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Blog Roundup #34

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentaryChrenkoff: "Good news from Iraq, part 32 - The European Union will be channeling 20 million euro ($24 million) through the United Nations in support of the constitutional process... Meanwhile, the United Nations has conducted a massive successful immunization campaign throughout Iraq - with some help from the private sector."================Captain's Quarters: "The New York Times editorial board works itself into quite an emotional state this morning over the recess appointment of John Bolton to the UN. In fact, their editorial today goes so far as to praise Condoleezza Rice's performance at State, which they haven't bothered to do as a stand-alone opinion, just to take a swipe at Bolton."Coalition for Darfur: "U.N. sees Joint Investigation into Garang's Death - From Reuters: "The United Nations has offered to help investigate the cause of the helicopter crash which killed former southern Sudanese rebel leader and First Vice President John Garang, Sudan's top U.N. envoy said on Tuesday. Jan Pronk said Garang's death, announced on Monday, was a setback to a peace deal that ended Africa's longest civil war, but the speedy transition of power was a positive sign that the former rebel group could stay united without Garang."Democracy Arsenal: "The Perfect Task For John Bolton - During the first month or two after John Bolton's nomination I wrote reams about him, so I won't revisit all that now. My take on the merits of the recess appointment can be found here. Bottom line is that I am proud of those on the SFRC for the fight they put up, and eager for a substantive debate this fall over what the Administration will accomplish during this all important General Assembly session devoted to UN reform. Speaking of reform.... Given that one of his signature credentials for the UN post was over-turning the organization's notorious Zionism is Racism resolution, if the Administration is right that Bolton can be effective at the UN, why not have him tackle the betterment of Israel's status at the world body? Let him show us what he can do."Hidden Nook: "Bush Bypasses Senate, Confirms Bolton - It seems that President Bush has bypassed the Senate completely and used his constitutional powers to appoint John Bolton as the next Ambassador to the United Nations. ... The United States has been without a representative to the United Nations for approximately six months, and with major issues such as UN reform (something desperately needed) coming to the table. Bolton's nomination has sparked heated debate, especially on the left, and his appointment will only create more conspiracy theories amongst many of the "elite" liberals."Liquid List: "Look, I don't think there is much more of a point in debating the administration's choice for UN ambassador. It's clear, of course, that if they want to do something, they just will. They don't care, and they have made this fact abundantly clear."
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UN, US Call on Sudan to Implement Garang’s Legacy

"The United Nations and the United States on Monday called the death of former Sudanese rebel leader John Garang a loss for the country and urged all factions to carry out the peace process he began.The United Nations, which has sent troops to implement a landmark agreement in southern Sudan, helped retrieve Garang's body from a helicopter that crashed on Sunday while en route home from Uganda, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said."He is larger than life, rather charismatic and believed in his mission with all his being," Annan told reporters. "He lived and fought for his dream. And just as he was on the verge of it, he lost his life." [More]
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Bush Appoints Bolton as UN Ambassador

CNN: "Ending a five-month standoff over a controversial nomination, President Bush on Monday used a recess appointment to name John Bolton the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations."UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan reacts: "We look forward to working with him as I do with the other 190 ambassadors and we will welcome him at a time when we are in the midst of major reform. I think it is the president's prerogative, and the president has decided to appoint him through this process."
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Zimbabwe: What Needs to Be Done

By Anna Tibaijuka, UN Special Envoy on Human Settlement issues in Zimbabwe"A recent United Nations fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe to assess Operation Murambatsvina has provided a road-map out of the crisis. The following is an edited extract from the report:About 700 000 people in cities across the country have either lost their homes or their livelihoods or both. The government of Zimbabwe should immediately halt any further demolitions of homes and informal businesses and create conditions for sustainable relief and reconstruction for those affected.There is an urgent need for the government of Zimbabwe to facilitate humanitarian operations within a pro-poor, gender--sensitive policy framework that provides security of tenure, affordable housing, water and sanitation, and the pursuit of small scale income--generating activities in a regulated and enabling environment." [Read more]
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UN Begins Food Airlifts to Niger

"A flight chartered by the United Nations (UN) World Food Program has arrived in the west African state of Niger, as efforts intensify to relieve the famine there.It is carrying more than 40 tonnes of emergency rations. It is the first of a series of planned airlifts over the next few days. Two and a half million people in Niger are at risk of starvation.The emergency supplies being flown in are being loaded onto trucks and are being delivered across the country." [Link]
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UN Report Details Rampant Sexual Violence in Darfur

"Sudanese security forces and other armed groups continue to rape and abuse displaced women in Darfur with impunity, according to a U.N. report on sexual violence in the troubled Sudanese province.Louise Arbour, the United Nations' high commissioner for human rights, wrote that victims are routinely subjected to humiliating treatment at the hands of the authorities if they say they have been raped. Sudanese police frequently fail to register or investigate sex crimes, and courts sometimes try rape victims as adulteresses if they cannot prove they are telling the truth, she wrote."Rape and gang rape continue to be perpetrated by armed elements in Darfur, some of whom are members of law enforcement agencies and armed forces, and the government appears either unable or unwilling to hold them accountable," the 29-page report said. "Many women do not report incidents, out of fear of reprisals, and are discouraged from reporting by the lack of redress for sexual violence." [Full Story]
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UN: Drug cartels using African connections

"Drug cartels are increasingly using West Africa as a hub for smuggling, working with criminal networks from the region who market cannabis, cocaine and heroin in Europe and North America, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)."If you look at recent seizures of cocaine, the biggest are all linked to groups with operations on the West African coast," Antonio Mazzitelli, head of UNODC's regional office for West and Central Africa, said." [More]