Monthly Archives: February 2007
In the first few months of 2005, the Security Council considered granting the International Criminal Court the jurisdiction to investigate alleged war crimes in Darfur. The debate was tough at the time. The United States is not a signatory to the treaty that created court and it was unclear whether or not it would support the referral in the Security Council. The crisis in Darfur, however, seemed to inspire a brief détente between the United States and the ICC. When the resolution came to a vote, the United States abstained and let the measure pass.
Nearly 20 months later, we are seeing the first results of that decision. On Tuesday, the ICC’s top prosecutor released the names of two individuals against whom his office has built a case. According to the recently released court documents, Ahmad Harun, a Sudanese government official, is alleged to have hired a janjaweed militia commander named Ali Kushyb to clear out villages and towns in West Darfur.
Though these are two relatively mid-level players, the investigation in Darfur is still open. The prosecutor has pledged to follow the evidence where it leads. Presumably, this means up the chain of command to more senior officials of the Sudanese government.
Today the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) named a Sudanese minister and a militia commander as the first suspects he wants tried for war crimes.
The Security Council referred the Darfur issue, along with the names of 51 suspected perpetrators, to the ICC in March 2005, after a UN inquiry into whether genocide occurred in Darfur found the Government responsible for crimes under international law and strongly recommended referring the dossier to the Court.
The United Nations Foundation (UN Foundation) and Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, released today “Confronting Climate Change: Avoiding the Unmanageable and Managing the Unavoidable,” the final report of the Scientific Expert Group on Climate Change and Sustainable Development. The report, prepared as input for the upcoming meeting of the UN’s Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), outlines a roadmap for preventing unmanageable climate changes and adapting to the degree of change that can no longer be avoided.
Diplomats from the U.S., Britain, China, Russia, Germany and France have agreed to start working on new resolution in order to pressure Iran to rein in its nuclear program.
The State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack, said the United States was willing to join in talks between the Europeans and Iran over the nuclear program, provided that Iran suspended its uranium enrichment activity.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative, Alan Doss told the all-female peacekeeping unit in Liberia that “we know from police experience around the world that women officers are good at handling potentially violent situations.”
“I am quite confident that with your help we can maintain a peaceful, stable and violence-free environment in Liberia,” Mr. Doss told the unit made up 105 female officers with 20 male supporting staff – the first largely female Formed Police Unit to be deployed to a UN peacekeeping operation.
Two weeks ago, several hundred Brazilian peacekeepers raided the gang-infested sea side slum of Cite Soleil, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (You can read about the offensive here and here.) So far, the raids have successfully rooted out some of the major organized criminal elements of Cite Soleil. In yet another sign of progress, UN Peacekeepers have transformed the headquarters of the most notorious gang leaders into a free medical clinic for the long suffering residents of the neighborhood.
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.