Libya Sanctions Consensus Requirement Makes Arms
Embargo a Joke
Russell Lee, News Analysis
July 7 -- As the UN's Libya
Sanctions committee began
meeting Thursday afternoon about France's admitted dropping of
weapons into Libya's Nafusa Mountains, even the level of Security
Council members' representation spoke volumes.
Africa, two of the countries which requested the meeting on the
question of whether France's action violated the arms embargo in
Resolution 1970, each sent their Deputy Permanent Representative.
said, treated the meeting with disdain. A French ally said it should
only be “for the experts,” meaning a level lower than DPR,
despite the importance of the topic.
seems clear, is that while the Security Council enacts arms embargoes
and sanctions, its sanctions committee operate only by consensus. In
practice this means that UN arms embargoes apply to all of the UN's
192 members EXCEPT those on the Security Council.
Sarkozy glad-hands Ban, notification under
1973 and top DPKO post not shown
as one of the
DPRs attending on Thursday told Inner City Press, once Permanent
members like France start “thumbing their nose” at arms embargoes
-- or at a minimum, not seeking prior approval for acts that others
who passed the embargo view as potentially violative -- they should
not be surprised when others break embargoes, or ignore arrest
warrants or the like.
* * *
Libya, France's Weapon Drop Triggers July 7 Meeting, Stalls
6, updated -- After France's
weapons drop into Libya triggered a closed door
fight in the UN Security Council on July 5, now a meeting
of the Libya sanctions committee has been scheduled for July 7.
said the criticism of France's action by Russia, South
Africa and others could wait until the Council's July 11 session on
Libya. But now there's a sanctions meeting Thursday afternoon. “Yes,
that's new,” a Western Deputy Permanent Representative confirmed to
Inner City Press on Wednesday evening.
the July 5
consultations, participants tell Inner City Press, the United States
insisted that they had drafted the Libya resolutions to allow for
such weapons drops. Calling this “sneaky drafting,” there is now
resistance to even considering the Europeans' draft resolution on
Syria. This one contains no tricks, its proponents seemed to argue.
But disputes about Libya have stalled action on Syria.
dynamic for now in the Security Council, sometimes alternatively
presented as “the BRICS flexing their muscles.”
goes that it is unfair, most
poignantly to the Syrian people, to sabotage all other Council
of disagreements about how Libya has turned out.
that the West, France in particular, sabotaged and poisoned the
concept of protection of civilians going forward. Some liken France's
“this is my interpretation” arrogance to what they also call the
arrogance of George W. Bush's argument that invasion of Iraq did not
require UN Council approval. Why didn't France come back to the
Council and ask for a rule or interpretation?
also questions, in light of France's actions, about why it should be
allow to replace outgoing Peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy with another
Frenchman. (Click here
for Inner City Press' exclusive
July 5 story on candidate Bonnafont.) That too will be
tap for July 7, Inner City Press is reliably told, is the
transmission of the UN panel's flotilla report, or “Flotilla I”
report. Sources within the process confirmed to Inner City Press on
Wednesday night that's the plan, even with Ban Ki-moon “once again”
out of town. Watch this site.
* * *
Brags of Breaking Embargo, It Says Others Like Qatar Can
Too: Russia “Expected” to Pursue
updated -- After bragging
about air-dropping weapons to
rebels in Western Libya, France now claims that others can step in.
French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet was quoted
5 that the
rebels' “autonomy allows them to establish relations with external
partners, including when it comes to equipping themselves in
Security Council arms embargo on Libya, on all sides of the conflict.
Inner City Press on Tuesday morning outside the Council asked the
chairman of the Libya Sanctions committee, Portugal's Permanent
Representative Cabral, if there has been any move to consider if
France's admitted actions violated the embargo.
expecting the Russians to raise it today,” Cabral told Inner City
Press before going back into the Council for a closed door meeting,
initially on July's program of work under the new German presidency.
forces say they have intercepted weapons from
Qatar meant for the rebels. With Qatar having just acquired the
Presidency of the UN General Assembly, among other posts and events,
things could get interesting. Watch this site.
-- after the consultations broke up, Western sources said
that French ambassador Gerard Araud argued at length why dropped arms
into Libya is “notwithstanding” legal, and claimed there was
little opposition. The Russian delegation told Inner City Press “we
cannot agree,” and said they asked Libya sanctions chair Cabral to
convene a meeting of the committee.
City Press that no meeting has been scheduled and he
doubts that one will before UN part time envoy Al Khatib comes to
brief the Security Council on July 11. We'll see.
-- At German Permanent Representative Wittig's 12:30
press conference about the Security Council's program of work during
his month as president, Inner City Press asked him about the
morning's closed door consultations at which France's dropping of
weapons was discussed. He acknowledged it was discussed but said that
there was “no agreement.”
even a meeting
of the Sanctions Committee on this issue was blocked? July 11 will
be al Khatib.