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Feeding the Hungry

The Secretary General urged donors to fund a UN appeal as first step in tackling global food crisis. From the UN News Center:

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on donors to urgently provide the $755 million in emergency funds needed for the United Nations to feed millions of hungry people worldwide, as the first of a series of measures to tackle the global food crisis.

“The [27 heads of UN Agencies] call upon the international community and, in particular, developed countries to urgently and fully fund the emergency requirement of $755 million for the World Food Programme and honour outstanding pledges,” said Mr. Ban, standing alongside WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran and other leaders of UN bodies on the frontline in dealing with food security.

So far, of the WFP’s initial appeal of $2.1 billion only $900 million has been received. Unless developed countries pony up, many people will starve.

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Feeding the Hungry

The Secretary General urged donors to fund a UN appeal as first step in tackling global food crisis. From the UN News Center:

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on donors to urgently provide the $755 million in emergency funds needed for the United Nations to feed millions of hungry people worldwide, as the first of a series of measures to tackle the global food crisis.

“The [27 heads of UN Agencies] call upon the international community and, in particular, developed countries to urgently and fully fund the emergency requirement of $755 million for the World Food Programme and honour outstanding pledges,” said Mr. Ban, standing alongside WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran and other leaders of UN bodies on the frontline in dealing with food security.

So far, of the WFP’s initial appeal of $2.1 billion only $900 million has been received. Unless developed countries pony up, many people will starve.

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Is South Africa Finally Abandoning Mugabe?

Did Mugabe alienate his oldest international ally? Today, for the first time in a very long while, the situation in Zimbabwe is set to be discussed in the Security Council. The opposition MDC, which won last month’s elections, will address the council to air their grievances. The Council will likely recommend the Secretary General appoint a Special Representative to monitor the harassment of Mugabe’s political opponents and, eventually, help mediate a transition of power. Why is this so significant? South Africa, traditionally Mugabe’s strongest international supporter, is presiding over the Security Council this month. As Council president, South Africa has a leading role in setting the schedule of the Council–and in the past has strongly resisted bringing the situation in Zimbabwe before the Council.

According to South Africa based-writer Geoff Hill, South Africa’s shifting attitude on Mugabe can be partly explained by the fact that SA President Thabo Mbeki is a lame duck and that incoming President Jacob Zuma is calling the shots. More broadly, though, there seems to be a recognition that Mugabe’s time is up. As Hill notes, African states recognize that Mugabe has been mortally wounded and are treating MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai as if he is the next president of Zimbabwe — hence the MDC’s invitation to address the Council today.

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Is South Africa Finally Abandoning Mugabe?

Did Mugabe alienate his oldest international ally? Today, for the first time in a very long while, the situation in Zimbabwe is set to be discussed in the Security Council. The opposition MDC, which won last month’s elections, will address the council to air their grievances. The Council will likely recommend the Secretary General appoint a Special Representative to monitor the harassment of Mugabe’s political opponents and, eventually, help mediate a transition of power. Why is this so significant? South Africa, traditionally Mugabe’s strongest international supporter, is presiding over the Security Council this month. As Council president, South Africa has a leading role in setting the schedule of the Council–and in the past has strongly resisted bringing the situation in Zimbabwe before the Council.

According to South Africa based-writer Geoff Hill, South Africa’s shifting attitude on Mugabe can be partly explained by the fact that SA President Thabo Mbeki is a lame duck and that incoming President Jacob Zuma is calling the shots. More broadly, though, there seems to be a recognition that Mugabe’s time is up. As Hill notes, African states recognize that Mugabe has been mortally wounded and are treating MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai as if he is the next president of Zimbabwe — hence the MDC’s invitation to address the Council today.

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Tuesday Morning Coffee

Top Stories

>>China – China has sentenced 17 protesters who participated in the March 10 riots in Tibet and surrounding provinces. Sentences ranged from three years to life. Soi’nam Norbu, a 20-year-old driver accused of burning vehicles, throwing stones at government property, and assaulting firemen, and Basang, a monk accused of leading 10 people in destroying a local government office, looting 11 shops, and attacking police, were both given life sentences. All of the monks who followed Basang got over 15 years.

>>Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe’s rival opposition factions, which had split in 2005, have reunited and could now claim a majority in parliament. The combined opposition will now hold 109 seats in parliament to ZANU-PF’s 97. Meanwhile, the nation still waits, a month in, for the results of the presidential vote. Verification is set to begin today, with final results expected in a week.

>>Cuba – With the exception of three people charged with terrorism, Raul Castro has commuted all death sentences to prison terms of 30 years. Castro was quick to note that the death penalty still exists in Cuban penal code. In Cuba, the death penalty is carried out by firing squad. Last March, Cuba signed two central UN human rights agreements, which Fidel Castro had long opposed.

>>European Union – The European Union today ironed out a pact with Serbia, but failed to reach an agreement to restart stalled partnership negotiations with Russia. Lithuania still hasn’t seen assurances on Russian energy, judicial cooperation, and a softer foreign policy with regard to former Soviet states. The pact with Serbia holds a caveat; EU states will not ratify the pact, nor will Serbia receive any benefits, until all EU states are convinced that Serbia is doing its due diligence with regard to war crimes suspects.

Yesterday in UN Dispatch

The Rest of the Story


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1 Comment

Tuesday Morning Coffee

Top Stories

>>China – China has sentenced 17 protesters who participated in the March 10 riots in Tibet and surrounding provinces. Sentences ranged from three years to life. Soi’nam Norbu, a 20-year-old driver accused of burning vehicles, throwing stones at government property, and assaulting firemen, and Basang, a monk accused of leading 10 people in destroying a local government office, looting 11 shops, and attacking police, were both given life sentences. All of the monks who followed Basang got over 15 years.

>>Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe’s rival opposition factions, which had split in 2005, have reunited and could now claim a majority in parliament. The combined opposition will now hold 109 seats in parliament to ZANU-PF’s 97. Meanwhile, the nation still waits, a month in, for the results of the presidential vote. Verification is set to begin today, with final results expected in a week.

>>Cuba – With the exception of three people charged with terrorism, Raul Castro has commuted all death sentences to prison terms of 30 years. Castro was quick to note that the death penalty still exists in Cuban penal code. In Cuba, the death penalty is carried out by firing squad. Last March, Cuba signed two central UN human rights agreements, which Fidel Castro had long opposed.

>>European Union – The European Union today ironed out a pact with Serbia, but failed to reach an agreement to restart stalled partnership negotiations with Russia. Lithuania still hasn’t seen assurances on Russian energy, judicial cooperation, and a softer foreign policy with regard to former Soviet states. The pact with Serbia holds a caveat; EU states will not ratify the pact, nor will Serbia receive any benefits, until all EU states are convinced that Serbia is doing its due diligence with regard to war crimes suspects.

Yesterday in UN Dispatch

The Rest of the Story


Africa

Americas

Asia

Europe

Middle East

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