Yearly Archives: 2007
Continuing UN Talk Radio Day coverage…
As Alan and Kerri are setting up in the corner, Greenfield has got Susan Myers, Executive Director of the UN Foundation’s New York office, on the hook, and Joe Madison is talking to Dennis King, Senior Technical Advisor on Polio Eradication at UNICEF, which has, in partnership with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, reduced the occurrence of polio worldwide by 99 percent. In fact, only four polio endemic countries remain — Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, and India. Considering that the Initiative has the tools to completely eradicate polio (like the UN did with smallpox in 1977), Madison wanted to know what needs to be done now. King responded that it “needs to be an issue that [local authorities] want to solve.” He continued to say that the virus has been isolated to “very discrete geological and cultural pockets” with “high illiteracy rates” and a populace that is “suspicious of outside initiatives.” Some have suggested that this is fueled by the anti-Western sentiments of some radical imams. The four remaining endemic countries have tough-to-reach pockets of Muslim populations.
Continuing UN Talk Radio Day coverage…
Greenfield is interviewing Stephan Dujarric, Deputy Communications Director of the UN. Dujarric is talking about the broad reach of the United Nations and its demonstrated competency solving challenges with which the public might not always know it’s engaged. Dujarric said, “What people need to realize is that UNICEF is the UN.” He went on to say that we all now face “problems that know no borders, and, unless they are dealt with in a collective matter,” they won’t be solved.
Dujarric, also a former Spokesman for former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, was then asked to compare the current and former SGs. The main difference, he said, is that Kofi Annan spent his life in the UN system (and was the first SG to do so). In contrast, Ban Ki-moon served as the foreign minister of South Korea, which has a “very specific history living under the threat of nuclear annihilation.” New perspectives, he says, are always good for a “dusty old bureaucracy” like the UN.
Today, the UN Foundation, in partnership with Talkers Magazine and Talk Radio News Service, is hosting the second annual “Talk Radio Day at the UN.” Throughout the day, 20 U.S.-based radio show hosts from across the country will air their shows live from the UN headquarters in New York, and UN Dispatch will be here to cover it.
As top officials from the Group of Eight (G8) gathered in Germany for their summit meeting, UNAIDS urged them to show continued leadership on the issue of HIV/AIDS.
The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) “urges the G8 leaders to translate their previous commitments on AIDS into tangible action and to ensure that additional pledges on AIDS reinforce and build on existing” and praised the G8 leaders for their “unprecedented commitments.”
by John Prendergast and Julia Spiegel
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”.