Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiar Zibari has said that the UN is dragging its feet in complying with a Security Council resolution requiring that it help Iraq prepare for elections slated for January. The Security Council passed Resolution 1546 (available here [PDF]) in June 2004, which mandated under that the UN assist the Iraqi government in any way possible to prepare for the upcoming elections. Zibari said Thursday that in the four months since that resolution, the UN has maintained a staff of just 30 in Baghdad and has done nothing to help the Iraqi government prepare. UPI has more.
In other international law news...
- The Speaker of the Turkish Parliament, Bulent Arinc, has made the official call for an emergency session, scheduled to begin on Sunday. The call was expected following Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's assurances to the EU Commission that the hotly contested penal reform bill that the Parliament has been considering would be adopted. JURIST's Paper Chase has background here. Turkish Press has more.
- The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers said in a BBC interview Friday that the Sudanese government should consider granting regional autonomy to the Darfur area in an effort to end the violence there. The proposal for a loosely-based federal system has been advocated by rebels in the Darfur region for years. Some criticism was aimed at Lubbers, who as UN High Commissioner usually avoids political questions, but the Sudanese ambassador to London said that the remark was entirely appropriate as the Sudanese government was already considering the proposal. JURIST's Paper Chase has background here. BBC has more.
- Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir (BBC profile here) will be charged next week in connection to the terrorist bombing of the Jakarta JW Marriot Hotel in August 2003. Prosecutors have finished drafting charges under the relatively new terrorism law (read a synopsis of the law here). Ba'asyir was also to be charged with involvement in the 2002 Bali bombings, but the Indonesian Supreme Court held the retroactive application of the terrorism law to be unconstitutional. JURIST's Paper Chase has background on Ba'asyir here. The Jakarta Post has local coverage.
- Today Tunisia has become the 24th African nation to ratify the UN Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (text here). Tunisia's ratification makes it the 117th nation to agree to the treaty, but the treaty won't go into effect until all 44 nations with nuclear power or research facilities have ratified the provisions. So far, only 32 of those nations have done so. The Guardian has more.