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As Arbour Says Giving Money To Libya Only Increases Migration, ICP Asks Of Guterres View

By Matthew Russell Lee, New Platform

UNITED NATIONS, July 10 – On migration, the UN's Antonio Guterres named Louise Arbour as his representative, dodging an early question from Inner City Press by saying that "ACABQ" - the UN's Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions" -- is in charge. But is Guterres in charge? On July 10, Inner City Press asked Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: there's an interview with Louise Arbour on the topic of migration in the Corriere della Sera, and she says, quote, "Giving money to the Libyans will only serve to increase the migration flows," quote, "granting funds to the Coast Guard is not the solution."  So, since she is the Special Adviser on migration, are these the Secretary-General's views?

Spokesman:  I think the Secretary-General's view is that we need a comprehensive compact between those countries of origin, those countries of transit, and the countries of destination to manage the flow of people, of migrants, which has been in existence since time in memoriam and will continue. It needs to be managed in the best possible way.

  We'll see. Meanwhile, Italy has been a member of the UN Security Council for six months and ten days during which it has, for example, insisted that during the Council's visit to Cameroon the Anglophone crisis did not come up (while its President Mattarella met 35-year president Paul Biya), and has declined Inner City Press' request for comment on the UN World Intellectual Property Organization's work on a cyanide patent for North Korea, the sanctions committee on which it chairs. Now in July Matteo Renzi has come out, if only briefly, moving to the right on migration, before taking excerpts of his book off-line. Renzi wrote: "I'd like for us to be free from guilt. We have no moral duty to welcome all the people in Italy who are worse off than us in the world. If that happened, there would be a kind of ethic, political, social and even lead to economic disaster,” he writes in bold. In large capital bold font, he goes on to write: “We do not have the moral duty to welcome them, let’s repeat that to ourselves. But, we do have the moral duty to help them. And really, the moral duty is to do so back where they come from.” While none of the many Italian correspondents "led" by real estate magnate Giampaoli Pioli who are given office space and full access at the UN asked or were even present at the July 10 UN noon briefing, when after asking about migration quotes by Louise Arbour Inner City Press sought to ask, UN spokesman Dujarric declared Last Question and brought in Wu Hongbo. (In fairness we note that Italy's Deputy Permanent Representative was one of the more attentive ambassadors on the Security Council's recent visit to Haiti.) Watch this site. A month earlier on June 9 Italy sought to promote its good works in an event at its UN Mission, celebrating a vague partnership between the UN and the Community of Sant'Egidio. In 2014, Inner City Press reported on Rwanda's complaint that the UN's Herve Ladsous helped a leader of the genocidal FDLR, Rumuli (a/k/a IYAMUREMYE Gaston, Victor Rumuri and Michel Byiringiro), in connection and conjunction with a Sant'Egidio session in Rome. Italy's UN Mission, which has been asked to sent all notices, spun what media it allowed into its 47th Street space without mentioning this controversy, and which excluding the Press which has reported on it. There's some history, and more to be said. Watch this site. While the UN Security Council visited Cameroon during the 94 day Internet cut off and said nothing publicly about it (but see below), Inner City Press has obtained and has exclusively published on Patreon and now Scribd, here Cameroon's "Urgent and Confidential" letter to the UN Security Council, about weapons. Italy is a member of the Security Council this year, and on the morning of May 18 including in light of Italian President Mattarella's meetings this year with Cameroon's 34 year president Paul Biya, Inner City Press asked Italy's Mission to the UN: "your Mission was part of the Security Council's trip including to Cameroon earlier this year, during the country's 94-day Internet shut off to millions of people in the Northwest and Southwest (or Anglophone) regions. The IMF, for what it's worth, told Inner City Press the government's Internet cut off is among other things a financial risk in 2017. Could you comment on your Mission's aware of the issue, during the Security Council visit to Cameroon and since, and on whether you believe the Secretary General and DPA, as a matter of prevention of conflict, may have a greater role to play in this long-standing, UN-related conflict or dispute?" Eight hours later, the Italian Mission's spokesperson Giovanni Davoli replied on Cameroon that "the situation you are mentioning was not in the agenda of the UNSC visit." To his credit, Swedish diplomat Carl Skau tells Inner City Press, "I can confirm that the issue was raised by the delegation in meetings." We'll have more on this. On May 17, Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujuarric what if anything Guterres is doing about Cameroon. From the UN transcript: Inner City Press: there are people saying that António Guterres' strategy of being Secretary-General is to sort of downplay the peacemaking powers of it and engage in quiet diplomacy.  And I guess the reason I'm asking you is just objectively speaking, compared to the previous administration, there are many fewer readouts, there's less… there's less being said.  Maybe it's to the good.  But, does he believe that… that this approach is bearing fruit, and if so, what fruit can you point to?

Spokesman:  I think the Secretary-General is a believer in the need for discreet contacts to be had in order to resolve crisis.  And I think it's something I… well, I think we've all observed since he's come into office.  And I think it's an important tool and not the only tool, but it's an important tool in the tools available to the world's top diplomat.

Inner City Press:  I want to ask this very specifically because I've asked you this a couple of times.  I keep hearing from people at various high floors that, in fact, the UN is concerned about Cameroon and not just the Internet, but what seems to be a case of preventive diplomacy.  So, I wanted to ask you, is there anything actually being done?  Am I missing some secret work that the UN…?

Spokesman:  I think if… well, if it's secret, it's secret.  Mr. [Francois Lonceny] Fall has been following and is the point person for the UN on this issue.

  Fall is failing. Or, Fall is the fall guy for Guterres. ...

 We raise the question: how are UN Resident Coordinators selected? Inner City Press reported on Ban Ki-moon's son in law Siddharth Chatterjee getting multiple promotion under Ban, including being named UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya by Ban himself. (Inner City Press was evicted by Ban's UN, and remains restricted under Ban's successor). But shouldn't Anglophone Cameroonians have some input into the UN's next Resident Coordinator in their country? This is a project for the Free UN Coalition for Access, @FUNCA_info. Watch these sites and feeds.

From the IMF's March 9 transcript:

"There is a question of Cameroon, from Matthew Lee, "After the Mission what is the status of talks for a program; and since the IMF cited civil unrest in the neighboring Central African Republic, please state the IMF's awareness of civil unrest and arrests in Northwest and Southwest Cameroon? And also known as the Anglophone areas, and their impact?"

So, the background here is, I think important the context. So, the Fund's engagement here in the CEMAC Region, CEMAC is the six Central African Economic nations that comprise the Central African Economic and monetary community. They met in Yaoundé on December 23rd. The Managing Director was there. And in that meeting, heads of state discussed the economic situation, the severe shocks that have hit that CEMAC region in recent years, including the sharp decline in oil prices, and decided to act collectively and in a concerted manner. And the heads of state requested the assistance of the IMF to design economic reforms needed to reestablish macroeconomic stability in each country and in the region as a whole.

So, again, context: I can tell you that the funders already sent missions to Gabon, Republic of Congo. And a reminder to you, that we already have programs with Central African Republic and Chad. Okay?

Now, we also have sent a mission to Cameroon, which is the question. And we did issue a press statement, which the question referred to, just on Tuesday. That was the Corrine Delechat reference.

So, the specific question, to turn to that. We are indeed aware of the events in the so-called Anglophone regions of Cameroon. The macroeconomic impact of any event that could affect production and/or consumption, is typically felt with a certain lag. So, these events started in November last year, and thus are likely to have not had a significant impact on production in 2016.

For 2017, the risks to our growth outlook include a combination of external and domestic factors, including continuation of the sociopolitical events in the northwest and southwest regions of Cameroon. And as our press release the other day indicated, our view is that the medium-term outlook for the Cameroonian economy remains positive, subject to the implementation of appropriate policies."

We'll have more on this. Watch this site.


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