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With Somalia on the Brink of Horn-Wide War, UN Avoids Question of Ethiopian Invasion

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee at the UN

UNITED NATIONS, August 16 -- With the Horn of Africa teetering on the brink of a region-wide war, the widely reported incursion of Ethiopian troops into Somalia is either too inconvenient, too controversial or too unimportant to be inquired into by the United Nations. Kofi Annanís envoy for Somalia, Francois Lonseny Fall, came to New York on Wednesday to brief the Security Council and then the UN press corps. In response to one of five questions from Inner City Press, Francois Lonseny Fall said that during the morningís Security Council consultations, the issue of Ethiopian troops in Somalia "didn't come up." He added that no member of the Security Council asked about the issue. Video is at

            In two interviews Wednesday with Inner City Press, Ghana's ambassador who is the president of the Security Council emphasized that Ethiopia is not the only state violating the Somalia arms embargo. While true, that does not explain why the UN cannot or will not address or even inquire into the issue of the presence of Ethiopian troops in Somalia.

            Francois Lonseny Fall acknowledged that the UN has staff in Baidoa, the seat of the Transitional Federal Government where numerous eye witnesses and journalists have spotted Ethiopian troops. He insisted however, that his "office has no monitoring capability on the ground to confirm these reports."

Francois Lonseny Fall

            Separately, Inner City Press Wednesday asked the UN's humanitarian arm, OCHA, for a read-out on its assessment mission to Somalia earlier this month. A spokeswoman for OCHA confirmed the mission, saying it was the first UN airplane to land in Mogadishu in fourteen years. Asked if assessment mission have been made to Baidoa she said yes, some months ago.

            In May, the UN issued a report naming as violators of the Somalia arms embargo six countries: Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Yemen, Italy and Saudi Arabia. Eritrea and Ethiopia are engaged in a border dispute for which Somalia threatens to become a second front. Since Eritrea has tried to tell the UN which nationalities must be excluded from its UNMEE peacekeeping force, some wonder if that is not a partial explanation of the UN's seeming siding with Ethiopia, or equating Ethiopia's incursion with troops to Eritrea's reported delivery of weapons, into Mogadishu airport.

            On factual matters, Francois Lonseny Fall confirmed the defection of soldiers from the TFG to the Islamic Courts, last month and as recently as yesterday. Nevertheless he said he supports lifting the arms embargo against the TFG.  Who would use the weapons, one wag was heard to wonder: mercenaries? He also confirmed the opening of an Islamic court in Puntland, an area that has claimed independence and has endeavored to sell its mineral rights to Australia-based Range Resources, Ltd.

            Inner City Press asked for a response to the theory that the UN is so committed to the Transitional Federal Government that it is turning a blind eye to violations of the arms embargo on Somalia. Francois Lonseny Fall replied that it is not only the UN that supports the TFG, but also "others in the international community." This is not, he said, a green light for meddling in Somalia. But to many, it seems like a green light has been given. Developing...

            In other UN Headquarters news, Israel's minister for foreign affairs Tzipi Livni briefed a roomful of UN reporters on Wednesday. After reading a prepared statement, she took only five questions, from journalists she and Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman conferred on and selected. At the end, a head-scarfed correspondent noted, "You didn't choose any Arabic journalists." The entourage left the room. Power speaks and then is gone.


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In UN's Lebanon Frenzy, Darfur Is Ignored As Are the Disabled, "If You Crave UNIFIL, Can't You Make Do With MONUC?"

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee at the UN

  UNITED NATIONS, August 15 -- "We are looking for forces who can be self-deploying." Thus Tuesday spake a senior UN official in a Lebanon background briefing for five dozen rapt reporters. In the wake of Friday's ceasefire resolution, apparently the entire world craves to know the nitty-gritty of the UN troop contributions meetings. The senior and bald-pated UN official declined to name countries with specific soldier numbers. At briefing's end he relented and said, "on the record," that he hopes that France "could be the backbone" of the revamped UNIFIL, which some called UNIFIL II.

            Monday afternoon, a five-reporter stakeout of Conference Room 5 yielded elusive quotes from a tall peacekeeping official who reappeared at Tuesday briefing. He said Germany and France are on board, Turkey "not yet." Press reports on Tuesday have Turkey's prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan awaiting a second UN resolution before deciding to commit troops.

   While one-step, two-step was the structure of the initial Franco-American proposal of ten days ago, it is not clear that if Turkey waits for a second resolution they will join the initial force. Inner City Press had that question, and another concerning the meaning of the "offensive military operations" that Israel must cease, but time and the spokesman's queue did not permit. Instead the briefing contained a hypnotizing repetition of the word "robust," converted by the unnamed official into "robustness," as in demonstrating to European foreign ministers the prospective robustness of the UNIFIL II force.

Looking for coverage: Darfur

            At Tuesday noon briefing, along with the Darfur question related but not answered below, the spokesman disclosed that Saturday's DPKO meeting included 28 countries, and Monday's had 17 countries, reportedly different. From that reporters collectively calculated the number 45, as in Colt 45, the beer or the handgun. Mid-briefing the unnamed UN official confessed, "I am not an expert on military matters." Only on peacekeeping, apparently. But how robust is that?

            Press accounts have Italy committing up to 3000 troops, and an Israeli Brigadier General, Yossi Kuperwasser, opining that "it could be a very short cease-fire." One reporter asked what UNIFIL would do if it witnesses Hezbollah forces launching a rocket.

            "We could take action," the senior UN official replied, if they get in the way of our mandate.  But what of Israel? What could constitute an "offensive military action"? It was neither asked nor answered, despite the media swarm.

            The peacekeeping crew who staffed the packed-room briefing were the same as presided over a session on the Congo, which four reporters attended. Tuesday one wag mused that the Congo needs exposure. Perhaps Kofi Annan's envoy William Lacy Swing should appear at this better-attended session as a kind of movie trailer, a Coming Attractions as it were.

            "If you craved UNIFIL, you could be satisfied by MONUC," might be the slogan, referring to the UN's missions in Lebanon and the Congo respectively. A sharper-edged wag envisioned a movie trailer-like voiceover:

  "From the directors who presided over Rwanda's Arusha Accords... From the producers of UNISOM and its Black Hawk Down sequel... With a budget taken in part from this summer's sleeper UNMEE... It's the blockbuster this August has needed, with a 15,000 crew... It's UNIFIL Two, coming into theater before the end of the month!"

            A needed UN mission that's still sitting on the runway is a peace force for Darfur. At Tuesday's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Kofi Annan's spokesman for the Secretariat's reaction to a request, the day before, that senior Sudanese officials including president al Bashir be hit with UN sanctions for blocking UN entry. "I'm not aware of the request," the spokesman answered.

            Before 1 p.m., the full request, dated August 14, was emailed to the spokesman and one of his colleagues. Still at 5 p.m. there was no Darfur response. There is UNIFIL and more UNIFIL, we are filled with UNIFIL. As with Hollywood, the public is given what it wants. Or is it?

            At the UN this week and next, a new human rights treaty is being negotiated, the proposed Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. At a press conference on Tuesday, the chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Convention, Don MacKay, said that if current efforts to block the creation of a treaty monitoring body are successful, the Convention may well not be enacted. "And that would be shabby treatment," Mr. MacKay said, citing a long history of societies' discrimination against the disabled.

            There were less than a dozen reporters at the briefing. Mr. MacKay referred to this, to the other "important issues" going on, while noting that the number of people impacted by this treaty, in the hundreds of millions, dwarfed those impacted by the current focus on the UN press corps' attention.

            There are however people watching. Circling this meeting, much as the National Rifle Association circled the one on Small Arms, are anti-abortion activists. They see, they say, in the treaty's reference to "reproductive health" a slippery slope toward legalized abortion. Mr. MacKay, asked by Inner City Press to response, said the argument has no merit at all. Click here for video and here for the text of the draft Convention.

            Inner City Press asked if the United States is among the countries opposing any monitoring of countries' performance under the Convention, similar to the approach the U.S. took in derailing the Small Arms meeting at the UN earlier this year. Mr. MacKay acknowledged that the U.S. is among six or seven countries raising such concerns, but stated that the U.S. position does not seem "doctrinal" or doctrinaire.

            On whether the UN's websites, at least, are accessible, Inner City Press' question was answered by referring to the meeting's subsite which states that "  For this site, and for future United Nations websites, we have incorporated design elements that allow navigation by visually-impaired users." Well alright.

            Mr. MacKay's co-speaker, not identified in the Media Alert of the event but referred to by Mr. MacKay as Maria Veronica, stated that with her wheelchair, she was unable to speak from the podium in the briefing room 226. Afterwards, Inner City Press was told by another UN office that there is, in fact, a ramp for the podium in Room 226. A telephone call placed to the office reportedly in charge of the ramp was not returned by press time, leaving only this reflection, that the root of the word "podium" is the same as that for "foot," leaving its relation to feet's replacement "wheelchair" more than a little unclear.

[Concluding inside joke: The article above is damning enough without even mentioning Congolese warlord-now-colonel Peter Karim, the negotiations with whom the senior UN official's been asked about, without substantive response. Okay, it's not a joke.]

At the UN, Lebanon Resolution Passes with Loophole, Amb. Gillerman Says It Has All Been Defensive

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee at the UN

UNITED NATIONS, August 11 -- At the UN, as of 5:20 p.m., the fix was already in for a unanimous, vote on the new Franco-American resolution on Lebanon. French Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere told reporters, "There's no enforcement," since it is not under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. "You have to trust," said Amb. de La Sabliere. But  a question left open is the definition of "offense military operations," which are to be ceased. This is explored below, following these micro-updates in reverse chronological order.

Update 9:35 p.m. -- As the Security Council meeting broke up, Condi Rice spoke without taking questions. The Ghanaian Foreign Minister stepped to the microphone and took questions. Inner City Press asked him if the phrase "cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations" might not be a loophole. He replied that it is his understanding of the resolution that it requires the cessation of ALL military operations.

  Later in the hallway, Israeli Amb. Gillerman was asked about the phrase, and he stated that everything Israel has done in Lebanon has been defensive.

  The loophole was known before the vote, and may only grow afterwards. 10-4.

Update of 8:55 p.m. -- As inside the Council chamber the speeches continue, at the stakeout French Foreign Minister Philippe Douzy-Blazy made four points, then headed down the hall. Merci for nothing, one journalist muttered. Russian Ambassador Churkin took questions on the side, from RT Russia Today. "I am just a poor diplomat in New York," he said. "Please don't ask me to write any dictionaries." Every electrical outlet at the stakeout was taken, and still the speeches continued...

Update of 8:10 p.m. -- the UK's Margaret Beckett, before "offering condolences" in view of the rapt Condoleeza to certain Palestinians, specifically condemned, without quoting, Iran's president's comments about Israel. She announced the Tony Blair will travel to the region. Her speech ended with a whimper, with the audience unclear what would come next. Time to get a punch line...

Update of 7:52 p.m. --  Following a speech by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Qatar, on whose website the most recent speech is from 2004, the Draft Resolution, 1701/2006, has been adopted unanimously, 15-0. And the post-vote speeches begin, the roster so far running Greece, UK, Denmark China, Slovakia, Russia and Argentina...

Update of 7:40 p.m. -- Condoleeza Rice at 7:28, prior to any vote, said that the Council, "with the passage of this resolution," puts in place "a full cessation of hostilities." She continued to 7:37, followed by French Foreign Minister Philippe Douzy-Blazy, speaking of a "sortie de crise," as had Ghana's Foreign Minister at the stakeout on Wednesday, click here to view and see below.

Update of 7:20 p.m. --The debate has begun, chaired by the Foreign Minister of Ghana, which holds the Security Council presidency this month. As Kofi Annan sings the praises of UNIFIL, even P5 Ambassadors are excluded from the table, in favor of their bosses, led by Condoleeza Rice (who, reporters snarked at the stakeout, had changed outfits and looked troublingly doll-like as she entered).

Update of 6:25 pm -- Photographers have been allowed in above the Council chamber, the stakeout has been searched by bomb smelling dogs. The full text of the draft resolution is now pasted below.

  On the lighter side, an Inner City Press stringer noted the Permanent Observer of Palestine stop Denmark's Ambassador, then kiss her on both cheeks. Inner City Press asked him, at the elevator, for the substance of the exchange. "I told her she deserves to enjoy a round of golf," he answered...

            A question left open is the definition of "offense military operations," which are to be ceased.  More specifically, OP1 of the new draft resolution "calls for a full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hizbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations."  In what circumstances would Israel be entitled to deem its renewed military operations as "defensive"?

            Amb. de la Sabliere left the stakeout before this question could be asked, and Amb. Bolton took no questions at all, saying that Condoleeza Rice will explain the U.S. position. In the stakeout half-light at 4:45 p.m., Inner City Press asked one of Lebanon's counselors, who asked to remain unnamed, who defines "offensive military operations."

            "That's it," he replied. "We have a problem with OP1, because it would allow Israel to continue military operations. As long as Israel is in Lebanon, they are an occupying power, and Hizbollah has the right to oppose them. But OP1 prohibits Hizbollah from any attacks. We have a problem."

  As 5:10 p.m., television news reported increased Israel incursions. Yes there may be a problem.

            Still three Ambassador spoke between four and five p.m., predicting approval by early evening. Inner City Press asked Ghana's Ambassador, the president of the Council, how the often-mentioned rule of waiting 24-hours from when a draft is "put into blue" before voting on it. Not a problem, the Ghanaian ambassador replied. "The Council is master of its own procedures."

  Slated Success' Sudden Parents

            Japanese media asked Inner City Press, what would be the role of the UNIFIL force in Lebanon? Place-fillers, one might say. There so that Israel pulls out.  And is this Chapter Six-and-a-Half, as some have said? More like Six-and-a-Quarter. To be continued...

On Lebanon, Russian Gambit Focuses Franco-American Minds, Short Term Resolution Goes Blue Amid Flashes of Lightening

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee at the U.N.

UNITED NATIONS, August 10, 8:20 p.m. -- The ranks of Russian chess masters must now be expanded beyond Karpov and Kasparov. After 5 p.m. on Thursday, Russia's permanent representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin emerged from 885 Second Avenue, which houses the French and UK missions, and spoke to a throng of reporters. He announced that Russia is putting forth its own resolution on Lebanon, one calling for a 72 hour cessation of hostilities. He said he intended to "put this resolution in blue," meaning file it with Security Council Affairs and then Documents Control, which will prepare the text in the UN's six official languages, allowing for a Friday vote. Amb. Churkin indicated that Russia would withdraw its resolution if the French and U.S., who were negotiating upstairs, came to agreement on changes to their resolution.

  The full text -- only 130 words -- of the Russian draft resolution is below.

            Soon thereafter, just as a thunderstorm began, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton emerged. He called the Russian resolution an unnecessary diversion, declaring that "we are not playing games." While heading out onto 47th Street, he said they would continue working all night. The rain grew harder and a dog began to howl. A side door opened and gallons of soapy water were swept out onto the pavilion full of wet journalists. The lion lay with the lamb: a famously Zionist reporter held the Al Arabia TV microphone as a favor. Upstairs, French Ambassador de La Sabliere apparently negotiated with himself. It was reported that Margaret Beckett would arrive from London, if they allowed her on the plane. There were rumors of Condoleeza Rice in the wings.  As one wag -- this one -- put it, success has many parents, but failure has only the P5 Ambassadors.

Ambassadors Churkin and Wang, right to left, in drier North Korean times

            Back at UN headquarters, soaking wet, informed sources indicated that to "go blue" the plumbing involves Security Council Affairs on the 32nd floor, and Document Control on the 15th. The ascent and descent of elevators was studied. There were sighting of elusive Documents Control staff. Television journalists headed for the exits. "If Churkin says it's going blue, that's good enough for us," one said.

            It was a dark and rainy night... Watching the lightening above Turtle Bay, a reporter turned to news analysis, remembering a side comment by Chinese Ambassador Wang, that there would be repercussions for the U.S.'s obstruction of even a Presidential Statement on the death by bomb of the four UNIFIL staffers. And where was Amb. Wang during Thursday's developments? Since a chess master does not move without thinking several steps ahead, who'd be Amb. Churkin's backers? Developing.

The Russian draft resolution, distributed to Council members:

Russian Federation: draft resolution

            The Security Council,

            Expressing its gravest concern over the increasing escalation of hostilities in Lebanon and Israel since 12 July 2006,

            Appalled by large numbers of civilian casualties, extensive damage to civilian infrastructure and hundreds of thousands internally displaced persons,

            Emphasizing the critical need for urgent humanitarian supplies and mindful of the looming threat of even greater humanitarian catastrophe,

            1.         Calls for an immediate and full cessation of hostilities for humanitarian purposes for a period of 72 hours;

            2.         Urges all parties concerned and the international community to provide urgently all required humanitarian assistance to civilian population in Lebanon;

            3.         Calls for extraordinary diplomatic efforts to arrive without further delay at a political solution to the crisis;

            4.         Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

On Lebanon, Franco-American Resolution Reviewed at UN in Weekend Security Council Meeting

  UNITED NATIONS, August 5 -- In a rare Saturday afternoon session, the UN Security Council is meeting on a draft resolution on the conflict in Lebanon. The full text of the draft resolution, circulated at the UN at 1 pm Saturday, is placed online below (and has been, since 1:10 pm).  Now updates, in reverse chronological order:

Update of 7:30 pm -- After interviewing a variety of sources in the half-light outside the Security Council, it appears clear that the resolution will not pass, or even be voted on, on Sunday. It's passage is predicted Monday, without Condi Rice, or Tuesday, if a ministerial meeting can be organized. The opposition of Lebanon and Qatar makes such a meeting less likely. And who will do what, in the hours to come, to change the facts on the ground? Developing...

Update of 5:45 pm -- There will be no vote today. An expert briefing began at 5 pm; there will be another one at 10 am on Sunday. Russian Ambassador Churkin emerged and spoke of Lebanon's objections, as did the Ambassador of Qatar. On the sidelines, Inner City Press asked Palestine's permanent observer what would or could be done for a cessation of hostilities in Gaza. "I wish," he said. And then another cameraman, rushing by for an interview of the hall, hit him in the eye with his camera.

            Secretary General Kofi Annan swept in at 4:35 pm, with no words for the press. Photographers joked of his Miami Vice look, fresh in from Santo Domingo. When he swept out, he urged the questioning press to "listen to the Ambassador," in this case from Qatar. The head of UN peacekeeping stood by the elevator whispering to a TV network's operative. Then he too was done, the back-down to Congolese warlord and peacekeeper-kidnapper Peter Karim not addressed, the Lebanese crisis left unresolved yet again, and Gaza not even touched, except by bombs...

Previously, at 4:22 p.m. -- in the media-frenzied space outside the Council chamber, the grumbling about the text began at 3 pm. A U.S. embassy staffer directed the press to Russia as the source of forthcoming delay. Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin came out, but spoke only to "the Russian press," which consisted of three reporters. Amb. Churkin's staffer tried to prohibit the non-Russian media from recording her boss' sotto voce spinnings.

  The ambassador from Qatar asked for a thirty minute delay and got it. The Lebanese envoy was interpreted as against the resolution, though he declined to stop and speak with reporters. The Syrian ambassador strode in, also without stopping. Palestine's permanant observer, ever polite, stopped and took Inner City Press' question; his answer, however, was "Ask Russia," which as described above has yet to be possible.

  French Ambassador de La Sabliere has offered expert briefings to the Council, later Saturday or Sunday. Russia, it's said, has said no. A wise colleague advises that Russia was in the loop, but hearing of Lebanese opposition, decided to join in. Kofi Annan waits in the wings, but there's much reading of the tea leaves as things slide toward five o'clock.

Amb. de La Sabliere (w. SRSG "Congo-king" Swing, see below)

UN Knew of Child Soldier Use by Two Warlords Whose Entry into Congo Army the UN Facilitated

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee at the UN

UNITED NATIONS, August 4 -- As in the Congo vote counting continues, now with reports of the burning of ballots both used and unused, further information has emerged about the UN system's knowledge of the use of child soldiers by at least two militia leaders offered positions in the Congolese army. Earlier in the week, Kofi Annan's envoy to the Congo, William Lacy Swing, disclaimed his previously UN-reported "welcoming" of the entry into the army of Mathieu Ngudjolo of the Congolese Revolutionary or MRC.

            The UN's own June 13 report on children and armed conflict in the DR Congo alludes to the recruitment of child soldiers by the MRC. In an interview Friday, a well-placed UN official told Inner City Press that Mathieu Ngudjolo will be identified by name as a child soldier user in the follow up to the June 13 report, as will Peter Karim, who after holding seven UN peacekeepers hostage for over 40 days has been offered a colonel's position in the Congolese army. The follow up report name these two individuals will, Inner City Press has been told, be confidential, adding to the scope of impunity.

Ballots and Congolese police

            Last week UN peacekeeping's Dmitry Titov answered Inner City Press' questions about Karim by saying that "justice will come, eventually." The official interviewed Friday similarly implied that as with Thomas Lubanga and Jean Pierre Biyoyo, respectively charged by the International Criminal Court and convicted by a Congolese military court in Bukavu, Ngudjolo and Karim might one day face justice. It is hard to believe that neither warlord brought up issues of amnesty during negotiations. No one yet has wanted to detail the specifics of the negotiations, particularly the degree of UN involvement. Developing.

Zimbabwe Fog, Laws of War Clarified, Tips in the Half-Light (on Lebanon)

            While Kofi Annan is on the island of Hispanola, at his spokesman's noon briefing Inner City Press again asked for the UN's and Mr. Annan's response to the hundreds of Zimbabwean protesters demanding UN action on the UN's report on Operation Murambatsvina or "Clean Out the Trash," in which the Mugabe government evicted at least 700,000 perceived political opponents. Rather than yesterday's cursory reference to Zimbabwe's sovereignty, on Friday UN spokesman Farhan Haq stated that Ben Mkapa, Mugabe's selected envoy, particularly to the UK, will be in charge of addressing and asking on Operation Murambatsvina as detailed in the UN report.  We'll see.

            Also at the noon briefing, Inner City Press asked if the UN agrees with Israel that placing telephone calls to civilians before bombing the neighborhoods they live in brings the bombing in compliance with the laws of war.  After the briefing, the spokesman referred the press corps to a statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour that "while effective advance warning of attacks which may affect the civilian population must be given, this legal obligation does not absolve the parties to the conflict of their other obligations under international law regarding the protection of civilians" and "that international humanitarian law requires all parties to avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas."

            In the half-light of the Security Council stakeout at 2:50 p.m., the Palestinian Permanent Observer to the UN called over Inner City Press. "Do you want a tip?" he said. Of course. He detailed a group of ambassadors, including from Sudan, Syria, Azerbaijan and Malaysia, slated now to meet with the Council president then with Deputy Secretary General Mark Malloch-Brown at 5 p.m.. The spokesman's office, asked by Inner City Press, confirmed the meeting, which ambassadors say will concern more bombing of civilians, although reference to Azerbaijan's representative, for OIC, was not included. As another reporter noted, "the real action is at the U.S. mission."

            At 4 p.m., the president of the Security Council emerged. He apologized for not summarizing the meeting, saying he feels a need to tell the other Council members before telling the press. He mentioned he lived in Westchester and Inner City Press asked, where? New Rochelle. Do you go to New Roc City? With a look of surprise he said yes, "I am a New York boy." More substantively, and full circle for this report, he answered Inner City Press' question about the burning of ballots in Congo by saying he hope for another briefing next week. We'll see.

Other Inner City Press reports are archived on

Impunity's in the Air, at the UN in Kinshasa and NY, for Kony and Karim and MONUC for Kazana

UN Still Silent on Somalia, Despite Reported Invasion, In Lead-Up to More Congo Spin

UN's Guehenno Says Congo Warlord Just Needs Training, and Kazana Probe Continues

With Congo Elections Approaching, UN Issues Hasty Self-Exoneration as Annan Is Distracted

In DR Congo, UN Applauds Entry into Army of Child-Soldier Commander Along with Kidnapper

Spinning the Congo, UN Admits Hostage Deal with Warlord That Put Him in Congolese Army

At the UN, Dow Chemical's Invited In, While Teaming Up With Microsoft is Defended

Kofi Annan Questioned about Congolese Colonel Who Kidnapped Seven UN Soldiers

At the UN, Speeches While Gaza Stays Lightless and Insurance Not Yet Paid

At the UN Poorest Nations Discussed, Disgust at DRC Short Shrift, Future UN Justice?

At the UN Wordsmiths Are At Work on Zimbabwe, Kony,  Ivory Coast and Iran

UN Silent As Congolese Kidnapper of UN Peacekeepers Is Made An Army Colonel: News Analysis

At the UN, New Phrase Passes Resolution called Gangster-Like by North Korea; UK Deputy on the Law(less)

UN's Guehenno Speaks of "Political Overstretch" Undermining Peacekeeping in Lower Profile Zones

In Gaza Power Station, the Role of Enron and the U.S. Government's OPIC Revealed by UN Sources

At UN, North Korean Knot Attacked With Fifty Year Old Precedent, Game Continues Into Weekend

UN's Corporate Partnerships Will Be Reviewed, While New Teaming Up with Microsoft, and UNDP Continues

Gaza Resolution Vetoed by U.S., While North Korea Faces Veto and Chechnya Unread

BTC Briefing, Like Pipeline, Skirts Troublespots, Azeri Revelations

Conflicts of Interest in UNHCR Program with SocGen and Pictet Reveal Reform Rifts

At the UN, A Day of Resolutions on Gaza, North Korea and Iran, Georgia as Side Dish

UN Grapples with Somalia, While UNDP Funds Mugabe's Human Rights Unit, Without Explanation

In North Korean War of Words, Abuses in Uganda and Impunity Go Largely Ignored

On North Korea, Blue Words Move to a Saturday Showdown, UNDP Uzbek Stonewall

As the World Turns in Uganda and Korea, the UN Speaks only on Gaza, from Geneva

North Korea in the UN: Large Arms Supplant the Small, and Confusion on Uganda

UN Gives Mugabe Time with His Friendly Mediator, Refugees Abandoned

At the UN, Friday Night's Alright for Fighting; Annan Meets Mugabe

UN Acknowledges Abuse in Uganda, But What Did Donors Know and When? Kazakh Questions

In Uganda, UNDP to Make Belated Announcement of Program Halt, But Questions Remain (and see The New Vision, offsite).

Disarmament Abuse in Uganda Leads UN Agency to Suspend Its Work and Spending

Disarmament Abuse in Uganda Blamed on UNDP, Still Silent on Finance

Alleged Abuse in Disarmament in Uganda Known by UNDP, But Dollar Figures Still Not Given: What Did UN Know and When?

Strong Arm on Small Arms: Rift Within UN About Uganda's Involuntary Disarmament of Karamojong Villages

UN in Denial on Sudan, While Boldly Predicting the Future of Kosovo/a

UN's Selective Vision on Somalia and Wishful Thinking on Uighurs

UN Habitat Predicts The World Is a Ghetto, But Will Finance Be Addressed at Vancouver World Urban Forum?

At the UN, a Commando Unit to Quickly Stop Genocide is Proposed, by Diplomatic Sir Brian Urquhart

UN's Annan Concerned About Use of Terror's T-Word to Repress, Wants Freedom of Information

UN  Waffles on Human Rights in Central Asia and China; ICC on Kony and a Hero from Algiers

At the UN, Internal Justice Needs Reform, While in Timor Leste, Has Evidence Gone Missing?

UN & US, Transparency for Finance But Not Foreign Affairs: Somalia, Sovereignty and Senator Tom Coburn

In Bolton's Wake, Silence and Speech at the UN, Congo and Kony, Let the Games Begin

Pro-Poor Talk and a Critique of the World Trade Organization from a WTO Founder: In UN Lull, Ugandan Fog and Montenegrin Mufti

Human Rights Forgotten in UN's War of Words, Bolton versus Mark Malloch Brown: News Analysis

In Praise of Migration, UN Misses the Net and Bangalore While Going Soft on Financial Exclusion

UN Sees Somalia Through a Glass, Darkly, While Chomsky Speaks on Corporations and Everything But Congo

AIDS Ends at the UN? Side Deals on Patents, Side Notes on Japanese Corporations, Salvadoran and Violence in Burundi

On AIDS at the UN, Who Speaks and Who Remains Unseen

Corporate Spin on AIDS, Holbrooke's Kudos to Montenegro and its Independence (May 31, 2006)

Kinshasa Election Nightmares, from Ituri to Kasai. Au Revoir Allan Rock; the UN's Belly-Dancing

Working with Warlords, Insulated by Latrines: Somalia and Pakistan Addressed at the UN

The Silence of the Congo and Naomi Watts; Between Bolivia and the World Bank

Human Rights Council Has Its Own Hanging Chads; Cocky U.S. State Department Spins from SUVs

Child Labor and Cargill and Nestle; Iran, Darfur and WHO's on First with Bird Flu

Press Freedom? Editor Arrested by Congo-Brazzaville, As It Presides Over Security Council

The Place of the Cost-Cut UN in Europe's Torn-Up Heart;
Deafness to Consumers, Even by the Greens

Background Checks at the UN, But Not the Global Compact; Teaching Statistics from Turkmenbashi's Single Book

Ripped Off Worse in the Big Apple, by Citigroup and Chase: High Cost Mortgages Spread in Outer Boroughs in 2005, Study Finds

Burundi: Chaos at Camp for Congolese Refugees, Silence from UNHCR, While Reform's Debated by Forty Until 4 AM

In Liberia, From Nightmare to Challenge; Lack of Generosity to Egeland's CERF, Which China's Asked About

The Chadian Mirage: Beyond French Bombs, Is Exxon In the Cast? Asylum and the Uzbeks, Shadows of Stories to Come

Through the UN's One-Way Mirror, Sustainable Development To Be Discussed by Corporations, Even Nuclear Areva

Racial Disparities Grew Worse in 2005 at Citigroup, HSBC and Other Large Banks

Mine Your Own Business: Explosive Remnants of War and the Great Powers, Amid the Paparazzi

Human Rights Are Lost in the Mail: DR Congo Got the Letter, But the Process is Still Murky

Iraq's Oil to be Metered by Shell, While Basrah Project Remains Less than Clear

At the UN, Dues Threats and Presidents-Elect, Unanswered Greek Mission Questions

Kofi, Kony, Kagame and Coltan: This Moment in the Congo and Kampala

As Operation Swarmer Begins, UN's Qazi Denies It's Civil War and Has No Answers if Iraq's Oil is Being Metered

Cash Crop: In Nepal, Bhutanese Refugees Prohibited from Income Generation Even in their Camps

The Shorted and Shorting in Humanitarian Aid: From Davos to Darfur, the Numbers Don't Add Up

UN Reform: Transparency Later, Not Now -- At Least Not for AXA - WFP Insurance Contract

In Congolese Chaos, Shots Fired at U.N. Helicopter Gunship

In the Sudanese Crisis, Oil Revenue Goes Missing, UN Says

Empty Words on Money Laundering and Narcotics, from the UN and Georgia

What is the Sound of Eleven Uzbeks Disappearing? A Lack of Seats in Tashkent, a Turf War at UN

Kosovo: Of Collective Punishment and Electricity; Lights Out on Privatization of Ferronikeli Mines

Abkhazia: Cleansing and (Money) Laundering, Says Georgia

Post-Tsunami Human Rights Abuses, including by UNDP in the Maldives

Who Pays for the Global Bird Flu Fight? Not the Corporations, So Far - UN

Citigroup Dissembles at United Nations Environmental Conference

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