1 August 2004

  • No Geneva this year. Some of those diplomats and staff who usually counted on a few weeks in the breezy environs of Lac Leman will have to put up with 90 degree New York summer days. The Economic and Social Council session is not going across the Atlantic. The capable, tough -- yet charming -- Ambassador Marjatta Rasi of Finland is running the meetings here with full speed ahead. And she will take no lame excuses for any delay. Well done.

  • Don't forget the International Year for RICE. That is this year, 2004. It must cover all categories of rice: fried, boiled, steamed, saffron or curried. If you're looking for the International Year of Micro Credit (to buy your rice!), it is next year.

  • "Realizing the Promise and Potential of African Agriculture" is the subject of a report launched -- but not yet ready -- at U.N. Headquarters. A faint attempt to gather a number of learned staffers, diplomats and reporters during the month of August is not likely to materialize.