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UN Draft Tells Ban & Gambari Not to Undermine ICC, But GA Will Strip Out?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, February 27,updated -- The UN in Sudan has twice flown International Criminal Court indictee Ahmed Haroun into Abyei, and envoy Ibrahim Gambari recently took photos with ICC indictee Omar al Bashir at a wedding reception for Idriss Deby and the daughter of Janjaweed leader Musa Hilal.

Now, pending at the UN is a General Assembly resolution which would direct Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to "refrain from... undermin[ing]" the ICC.

This is in Paragraph 5bis of the draft GA resolution on the ICC agreed by all 120 ICC state parties and obtained by Inner City Press. The languages, sources tell Inner City Press, was put forward by Switzerland; the draft resolution is being facilitated by Japan. It is expected, however, to be stripped out before any vote in the GA, and not only by Sudan.

The paragraph currently reads:

"5bis. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure, consistent with the existing UN policies and pursuant to the Relationship Agreement, that United Nations field presences and representatives, especially peacekeeping operations, special political missions, special envoys, special representatives and mediators, refrain from any action, including the use of resources, that could undermine the efforts of the International Criminal Court, and requests the Secretary-General to submit a report on the application of such policies for the consideration of the General Assembly at its sixty-seventh session;"

Inner City Press first heard of the paragraph weeks ago, and has interviewed representatives of several ICC state parties about it. Each of them has predicted that the language will disappear; some say that its mere circulation will "send a message."

But when Inner City Press for a week asked about Gambari's photographs with Bashir, and Ban's spokesman belatedly said that Gambari had been told to avoid such contacts in the future, Gambari's response was that he would do it again.

Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman about that, and was simply told that the message was conveyed. But it seems Ban's message was not heard, or perhaps was meant to be misunderstood. How about this paragraph? Watch this site.

Update: as Japan convenes closed door consultations in this afternoon in Conference Room 6, a participant tells Inner City Press that while Paragraph 5bis, above, is being discussed, so is Paragraph 10bis, which we'll now publish below:

"10bis. Invites all States that wish to do so to contribute voluntarily to the bearing of expenses related to investigations or prosecutions in connection with situations referred to the Court by the Security Council, in accordance with agreed modalities for such contributions [FN6 See resolution ICC-ASP/Res.11 of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.], and requests the Secretary-General to include the matter of article 115 (b) of the Rome Statute and article 13, paragraph 1, of the Relationship Agreement in its institutional dialogue with the International Criminal Court and to include such information in its report to the General Assembly pursuant to paragraph 10 of the present resolution."

This too "is a problem," the participant said. Watch this site.

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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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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