Tag Archives: UN

The Tragedy Of The Congo Goes On

The body count of dead Americans in Iraq has reached four thousand, tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghan people have died, and George Bush insists America must stand tall in the fight to extend democracy. Of course, there is never a word from the United States of the European Union concerning events in the Congo where more people have died than in any conflict since the end of World War II. Current estimates are at least five million are dead, and thousands of women have been raped, and thousands of children forced to kill family members so they have no home except serving in some rebel army.

According to Johann Hari, the official story of what happened in the Congo was after the Rwanda massacre in which Hutus killed thousands of Tutsi and then lost, they fled to the Congo for safety. The real story is exploitation of Congo’s incredible riches by businessmen from Africa, Europe and elsewhere who use soldiers to get at gold, diamonds, coltan and other riches waiting to be taken by whoever has an army to seize it. The 17,000 man UN army is unable to halt the carnage which never stops and the rapes which destroy human life.

If George Bush really cared about democracy, he would have sent American troops into the Congo, not into Iraq.

UN Urges US End Boycott Of Cuba

Nearly a half century has gone by with the United States refusing to allow normal economic, social and political contacts to occur between the government of Cuba and America. The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution asking the United States to repeal its embargo against trade with the Cuban communist government. It was the seventeenth straight year nations of the world have made clear their distaste with the American policy which makes no sense and simply reflects the power of Cubans in Florida to use their political power to block trade with their former mother country. The UN vote was 184 to 4 which reflects how broad is consensus around the world about the incomprehensible American policy.

The United States initiated contact with Communist China over thirty years ago, and had relations with Saddam Hussein for years, but, contacts with Cuba remain off limits. America insists there is justification because Cuba has an undemocratic government and restricts political and economic freedom. If that is the reason, why did the United States for years have relations with the Soviet Union, Communist China, Iraq, etc….?

Tragedy Of Darfur Goes On And On

The tragedy of Darfur had a beginning, but it appears less and less likely that it will have an ending in the forseeable future. Rebel commanders in Darfur have accused Arab militias which are backed by the Sudan government of attacking villages in southern regions of Darfur. Major Ahmed Salah, of the UN military group stationed in the area, said, “I can confirm fighting but, between whom and whom has not been confirmed.” However, he noted that units of the Sudan army blocked the path of UN forces. There are reports of janjaweed activity in the area and the villagers can expect attacks which will result in death, burning of buildings and violence toward women.

There have been ongoing protests about failure on the part of the Sudan government to halt the violence, but nothing is ever changed. The only certainty in Darfur is that ordinary people will suffer.

UN Role Urged In Black Sea Region

In the aftermath of the Georgia situation, enior officials in Romania and Bulgaria urged the United Nations to assume a more prominent role in dealing with conflict in the Black Sea area. Bulgarian Prime Minister Segei Stanshev expressed concern about efforts to create the elements of democracy and peace in the region due to the influence of outside forces. “Should plans for a regional centre for UN mediation in the Western Balkan/Black Sea area meet approval by member states, Bulgaria stands ready to host it in Sofia and to facilitate it in every possible way.” Romanian Foreign Minister Lazar Comanescu emphasized the importance of dealing with a region which contains important energy resources that are needed by many nations in Europe.

The fact smaller nations in the region are concerned about events in Georgia once again highlights mistakes of the Bush administration which so often makes any conflict one that the United States must resolve.

UN Security Council Reaffirsms Iran Sanctions

The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a new resolution reaffirming previous sanctions on Iran because of its failure to halt its uranium enrichment program. The resolution passed due to an American and Russian agreement not to impose new sanctions but to rely on past ons. US Ambassador Zalmay Khalizad warned, “It is unacceptable for Iran to defy the Security Council resolution.” Even several countries that had abstained on previous sanction votes went along with the latest one. Indonesian UN Ambassador mary Natalegawa, said, “once a resolution is adopted by the Security Council, it is incumbent upon member states to comply with it.”

Lost in passage of the resolution is that Russia supported the measure despite Bush claims it was refusing to cooperate with the world on dealing with Iran and nuclear weapons. The Russians do not wish an atomic bomb armed Iran.

Peace Day In Afghanistan Is Sort Of Peaceful

Forces fighting in Afghanistan tried their best to adhere to a United Nations call for an international day of peace. For the most part, Afghan, US, Coalition and Taliban military held back on firing their weapons allowing the UN to say: “all stood down from offensive military operations in support of the biggest International Peace Day effort that Afghanistan has known.” There were two minor examples of violence by the Taliban that resulted in several deaths. The Taliban evidently sent emails to their forces urging them to stand down from violence during the day of peace.

Perhaps, there is something ironic in persuading those engaged in fighting to hold off for a day so no one can get killed. An optimist would argue if it can be done for a single day why not for a week or month or even year.

Sudan Blames Darfur Situation On UN

The government of the Sudan has unleashed its notorious janjaweed forces to kill, rape and plunder the innocent people of Darfur, but continues to claim it is the innocent victim of UN refusal to cooperate in bringing peace to the region. Sudan’s UN envoy insists the fault for any delays in deploying peacekeepers to the country’s war-ravaged area lies with the United Nations, not with his government. Abdalmahmoud Abdalhaleem told the world, “If there are delays, it’s because of the UN,” and insisted a major source of blame lies with the “confrontational” attitude of the organization which “did not seek the cooperation of the government of Sudan.”

Lost in the rhetoric of lies is the reality Darfur is a vast geographical area whose infrastructure makes difficult deploying military units which must confront janjaweed units who know the area and with Sudan government assistance can move rapidly. Of course, the Sudan government is upset that its president is under indictment for war crimes. The reality is no action to bring peace to Darfur will succeed until there is a large scale air force which can oversee the region.

Canada Extends Jurisdiction In Arctic Area

Canada has decided to extend its jurisdiction in the Arctic area by doubling the range at which Canadian environmental laws and shipping regulations from 100 nautical miles offshore to 200. “Whether is is the thawing of the Northwest Passage or the suspected resource riches under the Arctic seabed, more countries are taking an interest in the waterways of the Canadian Arctic,” said Prime Minister Harper. He emphasized the need for Canada to send a clear message to the world that it will make decisions regarding environmental issues regardless of what other nations may believe about that decision. “If you are in Canada’s Arctic, you will be playing by Canada’s rules.”

The Canadian statement raises many issues– will the world now witness a mad dash by nations to claim this or that claim to land that is now frozen. Perhaps, it is time to place these areas under jurisdiction of the United Nations.

Japan Insists Racism Is Ending

The Japanese government in a new report to the United Nations claims it has made “every conceivable” effort over the past seven years to rid the nation of any form of racial discrimination. Human rights groups, and Doudou Diene, the UN special rapporteur on racism, have called for passage of legislation which would make clear racism and xenophobia are against the law. However, the government has insisted that Article 14 of the Japanese Constitution makes it illegal to engage in racist activities so there is no need of any new legislation.

The Japanese report focuses intently on the situation of the Ainu, Korean residents, and other foreigners. Of the 23,782 Ainu, 93.5% of youth to on to high school and 17.4% on to college. However, about 30% of Hokkadio’s Ainu claim they experience discrimination at school, in job interviews or when getting married. It does not appear passing a law would be that onerous an event in Japanese society.

UN To Iran–Stop Or Sanctions!

The cat and mouse game played by Iran over the past year may well have finally caught up to its leaders when the UN Security Council announced in view of the refusal of Iran to meet last weekend’s deadline, new sanctions would be imposed. The six major countries which includes permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany, offered Iran a package that included major assistance in developing a peaceful nuclear program plus other economic incentives, but the Iranian government simply refused to come forth the past weekend with any type of response that would meet concerns of world leaders. There is a combination of being disappointed, being insulted, being angry, and being apprehensive over failure of Iran to indicate any form of cooperation that could defuse the growing tension in the world over its nuclear development program.

One can only wonder if part of the obstinate refusal on the part of Iran to be cooperative is emanates from a desire not to agree to anything that bears the signature of George Bush. Is Iran waiting for a new president before it will agree to cooperate?