Blog Roundup #82

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary

Em Asomba: “The pioneering $100 laptop program, designed to give children in developing countries access to knowledge and educational tools, came a step closer to realization today with the signing of a partnership agreement in Davos between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and One Laptop per Child (OLPC).”

Coalition for Darfur: “Uganda: Ready to Attack Rebels in Congo – From Reuters: “The Ugandan military is ready to “deal with” rebels in neighbouring Congo who killed eight U.N. soldiers this week, President Yoweri Museveni said on Thursday. “We told the U.N. they should allow us to go and deal with them in Congo, because we know how to fight those criminals,” Museveni said during celebrations at an airfield marking two decades since his National Resistance Movement seized power.”

Science Blog: “The head of the UN effort to combat the spread of the deadly bird flu virus today warmly welcomed donor pledges of $1.9 billion to fight the disease made at an international conference in China. “Quite extraordinary,” was how David Nabarro, the UN System’s Coordinator for Avian and Human Influenza, described an amount that was much more than the $1.4 billion he had previously said was needed to combat the spread of a disease that in humans has already led to 79 deaths globally.”

Five Environment: “As a week of activities for United Nations World Environment Day approaches, Bayview Hunters Point continues its fight for environmental justice. In the midst of feel-good, look-good events at posh venues like the Metreon Theater in San Francisco, grassroots organizations and residents are gearing up for the largest environmental justice rally in San Francisco’s history.”

Woodshavings: “U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan pleads for international intervention by the U.N. Security Council in Darfur in a WaPo editorial [Wednesday]. There have been positive developments. The African Union (AU) has sent a small sized contingent of about 5,000 troops to patrol Texas-sized territory amid peace talks between the Sudanese government and the rebel movement moderated by the AU. The UN Security Council has also referred Darfur to the International Criminal Court. Yet, enough hasn’t been done. Annan elaborates: “I wish I could report that all these efforts had borne fruit — that Darfur was at peace and on the road to recovery. Alas, the opposite is true. People in many parts of Darfur continue to be killed, raped and driven from their homes by the thousands.” While international intervention seems legitimate and warranted in Darfur, the inevitable question arises: Are we already too late?”TPM CAFE (Jeffrey Lewis): “A few weeks ago, Iranian negotiators “stood up” IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, not showing up for a meeting. The dating analogy is, of course, a poor one. Diplomats don’t schedule meetings after a couple of vodkas and then get cold feet googling each other the next morning. This kind of diplomatic gaffe usually means one thing: The Iranian side is crippled by internal politics and can’t agree on what to say.”

Vital Perspective: “Iran defended its Holocaust denial conference on Tuesday, saying that “For over half a century, those who seek to prove the Holocaust have used every podium to defend their position. Now they should listen to others.” Ahmadinejad’s disturbing positions have shaken Israel and the West. Dan Gillerman, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, said the conference was “proof of what a global threat Iran really is. I fear that the only reason Iran is showing so much interest in the Holocaust is because they may be preparing another Holocaust and it is up to the world and the United Nations to prevent that from happening.”