Blog Roundup #85

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary

Moondancer: “U.N. delegates drafting a treaty to protect the rights of the world’s 600 million disabled have resolved many of their differences and are on track to complete the document in August, the diplomat leading the negotiations said on Friday. “It should be possible to conclude drafting at our next meeting in August,” New Zealand Ambassador Don MacKay told a news conference after a three-week drafting session. “We have made real progress and there are relatively few unresolved issues,” he said. “But it is more than just dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.” A U.N. committee that includes all 191 U.N. member-nations has been working since 2001 on a treaty to promote and protect the rights of the disabled.”

Stygius: “Steve Clemons’ long-anticipated project, an online watch page on UN Ambassador John Bolton, is now active. Bolton Watch is being hosted by TPMCafe, and Steve’s first post is up: “As a friend of mine inside the State Department recently told me, I have a slew of friends inside the Department and in the nooks and crannies of Bolton’s world who want Bolton Watch to play a constructive role in helping Condoleezza Rice to supervise him.”

Coalition for Darfur: “Darfur: Sudan Reiterates Resistance to U.N. Force – From Reuters: “Sudan on Monday softened its resistance to admitting U.N. troops to its violent Darfur region, but demanded the world body consult the government before any deployment is agreed. Sudan initially refused the deployment of U.N. troops in Darfur to stop the rape, killing and looting described by Washington as genocide, and an African Union force was dispatched instead in 2004. But donors have slowed their funding for the almost 7,000-strong AU force, prompting U.N. chief Kofi Annan to say a U.N. takeover of the AU mission is inevitable.”California Yankee: “The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog reported Iran to the U.N. Security Council in a resolution expressing concern that Iran’s nuclear program may not be “exclusively for peaceful purposes.” This long overdue action could eventually lead to sanctions to Iran, but not, according to the BBC, until a new report is delivered by Mohammad El Baradei at the next IAEA meeting on 6 March. Russia and China agreed to support the resolution on condition it did not contain any immediate threat of sanctions against Iran. I am very pleased to see that this has finally gotten to the U.N. Security Council, but I fear we will eventually regret agreeing to Egypt’s demand that the resolution include support for the creation of a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East. linking the issues of Iran’s atomic ambitions and Israel’s nuclear weapons status will make preventing Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons even more difficult.”

Democracy Arsenal (Michael Signer): “Security and Peace Institute’s conference on Latin America — Final Live-Blog (VII) – The final address is by Jose Antonio Ocampo, the Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs at the UN. He stresses that the UN has to be firmly committed to democracy in the region. He stresses that democracy has to be robust, responsive, and carefully tended. Corruption, paramilitary tendencies, and other bad political practices (like blackmail) have to be immediately rooted out. His remarks emphasize the lesson I’ve gotten out of this entire conference is this: Latin America has come an incredible way in the last 15 years.”

Mental Meanderings: “Kofi Annan’s tenure as UN Secretary General comes to an end this December, but who will replace him? It’s Asia’s ‘turn’ (despite the fact that, according to some New York friends in the know, Bill Clinton is rumoured to be angling for the job), so who are the possible successors? In UN terms Asia is much broader than we imagine, by the way, and includes much of the Arab world. The Washington Post has been thinking about this lately and ‘shortlists’ the following…”