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Blog Roundup #102

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary Americablog: "Sudan peace deal closer, but not quite there - All parties have agreed to the peace deal except for the rebels who are pressing for more time. What is especially significant here and what should be recognized as an extremely positive move is that the African Union has been the key player during these negotiations. For too many years, the AU stood by and did nothing while Africa drifted into chaos and genocide. It would be nice to see the AU take a stand against thugs like Mugabe but like they say, Rome wasn't built in a day. With oil money in play, pulling together a serious consensus in the UN is going to be difficult so the AU's role here is critical."
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Blog Roundup #101

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary Sudan Watch: Just in from Reuters via Scotsman: the UN Security Council voted today to impose sanctions on four Sudanese accused of abuses in the Darfur conflict - excerpt of report by Evelyn Leopold: "The vote on a US-drafted resolution was 12 to 0 with three abstentions -- Russia, China and Qatar, the only Arab member of the 15-nation council. The sanctions, a travel ban and a freeze on assets abroad, were the first adopted against individuals involved in the Darfur war."
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Blog Roundup #100

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary Opinio Juris: "The United Nations Security Council has unanimously passed Resolution 1664, which calls for Kofi Annan to begin negotiating with the Lebanese government to establish an international tribunal to try the individuals responsible for the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others in May, 2005. Annan has suggested to the Security Council that the tribunal be modeled on the hybrid courts in Sierra Leone, East Timor, and Cambodia, although he recommends that the tribunal not be located in Lebanon because of "concerns of security, perceptions of objectivity." According to diplomatic sources, Cyprus is considering hosting the tribunal."
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Blog Roundup #99

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary Rikomatic: "The United Nations recently concluded an international conference on early warning in Bonn, Germany. Over 1,200 participants from 140 countries participated in the gathering, that concluded that a "people-centered" approach was needed to build effective early-warning systems to prevent the loss of human life from natural disasters such as floods, tsunamis and pandemics. As a preparation for the conference, a "Global Survey of Early Warning Systems" [PDF] was prepared by the UN, that details what capacity already exists for early warning, what the major gaps are."
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Blog Roundup #98

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary Democracy Arsenal (Suzanne Nossel): "In scenes straight out of a Hollywood action figure, last week former Liberian strongman Charles Taylor found himself in a dragnet when the Nigerian government, after years of protecting him, finally announced plans to turn the ex-dictator over to a UN special court to be tried for war crimes and atrocities committed in support of civil war in Sierra Leone. Within 24 hours Taylor had escaped, and rumor was that he might attempt a coup back in Liberia's capital. But the Nigerians nabbed him, and Taylor is now in UN custody in Freetown, Sierra Leone on his way to trial. If things go as planned from now on, Taylor's extradition could become a major step toward justice and accountability in Africa." Informed Comment: "The UN oil for food program has continued to provide staples to most Iraqi families, but will be phased out by the end of 2006 as a "socialist" legacy. Despite the talk of staples "stabilizing," the price of foodstuffs has skyrocketed. Nor is a share for Iraqis in some of their oil wealth socialism. The Alaskans get a direct dividend from their petroleum, and the food aid was the closest thing the Iraqi public had to that. If the end of the program produces, as is likely, hardship and even hunger, there will be big urban disturbances. I lived through one such in Cairo in January of 1977. The gloaming was polluted with the bottles and stones thrown at government buildings by angry crowds chanting against the International Monetary Fund. That will be the final indignity, if the Americans actually manage to starve Iraqis to death with their policies."
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Blog Roundup #97

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary Paper Chase: "UN Legal Counsel Nicolas Michel said Thursday that the UN is ready to begin final negotiations on the establishment of an international tribunal to try suspects in the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. Michel said that a mixed tribunal with both Lebanese and international support, similar to the Special Court for Sierra Leone, would produce the best outcome. He said that it is unlikely that the tribunal will be established inside Lebanon and that factors such as impartiality and safety of witnesses and judges will determine its location. Michel's comments follow a recommendation of a mixed tribunal from UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan earlier this week."