at the G-8 summit] that Israel and Hamas and Hezbollah should ceasefire and hash out their differences,” one might think that the President is upset about the role that the UN is playing in the current crisis in the Middle East. Nothing could be further from the truth. Monday afternoon White House Press Secretary Tony Snow clarified the President’s position saying that he “has been supportive from the very start of the U.N. mission to the region.”
“United Nations officials said they had based their figures on tallies provided by two Iraqi agencies: the Ministry of Health, which tracks violent deaths recorded at hospitals around the country; and Baghdad’s central morgue, where unidentified bodies are delivered, a vast majority of which met violent deaths.
“U.N. diplomat Terje Roed-Larson says a U.N. delegation has presented Israel with “concrete ideas” on ways to end the violence between Israel and Hezbollah.
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”.