Names Gaza Flotilla Panel, Uribe Seems Ill-Timed, Sri Lanka Delay
August 2 -- As Inner City Press
predicted Saturday, UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has announced a panel on the assault on
the Gaza flotilla, chaired by former New Zealand prime minister
Geoffrey Palmer. While Inner City Press said the announcement could
come as early as Sunday, the UN made its announcement 9:38 Monday
vice chair is
outgoing Colombian president Alvaro Uribe. While a major U.S. ally,
this selection by Ban appears ill-timed to some, given Colombia's
current stand off with Venezuela, triggered by Uribe's accusation
that Hugo Chavez is harboring FARC guerrillas.
Venezuela's Ambassador Valero met with Ban and delivered a letter
accusing Uribe of warlike acts. To now put him on the Gaza flotilla
panel seems strange.
UN's Ban and Uribe, Venezuela and Sri Lanka slowness not shown
contrasting is the speed of Ban's announcement -- the panel will
formally begin work on August 10, and make its first report in mid
compared with his delay in announcing, naming and starting his
advisory panel on Sri Lanka's “bloodbath on the beach” in May
was only in
March 2010 that Ban said he would appoint a panel, and only on June
22 did he in fact name the panel's members. They met on July 19, but
the four month clock for them to report has still not begun, as Ban
has yet to staff the panel. (His first choice as chief of staff,
Jessica Neuwirth, was withdrawn after reporting of nepotism.)
who will staff
this Gaza flotilla panel, and why can Ban move so much quicker in
this case? Watch this site.
10:05 am -- The UN is showing staged footage of Ban Ki-moon
“announcing” the panel to UN Radio microphone, following a staged
question. Why make it a pretend interview, by the UN's own in-house
* * *
Ban Ki-moon Plans Quick Unveiling of Flotilla Panel Win, With N.Zealand
Sources Say, An End to Leaks?
Russell Lee, Exclusive
July 31 -- While Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak's meeting with UN
General Ban Ki-moon on July 30 was shrouded in secrecy, afterward UN
diplomats bragged about their boss' “win.”
has agreed to Ban's -- or really the Security Council's -- idea of a
independent panel about the assault on the Gaza flotilla. They said
that while the UN's cursory Friday evening read out didn't say it,
the unveiling of Ban's “win” would take place next week.
who spoke to
Ban later on Friday night said the announcement will be Sunday
evening, and that the chair of the panel will be from New Zealand, with
other members from Israel and Turkey.
typically, sees this development in the context of Ban's
travails triggered by the leaked End of Assignment memo by Inga Britt
Ahlenius, until then the UN's chief of the Office of Internal
Oversight Services. Trying to combat the memo's critique, including
of Ban's diplomatic skills, Ban has deployed first his chief of
staff, then his chief of Management, without much impact.
unveil a diplomatic win, just before Ban travels for the week to
Hiroshima in Japan, seems to Team Ban a true turning of the corner.
UN's Ban and Barak back in June, OIOS memo, leak and
"win" not shown
administration sources, in Ban's closed door selective briefing to
some Japanese reporters to hype up his trip, Ban asked for “East
Asian solidarity” in fighting leaks and attacks on his image.
complained he was particularly offended by Ahlenius' critique since
he had thrown her a retirement party and invited her into his home.
It's an Asian thing, he in essence said, this simply isn't done.
What, leaking? Whistleblowing? Criticizing one's boss?