Palau and Pew Fight To Save Sharks and Tuna, Japan Counters with
Sushi and Conditional Aid
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, May 24 -- When nations and activists met this year about
endangered species of sharks and Atlantic blue tuna, Japan lobbied
against protections with conditional financial aid to small island
states, and even sushi and shark fin soup receptions.
told Monday evening in the UN's new North Lawn building, as Jacques
Cousteau's grandson spoke about seeing fewer and fewer sharks during
his dives. . "We protect what we love," he quoted. But with
sharks, given the perception of them as people killers, the phrase
may not be helpful.
sponsored by Palau, which had declared itself a shark sanctuary. A
speech was given by its Permanent Representative to the UN, Stuart
Beck, who is decidedly not from Palau. But as his deputy later
explained to Inner City Press, he was Palau's lawyer even before it
that Palau "championed adding four sharks to the CITES list of
endangered species. Despite winning the majority of votes on all
four, we could not overcome the obstructive super majority
crowd uniformly trashed the role of Japan. It was ironic, as
elsewhere in the North Lawn building Japan was presenting itself as
an anti-nuclear hero. Janus face, forked tongue, one said.
the Pew Environment Group held a press conference urging Regional
Fisheries Management Organizations to do more about illegal,
unregulated and unreported fishing. Inner City Press asked about such
fishing off the coasts of Somalia and Western Sahara.
Kristin Von Kistowski, Susan Lieberman
and Sarika Cullis-Suzuki, sharks and sushi not shown
Von Kistowski cautioned against excusing piracy in terms of illegal
fishing. She added that international fleets harm coastal communities
in Western Africa.
Pew said that European Union fleets are overfishing, and the the
depletion of fish stock off Somalia may have played a role in driving
former fishermen to piracy. Video here,
from Minute 36.
This stood in
welcome contrast to the
commander of the EUNAVFOR ships, who earlier this month was
dismissive of Somali claims about illegal fishing. Click here
Footnote: weeks ago,
Inner City Press asked a spokesman accompanying Japanese Foreign
Minister Okada to the UN a series of simple questions, and has twice
been promised answered. But none have arrived. Watch this site -- or
* * *
UN, Illegal Fishing off Somalia and Pirates' Death Scoffed At, Preening
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, May 14 -- "Ensuring that the pirates are treated in an
appropriate manner is right at the forefront of our operations,"
Rear Admiral Peter Hudson of EUNAVFOR Operation Atalanta told the
Press on Friday. Inner City Press asked about the Russian Navy's
reported killing of ten pirates, either by casting them to sea
without their navigation equipment or outright execution. "I
can't comment on that," Hudson said. The forefront. The very
the few interesting speakers in a daylong "debate" on
piracy in the UN General Assembly. Ahmedou
Ould Abdullah, moderating
the second panel, refused to let member states like Cape Verde speak,
insisting that those on the podium proceed with their speeches and
Powerpoint presentations -- Mr. Endo's barely legible from the hall,
did include a little cartoon pirate.
the Somali Transitional Federal Government and African Union tied the
piracy issue to illegal fishing in Somali waters. Inner City Press
asked Hudson about this, and about the dumping of toxic waste on
Somali shores. Hudson was dismissive, saying there is very little
fishing of any kind without two hundred miles of Somalia. He scoffed
at any relations between illegal fishing and the seizing of oil
tankers for ransom. Video here,
from Minute 8:18.
GA on May 14 on piracy, actual debate and rights of Somalis not shown
back in the GA
hall, no member states was able to question Hudson on this. As usual
with UN "debates," there were a series of prepared
statements being read out, the lists between the podium and floor
getting out of sink so that no one was responding to what had just
been said. There was preening about pirates, a three-quarters empty
GA hall filled with angry delegates denied until too late their right
to preen. Watch this site.
Update of 5:47 p.m.
- as the six o'clock show down looms, the Netherlands bragged about a
decision in The Hague, and Mona Juul of Norway -- which though not an
EU member has a ship under EU command -- talked about the Contact
Group. As neighboring Yemen began, its representative was told to be
brief, the meeting was almost over. And the other speakers?
Update of 5:58 p.m.
- the moderator says his list includes, among others, Liberia, Tunisia,
Sri Lanka, Spain (on behalf of the European Union), Greece, Syria,
Korea, Thailand, Swaziland, Singapore, Argentina, India, Philippines
and Lebanon. But he said while Liberia -- the "last speaker" -- has the
floor, the other countries should think if they need to speak.
Update of 6:06 p.m.
-- he's doing it, the moderator, saying no interpretation after 6:10,
so it's going to end. One hears: who owns this organization?
Update of 6:09 p.m.
-- the Ambassador of Khazakstan takes the floor, to read Ali Treki's
final remarks. Sri Lanka walks out. The Philippines representative
demands the floor, and says that it was very unfortunate many countries
were not allowed to speak. The Philippines has many sailors in pirates'
captivity. The UN Webcast is no longer working. This is off the clock.
Update of 6:16 p.m.
-- the Ambassador of Kazakstan gavels the meeting to a close. "Have a
nice weekend," she says. Without translation.
* * *
Somalia, UN Belated Admits Rejections of its MOU With Kenya
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 15 -- A UN-promoted joint Law of the Sea filing by
Kenya and those Somalis the UN works with, about Somalia's offshore
rights, has finally been acknowledged by the UN as rejected by the
March 12, 2010,
web site quietly added the notation that the "Memorandum of
Understanding" about the filing, pushed by Nairobi based UN
envoy Ahmedou Ould Abdallah and funded by oil drilling Norway, "has
been rejected by the Parliament of the Transitional Federal
Government Somalia, and is to be hence treated as non-actionable."
extensively about this controversial MOU, which despite
rejection in Somalia has been defended by the UN, Ould Abdallah and
Norway. Another analysis by some Inner City Press sources is below.
the UN's quiet
admission that its plan for the Somali coastline was rejected by
Somalis comes as the UN's Sanctions Group on Somalia is promoting its
findings about widespread diversion of aid to Al Shabab. As Inner
City Press reported,
the Sanctions report has subject last week to a
staged leak, first to the New York Times and then to wire services.
Some UN correspondents reported did not appreciate the exposure of
how the document was shown. But it is relevant, and should have
reported in the initial stories.
Ould Abdallah at UNSC stakeout, rejection of his LOS deal not shown
now is an
alternative telling of the UN - Somali story, an update to Inner City
Press' previous reporting on the MOU:
the [beginning, many] Somalis were furious about the Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU), saying “Somali territorial waters would have
been lost had this MOU succeed”. And any where that the Somali TFG
delegations travel they were confronted by angry citizens asking them
“why did they sign that MOU” and demanding answers from them.
many Somali lawmakers (MPs) were criticizing the government about the
controversial MOU with Kenya, and hand full of TFG ministers were
shying away from defending it, Deputy Prime Minister ( he is also
Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources) Abdirahman Adan Ibbi (AKA
Prof. Ibbi) became the biggest lobbyist for the MOU - Weird huh!
Ibbi fought very had so that the MOU would go forward. In doing so he
wrote a letter* to Ban Ki Moon on August 19, 2009 supporting the MOU
– it was after the Somali parliament rejected the same MOU (and
voted down on August 1, 2009).
is serious about that letter was: it was signed by him, Prof. Ibbi,
but is says it was written by TFG Prime Minister Omer Abdirashid Ali
Sharmarke who was out of town at the time. When that letter became
public Prof. Ibbi started to fade away into the background.
Ibbi had a backing of the TFG president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed,
who also defended the MOU .
the Somali PM Sharmarke realized that his deputy used his name, he
(Sharmarke) wrote his own letter to Ban Ki Moon on October 10, 2009,
supporting the Parliament decision. The funny thing is, Sharmarke’s
office did not send that letter to The Secretary-General of UN as
they should. Much later, realizing again, Sharmarke handed the
letter to Somalia's Foreign Minister, Ali Jama Jangali so that he
could hand deliver to Ban Ki Moon or at least send through
knows whether Jangali handed that letter to The Secretary-General –
at least it was not posted at the UN website as they did the previous
letters regarding the same MOU.
all these were going on, a group of Somali lawmakers, who were fed up
with government, sent their own letter to Ban-Ki Moon asking him not
to accept the controversial maritime deal between Kenyan and Somalia
and remind him that Somali Parliament rejected it. Again that letter
also was not posted at UN website and as far as we aware of, The
Secretary-General of the United Nations did not respond the Somali
MPs’ letter – at least he did send reply back.
do not know what did it or which letter reached at the Ban Ki Moon’s
desk. But we do know that there was an update at UN website on 12
March 2010 stating that: “The MOU has been rejected by the
Parliament of the Transitional Federal Government Somalia, and is to
be hence treated as non-actionable.
has been a huge relief for Somalis in general as they realize that
the MOU between Somalia and Kenya is non-actionable – which in
legal term means NULL & VOID.
think this is very good statement from UN headquarters, why? The MOU
between Somalia and Kenya had a backing of UN Somalia Office (based
mainly in Nairobi Kenya). This has been a concern for Somali people.
And that is why many believe that UN Headquarters did not acknowledge
quickly when Somali Parliament rejected the same MOU.
is also a news dawn for Somali political system, some say, as members
of parliament realize that they can overrule any law (for Somalia)
even if the president doesn’t approve it. There had been even a
talk to impeach the Somali parliament speaker, Sheikh Aden Mohamed
Nur (AKA Aaden Madoobe) as he did not act swiftly when the TFG
government started the maritime MOU between Somalia/Kenya.
Below is the link of Prof. Ibbi’s letter (at UN website)
can compare with the Somali PM’s signature at following link (UN
have more on
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
12 debate on Sri Lanka http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/17772?in=11:33&out=32:56
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.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017
earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.
2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request
reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]