All 3 entries tagged United Nations

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March 28, 2007

Is Blair about to rewrite his foreign policy legacy?

Writing about web page http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,2044281,00.html

From today’s Guardian:

Tony Blair is pushing the United Nations to declare a no-fly zone over Darfur, enforced if necessary by the bombing of Sudanese military airfields used for raids on the province, the Guardian has learned. The controversial initiative comes as a classified report by a UN panel of experts alleges Sudan has violated UN resolutions by moving arms into Darfur, conducting overflights and disguising its military planes as UN humanitarian aircraft.

Iraq undid all of the good work Tony Blair had done in foreign relations before 2001, notably in Kosovo. Cynics will say his embryonic plans for Darfur are nothing more than an attempt to change people’s perception of him, but they should be ignored.

The West should have gone in much earlier, but hopefully the ‘classified report’ will prove not to be another dodgy dossier. If it’s correct, a no-fly zone should be a minimum requirement for the UN, and if they won’t agree to it, then Britain alone. This isn’t Iraq all over again.


December 04, 2006

"My password exploded…

It’s good to know that the oft-criticised United Nations is tackling one of the serious world issues which we all suspect will kill millions in the coming years. No, it’s not climate change. Not poverty or ethnic cleansing. Oh no…

United Nations password explosion

Now if United Nations envoys and ambassadors earn anything like £100,000 per year, then surely MPs do as well?


November 17, 2006

What's the point of the UN?

Between 1992 and 2005, 229 United Nations workers were killed in conflict zones around the world. The response was an “Optional Protocol to the Convention on Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel”. Snappy title, but powerful implications.

But in the past ten years there’ve been nearly 1000 deaths among journalists, most of them murders. Yet the United Nations is resisting attempts to introduce a similar resolution entrenching the safety of journalists.

And the situation is getting worse. 2005 was the worst year on record for deaths of journalists and support staff (with 147). But 2006 looks likely to be worse. 137 have been killed already, many in Iraq.

The International News Safety InstituteINSI – is working to get the UN on board. According to their director, Rodney Pinder, their arguments are falling on deaf ears in large Western countries. And as he pointed out, for a country which invades Iraq and Afghanistan in the name of ‘democracy’, their avoidance of protecting freedom of speech seems like an appalling case of double standards.

Failing action from governments, Pinder quoted the wise words of Ethan Bronner, the Deputy Foreign Editor of the New York Times who said the way to protect journalists around the world is to:

build up what we do so it is unassailable, so that journalism is seen at its highest

A sound message for the tabloid and lazy journalists around the world.


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