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At UN Roed-Larsen No Comment on Bahrain, Rajab & Kawaja, Even Sheb'a Farms

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 8 -- After a closed door briefing to the Security Council about Lebanon, heavy on Syria, part time UN envoy Terje Roed-Larsen said he would answer questions from the Press.

  But when Inner City Press asked Roed-Larsen about Bahrain, which he has visited accompanied by his UN paid staffer, and that Kingdom's arrest of Abdulhadi Al Kawaja and now Nabeel Rajab, Roed-Larsen refused to comment.

  This seemed strange, since Roed-Larsen had just quoted himself about the winds of change in the entire region, and what he called the "death of dance." Video here.

  Even directly on Lebanon, Roed-Larsen insisted that the Security Council is no longer seize of the matter of Sheb'a Farms and would not explain paragraph 16 of his own Resolution 1559 report, about restrictions on the freedom of movement of the UNIFIL peacekeepers.

   What kind of UN official is this, who won't elaborate on restrictions on the UN's own operating arm, and has nothing to say about the arrest by a monarchy of human rights advocates and bloggers?

  Roed-Larsen, like a few other "UN" officials like Alexander Downer on Cyprus and Tony Blair on the Quartet, does not work full time for the UN.

  While this situation cries out -- like the hot wind that Roed-Larsen referred to and channeled -- for public financial disclosure of the type that Ban Ki-moon claims to have implement, no such disclosure is available for Roed-Larsen.

  Roed-Larsen made a point of calling Ban Ki-moon, who permits all this, a "principled man." (He also uses his position of moderator at the International Peace Institute, which he heads, to make pronouncements about what "the whole international community" believes.) Refusing to comment on the Bahraini monarchy's treatment of political prisoners, Roed-Larsen told Inner City Press to put this question to Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson.

   While Roed-Larsen refused to answer these questions, other sources say that in the meeting, it was again proposed to have a single report, under Resolution 1701, Roed-Larsen said no, he wants to keep coming to the Security Council on his own every six months.

 Among other things, this increasingly indefensible and wasteful role is what allows Roed-Larsen to take UN paid staff to Bahrain, have it be reported as a celebratory trip by a UN official, and then refuse to comment on it or make disclosures. Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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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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