Blog Roundup #87

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary

Flap’s Blog: [AP] “Russia and France immediately called on Iran to halt its work and fulfill the demands of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, according to a joint statement posted on the Kremlin’s Web site.” More bloviating from Russia and France. They MAY vote for economic sanctions against Iran when these issues come before the United Nations Security Council but cannot be counted upon for more… The ball continues in the Mullah’s court. Iran must STAND DOWN or suffer the consequences. Iran WILL NOT develop or possess nuclear weapons.”

Eccentric Star: “Cartoon Protests Continue; Protest Violence Also Condemned – “U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan condemned the drawings as “insensitive and rather offensive,” but he called for dialogue. “Right now there’s megaphone diplomacy,” Annan told Denmark’s national broadcaster DR. “And I think we should turn off the megaphones and begin to talk quietly to each other.”Coalition for Darfur: “Darfur: UN Hails Progress – From AFP: “The United Nations said Monday the humanitarian situation in Sudan ‘s Darfur region had improved in 2005 but stressed that hundreds of thousands of people were left out of reach of aid. “The humanitarian situation is under control, in spite of insecurity in some areas, and most of the sectors are being covered with humanitarian operations,” senior UN humanitarian affairs officer Mike McDonagh told reporters. He said the World Food Programme and its dozens of partner aid organisations had distributed 439,000 tons of food last week in the conflict-stricken region last year of western Sudan.”

Liquid List: “Nicholas Kristof, absolutely indispensable when writing about international issues, again hits his now-familiar refrain on Darfur . One good bit — among a whole column of good stuff — is this succinct paragraph of all that President Bush could do but isn’t doing yet: “Here are some grown-up steps Mr. Bush could take: He could enforce a no-fly zone to stop air attacks on civilians in Darfur, lobby Arab leaders to become involved, call President Hu Jintao and ask China to stop protecting Sudan, invite Darfur refugees to a photo op at the White House, attend a coming donor conference for Darfur, visit Darfur or the refugee camps next door in Chad, push France and other allies for a NATO bridging force to provide protection until United Nations troops arrive, offer to support the United Nations force with American military airlift and logistical support… make a major speech about Darfur, and arrange for Colin Powell to be appointed a United Nations special envoy to seek peace among Darfur’s tribal sheiks.”

Washington Note: “I just posted this piece regarding John Bolton’s fortress strategy against the New York Times’ UN-watcher Warren Hoge. There is something wrong when the recess-appointed Bolton thinks it’s great to speak at the Jesse Helms Center but won’t give the time of day to the New York Times. But that’s the way TWN thought he would behave all along.”