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Pavarotti Carries UN Message on Farewell Tour

"Luciano Pavarotti, one of the most celebrated opera singers, will promote United Nations causes during his Worldwide Farewell Tour of more than 40 concerts this year and next, taking the world body's humanitarian message to the four corners of the earth.Since his appointment as a UN Messenger of Peace in 1998, Mr. Pavarotti has used his fame to raise funds for UN projects. His latest campaign will contribute greatly to raising awareness of UN issues such the Millennium Development Goals, which seek to curb a host of social and economic ills by 2015, HIV/AIDS, child rights, urban slums and poverty."I am very proud both to be associated with the United Nations and to have been appointed a Messenger of Peace for this valuable and vital organization and will do whatever I can to help its work," he commented during his visit to Johannesburg for his farewell concert to South Africa earlier this week." More...
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Stirling Newberry: Two Houses

TWO HOUSES By Stirling Newberry April 5, 2005Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, PrologueThe weight of this sad time we must obey; Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. The oldest hath borne most: we that are young Shall never see so much, nor live so longWilliam Shakespeare, King Lear Act V Scene IIIThe assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has sent shockwaves through the fragile political system of Lebanon, hence in its wake Prime Minister Karami resigned, was asked to form a new government, and has reigned again. The fears of the kind of violence which rent the country in its long Second Civil War (1975-1990) reached into the highest international diplomatic circles, and it placed renewed pressure on the international community to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1559, the resolution which demanded that Syria remove its troops, long stationed in Lebanon, first as part of the "Arab Deterrent Force" and then under its own flag. The state of Lebanon has not been able to govern the country of Lebanon for much of its existence as an independent entity, and the sectarianization of the conflicts in Lebanon dates back even further, to 1820, when powerful Druze families, outraged at how the emir of Mt. Lebanon was favoring the Maronite Christians and thus mounted a rebellion against him.
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Hague Takes on Darfur War Crimes

From BBC News: "A sealed list of 51 suspects accused of war crimes in the Darfur region of Sudan is to be handed to the International Criminal Court.A United Nations investigation into killings, torture and rape identified a number of government and army officials, militia and rebel leaders.Last week, the UN Security Council ordered that suspects should appear before the court in The Hague."
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Millions of Children Victims of Illegal Trafficking – Report

"Unicef warned Monday that millions of children around the globe are being trafficked annually in an illegal industry worth $10-billion (U.S.) a year, rivalling the trade in illicit drugs and arms.UN Children's Fund executive director Carol Bellamy urged legislators worldwide to ensure the protection of children by instituting laws that stop their exploitation and abuse." Full Story
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Syria’s Lebanon Pullout Expected in April

WP: "The Syrian government has promised to remove all its troops and intelligence agents from Lebanon by April 30, the U.N. envoy said Sunday after meeting with Syria's president and foreign minister.The withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon, where they have been stationed since 1976, has been demanded by a United Nations resolution last year, which also called on Syria to end its influence in Lebanese politics."
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World Leaders Honor Pope

"UN Secretary General Kofi Annan today said he was "deeply saddened" by the death of Pope John Paul II and called him "a tireless advocate of peace.""I was deeply saddened by the death of Pope John Paul II," he said. "Quite apart from his role as a spiritual guide to more than a billion men, women and children, he was a tireless advocate of peace, a true pioneer in interfaith dialogue and a strong force for critical self-evaluation by the Church itself." Full Story
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Wirth Statement on Wolfowitz Heading World Bank

Statement by Senator Timothy E. Wirth, President of the UN Foundation, On Paul H. Wolfowitz's Approval As World Bank PresidentFollowing the unanimous vote selecting Paul Wolfowitz as the tenth president of the World Bank, Senator Timothy E. Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation, issued the following statement: "We look forward to working with Paul H. Wolfowitz in his new role as president of the World Bank in alleviating global poverty -- an equal priority for the United Nations and the United Nations Foundation. Paul is distinguished by his intellect, energy, and untiring commitment to public service.He assumes the presidency at a moment when the need for the World Bank's leadership could not be greater and the challenges any less daunting. Alleviating poverty - addressing the basic needs of providing food, health care, potable water, sanitary conditions, and clean energy technologies - is key in the ability of our global community to make our world better for future generations. The World Bank, the United Nations, and the United Nations Foundation have worked closely together to bring innovative thinking, expertise, and capital to addressing the plights we know must end.
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Vote on Sudan War Crimes

Guardian: "France said it expects the U.N. Security Council to vote Thursday on a resolution that would authorize the prosecution of Sudanese war crimes suspects by the International Criminal Court - with approval virtually certain after the United States apparently dropped its objections.Administration officials in Washington said Wednesday night that the United States was dropping its objections to using the court after concluding that opposition to the U.S. stand was too strong, particularly among Europeans."UPDATE: "The Security Council voted Thursday night to send any war crimes suspects from the Darfur region of Sudan to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, after the United States obtained amendments to exempt Americans from the tribunal's jurisdiction." - NY Times
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UN-Backed Ecological Report Warns of ‘Dead Zones’

"The emergence of new diseases, sudden changes in water quality, creation of coastal "dead zones," the collapse of fisheries and shifts in regional climate are just some of the potential consequences of humankind's degradation of the planet's ecosystems, according to a new United Nations-backed report launched today.Humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively in the last 50 years than in any other period; some 60 per cent of ecosystem elements supporting life on Earth, such as fresh water, clean air or a relatively stable climate, are being degraded or used unsustainably; and the situation could become significantly worse during the first half of this century, according to the study."Read the rest...