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As Asians Fight Over Limits of the Continental Shelf, Russia Runs Alone For Now

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, May 14 -- There are eight Asian candidate for five Asian seats at the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf elections next month - while for three Eastern European seats there is only one candidate, a Russian.

  Amid talk that the largely landlocked Eastern Europeans are being asked to cede one or more of their seats to another region, while Georgia is being solicited to put a candidate forward, Inner City Press on Monday asked Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin about the race. "It's a lot of work," he said, being on the Commission.

  But it is not unimportant, being on the Commission. There are big money disputes about the Arctic, and most recently between Venezuela and Guyana. Well before the election, Trinidad and Tobago is already celebrating the anticipated re-election of its member, breathlessly reported:

"It was a reception held in the Delegates Dining Room at the United Nations headquarters, the very heart of international diplomacy. There was an air of levity, expectation and high stakes at the evening's event, hosted by the Permanent Mission of T&T to honor the re-election of Francis Charles to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf for another five year term... He joined T&T Ambassadors Rodney Charles, who called the occasion 'significant for the government,' and Eden Charles, to greet diplomats and other specially invited guests who were feted with fine aperitif, cocktails, and island flavoured music of a solo pianist."

  This is how it works at the UN. Only one problem with celebrating: the election has not been held yet.

  Of interest to some, the US does not have a candidate because it it is not a signatory but all other Permanent Five members of the Security Council do (although the UK candidate Richard Haworth is a joint Canadian citizen). Argentina, too, is making a run, with Carlos Marcelo Paterlini. Watch this site.

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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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