Monthly Archives: September 2009
Hugh Jackman, he of climate change destroying adamantium claws, just kicked off the climate week in New York in an event at the New York Public library with Ban Ki Moon, Tony Blair, and UN Foundation President Tim Wirth, among many others.
I’m at the event now–and will Twitter it for UN Dispatch http://twitter.com/undispatch
Thousands of New Yorkers received free copies of a special edition of the New York Post this morning dedicated to the dangers of climate change and the need for robust international action to combat it. For the unawares, the New York Post is a Murdoch owned-tabloid that tends to scew on the “climate change is myth” side of the spectrum, so I was mighty shocked to see an entire issue dedicated to climate change ahead of the UN climate summit tomorrow.
The only problem, though, is that it was a spoof. The Yes Men are responsible.
In this week’s edition of UN Plaza, I speak talk international climate change negotiations with Namrata Patodia of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Expect a bunch of climate-negotiation related posts the next few days as UN Dispatch is basically camped out at the UN during tomorrow’s big Climate Summit in New York. Stay Tuned!
This is a truly terrible development. Suicide bombers used white cars with UN markings to gain entry to an AMISOM base in Mogadishu. Dozens of people, including 17 African Union peacekeepers and the deputy force commander were killed in the attack. AMISOM is a force of about 5,000 troops from mostly Burundi and Uganda, which is the only international force trying to bring a semblance of stability to Somalia.
Here is Ban Ki Moon’s statement:
I am shocked and outraged by the reported suicide attack against AMISOM Force Headquarters in Mogadishu today. The attack has reportedly killed or wounded a number of AMISOM troops including at the command level.
AMISOM is in Mogadishu to help end the conflict that has ravaged the country for the last 20 years, and for a better future in which all Somalis can live in peace and security.
We – the United Nations – remain committed to continuing to work with the Transitional Federal Government and the Somali people to facilitate reconciliation and the political process, build Somali security and rule of law institutions and provide humanitarian assistance. The United Nations stands by the African Union and AMISOM and will continue to support AMISOM’s deployment and operations. UN resources from neighboring peace operations are on standby to assist the African Union to respond to the incident today as required.
I condemn in strongest possible terms this entirely unacceptable attack on those who are there to help foster peace and I call upon all Somalis to renounce violence and to work with the Transitional Federal Government towards national reconciliation.
I express my sincere condolences to the families, the contingents and Governments of those who lost their lives and my sympathy for those who have been wounded.
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”.