ME and Ophelia

Saturday, June 12, 2004

But can't afford to, so are sending a "political mission" instead - not funded by UN

June 12 IOL:AFP New York - UN votes on Sudan peacekeeping mission:  

The United Nations Security Council on Friday voted unanimously to consider a peacekeeping mission in Sudan after the government and rebels moved closer to ending 21 years of civil war.

But rather than giving the green light for an advance peacekeeping team, the council instead voted to send an initial "political mission," which could therefore not be funded by the UN's peacekeeping budget. "It's now a technical problem for us because we don't know how to fund everything we had envisaged doing," said a UN official who asked not to be named.
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'Never again,' said secretary general Kofi Annan after Rwanda

Excerpt from UN Disgraces Itself by Nat Hentoff:

"No one can say they didn't know. [The government of Sudan is] committing repeated war crimes and crimes against humanity.
- Bertran Ramcharan, acting U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, addressing U.N. Security Council, The New York Times, May 8

If we turn away simply because the victims are African tribespeople who have the misfortune to speak no English, have no phones and live in one of the remotest parts of the globe, then shame on us.
- Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times, March 24

(That means shame on each of us, not just the media).

[via nikita in comments at Passion of the Present]
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Further reading:
Jim Moore's report on Kofi Annan's addresss at Harvard June 10, 2004: Kofi Annan Disappoints.
Tina Wang, Crimson Staff Writer, on Kofi Annan's Commencement Address, published June 10, 2004: Annan Urges Global Cooperation.
Svea Herbst-Bayliss, Reuters, June 10, 2004 Iraq Shows U.S. Best Within Global Framework - Annan.
Theo Emery, Associated Press, June 10, 2004: In address at Harvard, Kofi Annan urges application of international law to Iraq.
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How much does it cost and spend each year?

Mr Hilary Benn, the UK secretary for international development, recently said "the United Nations systems, with few exceptions, had been much too slow in facing up to the Darfur crisis". Last week, the UN said it was the international community and donors that had been too slow.

Here are some excerpts from the UN's website:
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"The UN and its agencies protect vulnerable groups, like children, refugees, displaced persons, minorities, indigenous people and the disabled."

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948
UN Statement on Human Rights
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THE UNITED NATIONS is a unique international organization of 191 sovereign States, representing virtually every country in the world.* It was founded after the Second World War to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations and promote social progress, better living standards and human rights. The Member States are bound together by the principles of the UN Charter, an international treaty that spells out their rights and duties as members of the world community.

In September 2000, some 150 presidents, prime ministers and other world leaders met at UN headquarters to lay out a vision for the future. The resulting "Millennium Declaration" applies the purposes and principles of the UN Charter to a new world. To realize that vision, Member States have agreed on specific, obtainable targets aimed at overcoming hunger and poverty, ending conflict, meeting the needs of Africa, promoting democracy and the rule of law and protecting our environment – and to meet those goals within a specified time-frame.

How much does the UN cost?
The regular budget of the UN is some $1.3 billion per year. It pays for UN activities, staff and basic infrastructure but not peacekeeping operations, which have a separate budget. All States of the UN are obligated by the Charter – an international treaty – to pay a portion of the budget. Each State's contribution is calculated on the basis of its share of the world economy.

How much does the entire UN system spend each year?
The UN system spends some $12 billion a year, taking into account the United Nations, UN peacekeeping operations, the programmes and funds, and the specialized agencies, but excluding the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Just over half of this amount comes from voluntary contributions from the Member States; the rest is received from mandatory assessments on those States.

The United Nations and its agencies, funds and programmes – mainly the UN Development Programme, the World Food Programme, the UN Children’s Fund and the UN Population Fund – spend nearly $6.5 billion a year on operational activities for development, mostly for economic, social and humanitarian programmes to help the world’s poorest countries. In addition, the World Bank, the IMF and IFAD provide billions more annually in loans that help to eradicate poverty, foster development and stabilize the world economy.

Further reading:
UN in brief
What is the United Nations?
Member States
UN Main Bodies
UN Image & Reality
Is the UN good value for money?
Q & A about the UN

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 6/12/2004
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