As you have probably heard, President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. Some are already grumbling that the prize was undeserved because he has few accomplishments on which to base the award. They are missing the point.
The Security Council held a meeting yesterday to discuss a new report from the Secretary General on progress (or lack there of) of the peace process in Somalia. During the meeting, UK Ambassador John Sawers (who will be leaving the UK-UN mission to lead MI-5) recommended sanctions against Eritrea, which he accuses of destabilizing Somalia by sponsoring a militant group that is trying to overthrow the fragile Somali government. The United States seems to be on board. At the
I am in Turkey this week, courtesy of the Turkish Cultural Foundation. As it happens, this is an auspicious time to be here. The IMF-World Bank meetings wrap up in Istanbul today. Also, later in the week, the Turkish and Armenian foreign ministers will meet in Switzerland to sign the Armenia-Turkey protocol which paves the way for the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two neighboring countries.
The office of the coordinator of humanitarian affairs is asking for $74 million dollars to provide humanitarian releif to the Philippenes in the wake of Typhoon Ketsana. John Holmes, the UN's top humanitarian official, said the typhoon killed almost 300 people and badly damaged or destroyed almost 40,000 houses. 300,000 people still live in emergency evacuation centers. From the UN News Center:
The attack on the World Food Program headquarters in Islamabad was a tragedy and a crime. It was also symptomatic of a deadly trend in international security. Last year, 268 humanitarian aid workers were killed, kidnapped, or seriously injured in violent attacks. This represents a 61% increase of attacks on aid workers over the past decade. This increase is not just because there are more aid workers in the field today.
David and I discuss his new book, Five to Rule them All: The UN Security Council and the Making of the Modern World
The Philippines is bracing for a second typhoon, less than a week after a typhoon killed 277 people in Manila. Manila was remarkably heroic in the face of the first typhoon, rapidly organizing rescue teams and donations to people affected by the typhoon. A second one would severely test that resolve.