Blog Roundup #68

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary

Mark Thomson: “For those interested in what international covenants have to say on the use of the death penalty, here are two UN sites for your information: United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

El Canche: “[P]lease forgive yet another article about poverty, the United Nations, and the lack of humanitarian assistance from wealthy nations. It’s just that when the need is so dire, and a solution so easily attainable… it infuriates me that our elected “leaders” are so incapable of acting in humanity’s best interests.”

Sudan Watch: “U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said last week that killing and rape in Darfur had increased in September and October and the region was descending into complete lawlessness. Darfur is slipping yet deeper into catastrophe before the very eyes of an unmoved international community, writes Eric Reeves Nov 20, 2005. Pope Benedict XVI said Monday “stronger international resolve” is needed to halt the bloodshed in Darfur.”

Bob Whitson: FACTBOX – What Is The Kyoto Protocol? Planet Ark: About 190 governments will meet in Montreal, Canada, from Nov 28 – Dec 9 to review the UN’s Kyoto Protocol meant to cut emissions of gases blamed for global warming. Here are some frequently asked questions about Kyoto…”

Global Voices Online: “The western Sudanese region of Darfur made the headlines for a significant portion of last year when millions of civilians were displaced by fighting between rebel groups and the pro-Sudanese government Janjaweed militia. African Union troops were then sent in to keep the peace with assistance from international bodies like the United Nations, European Union and the United States. Peace talks on Darfur between the rebel groups and Sudanese government are scheduled to continue (they have been going on intermittently for while) in the Nigerian capital of Abuja on Tuesday, 29 November 2005. The blogosphere has been active on the crisis in Darfur. We take a look at some bloggers and what they have to say on this.”

Indian Writing: “Ending violence against refugee women continues to be one of the priorities of the UNHCR: “The United Nations Population Fund has found that violence kills as many women and girls between the ages of 15 and 44 as cancer; that worldwide, one in three women has been beaten, coerced into unwanted sexual relations, or abused; and that roughly 80 per cent of the 800,000 people trafficked across borders each year are women and girls.”

Jurist: “US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton has requested that the UN Security Council put Myanmar on the council’s agenda for the first time, alleging that Myanmar’s military rulers are destroying villages, targeting ethnic minorities, seeking nuclear power capabilities and failing to initiate democratic reforms and repressing political opponents such as pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.”

Media Girl: “In the Washington Post today, Former UN Ambassador Richard Holbrooke is only half right: “Until a vaccine is found — and that is probably more than a decade away — we must focus on prevention and treatment…. According to U.N. figures, over 90 percent of all those who are HIV-positive in the world do not know their status. Yet there has never been a serious and sustained campaign to get people to be tested.” Mr. Holbrooke rightly points out that the only true victory over HIV/AIDS will be a vaccine. But when we have Republicans beholden to pseudo-religious fanatics who oppose effective cures for diseases that affect sexually active people, will the United States even help make available any future cure for HIV/AIDS?”

Philobiblion: “Three million girls abused and mutilated every year – I was going to write an extensive post on this, but it is so depressing I couldn’t face it. From the Unicef press site: “An estimated three million girls in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East undergo genital mutilation/cutting every year, according to a UNICEF report released today. Yet the study says that with adequate commitment and support, this millennium-long custom could be eliminated within a single generation.”

Radio News America: “[AFP] Pneumonia is spreading amongst cold and hungry children who survived Pakistan’s giant earthquake, killing two and affecting hundreds more as the Himalayan winter sweeps in. The United Nations begged the international community for extra help as it races against time to save millions of people threatened by disease and hypothermia because of the sudden change in the weather.”

Terrorism News: “U.S. storm brewing at UN climate summit in Montreal – The first United Nations climate conference since the Kyoto agreement came into force in February has opened with the US still resisting targets.”