Youth Speak at UN Youth Summit, from Mugabe to Maudet of
July 25 -- At the UN on Monday
there was a lot of talk about
youth, but not enough talk by young people themselves, at least not
in the General Assembly. This was the assessment of the Swiss
delegate Oliver Felix.
told the Press that the outcome document of
this High Level Meeting on Youth was agreed to in February, but that
actual participation by young people in the event was less than it
should be. He said that some of the substantive parts of the World
Program for Action on Youth were being opposed the members of the
Group of 77.
by the 33 year old mayor of Geneva Pierre Maudet, who began by noting
the decidedly non-young participation of some heads of state,
including Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe.
Press asked for more about Mugabe, Maudet said it was not his place
to judge, that the UN is like “une auberge Espanol” where you
decide what to come look for, then find it.
City Press spoke with a youth delegate from South Africa in a less
formal setting, who extolled the connections between studying
chemical engineering and international politics. He had agreed to
transport back home a suitcase full of the school books of a South
African student at NYU, since they are needed back home.
UN and these
meetings, then, are different things to different people. Of the idea
for a new UN Agency for Youth, Maudet was skeptical, calling it the
bureaucratic (or “non-youth”) way of burying a problem in a new
agency. One wondered what he'd think of the new UN Women.
Ban Ki-moon and Mugabe, previously, youth not shown
asked Maudet about Geneva's relations with the UN and its agencies. He
said that it's in Geneva that “norms” are set, in
telecommunications, commerce and health. He said Geneva is
geographically small, and big businesses like Proctor & Gamble
are moving in from London, with problems ranging from parking to
CERN's collider. Inner City Press asked if there's been any thought
of an alliance of mayors of UN cities -- New York, Geneva, Nairobi,
Vienna, Addis Ababa, Bonn. Maudet said the idea exists and he's
tried to reach out to New York, but Mr. Bloomberg is busy. What about
his sister? Busy too, preparing the the 9-11-01 anniversary. Perhaps
after that. We'll see.
* * *
Stalls on S. Kordofan Report, Request for Pillay Briefing in
July 25 -- With Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti now
taking back his statement that Sudan would accept foreign troops in
Southern Kordofan if the SPML-North agreed, in New York mid Monday
the UN still had no comment, nor date on which its detailed
human rights violations in Kordofan would be finalized. Click here to view
the report, put online by Inner City Press last week.
Security Council, a request has been made for Navi Pillay, UN High
Commission for Human Rights, to be the one to come brief the Council
about Southern Kordofan on a day, not yet named, later this week. Her
New York representative Ivan Simonovic has reported stopped short
of supporting the reports recommendation for referral to the
International Criminal Court.
on Monday as Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky
if this is indeed Mr. Simonovic's position, and when the report will
at least be finalized. On the latter, Nesirky did not know. On the
former he said, “Ask Mr. Simonovic.”
Friday July 22
Inner City Press had asked the UN's Nesirky:
Press: I wanted to ask you a couple of things about South
Kordofan. The Government is saying that it has arrested the JEM
military commander for South Kordofan there. They’ve said that,
which seems to confirm that JEM is fighting there. The Government
has also released a report accusing NGOs of supporting the, quote,
insurrection of Mr. [Al Hilu] and the SPLM-North, the the Denmark
Ecclesiastical Organization and the Norway Ecclesiastical
Organization. I wonder, does OCHA…what’s the UN
say? It sounds like the UN is not able to monitor or report on
Southern Kordofan, but it seems these NGOs are. What’s
the UN saying about what’s taking place in Southern Kordofan?
Ban, Nesirky, Nambiar & Orr, action on UN inaction not shown
Well, again, Matthew, we are not in a position to confirm the
details, the first part of your question on a JEM commander for the
reasons that we have explained before. We’re just simply not in a
position to be able to confirm that at this point. We’ve also said
repeatedly, that the United Nations system, from the
Secretary-General down, is extremely concerned about what is
happening in Kordofan, South Kordofan, and the reports that are
emerging. That’s precisely why the Secretary-General believes that
it is important to have access, for the international community to
have access, and that includes international non-governmental
organizations as well as United Nations agencies. That access is not
available at the moment, certainly not to the extent that we need to
be able to monitor and to be able to provide assistance to those who
Press: Are the peacekeepers still there, have any actually been
I do not know the details of how many remain, how many have
withdrawn already. I’ll see if I can get some details on that.
no details have
in South Sudan, where the UN has a mission UNMISS, the UN on
Monday had nothing to say, and could not described any action on the
killing of South Sudan rebel Gatluak Gai. A Security Council member
asked about it by Inner City Press said this will be a test case. In
Southern Kordofan, beyond the NCP it seems the UN is failing the
* * *
of 150 Nubans Frozen in UN Edit Room, Rudderless
21 -- While the UN holds a
report that that one of its
staff members in Sudan saw the piled corpses of 150 people of Nuban
descent in South Kordofan, it insists that because the report is a
“leaked draft,” it cannot or will not take action on its yet.
July 21, the day
after Inner City Press put the full report
online, it asked UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky about this
staff member who was detained by SAF at their military
facility in Umbattah Locality reported during his detention, that he
saw over an estimated 150 dead bodies of persons of Nuban descent
scattered on the grounds of the military compound. Some of the bodies
appeared to have bullet wounds and he reported a large quantity of
blood on the ground. He reported a SAF soldier told them that they
had all been shot dead.
Inner City Press off in the middle of the paragraph, to insist this
is only a draft. From the UN's
I am still looking at this report that was put out by the
human rights component of UNMIS [United Nations Mission in Sudan]. One
of the many things said in it is that --
just roll back a bit, and I am sorry to interrupt
you, but it is not a report that has been put out by UNMIS, it is an
as yet un-finalized report that was leaked. So let’s get the
Let’s say this: the leaked report says that an UNMIS
staff member witnessed 150 dead bodies of Nuban descent in a military
facility in Sudan. So, my question is, even though it’s a leaked
report, it seems to be such a serious allegation that it seems
strange that the UN would say, we’re going to wait two weeks to
finalize it. What is being done, since that 150 dead bodies was
witnessed by a UN staff member? What actions have been taken, even
while the actual document itself is being finalized?
am sure that the relevant people, and you’ve heard Ivan
Simonovic speaking on this topic, will have been seeking to follow up
on it. And as you heard Mr. Simonovic say, there are efforts to gain
access, so that there can be the kind of follow-up that you are
talking about. And if Mr. Simonovic has any further follow-up on
that, then obviously I’d let you know.
just one more on peacekeeping. Today at the stakeout, Mr. Le
Roy said that he’s leaving on 10 August. So that seems to be
coming up pretty quickly. Without, I guess, getting into the names,
is there are going to be a new Under-Secretary-General for
Peacekeeping Operations on 10 August, or when is the process thought
to come to a conclusion? Is there a shortlist, et cetera?
would doubt that there would be a new
Under-Secretary-General in place to take over the day after Mr. Le
Roy leaves office. Obviously there are, there is an established
procedure for having an officer-in-charge until a new
Under-Secretary-General is appointed. And when we get to that stage,
an announcement will be made.
Council stakeout on July 21, Le Roy told Inner City Press that the
report would not be finalized by the Department of Peacekeeping
Operations until two weeks after Mr. Simonovic spoke to the press
last week. That would be the day after Le Roy's final press
conference, and just before he leaves with no successor in place.
the future in Southern Kordofan, Inner City Press asked
there has been this quote by the Foreign Minister of
Sudan, Ali Karti, that there is an openness on the part of Khartoum
to, quote, “foreign troops” in Southern Kordofan. Has the UN
been informed of that? What does the UN think of that statement?
are certainly aware of the statement, and we’re following up
with the Sudanese authorities to try to understand in greater detail
what that means.
who in the UN
is following up with what Sudanese authorities? Watch this site.