UN in Lebanon - Verification of Syria's "complete withdrawal" from Lebanon, including the border areas was a lie.
Mr. Ban's report is notable for its clarity and seriousness. Taken together with the border report, it paints an alarming picture. Though the land grabs are small affairs individually, they collectively add up to an area amounting to about 4% of Lebanese soil--in U.S. terms, the proportional equivalent of Arizona. Of particular note is that the area of Syrian conquest dwarves that of the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms. The farms, which Israel seized from Syria in 1967 and which amount to an area of about 12 square miles, are claimed by Hezbollah as belonging to Lebanon--a useful pretext for it to continue its "resistance" against an Israeli occupation that ended seven years ago. - (Syria Occupies Lebanon. Again. - Opinion Journal)
UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon - Collaboration with Hezbollah
A troubling consequence of this heightened threat to UNIFIL by radical jihadi groups is that some of the troop-contributing countries have begun turning to Hezbollah, hoping to enlist the cooperation of the Shia group in protecting their soldiers. UNIFIL contingents are not supposed to have any direct contact with Hezbollah – or any other Lebanese political groups – as their official channel of communication is through the Lebanese army."It's highly forbidden," said Major General Claudio Graziano, UNIFIL's commander. "I have a relationship with the [Lebanese] government through the Lebanese army. I have no relations with Hezbollah in terms of security."Still, three months ago, intelligence agents from France, Italy and Spain met with Hezbollah representatives in Saida. As a result of that meeting, some Spanish UNIFIL patrols are now "escorted" by Hezbollah militants in cars. Following last month's bombing, Spanish UNIFIL officers met with local Hezbollah officials, according to a South Lebanon-based party official. - Quoted at Barcepundit
UN Peacekeepers from Pakistan - Illegal Arms Sales
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". - BBC
UN Peacekeepers from Morocco - 'widespread sexual abuse'
The United Nations is investigating allegations of widespread sexual abuse by hundreds of Moroccan peacekeepers serving in Ivory Coast and has summoned Rabat's diplomats to respond, UN officials said on Friday.UN officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the investigation involved Moroccan soldiers having sex with a large number of underage girls. The world body took the highly unusual step of confining the entire battalion of 800 troops to barracks."An internal investigation by the United Nations Mission in Cote D'Ivoire has revealed serious allegations of widespread sexual exploitation and abuse by a UN military contingent serving in Bouake," a UN statement said. - TV NZ
UN targets wrong peacekeepers over sexual allegations.
UNITED NATIONS, July 25 -- When the UN announced on July 20 that it was confining over 700 Moroccan peacekeepers to their base in Bouake in Cote d'Ivoire, due to allegations of sexual exploitation, it was portrayed as the UN finally getting tough on abuse by peacekeepers.Wednesday it emerged that the 700 confined peacekeepers had only been in Cote d'Ivoire for less than two months. The wrongdoers were already transferred out of the country. If the past is any guide, they will not face meaningful discipline back in Morocco. The rotated-in 706 soldiers are fall guys, essentially, for those who came before them. It is the UN getting tough -- but on the wrong individuals. The UN, which condemns both hostage-taking and collective punishment, appears to be engaged in a little bit of both. - Inner City Press
UN Human Rights Council - Declares consensus, Ignoring Canada's Declaration it Never Gave it.
Consensus Declared - Whether Canada Consented Or Not - For possibly the first time in the history of the United Nations, one of its major bodies has ruled that a consensus vote was achieved even though one of its members—one with a particular reputation for honesty—insists it never gave consent, much less even saw the text that was voted upon.In its most aggressive Orwellian move to date, the UN Human Rights Council declared that this week’s package of new procedures was adopted by consensus, on the night of June 18. (In fact, the rushed declaration of council president Luis Alfonso de Alba was made past the legal midnight deadline, already in the early moments of June 19, but that’s another story.) Canada’s challenge to this interpretation was then overruled by the Council, 46 members to 1, the lone vote being Canada’s. Sure enough, speeches by Council members today and yesterday are crowing about the fact that the newly formed body was born in the purity of consensus. And so the official record will reflect. - UN Watch
UN Mideast Envoy - Misdirected efforts
UNITED NATIONS - The U.N. Mideast envoy warned Wednesday of impending economic collapse in the Gaza Strip unless Israel reopens the Hamas-led territory’s main commercial crossing to the outside world to ease international isolation. - LGF
UN Audit on UNDP Program in North Korea - Audit still incomplete
UNITED NATIONS, July 23 -- When Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon went to Washington last week, he was asked about his call, made six months ago, for a detailed external audit of the operations of the UN Development Program, to be conducted first in North Korea than elsewhere. The UN Board of Auditors still has not been allowed in to North, and it appears that no action has been taken on the Secretariat's second call, in late June, to begin a second phase of audit. - Inner City Press
On at least three occasions, in 1999, 2001 and 2004, the KPMG auditors filed reports that brought troubling aspects of the situation to the attention of UNDP headquarters, recommending “timely corrective action.” There is no evidence that any such action took place. - Fox News
UNDP - Illegal Transfer of Dual-Use Technology to North Korea
Since January, when the U.S. concerns were made public, the UNDP has pulled out of North Korea and the U.N. audit has confirmed extensive violations of U.N. rules regarding hiring practices, the use of foreign currency and site inspections. The latest U.S. revelations raise far more serious questions about the UNDP's oversight. Under the most generous interpretation, the agency was negligent of its legal responsibilities to keep dual-use technology out of a country that is on the U.S. list of terror-sponsoring states. At worst, it deliberately transferred the technology, knowing it was breaking U.S. law and helping to strengthen Kim Jong Il's military dictatorship. - Opinion Journal
The French media and political world has been thrown into ferment by an allegation that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the European candidate to be the next head of the IMF, is an "insistent" womaniser.The allegation was made in a blog written by the Brussels correspondent of the newspaper Libération, Jean Quatremer. He said there was a risk that the former French finance minister's behaviour towards women might cause a scandal at the International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington."The only real problem with Strauss-Kahn is his attitude to women." He is "too insistent," M. Quatremer wrote. "The IMF is an international institution with Anglo-Saxon morals. One inappropriate gesture, one unfortunate comment, and there will be a media hue and cry." - Independent, UK
UN Member States - Demanding the Closure of Gitmo
- These same states refuse to accept former detainees that the US would like to release from there. One problem is that some detainees approved for release cannot be returned to their own countries as they would certainly face a fate much worse than Gitmo. They cannot be released into the US either. So a third-country is required.
“We suffered very much at Guantánamo, but we continue to suffer here,” Mr. Basit said. “The other prisoners had their countries, but we are like orphans: we have no place to go.”
Mr. Basit and four other men here, who spent time at a hamlet in Afghanistan run by Uighur separatists, are still considered terrorist suspects by China’s Communist government. Only Albania’s pro-American government would give them asylum, but Albanian officials have since told the men they cannot afford to give them much else.
Things could be worse, the former prisoners note. At least 15 of the 17 Uighurs who remain at Guantánamo have also been cleared for release, but not even Albania will accept them — and neither will the United States. Instead, American diplomats say they have asked nearly 100 countries to provide asylum to the detainees, only to find that Chinese officials have warned some of the same countries not to accept them. - NY Times