At UN, As Some in
Budget Process Try to Exclude Press, Others Leak, Christmas Eve
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
December 22 -- The UN's budget committee
took over a corner
of the UN's basement on Monday night, on the day they were
supposed to have finished
their work. The phrase "took over" is meant literally: Inner City
Press went down to cover the proceeding at 10 pm, speaking with a few
on the way, but was then told by Committee staff that some had ask that
Press stay away, for fear that they be overheard. Hey,
the couches outside the UN's Vienna Cafe
are public domain. But the staffer's request reflects the level of
the sense of entitlement, of some in the budget committee.
in the anti-Press request, at least for now, we are forced to report
documents. Floating around is language from the Group of 77 and the
Union, as well as Secretariat responses to Committee questions. On the Department of Political Affairs, the
EU has circulated a paragraph putting the issue off until "the biennium
2012-2013 [for] a report on the strengthening of DPA, taking into
comprehensive evaluation of OIOS of political affairs."
These days, "comprehensive" and
OIOS, at least under Inga-Britt Ahlenius, are something of an oxymoron.
topic, a leaked email from Denmark* to
the French and UK missions notes tersely, "it would be
great if you could check with me next time before setting up a meeting
with such short notice... I'm not sure I see the urge for discussing
language at this point. Yes at some point we need to decide if we
replace the 'XX posts' with something concrete, but frankly I think the
informals will go on for a white before we get to the crunch of the
"crunch of the matter" has presumably now been reached. Earlier on
December 22, the Group of 77 had put forward a draft resolution
they would break from that UN holy grail, consensus. France on behalf
European Union, and Canada on behalf of "CANZ" - that is, with
Australia and New Zealand, not Japan and the US which together
Vitamin C-rich JUSCANZ -- criticized G77 for making the threat. Last
US broken consensus, on the still-hot issue of the Durban II
year may again see a vote.
UN's Ban, Pascoe behind, with Grameen Bank,
DPA post war not shown
well-placed delegate on Monday night predicted the following to Inner
Press: something will be tentatively agreed to Tuesday morning at 6 am.
take the Secretariat six to seven hours to "re-cost" the new draft,
such that the budget committee will only vote at 3 pm on Tuesday,
23. Then the full General Assembly would
convene the morning of Christmas Eve, at which time any delegation
free to raise new objections, and to call for a vote.
Footnotes: before Inner City
Press was encouraged to leave the UN's basement on Monday night,
another delegate said that its news it more timely than his own mission
informs him. Earlier on Monday night, DPA's Lynn Pascoe genially passed
through the Croatian's end of Security Council Presidency reception in
a side room of the Delegates' Lounge. Inner City Press asked him about
Georgia, Russia's decision to expel the OSCE mission there, and why
OSCE hadn't agreed to a linguistic compromise like the Security Council
had, dropping any geographical reference from the previous UNOMIG.
That's a temporary fix, Pascoe indicated, with nary a word about the
war for posts taking place in the basement. So it goes at the UN.
* - we have decided to publish
the names of missions, not individuals.
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
Click here for Inner City
Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
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for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
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