Graphic: The state of Palestine Becoming a non-member observer state at the United Nations may do nothing to change conditions in the West Bank and Gaza. The areas rely heavily on aid, poverty is rife, unemployment is high and living standards are low.
John Baird urges Ban Ki-moon to cancel visit to Iran-led summit Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has implored the UN Secretary-General to reconsider his upcoming visit to the Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Iran, citing the Islamic Republic’s “egregious human rights record” and its president’s calls for the annihilation of Israel.
“Iran’s current rulers will use your presence to further their own, hateful purposes,” Mr. Baird wrote to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a letter obtained by the National Post. “Such a visit would only serve to legitimize and condone the record of this regime, which Canada views as the single most significant risk to global peace and security today.”
Syria is walking all over the UN The massacre of the children of Houla and their families has deepened the sense of crisis in Syria, but the United Nations is unlikely to do anything about it.
Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan arrived in Damascus Monday for yet another round of emergency talks on his tattered and bullet-riddled six-week old UN peace plan.
When Syrian troops began their nine-hour artillery and tank assault Friday, activists in Houla pleaded with the UN peacekeepers to go to the town, in the hope their presence might protect residents. But the UN observers only arrived Saturday, in time to count the bodies.
U.S., Russia clash over Syrian crisis Western powers clashed with Russia on Tuesday as they pushed for a UN resolution ordering the resignation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and an end to what the United States called his “reign of terror.”
The diplomatic showdown at the United Nations came as fighting escalated between Syrian government forces and rebels and a senior U.S. official predicted that Mr. Assad would be toppled sooner or later.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led the charge for UN action, backed by British Foreign Secretary William Hague, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé, and Arab League representatives.
“I don’t think Russian policy is about asking people to step down. Regime change is not our profession,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, arguing that while Mr. Assad was not an ally of Moscow, it was not up to other nations to interfere.
A World Health Organization-led report said the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS and now infects about 34 million people around the world has proven a “formidable challenge” for scientists and public health experts.
“But the tide is turning,” it added. “The tools to achieve an AIDS-free generation are in our hands.”
Britain has warned of “serious consequences” after angry mobs stormed the UK embassy compound in Tehran. Scores of protesters smashed windows, hurled petrol bombs, trashed offices and burned the British flag during a rally to protest against sanctions imposed by the UK. One man waved a framed picture of Queen Elizabeth.
UNESCO’s costly nod to Palestine Palestinians won a symbolic victory Monday in their battle for statehood when they were granted full membership in the UN cultural agency, UNESCO.
But the decision could set back hopes for peace talks in the Middle East and put Washington and the UN on a collision course for their worst confrontation since president Ronald Reagan withdrew from UNESCO in 1984 and slashed U.S. funding to the UN.
Under U.S. laws introduced during the 19 years Washington suspended its membership in UNESCO for being corrupt, inefficient, anti-Jewish and anti-Western, Congress is obliged to withdraw funding to any UN body that admits Palestine as a full member.
Crafted by 35 Palestinian artisans, the Air Force blue, olive-wood chair is made to resemble the chairs used in the UN General Assembly in New York City. Since Sept. 4, the chair has been touring through the permanent and non-permanent member states of the UN Security Council.