Blog Roundup #80

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary

Demagogue: “As I mentioned last week, the AU says it will run out of fund for its mission in Darfur in March. Given the Security Council’s reluctance to deal with Darfur, any eventual hand-over to UN troops probably wouldn’t even happen this year. So Annan is basically asking member nations to start fully-funding the AU mission so that they can hang on long enough to transfer the mission over to the UN.”

Feministing: “The UN says that too many countries are failing women by conducting subpar census reports. “The World’s Women 2005, Progress in Statistics” reports that many developing countries are not keeping track of the the sex of those who are born, work and die: “The whole goal of the improvement of the quality of life worldwide is dependent on knowing the situation of women, men, the elderly, infants,” said Mary Chamie, chief of the U.N. demographics and social statistics branch. “We need it for questions on globalization, for questions on trade, on understanding of economic production, education, … getting vaccinated and for that matter, reproduction,” she said in an interview. “It’s like going to the doctor, but the doctor never examines us.” Read the report here.”

Belmont Club: “When’s a death a death? Yahoo News carries this report on deaths in East Timor caused by Indonesian occupation: “Indonesia killed up to 180,000 East Timorese through massacres, torture and starvation during its 24-year occupation, a report to be handed to the United Nations has found, an Australian daily said on Thursday.” The Third World is place where deaths are accounted with altogether different arithmetic than the First World. Events there happen as on another planet. Democracy Rising in a post called Hate Radio Returns As Ivory Coast Teeters On The Brink Of War talks about the implosion of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Ivory Coast.”

Huffington Post (Nathan Gardels): “In the debate raging across the West about taking Iran to the UN Security Council over its nuclear program, little is understood about internal Iranian public opinion. How can human rights activists who oppose theocratic rule at the same time support Iran’s right to a nuclear program and resist the idea of punitive sanctions by the rest of the world? Is there a better way for the West to neutralize a potential nuclear threat from Iran? Here is an insight from Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian human rights activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 and a scientific colleague, Muhammaed Sahimi…”Iddybud: “Janine Zacharia at Bloomberg is reporting that Russia’s proposal to hold off on a formal referral of Iran to the United Nations’ Security Counci suggests disharmony ahead of an emergency (Feb. 2) IAEA meeting. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said what action the IAEA will take may not be clear until the last minute. A majority vote by the 35-member board of the IAEA, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, is required for a referral to the Security Council.”

KOTP: “Well, Ivory Coast has been down the tubes for a while. But, the situation is getting worse with supporters of the government fighting with UN peacekeepers at one of their basecamps. A Bangledeshi contingent at Guiglo, 300km from Abidjan, has pulled out, after killing at least four protestors. The government has pulled out of the peace process, protesting a recommendation that the parliament be dissolved now that its mandate has expired. … No one in the right mind can fault the peacekeepers for protecting themselves. And, maybe if they – and the French troops stationed there (who wiped out the Cote d’Ivoire airforce in 2004) – were even more proactive, than Gbagbo and his bully boys and the rebels would stop this stupid conflict and finally come to terms.”

Rikomatic: “There aren’t often events that combine my interests in the United Nations and dance. But on January 26 there will be a discussion with choreographer Bill T. Jones on “The Role of Modern Dance in International Dialogue.” It will take place at the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium at the UN at 12:30 pm. Sponsored by the US Mission to the UN.”