After a Year of Setbacks UN Looks to Take Charge of World's Agenda

by George Russel

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, with Rwandan President Paul Kagame , right, in Kigali, Rwanda, Wednesday, Sept 8, 2010. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon flew to Rwanda Tuesday to discuss the country's threat to withdraw its U.N. peacekeepers from Sudan if the United Nations publishes a report accusing Rwanda's army of possible genocide in the 1990's. The joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur is commanded by a Rwandan, Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba, and the country has over 3,200 troops and 86 police in the nearly 22,000-strong force. U.N. officials and diplomats have said a Rwandan pullout from Darfur would be a major blow at a time of increasing violence and fresh efforts to end the seven-year conflict.

After a year of humiliating setbacks, United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-Moon and about 60 of his top lieutenants — the top brass of the entire U.N. system — spent their Labor Day weekend at a remote Austrian Alpine retreat, discussing ways to put their sprawling organization in charge of the world’s agenda.

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