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Annan: US, UK Also Bear Blame in Oil-for-Food Controversy

REUTERS: "U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Thursday the United States and Britain bore part of the blame in the Iraq oil-for-food debacle by allowing unsupervised oil exports that Saddam Hussein exploited. Annan, addressing a seminar on the United Nations and the media, said most of the money Saddam earned was by oil sold to Jordan and Turkey outside of the $67 billion U.N. program."
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Annan: Billions of Promises to Keep

New York Times Op-Ed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan: "THIS is a make-or-break year for Sudan, Africa's biggest country. In Oslo this week, donor countries pledged $4.5 billion in aid to Sudan, but while I applaud the donors' generosity, promises alone are not enough. Time is running out for the people of Sudan. We need pledges immediately converted into cash and more protection forces in Darfur to prevent yet more death and suffering. If we fail in Sudan, the consequences of our actions will haunt us for years to come." Read the rest...
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After Annan’s Call, Donors Pledge $4.5 Billion for Sudan

UN News Service: "A two-day donors' conference to support the peace accord between the Government and rebels in southern Sudan has pledged $4.5 billion for 2005-2007, nearly $2 billion more than the amount United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan identified as needed to resurrect the ravaged region over the next two and a half years. Addressing the opening session yesterday in Oslo, Norway, Mr. Annan had appealed to participants to "pledge - and pledge generously," quipping when asked about the tendency of governments not to honour their pledges that "pledges are good, but cash is better."
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UN Meeting Tackles Water, Sanitation

"A high-level U.N. meeting is trying to tackle what a senior U.N. official called the world's "silent humanitarian crisis" - dirty water, poor sanitation and slums. Jose Antonio Ocampo, undersecretary-general for economic and social affairs, told the 53-member Commission on Sustainable Development at the opening of a two-week meeting on Monday that providing safe drinking water and basic sanitation to the world's slum dwellers is an achievable goal." Read More (Via UN Wire)
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Nepal Agrees to Presence of UN Rights Monitors

"Nepal agreed on Monday to let the United Nations send observers to the country, where both government forces and Maoist rebels are accused of abusing human rights. Under an agreement with Kathmandu, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights will set up offices and try to bring to account those guilty of abuse. "Breaking the cycle of serious and systematic abuses will be the first essential step toward achieving peace and reconciliation in Nepal," U.N. High Commissioner Louise Arbour said in a statement. Some 11,000 people have been killed in the Maoist revolt since 1996. Insurgents control large parts of Nepal's countryside and want to establish a communist republic." LINK
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Media Matters: Parshall and Gaffney Fact-Check

Media Matters: "Right-wing evangelical radio host Janet Parshall and guest Frank Gaffney, neoconservative Center for Security Policy director and former Reagan administration acting assistant secretary of defense, baselessly accused those who oppose the nomination of undersecretary of state John Bolton to become U.S. ambassador to the United Nations of partisanship and bad faith. Opening an April 5 interview of Gaffney on her syndicated radio program, Parshall asserted, "People who think the U.N. should rule the world will have some serious problems with John Bolton."
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Stay-at-Home Dad Does his Homework on UN

"Ben Gaddis doesn't want a degree from Lincoln Land Community College. He has taken only a couple of political science classes, basically to practice for graduate school this fall. Slight as it may be, Gaddis' affiliation with LLCC brought an extra $1,000 to the 28-year-old stay-at-home father. So if nothing else, those two classes have been a financial success. Gaddis recently was awarded the 2005 Michael Steven Shower Memorial Scholarship at the Midwest Model United Nations meeting in St. Louis, for a research paper he wrote about U.N. responses to human rights violations." Full Story....