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« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2007, 10:01:43 PM »

UN chief: Hizbullah rearming 'disconcerting'
Associated Press
THE JERUSALEM POST

Oct. 25, 2007

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday night that information he continues to receive that Hizbullah "has rebuilt and increased its military capacity" to a higher level than before the Second Lebanon War "is deeply disconcerting."

In a report to the Security Council, Ban said it was critical for the militia to complete its transformation into a solely political party.

The secretary-general repeated his "urgent call on all Lebanese parties to immediately halt all efforts to rearm and engage in weapons training, and to instead return to dialogue and conciliation as the only viable method of settling issues and resolving the ongoing political crisis."

All parties must also affirm their commitment to the disarmament of militias, including Hizbullah, he said.

Ban said he expects "unequivocal cooperation" from the region, especially from Syria and Iran which maintain close ties with Hizbullah.

He called for an end to "foreign interference" that has worsened Lebanon's political crisis and urged rival Lebanese parties to elect a new president, warning against a power vacuum that could splinter the government.

Ban made clear that he was particularly referring to Syria, adding that he had again received information from countries in the region "that appears to corroborate the allegation that Syria facilitates the flow of weapons and fighters across the Syrian-Lebanese border."

The secretary-general expressed deep concern at the continuing insecurity in Lebanon, the apparent targeting of pro-Western members of Parliament for assassination, and widespread reports that all parties are re-arming in violation of a 2004 Security Council resolution which calls for the disarming and disbanding of all militias.

The attempt to choose a successor to pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud before he steps down on Nov. 24 has become Lebanon's most serious political crisis since the end of the 1975-90 civil war. Prime Minister Fuad Saniora's pro-Western, anti-Syrian government, which holds a slim majority in parliament, and pro-Syrian opposition factions led by the Hizbullah militant group have been deadlocked for 11 months.

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Monday postponed a parliamentary session to elect a new president until Nov. 12 to give rival factions time to agree on a compromise candidate - just 12 days from Lahoud's departure. Failure to elect a president could throw the country's deep political crisis into a tailspin that could result in a power vacuum or two rival governments, a dark reminder of the last two years of the civil war when army units loyal to competing administrations battled it out.

"A return to political dialogue among the Lebanese parties is absolutely imperative under the current conditions, and the only way to resolve all relevant issues," Ban said. "There must not be a constitutional void at the level of the presidency, nor two rivaling governments. Constitutional provisions should be fully respected."

While there have been continuous attempts to resolve the political crisis, he said, "there continue to be widespread reports and allegations that parties and groups on all sides of the political spectrum are preparing for the possible failure of such negotiations, with armaments and military training reported widely."

The secretary-general said he is "acutely aware" that without political dialogue and the support and engagement "of all relevant external parties and supporters of Lebanon," the country will not be able to assert and sustain its authority throughout the country and political independence.

"But I am equally convinced that the deep foreign involvement in Lebanon has done little to decrease tension in that country," he said.

"Instead, the foreign penetration and interference in Lebanon has only worsened the crisis. It is time that foreign interference stop and that the Lebanese people and their political representatives, alone determine the fate of Lebanon," Ban stressed.

"In this context, I reiterate my expectation vis-a-vis Syria," he said.

The secretary-general urged Damascus to fully implement the 2004 resolution calling for disbanding all militias, strict respect for Lebanon's unity and political independence, and free and fair presidential elections. It was adopted in response to a decision to extend Lahoud's term for three years, which required changing the constitution and helped trigger the current crisis.

"I welcome the assertions and pledges in Syria's recent letter to me and expect to see Syria's commitment to Lebanon's sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence reflected in further tangible steps in the coming period," Ban said.

While the "foreign interference" reference was directed at Syria, the secretary-general also noted Iran's support for Hizbullah. The opposition also accuses the United States of heavy involvement in Lebanese affairs in support of Saniora's government.

The anti-Syrian majority has accused Syria of responsibility for a string of political assassinations - an accusation Syria vehemently denies.

Ban said in the report that the assassinations of members of Saniora's ruling coalition have reduced its majority to 68 out of 127 members, raising the specter of "further deterioration" and upsetting the political balance that has existed since elections in spring 2005.

"The pattern of political assassinations in Lebanon strongly suggests a concerted effort aimed at undermining the democratic institutions of Lebanon," he said.

UN chief: Hizbullah rearming 'disconcerting'
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« Reply #31 on: November 01, 2007, 09:52:36 AM »

United Nations vote ignored 
Spokeswoman unaware of call for end to Cuba trade sanctions

A spokeswoman for President Bush says she was unaware of a United Nations vote calling for the United States to end its trade sanctions on the communist island of Cuba.

"The United Nations, by a vote of 184 to 4, wants the U.S. trade embargo against communist-ruled China lifted. And my question: Since the president only a week ago vowed to keep the embargo in place, does he consider the U.N. vote an attempt by the international organization to impose its will on the United States?" was the question from Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White House.

"I have to confess I don't know about that vote," said spokeswoman Dana Perino.

The U.N. vote, according to reports, reiterated its call for "all states" to refrain from "promulgating and applying laws and measures (such as those in the U.S. embargo) in conformity with their obligations under the Charter of the United Nations and international law."

Opposing the measure were the United States, Israel, Palau and the Marshall Islands. Micronesia abstained.

The endorsed plan called for "states that have and continue to apply such laws and measures to take the necessary steps" to repeal or overturn them "as soon as possible."

Only a week earlier Bush had said, "As long as the regime maintains its monopoly over the political and economic life of the Cuba people, the United States will keep the embargo in place."

The ailing dictator, Fidel Castro, has ruled the communist island since 1959. Last year he turned over power to his brother, Raul.

In a second question, Kinsolving asked: "Newsweek reports that the William J. Clinton Presidential Library has become widely known as Little Rock's Fort Knox, because barely one-half of 1 percent of the 78 million pages of documents in this $165 million building are available to be examined by the public. And my question: When President Bush helped to dedicate this expensive building, did he believe there would ever be as much censorship of its contents, and does he believe this is right or wrong?"

"I'm sure that that never entered the president's mind. But I'm also equally sure that journalists like you in this room will continue to hold their feet to the fire to try to get the documents you seek," Perino said.
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« Reply #32 on: November 01, 2007, 03:56:08 PM »

The U.Nable is why our children are dying in Iraq...
China, Russia, Germany, France ect. ect. are part of the problem as most of you already know..
All the Oil for food scandels, the countries in the U.Nwilling that are unwilling to Enforce Sanctions...
Sounds kinda like what their doing in Iran, Huh?
Yes, the Fox(U.N) is Guarding Hen House(USA)
What get's me, is WHY do we keep ALLOWING this???
This also means that:
OUR TAXES are being used against us by the U.N and they are underminding OUR Goverment & the American
People...
God, Whatever happened to "WE THE PEOPLE"HuhHuhHuh??
I think it's time to KICK THEM to the CURB and quit letting them be a platform for the likes of Chavez, & that rat looking dude from Iran, and anyother person that comes here to spew their venom at our country...
They all need to remember where they would be right now, If it was'nt for the generosity of the PEOPLE of the USofA, I've been all over the world & let me tell you: THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME(USA)
We've just lost our ways along the way!
Your Loving Brother Duane


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« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2007, 03:24:25 PM »

Kosovo tells U.N.'s Ban: Get ready for independence

By Matt Robinson Fri Nov 2, 12:41 PM ET

PRISTINA, Serbia (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon should expect Kosovo to declare independence after talks with Serbia end on December 10, the prime minister of the breakaway province said on Friday.
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Speaking ahead of a fourth round of negotiations on Monday in Vienna, Prime Minister Agim Ceku said he had asked U.N. governor Joachim Ruecker, Ban's special representative in Kosovo, to convey the message to New York.

"He (Ban) should know that the citizens of Kosovo, and Kosovo's leaders, cannot wait much longer after December 10," Ceku told a joint news conference with Ruecker. "He should expect us to declare independence after this date."

Leaders of Serbia and Kosovo's 90-percent ethnic Albanian majority will hold direct talks in the Austrian capital on Monday, with barely a month to go before international mediators report back to the United Nations.

Talks began in August, but there is no deal in sight.

Kosovo has said it will declare independence with or without a deal, and seek recognition from the West. But it has shied away from setting a date until it gets the green light from the United States and its major allies in the European Union.

A November 17 parliamentary election in Kosovo has hardened rhetoric, but Ceku is not running and could be out of office by the time a decision on independence is taken.

Ruecker said he took note "there should be no further delays."

The German diplomat is Kosovo's sixth U.N. administrator since 1999, when NATO bombs drove out Serb forces to halt the killing and ethnic cleansing of Albanians in a two-year war with separatist guerrillas.

A declaration of independence without a new U.N. resolution would leave Kosovo under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244, which affirms the sovereignty of the then Yugoslavia, to which Serbia is the successor state.

But diplomats say Western capitals are working on a way around the document, to allow the EU to deploy a 1,800-strong police mission and for individual countries -- led by the United States, Britain and France -- to recognize the new state.

The latest bid for compromise began in August under the mediation of envoys from the United States, Russia and the European Union, after Moscow blocked U.N. adoption of a plan to grant Kosovo independence under EU supervision.

NATO allies with 16,000 troops in the relatively poor province fear Albanian frustration could turn to unrest, possibly spreading to Macedonia where there are growing signs of tension between the authorities and the large Albanian minority.

Kosovo tells U.N.'s Ban: Get ready for independence
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« Reply #34 on: November 03, 2007, 03:26:16 PM »

UN Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response Opens Office in Bonn

PRESS RELEASE
Date Released: Thursday, November 1, 2007
Source: United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

VIENNA, 31 October (UN Information Service) - The newly established United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER), which is implemented by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), has opened its first office in Bonn, Germany, on Monday, 29 October 2007.

"UN-SPIDER will provide universal access to all countries and relevant international and regional organizations to space-based information and services relevant to disaster management to support the full disaster management cycle and will have a considerable impact on the way space-based information is used in dealing with disasters around the world," noted Deputy Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna, Franz Baumann, in his inauguration speech. The programme, which was established by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2006, will serve as a gateway to space information for disaster management support, a bridge to connect the disaster management and space communities. UN-Spider will also be a facilitator of capacity-building and institutional strengthening in particular for developing countries.

Besides Vienna, where UNOOSA is located, UN-SPIDER will have offices in Beijing, China and Bonn, Germany, as well as a liaison office in Geneva, Switzerland. Mr. Baumann expressed the hope that the UN-SPIDER Office in Bonn will contribute successfully to the mitigation and prevention of natural disasters, such as the Indian Ocean tsunami catastrophe, via satellite-based disaster information and management. He thanked the authorities of Austria, China and Germany for their contributions to making UN-SPIDER become reality.

Alongside the opening of the UN-SPIDER Bonn Office, a three-day workshop is bringing together experts from around the world to discuss and shape the future activities of UN-SPIDER. This workshop is the starting point for a series of regional workshops and expert meetings that will contribute to making space-based information an integral part of disaster management policies worldwide.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) implements the decisions of the General Assembly and of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its two Subcommittees, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee. The Office is responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, and assisting developing countries in using space science and technology.

UN Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response Opens Office in Bonn
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« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2007, 03:31:33 PM »

United Nations to Expand Police Force

By SLOBODAN LEKIC – 2 days ago

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — With the world facing new security threats, the U.N. is planning for an unprecedented expansion of its police missions. U.N. officials say a shift in the nature of conflicts requires revamped peacekeeping operations.

Traditionally, the U.N. has facilitated peace between warring states by sending its blue-helmeted soldiers to man buffer zones between their armies. But today, interventions are increasingly focused on settling civil wars.

"In recent years the character of conflicts has changed dramatically from mainly state-to-state wars (to) intrastate conflicts which pit various factions within the boundaries of a single state," U.N. Police Chief Andrew Hughes said.

As a result, there is a greater need than ever for conventional police duties in post-conflict situations.

Nowhere is this highlighted more clearly than in Darfur.

The U.N. is recruiting nearly 7,000 police officers to assist some 20,000 U.N. peacekeeper-soldiers in trying to end the four-year conflict in western Sudan.

Police involvement in peacekeeping dates from the inaugural 1948 mission, when first Secretary-General Trygve Lie urgently dispatched several dozen U.N. security guards from New York to Jerusalem when Jewish extremists assassinated the U.N. peace envoy Folke Bernadotte.

In later interventions, however, the U.N. has come to rely mostly on soldiers to monitor cease-fires or interpose themselves between warring sides, as happened in the Sinai after the 1956 Egypt-Israel war, or later in disputed Kashmir, Cyprus and Lebanon.

The Balkan wars of the 1990s put renewed focus on peacekeeping by police units.

"In such conflicts, once peace is restored the U.N. then has a key role in re-establishing rule of law, which includes police, courts, prisons and the whole justice sector, and to ensure that they rebuild or build up from scratch their police services," Hughes said.

But Hughes emphasized that police and military missions have critical differences.

Soldiers have different rules of engagement that provide for the use of lethal force and are therefore not suited for such duties such as apprehending criminals, escorting children to schools or calming rioting mobs.

"For us the use of force is absolutely the last option," Hughes said. "Our police are trained much more extensively to defuse the situation, and negotiations are by far and away the biggest tool we have."

A new Police Division was set up in October 2000 as part of the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations with a staff of several dozen experienced police officers from contributing countries.

Currently, there are about 70,000 U.N. peacekeeping troops deployed worldwide, with an additional 9,500 police officers, mostly in Africa — such as Liberia, Ivory Coast, Congo, Burundi and Western Sahara — as well as in Haiti, Kosovo and East Timor.

With U.N. missions in Chad and Darfur coming on line in 2008, the ranks of U.N. police are to swell to nearly 17,000 officers from more than 100 countries.

"Our duties included everything a policeman can possibly do, from breaking up domestic disturbances to chasing and arresting armed criminals," said Irhad Campara, a Bosnian policeman who served in the U.N. mission in East Timor.

"In addition, we recruited, vetted and trained from scratch East Timor's new national police force."

Whereas military units are dispatched by governments, police officers are recruited on individual contracts from contributing nations. They continue to collect their home pay but receive an extra daily allowance of $150 and accommodation from the U.N.

Not all operations have gone smoothly, however, and the U.N. police force has suffered several high-profile reverses over the past several years.

In 2004, U.N. police officers failed to stem the violence in Kosovo when thousands of ethnic Albanians rioted in a backlash against the Serb minority, killing 19 people, displacing thousands, and destroying hundreds of Serb homes, churches and monasteries.

And in East Timor, the U.N.-trained police force collapsed last year following an army mutiny, necessitating another mission to rebuild it anew.

To hopefully prevent such calamities, the U.N. is preparing two initiatives to facilitate rapid police deployment to crisis areas and to enable them to function more effectively from the outset.

The first is the introduction of Formed Police Units — 160-strong contingents of officers from a single country — skilled in dealing with a wide spectrum of problems, from riot control to arresting armed criminals.

The initial unit, an all-female company of Indian officers, has recently arrived in Liberia to join the U.N. force there.

The second initiative is to create a standing police detachment of about two dozen officers who can be deployed together with U.N. military units to a trouble spot, thus allowing the police to be present from the start of a U.N. mission.

Previously, the slow and complicated process of recruiting volunteers from participating countries meant police recruits lagged an average of nine months behind the soldiers.

But critics say these measures are insufficient.

William Durch from the Henry L. Stimson Center, a think tank in Washington, proposed creating a ready reserve of about 11,000 police volunteers worldwide who would be paid retainer fees while on standby and who could be quickly mobilized for future U.N. missions.

"The system by which the U.N. recruits its people must be completely revamped to be able to provide security personnel in the critical initial phases of a mission," said Durch, an expert on peacekeeping operations.

United Nations to Expand Police Force
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« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2007, 03:33:47 PM »

Quote
As a result, there is a greater need than ever for conventional police duties in post-conflict situations.

UN Police to be permanent global police?? This is very scary thought, I think we are careening towards a global govt at breakneck speed.
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« Reply #37 on: November 03, 2007, 03:50:06 PM »

UN envoy returns to Myanmar

Sat Nov 3, 7:20 AM ET

YANGON, Myanmar - U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari arrived in Myanmar on Saturday for his second effort to reconcile the ruling military and its pro-democracy opponents. But he will also have to deal with the junta's plan to expel the top U.N. diplomat in the country.

Gambari flew directly to the new capital, Naypyitaw, to meet with senior junta leaders, Myanmar government officials said, requesting anonymity since they were not authorized to speak to the media.

It was not known which of the junta leaders would meet with him in Naypyitaw, 250 miles north of Yangon, Myanmar's largest city, or whether he would later be allowed to visit detained democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

On the eve of his arrival, the junta accused Myanmar's U.N. Resident Coordinator Charles Petrie of going beyond his duties by criticizing the regime's failure to meet the economic and humanitarian needs of its people, and by saying this was the cause of September's mass pro-democracy protests, which were violently put down by the government.

Gambari was earlier dispatched to Myanmar after the government crackdown, meeting with junta leader Senior Gen. Than Shwe and twice with Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace laureate.

Eyewitnesses in Yangon said security forces had been reinforced in some parts of the city prior to the visit, while residents said access to the Internet was virtually impossible for the third-straight day.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who met Gambari on Friday morning in Istanbul, Turkey, to discuss his Myanmar trip, was "disappointed" at the government's message, and expressed "full confidence in the United Nations country team and its leadership," U.N. spokeswoman Michele Montas said at U.N. headquarters in New York.

She said Petrie was scheduled to meet Gambari in Yangon on Saturday, and that the U.N. envoy would convey to Myanmar's military rulers the secretary-general's "very strong" support for the U.N. leadership in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

On Friday, a draft resolution was circulated at the U.N. strongly condemning the Myanmar government's crackdown on peaceful protesters. It called on the junta to immediately release those arrested recently, as well as all political prisoners.

The military has said 10 people were killed in the September crackdown, but diplomats and dissidents say the death toll was much higher. Thousands of people were detained.

UN envoy returns to Myanmar
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« Reply #38 on: November 07, 2007, 10:15:27 PM »

UN Human Rights Council Blames Israel

MICHAL LANDO, Jerusalem Post correspondent
THE JERUSALEM POST
Nov. 6, 2007

Ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman slammed the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday for failing to deal with human rights violations around the world, and for disproportionately singling out Israel.

"The new human rights council was delivered by some who thought they were giving birth to a new baby, but they have given birth to a horrendous monster," Gillerman said following a meeting of the General Assembly's Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural), currently discussing the council's institution-building package.

The committee hopes to reach a consensus on the council's package on Thursday.

After Gillerman was introduced Tuesday, a fire alarm forced the committee to evacuate to a shelter, delaying his speech.

"This is another example of how Israel is singled out," Gillerman told the committee to audible chuckles.

The alarm was the "calm before the storm," he quipped, warning them of what he was about to say. "The real burning - literally burning - human rights situations in our tormented world have certainly not been reflected in the council's deliberations, and one wonders, sadly, if they ever will," Gillerman said. Instead, he said, the Human Rights Council was responsible for a "ritualistic and virulent campaign" against Israel.

The council's membership included countries whose records on human rights fell "markedly below" the standards of the international community, said Gillerman, and "who cannot genuinely serve as a beacon for human rights when their respective performances are so dismal and poor."

Aside from Israel, the only specific situations to have been addressed by the council have been Myanmar and Darfur. Resolutions on the latter "not only failed to find the Sudanese government culpable for atrocities, but even had the audacity to congratulate Sudan for its cooperation," said Gillerman.

He said special rapporteurs on human rights violations by Cuba and Belarus were eliminated from the institution-building package without serious consideration, in "blatant disregard for the constituent mandate."

The committee discussion is intended to be a mere "technicality," but on Tuesday, Gillerman said Israel could not accept the institution-building package as is, and urged countries to join in "opposing the consensus."

"The Human Rights Council is unworthy of the dreams of the founders of the Universal Human Rights Declaration, and Israel could not go along with those who feel consensus is the name of the game," Gillerman said following the meeting.

"There are hundreds of thousands abused every day and who die every day because of human rights violations. They look to this organization and wait for us to do the right thing. I appeal to colleagues on a personal note to do the right thing."

There are a host of nations that think the council is a "disgrace," Gillerman told reporters.

"I know that they know deep down, that if they could, they would lay aside political considerations and say what they think. It's time to do the right thing, not time to hide behind technicalities."

UN Human Rights Council Blames Israel

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« Reply #39 on: November 07, 2007, 10:17:47 PM »

The Useless Nations Motto: When in doubt........ blame Israel.
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« Reply #40 on: November 08, 2007, 12:31:42 AM »

UN Police to be permanent global police?? This is very scary thought, I think we are careening towards a global govt at breakneck speed.

The U.S has been training U. N Police(blue Hats) for Riot Control Ect. ect. ect.
in our Country for more that 15 yrs. that i know of.
From Russia, Pakistan, India,Turkey, ect. ect.

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« Reply #41 on: November 08, 2007, 11:45:16 AM »

UN should sack nuclear chief for failure over Iran - Israel

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz called Thursday for Mohamed ElBaradei to be removed as head of the UN nuclear watchdog, saying he had turned a blind eye to archfoe Iran's nuclear ambitions.

The call for ElBaradei's dismissal comes just days before the International Atomic Energy Agency is due to publish a new report on Iran's nuclear programme, to serve as a key part of further discussions at the United Nations on whether to impose a third set of sanctions on Tehran.

"The policies followed by ElBaradei endanger world peace. His irresponsible attitude of sticking his head in the sand over Iran's nuclear programme should lead to his impeachment," Mofaz told public radio from Washington.

Mofaz, who heads "the strategic dialogue" between Israel and its main ally the United States, held talks on Wednesday with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

ElBaradei raised the ire of many Israeli officials after telling France's Le Monde newspaper that Iran would need "between three and eight years" to develop a nuclear bomb and that there were was no immediate threat.

"I want to get people away from the idea that Iran represents a clear and present danger and that we're now facing the decision whether to bombard Iran or let them have the bomb. We're not in that situation at all," the Egyptian UN nuclear chief said.

Mofaz retorted that there was no excuse for such complacency in the face of intelligence estimates.

"ElBaradei says he has no proof regarding Iran's nuclear programme when he has intelligence reports gathered by several countries and he heads an organisation responsible precisely for that," he said.

Mofaz nevertheless said he believed the Jewish state's archfoe had yet to cross the point of no return in its nuclear programmme.

"The development of the necessary infrastructure for enriching uranium is slower than the Iranians say it is," the former chief of staff said, a day after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad again boasted that Iran had reached a key target of 3,000 centrifuges for uranium enrichment.

Israel, which belongs to the UN nuclear watchdog but is not a signatory to its key Non-Proliferation Treaty, is widely considered to have the Middle East's sole -- if undeclared -- nuclear arsenal.

It considers Iran its chief enemy after repeated statements by Ahmadinejad that the Jewish state should be wiped off the map.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on Wednesday (eds: correct) that "all options remain on the table", including military action, to prevent Iran developing an atomic bomb.

Senior Israeli army intelligence officer Yossi Beidetz told parliament's foreign affairs and defence committee that Iran could acquire the bomb within two years.

"Assuming Iran is not faced with difficulties, the most severe scenario is that Iran could have a nuclear bomb by the end of 2009," committee members quoted Beidetz as saying.

The UN Security Council has imposed two sets of sanctions against Iran over its failure to heed ultimatums to suspend uranium enrichment, the process which makes fuel for nuclear reactors but in highly extended form can also produce the fissile core of an atomic bomb.

Israel and the West fear that Iran's nuclear programme is cover for a drive to develop the bomb but Iran insists it is aimed solely at producing electricity for a growing population once fossil fuels run out.

In 1981, Israel bombed a French-built nuclear reactor in Iraq, which under the rule of now executed dictator Saddam Hussein was then its biggest enemy. The raid was heavily criticised by the United States and UN Security Council.

UN should sack nuclear chief for failure over Iran - Israel
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« Reply #42 on: November 08, 2007, 12:03:01 PM »

UN: Israel Fuels Support for Extremists
By EDITH M. LEDERER
Associated Press Writer

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The head of the U.N. agency responsible for aiding Palestinian refugees said Wednesday that Israel's near economic blockade of the Gaza Strip is fueling support for extremists and shattering hopes for a peaceful future.

"They're trying to punish those who've taken control of Gaza but in fact they're punishing everybody inside Gaza, a very small percentage of whom support the people who are controlling Gaza right now," Karen Koning AbuZayd of the United Nations Works and Relief Agency said.

The violent takeover of the Gaza Strip last June by the Islamic militants of the Hamas movement, and their continual rocketing of Israel, has led to Gaza's increasing isolation. In September, Israel declared Gaza a "hostile entity," clearing the way for economic sanctions.

Also Wednesday, Israel's Supreme Court delayed for at least a week a government plan to cut back on electricity to Gaza following appeals from 10 human rights organizations.

The appeals charged that the cut would be an illegal collective punishment because Gaza remains dependent on Israel for most of its electricity and all of its fuel. Gisha, one of the rights groups, said the court gave the state one week to respond to the appeals, and the human rights organizations would have another week to answer.

Israel ordered progressive utility cuts hoping that Palestinian residents would pressure militant groups to stop the attacks. Israel explained the cutbacks as part if its disengagement from Gaza. Israel withdrew its soldiers and settlers from Gaza in 2005.

The human rights groups say that Israel is still responsible for Gaza because it controls its air, sea and land access, and the utility cuts would punish civilians.

At a news conference at U.N. headquarters in New York, AbuZayd painted a grim picture of life in the Gaza Strip, saying there has been a 71 percent decrease in goods going into Gaza since May, there is "zero stock" of 91 drugs compared to 61 last month, and farmers do not have the money to get their crops picked or send them to market so they are rotting.

That means that there are no fruits and vegetables to supplement the basic rations that 80 percent of Gaza's population receive - flour, oil, sugar, a bit of lentils and powdered milk - either from UNRWA or the U.N. World Food Program, she said.

"It's not good enough," AbuZayd said. "UNRWA's only giving 61 percent" of the daily nutritional needs.

The main commercial crossings into Gaza from Israel and Egypt have been closed since June, so "there are no imports, exports," and there isn't even enough cash being brought in which has made living very difficult, she said.

"We at least have these two military crossings we're using and getting in just enough humanitarian supplies," AbuZayd said. "Israel is very concerned that there is no humanitarian disaster there. There will always be enough food and medicine, but these are very basic rations that are coming in."

She also expressed hope that this month's U.S.-sponsored Mideast conference will lead to positive movement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and provide new hope for the Palestinian people.

UN: Israel Fuels Support for Extremists
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« Reply #43 on: November 09, 2007, 09:44:27 PM »

Former UN chief: No wonder everyone hates you
11.09.07

Boutros Boutros Ghali blames Israel for lack of peace in Middle East, paints a stark picture for future of Arab-Israeli relations; 'After 30 years, I don't even see one centimeter of progress'
Smadar Peri

From his spacious apartment overlooking the glamorous Dominique Street in Paris, Boutros Boutros Ghali launches an unprecedented offensive against Israel. It's hard to hear such severe criticism from one of the architects of Israel's first peace agreement—the 1977 Camp David Accords with Egypt—but Ghali has no intentions of hiding his anger with Israel behind diplomatic formalities.

"After 30 years, I don't see even a centimeter of progress," Ghali gloomily recounts in an interview with Yedioth Ahronoth. "It's completely possible to say that people hate you—not only in Egypt, but throughout the entire Arab world."

The former UN Secretary General says he cannot think of any reason to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's historic visit to Jerusalem - far from it. Ghali's blame for the failure to promote Arab-Israeli peace falls squarely on one recipient: Israel. He attacks Israel for peace negotiation failures, defends the Iranian nuclear program and protests that the whole world complains about suicide bombings but is silent on IDF targeted killings.

The former peace negotiator paints a bleak picture for the future: "The Arab world is busy in its struggle against fundamentalists and cannot allow itself to recognize Israel because it will strengthen (the fundamentalists). I reiterate: The Arab world refuses to accept Israel's existence and therefore curbs all of Israel's attempts to normalize relations."

Cold or frigid?
The former UN chief - a professor and lecturer of international law who was nominated to be an Egyptian government minister for foreign affairs and participated in the formulation of the Camp David Peace Accords - is the one who coined the term 'cold peace' to describe Israeli-Egyptian relations after the momentous peace agreement.

Who is to blame for the so-called cold peace? Ghali is quick to point out that Israel carries the bulk of the blame. "From the first day, during Sadat's speech in the Knesset, we said that there would not be a true, full peace as long as Israel did not return Sinai and leave Gaza and the West Bank. When Sadat went to Jerusalem, he went with a vision to start-up not just the Egyptian track, but also the Palestinian one - but (the Israelis) sealed (their) ears shut.

"We said: the Palestinian issue is connected to the axis of the peace agreement - it’s the first condition. We warned (them) time and time again that it would not work. And (the Israelis)? (They) insisted on signing a separate peace with Egypt, (they) day-dreamed about the blossoming of bilateral relations and increased cooperation."

Best PR man in the biz 
The only compliments the aging Egyptian had for Israel came in the form of praise for Israeli President Shimon Peres: "In my eyes Shimon Peres is a man of dreams. He is an asset for (the Israelis), the number one PR man in the State of Israel. I am older than Peres by one year, and look how both of us never cease running around and working."

Ghali, who is turning 85 this year, looks great for his age and hasn't stopped working. "I have a full-time job. I work 10 hours a day, seven days a week. I travel, lecture, read, write, give interviews. I am a member of dozens of boards on international law and in Egypt, I am the head of the humans rights council."

Married to a Jewish woman
The former UN Secretary General shares his elegant Paris apartment with his Jewish spouse Leah. The two are the same age. They met in 1956 and married after a whirlwind romance. Leah is a descendant of a Romanian family that immigrated to Alexandria. She has never been interviewed and has never visited Israel. "She keeps a low profile," her husband says.

When asked if he ever ran into difficulties for being married to a Jew, Ghali's face toughens and he responds: "I never had any trouble at all, in my eyes Leah although from a Jewish background, is more Catholic since she spent more time in Catholic schools than in Jewish ones."

Former UN chief: No wonder everyone hates you
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« Reply #44 on: November 09, 2007, 11:44:21 PM »

UN Conference Pushes Abortion in Guise of Promoting Women's Health

by Staff
November 9, 2007

(christiansunite.com) -- The World Congress of Families criticized the actions of the latest the United Nations conference to push abortion in the guise of promoting women's health.

The Congress endorses an October 20 letter to the Organizing Committee of the U.N. Conference "Women Deliver," signed by Concerned Women for America, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, United Families International and the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations among other groups. The first three were co- sponsors of World Congress of Families IV.

As the letter notes, the ostensible purpose of the conference was to consider ways to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. Instead, it was hijacked by the abortion industry - including Planned Parenthood and Catholics (so-called) for Free Choice - and turned into a forum for promoting abortion in the Third World.

World Conference of Families International Secretary Allan Carlson commented: "The conference devoted little time to such crucial concerns as pre-natal care, sanitation, clean water and basic nutrition. Instead, advocates trotted out the standard dubious statistics about deaths attributed to illegal abortions. Naturally, there was no consideration of deaths due to legal abortion. The World Health Organization doesn't even keep such statistics."

"The 'Women Deliver' Conference arrived at foreordained conclusions, determined by the ideologues in charge," Carlson charged. "The United Nations has never directly endorsed abortion, in any of its treaties or conventions. Indeed, abortion goes against the spirit of the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights. Still, feminists have succeeded in co- opting committees whose mandate is advancing women's health to promote death for unborn children."

World Congress of Families joins the signatories of the aforementioned letter in calling on the United Nations to repudiate the pro-abortion advocacy of the "Women Deliver" Conference.

World Congress of Families supports the sanctity of human life, from conception to natural death.

World Congress of Families IV (Warsaw, Poland, May 11-13, 2007) was attended by more than 3,400 delegates from 65 countries.

The World Congress of Families (WCF) is an international network of pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders and people of goodwill from more than 60 countries that seeks to restore the natural family as the fundamental social unit and the 'seedbed' of civil society. The WCF was founded in 1997 by Allan Carlson and is a project of The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society in Rockford, Illinois. To date, there have been four World Congresses of Families - Prague (1997), Geneva (1999), Mexico City (2004) and Warsaw, Poland (2007).

UN Conference Pushes Abortion in Guise of Promoting Women's Health
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