Monthly Archives: October 2007
B. Lynn Pascoe, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, raised concerns recently about the humanitarian conditions facing Palestinians.
“Economic activity and humanitarian operations will be seriously affected by the decision of Israel to further restrict access for West Bank residents – including UN staff – to East Jerusalem and the ‘seam zone’ between the Barrier and the green line,” he said.
Obviously not getting into the spirit of United Nations Day, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad derided as “piles of paper” UN Security Council resolutions demanding Iranian halt its nuclear program.
“The so-called dossier at the Security Council is a pile of papers that have no value. They can add to those worthless papers everyday because it has no effect on the will of the Iranian nation,” state television quoted Ahmadinejad as saying Wednesday.
Ahmidenijad has always positioned himself as the fly in the American ointment. But here, he’s not just insulting the United States, but Europe, Russia, and China as well. China, in particular, has increasingly sought to use the Security Council as a locus of its foreign policy priorities so it would seem to me that they have an interest in defending the authority of the Security Council against attacks like this. To the extent that Ahmidenijad has sought to stoke divisions within the Security Council, I have to wonder if his bluster today is ultimately counterproductive.
Today, in honor of UN Day, DipNote, the “U.S. Department of State Official Blog,” is soliciting responses to the question above. We believe that, although there are certainly steps to be taken to ensure that the UN can more efficiently fulfill its mission (both in terms of reform and the full payment of dues by key Member States), the answer is clear (and thoroughly and eloquently spelled out here).
Submit your answer on DipNote and write to us here at UN Dispatch.
A selection from those who have weighed in at DipNote after the jump.
by Dr. Corrado Clini, Director General of the Italian Ministry for the Environment Land and Sea and Chairman of the Global Bioenergy Partnership Trade in biofuels and biofuels feedstocks is currently too low. European and US systems of subsidies and incentives for domestic production and of tariffs for imported feedstocks and final products are, de facto, reducing the potential biofuels production in tropical and subtropical countries, where biomass productivity is significantly higher than in temperate regions such as Europe and North America (according to some estimates up to five times higher).
Today marks United Nations Day, the anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Charter on today’s date in 1945.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, “More people and governments understand that multilateralism is the only path in our interdependent and globalizing world,…Global problems demand global solutions – and going it alone is not a viable option.”
So Happy Birthday, UN. Party on.
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”.