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UN Banned from Obama's African Food Security G8, Desperate Ban to NATO?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 18 -- In a loss of face for Ban Ki-moon's UN, neither Ban nor any other UN official has been invited to the G8 meeting on food security in Africa convened by the Obama administration, it emerged on Friday.

  Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky about an inserting into the transcript of remarks by Syria envoy Kofi Annan's spokesman, that "Ban Ki-moon will be attending both meetings. [It has later transpired that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will participate in the NATO summit but would not attend the G8 meeting.]"

  Did this mean Ban had been invited to the G8 but now wouldn't go? Nesirky argued that Ban can discuss not only Rio + 20 but also food security at the NATO summit in Chicago.

But with "food security in Africa" being such a UN topic, why no UN involvement? The presidents of Ghana, Benin, Tanzania and Ethiopia will be there; USAID officail Raj Shah held a press call and praised the work of corporate behemoth Dupont.

  On the same call Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs Mike Froman said of Obama that he "also invited some representatives of the private sector from Africa and, more generally, who are active in agriculture or in investing in agriculture." But no UN -- this says a lot.

  Meanwhile the US stands pointed to send its official Jeffrey Feltman to take over Ban's Department of Political Affairs, as Inner City Press exclusively reported. This is drawing more and more complaints.

  Also to Camp David for the G8 is new French president Francois Hollande. Meanwhile the French Mission to the UN announced that Hollande's foreign minister Laurent Fabius will meet with Ban on Saturday (though it is not on Ban's schedule).

  Will Hollande and Fabius move to switch not only UN Ambassador Gerard Araud, but also the uncommunicative Sarkozy nominee UN Peacekeeping chief Herve "The Drone" Ladsous? Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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