This paper from Oxfam reviews the performance of the United Nation’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in its first year. The Fund is designed provide a rapid response to sudden-onset disasters, and to bridge the funding gaps in under-funded emergencies.
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Discussion paper from The Stanley Foundation that argues that international organizations are premised on their ability to make the realm of nations more, rather than less, orderly. In US domestic politics, this is often portrayed as an all-or-nothing proposition, says the paper: "the United Nations’ treaties can be seen as worthless because they cannot stop those who are bent on ruthless destruction." The Foundation argues that the US needs a set of more realistic expectations that neither oversells nor underestimates the value of such international organizations.
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Save the Children UK critiques the new UN bureaucracy designed to coordinate humanitarian relief in this report.
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The UN reports that during the reporting period, the government of Iraq has continued its efforts aimed at strengthening the administration of justice and building up the rule of law in the country. However, urgent action is needed to strengthen rule of law institutions, in line with the new constitution, the government's priorities and Iraq's international obligations. This is central to creating conditions for re-establishing law and order in the country and ensuring the success and sustainability of security, national reconciliation and development efforts. In particular, the ability of new security plans to effect real change in Iraq will depend on a comprehensive reform program that can strengthen the rule of law and deliver justice for all Iraqis.
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In this report Amnesty International says that the presence of an African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (AMIS) since 2004 has failed to stop the mass killings, rapes and forcible displacement of civilians in the region. Amnesty says that despite the presence already in Sudan of 10,000 UN peacekeepers, whose mandate was extended to include Darfur by the UN Security Council in August 2006, the Darfur region is now so insecure that one third of those affected are inaccessible to humanitarian agencies. Amnesty International’s agenda for effective protection of civilians sets out a 16-point programme that should be implemented by any peacekeeping force in Darfur.
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Nick Cohen writes in the Guardian about how regimes or movements that commit crimes against humanity can get away with genocide despite the UN's committement of preventing and punishing such actions.
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The United Nations has released a report on global violence against children.
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The United Nations Department of Public Information has issued a release describing ten stories the world should hear more about.
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The Congressional Research Service has a released a report on Cyprus and the status of U.N. Negotiations to unite the Greek and Turkish zones into a federal republic.
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A second arms control report from Oxfam, focusing on the Kalashnikov assault rifle, the most widespread military weapon in the world, with an estimated 50-70 million spread across the world’s five continents. They are used daily by soldiers, fighters, and gang members to inflict untold suffering in many countries. The spread of these weapons continues largely unchecked by governments, threatening the lives and safety of millions as weapons fall into irresponsible hands. More than ever, the Kalashnikov rifle is the weapon of choice for many armies, militias, armed gangs, law enforcement officials, rebels, and other private actors who abuse fundamental human rights and operate beyond the international humanitarian law parameters laid down by the Geneva Conventions and other relevant international law. Oxfam argues that following the UN Review Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in mid-2006, governments should agree at the UN General Assembly in October 2006 to negotiate a new global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to regulate international transfers of all conventional arms, including military assault rifles.
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George Lopez and David Cortright argue in a Kroc Institute Policy Brief that the escalating crisis between Iran and the United States belongs on the bilateral summit table and not the United Nations Security Council.
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Interview with Jan Egelund, UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs.
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This critical report from the East-West Center looks at the operation of the UN tribunal in East Timor that sought to achieve accountability for the violence associated with the 1999 vote for independence. The report argues that the East Timor tribunal represents a virtual textbook case of how not to create, manage, and administer a "hybrid" justice process. Problems included a lack of resources, an unclear mandate, inadequate recruitment, ineffective management by a peacekeeping mission that had other priorities, and a lack of political will both at UN headquarters and at the mission level. The report argues that it is particularly important to assess the failings for the East Timor trials as the UN risks repeating some of the same mistakes in Cambodia.
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Oxfam details flaws in the UN arms embargo system that lead to widespread violations. The report urges improved monitoring and verification to combat the problem.
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Independent Inquiry Committee. Management of the United Nations Oil-For-Food Programme. September 7, 2005
The Independent Inquiry Committee has issued its definitive Report on the overall management and oversight of the “temporary” Oil for Food Programme, a programme which stretched to seven years with more than $100 billion in transactions (over $64 billion in oil sales and approximately $37 billion for food). In preceding interim reports and briefing papers, the Committee has reported the results of its investigations on specific aspects of the Oil for Food Programme. Responsibility for what went wrong with the Programme cannot be laid exclusively at the door of the Secretariat. Members of the Security Council and its 661 Committee must shoulder their share of the blame in providing uneven and wavering direction in the implementation of the Programme...
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AIDS in Africa: Three scenarios to 2025 presents three possible case studies for how the AIDS epidemic in Africa could evolve over the next 20 years based on policy decisions taken today by African leaders and the rest of the world. The scenarios set out to answer one central question: 'Over the next 20 years, what factors will drive Africa's and the world's responses to the AIDS epidemic, and what kind of future will there be for the next generation?'...
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The Robina Foundation has awarded the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) a five-year, $10.3 million grant to expand its activities on international cooperation. This award is one of the largest operating grants in CFR's history and will support its International Institutions and Global Governance (IIGG) Program.
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With the U.S. military overstretched and Washington facing acute fiscal pressures, the United States must nurture effective international partnerships to help prevent and manage violent conflicts that threaten U.S. interests, concludes a new Council Special Report.
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