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At UN After Only Partial $5.2 B Budget Deal, Torsella Strides In, R2P & SPMs on Table

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 23 -- Following some euphoria among UN budget diplomats about the partial $5.2 billion deal, fighting continued Friday night about the Special Political Missions.

 Cuts were proposed to, among others, the United Nations Integrated Peace-building Office in Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, the Central African Republic and the Cameroon Nigeria Mixed Commission.

  Boiling under the surface was continued opposition from some quarters to the implementation and stealth funding of the UN's "Responsibility to Protect" office, slammed in one draft "the utilization of budgetary documents to promote the adoption and/or implementation of concepts which have not been endorsed by the General Assembly or are still under its consideration."

  At 7:35 pm on Friday, four and a half hours after the start of theGA session at which the budget was scheduled to be voted on, US Ambassador for Management Joe Torsella strode onto the second floor of the UN's North Lawn building. He greeted Inner City Press then sat down to speed read documents.

  Half an hour later Maged Abdelaziz, Egypt's Permanent Representative under Mubarak and since, arrived, a major player in the Group of 77 and China. It is from these quarters that, for example, skepticism about R2P comes, even more so after its citation during NATO's bombing of Libya.

UN North Lawn at night, takeout food on Christmas Eve? (c) MRLee

  Some wonder about Torsella's claims of reform and improvement of the UN. Is it just about cost-cutting (or this year, the deferral of "re-costing"), or does it also relate to the Special Political Missions and concepts like the Responsibility to Protect? 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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