“WHO and health partners are supporting the national authorities in meeting the urgent needs of the rapidly increasing number of displaced people, including access to safe drinking water, health care, vaccines and life saving medications. Collaboration with other health agencies such as UNICEF, UNFPA, the Lebanese Red Cross and others is instituted through the Health Cluster mechanism, and the UN Flash Appeal launched on 24 July. Eighteen health projects are listed under the Flash Appeal, for a total requirement of US$ 32 428 200. Pledges thus far include US$ 1 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), US$ 381 000 from Australia, 200 000 Euros from Italy, 100 000 Euros from Ireland, US$ 600 000 from Sweden, US$ 660 000 from Canada, 1 000 000 Euros from Norway and 500 000 Euros from ECHO.”
In a deeply misleading paragraph, the Conservative Voice claims, “The United Nations’ second in command Malloch Brown [sic] said Wednesday that Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization. As Brown reports directly to UN Sec. Gen. Kofi Annan, this statement is believed to reflect the position of the entire UN body.”
The brief article includes no direct quotes from the Deputy Secretary General. In fact, it does not even get his name right. (His first name is “Mark”, not “Malloch,” which is part of his surname.) Presumably, their article is based on Malloch Brown’s recent and widely discussed interview with the Financial Times. A quick review of the transcript reveals that it would be quite a stretch to interpret Malloch Brown’s comments as anyway supportive of Hezbollah.What he does tell journalist Mark Turner about the nexus between Hezbollah and terrorism is precisely this: “It’s not helpful to couch this war in the language of international terrorism. Hezbollah employs terrorist tactics, it is an organization however whose roots historically are completely separate and different from Al Qaeda … Over time there’s got to be a similar future as there have been for other terrorist fighters; a settlement which addresses the political issues of their cause as well as the military ones. Which secures disarmament and reintegration into a non violent political process.”
This is a far cry from insinuating that the United Nations refuses to call Hezbollah “terrorists.”
Writing in Democracy Arsenal, David Shorr asks how long it will take commentators to start talking about the crisis in Lebanon and Israel as a “failure” of the United Nations.
“I have written elsewhere that the chief political function of the UN is often to serve as a scapegoat … Ironically, the UN was a significant contributor to Lebanon’s Cedar Revolution last year. After the Hariri assassination, the Security Council displayed remarkable unity in putting pressure on Syria. And that’s the point, international organizations can be quite effective when governments come together and agree on a course of action.”
This point should be repeated ad nauseam each time a conservative editorial condemns the United Nations’ ‘impotence’ in the current crisis. As I write, the French are circulating a draft resolution that calls for an immediate cease fire. The impediments to action are America’s reservations about the timing and order of a cease fire resolution, for better or worse. Until those are resolved, the Council will have its hands tied. And this is no fault of the United Nations.
“United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan met Tuesday with the five permanent members of the Security Council in informal talks focused on the crisis in the Middle East and how best to stop the bloodshed in a conflict that has killed hundreds of people and forced almost a million others to flee their homes across the region.Mr. Annan discussed with the ambassadors from China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States the cessation of hostilities, a ceasefire and political framework for a settlement, as well as the composition and deployment of a stabilization force for Lebanon and the humanitarian situation, a UN spokesman told reporters.” [More]
“An oil slick, caused by the destruction of the Jiyyeh power utility 30km south of Beirut after being struck by Israeli bombs, is now reported to be affecting up to 80 km of the Lebanese coastline and threatening the Syrian one too.
Achim Steiner, a UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP’s Executive Director, said requests of assistance from the government of Lebanon were being responded to by the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Center for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC).
REMPEC, administered by the UN International Maritime Organization and part UNEP’s Regional Seas Network, is giving advice to the Lebanese Ministry of the Environment on how to tackle the heavy fuel oil slick.”
The SG: In Ethiopia over the weekend, the SG is now in the United Arab Emirates. Today he met with Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, where the two discussed developments in the region, including Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, and in the Middle East Peace Process.