Blog Roundup #33

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary

Americablog: “Kofi Annan to visit destroyed slums in Zimbabwe – This is a very good development to keep the spotlight on the disgusting destruction that the Mugabe regime has brought to the poor of Zimbabwe. I’m still hoping that South Africa manages to include political reform in their loan to Zim that they will surely be providing soon but so far “quiet diplomacy” has not shown many results and the ANC has been very reluctant to criticize Mugabe and his brutal policies.”

Blog for America: “The United Nations announced that food and funding donations have arrived in drought-stricken Niger to aid the 3.5 million people living there. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, however, warned that the country has only received approximately a fifth of the aid it needs to ward off starvation. Niger, one of the poorest nations in the world and frequently hit by droughts, recently experienced a devastating locust infestation which destroyed most of the crops.”

Media Girl: “Can we talk about the urgent Niger story? – No, I’m not talking about Wilson’s trip. If you are not restricted to USA media and the blogosphere for news, you’ll know already that I’m talking about the 3.6 million people about to starve to death there: “The situation is desperate. Even the limited food that is available has soared in price, rendering it unaffordable for most families, and there is no hope of any harvest for at least three months,” said Natasha Kafoworola Quist, an Oxfam spokeswoman. “Families are feeding their children grass and leaves from the trees to keep them alive.” Oxfam said U.N. appeals for aid were “dangerously” underfunded, with only one third of the money needed from donors being pledged. In many cases, the pledged money hasn’t arrived, the agency added. The United Nations first appealed for assistance for Niger in November and got almost no response.”

Norm Blog: “It seems that, after the UN report on Zimbabwe condemning the exercise in which 700,000 people were made homeless in that country, Robert Mugabe would like the UN secretary general to come and see things for himself. He has issued an invitation. I like this detail: “Zimbabwe has criticised the report as hostile and false, saying it “described the operation in vastly judgmental language which clearly demonstrates its inbuilt bias against the operation”.

Tour Egypt: “The United Nations World Tourism Organization (WTO) has offered Egypt its full support in helping the country to surmount the negative impact on its flourishing tourism industry from Saturday’s terrorist bombings at its Sharm el-Sheikh resort. “WTO has gained extensive experience in crisis management in the last few years, especially due to the work of our Recovery Committee, which for a long time was chaired by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism,” WTO Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli told Egyptian Minister of Tourism Ahmed el Maghraby in a letter.”

Washington Note: “Efforts are underway to resolve “officially” whether John Bolton met with the Valerie Plame grand jury or its investigators. If he did before submitting his declaration statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, his recess appointment will not occur. If he simply failed to amend his declaration but did meet with the Committee, there is still a chance he could squeak by during recess.”