Blog Roundup #73

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary

Global Voices Online: “Passion of the Present reports that the UN is to facilitate the return of 60,000 refugees to the South of Sudan by May next year … “The move started Saturday and it could take up to five years to repatriate all 560,000 southern Sudanese refugees in seven neighboring countries – Central African Republic, Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda – said Jean-Marie Fakhouri, the head of operations in Sudan for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.”

Superspade: “The BBC today has a story about the escalating conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea. This story talks about how U.N. peacekeepers are leaving, more specifically, have been ordered to leave by the U.N. Security Council, by Friday. Who knew about this? Not most Americans. Instead, we are talking about Iraq.”

Opinio Juris: “In yesterday’s Washington Post, we find an article in which Detlev Mehlis, the chief UN investigator into the murder of Rafik al-Hariri, actually accuses Syria of direct involvement in the assassination, as well as linking Syria to the murder of Gibran Tueni. While we can only sit and wait for the UN to release its evidence, let’s hope that what has been gathered is so damning that Russia, China, and Algeria will have no hope but to support punishment.”

TPM Cafe (Larry Johnson): “The revelation that the National Security Agency was allowed to conduct non-FISA intercepts of American citizens should bring last summer’s hearing on John Bolton’s nomination to the United Nations back into focus. As Legal times noted in September of this year, “During the confirmation hearings of John Bolton as the U.S. representative to the United Nations, it came to light that the NSA had freely revealed intercepted conversations of U.S. citizens to Bolton while he served at the State Department.”

Harowo: “Toxic waste poisoning Somalia – Just before last December’s tsunami hit the coast of Somalia, local fisherman thought their lucky day had arrived. The preceding force of the wave drove lobsters from the seabed onto the shoreline. But as fishermen collected the valuable harvest the biggest wave they had ever seen came towards them. Many homes have been rebuilt along the coast and many villages now have schools and hospitals for the first time ever. In some areas the situation is better now than before the tsunami, says Maxwell Gaylard, U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia. … However, it appears Somalia is experiencing another disaster of unknown proportions thanks to the tsunami.”

New Communications Blogzine: “Each year, the Millennium Project of the American Council for the United Nations University publishes its State of the Future report. [Disclosure: Jen McClure and I did some pro-bono work for this organization a few years ago to promote this report.] Designed to provide easy-to-read snapshots of the global situation as it pertains to topics such as democracy, technology, organized crime, ethics and so on, it is an excellent resource to get a broad sense of what is happening around the world and how experts expect trends to continue. Each year the SOTF report comments on 15 Global Challenges for Humanity, identified by the think tank’s several hundred futurists, scholars, business planners, and policy makers from around the world.”