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At UN, As Rudd Meets Ban for 50 Minutes, Pasztor Is Present, Job for Climate Change in Air?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 14, updated -- When Kevin Rudd, just ousted as Australia's prime minister, met late July 14 with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, there was one attendee rarely as such meetings: Janos Pasztor, the head of the UN's climate change unit.

This came a day after Inner City Press reported that the UN is being urged by the Obama Administration to give Rudd a climate change job. Inconveniently, the UNFCCC top post was recently awarded to Christina Figueres of Costa Rica. (Pasztor competed for the job, temporarily and partially recusing himself from his past and current job, but lost out.)

Now, while the U.S. wishes the UNFCCC post were open, it appears that a new special envoy on global warming post would have to be created. One wonders what Pasztor thinks. Also present in the meeting were Ban's chief of staff Vijay Nambiar and his deputy, but most senior advisor, Kim Won-soo.

UN's Ban and Rudd

Prior to meeting Rudd, Ban had an audience with representatives of the Korean Red Cross. They bought a gift, which was waiting by the elevator. Moments before Rudd came in, Ban emerged from his office and began walking to his spot at the table.

Moments later, Pasztor joins

  Then he stopped, remembering - he had forgotten to put on his glasses. He went back and got them. Then Rudd entered, then Pasztor. The photos were taken, and the photographers hustled out.

  But Rudd did not leave until 6:20 p.m. -- 50 minutes later....

* * *

On Climate Change Finance, UN Dodges Air and Sea Tax, Ban Differs With Envoy, Rudd in Wings?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 13 -- The two co-chairs of the UN's High Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing, the prime ministers of Ethiopia and Norway, Tuesday vaguely summarized their Group's ideas to the press. To Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg, Inner City Press asked if taxes on aviation and shipping are being discussed.

  Stoltenberg replied that “We have not agreed, there is not conclusions yet, this is not the time for presenting any conclusion. But there are many different possible sources. And of course, some of the possible sources are related to international aviation, international shipping. whether that is going to be included in the final report or not, it is too early to say... that is all I can say today.”

  Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon about the comment by his new envoy on the issue, that a comprehensive agreement may not be reached in her lifetime. A subtext are rumblings in the U.S. State Department that they would have liked to put now deposed Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd in the post, or that the UN now create a new climate change envoy position for Rudd.

Ban and the co-chairs, answers on taxes and envoy not shown

Ban smiled and answered, as transcribed by the UN:

I speak on my behalf. I do not normally speak for a person whom I have nominated. I have not read exactly what she said, but I think that she might have been trying to explain that the process would be quite a difficult one. But just the reason that it is a difficult one does not give us any reason to be disappointed or deterred. We have a strong commitment to reach a globally binding agreement as soon as possible and I am sure that we can achieve that goal. As I said, the more we delay, the cost of inaction will be far, far greater than the cost of action today.

That is what I have been repeatedly saying and emphasizing. Therefore this High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing is a very good start and a very good initiative to make the comprehensive process of negotiation move. This is a very important element, aspect of complementing, reinforcing the negotiation process. And you have our commitment. You see the commitment of these distinguished Prime Ministers and world leaders.

    The last question allowed was directed to Mr. Ban, and concerned “occupied Kashmir.” Ban declined to answer it. Inner City Press would have wanted to ask Ethiopia's Meles Zenawi for this view of the bombings in Kampala. But he was gone.

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

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.

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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