Blog Roundup #38

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary

Baghdad Dweller: “Iraqi news agency launches – Iraq is to get its first independent news agency run and staffed by Iraqi journalists and backed by Reuters and the United Nations. The launch of the agency is aimed at providing breaking news to local, regional and international media and is expected to help strengthen professional journalism, facilitate social dialogue and promote democracy in the war-torn country.”

Chrenkoff: “Good news from Afghanistan, part 15 – Long forgotten – or worse still, destroyed – historical heritage of Afghanistan is finally being preserved and looked after. For example, “experts from the United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO, are back on the ground in western Afghanistan. They’re working with local authorities on a $1 million project to preserve the crumbling, centuries-old minarets in Herat and Jam, which are in danger of collapse.” And this: “The Government of Japan and the United Nations (UN) decided to extend assistance of a total of 3,660,415 US dollars (approximately 402.64 million yen) through the Trust Fund for Human Security for the project “Improving Human Security by Rebuilding Urban Communities” to be implemented by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) in Afghanistan…”

Doug Ireland: “A growing number of Iraqi boys are being forced to join the commercial sex trade — many forced to do so by criminal gangs through threats and violence, intimidation, and blackmail in a country where “honor killings” of youths who engage in same-sex relations by their families is encouraged by Sharia law and religious fanaticism; and some out of poverty in a country where official government figures for youth unemployment at 48 % (although the real figure is undoubtedly much higher). All this is confirmed by a new report from the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs’ Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN).”

Hit and Run: “InstaPundit guestblogger Michael Totten offers some odd political advice to the Democrats: “As far as I’m concerned, social liberalism is the best thing the Democratic Party has going for it. They should keep that and drop the pacifism and isolationism instead…” The strange thing is the use of the word “isolationism.” Just last year the warbloggers were warning that Kerry would submit America’s foreign policy to a nefarious “global test.” The man and his party were damned for their excessive faith in the United Nations, multilateralism, and the power of the well-crafted treaty. And now they’re supposed to be isolationists?”

Matthew Good: “There is little doubt in my mind that a conservative element within the Canadian Armed Forces is attempting to seize on the ambiguity provided by The War On Terror to reverse Canadian military priorities…. Being that Canada is not in Afghanistan under the banner of the United Nations, such a commitment would make Afghanistan one of the longest of its kind in Canadian military history. And with that commitment will come the usual – increased military spending and an intensified recruiting campaign. In short, the national, and positive, promotion of militarism.”

Syamak Moattari: “World Water Week 2005 – Experts from 100 countries will present innovative water sanitation and development solutions in advance of the United Nations’ five-year review of progress toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals. Delegates will present examples of how problems of poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and gender inequality can be solved with water and sanitation as the key entry points.’

Washington Note: “Now that John Bolton has his Credentials… TWN is thinking of asking for an interview with him. We will probably get rejected, but I would like to discuss with him — in a serious way — what his vision is for the United Nations and how it converges or diverges from those in America who despise the institution. They are the ones — on the whole — who supported him. Is he going to abandon his base?”