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Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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At UN, Kenya's Request for ICC Deferral Dies a Quiet Death, Would Sudan's?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 18 -- The UN Security Council will not vote for any deferral of International Criminal Court proceedings against the Kenyan indictees, Inner City Press learned Friday outside the closed Council meeting on Kenya's request.

  French Ambassador Gerard Araud told the Press that the conditions for a deferral under Article 16 of the ICC Rome Statute are not there.

  France is a veto wielding Permanent Member of the Council, so with Araud statement alone, the Kenyan request is dead. Araud suggested Kenya try its luck with the ICC directly, citing complementarity and Article 19.

  Another Western Permanent Representative also told Inner City Press that the situation in Kenya does not present a threat to international peace and security.

  Perhaps for that reason, while 13 of the 15 member states on the Security Council sent their top or deputy Ambassador, the US and Russia sent lower level diplomats. Several delegations commented to Inner City Press on this.

  The meeting on Kenya's request was otherwise scarcely noticed or notified at the UN.

At UN, sign outside Kenya ICC meeting [closed] (c)MRLee

  It had been scheduled for Wednesday March 16, but as first reported by Inner City Press it got canceled on little notice.

    Inner City Press talked to Kenyan diplomats outside the meeting room on Wednesday, who said it had not been re-scheduled.

  “It wasn't even in the UN Journal,” one diplomat said to Inner City Press. Ironically, one Western Permanent Representative told Inner City Press that one good thing about the session is that it was “open.” It was a closed meeting, with little notice or coverage.

  So, the Kenyan request died a quiet death on Friday.

Would the same happen to a request by Sudan's Omar al-Bashir and Ahmed Haroun? Watch this site.

* * *

At UN, Kenya ICC Meeting Is Canceled by Security Council, No Ban Summary

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 16 -- A week after a delegation from Kenya delivered a pitch for deferral of International Criminal Court cases to UN Security Council members and reportedly Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the Council was scheduled to meet on the topic on Wednesday afternoon.

  Inner City Press was in front of the Council, seeking to cover the Kenya meeting as well as the Council's ongoing consultations on Libya. The sign in front of Conference Room 8 next to the Council chamber advertised the Kenya ICC meeting all morning.

  A group of Kenyan diplomats came down to the Council area at 3 pm, looking around. The sign had been changed: “Canceled.” Inside, the conference room was empty.

  “When it is rescheduled for?” Inner City Press later asked the Kenyan. It hasn't been, they answered.

  The trip by Kenya's vice president to meet Ban Ki-moon and UN mission had been described as a success -- by the Kenyan delegation. Ban Ki-moon, in fact, never confirmed the content of his meeting. On March 8, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky:

Inner City Press: the Secretary-General met at 11:00 a.m. with the Vice President of Kenya, [Stephen] Kalonzo, and I wanted to know, now that that meeting has happened, did the matter of deferring the ICC [International Criminal Court] prosecution of Kenya arise? And separately, what is the Secretary-General’s view on such a suspension?

Spokesperson Nesirky: Well, I need to await a readout on that meeting; so I don’t really have any further comment at this time. But we have requested a readout and I would expect one. Okay?

Inner City Press: Would that say specifically whether ICC arose or not? I mean, I guess the readout…

Spokesperson Nesirky: Well, as I say, let’s see, let’s see. We have asked for it and let’s see what happens.

But no read out was ever given. And now the Security Council's meeting on Kenya and the ICC has been canceled.

In fact, a Council Permanent Representative earlier in the month pitched the Press on the argument that the Security Council need not, or even cannot, vote to suspect ICC action on Kenya, since unlike Darfur in Sudan, the Council did not refer Kenya to the ICC. Whatever the merits of the argument, the unceremonious canceling of the Kenya ICC meeting may speak for itself. Watch this site.

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb .26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

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

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