Yearly Archives: 2007
In a report released on Monday, Ban Ki-moon raised the possibility that the UN may expand its operations in Iraq. Clearly on the Secretary General’s mind was the 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, which killed a top UN diplomat, Sergio Vieira de Mello, and 16 others. From the Guardian:
The United Nations is a major promoter of electoral, constitutional and political efforts to build a united, democratic Iraq but because of the “precarious” security situation it needs the speedy construction of a new residential compound in Baghdad that can withstand the impact of rockets and other high-caliber weapons, he said.
“The security situation in Iraq remains complex and unpredictable and is a major limiting factor for the United Nations presence and activities in Iraq,” Ban said in the report covering the period from early March to early June.
U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who was previously the top U.S. envoy in Iraq, has stressed several times that the United States believes the United Nations can and should step up its activities in Iraq, even in the current security climate.
A new publication by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights aims to serve as a research tool for children’s rights advocates.
“This major study documents how the Convention on the Rights of the Child came to represent a sea change in the way the international community was prepared to address the rights of children,” said High Commissioner Louise Arbour.
The two-volume Legislative History on the Convention on the Rights of the Child lists among the many major advances ushered in by the Convention recognition, for the first time in a human rights treaty, of the differential and often discriminatory impact that national legislation, policies, attitudes and cultural traditions can have on girls.
The Legislative History on the Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first comprehensive record of the drafting of the Convention, according to a news release from Ms. Arbour’s office.
by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif. 6)
After criticizing past Presidents’ foreign policy efforts as nothing more than “nation building” during his first campaign, President Bush promised the world a new American foreign policy once elected. Seven years later, we have seen the results of his approach – of his insistence on preemptive military strikes instead of diplomacy, of brash unilateral arrogance as opposed to respect for the international organizations. I am certainly not alone in recognizing the foreign policy of this Administration as nothing but a total and abject failure.
Lynn Pascoe, the new American UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs (which is sort of like the UN’s Secretary of State) visited Mogadishu over the weekend. He came back convinced that more troops were urgently needed in Somalia.
“It’s a fact that more troops are needed to help stabilize Somalia which had been without a central government for more than 16 years,” Pascoe told journalists in Nairobi.
The UN is pushing for the implementation of a three-phased plan, targeting reconciliation, security reinforcement and the continuation of the humanitarian efforts.
Pascoe plans to brief the Security Council on his visit to the region upon his return to New York and recommend the possible deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission in Somalia.
If the UN deploys to Somalia, it would join Southern Sudan and Ethiopia/Eritrea as the third peacekeeping mission in the Horn of Africa. Indeed, the Horn is seemingly becoming a new loci for peacekeeping operations in Africa. Just to the west, prospective missions are also being considered in Chad, the Central African Republic, and of course, Darfur.
The senior United Nations envoy to Liberia says that the nation’s women should not just be looked on as victims of war, but as post-conflict “vanguards of peace.”
“Such inclusion can only be achieved through the strengthening of democratic institutions necessary to ensure peace, security, human rights and justice for all,” Alan Doss, Special Representative of the Secretary-General Alan Doss and head of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), said.
He also said that bringing together and supporting women’s NGOs and groups will “guarantee that women’s voices are heard and heeded in all spheres of life.”
For more information on women and peacekeeping, check out SC Resolution 1325 how it increases women’s participation in the peace process.
On June 10, 1999, after 78 days of a US-led NATO bombing campaign, the Serbian army withdrew from Kosovo, a small province with an ethnic-Albanian majority. But with the Serbian Army’s eviction, the ethnic-Serb dominated government in Kosovo collapsed. To take its place, and oversee Kosovo’s physical and political reconstruction, the Security Council created the United Nations Interim Mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, that very day.
From the outset, a large NATO force in Kosovo obviated the need for a significant deployment of UN peacekeepers. The United Nations, however, provided the bulk of international civilian administrators and supplied a “blue hat” police force, which has played a crucial role in Kosovo’s reconstruction.
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.