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UN Releases 2005 World Drug Report

"The negative impacts of the illicit drug trade touch every society in the world. This year's World Drug Report estimates that 200 million people, or 5% of the global population age 15-64, have consumed illicit drugs at least once in the last 12 months. The drug trade is pernicious and large. UNODC estimates its retail value at US$ 321bn. It impacts almost every level of human security from individual health, to safety and social welfare. Its consequences are especially devastating for countries with limited resources available to fight against it. The World Drug Report 2005 provides one of the most comprehensive overviews of illicit drug trends at the international level."
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“The United Nations is in Iraq to help Iraqis”

From President Bush's speech at Fort Bragg, N.C. 6/28/05: "In January 2005, more than 8 million Iraqi men and women voted in elections that were free and fair and took place on time.... In the past year, the international community has stepped forward with vital assistance. Some 30 nations have troops in Iraq, and many others are contributing nonmilitary assistance. The United Nations is in Iraq to help Iraqis write a constitution and conduct their next elections."
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Blog Roundup #28

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary Campaign 2008: "John Kerry gets Op/Ed space in today's New York Times to discuss the speech the President should give...(referring to the President's live televised speech on Iraq, tonight from Fort Bragg, NC). Read the entire piece here: "The administration must work with the Iraqi government to establish a multinational force to help protect its borders. Such a force, if sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council, could attract participation by Iraq's neighbors and countries like India." Coalition for Darfur: "UN Refugee Agency Fears for Darfur Children - From Reuters: "The world was not paying enough attention to the plight of children in Sudan's west Darfur, where many were forced to join armed groups or were separated from their families, the U.N. refugee agency said on Monday. "The whole issue of child protection is one that deserves more focus," said Erika Feller, director of international protection at the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)." Iraq Solidarity Campaign: "Rescuing Iraq - UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, writing in The Washington Post Tuesday, assured the Iraqi people that the international community "stands with them in their brave efforts to rebuild their country". But Annan also emphasised the need for "a broad-based and inclusive strategy that embraces the political transition, development, human rights and institution-building, so that all of Iraq's communities see they stand to be winners in the new Iraq." Political Forecast: "Bolton looks set for a recess appointment - A big political loss for the Bush White House if true. Frist announced the schedule for the rest of this week this morning and there was no mention of Bolton at all. Expect a recess appointment next week. Steve Clemons has more." Say Uncle: "Say Uncle's resident troublemaker Hellbent links to this article which notes that the legal structure used in the past to address piracy can be adapted to the terror war: "International Law lacks a definition for terrotism as a crime. According to Secretary General Kofi Annan, this lack has hampered "the moral authority of the United Nations and its strength in condemning" the scourge." World Changing: "There was a lot of anecdotal evidence that where healthy mangrove greenbelts -- and coral reefs -- still lined the coast, they blunted the impact of the tsunami and saved lives. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) is encouraging assessing the "unseen value" of healthy ecosystems, which might in turn encourage governments to factor them into development plans. The second report in the U.N.'s Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, Biodiversity and Human Well-being, estimates that about two and a half intact acres (one hectare) of mangrove swamp in Thailand is worth about $1,000 a year in benefits such as fishing and soil protection, but worth only $200 a year if converted to intensive farming."
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World Leaders Mark UN’s 60th Anniversary

WP: "In today's world, no state can protect itself alone," said Mary Robinson, former U.N. high commissioner for human rights and president of Ireland, in a speech at Grace Cathedral. "A transparent and accountable United Nations is in the United States' interest. We know the U.N. needs reform, but it also needs resources."
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Annan: United We Stand

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed By UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan "This Sunday marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter in 1945. Debate about "reform" of the U.N. has been raging almost from that moment on. This is because -- especially but not only in the United States -- idealism and aspiration for the U.N. have always outstripped its actual performance. For 60 years Americans -- conservative and liberal alike -- have expected much from the U.N. Too often, we have failed to meet those expectations. In Washington, the debate now centers on two documents which appeared last week: the report of the bipartisan Task Force led by former Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Senator George Mitchell, and the Henry J. Hyde United Nations Reform Act, adopted by the House of Representatives." Read More (subscription required)
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Blog Roundup #27

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary Juan Cole: "A reader with a US military background writes: "I noted your recent proposal for increased UN military involvement with some questions. The idea that UN involvement would reduce the violence due to its [being] relatively less partisan was probably at least partially destroyed with the UN building in August 2003 (where my unit was involved with rescues). Contributing troops to a UN force will neither end the conflict nor support a negotiated settlement on their own." Cole: I am not advocating a passive UN "peace-keeping" mission. Rather, I'm arguing for a UN army with an active peace-enforcing mandate. I don't deny it is a tall order. But then, the US military mission is a tall order as it is." Mark Kilmer: "Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard, a regular commentator on FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume noted publicly a thought which had been bothering me of late. The President's options with Bolton are limited, he admitted: "They're going to have to deal with Senator Dodd (D-CT) or find some way to get around Senator Dodd, some kind of a gang of 14 thing, as they did on the filibusters of judicial nominees." A way has to be found for the colleagues of Biden/Dodd to escape from their political game without embarrassing either Senator." Middle Earth Journal: "I don't have a clue how the Bolton nomination is going to play out. Joe Gandelman has a good rundown on the thoughts of the pundits and a few thoughts of his own. Steve Soto wonders if the "nuclear option" is on the table. Joe summarizes the theories of why the White House continues to fight for the Bolton nomination."