The Taliban made an estimated $100m in 2007 from Afghan farmers growing poppy for the opium trade, the United Nations says.
Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said the money was raised by a 10% tax on farmers in Taleban-controlled areas. The UN estimates last year’s poppy harvest was worth $1bn.
Mr. Costa said the Taleban made even more money from other activities related to the opium trade.
I presume they were blessing and pray to Allah before spreading death!
The UN Security Council has voted unanimously in favor of a resolution classifying rape as a weapon of war.
The document describes the deliberate use of rape as a tactic in war and a threat to international security. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said violence against women had reached “unspeakable proportions” in some societies recovering from conflict.
The UN is also setting up an inquiry to report next June on how widespread the practice is and how to tackle it. Human-rights group hailed the resolution as historic.
Ki-moon doing something right?
Envoys from 26 Latin American and Caribbean countries meet on Friday to discuss the rising cost of food and draw up a united policy for the region.
The talks in Caracas, Venezuela, mark the beginning of a week of meetings on the issue, leading up to a three-day UN food crisis summit in Rome on Tuesday. According to the World Bank, global food prices have risen by 83% over the past three years. The lender has announced a package of food grants totaling $1.2bn.
An influential report on Thursday warned that higher food prices might be here to stay as demand from developing countries and production costs rose. Prices would fall, but only gradually, the report by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said.
They are missing the point once more; there is NO TIME FOR TALK! People are starving to death!
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has said he will ask the international community to relieve the country’s debt, as envoys gather for a UN forum.
Officials said the move was aimed mainly at Arab countries, to which Iraq owes most of its $67bn debt. Meanwhile US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged countries to stand by Iraq during reconstruction.
Nearly 100 countries are represented at the economic and political reform forum near Sweden’s capital, Stockholm. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki are also in Sweden.
The gathering is aimed at supporting Iraq’s efforts to restore stability and rebuild a functioning economy. Correspondents say progress in these areas remains fragile. The UN called the conference to review a five-year package it brokered last year, called the International Compact with Iraq. On the eve of the forum the largest Sunni Muslim bloc suspended talks on rejoining Iraq’s Shia-led government.
Shouldn’t the ones who promised the reconstruction of the country to …pay the bill for the damaged they helped to be done?
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 proposed an international watchdog be set up.
Save the Children said it had sacked three workers for breaching its codes, and called on others to do the same. The three men were all dismissed in the past year for having had sex with girls aged 17 – which the charity said was a sackable offence even though not illegal.
The UN has said it welcomes the charity’s report, which it will study closely. Save the Children says the most shocking aspect of child sex abuse is that most of it goes unreported and unpunished, with children too scared to speak out.
There is only one word for that …shame!!!
The former Finnish president and current United Nations envoy Martti Ahtisaari has been named as the winner of the prestigious UNESCO peace prize.
Mr. Ahtisaari, who also founded the non-governmental organization Crisis Management Initiative, was chosen for “his lifetime contribution to world peace,” said the head of the international jury that awards the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Congratulations for a man who is worth much more for all the things he has done for the world peace!
Filed under cartoon, Finland
Thousands of children in cyclone-hit Burma will starve to death within weeks unless food reaches them soon, UK charity Save the Children has warned.
The charity said 30,000 under-fives in the Irrawaddy Delta were malnourished before Cyclone Nargis hit on 2 May. It says energy-rich food now needs to reach them “before it is too late”.
The warning comes as a UN envoy is due in Burma to join international efforts to try to persuade the ruling junta to grant more access to relief workers. Humanitarian envoy John Holmes will carry a letter from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to Burma’s leader, Than Shwe, who has refused to answer Mr. Ban’s calls.
Perhaps it is time for Mr. Ban to stop …calling and act, even though that will come as a surprise to what he has done till now!!!