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After MH17 Veto, JIT Five Pick Reuters, CNN, Ukraine TV - Then FUNCA Jumps In With Legal Question

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 29 -- After threatening to call the vote on a proposed tribunal on the downing of flight MH17 in the UN Security Council on July 21 and then July 27, on July 29 the vote took place, on this resolution.

  As expected, Russia vetoed, and three countries abstained: China, Angola and Venezuela.

 Afterward there was a stakeout by the five JIT countries. In advance, one of their spokespeople told the UNTV boom microphone operator to only allow questions to those he called on. But was he representing all five countries? Inner City Press asked, on behalf of the new Free UN Coalition for Access.

 When the stakeout started, the spokesperson awarded the first question to Reuters; the next questions was about another flight, MH370, by CNN. Now the spokesperson asked his Ukrainian counterpart who to call on, and chose a Huffington Post contributor who invokes the name of the old UN Correspondents Association, which is complicit in the shrinking of free press at the UN.

  So Inner City Press simply asked a question in the lull: to compel cooperation of countries, is there any other option or precedent?

Australia's Julie Bishop replied that Chapter 7 and the UNSC would be best. Periscope video of whole stakeout, for now, here.

 Next was a question, how do you respond to the families? And finally a question from Ukrainian television. But that was not it - then Dutch minister Koenders did a Dutch-only stakeout, using the UN microphone. Inner City Press for FUNCA asked, is this a UN stakeout? And answer was, No.

 To this has the UN sunk.

 Before the vote, Koenders, a former UN official in Cote d'Ivoire then Mali, buzzed around the Security Council and stood for interviews. Australia's Julie Bishop posed on First Avenue with the UN behind her. Whether any questions about her government paying human traffickers would be allowed was UNclear.

 Bishop stopped on her way in, but declined to predict the vote count. Russia's Vitaly Churkin said, "Our position has not changed, listen to my speech."

   Ukraine's Pavlo Klimkin, last here talking up peacekeeping in Donbas, said that if the resolution didn't pass there would be more shoot-downs.

 Back on July 20 Inner City Press asked the UN Security Council president for July, New Zealand's Gerard von Bohemen if there will be a July 27 vote. It is not "set in stone," he replied. Before that, von Bohemen said:

"We had consultations as you know, this afternoon on the issue of MH17 and what should be done by way of follow up to Resolution 2166 and the proposal by Joint Investigation Team of countries who want an international tribunal.
"I think it was a very positive discussion. There was strong support in the room for the establishment of a tribunal. Russia, of course, has a different perspective on this and explained its resolution and there were a number of countries that urged the two key proponents to come together and try to find a united way forward.
"Attention was drawn to the fact that the Council achieved great unity this morning for the Iran resolution and that same spirit, I think we should try to capture in this exercise.
"Having said that, I noted, and so did the Russian Federation, that the issue of the tribunal is the key deciding point.  And that’s the one that we are going to grapple with."

  Back on July 21, 2014, after the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution to an independent international investigation of the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Eastern Ukraine, Inner City Press asked Malaysia's then Permanent Representative to the UN Hussein Haniff if there was, in fact, an agreement with the separatist rebels for Malaysia to get the black boxes. Video here.

Ambassador Hussein Haniff said yes, “there is this understanding that the black box will be handed over to Malaysia.” He said, “We have our people ready, we hope this agreement will be honored.”

Inner City Press asked when the hand-over is supposed to take place.

Like around now,” Ambassador Hussein Haniff replied. It was just past 5 pm in New York on July 21.

Earlier on July 21 at the US State Department's press briefing in Washington, Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf was asked if Malaysia was breaking ranks with other countries by making its own deal with the rebels, and if an agreement with Malaysia about the black boxes and flight recorders would give the separatist rebels leadership any legitimacy.

No, Harf insisted. Watch this site.


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