Blog Roundup #47

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary

Counterterrorism Blog: “When the world’s statesmen gather in New York September 14th to open this session of the General Assembly they will grapple with UN reform. Perhaps they will make some progress toward that end. But, they will fail in strengthening the UN’s role in combating terrorism if they fail to lay the necessary common foundation for fighting terrorism that a clear definition would provide.”

Democracy Arsenal (David Shorr): “As the main instrument of international cooperation and the world community’s only meeting place with universal membership, the United Nations has great potential to marshal collective action on today’s challenges from terrorism to poverty reduction to human rights and nuclear non-proliferation. But it can only achieve this potential if the world’s leaders pull together.”

Bildt Comments: “It’s a sunny and nice morning in New York, and leaders are starting to gather for the 60th General Assembly of the United Nations. Over the weekend, talks have been continued in a smaller group to see if it is possible to reach agreement on a document for the summit starting on Wednesday. But the reform process is now down to rather few issues. It will be an important meeting, but I fear we should not expect too much in terms of important results. At the moment, avoiding a break-down is the number one priority.”

Captain’s Quarters: “James Traub provides a thought-provoking analysis of the systemic problems of the United Nations in today’s New York Times, and what might be done to ameliorate them.”

Craig Cheslog: “While most Americans are understandably focused on the Katrina disaster, it is worthwhile to take a look at a diplomatic problem being created by UN Ambassador John Bolton. Steve Clemons links to a story in The Guardian: “The British government is mounting a huge diplomatic effort this weekend to prevent the biggest-ever summit of world leaders, designed to tackle poverty and overhaul the United Nations, ending in chaos. The Guardian has learned that Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, has made a personal plea to his American counterpart, Condoleezza Rice, for the US to withdraw opposition to plans for wholesale reform of the UN.”

GOP Vixen: “I had heard about this a few weeks ago from one of my sources … Iranians from all over the United States are merging in New York to protest against the Islamic Republic president Ahmadi Nejad in New York City on Wednesday September 14th 2005.”

Informed Comment: “The final text of the Iraqi constitution has still not been worked out, and so the United Nations cannot begin to print it in several million copies so that Iraqi voters can read it before the October 15 referendum. It is going to be very difficult to get the printing and distribution done with only a month to go.”