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Of Kuwait's UNSC Month No Pompeo Mention Craven Praise of Cameroon Shrug at Censorship By Guterres

By Matthew Russell Lee, Photos, Periscope

UNITED NATIONS GATE, June 3 – With the UN Security Council presidency for June being taken over by Kuwait's Mansour Al-Otaibi, one might have expected this position to be mentioned in the read out of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's June 2 call with the Kuwaiti foreign minister. But the UN has so decayed into irrelevance under Antonio Guterres that this was the complete read out: "Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke yesterday with Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah al-Khaled al-Sabah.  The Secretary thanked the Foreign Minister for Kuwait’s strong partnership and friendship with the United States.  The Secretary and the Foreign Minister discussed important regional issues.  The Secretary and the Foreign Minister agreed on the importance of a united Gulf Cooperation Council in confronting all of the region’s challenges, particularly Iranian threats to the Gulf." Nothing on the UNSC and Kuwait's waning membership.

  Kuwait though is a member of the Security Council for seven more months, and heard what was said in the UNSC on May 13. Even the sanitized Lowcock and handpicked NGO version was troubling. But tellingly on May 20 the Amir of Kuwait and the Crown Prince, Al-Sabah, told cabled congratulations and best wishes to 37 year ruler now killer Paul Biya. Kuwait's mission to the UN, when Inner City Press was roughed up and banned from entering the UN amid its questions about Guterres' performance, opined that "as long as UNCA is against you, nothing will change." So much for freedom of the press: UNCA has had a president who gave an UN/CA screening to Sri Lanka government's war crimes denial film, a photo op to UN briber Ng Lap Seng, and now has Chinese state media judging its "journalism" awards for UN coverage - no reporting on Chinese UN bribery, nor mention of the exclusion of Taiwanese journalists from the UN, etc allowed! We'll have more on this - and on Kuwait's month.  For this, this blast from the past:

   Back in February 2018, before UNSG Antonio Guterres had Inner City Press roughed up and banned, now 334 days, Inner City Press asked Kuwait's Mansour Al-Otaibi about Yemen and about Guterres' meeting with since deposed, but still echoing in crackdowns in the streets of Khartoum day, Sudan's President Omar al Bashir, indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide in Darfur. On Yemen, Inner City Press asked if the name of Martin Griffiths has been circulated to Council members as replacement for Ismael Ould Cheikh Ahmed as UN envoy. He said it has not been circulated, adding that Kuwait will support whomever the Secretary General proposes. On Guterres' meeting, for which he'd have been required to inform the ICC Prosecutor in advance, Al-Otaibi said he had no information, that Inner City Press should ask Guterres. We'll try. Al-Otaibi said that there will be no Council trip to Myanmar this month - the government didn't say no, he said, but indicated it is not the right time. Jimmy Carter may or may not appear at an Arria formula meeting Kuwait is organizing. We'll have more on this - on behalf of the Free UN Coalition for Access, Inner City Press asked Al-Otaibi to hold question and answer stakeouts after closed door consultation. We'll be there. Back in September to Ethiopia's Tekeda Alemu, Inner City Press asked Ambassador Alemu four questions, the answers to which sketch out the Ethopian government's worldview. Video here. In response to Inner City Press asking why Burundi, where even the UN says there is a risk of genocide, is not on his September Program of Work nor on the agenda of the Council's visit to Addis Ababa, Alemu said that you can't compare Burundi to Central African Republic, that Burundi has “strong state institutions.” But it is that very “strength,” which some say the country shares with Ethiopia, and with until recently military-ruled Myanmar about which Inner City Press also asked, that has led to the human rights violations. In this context, Inner City Press asked Alemu about the Oromo protests - and crackdown - in his country. He diplomatically chided Inner City Press for not having asked in private, saying that social media has played a dangerous role. On the other hand, when Inner City Press asked Alemu at the end about the murders of two UN experts Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalan, he replied that while the DR Congo is due to sovereignty the one to investigate the murders, the gruesome nature of the killings put a “great responsibility” on the DR Congo. We'l have more on this. Alamy photos here. Earlier on September 1 in Alemu's briefing to countries not on the Security Council, Bangladesh specifically asked that the Council remain seized of the situation in Myanmar. When Inner City Press asked Alemu about this, he said he still had to inform himself more about that situation. The Security Council is traveling to Addis from September 5 through 9, when alongside African Union consultations the Council's member will meet for an hour with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Alemu said. The Council will receive the “maiden briefings” late in the month of the new Under Secretaries General of OCHA and on Counter-Terrorism. There will be peacekeeping on September 20, during the High Level week of the UN General Assembly, and Yemen on September 26. But tellingly, there will not be Burundi. Watch this site.


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