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UN official raises concerns about the humanitarian conditions facing Palestinians

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. More
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The Grinch

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.
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“Does the UN Effectively Fulfill its Mission?”

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.
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Opening up the international biofuels market

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).

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Happy Birthday to the United Nations!

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.