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At UN, Egypt Not Among 12 More Condemning N. Korea, On Abductees from Japan

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 21 -- Proponents of the North Korea resolution in the UN General Assembly's Third Committee, formally on "The Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," told Inner City Press that the Arab Spring would help them get more Yes votes than in previous years.

  And on Monday morning the resolution got 112 votes in favor, up 12 from the previous year, and 16 against, down two from last year. Libya and Tunisia, for example, voted for the resolution.

  Tellingly, however, Egypt voted against. Egypt still has the same Permanent Representative as it had under Mubarak, Maged Abdelaziz. Protesters are still being killed in Tahrir Square, and both the US President Barack Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon are being criticized for not saying enough about it.

  On DPRK, the Japanese Mission to the UN is known to have invested political capital to make the number of votes in favor of the resolution increase this year. Japanese Permanent Representative Tsuneo Nishida's speech in the Third Committee complained again that of the 17 Japanese people abducted by DPRK, 12 have still not been returned.

North Korean Perm Rep & Ban Ki-moon adviser Kim Won-soo in GA lobby (c) MRLee

  It is possible that the issue of the abductees may incrementally be "traded away," like the issue of the mistreatment of ethnic minorities in Myanmar is being traded away as the US, UN and others rush to re-engaged with what the US calls Burma.

Footnotes: Myanmar, not surprisingly, voted against the DPRK resolution. Sudan also voted no -- but voted "yes" to a separate resolution on Friday in the General Assembly linking Iran to an alleged plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador in Washington.

 Likewise, Sudan joined the forces seeking to oust Gaddafi from Libya. Very little is simple at the UN.

 Monday afternoon should see the introduction of a resolution in the Third Committee on Syria - watch this site.

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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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