UN

How much spent on an apartment? Haven’t these guys heard of AirBnB?

Murray McCully’s department is out of control.

MFaT has blown more than $11 million on an apartment for our ambassador to the UN.

Hells teeth even at New York prices that is a whole lot of hootenanny gone a begging when it would have been cheaper to rent.

The Government has shelled out almost $11 million on a luxury New York apartment for our man at the United Nations.

Gerard van Bohemen, who was previously deputy secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and responsible for multilateral and legal affairs, was appointed New Zealand’s new permanent representative at the United Nations in February.

The US$7.9 million pied-a-terre in Manhattan’s Zeckendorf Development’s 50 United Nations Plaza lists the buyer as “Her Majesty the Queen in Right of New Zealand”.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed the apartment in New York had been bought as the residence for the Head of Mission.

He said it cost $10,975,228.

“This follows a decision to sell the old residence, which is now on the market.”

Read more »

‘Worst year’ yet for Syrian civilians and Labour doesn’t care

It has been the worst year yet int he 4 year civil war in Syria. The scale of the humanitarian disaster is immense.

But Labour won’t lift a finger to help. they think we need to teach Syrians and Iraqis how to farm cows and grow crops…missing the point that Syria has been the hub of the fertile crescent for longer than people have lived in New Zealand.

The international agencies – including Save the Children and Oxfam – are criticising the UN Security Council for failing to alleviate the suffering of millions of people in Syria.

They said it had been the “worst year” for civilians as the conflict enters its fifth year.

Save the Children is calling on the New Zealand Government to use its seat on the UN Security Council to push for an end to the Syrian conflict, which has killed more than 200,000 people.

Its New Zealand chief executive, Heather Hayden, said now was the perfect chance for this country to influence the international community.

New Zealand’s Ambassador to the United Nations Jim McLay said last month the UN should focus on the Syrian conflict, especially helping with access to medical aid and addressing the indiscriminate attacks on civilians, including through the use of barrel bombs.

The report condemns the world’s most powerful countries for not having the will to enforce their own UN resolutions on the free flow of humanitarian aid to the victims.

Read more »

Abbott’s on a blinder

Tony Abbott has got really, really lucky

First he gets to bash refugees and human rights wankers:

Australians are “sick of being lectured to by the United Nations”, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said after a report found Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers breaches an international anti-torture convention.

Mr Abbott’s criticism of the UN follows his attack last month of Australian Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs, in which he called the report she commissioned on children in detention a “political stitch-up”.

The United Nations report, by the UN’s special rapporteur on torture, finds Australia is violating the rights of asylum seekers on multiple fronts under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Special rapporteur on torture Juan Mendez found the detention of children, escalating violence in offshore processing centres, and the detention and proposed deportation of two groups of Sri Lankan and Tamil asylum seekers were in breach of Australia’s international obligations.

The report, which will be tabled at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, has been rejected outright by the government.

In extraordinary comments on Monday afternoon, Mr Abbott attacked the UN and said its representatives would “have a lot more credibility if they were to give some credit to the Australian government” for stopping boat arrivals.

“I really think Australians are sick of being lectured to by the United Nations, particularly, particularly given that we have stopped the boats, and by stopping the boats, we have ended the deaths at sea,” Mr Abbott said.

“The most humanitarian, the most decent, the most compassionate thing you can do is stop these boats because hundreds, we think about 1200 in fact, drowned at sea during the flourishing of the people smuggling trade under the former government.”

Mr Abbott said the best thing the government could do to “uphold the universal decencies of mankind” was to stop boat arrivals.

“And that’s exactly what we’ve done,” he said.

“I think the UN’s representatives would have a lot more credibility if they were to give some credit to the Australian government for what we’ve been able to achieve in this area.”

Read more »

Phil Goff tries reverse psychology

via Stuff

via Stuff

Sending troops to Iraq is playing into the terrorist’s hands, opponents say.

New Zealand is sending 143 military personnel into Iraq including 16 specialist trainers to train Iraqi soldiers.

Prime Minister John Key says he doesn’t think the Islamic State would be defeated in two years, but New Zealand would make a contribution and not stay in Iraq longer than that.

Labour’s defence spokesman Phil Goff says the $35 million being spent to send New Zealand trainers could make a real difference providing humanitarian aid.

The United States had spent billions of dollars and put thousands of trainers in with no effect, he told the programme.

“The Iraqi army is corrupt, it’s sectarian, it’s incompetently led, it lacks morale. None of those things can New Zealanders do anything about. This is sheer tokenism by John Key.” Read more »

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Apparently, 3 million Germans are in poverty

Statistical poverty hits again.  And no surprises, Oxfam and the UN are quoted.  Wait until you see what income they define as the “breadline” in Germany.  You’ll be immigrating the same day.

Bonus:  You get to learn a new word.

Being employed in Germany is no longer enough to make ends meet, as around 3.1 million workers receive salaries below the country’s poverty threshold. People have been forced to cut back on food and heating in order to survive, German media reported.

You’re going to love what that threshold is.

The number of workers living in poverty surged 25 percent between 2008 and 2013 – Saarbrücker Zeitung newspaper citing Germany’s Federal Statistical Office data. In 2008, there were just 2.5 million workers living below the minimum income deemed adequate.

In 2013, the German poverty line was a salary of €979 (about USD$1,097) per person.

That’s an annual salary of NZD 76503.96.   Read more »

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Qatar Muslims call on UN to make contempt of Islam illegal

The scary thing is that the UN is quite likely to help out with such a request.

A leading Islamic organization has called on the United Nations to make “contempt of religions” illegal. The group also urges followers to continue peaceful protests against images of Prophet Mohammed and says the West should do more to protect Muslims.

The International Union of Muslim Scholars, which is based in Qatar, has urged Muslim’s “not to resort to violence,” after a cartoon of the prophet appeared in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo. Its publication following the January 7-9 terror attacks in Paris, led to widespread protests across the Muslim world, some of which turned violent.

Influential preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi wants a law to be brought in by the UN to forbid the “contempt of religions,” according to an article he wrote, which was published on the organization’s website.

That seems all well and good if Islam was a religion.  Unfortunately, it’s also an ideology.  It’s a complete manual of how to run business, a legal system, society itself, and even how to prepare food.   Read more »

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Obama contributes US$3b to UN climate change

natoI meant to bring this up yesterday.

Can you think of a  more devastating headline?

Keeping in mind that the USA is the country that has to shut down its own government infrastructure because it can’t afford to pay for it unless it agrees it is allowed to borrow even more.  Yet they have a cool 3 bil to give to the UN.

I’m putting $10 on Barry wanting a UN post after his stint as president. Read more »

Child poverty is the new Global Warming

I know that seems an absurd statement.  But when I realised that the New Zealand parliament and the UK parliament were being hit about 25% of their respective nation’s children living in “poverty”, a light went on

A quarter of children in Britain are living in poverty, a controversial report by a United Nations agency claimed yesterday.

Millions ‘have fallen prey to the dangers of austerity’ during the recession years, Unicef said.

Britain was even ranked 25th on a child poverty league table of 41 developed countries – below Romania, Bulgaria and Chile.

Here comes the next left-win United Nations driven guilt trip that’s going to hit the “well off” in the pocket.

In the latest of a succession of highly critical reports about Britain by UN agencies, Unicef said child poverty in the UK increased by 1.6 percentage points between 2008 and 2012 to 25.6 per cent.

Topping a table of countries deemed to have best protected children during the recession was Chile, where child poverty was said to have dropped by 8.6 points.

Common sense tells us that New Zealand and Britain are not countries that have child poverty problems.  Yet this is a UN-driven invented problem!   Read more »

Helen Clark visits Labour’s “war room”

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Ok so this “war room” is in Tanzania, but the similarities are remarkable.

Can you spot them?

Kevin Rudd vs Helen Clark for the top UN job

How entertaining. Two massive megalomaniacs fighting each other out for the top global government role.

Former foreign minister Bob Carr believes the United Nations could do with a dose of Kevin Rudd’s “legendary forcefulness”.

There has been some speculation the former prime minister covets the UN secretary general gig.

The incumbent Ban Ki-moon finishes his second term in 2016.

While spruiking his memoir at a Sydney bookstore on Saturday, Mr Carr said Mr Rudd had his support.

“He would be a very strong, credible candidate,” Mr Carr said. “It would be the most natural thing in the world for him to stand.”

The race was wide open.

“I think the forcefulness Kevin showed sometimes in selling a case might be considered by some in the UN as an advantage,” Mr Carr said.

A lot of members of the UN general assembly liked Mr Rudd’s agenda and Australia’s international personality.

Hopefully they attack each others campaigns. That will be worth a big bucket of popcorn.   Read more »