Tuesday, August 03, 2004

IRIN - In all fairness to the United Nations

United Nations Integrated Regional Information Networks

Did you know that the U.N. has an excellent, modern news and multimedia information network named IRIN? Well you do now and you can visit them at the link(s) above.

In all fairness to the United Nations___ (yeah, I'm rather pissed-off at the U.N. right now, I know)___ I do use their online resources extensively to help educate myself and others to what's going on in the world.

IRINNEWS.ORG was started by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) back in 1994 during the African Great Lakes regional crisis (Rwanda Genocide, Zaire/Congo War plus Genocide, et. al. stuff) and in the IRIN's own words,

"...IRIN pioneered the use of email and web technology to deliver and receive information to and from some of the most remote and underdeveloped places in Africa..."

Well, the year 1994 was still back in the Stone Age in the Internet Timeline chronology, but I have to admit that in 10 years the U.N. OHCA has built an excellent platform for news and info about the continents and peoples of Africa and Asia___it's a must resource for people who are serious about development and humanitarian issues. IRIN also has a very good broadcast radio network with satellite up/downlink services from Worldspace, an African-owned and operated satellite network provider based in Washington, D.C.

Pay particular attention to the IRIN Web Specials with downloadable reports and online multimedia presentations. I just dumped the IRIN Web Special reports on Northern Uganda and Child Soldiers in the D.R.C. to my PC today. Oh yeah, there is also lot's of news and reports on Darfur as well.

The United Nations has also setup a whole new website just for the Sudan Crisis named the "Sudan Information Gateway" which I haven't had the chance to visit yet, but you should. Remember, we've got to keep the pressure up on Omar, 'cause Omar el-Beshir is not too bright you see and he needs that kind of help to remember what he is supposed to be doing.

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