Monthly Archives: October 2009
T. Christian Miller and Dafna Linzer write in ProPublica that the United Nations cannot account for “tens of millions of dollars provided to the troubled Afghan election commission.” They cite two audits and interviews with current and former UNAMA staff to back up these claims.
These are clearly troubling accusations. Exclusive to UN Dispatch, UN Development Program spokesperson Stephane Dujarric sent the following letter to ProPublica last night:
Spencer Ackerman says:
there’s no doubt that diplomatic outreach to Iran on the nuclear question suffers tremendously if Iran rejects the Vienna deal. Desired strategies have to bow to emergent realities, in the final analysis, and Iran just doesn’t appear like it will accept an eminently reasonable deal that would buy time for a diplomatic thaw. If this is indeed Iran’s formal response to Vienna, than sanctions look more likely now, and, frankly, appropriate.
The General Assembly today will endorse a landmark agreement to fight the illegal and irresponsible trade of small arms and conventional weapons. Now, the General Assembly resolution is not an agreement itself, but it does set out a timetable for negotiations on an agreement on ways to curb arms sales to insurgent groups, volatile regions, or irresponsible governments. The vote tomorrow is very significant, however, for the fact that for the first time
A new article at The Daily Beast highlights the risks of motherhood in India in a striking way. Every year, half a million women die as a result of pregnancy. And for every death, there are 20-30 cases of maternal injury. At the same time, high-end private clinics support surrogate mothers bearing children for infertile couple from the wealthy world. It’s an ugly dichotomy, and it points to financial inequalities and health sector weakness.
The saga of the potential Iranian low-enriched uranium export deal continues. The New York Times reports that Iran is preparing a counter-offer, which may or may not include sending partial shipments of its low-enriched-uranium outside the country for further processing. This sort of back and forth is to be expected. But what caught my eye was this:
The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak was deported from the airport in Harare yesterday. Prime Minister (and Robert Mugabe’s top political rival) Morgan Tsvangirai invited Nowak to his office in Harare yesterday. But upon arriving at the airport, Nowak was detained by immigration officials and forced on the next plane back to South Africa.
Here is the story, as told from Nowak’s point of view:
SG: The SG arrived in Cairo today where he will meet with the Foreign Minister, President el-Sisi and US Secretary of State Kerry to promote the Egypt-initiated ceasefire in the Middle East. Spokesman Dujarric told reporters today that “the overriding messages that [the SG] brings is, first, that the violence must stop, and needs to stop now.”
Middle East: The SG welcomed the humanitarian pause negotiated by Special Coordinator Serry to allow civilians in Gaza to begin repairs on electrical and water infrastructure. WFP used the five-hour pause to deliver emergency food assistance to Gaza. The SG hopes the pause will lead to peace and a sustainable ceasefire.