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With Sarkozy & Juppe Voted Out, Araud & Allies to Cling On at UN?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 7 -- The morning after Nicolas Sarkozy and thus his foreign minister Alain Juppe were voted out by French voters, despite or because of a plea for support from National Front militants, at the UN many asked: when will French Permanent Representative Araud and his allies be leaving?

  But the answer, surprising to some in contrast to the "Arab Spring" and French statements about it, appeared to be that Araud will "not necessarily" leave.

  The argument seems to be that Araud was not actually aligned with Sarkozy and Juppe, and / or that he has been doing a good job.

   As previously noted, Araud has been the least transparent of all Permanent Five members of the Security Council's Permanent Representatives. During his Presidency of the Council in May 2011, Araud hit a new low with only three media stakeouts.

   At one of the stakeouts, Araud refused to take any questions, by reading his statement in French then leaving while an aide read it out in English.

  Hostility to the press under Araud has gone beyond non-communication. Earlier in 2011 when Inner City Press obtained a trove of documents concerning the Sarkozy administration's dealings with and about Cote d'Ivoire, the French Mission rather than providing a comment threatened Inner City Press that any publication would be considered a "hostile act." (They then proceeded to try to use proxies to retaliate.)

  This refusal to communicate publicly has consequences. Several times, Alain Juppe has claimed that France was doing or would do something in the Security Council -- request humanitarian corridors, for example -- which Araud then did not do.

  The same disparity occurred on other matters, including Iran, click here for that.

  Nor would Araud explain the disparity, at least publicly. His "off the record" statements, which his aides jealously guard, put a lie to the claim that he is non partisan and should stay on.

  A new French foreign minister is expected to be named by May 15; scrutinizing these things should be straightforward, and fast. Watch this site.

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

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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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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