U.S. Joins the UN Human Rights Council

After not being elected — for the first time in its history — to membership for the final sessions of the now-replaced UN Human Rights Commission (HRC), and sullenly sitting out the opening sessions of the HRC’s successor (the new but not-much-improved UN Human Rights Council), the U.S. did stand for elections has now joined [&hel...

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Abu Zubaida – CIA had a plan to place him in confinement box with insects

Abu Zubaydah “suffered an injury during capture” — he “sustained a wound during capture which is being treated”, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), Jay Bybee, wrote in a memo dated 1 August 2002, yet authorization was given to torture him anyway. One torture contemplated — but apparently not ...

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UNSG BAN Ki-Moon – is there a critical mass of disenchantment?

A vigilant friend and colleague in Geneva has sent this translation by UNRIC’s Desk Officer for Spain of the article that appeared in El Pais on Sunday, saying “the translation is not perfect but tells you what John Carlin [and Spain’s prominent newspaper El Pais! says about Ban Ki-moon:. FEATURE ARTICLE: THE UN, THE BIG […...

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10 December is Human Rights Day

It was on 10 December 1948 that the UN General Assembly adopted, after lengthy negotiations, in which the American then-First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was a leading figure, a remarkable document on basic human rights — the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The drafting of this document, in the immediate aftermath of World War II, took [&he...

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Urquhart defends diplomats — and the UN — yet again

Brian Urquhart – British former Under-Secretary General at the UN for ages, who came “on board” the Organization even before its actual founding – is still writing and thinking about his memorable experiences there. Not everybody who works at the UN gets to have as much fun as Urquhart did. You can count on the […]

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Blogging at UNHQ/NY

The NY Times has an article on a colleague (we have not yet had the pleasure of making his acquaintance), who blogs from UNHQ/NY. The Story, As Blogs Proliferate, a Gadfly With Accreditation at the U.N., by Maria Aspan, was published on 30 April, and focuses mainly on issues concerning accreditation [with which we do […]

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Four years after U.S. invasion of Iraq, one look back

An interesting read can be found at the Nation magazine’s 2 April 2007 issue, in an article entitled “Made in USA“, which at least starts off as a rather scathing review of two of what the author, Perry Anderson, calls “fawning” biographies of Kofi Annan: “The facts of Annan’s career are clear enough, and i...

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