Blog Roundup #79

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary

Education Experts: “The United Nations Fulbright Fellowship Program, now in its third year, was created to build new sources of UN leadership and further the ability of the Fulbright Program to educate leaders and lay the foundation for global problem solving. It is funded by a grant from the United Nations Foundation/Better World Fund. This year, 10 UN Fulbright Fellows served in various United Nations departments, offices and funds both in New York City and worldwide, after completing their graduate degrees in the U.S. under Fulbright sponsorship. From June through December 2005, these UN Fulbright fellows had an opportunity to contribute to the advancement of the work of the United Nations, learn from United Nations staff, and gain valuable professional experience to cap off their Fulbright Fellowship in the United States.”

Uncooperative Blogger: “Iran Better Consider the Possibilities – You know I have been doing some thinking, and Iran should be concerned that Iran might face Security Council action in February, the very month John Bolton, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, assumes the Council’s Presidency. This would certainly make it more likely that significant sanction would be imposed upon them.”

Phil Gomes: “Eric Margolis gives us another view of the possibilities as he anticipates a showdown [with Iran]. Iran must also face the very real threat of punishing UN-imposed sanctions, unless they are vetoed by China or Russia or even a US naval blockade. The EU is proposing sanctions as a way of trying to divert the US from military action, which would damage Europe more than the United States.”

Democracy Arsenal: “The latest disturbing news out of Iran is that the government now plans a conference on the Holocaust. Having already judged the Nazi genocide a myth and called for Israel’s destruction, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems bent on making a name for himself as this century’s leading violent anti-Semitic megalomaniac, this time with nukes…. With Ahmadinejad openly advocating Israel’s destruction and cutting the UN seals on its nuclear installations, there would seem adequate grounds today for preventive action to stop Iran from acquiring the means to carry out its destructive aims against Israel. But the principle of preventive war is even more controversial than preemptive war, since its not predicated on a threat that’s close at hand.”

Counterterrorism Blog: “Norway issued a startling declaration earlier this month. Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store announced January 4th that his country would no longer follow the EU lead concerning the designation of terrorist organizations not included in the UN designated terrorist list. A Copy of the Foreign Ministry Statement is here. Norway had previously aligned itself with the EU’s list of persons, organisations and entities set out in the Common Position on the application of specific measures to combat terrorism. The decision to now deviate from the EU means that organizations such as al aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Hamas, and some 45 other designated terrorist organizations around the world may no longer be subjected in Norway to the same restrictions other EU countries have placed on them.”

Michelle Malkin: “IRAN: PREPARING FOR THE WORST – We are on the brink. Via AP: “Iran’s president on Saturday denounced Western nations threatening to refer his country to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions over its nuclear program, saying the international community has no legal basis for restricting Tehran’s right to research.”World Changing: “The UNEP Finance Initiative is a global partnership between banks, investors, and insurers, which aims to understand environmental challenges and the potential trillion-dollar markets they bring. During the recent UN Conference on Climate Change in Montreal, they held a side event on post-Kyoto policy. In the resulting report, CEO Briefing on the Future of Climate Change Policy: The Financial Sector Perspective [PDF], their position is very clear: The evidence is overwhelming – human-induced climate change is real, and the environmental, economic and social costs due to inaction against this threat are already high and are likely to be much higher in future…The Kyoto Protocol is the start of an inevitable transition to a low-carbon economy. There is an urgent need now to extend this framework beyond 2012, as a key part of a global policy regime, in order to foster investments in low and non-carbon technologies.”

PSD Blog: “Just came across InterWorld Radio. A great site that broadcasts local radio commentaries from around the world – most with a strong development bent. I just listened to a discussion of the impacts of tourism in Ghana and ‘debts and daughters’ in Malawi. For more ‘development-angled’ radio programming see OneWorld Radio or UNICEF Radio.”