monitors the progress of efforts, articulated in numerous international agreements (1 2 3
), to end poverty and increase equality worldwide. By coordinating the reports of a network of citizens' organizations
, Social Watch aims to keep tabs on progress toward specific initiatives in each country, lobbying national governments as appropriate. Search by country
for a snapshot of social and economic progress. Browse various measures
of stability and meaningful development. Lots more, including meaty, well-documented reports and statistics, and holy crapola, nice graphics.
posted by Rykey
on Apr 5, 2008 -
The man who served as inspiration for the 2005 Nicolas Cage's 2005 flick "Lord of War," arms trafficer Victor Bout, has been arrested in Thailand. [more inside]
posted by krautland
on Mar 6, 2008 -
Bush and Aznar pre-Iraq Invasion--
Transcript of their private conversations in Crawford, Feb 22, 2003: "Quedan dos semanas. En dos semanas estaremos militarmente listos. Estaremos en Bagdad a finales de marzo", le dijo a Aznar.
("2 weeks. In 2 weeks we will be ready militarily. We'll be in Baghdad by the end of March", he told Aznar.) Consider this historical documentation. Full transcript here
, and audio clips in first link. [more inside]
posted by amberglow
on Sep 25, 2007 -
The fight to free Burma
has been making noise lately. Protests
are picking up in Burma
, international activists are putting pressure on the UN
to step in, and Jim Carrey
has joined as yet another
celebrity to try to bring public attention to the effort. Burma is an amazing place and the Burmese people are some of the warmest, most hospitable, beautiful, and silliest people I have ever encountered. The people of Burma deserve a better world. Is the tide shifting? Will this be a turning point for Burma? I hope so.
posted by crawfishpopsicle
on Aug 29, 2007 -
Estimated cocaine consumption based on waste-water analysis (expressed as cocaine lines* per day per 1000 Inhabitants, age 15-64) *1 line was here assumed to be equivalent to 100 milligram of cocaine.
This, and much more, in the UN 2007 World Drug Report
(pdf). HTML homepage
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Aug 1, 2007 -
Releaed British navy commander
: We were gathering intelligence on Iran (Watch the interview
: The sailors were on a legitimate UN mandate
: The MoD confirmed last night that the Iranians had made the claim that they had become interested in Cornwall's activities after learning about it on British television, but denied the decision to allow the ship's crew to be interviewed while on active duty had jeopardised the mission.
posted by hoder
on Apr 8, 2007 -
You would think that with 4,000 women and 200 girls together, along with hundreds of NGOs and representatives of 45 governments
the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women
would be well covered by the media. Sadly, it is not
: this year only 10 journalists
demanded media accreditation to cover the international meeting, while pro-life groups are more than happy to send delegates
arguing that "governments should protect girls from the moment of conception."
The Commission however is no small event: it provided a legal frame
protecting the rights of women and girls worldwide (those rights were officially adopted in the early 90s [!]). It also provides standards to which participant countries must try live up to. This blog
takes us backstage, behind the CSW's scene.
posted by Sijeka
on Mar 6, 2007 -
Clean water is a right:
"The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published its annual report on human development
. It denounces the world's complacent disregard for such unglamorous subjects as standpipes, latrines and the 1.8m children who die each year from diarrhoea because the authorities cannot keep their drinking water separate from their faeces. The study
is both coldly analytical and angry..."
posted by kliuless
on Nov 24, 2006 -
A representative of the World Trade Organization proposes foreign corporate "stewardship" of workers in Africa from the moment they are hired until they die, describing it as "the best available solution to African poverty, and the inevitable result of free-market theory".
posted by Pastabagel
on Nov 14, 2006 -
When you have a blog
, and you're the Special Representative of the UN in Darfur
, be careful
about what you write. Jan Pronk
's blog gives you a good idea in what a high level UN diplomat actually does, and how difficult it is to get anything done in a country torn by war. Oh, and check these photos out
, if you just want the non-political goodness.
posted by Harry
on Oct 25, 2006 -
The "Axe Murder Incident"
On Wednesday 18 August 1976 at 1040 hours in the morning, a United Nations Command (UNC) work force of five Korean Service Corps (KSC) personnel accompanied by and UNC security force...started to prune a large tree in the vicinity of UNC Check Point #3...Lieutenant Pak then shouted "MI KUN UL CHU KI GI CHA." Translated, it means, "Kill the U.S. Aggressors."; the UNC security force was attacked by a superior force of 30 KPA guards wielding pick handles, knives, clubs, and axes.
posted by Postroad
on Mar 14, 2006 -
How is life
for accused war criminals
(see e.g. drag-down list at top) awaiting trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia? Stimulating if they enjoy chess or model ships, according to this brief Slate dispatch. How well do such alleged monsters need to be accommodated?
posted by grobstein
on Jan 9, 2006 -
Bush Threatens U.N. Over Clinton Climate Speech
Bush-administration officials privately threatened organizers of the U.N. Climate Change Conference, telling them that any chance there might’ve been for the United States to sign on to the Kyoto global-warming protocol would be scuttled if they allowed Bill Clinton to speak at the gathering today in Montreal,
posted by Postroad
on Dec 9, 2005 -
If Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for the destruction of Israel
, would anybody listen? Apparently this time they are. While vague threats from Iran are a dime a dozen, "Since 1945, the establishment of the United Nations, no head of state which is a member of the United Nations ever called for the destruction of another member of the United Nations, publicly and clearly, as the president of Iran did." according to Shimon Peres, in demanding that Iran be expelled from the UN
for the statement. Much of the world
seems pretty upset
(including the US, who's destruction was also called for on this merry "World without Zionism
" conference), but will it lead to anything, or is it just a ratcheting up of the hyperbole between Iran and the IAEA?
posted by loquax
on Oct 27, 2005 -
It's terrible terrible that the one institution which was created at the end of World War II to prevent any future wars from occurring. It is going to be the next place where these fasicists are going to be gunning for.
posted by N8k99
on Sep 8, 2005 -
In an interview with American ABC TV news to be broadcast on Friday (US time), Colin Powell , former Secretary of State, describes his speech to the UN Security Council
on Iraq's WMD capabilities as "a blot" on his record. "I'm the one who presented it on behalf of the United States to the world, and (it) will always be a part of my record. It was painful. It's painful now," [Powell] said.
Finally, some recognition of this fact, albeit two years too late.
posted by Effigy2000
on Sep 8, 2005 -
Bush to Senate: Go to Hell
. As expected, President Bush bypassed the confirmation process and made a recess appointment to elevate John Bolton
to the post of US ambassador to the United Nations, brushing off what he calls "partisan delaying tactics by a handful of senators." Bolton was previously discussed on MeFi here
posted by digaman
on Aug 1, 2005 -
The culture of peace is advancing
according to accounts from all regions of the world. This is the conclusion from information submitted by almost 700 organisations and summarised in a report which has been formally submitted to the United Nations Secretary-General by the Bangladeshi Ambassador to the UN, Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury.
This report provides the first comprehensive view of the progress of the global movement for a culture of peace, since it was called for in 1999 by United Nations Resolution A/53/243.
The advance of the culture of peace comes despite almost total neglect from the mass media, according to most accounts from all regions.
posted by UbuRoivas
on Jul 10, 2005 -
Hey! Didn't anybody notice that today is the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
, sponsored by those bleeding hearts at the UN
? The UNODC is declaring "even occasional use of marijuana is a link in a long and dangerous cycle of crime, degradation and terrorism."
In Afghanistan, 30 -or is it 60?- tons of drugs have been burned in large bonfires
(If they're not sure how much, blame the contact high). Meanwhile China celebrated the day with a massive demonstraton
and a few executions
. The United Arab Emarites is issuing a stamp
. And the U.S.ofA.? Well, it's on the State Department Calendar
, but the Office of National Drug Control Policy has never heard of it
. Still, you can send an Anti-Drugs Day Greeting
to someone you know (is a user).
BREAKING NEWS: In Kenya, 49 Killed, Hundreds Harmed by Poisoned... er... Alcohol. (nevermind)
posted by wendell
on Jun 26, 2005 -
The Hidden History of the United Nations
: "The history told about the defeat of Nazism and the founding of the United Nations in the 1940s has become distorted. A false view of the past is being used today to shape how we think about our future. The military power of the victorious wartime allies is offered as a model for running the world, while the UN’s supposed utopianism is seen as ineffective and irrelevant. This is a travesty of the facts."
posted by jenleigh
on Jun 4, 2005 -
There was no honour to be had in Rwanda.
11 years ago this week, the Rwandan Genocide
began and didn't end until almost a million Rwandans, mostly Tutsis, were dead - killed by their own countrymen in the span of 100 days.
was the Force Commander of the UN troops in Rwanda at the time. Increasing unrest and killings along with intelligence obtained from an informant led him to conclude that the genocide was coming and that it could be stopped if action was taken quickly and decisively enough. He requested 2000 additional troops and the authority to plan and execute an operation to halt the genocide before it began.
The UN Security Council denied both requests, and reduced the UN force in Rwanda to 260 troops. One million Rwandans died. Romeo Dallaire and 260 Canadian, Ghanian, and Dutch soldiers are directly credited
with saving over 20,000 Tutsis that would have died.
Dallaire's career as a soldier is over. But he knows that if the effort is not made, another genocide like Rwanda will happen. It may already be too late to stop the next one.
posted by Dipsomaniac
on Apr 12, 2005 -
"In the Name of Politics"
(NYT) Rev. John C. Danforth, the outgoing US ambassador to the UN, Republican Senator for 18 years, native Missouran and Episcopal minister worries that the Republican Party is turning very literally theocratic. In this short editorial he states "the only explanation ... is the extension of religious doctrine into statutory law."
(Just as a side note, we're taking applications.)
posted by blacklite
on Apr 10, 2005 -
Kofi Annan has issued his recommendations
for tackling poverty and promoting security and human rights, incorporating the greatest alterations to the UN and Security Council in history.
posted by Pretty_Generic
on Mar 21, 2005 -
Canadian authorities have arrested US President George W. Bush and charged him with offences under Canada's War Crimes Act.
Says (Canadian Prime Minister) Paul Martin: “This decision was not made lightly. But, it was also a decision that was impossible not to make. The United States is not outside the rule of law, and cannot expect to get an unlimited “free pass”. This decision puts a grave strain upon both our nations, and I urge calm and restraint from our American neighbours, as well as from Canadians. I have met with the cabinet, and with our colleagues in the House. This is a time of great crisis for us as a nation. But as people, we will survive this test. Earlier I enacted the Emergency War Powers Act. This is necessary to guarantee our domestic security. This is not a time for panic, for lawlessness, for anything other than a responsible and sobre focus on what lies immediately ahead.”
posted by 327.ca
on Nov 29, 2004 -
U.S. refuses to join U.N. plan for women
From AP via Yahoo: UNITED NATIONS - The United States has refused to join 85 other heads of state and government in signing a statement that endorsed a 10-year-old U.N. plan to ensure every woman's right to education, health care, and choice about having children.
President Bush's administration withheld its signature because the statement included a reference to "sexual rights."
posted by Skygazer
on Oct 14, 2004 -
Hans Blix speaks.
(RealPlayer) Hans Blix gave a recent interview with BBC Radio 4 in which he indicates that UN weapons inspectors were on the verge of private interviews with witnesses to the destruction of Iraq's WMD stockpiles shortly before the Bush administration forced inspectors to leave.
"I think that it would have been desireable for us to have more time. . . I think that the Iraqis were actually beginning to try to do cooperation of substance, and they were almost frantic to do so. . ."
In his report to the UN
on March 7th, 2003 Blix said UN inspectors were on the verge of inspecting a site where much of Iraq's WMDs were disposed and that "The investigation of the destruction site could, in the best case, allow the determination of the number of bombs destroyed at that site."
Did the Bush administration "rush to war" in order to prevent the fatal undermining of their justification for war?
posted by insomnia_lj
on Oct 12, 2004 -