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UN plays hilarious joke on the world

Old 05-15-07, 12:39 PM
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UN plays hilarious joke on the world

Zimbabwe to Head Key U.N. Commission

UNITED NATIONS -- Zimbabwe, a country suffering from acute food shortages and rampant inflation, won approval to lead the important U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development despite protests from the U.S., European nations and human rights organizations.

Africa nominated Francis Nhema, Zimbabwe's minister of environment and tourism, for the post, and the 53-member commission approved that recommendation Friday in a vote of 26-21 with three abstentions, said Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, the commission's vice chair.

The post rotates every year among regions of the world and it was Africa's turn to sit in the chair.

"We're very disappointed in the election of Zimbabwe as chair," said the U.S. representative to the commission Dan Reifsnyder, deputy assistant secretary for environment and science at the State Department.

"We really think it calls into question the credibility of this organization to have a representative from a country that has decimated its agriculture, that used to be the breadbasket of Africa and can't now feed itself," Reifsnyder said.

Zimbabwe is suffering its worst economic crisis since independence in 1980, with acute shortages of food, hard currency, gasoline, medicines and most other basic goods. Official inflation is running at about 2,200 percent annually, the highest in the world.

President Robert Mugabe, an 83-year-old who has ruled Zimbabwe since it gained independence from Britain in 1980, has been widely criticized for mismanaging the economy.

In 2000, Mugabe's government began violently seizing thousands of white-owned commercial farms as part of a program to redistribute land to poor blacks. The chaotic way the seizures were carried out disrupted the agriculture-based economy in Zimbabwe, a former regional breadbasket. Drought, government corruption and repressive policies have compounded the problems.

The newly elected chairman dismissed questions Friday night about his country's international standing and the appropriateness of Zimbabwe holding such a position in a global body.

"I think it's not time to point fingers," Nhema said. "There is never a perfect method, it's always a method which is appropriate to each country. So it's important not only to look at Zimbabwe but to look at each other and see what we can learn."

Several European nations have also called Zimbabwe's candidacy inappropriate.

On Friday, the Pan African Parliament, a body of the African Union, voted to send a mission to Zimbabwe to investigate alleged human rights abuses "relating to the arrests and detention, assault and murder of political activists and members of the media."

"Zimbabwe is hardly a model of good governance or sustainable development or even responsible leadership," said Benjamin Chang, deputy spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, said before the vote. "Our concern is that it's potential chairmanship would undermine the commission's credibility."

Jennifer Windsor, executive director of the human rights group Freedom House, said before the vote that it was "preposterous" for Zimbabwe to lead any U.N. body. Freedom House is independent non-governmental organization that has monitored political rights and civil liberties in Zimbabwe since 1980.

She said Mugabe's government "clearly has nothing but scorn for the U.N.'s founding principles of human rights, security and international law."

The Commission on Sustainable Development was established by the General Assembly in December 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in June that year, and implementation of key environmental and development agreements.

The commission meets annually in New York, and its current session that opened Wednesday is focusing on energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution and climate change.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...051200256.html

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Oh, UN! You're so wacky.
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Old 05-15-07, 01:01 PM
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Where's the part where ki-moon yells "sike!"?
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Old 05-15-07, 02:01 PM
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Maybe the U.N. wants all the countries of the world to seize the farmland, kick the farmers out of the country, and create a famine!
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Old 05-15-07, 03:11 PM
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more evidence that the UN is just useless.

A couple years ago didn't they put like Libya or what country was it into a head position in human rights or something like that?
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Old 05-15-07, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
Do we know which countries voted for and against Zimbabwe?
Working on it... all I have is the list of members so far:

Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Spain, Sudan, Thailand, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,Tunisia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
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Old 05-15-07, 06:02 PM
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Turns out, it was a secret ballot vote, per http://www.innercitypress.com/uncsd051107.html
UNITED NATIONS, May 11 -- Long after the rest of the UN closed on Friday night, the Commission on Sustainable Development met in the basement. After days of negotiating, they were unable to adopt any "decision text."

The European Union and Canada said the text was so weak as to be meaningless. The supporters of the text included the United States, the Group of 77 and China. When German environment minister Sigmar Gabriel said the EU would vote no, on behalf of "the world's poor," half of the audience clapped. When Pakistan on behalf of the G-77 spoke in favor of the text, the other half clapped.

Later several in the crowd were given time to speak, on behalf of indigenous people, non-governmental organizations and, at the last, a silver-haired man behind a sign that read "Farmers," speaking in Spanish, after the translators had left. Inner City Press asked a long-time participant, Who elected this farmer? "That's a whole story -- at one point the NGO group split in two, and the UN didn't know what to do." We'll have more on this.

The few press members present for the vote down of the text of CSD-15 were in fact focused on CSD-16, specifically the secret ballot vote that would determine in Zimbabwe would be elected to chair the session. UK Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry was there, in a tuxedo, missing a diplomatic dinner in order to cast this vote. Only a few seats away was Sudan's Ambassador Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem, who approached Inner City Press to say, of the EU's, Canada's and U.S.'s opposition to Zimbabwe, "This is not good, it is the right of regional groups to choose whoever they want."

Inner City Press asked him if it is true that African countries such as Ghana and Congo-Brazzaville have recently cast some votes along with the EU, for example at the Security Council's April 17 debate on climate chance. "That is true on some issues," he replied. "But not this one."

Archaic ballot boxes, each with two wooden handles, were held out to each of the Commission's 53 members -- or rather 50, as only 50 votes were cast. After a few minutes (too much) to count the 50 ballots, the results were as follows: 26 in favor of Zimbabwe, 21 against and four abstentions.

Last edited by kenbuzz; 05-15-07 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 05-15-07, 06:54 PM
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The UN has always brought the lols.
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Old 05-15-07, 08:48 PM
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So the U.N. and a gang of thugs are different, how?
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Old 05-16-07, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by movielib
So the U.N. and a gang of thugs are different, how?
We give prime real estate and pay lots of money to this gang of thugs.
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Old 05-16-07, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
And to think some want to hand over the national security of the U.S. to this circus.
Who would that be? And I want names, not some vague hand-sweeping.
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Old 05-16-07, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Numanoid
Who would that be? And I want names, not some vague hand-sweeping.
I think you could make a fair case that Howard Dean is not too far from that camp:

"had the United Nations given us permission and asked us to be a part of a multilateral force, I would not have hesitated to go into Iraq, but that was not the case." ---Howard Dean


He did some major backpedaling on that statement after he got widely rebuked for it and it polled badly, but that's what he originally said.


http://www.nationalreview.com/geragh...0312190845.asp
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Old 05-16-07, 06:08 PM
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Even at complete face value, that statement is a million miles away from "turning over the national security of the U.S." to them.
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Old 05-16-07, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Numanoid
Even at complete face value, that statement is a million miles away from "turning over the national security of the U.S." to them.
Well, let me first give the caveat that I am not, and have never been a supporter of the Iraq war.

But it does seem to me that (in that statement at least) Dean's criteria for justifying an invasion hinges not on US security concerns, but rather on UN approval. I don't think that's too far from what Vandelay was talking about.
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Old 05-16-07, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Ky-Fi
Well, let me first give the caveat that I am not, and have never been a supporter of the Iraq war.

But it does seem to me that (in that statement at least) Dean's criteria for justifying an invasion hinges not on US security concerns, but rather on UN approval. I don't think that's too far from what Vandelay was talking about.
No, that's only if you think the Iraq invasion was prompted by US security concerns. Which, as we all now know, it wasn't. And I'm pretty sure Dean didn't think so either.
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Old 05-16-07, 09:04 PM
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Congrats to the UN.

But unfortunately, the UN didn't mention machetes, knives, rakes, and hoes, are not allowed at the assembly.

But maybe we can make an exception for Magabewabbadoobee. Try to say that after eating a bowl of ice cream. I dare yah.
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Old 05-17-07, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Numanoid
Who would that be? And I want names, not some vague hand-sweeping.
I think Kerry referred to a 'Global Litmus Test" in regard to such things, of course he backed off later.

I also see the Kofi Annan quote about Iraq being an 'illegal war' thrown around here quite often, implying we should be seeking UN permission for military actions.
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Old 05-17-07, 01:56 PM
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what economic problems?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070517/...e_inflation_dc
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Old 05-17-07, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Nazgul
I think Kerry referred to a 'Global Litmus Test" in regard to such things, of course he backed off later.
You DARE to infer that he is a flip flopper? The nerve you have helping a Republican lie.
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Old 05-19-07, 01:50 PM
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The UN never ceases to impress me.
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Old 05-22-07, 09:12 PM
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/6681457.stm

UN troops 'traded gold for guns'

By Martin Plaut
BBC News, eastern DR Congo

Pakistan is the biggest contributor to the UN peacekeeping effort
Pakistani UN peacekeeping troops have traded in gold and sold weapons to Congolese militia groups they were meant to disarm, the BBC has learnt.

These militia groups were guilty of some of the worst human rights abuses during the Democratic Republic of Congo's long civil war.

The trading went on in 2005. A UN investigative team sent to gather evidence was obstructed and threatened.

The team's report was buried by the UN itself to "avoid political fallout".

These events took place in and around the mining town of Mongbwalu, in north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Pakistani battalion of the UN peacekeeping mission deployed there in 2005 and helped bring peace to an area that had previously seen bitter fighting between the Lendu and Hema ethnic groups.

Locals welcomed them, but the lure of the rich alluvial gold mines proved too much to resist for some, recalls the head of the miners' association, Liki Likambo.

"I saw a UN Pakistani soldier who came to buy gold in one of the gold negotiators here in Mongbwalu. I was there in the shop. I saw it with my own eyes."

Deals

Soon the Pakistani officers were doing deals directly with the FNI militia.

Evarista Anjasubu - a local businessman said he had known of transactions between Pakistani officers and two of the most notorious militia leaders called Kung Fu and Dragon who controlled the gold mines.

"They were already friends. I knew well. It was gold that was the basis of their friendship. So the gold extracted from the mines went directly to the Pakistanis. They used to meet in the UN camp in Mongbwalu, in a thatched house."

As the trade developed the Pakistani officers brought in the Congolese army and then Indian traders from Kenya.

Richard Ndilu, in charge of immigration at Mongbwalu airstrip, became suspicious in late 2005 when an Indian businessman arrived there and went to stay at the camp of the Pakistani peacekeepers.

Scandal

Alerted to this illegal trade by her officials, the District Commissioner of Ituri, Petronille Vaweka, went to Bunia airport to intercept a plane from Mongbwalu.

She said her way was blocked by Congolese army officers, who refused to allow her to inspect the cargo.

"I knew they had gold because the price of gold increased when the Indians went to Mongwalu," she said.

"When we wanted to verify what was inside the plane the pilot refused to allow us to enter the plane - me who was the chief, he refused! It was a big scandal."

When the UN was alerted to the allegations of gold trading by Human Rights Watch in late 2005, they instituted a major investigation by the Office for Internal Oversight Services.

What they uncovered was even more explosive.

Rearming

This is from a witness statement given to the UN by a Congolese officer engaged in the disarming of the militia in the nearby town of Nizi:


"The officer expressed his regrets over the malpractices of a Pakistani battalion under the auspices of Major Zanfar. He revealed the arms surrendered by ex-combatants were secretly returned to them by Major Zanfar thereby compromising the work they had collectively done earlier.

"Repeatedly he saw militia who had been disarmed one day, but the next day would become re-armed again. The information he could obtain was always the same, that it would be the Pakistani battalion giving arms back to the militia."

This evidence was backed up by an interpreter working with the Pakistani battalion at Mongbwalu.

On arriving at the Officer's Mess, the interpreter found two militia leaders - known as Kung Fu and Dragon.

The interpreter said that the first question from Major Ali was to Kung Fu - asking him: 'What about the weapons I gave you? What about the weapons Monuc gave you?'

Stand-off

A UN investigation team arrived in Mongbwalu in August 2006.

At first the Pakistani battalion there cooperated with them. But when they attempted to seize a computer with apparently incriminating documents on it a stand-off ensued.
The UN-found weapons were returned to militias in Mongbwalu

The Pakistanis surrounded the UN police accompanying the investigators with barbed wire and put two armoured personnel carriers outside their living quarters at a nearby Christian mission.

Thoroughly intimidated, the investigators were airlifted out of Mongbwalu.

The Pakistani troops are replaced every six months and the BBC investigation concerns events that took place prior to the deployment of the current Pakistani battalion.

When we put the allegations of weapons trading to the head of the UN in Congo, Ambassador William Swing, he denied emphatically that any weapons have been handed by his troops to the militia.

"This I can categorically deny. What we have done is just the opposite. We have demobilised more than 20,000. We have taken in caches of arms. We have destroyed arms. We have done public burnings of these arms. And there is absolutely nothing to that allegation."

He says that the investigation into gold trading has yet to be completed.

The UN in New York has refused to explain what took place or why, nearly two years after the allegations first surfaced, the Congolese people have no idea what action - if any - has been taken to discipline the Pakistani soldiers concerned.
Well, Congo has just moved up on the crackpot UN best places to live list after it was found that gold was available there for trading.
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