34 Million Friends
was founded by Lois Abraham and Jane Roberts
to gather private contributions for the United Nations Population Fund
, and had gathered $1,957,613.31 in gifts and pledges as of July 4. For the third year in a row, the Bush administration is withholding $34 million
in aid because of accusations
that UNFPA supports China's policy of coercive abortions, despite evidence
to the contrary. UNFPA estimates the money could have helped prevent as many as 2 million unwanted pregnancies, 800,000 abortions, 4,700 maternal deaths, and over 77,000 infant deaths.
Lawmakers ask that U.N. monitor election
"A group of congressional Democrats, led by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, has asked the United Nations to monitor this year's presidential election." Fortunately, the UN said no. Unbelievable. I hope that everyone that signed this letter will lose their seat in the November election. What a shameless publicity stunt. "Besides Johnson, Democratic members of Congress signing the letter to Annan were Julia Carson of Indiana; Jerrold Nadler, Edolphus Towns, Joseph Crowley and Carolyn B. Maloney, all of New York; Raul Grijalva of Arizona, Corrine Brown of Florida, Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, Danny K. Davis of Illinois and Michael M. Honda of California."
UNSCAM: The scandal surrounding the UN
and their oil-for-food program with Iraq hasn't received a whole lot of media attention and hasn't, surprisingly, even been brought up on MeFi. It boils down to Saddam Hussein taking the money from oil sales and using it to give kickbacks to France, Russia, and the UN itself, while Saddam built palaces and such, rather than buying food and medicine. It's complicated, but could be the biggest public financial scandal in history. It is unfortunate, but not surprising, that Russia is trying to block any investigation
into the matter.
"Iraq will be a free, independent country, and America and the Middle East will be safer because of it."
and part of this process is appointing an Ambassador. The leading candidate
for this job? US ambassador to the UN and former US ambassador to Honduras, John Negroponte
The peace process in the Ivory Coast
has collapsed (again)
. I haven't seen it reported yet but have it first hand from an official stationed there that the UN is evacuating all personnel. The evacuations in 2002 were limited compared to this. How could the Ivory Coast have come to this point? What does this mean for the rest of the region? sigh
Bowing to the Mighty Ayatollah.
Or how the US has to deal with Ayatollah Sistani's powerful influence in Iraq.
We're filthy rich - now help us!!
This is mostly an artice about Kyoto, but one little paragraph left my jaw wide open to see that OPEC thinks they should be compensated if the world finds a better way... I guess it's not a unique concept though - does anyone have some other examples of a (potentially) failing industry that wants compensation?? My apologies if I've missed this in another thread somewhere...
An attempt by developing countries to put management of the Internet under United Nations
auspices is likely to be shelved at next month's world information summit in Geneva - but the issue is now firmly on the international agenda.
But There's No Oil You Say?
The humanitarian situation in northern Uganda is worse than in Iraq, or anywhere else in the world, a senior United Nations official has said. It is a moral outrage" that the world is doing so little for the victims of the war, especially children, says UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Jan Egeland.
The rebels routinely abduct children to serve as sex slaves and fighters. Thousands of children leave their houses in northern Uganda to sleep rough in the major towns, where they feel more safe from the threat of abduction by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The United Nations [should] play a great role in scaling down the violence
The LRA, under shadowy leader Joseph Kony, says it wants to rule Uganda according to the Biblical Ten Commandments. They often mutilate their victims, by cutting off their lips, noses or ears.
“Various people would laugh at various times [during Powell’s speech]
because the information he was presenting was just, you know, didn't mean anything -- had no meaning,"
confirms denies confirms link between Iraq and terrorism! " The regime of Saddam Hussein cultivated ties to terror while it built weapons of mass destruction."
In other news, we're at war with Eastasia. We've always been at war with Eastasia... Food rations have jumped by 10%! Doubleplusgood!
Does India belong on the UN security council?
A fascinating analysis of UN politics from a developing country's perspective.
Dutch government is distributing cannabis
as a prescription painkiller to pharmacies to treat chronically ill patients. The Netherlands are the first country to supply the drug itself, in accordance with United Nations rules on narcotics. This Radio Netherlands article contains an interview with an American expatriate who is now a licensed supplier.
Diego Garcia islanders await call to go home.
'Cherry and thousands of other islanders were the victims of a brutal depopulation strategy by Britain in the 1960s and 1970s which sought to hand over an empty island to the United States for use as a key military base. The depopulation campaign ended in 1973 with the removal of the last islanders, who were dumped on the quays of the Mauritian capital, Port Louis ... 'The Chagos Islands: A sordid tale.
'The story involves "bribes" from the United States, racism among senior civil servants, and the UK Government deceiving parliament and the United Nations.'The Chagos archipelago: Decolonisation and human rights.
, by the Southern African Human Rights NGO Network, includes a brief history of the islands from original settlement by French settlers and African slaves. 'For a people as a whole to be actually victimised by the act of forced eviction from their homeland must be the most humiliating, supreme injustice and degrading treatment any people can be made to undergo. '
Kelly warned of 'dark actors playing games
Dr David Kelly's recent death has the British press in an uproar. Kelly was the former head of biological inspections in Iraq for the UN mission, Unscom, former deputy head of Porton Down and the Ministry of Defence's senior adviser on biological defence. In July 2002. According to reports the Carlyle Group took a 34% stake in QinetiQ which was splitoff in 2001 from the Porton Down research lab and is now a private company according to this story
The Carlyle Group is profiled here in this explosive explosive Dutch expose (note the first 1.48 minutes are in Dutch the rest is in English Since David Kelly was himself a micro-biologist in the past connected to Porton Down does he have any connection (as some have claimed: including a radio show I heard this evening) to the 11 or so micro-biologists that have died mysterious deaths after the 911 event? These deaths and there timelines are are extensively documented around the web.Including the following web page----(http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/)----
Is this is an area some creative journalists need to investigate?
John Dean's analysis of the administrations case for War.
"What I found, in critically examining Bush's evidence, is not pretty. The African uranium matter is merely indicative of larger problems, and troubling questions of potential and widespread criminality when taking the nation to war. It appears that not only the Niger uranium hoax, but most everything else that Bush said about Saddam Hussein's weapons was false, fabricated, exaggerated, or phony."
Did you know that...
Aid fell in the 1990s—by nearly a third on a per capita basis in Sub-Saharan Africa? In Sub Saharan Africa, half the population lives on less than 1$ a day? At current rates Sub-Saharan Africa will not meet the poverty Goal until 2147? If all the food produced worldwide were distributed equally, every person would be able to consume 2,760 calories a day (hunger is defined as consuming fewer than 1,960 calories a day)? These and more facts can be found in the 2003 UN Human Development Report
Food Fight - When the Food Workers Union stages an impromptu walkout at the U.N., the diplomats start looting for lunch and booze. Disgusting
. Delegates and patronage employees show their civility by looting the cafeterias, stealing everything not nailed down. I will remember this the next time anybody proposes the UN as a solution to world problems. Swine.
New push to 'get U.S. out of U.N.'
Congressman Ron Paul asks for House floor vote during a time of disdain for the global organization. HR 1146
is also known as the American Sovereignty Restoration Act
Blix: US was bent on war.
In a scathing attack on Britain and the US, Mr Blix accused them of planning the war "well in advance" and of "fabricating" evidence against Iraq to justify their campaign.
Friday Doublethink Fun.
"An extraordinary communication
from the United States to UN representatives around the world has been leaked to Greenpeace. In it, the U.S. warns that the simple act of support for a General Assembly meeting to discuss the war will be considered 'unhelpful and directed against the U.S.'"
But really now, do we actually expect the U.S. (which claims it fights to "democratize" the Middle East) to welcome discourse and listen to what the majority of the world may think?
First Casualties? NATO, the U.N.
A 3 day old article, but it gave me a much better understanding of the workings of the U.N. and NATO and what the strengths and weaknesses are of each.
"What is surprising, however, is the trouble the U.N. has had acting effectively even after the U.S.-Soviet rivalry ended. Again and again during the 1990s, the U.N. appeared helpless to meet “unsanctioned” aggressions in places like Rwanda, Liberia, the Horn of Africa and, especially, in the Balkans.
Richard Perle in Guardian Shock!
Op-ed piece brought to us from the ever-balanced Guardian, bound to whip up a whirlwind of protest in the paper’s letters page tomorrow.
Perhaps you might care to pre-empt Saturday morning’s correspondence.
Dr. Robert Muller, former assistant secretary general of the United Nations, and one of the people who witnessed the founding of the U.N., says the global body is fulfilling its ultimate purpose: "Never before in the history of the world has there been a global, visible, public, viable, open dialogue and conversation about the very legitimacy of war".
UN resolution 377,
This makes for fascinating reading as this arcane resolution provides for collective action by the general assembly 'if the security council, because of lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security'. Hardly applicable.
A new study
published by the Institute for Policy Studies
examines the methods that the U.S. uses to bully, cajole and bribe other nations to support its policies in the U.N. Security Council. Full report [pdf]
CNN transcript is smackin' good.
On Friday the 14th of February CNN.com presented a transcript of Hans Blix's presentation to the U.N. Security Council concerning the progress of weapons inspections in Iraq. Comparison with other transcripts, notably that presented by the BBC , reveals that a substantial section of the presentation was omitted in the CNN version
. The missing text includes descriptions of important instances of Iraqi government cooperation and presents a relatively favourable picture of inspectors' access to scientists. (via k5)
Who is Hans Blix?
A 74 year old Swede with a long career in international law, he was recently featured as Time person of the week
and is, obviously, something of a key figure in U.S.-U.N.-Iraq interaction. You can also examine his brief U.N. Bio
(linked in title), a BBC Profile
for an introduction, and a number of his past speeches and remarks
(link to another CV on that site, too). Is he the man for the inspection job, or a
a man who has and will again be fooled by Hussein
While the UK
prepare for various forms of battle, the Commonwealth remembers
from two world wars
, the Falklands
war, the Gulf
war, the Korean
war, the Yugoslavian
wars or any other conflict where servicemen died.
Despite having my own to remember
I can't help feeling maybe it's time to let the dead rest...
U.S. Vows to Disarm Iraq with or Without U.N.
We lead. You follow. Or get out of the way. How this will play out in terms of the very existence of the UN in the near future, the EU, and our attempt to maintain good relationship with Arab countries is anyone's guess. What is yours?
Pavarotti: not enough food in world!
Luciano "If it weren't for singing I'd never stop eating"
Pavarotti (who was once a UN 'messenger of peace'
) is now an official spokesman for the UN FAO
's Anti-Hunger campaign. Yeah... Pavarotti => food => war on hunger???
Isn't that sorta like making Gene Simmons official spokesman for the 'War on De-Flowered Virgins'? [FYI: tomorrow is World Food Day
Before we go to war based on whether or not Saddam (or the UN Security Council...) agrees to the Bush administration's proposed UN resolution, would anyone care to discuss what their proposed resolution actually says?
Apparently, the text of the resolution isn't in the public domain
... but things leak. According to this article
, the resolution allows the UN or its members (including the US) to station armed guards in Iraq, establish no-fly and no-drive zones, and create exclusive ground and air transit corridors. Robert Fisk, one of England's most respected reporters, believes the resolution is a poison pill
, designed to lead to "regime change", whether he accepts it or not. So, what else do we know about the proposed resolution, and why isn't anyone talking about it?
"And due to the flagrant violations of U.N. resolutions, we now order Israel, Turkey, Morocco, and most every other country to bow before us..."
Otherwise known as 'things George Bush overlooked when planning his Cincinnati speech.' Numerous UN resolutions have been disregarded and have gone unpunished-Israel being one of the most serious violators. Who else believes that their most hard-assed university professors would fail them for using the rather weak, subjective arguments that have been popping up in political speeches lately?
The UK has been urged to ban the smacking of children.
We signed the UN convention on the rights of the child eleven years ago, but have since failed to condemn the practice, leading the UN in turn to condemn us
. Some armchair pundits on BBC Online
are saying they'll continue to smack even if it's illegal - have the UN overreached, or this really as bad as they say it is?
In spite of his promise that human rights would take precedence over concerns of state sovereignty, Kofi Annan's
philosophy of neutrality and nonviolence in the face of genocide and dictators, costs over 7,000 lives at Srebrenica, and 800,000 in Rwanda alone.
Shots Fired at the UN
- So much for heightened security.
Making the case for United Nations intervention against the United States
- Ted Rall takes a look at the world situation from a slightly different perspective. The scary thing is that this could run unedited in the newspapers of many countries around the world and their readers would agree with it. Is America out of touch with the rest of the world?
The Ultimatum has been delivered to the UN...
This conflict, simmering for over ten years is about to erupt. "In strict accordance with international law," unilatteral military action is imminent unless demands are met. Animosity has been mounting steadily for months, and Russia is ready to invade Georgia. "No one can deny today, and for ourselves we are certain, that Georgian territory is sheltering both those who are implicated in the attacks on the United States and a direct operative involved in the attacks on housing units in Russia," Mr. Putin said on Russian television, echoing the logic U.S. President George W. Bush has used to rally international support for a pre-emptive strike on Iraq. The United States said it would not support Mr. Putin if he carried out his threat to attack Chechen rebel bases in Georgia, and slammed him for suggesting he might. "The United States strongly supports Georgia's territorial integrity and would oppose any unilateral military action by Russia inside Georgia," a U.S. State Department spokesman said. This all seems rather hypocritical, business as usual new world order politics: Is the price of getting UN Security Council approval on Iraq going to be public and secret deals, and is this really about the Chechens, or about breakaway republics and Caspian Sea oil? And what about China? Will we rubberstamp their ambitions re: Taiwan, Spratley Islands, Mongolia? And finally, why Georgia? I know they put up a two-bit Olympics and never caught that one terrorist bomber, but really, Georgia?
Here's a transcript of the president's speech
to the UN General Assembly this morning, for those who missed it. The White House has also provided a 21 page document
[pdf link] detailing Iraq's history of defiance and disorder over the past decade.
White House: Bush misstated report on Iraq A senior White House official acknowledged Saturday night that the 1998 report did not say what Bush claimed. 'What happened was, we formed our own conclusions based on the report ,' The photograph in question was not U.N. intelligence imaging but simply a picture from a commercial satellite imaging company
Did he think no one would notice?
Hidden Controversy Over Abortion and Female Genital Mutilation at UN Summit
At the United Nations Earth Summit
, delegates from the United States opposed a Canadian proposal
to require countries to provide health care "in conformity with all human rights and fundamental freedoms," because American pro-life activists
feared the wording would expand abortion rights. In addition, the Bush Administration does not want a confrontation with its ally, Saudi Arabia, over the issue of female genital mutilation
The World Summit on Sustainable Development,
aka "Earth Summit II," will start soon in Johannesburg, ten years after the Rio Earth Summit
. Have things improved at all in the last ten years?
While there are some reasons to be optimistic
, the data isn't cheerful. Our climate is growing unstable
; tens of millions are dying or likely to die
, and hundreds of millions more likely to be made refugees, because of environmental pollution and degraded ecosystems; and half the plants and animals on the planet seem headed for extinction
over the next century. In short, things are grim.
What steps, big or small, are you taking to do your part for the environment?
"A sad day for the United Nations."
When it comes to international law, there's one law for the USA and one law for the rest of the world. Disgusting.
Study Warns of Stagnation in Arab Societies.
"The report, the first United Nations human development report devoted to a single region, was prepared by Arab intellectuals from a variety of disciplines, who do not fault others for what they see as the "deficits" in contemporary Arab culture, Ms. Khalaf Hunaidi said."
Tired of the intrusiveness of the Federal Government?
Hate the United Nations? Grant County welcomes you! About the size of Connecticut with a population of 7,500, this rural Oregon County recently passed ballot measures banning the UN and allowing people to cut trees on federal land, with or without the U.S. Forest Service approval. Government agencies are engaged in something called "Rural Cleansing"
according to WSJ reporter Kimberley A. Strassel, and the people are having some success standing up to the government. Are these people kooks? Is Civil disobedience wrong? Are you in, out, or straddling the fence? Ready to move?