Mark talks to the Millennium Campaign’s Anita Sharma about the progress of the G20 committment to “social protection” of the poorest countries.
Mark talks to DPKO’s Nick Birnback about in Darfur, Somalia, and DRC.
“We have no plans to go back to Somalia… [but] there are reconnaissance missions,” Information Minister Bereket Simon told reporters.
“When there is a threat, you can send some scouts here and there,” he added.
A few scouts here and there for Ethiopia, a few blocks here and there in control of the Somali government in Mogadishu. Meanwhile, Eritrea continues to deny the charge that it is arming Somali insurgents as “a CIA lie.”
We talk Sri Lanka. Again, sorry for the audio-sync issues. We will get this fixed as soon as possible.
The UN Foundation’s Adele Waugaman relates an inspiring story of how a doctor can deliver babies even without electricity:
When obstetrician Laura Stachel arrived in rural Nigeria to collect data about maternal care, she was shocked to discover that women were dying in childbirth because clinics had no reliable power supply.
After taking a course on solar electricity, she created what she calls the “solar suitcase” – which is now proving a life-saver in one of the hospitals she visited.
In the northern city of Zaria, Laura found that the lone public hospital had only 160 hospital beds for a population of 1.5 million, and that electricity was available no more than 12 hours a day. There was no running water in the delivery room, and no blood bank because intermittent access to electricity meant the blood couldn’t be refrigerated reliably.
Laura’s “solar suitcase”, a kit of solar panels and rechargeable batteries, can light operating and delivery rooms, run a blood bank refrigerator and power two-way radios so that staff can call in off-duty doctors for emergency surgery.
To help solve the problems Laura was dealing with in Nigeria was exactly that reason that humanitarians and technical experts were meeting at the Humanitarian Technology Challenge this week. Visit Reuters AlertNet for Adele’s whole piece.
(image of Nigerian mother and child, from flickr user Soumik Kar under a Creative Commons license)
Passport’s Annie Lowrey is “charmed” by my reading a legality-based counter-terrorism approach into “Scooby Doo,” but she doesn’t quite think it’s up to snuff. In her view, maybe Velma and the monster-hunting gang are more akin to Hans Blix and his team searching for WMDs.
If anything, I think of the Scooby Doo Five as a decent analog for the United Nations weapons inspectors: mobile and peripatetic, spooked by the astral, often kicked out of the amusement park, much derided but really fairly decent at digging out the truth.
I guess the lesson here is that if you are a little too eager to dole out Scooby Snacks (or “yellowcake” and aluminum tubes) to an paranoid, excitable title character (or leader), then the rest of the team can’t do its job, and the whole operation goes awry like a hungry Great Dane barreling into you at full tilt. And how’s Rummy or Cheney as the incorrigibly pugnacious Scrappy Doo…?
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.