Archive for the ‘United Nations’ Category

North Korea’s failed missile test sparks worldwide condemnation

April 5, 2009

Against the resolutions of the United Nations (UN,) the North Korean government went ahead of the launching of a missile test that fizzled out in the Pacific Ocean. According to Pyongyang, the missile was supposed to be a satellite, but the outside world believed it was an experiment of a weapon technology that can threaten US territories like Alaska and Hawaii.

The United States Command which observed the launch from the Pacific said the “satellite” was a failure, but the rogue government of Kim Jong II was celebratory—insisting that the launch went well.

“Given the volatility in the region, as well as a stalemate in interaction among the concerned parties, such a launch is not conducive to efforts to promote dialogue, regional peace and stability,”— Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General Ban. (04/05/09, Foster, P)

The criticism and disappointment of Ban with North Korea is shared by US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown who asserted North Korea’s action was “completely unacceptable.” Gordon said Pyongyang’s communist regime, a threat to world peace and security, must stop the testing and proliferation of nuclear weapons. Japan’s ambassador to the U.N., Yukio Takasu condemned the launch “a clear crime” versus U.N. Security Council demands that posed a grave threat to Japan.

The rocket launch was a violation of international agreements. The United Nations in New York went for an emergency meeting to thresh out ways (other than condemnation) to respond to the provocative action. However, it is doubtful if the world’s body of nations has the effective teeth to discipline a dangerous nation like North Korea. Since December last year, diplomatic talks on nuclear control with North Korea, Japan, China, South Korea, Russia and the US (Six Party talks) have been not pushed through. (Photo Credit: Eric Lafforgue x 2 )=0=


Israeli air strikes leave 200+ dead in Gaza Strip

December 27, 2008

As Pope Benedict XVI calls for renunciation of violence during the holy season of Christmas, Israelis and Palestinians are on a bloody confrontation again in the Gaza Strip leaving at least 200 dead and injuring about 400 more. This is the result of heavy air strikes conducted by Israeli troops against militant Palestinian targets in Hamas-dominated territory a week after a 6-month ceasefire truce expired.

The resumption of bombings and killings on Saturday, December 27, 2008, is supposed to be Israel’s retaliation to months of Hamas’ mortar fires and indiscriminate rocket launches which terrorize about ¼ million Israelis who live in the area.

Hamas infrastructures and installations had been destroyed and many security officers were killed or hurt. Gaza residents had been on the state of panic as the death toll rose and the wounded victims flooded hospitals and clinics.

“The offensive sparked angry protests throughout the Arab world, and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Vatican, the U.N. secretary-general and special Mideast envoy Tony Blair all called for an immediate restoration of calm. The Arab League scheduled an emergency meeting Sunday to discuss the situation.”—; AP (12/28/08 Barzak, Brahim)

Hamas, the radical group considered by Israel as a terrorist organization, called for revenge, but Isreali military authorities had been firm in their stance. In spite of the call for calm, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak vowed to widen the military offensive if needed. Israel did not set a time-line on when the air strikes would end.

The long-standing conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians has taxed peace-makers for decades, but a solution has been consistently elusive. Extremist Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East who support the Palestinians call for the annihilation of the State of Israel. (Photo Credits: AP/ Mohammed Zastari; AP/ Mohammed Zastari; AFP; AP/ Mohammed Zastari) =0=


"If you are sexy, brilliant, and knowledgeable…,” Sen. Miriam D. Santiago talks on tormenting her enemies

November 9, 2008

After Philippine Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago lost her bid to be a jurist in the International Court of Justice (ICJ,) a position which she aspired for with gusto, she declared:

“When God closes a door, He opens another. I’m afraid that the door that has been opened for me is to remain in Philippine politics and continue to torment my enemies,” she said with a hearty laugh. Inquirer (11/09/08. Avendano, C)

The funny quip with some bone from the senator makes Filipinos wonder if Santiago is for real. For her, the ICJ loss is personally irritating as she criticized the manner of selection. Believing the aptness of her qualification which counts a UP law degree and crash “language fluency” course in French in her resume, she and her supporters actively campaigned for the position. In the past, she accused some of her enemies to have worked to derail her candidacy.

Showing the loose cannon ball in her tongue she said: “It’s nothing to them if you’re sexy, brilliant and knowledgeable,” referring to her unapologetic no-holds-barred assessment of her importance which the world body failed to appreciate.

Santiago is known for her shifting loyalties, changing party alliances, labile emotion, and flamboyant rhetoric. She changes plans so often and talks in a bewildering style that befuddle her listener.

Although tormenting enemies is not a desirable job, it appears she fits the position better than what she longed for in ICJ. She believes it is her “destiny” to stay in the country. Photo Credit:; Alkan Chaglar) =0=RELATED BLOG: See my blog on May 29, 2008 entitled

RELATED BLOGS: See my blog on May 29, 2008 entitled “Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s flight to reality and her bid to the International Court of Justice (ICJ)” ; “Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago loses bid in ICJ” Posted by mesiamd at 11/07/2008

Iran’s Ahmadinejad & the Impotence of the United Nations

September 24, 2008

Side by side with the financial crisis rocking America, the threat of terrorism showed its ugly head when Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, made a controversial speech in the United Nations (UN) in New York City today September 23, 2008, highlighting the impotence and hypocrisy of current world politics. His allusion to a pessimistic outlook of America is as though the United States is alone in its march towards a rough ride into the future.

Faced with a global economy, exploding population, dwindling resources, differing value judgments and relativist view of truth, America shares its problems with everybody. This is what is happening in the current economic crisis. The financial flu sweeping the United States is threatening to be a world pandemic of economic and political woes whose end result for the world is scary to imagine.

Wishing bad things to happen for America isn’t good to the peace and stability of its global neighbors. Just as the full-blown effects of the present US economic downturn are starting to be felt, the world waits on the edge; nobody knows how it will end. But even without this, Iran has been suffering under the current Islamic regime of Ahmadinejad. Outside the UN headquarters, he is met by protests and jeers by those who disagree with him.

The United Nations (UN) has been inutile in convincing Iran to stop its nuclear program. Effective in fighting certain world problems, UN is “forced” to give air time to Ahmadinejad whose horrific support for terrorism and promotion to destroy Israel sends goose bumps to decent people worldide. Most observers doubt Ahmadinejad’s hyperbolic rhetorics and many don’t believe his vitriol and clever pretentions. With a sluggish UN, few nations however speak up and stand against his way.

For not suspending its uranium enrichment, three rounds of UN sanctions hasn’t deterred Iran from continuing its nuclear activities. It’s this type of UN sanctions that Sadam Hussein endured until after 16 unheeded resolutions which led to the Iraq war that was supported albeit lamely by the UN.

The possibililty of nuclear war is ever more real in the current stockpiles of weapons whose oversight is increasingly becoming more difficult. Serving as a political tool and a weapon of intimidation, the acquisition of nuclear arms by unstable countries like Iran, Pakistan and North Korea is a scary step towards the planet’s destruction. It encourages terrorists and extremists to work harder to destabilize the world and make the nuclear cloud closer to reality.

With rogue nations sitting side by side in UN in “cooperation” with those committed to make the world a peaceful place, the challenge of diplomacy is ever more complex and daunting. The world body cannot even agree on who are the terrorists. Having reckless leaders like Ahmadinejad who denies the holocaust, lacks accountability, threatens Israel, and wages proxy wars (Hezbollah and Iraq) could be the signs of what lies in the future. It’s at this late hour that world is learning. Sooner or later, it must wake up and confront the reality at hand. Photo Credits: Ben Heine; Nickolette22; MihaiRomanciuc)=0=

84.1% functional literacy of Filipinos, but…

September 9, 2008

“Literacy is the Best Remedy,” is the theme of the UN International Literacy day observed on September 8. Based on multi-agency data which include the Department of Education and the National Statistical Council, the functional literacy of Filipinos is 84.1%. This means 67 million of us are functionally literate and 12.72 million are illiterate. Not bad.

But the big number of illiterates is still a huge problem. With a sizeable impaired segment of the population, we cannot tap the maximum potential and productivity of our workers. Having close to 13 million individuals lacking in education and skills is a huge drain in our pool of nation builders. By estimates, this is close or a bit larger than the extent of the country’s brain drain—Filipinos who have left for jobs abroad.

Philippines must not slacken for about 65% of our youth are out of school and 56% of our students are not able to graduate in high school. Philstar (09/09/08, Roces, AR) There is an ominous message in this statistics as we proceed to the 21st century. Realizing that among the ranks of highly schooled literates, a significant number of talented Filipinos use their educational edge for their own selfish ends, the picture doesn’t look pretty. (Photo Credits: EDP@ICC)=0=