2008/05/05: BBC: Fungi to fight 'toxic war zones'
Fungi could help clean up toxic war zones, scientists at a Scottish university have discovered.
Dundee University researchers have found evidence that fungi can "lock" depleted uranium into a mineral form.
This would make it more difficult for the heavy metal - used in armour-piercing shells - to find its way into plants, animals or the water supply.
The fungal-produced minerals are capable of long-term uranium retention, the scientists say.
2008/04/30: BBC: Afghan 'health link' to uranium
Doctors in Afghanistan say rates of some health problems affecting children have doubled in the last two years.
Some scientists say the rise is linked to use of weapons containing depleted uranium (DU) by the US-led coalition that invaded the country in 2001.
A Canadian research group found very high levels of uranium in Afghans during tests just after the invasion.
A US forces spokesman denied its weapons were affecting the health of Afghans or the country's environment.
But claims made in the BBC World Service One Planet programme suggest the invasion may have left an unwelcome legacy for the country's environment and the health of its people
2014/04/02: ABC(Au): UN Arms Trade Treaty not in force a year on
An international agreement to curb the deadly consequences of weapons trading is yet to come into effect, despite being agreed to a year ago.
This time last year, 155 countries in the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to adopt the Arms Trade Treaty.
The treaty seeks to regulate the $70 billion international business in conventional arms such as tanks, warships, attack helicopters, rifles and handguns.
States would have to register all cross border transfers of these arms.
The treaty also requires states to refuse to export to conventional arms to countries likely to use them to violate human rights or commit war crimes.
Only only 13 countries have since ratified the treaty, with another 17 countries expected to ratify it today. Fifty countries are needed if the treaty is to become law.
2013/12/14: IndiaTimes: Russian arms dealer's partner convicted in US
A US-Syrian citizen has been convicted of conspiring with Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout to purchase commercial aircraft in violation of American sanctions.
A federal jury in New York yesterday found Richard Ammar Chichakli guilty of one count of violating US sanctions, one count of money laundering conspiracy, one count of wire fraud conspiracy and six counts of wire fraud.
2013/06/03: BBerg: U.S. Fails to Join Allies in Signing UN Weapons Treaty
The U.S. won’t join the U.K., France and other major Western allies at the United Nations today to sign the first international treaty regulating the $85 billion a year global arms trade.
The absence of the world’s top arms dealer at the 10:30 a.m. ceremony in New York drawing some 60 nations casts a shadow over a decades-long push to stop illegal cross-border shipments of conventional weapons. By contrast, some of the world’s most violent nations, from drug-plagued Mexico to the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, will be among the signatories.
Even if the treaty wouldn’t affect U.S. domestic sales or impinge on the constitutional right to bear arms, it would be a political minefield at home. The accord wouldn’t muster enough votes for approval by the U.S. Senate, and the influential National Rifle Association, which says it has more than 4.5 million members, has lobbied against it.
2013/02/18: al Jazeera: Arms sales drop for first time since 1990s
Sales by 100 biggest weapons makers fell by five percent compared to last year, according to new think-tank report.
The world's largest arms manufacturers are expanding their cybersecurity businesses as sales of traditional weapons slump for the first time in decades.
Arms sales by the 100 biggest weapons makers fell for the first time since the mid-1990s in 2011 as economies slowed and purchases of equipment were reduced, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said on Monday.
2012/04/06: BBC: US sentence for arms dealer Bout 'political' - Russia
Moscow has condemned the US prison sentence for arms dealer Viktor Bout as "political" and says the case will be a priority in relations with Washington.
Bout was jailed for 25 years by a judge in New York for attempting to sell heavy arms to Colombian rebels intending to attack US pilots.
2012/04/04: BBC: Russian-built nuclear submarine joins Indian navy
India has formally commissioned a nuclear-powered submarine into its navy, rejoining the elite club of nations with such a weapon.
The $1bn (£630m) Russian-built vessel is being leased by the Indian navy for the next 10 years. It was handed over to India in eastern Russia in January.
2012/01/17: SciAm:CC: How the U.S. Can Help Humanity Achieve World Peace (Yes, World Peace)
Consider, moreover, these statistics from SIPRI, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a respected, independent tracker of trends in conflict. The U.S. military budget has almost doubled in the past decade to $700 billion. If you include spending on nuclear weapons and homeland security, our annual outlays approach $1 trillion, which exceeds the defense budgets of all other nations combined. We spend more than six times as much on defense as China, our closest competitor, and more than 10 times as much as our former nemesis Russia.
The U.S. is also by far the world’s largest arms dealer. Our weapons sales, which according to SIPRI came to $247.2 billion in 2009, surpass those of all other nations put together.
2011/12/31: Yahoo:Reuters: Boeing wins $3.48 billion U.S. missile contract
Boeing Co beat out Lockheed Martin to retain its position as the prime contractor for the U.S. long-range missile shield, the Pentagon said on Friday.
The U.S. Defense Department said it was awarding Boeing a $3.48 billion, seven-year contract to develop, test, engineer and manufacture missile defense systems.
A team led by Lockheed Martin Corp and Raytheon Co had vied with Boeing to expand and maintain the Ground-based Midcourse Defense, or GMD, hub of layered antimissile protection.
Boeing partnered with Northrop Grumman Corp to retain the work.
2011/11/03: DailyMail(UK): How military spent $1TRILLION on weapons since 9/11... and bought far more M4 guns and Stryker tanks than intended
Spending up from $63bn in 2001 to $136bn in 2010 - $233bn of $1trillion spent from 'supplemental' funding - Officials overspent on Stryker vehicles and M4 rifles
The Pentagon has shelled out an astonishing $1trillion on weapons since 9/11, with annual spending more than doubling over the past decade.
A report by security think tank The Stimson Center showed spending on tanks, ships and jets rose from $63billion in 2001 to $136billion in 2010.
But the Department of Defense spent $233billion of that $1trillion from ‘supplemental’ funding voted on aside from the main defence budget.
2011/01/04: BBC: Bofors arms deal: Italian [Ottavio Quattrocchi] was 'paid kickbacks'
India's income tax department has ruled that illegal commissions were paid to an Italian businessman accused over an arms scandal which ended Rajiv Gandhi's term as prime minister 20 years ago.
It said over $9m (£6m) in kickbacks were paid to Ottavio Quattrocchi and an Indian arms dealer, Win Chadha.
In 2009, India dropped a graft case against Mr Quattrocchi and withdrew his name from Interpol's wanted list.
The main opposition BJP has now demanded the case be reopened.
2010/12/20: BBC: Russia and India ready to sign defence deals
The Russian president is expected to sign nuclear and defence deals worth billions of dollars during a two-day visit to India.
The highlight of Dmitry Medvedev's trip will be a $30bn agreement for the development of a so-called "fifth generation" stealth fighter jet.
Agreement is also expected on the supply of Russian nuclear power generating reactors to India.
Ahead of his visit Mr Medvedev said India and Russia had a strong bond.
2010/11/05: BBC: Final deal to build Europe's A400M military plane
European governments have agreed a final funding deal for the 20bn euro (£17.3bn) programme to build a new military transport aircraft.
The A400M, built by aerospace firm EADS, has been dogged by uncertainties over technical specifications and pressure on defence budgets.
The seven launch customers are the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey.
2010/11/01: BBC: Cluster bomb stockpiles 'being destroyed'
Three months after an international treaty banning cluster bombs came into force, stockpiles are already being destroyed by signatories to the convention, a monitoring group says.
More than 100 countries have agreed to ban the weapon, which scatters hundreds of smaller bombs over a wide area.
They are blamed for causing civilian casualties both at the point of impact and for years afterwards by remaining armed and in effect becoming landmines.
Some 108 states have signed the treaty.
2010/06/11: RawStory: Commission outlines $1 trillion in defense budget cuts
A bipartisan commission of defense experts has released a plan that would reduce the US's defense spending by nearly $1 trillion over 10 years -- a plan sure to gather support from progressives and libertarians, but unlikely to pass through Congress.
The commission's report comes at a time when public concern about the US's national debt has hit a fever pitch, and the claim that nearly $1 trillion can be saved from defense spending will certainly color future debates about what government services to cut.
2010/01/11: CCurrents: The Question No U.S. Official Dare Ask
My question is the following. Has it been a terrible, and by now all but irreversible, error for the United States to have built a system of more than 700 military bases and stations girdling the world? Does it provoke war rather than provide security?
2009/09/07: NYT: Despite Slump, U.S. Role as Top Arms Supplier Grows
Despite a recession that knocked down global arms sales last year, the United States expanded its role as the world’s leading weapons supplier, increasing its share to more than two-thirds of all foreign armaments deals, according to a new Congressional study.
The United States signed weapons agreements valued at $37.8 billion in 2008, or 68.4 percent of all business in the global arms bazaar, up significantly from American sales of $25.4 billion the year before.
Italy was a distant second, with $3.7 billion in worldwide weapons sales in 2008, while Russia was third with $3.5 billion in arms sales last year -- down considerably from the $10.8 billion in weapons deals signed by Moscow in 2007.
The growth in weapons sales by the United States last year was particularly noticeable against worldwide trends. The value of global arms sales in 2008 was $55.2 billion, a drop of 7.6 percent from 2007 and the lowest total for international weapons agreements since 2005.
2009/06/08: BBC: Military spending sets new record
Global military spending rose 4% in 2008 to a record $1,464bn (£914bn) - up 45% since 1999
[...] US military spending accounted for 58% of the total global spending increase during the decade, with extra funds set aside to fight the "war on terror".
In addition, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq cost the US $903bn.
2008/06/18: ABC(Au): UK is world's biggest arms dealer
Britain was the world's biggest arms seller last year, accounting for a third of global arms exports, the Government's trade promotion organisation said.
UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) said British arms exporters had added $20.1 billion in new business last year, giving them a larger share of global arms exports than the United States.
[...] The United States still tops the world for the last five years with $66.7 billion in total arms exports. Britain was second with $56.1 billion and Russia third with $35 billion, it said.
2008/05/09: NYT: The Lucrative Art of War
Congress is finally moving to shut one of the more egregious forms of Iraq war profiteering: defense contractors using offshore
shell companies to avoid paying their fair share of payroll taxes. The practice is widespread and Congressional investigators
have been dispatched to one of the prime tax refuges, the Cayman Islands, to seek a firsthand estimate of how much the Treasury is being shorted.
No one will be surprised to hear that one of the suspected prime offenders is KBR, the Texas-based defense contractor,
formerly a part of the Halliburton conglomerate allied with Vice President Dick Cheney. According to a report in The Boston
Globe, KBR, which has landed billions in Iraq contracts, has used two Cayman shell companies to avoid paying hundreds of millions in payroll, Medicare and unemployment taxes.
Unfortunately right now there is nothing illegal about this...
2008/04/23: FAS:SS: The Good Old Days: The military budget is out of control
The military budget is out of control. Not in the sense of the mantra of "waste, fraud, and abuse." That is, in fact, a tiny slice of the enormous U.S. military spending. No, the budget is out of control
in the sense that spending on the military is no longer subject to meaningful political review. The Pentagon has slipped its leash and Congress is not asking questions.
2008/01/24: CanWest: Lockheed, Rockwell raise profit targets on big military sales
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are generating strong sales and profits for major defence contractors with Ottawa operations.
Lockheed Martin and Rockwell Collins Inc. Thursday increased profit forecasts for 2008 as they ported strong quarterly results in the December quarter following hard on the heels of General Dynamics report yesterday.
2007/12/21: CBC: Arms exports reached record levels in 2003: report
A new report by the federal government shows that in 2003, Canada's arms exports reached the highest level ever recorded.
The report, covering three years from 2003 to 2005 and released this week, revealed that sales of military exports hit more than $700 million in 2003.
But the report doesn't include sales to Canada's biggest customer, the United States. According to industry experts, if those sales were included, Canada's arms exports would have topped $2 billion in 2003.
2007/12/10: HeraldSun: Israel world's fourth largest arms exporter
Israel has become the world's fourth largest weapons exporter, shipping out arms worth more than $US4 billion (A$4.58 billion) so far this year, the defence ministry says.
Only the United States, Russia and France export more arms than Israel, said the ministry's director general Pinchas Bucharis.
2007/11/04: SMH: Arms makers winning war on terrorism
Arms manufacturers are making record profits from the war on terrorism and unprecedented spending on weapons programs.
The massive earnings have drawn condemnation from Australian defence experts, who say expensive weapons such as jet fighters, warships and satellites are not the way to combat terrorism
2007/09/19: MSN:Money: War means a windfall for CEOs
While policymakers in Washington wrangle over how much progress we've made in Iraq, one thing is clear: The war on terror is making some people rich.
President Bush's military buildup has caused defense-contractor revenue to double, triple and even more during the past five years, and their executives have reaped huge bonuses and stock windfalls as the companies' share prices have jumped.
Take a look:
CEOs at top defense contractors have reaped annual pay gains of 200% to 688% in the years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
The chief executives at the seven defense contractors whose bosses made the most pocketed nearly a half-billion dollars from 2002 through last year.
The CEOs made an average of $12.4 million a year, easily more than the average corporate chief. Since the start of the
war, CEOs at defense contractors such General Dynamics (GD, news, msgs), Halliburton (HAL, news, msgs) and
Oshkosh Truck (OSK, news, msgs) have made, on average, more in four days than what a top general makes in a whole year, or $187,390.
2007/06/12: BBC: Vienna hosts arms treaty review
Former Cold War foes in Europe are holding talks in Vienna to review a key arms control agreement which has put Russia and Nato at loggerheads.
The Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, signed in 1990, limits the number of conventional weapons countries are allowed.
But the Russians say it is outdated and restricts their ability to move troops around their own territory.
President Vladimir Putin has announced a moratorium on honouring the treaty. The Russian leader says the CFE treaty no longer reflects the post-Cold War world.
2006/10/15: Guardian(UK): Human rights concerns fail to staunch flow of UK arms
The British government is exporting record levels of military equipment to 19 of the 20 states its own ministers and officials have just identified as 'major countries of concern' for human rights abuses.
The 20 countries were listed in the Foreign Office's annual Human Rights Report, which was launched by the Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, last week. They include China, Burma, North Korea, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe.
2006/08/02: TruthOut: Banking on War
In the end, it is worthwhile to remember that whenever you see George W. Bush talking about winning the "War on Terror," you are looking at the largest arms dealer on the planet. We can pursue cease-fire agreements, we can topple
violent regimes, but until we stop loading up the planet with the means to kill, only the dead will see the end of war.
2006/03/16: BBC: US backs first-strike attack plan
The US will not shy away from attacking regimes it considers hostile, or groups it believes have nuclear or chemical weapons, the White House has confirmed.
In the first restatement of national security strategy since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the US singles out Iran as the greatest single current danger.
2010/05/04: BBC: Japan PM scraps US Futenma base move plan
Japan's Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has said it will not be feasible to entirely remove a controversial US base from the island of Okinawa.
The US Marines' Futenma base is deeply unpopular with many residents and removing it had been a key election pledge of the prime minister.
But on a visit to the island, Mr Hatoyama said "realistically speaking, it is impossible" to fully relocate it.
The island is home to over half the 47,000 American troops based in Japan.
2009/06/25: CCurrents: America's "Bases Of Empire"
Besides waging perpetual wars, nothing better reveals America's imperial agenda than its hundreds of global bases - for offense, not defense at a time the US hasn't had an enemy since the Japanese surrendered in August 1945.
2009/03/10: AlterNet: The Costs of Empire: Can We Really Afford 1,000 Overseas Bases?
In the midst of an economic crisis that's getting scarier by the day, it's time to ask whether the nation can really afford some 1,000 military bases overseas. For those unfamiliar with the issue, you read that number correctly. One thousand. One thousand U.S. military bases outside the 50 states and Washington, DC, representing the largest collection of bases in world history.
2006/08/23: Asia Times: US, Philippines weigh new military marriage
It has been more than 15 years since the US military formally withdrew from the Philippines. Now there are indications that the US is angling for a new base in Mindanao. The possible location indicates
Washington's overriding priority, which is fighting terrorism in Southeast Asia.
2012/10/19: al Jazeera: Rwanda admitted to UN Security Council
Victory comes despite claims by UN expert panel about the country's involvement in a rebellion in neighbouring DR Congo.
Rwanda along with Australia, Argentina, South Korea and Luxembourg has won a seat on the UN Security Council, despite accusations by a UN expert panel that the Rwandan defence minister is commanding a rebellion in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
2012/05/18: SwissInfo: Swiss withdraw UN draft resolution
[Paul Seger, Switzerland's ambassador to the UN, says the draft resolution struck a nerve]
Switzerland and four other states have withdrawn a draft resolution on reforming the working methods of the United Nations Security Council. The text was intended to make the UN’s most powerful organ more transparent and accountable.
The "Small 5" group (S5) -- Switzerland, Costa Rica, Jordan, Liechtenstein and Singapore -- submitted the draft resolution in March; it included an annexe with 20 recommendations.
Wednesday’s withdrawal of the text in New York was mostly the result of pressure exerted by the powerful five permanent members of the council: China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States.
2012/05/19: BBC: Small countries call for more transparency at the United Nations
Switzerland's UN ambassador Paul Seger has lost 7kg (15lb) in the past two weeks, not from hiking in the Alps, but from battling what is known as the five "Big Powers" of the Security Council.
His country belongs to the "Small Five", a group of middling nations that has been pushing to improve the way the Council does business with the UN's wider membership.
And the "Big Five" - France, Britain, America, Russia and China - did not like it.
2012/03/29: SwissInfo: Swiss want to "democratise" UN Security Council
Switzerland and four other states have submitted a draft resolution with proposals for improving the working methods of the United Nations’ most powerful organ.
The aim of the reforms submitted to the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday by the "Small 5" group (S5) -- Switzerland, Costa Rica, Jordan, Liechtenstein and Singapore -- is to make the Security Council more open, transparent and efficient.
The Security Council should also include those UN member states that are not part of the Council more closely in its deliberations, it said.
2011/08/17: Guardian(UK): Dag Hammarskjöld: evidence suggests UN chief's plane was shot down
Eyewitnesses claim a second aircraft fired at the plane raising questions of British cover-up over the 1961 crash and its causes
New evidence has emerged in one of the most enduring mysteries of United Nations and African history, suggesting that the plane carrying the UN secretary general Dag Hammarskjöld was shot down over Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) 50 years ago, and the murder was covered up by British colonial authorities.
A British-run commission of inquiry blamed the crash in 1961 on pilot error and a later UN investigation largely rubber-stamped its findings. They ignored or downplayed witness testimony of villagers near the crash site which suggested foul play. The Guardian has talked to surviving witnesses who were never questioned by the official investigations and were too scared to come forward.
The residents on the western outskirts of the town of Ndola described Hammarskjöld's DC6 being shot down by a second, smaller aircraft. They say the crash site was sealed off by Northern Rhodesian security forces the next morning, hours before the wreckage was officially declared found, and they were ordered to leave the area.
2010/07/03: UN: In historic move, UN creates single entity to promote women’s empowerment
In a bid to accelerate the empowerment of women, the General Assembly today voted unanimously to create a dynamic new entity merging four United Nations offices focusing on gender equality, a move hailed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other senior officials.
"The newest member of the UN family has been born today," Mr. Ban told the Assembly after it passed the resolution setting up the new UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, to be known as UN Women.
"This is truly a watershed day," he declared.
2010/06/19: WaPo: UN Africa corruption case buried
The United Nations compound of high-rise buildings, green lawns and white SUVs has been an engine of prosperity not only for Africa's diplomatic capital but also for two senior managers, an internal U.N. report found.
A December 2008 report by the now-disbanded U.N. Procurement Task Force says former officials Ventzislav Stoykov and Edgar Casals each scammed hundreds of thousands of dollars and ran outside ventures at the U.N.'s Economic Commission for Africa.
The report obtained by The Associated Press says Stoykov manipulated bids and cut private deals with U.N. contractors he oversaw, while Casals forged birth certificates to get U.N. child support and used an American official to get U.S. visas for others - a potential security risk. Both men have denied the allegations.
As one of the last big investigations the anti-corruption task force completed before it was forced to shutter its operations at the end of 2008, the case illustrates the limits of the U.N.'s self-policing - which has seriously eroded in the past year and a half - and its secrecy and bureaucracy in handling major cases of fraud and corruption.
2008/05/27: BBC: Peacekeepers 'abusing children'
Children as young as six are being sexually abused by peacekeepers and aid workers, says a leading UK charity.
Children in post-conflict areas are being abused by the very people drafted into such zones to help look after them, says Save the Children.
After research in Ivory Coast, southern Sudan and Haiti, the charity said an international watchdog should be created to deal with the issue.
The UN has said it welcomes the report, which it will study closely.
2008/04/28: BBC: UN troops 'armed DR Congo rebels'
The UN has covered up claims that its troops in Democratic Republic of Congo gave arms to militias and smuggled gold and ivory, the BBC has learned.
The allegations, based on confidential UN sources, involve Pakistani and Indian troops working as peacekeepers.
The UN investigated some of the claims in 2007, but said it could not substantiate claims of arms dealing.
UN insiders told the BBC's Panorama they had been prevented from pursuing their inquiries for political reasons
2008/04/28: BBC: UN frustration at DRC allegations
At UN headquarters there is both irritation and unease over the BBC story. Irritation because officials regard the allegations of gold smuggling in the Congo by Pakistani peacekeepers as rehashed.
Unease because, as the head of UN peacekeeping, Jean-Marie Guehenno, put it in a letter to the BBC: "Every incident of misconduct by the Blue Helmets diminishes public confidence in our work and weakens the institution of peacekeeping."
The UN says an investigation by its Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) into allegations that Pakistani peacekeepers in the DRC rearmed militias did not find evidence of that.
But on the allegations of gold smuggling by the Pakistani peacekeepers, the OIOS report did establish that some Pakistani troops provided meals, transport and security to businessmen engaged in the illegal trading of unwrought gold
2007/09/22: Xinhuanet: UN rights body selects first countries to be examined
The United Nations Human Rights Council selected on Friday the first 16 countries to be examined next year under an unprecedented Universal Periodic Review system.
Those first countries to have their human rights record scrutinized are Bahrain, Ecuador, Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia, Finland, United Kingdom, India, Brazil, Philippines, Algeria, Poland,
Netherlands, South Africa, Czech Republic, and Argentina.
According to a decision made by the Human Rights Council on Friday, the Universal Periodic Review process will start at a session of the Council scheduled for February 2008
2007/07/28: BBC: UN requires 'better' peacekeepers
A UN official has said soldiers from countries whose armies are suspected of torture and abuse should not be considered for peacekeeping operations.
The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, told Austria's Profil magazine that the UN's standards for selecting peacekeepers were too low.
2007/06/14: Eureka: A legislative Security Council?
Political scientist Anette Ahrnens at Lund University in Sweden shows that the Security Council can be a shortcut for great powers wishing to manipulate other countries into granting their consent.
After September 11, the United States used the UN and its Security Council to attain speedy results in creating legitimacy surrounding the objectives of that country’s own security policy.
2006/12/14: TPMCafe: Two Cheers At The Concert
I mostly agree with the diagnosis; I'm not so confident about the cure. The core of Daalder and Lindsay's argument is that the UN is structurally, and irremediably, incapable of addressing the crises which now plague the world -- because
those crises arise mostly within states rather than between them, and all too many of the UN's members hold sovereignty in such regard, or at least profess to, that they will not permit the robust responses we need, whether military or political.
It's hard to argue with that proposition.
2006/12/04: MSNBC: A Little-Lamented Departure
Bolton could be good at hammering out resolutions, but on U.N. reform the verdict against him is grim.
Perhaps the signature moment of John Bolton's tenure as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations came last summer, when the No. 2 official at the U.N., Mark Malloch
Brown, had the temerity to suggest some helpful hints to Americans.
Judging from Bolton's reaction, you might have thought that Malloch Brown had just insulted the ambassador's mother. Red-faced and furious, Bolton declared that Malloch Brown, was
a mere "international civil servant" who had no right to say such things. "It's just illegitimate," Bolton said. The hardliners in the House of Representatives promptly voted to cut millions from U.S.
dues as retribution for Brown's words.
2006/10/27: BBC: UN initiates arms trade agreement
A United Nations committee has voted overwhelmingly to begin work on drawing up an international arms trade treaty.
The measure would close loopholes in existing laws which mean guns still end up in conflict zones despite arms embargoes and export controls.
It could also stop the supply of weapons to countries whose development is being hampered by arms spending.
Only the US - a major arms manufacturer - voted against the treaty, saying it wanted to rely on existing agreements.
A total of 139 states voted for the motion. There were 24 abstentions.
2006/09/29: AFP: Hopefuls to become next UN chief make their pitches
Five of the seven candidates competing to take over as UN chief from Kofi Annan made pitches for the post, outlining in newspaper articles the major reforms they would impose on the world organisation.
Sri Lanka's Jayantha Dhanapala, Afghanistan's Ashraf Ghani, India's Shashi Tharoor, Latvia's Vaira Vike-Freiberga and Jordan's Zeid Raad Zeid Al-Hussein all contributed to the article in the
Paris-based International Herald Tribune and its parent newspaper, the New York Times.
But the piece did not include a contribution from the current frontrunner to become UN secretary general, South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon, nor a seventh candidate, Surakiart
Sathirathai, deputy prime minister of the ousted Thai government.
2006/09/23: ICH: The Heart of 'Terror'
So while we in this country continue to defend a false reality, the actual reality of our actions and 'way of life' is no longer acceptable to the rest of the world.
They have already decided -- We as Americans just don't know it yet. The world is quite tired (and rightfully so) of being told the only answer to any
problem is bombs -- Particularly when American problems are the only ones ever addressed and the bombs are always pointed at them.
This is not a struggle -- it is already done. The World has decided. The World is self-aware and has already decided what the future is. We, as Americans, have
to graciously accept that. No war will change the nature of this reality. Bombing one more country's infrastructure will not make us one more friend and it's time we accept and understand that.
2006/07/28: USAToday: U.N. urges closure of detention centers
The United States should immediately shut down any secret detention facilities and grant prompt access to the Red Cross to any person detained in connection with an armed conflict, a U.N. rights panel said in a report Friday.
"The committee is concerned by credible and uncontested information that the state party has seen fit to engage in the practice of detaining people secretly and in secret places for months and years
on end," according to the 12-page U.N. Human Rights Committee report.
2006/06/26: BBC: Annan warns of 'violence culture'
The UN secretary-general has spoken of the "mass destruction" caused by small weapons, at a conference looking at ways to restrict their use.
Kofi Annan said the proliferation of light weapons such as machine guns had spawned a "culture of violence".
2006/06/08: BBC: UN chief remarks 'severe mistake'
The US ambassador to the United Nations has again heavily criticised the UN deputy secretary general for his remarks about US policy on the UN.
John Bolton, in an interview with the BBC, said Mark Malloch Brown's comments were a "severe political mistake".
Mr Malloch Brown had said Washington did not stand up for the UN against domestic critics and used the organisation as a diplomatic tool.
2006/06/08: Guardian(UK): Washington fury over UN attack on Bush 'hypocrites'
The deputy secretary-general of the United Nations was last night accused of making "a very, very grave mistake" after calling the Bush
administration hypocrites who were feeding a right-wing anti-UN frenzy in middle America.
Washington's ambassador to the UN [Bolton] responded with undisguised fury to a speech by Mark Malloch Brown, the deputy secretary-general, in
which he accused Washington of using the international body "almost by stealth as a diplomatic tool" while failing to defend it at home.
"Much of the public discourse that reaches the US heartland has been largely abandoned to its loudest detractors, such as Rush Limbaugh and
Fox News," Mr Malloch Brown said in a speech in New York on Tuesday. Depending on the UN while tolerating "too much unchecked
UN-bashing and stereotyping" was "simply not sustainable", he said. "You will lose the UN one way or another."
2006/04/29: BBC: Poor nations block key UN reform
Developing countries at the United Nations have voted to shelve management reforms drawn up in the wake of the Oil for Food scandal.
Secretary General Kofi Annan had proposed that his office would have more control over staff and resources.
2006/04/25: BBC: Divisions 'could tear UN apart'
The UN's deputy secretary general says member states must renew their commitment to the United Nations or risk tearing it apart.
Mark Malloch Brown said deep divisions within the UN, primarily over the conflict in Iraq, were hindering crucial reforms of the organisation.
2006/03/15: BBC: UN creates new human rights body
The UN General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly to create a new human rights organisation for the world body, despite United States criticism.
The 47-nation UN Human Rights Council will replace the current 53-country UN Human Rights Commission.