In the News

Baird to announce boycott of UN conference over North Korea appointment - July 10

July 10, 2011

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is set to announce Monday that Canada is boycotting the United Nations Conference on Disarmament over North Korea’s involvement, a senior government source told Postmedia News.

So Se Pyong, North Korea’s ambassador, was last week named chair of the Geneva-based group dedicated to promoting global nuclear disarmament.“

North Korea is simply not a credible chair of this UN body as its leaders are working in the exact opposite direction,” the source told Postmedia News on Sunday evening. ...

Click here to read the full article at the National Post. 

Armenians Must Counter UN Security Council Bids by Turkey and Azerbaijan - July 8

July 8, 2011
Diasporan political organizations and influential Armenians, in cooperation with the Armenian Foreign Ministry, should launch an international lobbying campaign to block Turkey and Azerbaijan from gaining coveted seats on the United Nations Security Council.
Three years ago, I made a similar plea when Turkey was seeking a seat on the Security Council for the first time since 1961. I urged Armenians worldwide to contact government leaders of their respective countries, requesting that their UN representatives oppose Turkey’s Security Council bid.

Why Did Iran Say "NO" to the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights? - July 5

July 5, 2011

Less than a week after the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed former Maldivian Foreign Minister Ahmed Shaheed as Special Rapporteur on Human Rights for Iran, Head of Iran's Judiciary, Sadegh Larijani, in a TV interview said, "accepting the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights is not our policy."

In March, the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution establishing a monitoring mechanism for Iran and appointing a Special Rapporteur. Last month, three candidates were considered for this position. The Iranian side, knowing that a Special Rapporteur would be immediately appointed soon, sent a message to Geneva that the Rapporteur on Iran should have three qualifications: Be a man, be a Muslim, and not be from an Arab country. One of the male candidates didn't seem to cause any controversy for Tehran; Ahmed Shaheed's appointment met all of Iran's requirements. ...

Open letter to the new Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran - July 2

July 2, 2011 

Dear Dr. Shaheed,

We the undersigned, members of Iranian academics, journalists, writers, lawyers, artists and human rights activists, welcome your appointment as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran. The systematic violations of human rights by the Islamic Republic of Iran and atrocities committed against the members of the opposition have reached an unprecedented level. The arbitrary arrests of women activists, lawyers, journalists, students, labour leaders, and human rights advocates are on the rise. The continuous hunger strikes, attempted suicides and mysterious death of prisoners in custody, and executions are indeed alarming. ...

Canada's love-hate take on North Korea reveals UN circus - July 1

July 1, 2011

What's a North Korean apparatchik to think when he's both welcomed and told to quit by Canada after assuming the presidency of a key United Nation s disarmament body?

The naming of North Korea's Ambassador So Se Pyong as chair of the UN's Conference on Disarmament drew sharp criticism from Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird on Thursday. ...

Click here to read the full article at the Montreal Gazette.

Brazil's Graziano elected chief of UN food agency - July 1

July 1, 2011
Jose Graziano da Silva of Brazil was elected on Sunday as director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization, the U.N. agency tasked with reducing world hunger at a time of near-record high food prices.
Graziano, currently FAO's regional representative for Latin America and the Caribbean, won on the second ballot with the support of 92 of the 180 FAO member states voting. ...

Byun named new chair of U.N. oceanographic commission - June 30

June 30, 2011
A South Korean scientist has been named the new chief of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), Seoul’s Maritime ministry said Thursday.
Byun Sang-kyung, 61, was elected to head the Paris-based organization on Thursday (Paris time), becoming the first South Korean to take the top post of the U.N. commission that coordinates exchange of information and data between the member states and their national oceanographic data centers, according to the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs.

Three Challenges for New IMF Director - June 29

June 29, 2011

Christine Lagarde's appointment to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn as managing director of the International Monetary Fund comes as no real surprise. But the aggressive manner in which European authorities pushed through Lagarde's appointment to retain control over the position creates at least three major challenges Lagarde must quickly address.

One, Lagarde has to establish her independence. She has to demonstrate that the IMF will not automatically rubberstamp European decisions and be a convenient piggy bank to help Europe finance the debt crisis in some euro-area countries. The pressure European officials applied to secure the managing director's position for Lagarde and the important role she played as the French finance minister in dealing with the crisis raises suspicions that the Europeans' primary interest in backing her is to ensure access to IMF resources.  ...

Should a lawyer be running the IMF? - June 29

June 29, 2011
 The analyses of Christine Lagarde's selection as IMF chief have tended to focus on two principal attributes: nationality and gender. Both are important. But mostly left aside has been her educational and professional background. Unlike her recent predecessors, Lagarde is a lawyer rather than an economist. Dominique Strauss-Kahn had taught economics at the University of Paris. Rodrigo de Rato and Horst Kohler were also Ph.D. economists (though de Rato did also have a law degree). ...

U.S. Endorses France’s Lagarde as New I.M.F. Chief - June 28

June 28, 2011

PARIS — Christine Lagarde was expected to be named Tuesday as the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund, taking on one of the most powerful positions in global finance as a worsening debt crisis in Greece rattles financial markets worldwide.

Christine Lagarde spoke outside the I.M.F. in Washington last Thursday.Readers' CommentsShare your thoughts.Post a Comment »Read All Comments (5) »Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner announced Tuesday that the United States would back Ms. Lagarde, France’s influential finance minister, over the Mexican central bank governor, Agustín Carstens, her only competitor for the job, all but sealing her victory. ...

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