Archive for UN
Nikki Haley, the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is announcing a new way the U.S. does business. She says the Trump administration’s goal is to show U.S. strength and force and defend its allies — and as for countries opposing America, “We’re taking names.” The former South Carolina governor said the United States will respond “accordingly” to opponents. Haley spoke to the news media immediately after she walked into UN headquarters for the first time, saying “it’s a thrill to be here” and declaring that at the U.S. mission to the United Nations, “You are gonna see a change in the way we do business. It’s no longer about working harder, it’s about working smarter.” In the halls of UN headquarters, the Trump administration’s approach to the 193-member world organization has been a subject of non-stop diplomatic discussion, speculation and concern. The United States is a permanent veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, the organization’s most powerful body, and it pays 22 per cent of its regular budget and over 28 per cent of the costs of its far-flung peacekeeping operations.
The United States ambassador to the United Nations is on her way to visit all three of the West African countries hit hardest by the Ebola outbreak, amid rising calls for travel restrictions back home in the U.S. Samantha Power will visit Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea “to draw attention to the need for increased support for the international response,” said a statement released late Saturday by the U.S. mission. A spokesman said Power had already departed and was set to land in the capital of Guinea, Conakry, on Sunday. Earlier Saturday, the ambassador tweeted a photo of herself with Guinea’s ambassador to the United Nations. Power has been vocal about the need for a stronger global response to Ebola’s devastating spread. In a speech a week ago, she even praised Cuba, a country that has been under a U.S. embargo for decades, for having sent 165 doctors to Sierra Leone. Power also will visit Ghana, the headquarters for the U.N.’s Ebola mission, and Belgium.
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations slammed its members for “their complicity in allowing organizations like Hamas to continue to exist in the Middle East.” Ron Prosor spoke at a special General Assembly session on Gaza. “This institution was founded to stand for truth, for justice, and for moral clarity. This is no longer the case,” he told the delegates. Prosor spoke after the Palestinian Authority’s UN ambassador, Riyah Mansour, accused Israel of violating international law during its 29-day operation in Gaza. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the current cease-fire “has come at a price that is almost too much to bear. The massive death and destruction in Gaza have shocked and shamed the world.” Ban called for a negotiated political settlement between the two sides. He acknowledged that weapons had been discovered stored in what he called “abandoned” UN buildings and that there were reports that Hamas rockets had been fired from near UN properties.
When the Syrian Mission to the United Nations convened a press conference featuring observers of the recent Syrian elections. Five minutes into the press conference, the webcast of the conference was abruptly cut off. Later that evening, while speaking at the UN church nearby, Syrian Ambassador Bashar Jaafari commented on what occurred. This is not the first time the official UN webcast has been shut down while Jaafari was speaking. This occurred on June 7th, and numerous times throughout 2013. Inner City Press reported when June 7th the webcast was cut off, this was in compliance with a direct order from Michele DuBach, the Acting Deputy Director-News & Media Operations. The International Action Center, which participated in the press conference, has sent a message of protest to UN officials.
Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations, said he was sure U.S. security services were bugging his office and telephone. “I am sure they do,” he told the Sunday Time television programme on Russia’s Channel One on Sunday. “I proceed from the fact that I, in my official capacity, am being bugged all the time. We have lived through the Cold War, so I care little about this bugging.” “I am absolutely sure that my mobile phone is being bugged – it is obvious and I bear it in mind. We do have some secret premises where I can discuss things with my colleagues in a confidential atmosphere. And even if they don’t bug me, I still bear such possibility in mind,” he said.
South Sudan has denied mistreating its former ambassador to the United Nations, Francis George Nazario, claiming the latter’s resignation was out of “personal interest”. The government was reacting to issues raised in Nazario’s resignation letter in which he accused the country’s leadership of failing its citizens by not doing enough to stem ongoing conflict in the country, saying the system had become intolerable for critical voices. Earlier this week Nazario confirmed his resignation and said he had since left the country “because I don’t want to part of what is happening”, describing the situation as “unbearable”. Information and broadcasting minister Michael Makuei Lueth told reporters on Friday that Nazario had become aggrieved after the government recalled him from his position over decisions it felt went against the best interests of the country. His recall came after he voted in favour of a 2012 resolution, which supported self-determination for a Palestinian state at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
Former Indonesian ambassador to the UN Makarim Wibisono was elected by acclamation as a special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. “I was elected to replace Richard Falk, a United States academic whose mandate ended on May 1,” Makarim told Antara an hour after he was informed of his election at the UN Human Rights Council. “As a representative of the Republic of Indonesia, I am entrusted with political tasks to handle sensitive issues,” Makarim, Indonesia’s senior diplomat, said. As a UN special rapporteur, he will observe and monitor violation of civil, economic and cultural rights in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories. In the past, UN special rapporteurs had difficulties in performing their duties in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, he added.