al-Khatib Has Attacked the Press, Commitment to Democracy
March 7 -- Faced with armed and
unarmed struggles for
democracy in North Africa and the Middle East, Secretary General
Ki-moon last week decided to name a UN envoy to the region.
close to Ban tell Inner City Press, shaking their heads, that
democracy seemed the last thing in Ban's mind when he assembled his
post to Lakhdar Brahimi of Algeria, where the
election of an Islamic party was simply annulled.
post to Kemal Dervis, which the Ban administration sources say was
ridiculous, given that Dervis
is mostly an economist and academic,
and given his record at the UN Development Program, reviewed below.
the sources called a “fall back,” Ban gave the post to a former
foreign minister of Jordan. According to Human
Rights Watch's World
Report 2008, this Jordanian
Abd al-Ilah al-Khatib in January initiated a criminal
defamation suit against weekly newspaper al-Hilal's editor-in-chief
Nasir Qamash and journalist Ahmad Salama. He [al-Khatib] objected to
the content of a January article, and said his tribe had threatened
to beat up Salama if he failed to take action. The case remains in
the courts at this writing."
Ban and al-Khatib in 2007, threats to press not shown
spokesman Martin Nesirky, who did not allow a question at Monday's
noon briefing about Libya from Inner City Press, instead telling
another reported that "this will be the last question," said that
will not be based in Libya. If he will not speak with the rebels,
will Gaddafi speak with him, given Gaddafi's characterization of
Jordan as a stooge of the US and Israel? So how was he selected?
noon briefing, Inner City Press asked if Ban has had any contact with
Libya's Ali Treki, now nominated by Gaddafi to be his new ambassador to
the UN, since Treki left his post as President of the UN General
4 UN transcript:
Press: can you describe what, since Dr. Treki was the President
of the General Assembly, since that time, the Secretary-General’s
contacts, if any, with Mr. Treki?
I am not aware of anything particular. Obviously, within
the context of Dr. Treki being the President of the General Assembly
for the sixty-fourth session, they obviously interacted with him, he
with him in that capacity. I am not aware of any specific
interaction since then.
Press: Did he have any other UN system role since he left being
the President of the General Assembly?
Nesirky: Not to my knowledge, but if colleagues have details, I am sure
they will correct me, but not to my knowledge. I think it is
important to point out that this was a letter from the Libyan
authorities, and naming Dr. Treki as the person they wish to have as
the Permanent Representative.
Press: And what does this mean, what’s the next step in terms
of the Secretariat? Does this go to the General Assembly or do you
just automatically process and begin, and give Mr. Treki a pass?
It doesn’t go to the General Assembly. As I think you know,
recognition of countries is a matter for Member States. Libya is a
recognized member of the United Nations, and it is in that context
that, when any country sends a letter naming the Permanent
Representative, that person is the person who will be recognized as
the Permanent Representative. But that is a question of presenting
credentials; the person comes to present credentials.
Press: One last thing on this, because I remember in the case of
Côte d'Ivoire, the Secretary-General went and gave a speech; he
the General Assembly should take up the matter and take on the
[Alassane] Ouattara people as opposed to the [Laurent] Gbagbo people.
Nesirky: That’s a very different matter; this is entirely different.
was, as you know very well, this was a question of new Government
being recognized by Member States, by the Credentials Committee; it
is entirely different. You can’t compare the two.
Treki has yet to arrive in New York, and in fact may not any time soon
to replace current Ambassadors Shalgam and Dabbashi,
sources tell Inner City Press. We'll have more on this.
Dervis, when he left the UN system in early 2009 Inner City Press
"tenure was marked by a series of scandals
in UNDP, from funding violent
disarmament in Uganda anddiamond mining in Zimbabwe to procurement
fraud cover-ups and
financial irregularities in its North Korea program. Through it all,
Dervis largely avoided the media, repeatedly telling Inner City Press
that he refused to
answer questions in
the hallway of the
UN, as even the Secretary General and
his top officials do. He presided over retaliation, and then fought to keep UNDP
exempt from the UN system's Ethics Office."
So why did Ban
offer Dervis the job, then turn as a fall back to a Jordanian minister
who has threatened the press?
Footnote: on Dervis, all
that said, Inner City Press has a semi-positive memory. On his way into
the Secretariat building one blue-skied day, Dervis stopped and mused
that, you only have so many mornings like this in your life, you have
to enjoy them. We hope he does -- and that the next UNDP Administrator
does a better job. At the UN noon briefing then, Inner City Press asked
Ban's spokesperson if he will at least commit to what his predecessor
did, releasing a short list of candidates for the post. I don't know
yet, the Spokesperson said then.
And now, this secret fall-back process and this result.
* * *
Dabbashi Predicts Inaction by UN on Gadhafi's Ouster
Letter, Visa & Shalgam Questions
3 -- Hours after the UN confirmed receiving a letter
from the Gadhafi government to withdraw the credentials of
Ambassadors Ibrahim Dabbashi and Shalgam, Inner City Press asked
Dabbashi what he thought the UN would do.
Dabbashi said. “The regime is already illegitimate.”
senior UN official on Wednesday night told Inner City Press about the
letter and the possibility of referring it to the UN Office of Legal
Affairs for a long consideration, others say it is an open and shut
case. Gadhafi is still viewed the UN as the head of state, and his
government gets to choose who represents him at the UN.
we'd have to hold our nose,” a well placed Secretariat official
told Inner City Press, “the principle is bigger than this one
that each country has one recognized head of state -- even if like
Alassane Ouattara in Cote d'Ivoire they control only a single hotel
-- and that person chooses their representatives.
Dabbashi at UN microphone, Gadhafi's letter not shown
that the United States could try to deny visas for any new
diplomats whom Gadhafi might send. But under the US' Host Country
Agreement with the United Nations, the US has to allow in people
accredited to the UN.
At most the
US can impose resistrictions on
them such as not being able to travel more than 25 miles from
Columbus Circle, or not being able to visit Ground Zero.
Dabbashi's statement, it seems clear that through time, if Gadhafi is
not ousted, Shalgam and Dabbashi will be, from the UN. The US, one
assumes, won't revoke their visas and make them go back to a
noon briefing, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky to
confirm receipt of Gadhafi's letter. Nesirky confirmed it and said it
is being studied. He said he didn't know the date on the letter, since
he hadn't actually seen the letter.
being sought to explain his role in a deal struck between
Italy, Gadhafi and Saddan Hussein, under which Saddam would have been
given asylum in Libya. Shalgam is head to have cut the deal in Rome.
Then, the US is said to have intervened with Gadhafi to stop it.
Might this give Shalgam some leverage? Might he want to talk about it
more at this time? Watch this site.
* * *
Insistence on ICC Exclusion Shields
Mercenaries from Algeria, Ethiopia
a compromise Libya
resolution by the UN Security Council on Saturday night, Inner City
Press asked French Permanent Representative Gerard Araud if
mercenaries aren't let off the hook by the sixth operative paragraph,
exempting personnel from states not members of the International
Criminal Court from ICC prosecution.
said the the United States had demanded
it. He said, “No, that's, that was for one country, it was
absolutely necessary for one country to have that considering its
parliamentary constraints, and this country we are in. It was a red
line for the United States. It was a deal-breaker, and that's the
reason we accepted this text to have the unanimity of the Council.”
to the UN in 2002 threatened to veto a UN
resolution on Bosnia if it did not contain a similar exclusion, the
Obama administration has maintained this insistence on impunity,
which in this case applies to mercenaries from Algeria, Tunisia and
Ethiopia, among other mercenary countries.
(In the case
there are allegations of official support for Gadhafi).
able to ask UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant about the
exclusion for mercenaries from non ICC countries, US Permanent
Representative Susan Rice did not take a question from Inner City
Press, and none on this topic, despite having mentioned mercenaries
in her speech.
Obama, Hillary & Susan Rice: mercenary impunity not shown
Gadhafi, diplomat Ibrahim Dabbashi came out to take
questions, Inner City Press asked him which countries the mercenaries
used by Gadhafi come from.
Algeria, Tunisia and Ethiopia
-- highlighted by NGOs as non ICC members -- as well as Chad, Niger,
Kenya and Guinea. So some mercenaries could be prosecuted by the
ICC, and not others, under language demanded by the US Mission to the
UN. Watch this site.
or former officials or personnel from
a State outside the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya which is not a party to
the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court shall be subject
to the exclusive jurisdiction of that State for all alleged acts or
omissions arising out of or related to operations in the Libyan Arab
Jamahiriya established or authorized by the Council, unless such
exclusive jurisdiction has been expressly waived by the State.
Footnote: Araud blaming
the US position on
some a way to try to blame a decision by Obama's
executive branch on the Republicans who recently took over the House of
Representatives. But it was an Obama administration decision. More
nuanced apologists blame the Defense Department for pulling rank on
State. But the result is mercenaries firing freely.
Click for Mar 1, '11
BloggingHeads.tv re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
Click here for Inner City Press' Jan.
16, 2009 debate about Gaza
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
Click here for Inner
City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger
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
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
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
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.