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.”Daily Nightly (Linda Fasulo): Iran is on the minds of many in the UN Security Council this week. UN Diplomats are awaiting a report by IAEA Chief Mohamed Elbaradei due by the end of next week and engaging in private discussions and strategy sessions in New York and around the world. However, Iran is largely a major issue for next week’s official UN agenda. This week, the Security Council has a busy formal agenda of closed-door consultations and open briefings on a range of issues. Meetings will cover other Middle East issues, such as violence between Israelis and Palestinians and the missing Kuwaiti prisoners of war from the 1991 Gulf War, African conflicts in Darfur and the Ivory Coast, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

Paper Chase: “Eight thousand pro-democracy protesters assembled in Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu Saturday in the largest demonstration against the rule of King Gyanendra [official profile; BBC profile] since the current round of protests began over a week ago. An alliance of seven opposition political parties, including the Communist Party of Nepal [party website], has been waging a general strike against Gyanendra’s rule and protests continue despite Gyanendra’s promise to hold general elections by April 2007. Gyanendra has made similar promises in the past and the opposition is demanding that he step down immediately. Also in Kathmandu Saturday, police used batons to attack a rally staged by about 200 local journalists, including members of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists, as they gathered to protest government curbs on press freedom. Nepalese police reportedly wounded seven journalists and detained at least twice that many. Related news on Jurist: UN rights chief ‘shocked’ by force used against Nepal pro-democracy protesters.”

Pam’s House Blend: “UN report: Iraqi gays target of kidnappings, murders – “I don’t want to be gay anymore. When I go out to buy bread, I’m afraid. When the doorbell rings, I think that they have come for me.” — Hussein, 32, gay Baghdad resident who fears being kidnapped or murdered as a result of a fatwa on gays issued by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Doug Ireland has been covering this horror story for some time (you can read his work here). Now that the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has released a report on the atrocities and fear instilled in the community by death squads, maybe someone will take note.”

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