Blog Roundup #58

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary

Democratic Daily: “The following is an advance copy of the full text of John Kerry’s speech today at Georgetown University: “When the Administration could have kept an Iraqi army selectively intact, they chose not to. They were wrong. When they could have kept an entire civil structure functioning to deliver basic services to Iraqi citizens, they chose not to. They were wrong. When they could have accepted the offers of the United Nations and individual countries to provide on the ground peacekeepers and reconstruction assistance, they chose not to. They were wrong.”

A Nurse Journal: “An Indonesian man has died of bird flu, raising the country’s human toll to four, officials said today, as international health experts prepared to go house-to-house to search for infected poultry. The government – accused of covering-up outbreaks of bird flu when it first started killing chickens two years ago – said it would work closely with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation to hunt down sick fowl on the densely populated island of Java.”

Liquid List: “The UN saves lives the best it can, despite the willful attempts by world’s acknowledged greatest power to block that saving of lives. The UN has been the leading figure in a major increase in human security around the world. Don’t believe me? Think the world is full of death and destruction? You’re half-right, but that’s mostly because we don’t really talk about all the good things. This little gem, from a business paper in New Zealand, fills us in on the recent Human Security Report under the headline “Global peace breaks out: No one notices. (If you want to read the Human Security Report, click here.)”

Owen’s Musings: “Today is the 60th birthday of the United Nations – the anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter here in San Francisco. Read this excellent summary (pdf) of 60 ways the UN makes a difference, ranging from human rights to humanitarian aid; from eradicating smallpox to creating a framework to support international business.”

Open Democracy Blogs: “This October, openDemocracy – the online magazine of politics and culture – has hosted a discussion on UN SCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. This includes a series of articles, launched by Lesley Abdela, who recently reported for us on the real plight facing Iraqi women today, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, involved in the formulation of SCR 1325 during his time as UK Permanent Representative to the UN, and Maj Britt Theorin who secured the EU resolution calling for 40% representation of women participating in peacebuilding. Alongside their assessments, the Women Making a Difference blog has brought together 32 women who have fought against violent conflict from Cambodia to Sierra Leone, to ask: How does SCR 1325 affect us? Has it made any difference and what difference could it make? Our bloggers have been speaking in a personal capacity, drawing on their considerable experience, and that of the organisations to which they belong.”

Swords into Plowshares: “Today marks the sixtieth anniversary of the entry into force of the Charter of the United Nations. At a time when considerable attention is being devoted to the future of the U.N. (Ambassador Bolton floated the idea before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week of shifting from a system of mandatory assessments–dues–to a system of voluntary contributions to finance the Organization), I want to offer a few observations about the history of the Charter. The majority of the work of drafting the Charter occurred prior to the conclusion of World War II. In fact, most of the preparatory work was done at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C. during the fall of 1944…”