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Italy's Terzi di Sant'Agata Talks India & Fishermen Killing, Death of Small 5

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 23 -- Can murder be mediated? At the UN on Wednesday Inner City Press asked Italian foreign minister Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata about the alleged killing of two Indian fishermen by Italian marines who are now in jail in India. Video here.

  Terzi di Sant'Agata gave a long response, about the need to review different interpretations of applicable law, and said that the way India is applying to law is hurting other anti-piracy efforts.

  Minutes later Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky if Italy has made any request for UN assistance or mediation of its dispute with India.

 Nesirky did not directly answer, saying he would check, but noted that mediation requires a request or the consent of both parties.

  He was then asked about Terzi di Sant'Agata raising the matter in his meeting Tuesday afternoon with Ban and Ban's team. Nesirky said he had not been in the room. Later Inner City Press was told by a senior UN official that yes, Italy has raised it to the UN. But, one wag wondered, which has more power, Italy or India?

  Italy is not without power in the UN. Inner City Press also asked Terzi di Sant'Agata about his country's role in defeating the proposal by the so-called Small Five to pass a General Assembly resolution calling for changes in the Security Council's working methods.

  Swiss Ambassador Paul Seger particularly singled out Italy as an opponent of the Small Five resolution, which was withdrawn after Ban Ki-moon's lawyer Patricia O'Brien issued a legal letter opining that the resolution would require a two-thirds vote than than simple majority.

  Terzi di Sant'Agata responded that while Italy liked the ideas in the resolution, no issue can be solved without all the issues being solved. One wag mused that's ONE school of mediation; another school says make what progress you can, when you can.

  Terzi di Sant'Agata began by remembering anti-Mafia judge Falcone, killed along with his wife and guards twenty years ago. The recent bombing that killed 16 year old Melissa Bassi at a school named after Falcone's wife in Brindisi -- where there is a UN logistics base -- is now blamed by some not on organized crime but "terrorism." Other wonder unrelately if piracy is more akin to organized crime or "terrorism," or neither...

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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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