Site Meter UN Dispatch | Page 1068 of 1283 | United Nations News & Commentary Global News - ForumUN Dispatch | United Nations News & Commentary Global News – Forum | Page 1068
Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size

All Posts

UN Suspends Moroccan Peacekeeping Battalion in Ivory Coast

From the UN News Center:

Acting on the findings of an internal investigation conducted by the United Nations Mission in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) which revealed serious allegations of widespread sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers there, the world body has suspended the contingent concerned, a spokesperson announced today.

The UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) is currently conducting a full investigation, but the UN has decided to suspend the contingent’s activities and has cantoned the unit within its base, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters.

“The United Nations reiterates its zero tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and abuse and stresses its determination to work with our troop and police contributing countries to ensure that all UN personnel are held accountable to the highest standards of behaviour,” she said.

These are obviously very serious allegations. You can read more about the UN’s zero tolerance policy on sexual abuse and watch Assistant Secretary General Jane Holl Lute discuss how the UN responds to allegations of sexual abuse among peacekeepers.

| Leave a comment

Khalilzad: What the UN could do in Iraq

US Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad pens an op-ed in the New York Times today outlining a potential role for the UN in Iraq:

In Iraq, the United States supports a larger United Nations role because we believe that with the right envoy and mandate it is the best vehicle to address the two fundamental issues driving the crisis in Iraq.

First, the United Nations has unmatched convening power that can help Iraq’s principal communities reach a national compact on the distribution of political and economic power. In the role of mediator, it has inherent legitimacy and the flexibility to talk to all parties, including elements outside the political process.


Second, the United Nations is also uniquely suited to work out a regional framework to stabilize Iraq. Several of Iraq’s neighbors — not only Syria and Iran but also some friends of the United States — are pursuing destabilizing policies. The United States supports a new mandate that creates a United Nations-led multilateral diplomatic process to contain the regional competition that is adding fuel to the fire of Iraq’s internal conflict.

Read the whole thing.

| Leave a comment

Progress Reported on Hariri Assassination Investigation

From the UN News Center:

The head of the United Nations Independent International Investigation Commission (UNIIIC) probing the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri today reported progress in identifying persons suspected of involvement in the attack

“The consolidation of the Commission’s findings across several areas of the Hariri case and in some other cases has helped identify a number of persons who may have been involved in some aspects of the crime,” UNIIC Commissioner Serge Brammertz told an open meeting of the Security Council.


| Leave a comment

Kosovo Showdown

Late last night, Russia rejected the final draft of a Security Council resolution on Kosovo. The resolution, sponsored by the US and EU, would essential replace United Nations authority in Kosovo with that of the European Union. While the United States and European Union stress that this is not an automatic road to independence, Russian seems unconvinced. Should the resolution pass, it would mean that Russia would effectively loose its ability to veto any future moves toward Kosovo’s independence.

The measure was supposed to come to a vote today, but the threat of a Russian veto may prevent that from happening. Meanwhile, Condoleezza Rice told reporters today that Kosovo will have its independence “one way or another” suggesting that the US and EU might move the debate on Kosovo’s future status out of the Security Council.

| Leave a comment

The Race Between Cooperation and Catastrophe

by former Senator Sam Nunn, Co-Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative

The gravest danger in the world today is the threat of a nuclear attack.

Whether launched by a state or a terrorist group, a nuclear explosion in a major city could kill hundreds of thousands, close borders, erode civil liberties, slash trade and travel, and change the world as we know it. No country would escape the consequences.

Preventing the spread and use of nuclear weapons should be the top security priority of the 21st century. But this is not something that can be done by any one nation; it has to be done by many nations, working together.Let me offer an example. Today, as energy needs rise and the pace of global warming increases, more and more nations are interested in using nuclear power to generate electricity.

That could be a good thing — or it could be very dangerous. The process used to make nuclear fuel can also be used to make the key ingredient of a nuclear-weapon. If every nation that wants to use nuclear power decides to make its own nuclear fuel, the world could see — over the next decade or so — dozens of new nations capable of making not only nuclear fuel, but also nuclear weapons.

So how can the world accommodate more nations using nuclear power without creating more nations who can produce nuclear bombs?

There is only one answer: through intensified international cooperation. If nations that already have nuclear know-how can come together to guarantee a supply of nuclear fuel to nations who need it but can’t make it, then nations who need nuclear fuel may be persuaded to elect to import it, instead of building the capacity to make it on their own.

That is why The Nuclear Threat Initiative, with Warren Buffett’s backing, has pledged $50 million to help build an international fuel bank that will be available as a last-resort fuel reserve for any nation that is meeting their nonproliferation commitments that chooses to rely on international fuel markets rather than choosing to develop their own fuel supply facilities.

It is important that we build such a fuel bank, and the technical and financial means are there to make it possible. What is missing is the collective will to bring about the international cooperation that can make it happen. Cooperation is the essential challenge of 21st century security. Along with well-trained troops, top weapons systems, and effective intelligence services, one of our greatest security assets will be our ability to cooperate with other countries to achieve our common security goals. I believe we are in a race between cooperation and catastrophe – and cooperation is moving forward far too slowly.

We should consider two questions: If, in the years ahead, the world experiences a nuclear catastrophe, what would we wish we had done together to prevent it? Why aren’t we doing that now?

| Leave a comment

Bush and Ban’s Meeting

During his White House meeting yesterday, Ban ki Moon asked president Bush to personally attend a high-level UN meeting on climate change, scheduled this September in New York.

From UN News:

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today invited United States President George W. Bush to attend a high-level United Nations debate on climate change to be held this fall.

“On climate change, which is a very important issue for all humankind, I appreciate President Bush’s initiative, during the Heiligendamm G-8 Summit meeting,” Mr. Ban told reporters after his meeting with the US leader in Washington, DC.

You can read President Bush’s statement here.

| 1 Comment

Diplo Tweets