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August 19, 2008 | News covering the UN and the worldSign up  |  E-Mail this  |  Donate

UN faces its own terror war

Attacks on aid workers over the last several years have increased in both ferocity and frequency, demonstrating that militants are increasingly holding humanitarian workers responsible for political decisions over which they have no say, Samantha Power writes in The New York Times. Power argues for more spending on UN security by member nations as well as for high-level information sharing between member nations and UN security officials. (8/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Neither the blue flag nor the red cross is enough to protect humanitarians in an age of terror. But five years after August 19 we owe it to those who died -- and to those whom humanitarians have saved -- to do far more to protect the protectors.

Harvard University Kennedy School of Government professor Samantha Power. Read the full story.

UN DISPATCH: Five years ago today an explosive laden truck pulled rammed into the Baghdad headquarters of the United Nations killing 22 people, including the head of mission Sergio Vieira de Mello.

UN Dispatch

United Nation
  • UN, aid groups issue Georgia appeal
    Twenty five United Nations and other relief agencies have called for $58.6 million in emergency funding to help more than 100,000 people affected by recent fighting in Georgia with the provision of food, shelter, medicine and water supplies for six months. The agencies also called for greater access to affected populations to better assess needs. AlertNet/Reuters (8/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • UN envoy visits Myanmar
    UN Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari arrived in Myanmar for a five-day diplomatic mission, his fourth to the country. It is not clear whether he will meet with either members of the ruling military junta or jailed National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, but the pro-democratic opposition group will ask Gambari to urge Myanmar to permit more regular checkups for Suu Kyi. The Boston Globe/Associated Press (free registration) (8/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Development Health and Poverty
  • Pakistan polio effort courts locals to overcome difficulties
    Pakistani medical workers are turning to alternative strategies such as hiring local villagers and programs to encourage local religious leaders to express support as a way to counter superstition, security and other factors affecting their ability to administer polio drops to Pakistani children. (8/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Singapore grapples with organ shortage
    Facing a dearth of available organs and patient lists with as much as nine-year waiting periods, Singapore is debating the idea of potentially legalizing the payment of organ donors. Many worry such a move would lead to exploitation of the poor, especially given Singapore's efforts to market itself for medical tourism. TIME (8/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Development Energy and Environment
  • Human activity likely source of Galapagos virus
    Fears are growing over the effects of increased tourism on the diverse animal populations of the Galapagos Islands after a parasite that could lead to avian malaria was recently discovered in penguin colonies there. Researchers are convinced the viruses' arrival was due to a human carrier and worry recently introduced security measures will fail to prevent similar future transmissions. (8/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Security and Human Rights
  • China denies all 77 applications for protest
    China did not approve any of the 77 applications for protest it received in advance of the Olympic Games, leaving the three parks that China established in July for public protest empty. Smaller, unregulated protests, primarily organized by foreigners supporting a free Tibet, have been quashed and their organizers deported. Los Angeles Times/Associated Press (8/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Peace and Security
  • Musharraf's exit heightens political uncertainty
    Pakistani politicians are locked in debate over whom to support as the country's next president, while the international community waits to see what effects Pervez Musharraf's Monday resignation will have on stability in the region and Pakistan's already shaky security situation. Politicians who united in the drive to remove Musharraf will now need to overcome serious divisions if the ruling coalition is to survive and begin addressing Pakistan's many pressing needs. (8/19), The Economist (8/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Georgia, Russia exchange prisoners amid signs of Russian advance
    Despite signs that Russia is further entrenching its forces in Georgian cities even after it signaled that they would be withdrawn, Russia and Georgia swapped 20 prisoners. The exchange took place in Igoeti, the closest that Russia has come to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi; tanks and armored vehicles were in evidence along with other signs that Russia is expanding rather than withdrawing its mission. The Guardian (London) (8/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • NATO ministers meet to discuss Georgia crisis
    Agreeing that Russia had broken international law during its intervention into a conflict between Georgia and the breakaway province South Ossetia, NATO leaders met to discuss offering practical and political support to Georgia. Both Russia and Georgia have agreed to accept military observers in Georgia. BBC (8/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Insurgent fighters shift focus from Iraq to Afghanistan
    The foreign fighters that have lent aid to insurgents in Iraq and received training from groups such as Al Qaeda in Iraq have changed gears, according to perceptible declines in foreign fighters entering Iraq and a marked uptick of those heading to Afghanistan. Al Qaeda Web sites seem to suggest that organizers and recruits alike think that Afghanistan is winnable, perhaps owing to difficulties that the U.S. and its allies have had in ejecting former Taliban elements from the shared border area in Pakistan. The Christian Science Monitor (8/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Missile defense shield riles Russia
    Proponents of the U.S. missile defense shield argue that Russia's objections are disingenuous, that its true goal is to divide NATO and separate the U.S. from allies within the former Soviet sphere of influence. Russia describes the missile shield system as a threat, whereas such nations as Poland, the Czech Republic and Ukraine that have allowed or hope to build missile installations consider it insurance against invasion. Russia has warned that it may arm nuclear submarines in response. This week, it began installing short-range missiles in Georgia. The Christian Science Monitor (8/19), (Canada) (8/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • One trillion Zimbabwe dollars equals one U.S. dollar as hyperinflation soars
    Inflation in Zimbabwe soared to 11,250,000% to begin the summer -- and the actual rate might be much higher. Inflation jumped nearly 9 million percentage points from May to June, with one U.S. dollar worth approximately $1 trillion in Zimbabwean dollars. Zimbabwe's central bank lopped zeros off its currency and called for a six-month price and wage freeze, to little avail. BBC (8/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News

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